shtetlinks

Jewish vital data resources for Nikolsburg

Currently there are two main resources for Nikolsburg Jewish vital data – the National Archives in Prague and the Jewish Museum Archives. The Provincial Archives in Brno has some early Jewish census records, as well as some less useful records from the Jewish Community. Some additional records of limited use can be found at the Jewish Community office in Brno. There are likely to be some records at the District Archives in Mikulov.

National Archives in Prague – vital data from 1850 and after

Národní archiv (National Archive)
Milady Horákové 133
Praha 6 - Dejvice

Online Records: http://www.badatelna.eu/fond/1073
Main Website (English): http://www.nacr.cz/eindex.cz
Main Website (Czech): http://www.nacr.cz/index.cz

Tel: +420 233 326 755, +420 974 847 834
Fax: +420 224 324 272
e-mail: Dr Lenka Matušikova

Nearest Metro station: Hradčanská (on Metro line A)

The vital data (birth, marriage, and death registers) from the Jewish community of Mikulov - Nikolsburg is kept at the national archives, along with that from all other former Jewish communities in the Czech Republic.  These records can be viewed online, or in person at the archives in Prague.

Many of the Jewish records from Nikolsburg/Mikulov were lost or destroyed in the few months following the annexation by Nazi Germany in September 1938 of the “Sudetenland”. The same applies to other Jewish communities in the former Sudetenland. In the rest of Moravia and Bohemia, which was invaded and placed under a German “protectorate” in March 1939, the Nazi authorities took greater care about preserving Jewish historical items, including registers of vital data.

What survives of the vital data for Nikolsburg is patchy. In the National Archives in Prague, the registers of vital data date from 1849, at the earliest, to 1916 at the latest. There is also a short register of births, deaths and marriages from between 1939 and 1949; this register only states that no such vital events were recorded for those years. The registers are not the original ones. They are copies that were made by the Roman Catholic authorities, as they were required to do by law. This is also the case for the indexes, except for the index of the death register, which is the original one. Below is an inventory of the archives and indexes for Mikulov.

Inventory of registers

Note: In the Czech-language index of material, the letter N denotes births; O denotes marriages; and Z denotes deaths. The numbers of the registers and indexes for Mikulov (and most Jewish vital records) all begin with the prefix HBMa:

# of Register

Description

HBMa 1222

Births (N) 1850–1873

HBMa 1223

Births (N) 1874–1916

HBMa 1224

Marriages (O) 1849–1873

HBMa 1225

Marriages (O) 1874–1916

HBMa 1226

Deaths (Z) 1850–1873

HBMa 1227

Births, marriages, deaths (NOZ) 1939–1949 (empty)



# of Index

Description

Corresponding register

HBMa 1228

Births (N) 1850–1873

HBMa 1222

HBMa 1229 *

Births (N) 1874–1916

*

HBMa 1230

Births (N) 1874–1916

HBMa 1223

HBMa 1231

Marriages (O) 1849–1873

HBMa 1224

HBMa 1232

Marriages (O) 1874–1916

HBMa 1225

HBMa 1233 *

Deaths (Z) 1848–1873

*

HBMa 1234

Deaths (Z) 1850–1873

HBMa 1226

HBMa 1235

Deaths (Z) 1874–1916

<lost>

*These two indexes, nos. HBMa 1229 (births) and 1233 (deaths), refer to birth and death registers (similar to but different from nos. 1223 and 1226, respectively) that have been lost. The page numbers given in these indexes do not therefore correspond to the page numbers in nos. 1223 and 1226. The indexes that do correspond exactly to registers 1223 and 1226 are indexes 1230 and 1234 respectively.

Accessing the Records Online

Good quality digital images of the records held by the National Archive are available for viewing online. This is the most convenient way for most people to access these records. The website is in Czech, so English speakers may find the following instructions helpful.

