Introduction and Belarus History

  • 862 AD 1st mention of Polotsk, the oldest city in Belarus
  • 980 1st written document of the Belarusian statehood
  • 13th–16th c. Great Duchy of Lithuania
  • 1569   Lithuania–Poland confederation
  • 18th c. Belarusian land annexed to the Russian Empire
  • 1918 Independent Belarusian People’s Republic was proclaimed (March 1918) after the collapse of the Russian Empire.
  • 1922 Eastern regions annexed to the USSR and western to Poland
  • 1939 Western regions joined the USSR
  • 1941–1945 Belarus lost 1/4 of its population in World War 2
  • 1991 Republic of Belarus.

About the Data

Revision lists from Belarus and towns that used to be part of Belarus.

The Reviska Skazka (Revision Lists) were conducted in territories ruled by the Russian Czar in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Revision Lists enumerated only those individuals subject to taxation. The data was also utilized for identifying men to draft into the army. There were ten major Reviska Skazka taken, beginning in 1720 and ending in 1858. Each new revision would indicate changes to the population referenced in the prior revision. Between the revisions (and after the last one in 1858) were “additional revision lists”, used to fill in information missed in the prior major revision. The dates of the revisions are important because reference is made to an individual’s “Age at Last Revision.

The earliest revisions are irrelevant for Jewish genealogical research, due to their limited information, and the small number of Jews within the borders of the Russian Empire at that time. These are the dates of revisions of consequence:

    • 5th: 1795
    • 6th: 1811
    • 7th: 1816
    • 8th: 1834
    • 9th: 1850
    • 10th: 1858

For an explanation of the information found in Revision List records, see revision.htm.  Further information on the history of Revision Lists can be found in an article by Boris Feldblyum in Avotaynu XIV:3 (Fall 1998), pp. 59-61, also available at ruscensus.pdf.  The following notes supplement those excellent pieces by addressing the Revision Lists for towns in Belarus, and focus on search strategies with the Belarus Revision Lists in mind.

Click on the following to find out more about the types of records can be found in this database:

+ Revision Lists
Extensive records for Jewish citizens have been located for the 5th through 10th revisions for towns located in Belarus. Many records have been published on JewishGen through the LitvakSIG and JewishGen Belarus SIG.

+ Additional Revision Lists
Between the Revisions, and after the 10th (last) revision, there could be data collected to supplement the most recent full revision.

+ 1853 Alphabetical List of Males
These lists were created in 1853 and include only the males who lived in a locality. The ages refer to the 1850 Revision Lists, so any age referenced in this type of list is the age as of 1850. Many of the 1850 revision lists, on which these lists are based, are thought to no longer exist. Since these were alphabetical lists, the registration numbers are not in sequence. In order to group households correctly we have moved the registration numbers into the “comments” field.

+ Jewish Conscripts
list of male members of a household for conscription purposes. There are many of these lists for the year 1874. Since these lists often include the registration numbers from previous revision lists the revision list template has been used.

+ Family lists
lists of entire households. Many of these records have been found in the period 1885-1894 and relate to families that moved to/from smaller villages from/to larger towns. These were not revision lists but since the data is very similar to the data contained in revision lists we have used the revision list template for these data sets.

The language of the 1795 Revision List was in Polish for those areas “acquired” from Poland. At that time, most of the Jews did not have surnames, however, the head of household is listed with a patronymic (his father’s given name), together with the residents of the household and their relationship to him. The 1806, 1811, 1816, 1834, 1850 and 1858 Revision Lists are in the Russian language. 

Database Fields

The Revision Lists typically contain the following information:

  • Page # – The page number in the original document on which this record appears.
  • Registration # – The Family Registration Number for this family during this census count.
  • Surname-Family Name (hereditary surname) of this individual.
  • Given Name – The Girst Name(s) of this individual.
  • Father – The Given Name(s) of the Father of this individual.
  • Relationship to Head of Household – Describes how each individual in the household is related to the head of the household.
  • Sex– The sex of this individual. “M” for Male. “F” for Female.
  • Age – Age of the individual, given in the present census enumeration.
  • Age at Last Revision – Age of the individual, in the previous census enumeration.
  • Reason Left – explains what happened to individuals who were registered on the previous revision list, who are not in the present revision..
  • Year Left – The year in which the individual moved, died, etc.
  • Comments – All other information which doesn’t fit into any other column.
  • Former Registration # – The Family Registration Number for this individual during the previous census count.
  • Day / Month / Year – The date that this revision was taken..
  • Town – Town in which this revision was taken.
  • District – The district (“Uyezd”) in which the revision was taken.
  • Guberniya – The Guberniya (Russian province) in which the revision was taken.
  • Type of Record – Denotes if the record is a “Revision List”, or an “Additional Revision List”; or any other type of list.
  • Archive/Fond – The archive where this record is now located and the particular Fond / List / Item number in that archive.
  • Microfilm #– The microfilm number from the Family History Library.

Sample Records

1795
1806
1811
1816
1834
1850
1858

 

Translation/Transliteration Methods

Translators are instructed to follow JewishGen transcription rules.  Unless otherwise noted, transliterations follow the BGN/PCGN Romanization of Russian and the YIVO Romanization Standard for Yiddish/Hebrew.

Records have been formatted according to JewishGen transcription templates. If the Hebrew/Yiddish name differs from the Russian name, both names are listed separated by a forward slash (/)

Obtaining Copies of Original Records

If a record has been microfilmed by the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS), then one can order the microfilm from any Family History Center.  You will need to know the Family History Library microfilm number (FHL #), item number, image number and record number. Some of the microfilms have been digitized and are viewable online. If this is the case there will be a link to the microfilm in the record.

If a record was not microfilmed by the LDS then contact the district coordinator for the town of the record for information on obtaining copies of an original record.


Acknowledgments

The JewishGen Belarus SIG would like to thank:

  • The many translators who helped us with these records: Igor Apelsinov, Mikhail Bakhrakh, Boris Bayevsky, Arkady Brazin, Vitaly Charny, Rimma Dechter, Tatyana Factorovich, Maria Farber, Val Ginzburg, Zhanna Glazenburg, Vladimir Golynya, Baruch Gorkin, Natasha Grinberg, Ronnie Harpaz, Joshua Kaufman, Misha Korman, Greg Mirsky, Gary Palgon, Frank Proschan, Alexander Rubtsov, Zeev Sharon, Victor Shifrin, Jane Sverzhinsky, Svetlana Tokareva, Lara Tsinman, Dena Whitman, Irina Zabelyshinsky, Ludmila Zapletnyuk and Elena Zborovskaya
  • Gary Palgon for the donation of the Lyakhovichi records
  • Hadassah Lipsius, for leading the effort to put the Mir Revision Lists into the database.
  • Vitaly, Josif, and Fira Charny, for the 1811 Minsk Revision List.
  • Jim Yarin, Irene Kudish and Ruth Silver for their project that collected 22,148 records for towns in Grodno and Volkovysk Uyezds (2008-2010).
  • The many people whose financial contributions have made it feasible to obtain these records.

Searching the Database

Recommendations for Searching 

Search the records using the Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex as well as the exact name, due to variations in spelling and because some records were transliterated from Russian only and not Hebrew.

Search all town records even if you believe you know the town your relatives came from.  Families moved around quite a lot, so the records that you are searching for could be in any database.

This database is searchable via the JewishGen Belarus Database.

Contents of the Database

There are [xyz-ips snippet=”pub-belarus-count”] revision list records for towns in Belarus in the JewishGen Belarus database. Below is a listing of the towns.

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