WYSZKÓW ('VISHKAVA') VITAL RECORDS
PROVIDE KEY TO IDENTIFYING GRAVESTONES
IN THE WYSZKÓW HOLOCAUST MONUMENT PROJECT
In 1997, even before the signing of the agreement between the Polish State Archives and
JRI-Poland for the indexing of Jewish vital records of Poland, special arrangements were
made with the Polish State Archives to obtain photocopies of the index pages of all Wyszków
Jewish vital records registers. This indexing was done so that the records could be used
to help identify the surviving gravestones.
Wyszków is on the Bug River, 55 km northeast of Warsaw on the highway to Bialystok. The late
1800s records for many other villages in the area were kept in the Wyszków registers. A list
of some of the nearby villages is noted below. Researchers with roots in any of these
surrounding localities are likely to have family connections in Wyszków.
The JRI-Poland on-line database now includes entries from all known Wyszków vital records
registers for the years 1874 to 1897. During 2005, indices for the years 1898 to 1903
will be added to the database; at that time there will be on-line access to information
for more than 6000 records. The Wyszków data are for the years during which our grandparents
and great-grandparents were born and married and when our great-grandparents and earlier
ancestors died. These indices have provided descendants of Wyszków and area families with
readily available information for the first time on these crucial three or even four
generations of their families.
The Wyszków index pages are unusual in that the town or village where events took place
also is recorded in most years. The birth index, for part of the database, contains
fathers' names, moreover for several years, both fathers' and mothers' given names appear
in the index.
The Cemetery Monument Project
JRI-Poland is proud to have played a role in this important memorial, a project that opened
the door to obtaining access to the Jewish vital records of Wyszków. Click on any of the images
to see a full-size version.
Wyszków cemetery monument
dedication ceremonies, September 14, 1997
The Wall of Remembrance
Recovered matzevot in the Wyszkow Holocaust Memorial
Commissioner Lee Seeman. Plaque
Mordechai Anielewicz of Wyszkow
Commander of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
From left to right: Wyskow
descendant Avi Yoskowitz, Commissioner Lee
Seeman, U.S. Ambassador Nicolas Ray, Michael Lewan, Chairman,
U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad.
On September 14, 1997, a dedication ceremony was held for the large monument on the
southern border of the former Wyszków Jewish cemetery, overlooking the
Bug River flood plain. Almost 100 surviving Jewish
gravestones and pieces of gravestones have been incorporated into the curving walls
of this historic monument. The planning and construction of the monument was conducted
under the supervision of The U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage
Abroad but was funded by 'Vishkovers' and their descendants all around the world.
The database of indices to Wyszków's Jewish vital records in the Polish State Archives
branch in Pultusk, as well as the later records in the registers in the Wyszków Civil
Records Office, are being used to connect the broken shards of the tombstones to the
people who were interred. Using the detailed photographs provided by the U.S. Commission,
many pieces of broken tombstones have actually been united to form the names of people
who lived and died in or near Wyszków.
The Wyszków indexing project was organized by JRI-Poland Board Members
Stanley Diamond and Michael Richman.
The painstaking detective work to identify the gravestones was carried out by
Michael along with Sarah Lasry (Montreal). Here is an example of the
double-sided gravestone for Aron Hersz WIDELEC identified using the Wyszków vital records.
Click on images for full color versions
|Aron Hersz WIDELEC 1853-1930, Liba JARZEMBSKA 1853-1919
"the giant of Branszczyk" (Wyszkow district)
Click here for information
about the WIDELEC family and the Beta-Thalassemia genetic trait.
The Wyszkow Gravestone Identification Project
|Stanley Diamond at gravestone of
great-uncle Aron Hersz Aharon Tzvi WIDELEC
|Howard Orenstein at gravestone of
great-great-great-uncle Moshe Nuchim ROZENBERG
The Wyszków gravestone identification project has already led to finding descendants or
relatives of individuals commemorated in these stones. Click here
for the list of twenty stones that have already been identified.
While the indices have been funded, JRI-Poland needs the help of Vishkovers and
Jewish genealogists researching nearby towns -- who are likely to have some family
connections in Wyszków -- to provide additional contributions to make it possible
to create detailed extracts of the records (with father's and mother's names) to aid
in the search for matches to additional gravestones. If you know Vishkovers -- whether
or not they are genealogists -- please tell them about this project. We are sure they
will be interested - and inspired.
Contributions should be made to Jewish Records Indexing - Poland.
Please specify "For the Wyszków Gravestone Matching Project" on your check or other correspondence.
Click here for instructions on how to make a contribution.
Please direct your questions to Wyszków Town Leader Howard Orenstein
or JRI-Poland Executive Director, Stanley Diamond.
* Partial list of the villages included in the Wyszków records:
Surnames may provide pointers to researchers interested in not only Wyszków, but also to many other towns and villages northeast of Warsaw. If your family lived anywhere in the area, and a familiar surname appears on this list, there may be records for you.
Pay attention to variations in spelling which were typical in Polish vital records. e.g. BURSZTEJN, BURSZTIN, BURSZTYN
For a list of family surnames in the Wyszków vital records, click here.
Surviving records less than 100 years old are held in the Civil Records Offices (Urzad Stanu Cywilnego)
of each town.
For information on the 20th century records available for your town, visit the
Routes to Roots Foundation website,
CLICK ON THE 'SEARCH DATABASE' button (on the right side) and enter the town name.
Look for the town name in the Repository/City column of the search results. There are typically links to
lists of available births, marriage and death records for the town.
Note, however, the Routes to Roots Foundation database may indicate turn of the century records that have already been
transferred to the appropriate branch of the Polish State Archives where they can be indexed for the
JRI-Poland is an independent non-profit tax-exempt Organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.
Email: JRI-Poland WebMaster
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