JewishGen-erosity Project

Priluki Vital Records (1855-1917)

Project Leader

Lisa Wanderman

JewishGen Ukraine SIG Coordinator

Janette Silverman

JewishGen Liaison/Advisor

Avraham Groll

Project Synopsis

The JewishGen Ukraine SIG is digitizing nine reels of microfilms from the Family History Library (FHL) of vital records from Priluki, a town in the Poltava Province of the Russian Empire. These records date from 1855-1917 and include births, marriages, deaths and divorces.

These vital records are record books handwritten by rabbis in cursive Russian and Hebrew documenting all births, deaths, marriages and divorces of the Priluki community. Each microfilm includes approximately 4-28 of these books. The records, especially from the early years, can be extremely damaged and very difficult to read. The majority of records, even from 1855, give family names and not just patronymics. The amount of information is enormous. There are, however, some gaps in the records, as a few books have evidently not survived: 1880 Births, for instance, is missing.

In addition to the FHL in Salt Lake City, all nine microfilms (listed below) are now in the collection of the Center for Jewish History (CJH) in Manhattan, NY.

This huge, multistep project involves the work of multiple people who will:

  • digitally scan the microfilms,
  • label each file,
  • translate the high resolution digital files,
  • place the information on specific format spreadsheets,
  • proof the spreadsheets,
  • process them for eventual upload to the JewishGen Ukraine Database

    There are a total of approximately 12,000 individual records requiring thousands of hours of work.

    Scanning of the microfilms started in the spring of 2013. It is estimated that the scanning will be completed by volunteers by the end of 2015.

    To date, translation has been done on a volunteer basis and is going extremely slowly. It is hoped to raise enough funds to hire one or more professional translators to speed up the work and free the volunteers to tackle other, non-funded projects.

    The status of this project as of April, 2015:

  • Film-1 2192583 (1855-1863) 19 Books. Scanned and translated.
  • Film-2 2192584 (1864-1874) 23 Books. Scanned and about 95% translated.
  • Film-3 2423892 (1860-1875) 4 Books. Scanned
  • Film-4 2423895 (1875-1883) 26 Books. Scanned
  • Film-5 2423896 (1883-1891) 27 Books. Scanned
  • Film-6 2423897 (1891-1898) 21 Books. Scanned
  • Film-7 2423898 (1898-1906) 21 Books. Scanned
  • Film-8 2423899 (1906-1912) 21 Books. Scanning in progress.
  • Film-9 2446161 (1912-1917) 20 Books. Waiting to be scanned.

    There are approximately 8,000 records that have been scanned and need to be translated, formatted, and indexed. 2,500 records have been already translated and transcribed but require proofreading, formatting and indexing. About 1,500 records have yet to be scanned.

    Key Audience

    The key audience for this project are people whose ancestors lived in or near Priluki. There has also been interest expressed by people whose families are from neighboring towns in the Poltava district.

    Project Importance

    For those of us with roots in the Poltava District, these particular records are a huge trove of “priceless” genealogical data that has the potential to reveal information about our families that has previously been unavailable.

    Project Description

    The project will fund translation of the above-mentioned documents. Once complete, 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 Priluki projects and to acquire Priluki records from archives in Ukraine.

    Estimated Cost

    The cost of the work to be done is estimated at $15,000.



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    Updated 11-AUG-2015 by AG