  1. Go to http://www.badatelna.eu/fond/1073
  2. Click on the word INVENTÁŘ along the top.
  3. Click on the plus sign to the left of the words ÚŘEDNÍ KNIHY (matriky a indexy).
  4. Now you see an alphabetized list of towns. Scroll down to MIKULOV.
  5. Click on the plus sign to the left of the town name.
  6. You will see a list of registers, which matches the inventory above. At the end of the list (before the next town) is the word indexy, with a plus sign to the left. If you click on that plus sign you will also see the index registers.
  7. To view a specific register, click on the word REPRODUKCE at the bottom of its description, and you should get a new page with an image of the cover of the book.
  8. You can page through the book by using the arrow buttons above the image, or you can pick a specific page by clicking on one of the thumbnail images below.
  9. Use the controls at the bottom of the image to zoom and pan. You can also pan by dragging the image, and zoom in by clicking on the image.
  10. To save a copy of up to 20 pages of a register in a PDF file, type either a single page number, a list of page numbers separated by commas (e.g. 3,5,12), or a range of page numbers separated by a dash (e.g. 15-25) into the text box above the image (do not type RETURN or ENTER), and click the words stáhnout PDF - strana. The resolution of these files is quite good. However, you may be able to save higher resolution images by using a program or built-in command on your computer that captures screen images.
Some or all of these instructions may become out-of-date if the website used by the National Archives is updated.

Accessing the Records in Person

The registers from the Jewish community of Nikolsburg/Mikulov are kept along with those from other former Jewish communities in what is today the Czech Republic. The staff of the archives generally allow to viewing of microfilmed images of the records, in order to preserve the registers themselves. They may permit access to the actual registers for some reasons. Dr Lenka Matušikova is in charge of the archival research section. The staff in the study room (badatelna) can provide an index, in Czech language, of all registers of Jewish vital data held in the National Archives in Prague.

Those wishing to consult the archives should contact Dr Matušikova well in advance, using the e-mail, fax or postal address given above, to let her know that one would like to come to consult archival material, and giving an indication of what material one is interested in. The archives have sometimes been closed for weeks at a time, so it is important to check. Dr Matušikova, who speaks good English, is always prepared to provide help and guidance for those working in the archives. If she is away, one of her colleagues will also help.

When visiting the archives, bring a passport for identification. When first arriving at the study room of the National Archives, researchers will be asked to fill out a form with their details. They can then request registers, by filling in a request slip, and the microfilms are brought from the store rooms, usually within about 10–20 minutes.

Jewish Museum Archives – vital data from 1767 and after

Židovské Muzeum v Praha (Jewish Museum in Prague)
Stroupežnického 32
CZ-15000 Prague 5 – Smíchov
Czech Republic

Online records for Mikulov: http://collections.jewishmuseum.cz/index.php/Search/Index?search=mikulov
Website (English): http://www.jewishmuseum.cz/en/aarchivmu.php
Website (Czech): http://www.jewishmuseum.cz/cz/czarchivmu.php

Tel: +420 221 711 511
e-mail:  Dr Vlastimila Hamačková

Nearest Metro station: Anděl (on Metro line B)

The first records in the Museum Archive's holdings were made available online in 2014, at the URL given above. As of this writing, images of one register are available. It is hoped that more resources will be available in the future.

The archival section moved in 2004 to the building of the former synagogue of Smíchov, in the south-west of Prague. This synagogue, originally opened in 1863, was used as a storeroom for Jewish items during the Nazi occupation. In the 1990s, it was renovated. The archival material of the Jewish Museum, much of which had been previously kept in a store house outside Prague, was moved into the mainbuilding of the former synagogue. There is a study room for researchers. Requested material is brought by Dr Hamačková, head of the archives in the Jewish Museum, or her colleagues.

It is important that anyone wanting to consult the archives in person should contact Dr Hamačková beforehand, preferably by e-mail, and also let her know what material will be required. Researchers should bring their passports with them when they go to the study room of the Jewish Museum archives.

On arrival at the study room of the Jewish Museum archives in Smíchov, researchers will be asked to complete a short form. Typewritten indexes for Nikolsburg/Mikulov, as indeed for the former Jewish communities of other towns in the present-day Czech Republic, can be requested.

The typed index – in Czech – for Mikulov (and various surrounding villages) contains 28 pages, with 669 items listed. However, the main documents for vital data information, the registers, are contained in the first section of 11 items on the list (knihy – books). [Many of the remainder are old documents, recording contracts or other legal matters.] Here are a few of the most noteworthy among the first section, in order of general usefulness for genealogical research. By far the most important of these for vital data are numbers 7 and 8 on the index. On the other hand, number 5 turns out to be a false lead of no value.

