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The following information appeared in Volume IV, Number 2 (Summer 1998) of the "RAGAS Report – A Guide to Genealogical Sources in the Archives of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine".  It is presented here on the Belarus SIG website with the permission of Vlad Soshnikov, the RAGAS Director. This list cannot be reproduced or used elsewhere without the permission of Mr. Soshnikov.

UPDATE ON BELARUS with List of Mogilev Gubernia Records Found in National Archives of Belarus (Minsk)

By Vladislav Soshnikov

In July 1998, I visited the Belarussian archives in Minsk, the capital of Belarus and the hometown of my grandfather's family. My reception at the archives was pleasant and when I voiced my intention to continue on to the archives for Western Belarus in Grodno I was advised that the director of the Grodno archive still practices the old style of reference service and continues to be hostile to genealogists. In order to reestablish access to the Grodno archive I will need support from my university for research in particular types of records. I will arrange that in the near future.

The situation for traveling genealogists in Minsk is much improved, thanks to a general economic upswing. There is even a source for junk food early in the morning: three brand new McDonald's restaurants under Canadian management are open from 9:00 a.m. and every one can get a standard menu at very affordable prices in Belarussian rubles. Main Street in Minsk looks brighter after the recent renovation of major buildings. Almost all the city was rebuilt after World War II, but only recently, after the fall of the Soviet regime, have many historical buildings been reconstructed by religious organizations. A new Catholic Cathedral was erected on its historical site which previously had been converted into a Communist party office building.

Some new western-looking stores have appeared, but many food shops are still operating in the old style of the Soviet era: gloomy interiors, unfriendly service, rows of local canned food and unappetizing vegetables. Unfortunately, flea markets are forbidden by city authorities and souvenirs are available only in fixed-price stores. The only exception is in the garden in front of the new (old) Catholic Cathedral where paintings and dolls are available for sale by private vendors. However, police patrols watch carefully to prevent payment in foreign currency. Only Belarussian rubles are allowed. Trade in antique items (even Soviet-era badges or other small things) is not allowed on the street either.

Police patrol the streets frequently and are I sometimes very vigilant if they think you want to take a picture of the President's Palace. They approach immediately and claim it is forbidden for security reasons. Why, I don't know, because the Palace is a huge building about 10 floors in height on an open site just behind the central avenue in the downtown area.

My personal impression is that Minsk is a quiet and safe city for tourists although it is always necessary to keep common sense security measures in mind. Belarussians are very friendly people.

The National Historical Archive on Kropotkina Street still has some records in the old repository I on Koslova Street. The new building is in a convenient location and the reference staff is j friendly. Mrs. Golubovich, director, warmly receives foreign researchers and those with an appropriate project receive permission to perform research in the archival reading room. Photocopying at $1 per page is available upon written application. A researcher may orders - 10 files per day depending upon the size of the volumes. There are files which may only be delivered on the next day. Sometimes archivists may refuse to deliver files which are in poor physical condition until they can be restored; they also may limit researchers to 5 big files per day. Due to the lack of convenient space (I choose seats close to the windows) in the reading room it is best to find a place early in the morning (hours are 9:30 a.m. to 16:30 p.m.).

On this trip I worked on the genealogies of some Jewish families of the Minsk and Mogilev provinces and have made new discoveries of records. The archival inventory usually only gives a general description of the contents of a volume and more specific identification is missing. For example, the inventory does not list the report of the tax office of the Mogilev province in which one may find a family list of the Jewish community of the small settlement of Chaussy. I identified the following materials in some big volumes of old records:

1. In the collection #2151 of the "Mogilev Treasury", inventory 1.

Item # 68. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of Mogilev province, 1868-1869.

Item # 69. Revision Census List of the Jewish farmers of Mogilev province, 1873-1874.

Item # 70. Revision Census List of the Jewish farmers of Mogilev province, 1873-1875.

Item #71. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of Mogilev province, 1878-1879.

Item # 82. Alphabetical list of the Jewish town-dwellers of Bykhov and tax record of the Bykhov Jewish community, 1861. Bykhov district

Item # 86. Alphabetical list of the Jewish town-dwellers and farmers of Gomel district, 1858. Gomel district.

Item # 90. Additional Revision Census List of the Jewish Community of Rossasny, 1867-1874. Goretzky district.

Item # 98. Revision Census List of the Jewish Community of Dubrovny. 1874-1876. Goretzky district.

Item # 99. Revision Census List of the Jewish Community of Liadny, 1874-1877. Goretzky district.

Item # 100. Revision Census List of the Jewish Community of Rossasny, 1874-1877. Goretzky district.

Item # 104. Revision Census List of the Jewish Community of Kopys, 1874. Kopys district.

Item # 105. Revision Census List of the Jewish, Community of Kopys, 1874-1876. Kopys district.

Item # 108. Revision Census List of the Jewish Community of the town of Klimovitchi and neighboring townships, 1816. Klimovitchi district.

Item # 111. Revision Census List of the Jewish Community of the town of Klimovitchi and neighboring townships, 1834. Klimovitchi district.

Item # 127. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of Mogilev, 1858.

Item # 131. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of communities of Mogilev district 1874.

Item # 132. Additional Revision Census List of the Jewish town- dwellers of communities of Mogilev district, 1881.

Item # 134. Family list of the Jewish town-dwellers of the Shklov Community of Mogilev district, 1874 (?).

Item # 145. Nominal roll of the Jewish town-dwellers of the township of Dubrovka, 1852.  Orsha district.

Item # 150. Revision Census List of the Jewish farmers of the Goretsky and Savsky rural communities, Orsha district, 1858.

Item # 152. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of the Goretsky Community, Orsha district, 1858. 76 sheets.

Item # 153. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of the Dubrovensky Community, Orsha district, 1858. 278 sheets.

Item # 154. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of the Liadny Community, Orsha district, 1858.

Item # 155. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of the Bayevsky and Rossasinsky Communities, Orsha district, 1858.

Item # 160. Register of recruit line of the Jewish communities of Rogatchev district, 1831.

Item # 167. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of Cherikov, Krichev and Molostovitchi, Cherikov district, 1816.

Item # 200. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers and farmers of Cherikov district, 1864-1874.

Item # 207. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of the Cherikov community, 1 874.

Item # 209. Revision Census List oft he Jewish farmers and retired soldiers of Cherikov district, 1881-1886.

 

2. In the collection #2151 of the "Mogilev Treasury", inventory 2.

Item # 4. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of the town of Mstislavl and its district, 1850.

Item # 12. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of Mstislavl district, 1858.

Item # 15. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of Mstislavl district, 1858.

Item # 16. Revision Census List of the Jewish farmers of Mstislavl district, 1858.

Item # 17. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of Khosiavitchi, Mstislavl district. 1858

Item # 18. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of Monastyrschinsk, Mstislavl district, 1858.

Item # 19. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of Kasimirova Sloboda. Mstislavl district, 1858.

Item # 20. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of Tatarsk, Mstislavl district, 1858.

Item # 21. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of Kadin, Mstislavl district, 1858.

Item # 22. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of Shomov, Mstislavl district, 1858

Item # 23. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of Zakharin, Mstislavl district, 1858.

Item # 37. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of Khoslavitchi, Mstislavl district, 1874.

Item # 44-45. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of Shomov, Mstislavl district, 1 858

Item # 46. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of Khoslavitchi, Mstislavl district, 1858.

Item # 47. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of the town of Mstislavl, 1 858.

Item # 48. Revision Census List of the Jewish town-dwellers of Khoslavitchi, Mstislavl district, 1858.