The Jeff Malka Sephardic Collection
Russe (Rustchuk) Wedding Register
Russe (called Rustchuk in the past) is situated in the northeastern part of the country, on the right bank of the Danube, opposite the Romanian city of Giurgiu.
Archeological remains prove the existence of a Jewish presence from the 2nd century (CE). The Jewish population was first composed of Romaniote Jews. Then Jews from Hungary and Germany settled there and, after the Expulsion from Spain, Sephardic Jews who found refuge in the Ottoman Empire settled in various cities of Bulgaria, Russe included. But the community began to really flourish by the end of the 18th century. The Jewish population of Russe reached 4,000 souls at its maximum.
A close friend of mine, Joseph Covo author of the Hebrew book "Jews of Rustchuk: Between Orient and Occident (Tel Aviv, 2002), provided the photocopies of the Wedding Register for the years 1898-1929.
- The 900 weddings were recorded in Rashi script. All the data has been transliterated into Latin letters.
- The 220 different surnames were transliterated according to the local pronunciation. In 106 cases there were no surname but instead had "ben" (=son of) followed by a male given name such as Ben Haim, Ben Abraham etc. Such surnames do not exist in Bulgaria. In fact they were the Hebrew translation of Haimov, Abramov, etc., the Bulgarian ending ov/ev meaning son of.
- The given names of Hebrew origin were transliterated according to Hebrew transliterations laws. For example the female name of Rahel is found as such and not Rachel. The French names will be found in their original spelling such as Charlotte, Berthe, Ernestine etc.
- The wedding dates were first recorded according to the Hebrew calendar but, from 1911 on they were according to the Gregorian calendar. In order to give a maximum of information, the searcher will find both dates (Hebrew and Gregorian) for each wedding and the correspondent day of the week the wedding was celebrated. This was made possible thanks to Steve Morse Jewish Calendar Conversions in One Step.
We acknowledge the tremendous contributions and lifelong dedication of Mathilde Tagger, z"l who made this index available. For many years, and right until her untimely death, Mathilde Tagger was a very close friend and collaborator with Jeff Malka. Together they worked to promote Sephardic genealogy research and educate the public about its enormous potential. Mathilde compiled this information based upon the original source material: Klarsfeld, Serge. Mémorial de la Déportation des Juifs de France. Paris, 1978.
In addition, we express our grateful appreciation to Dr. Jeff Malka for his monumental ongoing effort to collect and make accessible Sephardic genealogical information, and for his generosity in contributing his extraordinarily valuable collection to JewishGen.
Search the Database
This database can be searched by via the JewishGen Bulgaria Database, the JewishGen Sephardic Collection, or the JewishGen Jeff Malka Collection
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