8

Rejstřik matrikám 1767–1919

Familien-Register

7

Seznam narozených

[register of births]

9,10,11

Kniha obřizek, zlomek

[circumcision books, excerpts]

5

Kniha familiantů

[Familianten book]

The Familien-Register (no. 8 from the Mikulov index)

The original vital data kept by the Jewish community in Nikolsburg went back much further than the copies now surviving in the National Archives. In an act of considerable foresight, Rabbi Moritz Levin decided in 1913 to compile a complete index of the birth, marriage and death registers up to that year. The index was further updated by others in 1919, with new information added up to that year. This massive tome, known as the “Familien-Register” (F-R), and now rather worn with its spine coming off, has survived in the Nikolsburg collection of the Jewish Museum archives.

The first section of the F-R is the birth index, starting in 1767 and providing first name, family name and year of birth, as well as usually the names of the father and mother. The section containing the marriage index starts in 1798 and gives first and family names of the marriage partners and the year of the marriage. The final section is the death index, which starts in 1798 and gives year of death and age, and sometimes also the name of the father, mother or spouse, or the profession. All the dates provided in the F-R are years, and not the days or the months. The handwritten script is generally very legible.

The F-R is in effect a complete inventory of the register books that still existed in 1913 for the vital data of the Nikolsburg Jewish community. These books were as follows:

4 Birth Registers:

Volume I

1767–1798

Volume II

1798–1845

Volume III

1746–1868

Volume IV

1869 onwards

4 Death Registers:

Volume I

1798–mid 1842

Volume II

1842–1848

Volume III

1848–1872

Volume IV

1873 onwards

2 Marriage Registers:

Volume I

1798–1848

Volume II

1848 onwards

The F-R contains:

12529 births with 844 different family names
7320 deaths with 668 different family names
1940 marriages with 394 different family names

Images of the entire F-R are available online at http://collections.jewishmuseum.cz/index.php/Search/Index?search=mikulov. The images are available on 11 webpages, each with a link indicated by a thumbnail image and a caption beginning Židovská náboženská obec Mikulov, Rejstřík (z roku 1913) k matrikám, NOZ 1762 - 1912. The first page has images of the cover and introductory pages of the register. Next are three pages containing the listings of births (narození) divided into three alphabetical groupings, three pages of deaths (zemřelí) and three pages of marriages (oddaní), divided similarly. The eleventh page contains a list of rabbis.

The Seznam narozených (Register of births – no. 7 from the Mikulov index)

This is a smaller bound volume, with handwritten entries, of births in Nikolsburg from 1763 to 1847, with some gaps. It is the remnants of original birth records kept in the Jewish community. The entries are chronological, with full dates (including months and days) given. In general, the names given are those of the child, of the father and the mother. However, the order in which these three names are given varies throughout the book. The volume as it exists at present may have been put together from parts of separate books, or else from a single book that fell apart, with sections being reinserted, but not necessarily in the correct order. This is the sequence of pages. These four sections are not marked as such as separate sections, but follow on from one another without a break.

Section 1

January 1763 to April 1831

Female births start being recorded some years later than male births.

Section 2

March 1844 to December 1847


Section 3

April 1832 to 2 March 1844


Section 4

January 1773 to July 1847

This section covers a similar period to sections 1 and 2 taken together, but it is considerably shorter than those two sections, and the entries in it are distinct from those in sections 1 and 2.

There is a gap between May 1831 and April 1832. Also, as the birth registers for Mikulov in the National Archives begin only in 1850, there is another gap in available detailed birth data between August 1847 and the end of 1849. The Familien-Register, however, should at least cover both those gaps in indexed form.

The records are in cursive German Gothic script. Depending on the handwriting of the particular person recording the entries, some parts are not so easy to decipher. This register can often be used productively in conjunction with the Familien-Register.

The Kniha obřizek, zlomek (Circumcision Books – nos. 9-11 from the Mikulov index)

These three books are all entitled “Kniha obřizek, zlomek” – circumcision books (excerpts). Number 9 runs from 1805 to 1854; number 10 from 1849 to 1875; and number 11 from 1866 to 1876. There is thus an overlap in the period covered between nos. 9 and 10, and between nos. 10 and 11.

