Subject: Minsk, Religious Personel 1836-1838

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Date: Sun, 9 Aug 1998 09:47:23 EDT

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Below I repeat my post to JGenn digest with small corrections. It is first list of several similar that will follow. Now with organizing Belarus SIG it is good place to post such information. I would like to thank David Fox for his encouragement in my work.

Among vital records from Minks and Minsk Gubernia towns there were some not useful at first glance information that I put together to make available for the area researchers. In birth records there mention names of berit milah* performers. To be sure about who could be those people I read about in "Russian Jewish Encyclopedia" published in Russia in 16 volumes in 1913.

As I expected those people wasn’t family members. Supposed to be written two names: one of a syndic* and another of a mogil*. Syndic was a congregation representative and mogil was a specialist who performed berit milah.

This tradition came to contradiction with Russian law that required any religious rite to be performed by priest (in our case -- rabbi). Because in Russia religion was a state business -- any related to religion laws were under state supervision and disobedience of such laws was persecuted by the state. To be a mogil some time was a dangerous occupation. Only a rabbi by Russian state law could perform it (stat’ya #1325 ustava inostranykh veroispovedaniy). But by Jewish tradition it wasn’t rabbi’s thing to do, at least not common. Because of it in later I see that in birth records as performer of berit milah mentioned just official rabbi of the town (in 1861 for instance) or the rabbi with participation of ..? (real mogil?) in 1851 and at the end of the XIX century.

However I consider that people who were mentioned in the records as berit milah performers were members of the communities and possibly prominent members. Many names repeated multiple times and it bring additional information. Years when they were active in community -- for example. Some records have not only their given names and surnames but patronymics (form of father’s name) as well. By analyzing reappearing names possible to track spelling variations. For instance: BORUKHIN, BRUKHIN, BRYUKHIN, BROKHIN - variation of spelling of the same person surname. I often saw that a person that had two first names (very common) almost always written with only one of them (and some time not the same).

Below you can see the list of such people surnames I compiled from Minsk Jewish birth records 1836-1838 available on LDS microfilm #1920792 and transliterated from Russian. Later I will compile and post lists from other sets.

Al’tsuler, Ash

Baravik, Berinshtein, Blo[n]shtein, Bogin, Botvinik, Brat.., Britva, Bron, Butinsky


Dreitser, Dreizer, Dreizin, Dul’tsin

Epert, Erfert, Esterkin, Etinger

Fain, Frenkel’, Fridlyand, Futer

Gal’perin, Garmiza, Gaukhman, Gel’pern, Gil’perin, Ginsburg, Ginzburg, Goberman, Gol’din, Gon, Gordin, Gots, Grinkrug, Gurvich


Kanter, Kaplan, Katsler, Khaneles, Khateniver , Khayutin, Kitaisky, Koidinovsky, Komar, Krasnopyorka, Krigel’, Kuksiver

Landres, Landres, Lefel’, Leibman, Levin, Levitas, Libers, Libershtein, Lifshits, Lusternik, Lyakhovsky, Lyuboshits

Maizel’s?, Makhlin?, Margolin, Maroles, Marshak, Munvez


Perel’man, Pines, Polotsk, Polyak, Prorokov

Rabin?, Rabiner, Rabinovich, Rakovshchik, Rakovsky, Ratner, Rozin, Rubin

Shapira, Shaternak, Shavel’zon, Shul’diner, Siterman, Slyozberg , Smargonsky, Smolevichesky, Sokol, Solomonov, Sonkin, Sorser, Soskin

Tamarkin, Tsitrin?, Tsukerman, Tsytron


Vainshtein, Vigdorchik, Vil’pon, Vilenchik, Vilenkin, Vilenkin


* - transliteration from the source.

Sincerely -

Vitaly Charny

Birmingham, AL