Jewish Records Indexing - Poland is a ground breaking project to create a computer database of indices to the 19th century Jewish vital records of Poland. Launched in early 1995, award winning JRI - Poland is already the largest fully searchable database of Jewish vital records accessible through the Internet. Teams of volunteers around the world (called "Shtetl CO-OPs") are actively working to expand the database.
Jewish Records Indexing - Poland was launched through the efforts of three dedicated genealogists, living in three different countries, brought together by the Internet.
Inspired by an idea from Stanley Diamond, Montreal, Canada, and founded in 1995 by Steven A. Zedeck of Nashua, New Hampshire USA and Michael Tobias of Glasgow, Scotland, Jewish Records Indexing is one of many JewishGen based projects aimed at improving the state-of-the-art of Jewish genealogical research.
The JRI - Poland database was conceived as a valuable FIRST step in finding or locating clues to locating family records from among the millions of Jewish vital records for hundreds of Polish towns and villages. See JewishGen "PolandV" InfoFile for a detailed description of these records.
If researchers recognize some of their families' names and records in a search of the JRI - Poland database, they will open the door to more focused research opportunities. For many new genealogists, this will mean a simplification of the initial process.
However, experienced researchers of Polish vital records will caution their fellow genealogists that finding a few records and/or identifiying the town in which one's family lived is only the beginning. While the use of computer based technology (Internet, databases, email, World-Wide-Web) may have provided a "kick-start" to some research, detailed work lies ahead.
Therefore, all researchers must remember:
At each step in the process, errors may have been introduced. For further information and guidance on how to gain the optimum benefits in researching Jewish vital records of Poland, read "The Power of Extracts" and "Don't Let a Little Extraction Scare You!" by Lauren B. Eisenberg Davis (Kielce - Radom SIG Journal, Vol. 1, Numbers 1 and 2, respectively). For more information, access Kielce-Radom SIG's website.
Through the dedication of its founders, the board and volunteers worldwide there are already more than 1.5 million vital record entries in the JRI database. This is less than 10% of the Jewish vital records microfilmed by the LDS (Mormons) but the database is steadily growing as Sthetl CO-OP teams work to index more towns and more records every day.
It is our hope that this resource will become a vital tool in your research.
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