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28 November 2021 11:07

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Metric books and notebooks about Jews who were born and married in the city of Moscow and the district towns of Moscow province in the second half of the 19th – early 20th centuries. Main Archive of Moscow

You can get acquainted with the records in the online service “My Family”.

On the occasion of Hanukkah, which will last until December 6, Glavarchiv published Jewish metric books for Moscow and the district towns of Moscow province for 1870-1918. Become acquainted with notes can be found in the online service “My Family”. The materials are available in Russian.

“The religious community of Jews in Moscow was formed in the middle of the 19th century, and births, marriages, divorces and deaths began to be kept even earlier. On the first day of Hanukkah, we opened access to books and notebooks that will help townspeople find information about their ancestors who lived in Moscow and the Moscow province. Thanks to online access, materials can be viewed not only in the capital, but also anywhere in the world. By Catholic Christmas in “My Family” we will publish registers of births of Catholics and Lutherans, ”said the head

Of the Main Archival Administration of the city of Moscow Yaroslav Onopenko.

The obligatory keeping by the rabbis of books for recording acts was established by the “Statute on the Jews”, approved on April 13, 1835. The books and notebooks preserved in the fund of the Moscow Choral Synagogue were separately intended for registration of births, marriages, divorces and deaths.

Until the 1890s, books and notebooks were kept only in Moscow. This is due to the fact that residents of settlements where there were no government rabbis had to turn to the rabbis of the nearest cities. However, by the end of the 19th century, the number of Jews in the Moscow province increased, and from the 1890s, act records were also registered there.

In addition to the generally accepted date of birth, marriage and death, the acts also indicated the day and name of the month according to the Jewish calendar. Interestingly, the date of birth registration for a girl was considered the day of giving the name, and for a boy – the day of circumcision. In the column with information about the parents, the mother indicated the maiden name to everything else. There was also a separate column where the family’s address of residence was registered.

In the books about those who got married, there was a column “Main acts or records of obligations between the intermarried and their witnesses”, where the names of the issued documents and the names of the witnesses were entered. In the books about the deceased, there was initially no information about the place of burial. The place of residence of the deceased at the time of death and the name of the cemetery where the burial took place began to be indicated only at the beginning of the 20th century.

When performing the ceremony of naming, circumcision, marriage, divorce or burial, the rabbi had to make a corresponding entry in Hebrew and Russian in his own notebook, and then transfer it to the register of births within a month. Extracts from registers of births were presented annually to the provincial authorities (also in two languages).

All materials were stored in a synagogue or meetinghouse. Private notebooks of rabbis and registers of births were to be attested by members of Jewish spiritual boards. They kept records of births, unmarried, divorced, and deaths. After the enactment of the provision on the subordination of Jews in cities and counties to the general administration, approved on December 19, 1844, the city councils also began to verify the metric records in the synagogue books.

Corrections in registers of births were not allowed. Errors were enclosed in brackets or crossed out, and the correct version was written on special sheets in attachments. If the rabbi, due to the large territory or because of the large number of people who were in his jurisdiction, could not independently perform all the rituals, then he appointed assistants. They recorded acts in his presence or with his written permission.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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