These are all small books, with handwritten Hebrew entries in cursive Hebrew script, recording circumcisions. However, the existing entries represent only a fraction of all the circumcisions that must have taken place in Nikolsburg. For some years, there are only two or three entries. The information provided contains the date of circumcision, the name of the child, his father’s name, and sometimes other names, such as those of witnesses at the ceremony. Some of the text consists of standard formulas, for wishing the child to be healthy and successful. The years are recorded according to the Jewish calendar, written in Hebrew characters. The days and months are in some cases from the international calendar (for instance, “5 September”), but with both numbers and words written in Hebrew characters.

The Kniha familiantů (no. 5 from the Mikulov index – not what is seems)

This entry is entitled “Kniha familiantů [Familianten book] 1763–1864”. It looks enticing, as there are no Familianten books known to survive for Nikolsburg. However, on inspection, it is nothing of the sort. It apparently contains (or contained) some material from Úsov, in northern Moravia. Its pages, though, have been cut, and it is difficult to make anything at all of the small amount of text that it contains. This book can be safely ignored.

Provincial Archives in Brno – Jewish Community records and early censuses

Moravský zemský archiv v Brně (Moravian Provincial Archives in Brno)
Palachovo náměstí 1.
PO BOX 51
625 00 Brno
Czech Republic

Website (Czech): http://www.mza.cz/

The Provincial, or Regional, Archives for Southern Moravia are located in Brno. Their holdings include several lists or censuses of the Jews of Nikolsburg from the late 16th, 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries. The earliest of these list only given names, often without even patrinomes, and thus are very difficult to connect to any genealogical lines. Surnames begin to appear, and quickly become the norm, in the mid- to late 17th century. Transcriptions of several, perhaps all, of these censuses are available through the “Projekt Bohemia, Moravia et Silesia Judaica” at their website www.bmsj.eu. Access to the transcripts requires a paid membership. The website is available in Czech and German, and it includes a number of other historical records from Nikolsburg which are of less general use for genealogical research. A few of the censuses are also transcribed, at least in part, in the article by Bruno Mauritz Trapp in Hugo Gold's book on the Jewish Communities of Moravia. Those names are included in this index; the article is cited in our bibliography. There are some discrepencies between these two secondary sources. In particular, there is one census that Trapp lists for the year 1657, while BMSJ attributes it to 1673. We believe the BMSJ date to be correct, but have not confirmed this.

The archive holdings also include several records of the Nikolsburg Jewish Community – the Grundbücher and Synagogensesselbuch. The Grundbücher seem to be mainly about sums of money people borrowed or owed, or other contracts or obligations. The Synagogensesselbuch seems to be people buying, or taking up seats that have become vacant, and sums of money that had to be paid, or were given as donations. Neither seems to be useful from the point of view of tracing family members, but they may be useful for doing social historical research, if one has a lot of time and is able easily to read the difficult (and often cramped, or quickly written) script.

While this archive might be a likely place to find older Jewish records like the Familianten Book (or Mannschaftsbuecher), that is unfortunately not the case.

Jewish Community in Brno

Židovská obec Brno (Jewish Community in Brno)
tř. Kpt. Jaroše 3
CZ-60200 Brno
Czech Republic

Website (Czech): http://www.zob.cz/

In the possession of the Brno Jewish Community is the Graveyard Register prepared by the Nikolsburg Chevra Kadischa on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the rule of Emperor Franz Josef I, in 1898.  The register includes mostly family name, first name, grave number, sometimes an alternative name or a Hebrew religious name, and for deaths after 1880 ususally a date of death.  It is unclear how the register was compiled - whether from existing documents or directly from the gravestone inscriptions or both.

The data from the Nikolsburg graveyard register has been entered into a searchable database available on the JewishGen Databases site.

District Archives in Mikulov – holdings not confirmed

Státní okresní archiv Břeclav se sídlem v Mikulově (Břeclav District Archive located in Mikulov)
Pavlovská 2
692 24 Mikulov
Czech Republic

Website (Czech): http://breclav.mza.cz/publikace/uvod
Tel. +420 519 500 061
e-mail: soka_breclav@mza.cz

These archives are likely to hold census records from the last half of the 19th century and the early 20th century. This is not confirmed by any researchers. If you can confirm or refute this, please contact the owner of this page. While this archive might be a likely place to find older Jewish records like the Familianten Book (or Mannschaftsbuecher), that is unfortunately not the case.


Copyright ©2014 Bob Lenk.  Updated 24-Jun-2014, BL.

Back to Mikulov - Nikolsburg Main Page