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The Belarus SIG has been successful in extracting and translating into English the entire remaining census forms for
the Grodno gubernia. While most of the records were destroyed, the remaining remnants provide valuable genealogical data for those who can find their families on the census records that we have accumulated. This census includes the place of birth, place of registration, along with the address and shtetl where people were living at the time of the census. In many instances these three locations are different for the same person in the census database. The information can provide insight on origination of families and help lead to other shtetls for you to research. Howard Margol was able to obtain the remnants of the 1897 Russian Census for
the Kovno and Vilna gubernii in Lithuania and you can get a better understand what to expect for
the Grodno gubernia by looking at http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Lithuania/LithCensus1897.htm.
In addition to areas now in Belarus, the Grodno gubernia portion of the 1897 Census includes areas now in Poland - Bialystok. Bielsk, and Sokolka Uyezds.. There are a total of 1,800 unique surnames included in this database and you can see if your surnames are included by clicking here. Among the three location columns referenced above, there are over 700 unique shtetls/towns, which can be viewed by clicking here. Please keep in mind that many of these shtetls are in locations throughout present-day Belarus, Poland, Lithuania, as well as other miscellaneous places. This data could be useful to people researching families outside of Grodno gubernia.
As you might expect, the Belarus SIG had to pay to get this census and we cannot put it up on the All Belarus Database until it is fully funded by donations. Only 25 people have made donations to this project and I am certain there are a lot more then 25 people who will benefit from this database. Therefore, I am asking those of you who find your surname or shtetl on the two URLs above to make a donation to the "Grodno Area Projects".
BIALYGen, the Bialystok Region Jewish Genealogy Group, is supporting this project and its members will be beneficiaries of this data. BIALYGen members who make contributions to the BIALYGen "Grodno Archives Research Projects" will help support this and future Grodno Archives projects.
Any funds collected in excess of the cost of the 1897 Census acquisition, will be used to fund other Grodno area records. Our researchers in Belarus are ready for a new assignment, but I cannot give them the go ahead until we have available funds.
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