This article is reproduced on the Belarus SIG website from "RAGAS Report", Volume II, Number 3, Fall 1996, with the permission of Valadislav Y. Soshnikov, RAGAS Director, Genealogy & Family History Society, Moscow, Russia. Reproduction of this copyright article is prohibited without the express permission of Vladislav Soshnikov.
SOURCES: Jewish Communities of the Grodno Province
The importance of gathering preliminary information before enlisting the assistance of a professional genealogist or archivist cannot be stressed often enough. In an hypothetical case, a new requester often begins a search by stating, "My great grandfather, Samuel David Levy, came from Grodno sometime around the turn of the century".
Assuming this is true, the archivist begins the search in the records of the town of Grodno. After combing the lists page-by-page with no success, this time-consuming search is continued through the records of the whole Grodno Province. Without an index to the records, the process takes more and more time. In this case, a record of Samuel David Levy was found which established him as an officially registered member of the Indura Jewish Community, in the Grodno Province, even though the family had lived in the town of Grodno at one time. The residence list of this community is the only place his name will appear, even if he later moved to another community.
One should be aware that according to the regulations of the Russian Empire, every Jew was assigned to an official community in the Pale of Settlement, and that registration usually followed him for life, even when he moved from one place to another. In some fortunate cases, however, the registration changed when the individual received the privilege of moving into the merchant class or became a professional (physician, artist, etc.).
For your convenience we have compiled a list of the Jewish communities of the Grodno (Hrodna) Province as they existed in the official records.
The following is an extract from tax records in the last regular revisions lists of the Grodno and Volkovysk districts. The 1850 and 1858 revisions were the last universal tax censuses from the ten revisions taken in the Russian Empire from 1719 to 1858 (for the western provinces revision lists are available for the period from 1795). Lists for other districts will be published in the next issue.
Archival source: Record Group "The Grodno Treasury", #80 "Alphabetical tax book of Jewish communities with an indication of the number of souls for the year 1851"
Total number of Jews in the Jewish communities of Grodno district: 6833 males and 8469 females including:
Grodno: 3840 males and 4176 females
Veliko-Brzstovitsy: 418 males and 637 females
Volpa: 227 males and 325 females
Volya: 81 males and 126 females
Yeziory: 221 males and 312 females
Indura: 469 males and 731 females
Knhki: 751 males and 898 females
Kamionka: 110 males and 132 females
Lunna: 228 males and 367 females
Mosty: 111 males and 185 females
Skidel: 377 males and 580 females
Archival source: Record Group "The Grodno Treasury", #366 "Alphabetical tax book of Jewish communities with an indication of the number of souls for the year 1858"
1. Members of the Jewish community of the town of Volkovysk: 488 males and 708 females; merchants of the 3rd guild: 3 families (7 males and 7 females).
In the mestetchki (small towns or shtetls):
2. Zelva - 256 males and 345 females
3. Izabelin - 115 males and 178 females (+ 1 merchant family of the 3rd guild.)
4. Lyskov - 93 males and 172 females
5. Lopenitsy - 53 males and 96 females
6. Mstibov - 88 males and 88 females
7. Novodvor - 22 males and 45 females
8. Peski - 205 males and 301 females
9. Prozorov - 139 males and 221 females
10: Ros - 113 males and 192 females
11. Svislotch - 400 males and 641 females (+ 1 merchant family ofthe 3rd guild)
12. Yaluvka - 137 males and 211 females
Total number of Jewish townsmen (permanent residents) in Vollcovysk district: 2109 males and 3 198 females, 6 merchant families of the 3rd guild.
Jewish farmers of Svislotch community:
The colony of Halileyskaya - 12 males and 12 females (for the year 1863)
The colony of Israelskaya - 4 males and 2 females (for the year 1864)
Jewish farmers in the colonies of Grodno Province:
Archival source: Record Group "The Grodna Treasury", #76 "Nominal rolls of Jewish farmers settled on state lands as registered in the revision lists ofthe 9th census, 1850
In the colony of Moiseyevo: 122 males and 106 females
In the colony of Aaronovo: 57 males and 64 females
In the colony of Judeyskaya: 5 families '
In the colony of Sinayskaya: 17 families
In the colony of Jerusalemskaya: 6 families
In the colony of Jordanovo: 10 families
In the colony of Constantinovo: 30 families
In the colony of Pavlovo: 30 families
In the colony of Nikolayevo: 5 families
Archival source: Record Group "The Grodno Treasury", #79 "Nominal rolls of Jews-farmers settled on state lands near rural village communities and received tax discounts as registered in the revision lists of the 10th census, 1858".
In the colony of Moiseyevo and Aaronovo: 17 persons
In the colony of Judeyskaya and Sinayskaya: 77 persons
In the colony of Jordanovo, Constantinovo and Pavlovo: 246 persons
Total number of Jewish farmers in the Slonim ditrict: 275 males and 269 females
Farms near Sosnovka, Starovolskoye village community: 22 persons
In the colony of Yakovleva: 79 males and 72 females
In the colony of Avrahamova: 56 males and 48 mes
In the colony of Sarovskaya: 133 males and 103 females
In the colony of Lotovo: 29 males and 32 females
In the colony of Palestinskaya, Isakova and Khanahanskaya: 155 males and 184 females