JewishGen Home Page

Chernigov Gubernia Document Translation Project

Project Leader: Beth Galleto
Ukraine SIG Coordinator: Dr. Janette Silverman
JewishGen Liaison/Advisor: Avraham Groll

Project Synopsis

Records for Jewish families from localities in the Chernigov gubernia (province) in the 19th and early 20th century have been microfilmed by the Latter Day Saints (LDS) church. They have now been digitized and can be viewed at the Family History Library and Family History Centers. The focus of this project will be on translating and indexing family lists, also called tax poll censuses, for the Jewish communities of the Borzna, Chernigov, Glukhov, Gorodnya, Konotop, Kozolets, Krolevets, Mglin, Nezhin, Novgorod-Seversk, Nobozybkov, Oster, Sosnitsa and Starodub uezds (districts) shown in Family History Library (FHL) microfilms numbered 1222346, 1222347, 1409779, 1409780, 1696867, and 1696868. These records show family names and ages and may show additional information such as where the family is registered, the social status of the head of household, and his or her occupation. The films mostly contain records made in the years 1882, 1888, 1906, and 1910, plus a smaller number from 1900, 1901, 1903, and 1904. The project will be done in six segments, corresponding to the six microfilms. Some of the films include items not relevant to this project, and those items will not be included in the project.

  1. The relevant contents of FHL 1222346 include Items 2-11, the Glukhov, Konotop, Starodub, Mglin, Oster, Borzna, and Konotop uezds in 1882.
  2. The contents of FHL 1222347 include Items 1-15, the Konotop and Mglin uezds in 1882; and the Krolevets, Surazh, Novgorod-Seversk, Chernigov, Oster, Gorodnya, and Sosnitsa uezds in 1888.
  3. The contents of FHL 1409779 include Items 1-12, the Sosnitsa, Konotop, Borzna, Kozelets, and Glukhov uezds in 1888; and the Mglin, Nezhin, Nobozybkov, Mglin, Krolevets, Kozelets, and Surazh uezds in 1906.
  4. The contents of FHL 1409780 include Items 1-21, the Surazh uezd in 1906-1910; the Konotop, Mglin, and Kozelets uezds in 1906; the Sosnitsa uezd in 1910; the Nezhin and Konotop uezds in 1906; the Borzna, Oster, Glukhov, Krolevets, Novgorod-Seversk, and Novozybkov uezds in 1910; the Mglin, Starodub, and Gorodnya uezds in 1911; and the Novozybkov, Novgorod-Seversk, and Chernigov uezds in 1882.
  5. The relevant contents of FHL 1696867 include Items 5-7, the Gorodnya, Mglin, and Sosnitsa uezds in 1882; Chernigov gubernia in 1900-1901 and 1903; and the Borzna uezd in 1903.
  6. The relevant contents of FHL 1696868 include Item 1, the Glukhov, Kozelets, and Starodub uezds in 1903; the Krolevets uezd in 1904; the Mglin uezd in 1903; the Oster uezd in 1904; the Novozybkov uezd in 1903; the Nezhin uezd in 1882; the Novgorod-Seversk uezd in 1904; and the Sosnitsa uezd in 1903.

Funds raised for this project will be used to translate the records, entering them into a JewishGen spreadsheet template, to prepare the data for posting to the JewishGen Ukraine Database.The spreadsheets will be available to contributors of $100 or more before the data becomes available on the JewishGen Ukraine Database. Full translations may also be posted on the appropriate KehilaLinks websites.

Please Note: As mentioned above, scanned images of the original documents are not available through JewishGen and can only be viewed at FamilySearch libraries.

Key Audience

People whose ancestors lived in the following towns:

  • Borzna
  • Chernigov (Chernihiv)
  • Glukhov
  • Gorodnya (Horodnya)
  • Konotop
  • Kozelets
  • Krolevets
  • Mglin
  • Nezhin (Nizhin)
  • Novgorod-Seversk (Novhorod-Siverskyy)
  • Novozybkov
  • Oster
  • Sosnitsa
  • Starodub
  • Surazh

Project Importance

Acquiring, translating, and making available documents and dataset relating to Jews from these towns will benefit genealogical researchers and will help provide context for the lives of our ancestors. Many descendants of residents of these towns immigrated to the United States, Israel, and other countries.

The Jewish population of Borzna was 1,516 in 1900; of the city of Chernigov, 8,779 in 1897; of Glukhov, 3,853 in 1897; of Gorodnya, 1,249 in 1897; of Konotop, 4,426 in 1900; of Kozelets, 1,634 in 1900; of Krolevets, 1815 in 1897; of Mglin, 2,674 in 1897; of Nezhin, 7,631 in 1900; of Novgorod-Seversk, 2,956 in 1900; of Novozybkov, 3,836 in 1900; of Oster, 1,596 in 1897; of Sosnitsa, 1,842 in 1900; of Starodub, 5,109 in 1897; and of Surazh, 2,398 in 1900.

These figures represent the populations of the towns themselves. The family lists also recorded families in the districts the towns represented and thus recorded many more than just the population of the towns themselves. For example, the Mglin district included the town of Pochep, which had a Jewish population of 3,172 in 1897. It had a Yeshiva whose students included two well-known writers in the Hebrew language, Uri Nissan Gnessin and Joseph Haim Brenner. Yiddish writer Shmuel Davidovich Persov also came from this town. There are numerous family connections among people living in the small towns in this area.

Project Description

We will begin work on the project as soon as sufficient funds have been raised to complete work on one of the six FHL films. The project will fund translation of the above-mentioned documents in FHL microfilms 1222346, 1222347, 1409779, 1409780, 1696867 and 1696868. Once complete, each of the new datasets will be integrated into the JewishGen Ukraine Database, and appropriate KehilaLinks websites. Any funds still remaining at the completion of this translation project will be used to fund additional Chernigov gubernia projects.

Estimated Cost

We estimate that it will cost a total of $18,752 to complete this project. It will be done in sections corresponding to individual FHL films. Each film will be completed when its funding is complete. Any funds still remaining at the completion of this translation project will be applied toward other projects being coordinted via the JewishGen Ukraine SIG.


  Return to previous page
Last Update: Deceember 28, 2017 by Avraham Groll
Edmond J. Safra Plaza | 36 Battery Place | New York, NY 10280
646.494.5972 | | © 2019, JewishGen. All rights reserved.