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The Genealogical Research Division of

Jewish Family Lists of Rēzekne

Commissioned and Donated by Arlene Beare and the Latvia SIG

· Introduction
· The Database Fields
· How do I find out more?
· The Jewish Community of Rēzekne
· Acknowledgements
· Search the Database

This list was created in January 1898 and is a family list of Jews belonging to the Jewish Community of Rēzekne [in Russian: Rezhitse; in German: Rossitten: in Latvian: Rēzekne].  The original is handwritten in Russian Cyrillic script and forms part of the holdings of the Latvian State Historical Archives in Riga.  The original list contains children as well as adults.  Family Lists were begun in 1874 when new rules for military service were introduced.  The recruits system was abolished and persons to be called up to military service were chosen according to the family lists.  Lists were supplemented at different intervals and serial numbers and the family number according to the last revision (1858) were included.

This list contains comprehensive and detailed information on the family.  Lists were divided into two parts -- one the left for males, and on the right for females.  There were 10 columns containing information on all the family members.  The database consists mainly of adult members of the community, both male and female, and makes it possible to identify the Jewish families living in the area in or about 1898.  The list is held in Fond number 5426.  This is the category number assigned to the document in the Riga archives and can help to locate the documents relevant to your family.

The Database Entry Fields

  • Family Number:
    Families have been grouped based on numbers assigned in the original family files.
  • Family Name:
    This refers to the family's surname.  The surnames were Russian in form but in these lists have been transliterated into German forms.  Latgallian names were predominantly of Slavic etymology.
  • Maiden Name:
    Unfortunately, only a low percentage of maiden names are recorded, but they are included where available.
  • First Names / Given Names:
    This refers to the person's first or given name or names and is of Hebrew or Yiddish origin.  They have been transliterated into German.
  • Father's Name:
    Over 5,500 of the entries in this database include the first names of the entrant's father, thereby giving two generations of the family.  This is consistent with the Russian practice of recording the patronymic as part of the official name or family identity.
  • Age-in:
    This column gives you the entrant's age in the year specified.  For example, "44 in 1911" tells you that the person was 44 years old in 1911.  Occasionally the column gives the person's date of birth although this is rare.  The ages in certain years in this list date from 1896 to 1911.
    The Age was given as at the 1st of January in which the list was set up.
  • Date of Death:
    This field will sometimes give you an exact date of death, but more typically simply the year of death.
  • Town:
    The list is a Rēzekne Family List and is the modern form of the town name.  This will help you search the JewishGen Family Finder to see if anyone else is searching this locality.

How do I find out more about family members who are listed?

As the files are damaged and of large size it is not possible to make copies or scans of these documents. These lists help to build up a picture of the Jewish families of Latgale. In order to obtain further information relating to your family you will need to write to:

Ms. Irina Veinberga, Head of Department
Latvian State Historical Archives (Latvijas Valsts vestures arhivs)
Slokas iela 16
Riga LV-1048


The archives now have a policy of charging a preliminary search fee of $100 before embarking on research, plus additional fees for work undertaken.  When sending a cheque a $20 amount must be added for exchange.  This does not apply to if money is sent as a money order (postal order).  They provide a highly professional service and will bill you on completion of the work.  Although the fees have increased over the past years they do not usually exceed $250-$350.  Their expertise in identifying and tracing the Jewish families of Latvia is outstanding.  Experiences of other researchers are often posted in the JewishGen Discussion groups and you may read these messages by going to the JewishGen website and clicking on the JewishGen Discussion Group message archives and carrying out a search for "archive" and "Latvia" or "Latvian".

The Jewish Community of Rēzekne (Rezhitse, in Russian)

Rēzekne is in Latgale, which at one time was part of the Vitebsk Gubernia (gubernia is a province of the Russian Empire).  Latgale is in the eastern part of Latvia, and was from 1561-1772 part of the Lithuanian-Polish Kingdom.  From 1772 it was part of the Polotsk Gubernia of the Russian Empire, and from 1802 was assigned to Vitebsk Gubernia.  Latgale was divided into four uyezds (districts), namely Ludza, Vilaka, Rēzekne and Daugavpils.  Jews arrived either at the end of the 16th century or during the 17th century, following pogroms in Poland.  The Jewish population was small and at the end of the 18th century numbered about 3,698 Jews out of a total population of 168,000.  Vitebsk Gubernia, including Latgale, was part of the Pale of Settlement, which is where Jews were allowed to live.  The rest of the Latvian territory was not part of the Pale.  The population of Russia was divided into Estates: nobility, merchants, petite bourgeoisie (this included artisans and small traders), peasantry and others.  Most Jews lived in towns and villages and worked in industry.  Rēzekne began to grow after 1836, when the St. Petersburg –Warsaw highway was built through it.  In 1897 there were 6,478 Jews in Rēzekne.  In 1935 there were 3,342 Jews in Rēzekne.


We acknowledge the assistance, support and patience of our webmasters Michael Tobias and Warren Blatt.  The database has been commissioned and coordinated by Arlene Beare on behalf of Latvia SIG.  If you have any further inquiries about the work of the Latvia SIG please feel free to contact either Barry Shay the President or Mike Getz the Treasurer.  If you would like to subscribe to the Latvia SIG Newsletter and become a member the details are available on the Latvia SIG website.

Copyright Arlene Beare and Latvia SIG
September 2005

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