KehilaLinks Raczki, Poland
Alternate spellings:  Raczki [Pol], Rotzk [Yid], Rachki [Rus], Rackos [Lith], Rotchky, Ratzk
Raczki Location

RACZKI - Northeast Poland -12 mi NW Augustow, 10 mi SW Suwalki - 5359' N, 2247' E. (Raczki is both a town and administrative district (Gminy Raczki). 2001  Polska Organizacja Turystyczna

Raczki Historic Timeline

650-400 BC first settlements on the banks of the river Rospuda.
1514 King Sigismund I (from Vilnius)  gives privileges to Rackowicz brothers. Stanislaw Rackowicz builds the famous Dowspuda mansion along the river.
1795 After the 3rd partition of Poland Raczki and all of Suwalki were under Prussian rule in the department of Bialystock.
1799 Raczki had 168 houses and 1008 inhabitants who were mostly farmers.
1807 Duchy of Warsaw was established and Raczki was assigned to the department of Lomza.
1815 Kingdom of Poland (Congress Poland) part of Russian Empire. Raczki is part of Augustow wojewodztwo (province). See Jewishgen
1826 Encyclopedia Londinensis Vol XXI (London) reports population of 600, chiefly Jews.
1850 Economic stagnation, lack of prospects for development, frequent fires result in only 140 numbered houses and 1279 inhabitants.
1863 resurrection by insurgents of Russian army begins and by 1870 Raczki lost its town charter.
1867 Kingdom of Poland divided into 10 gubernias and 84 powiats (sub-districts). Raczki is now part of Augustow powiat in Suwalki Gubernia. See Jewishgen
1886 Raczki had 2807 inhabitants and 194 houses including 11 brick. There were two breweries, tanneries, candles makers and 19 trade companies. Of the 16 streets, only one leading to the bridge was paved.
1888 fire burnt down 98 houses
1904 Russian defeat in war with Japan results in weaking of Tsarist regime and outbreak of revolutionary struggles in the area.
1907 another great fire burns a large part of town including 73 residential buildings
1914 Raczki receives rail link from Suwalki and Prussian border and WW1 begins
1921 Raczki has 252 houses and 1558 inhabitants
1938 Raczki has population of 1841 with 1377 Roman Catholic, 413 Jews, 27 Evangelicals, 5 Orthodox, and 19 others. 
1939 September - Raczki seized by Russians. In an agreement with Germany Russians left at beginning of October and Germans occupied. Jews were deported first to Suwalki, then to Lithuania and the death camps.

all data from Gminy Raczki Official Web Site except as noted.

19th Century Raczki Document Surfaces

News of an 1863 Jewish Taxpayer List for Raczki with 263 names surfaced at the 2013 IAJGS conference in Boston.  This list includes the name, occupation, and town for each Raczki taxpayer.  There are 263 people listed (probably all adult men - possibly one is a woman). There are 243 residing in Raczki and the remaining 23 from nearby small towns (many near Augustow).  While this document is lacking in details it is one of only a very few documents with a comprehensive list of Jewish residents in Raczki at one point in time in the 19th century.  

This document consists of 8 alphabetic sub-lists that could represent each street. In 1886 Raczki had 16 streets. The 23 people outside Raczki appear at the end of the list in town order which is another indication the list is based on location. 

Many individuals with identical surnames are listed together possibly indicating they are living in the same house. In many cases they also have the same occupation.  The most numerous occupation is the Polish word handlarz which can mean merchant, dealer, peddler or huckster. The 2nd and 3rd largest occupations are tailor and shoemaker. Most other occupations are basic trades. The top 12 occupations by count (and percent of the total population) are:

handlarz [dealer/peddler] 110 41.8%
krawiec [tailor] 34 12.9%
szewc [shoemaker] 33 12.5%
wyrobnik [day-laborer] 25 9.5%
rzeznik [butcher] 9 3.4%
zdun [potter] 9 3.4%
piekarz [baker] 5 1.9%
kowal [blacksmith] 4 1.5%
nauczyciel [teacher] 4 1.5%
czapnik [cap-maker] 3 1.1%
powroznik [rope maker] 3 1.1%
rybak [fisherman] 3 1.1%
15 others occupations 21 8.0%
TOTALS 263 100.0%

The list was discovered by Alex Friedlander at the Suwalk Archives during a 2012 research trip to Poland.  The document was on microfilm made at the Vilnus Archive of the Suwalk Gubernia Jewish Community.

Many years earlier Alex had also found an earlier 1824 taxpayer list which is also included after the 1863 list.  Both lists are available by clicking here.

Raczki Links

Interactive Google Map   

Suwalki Yizkor Book  [English Translation in process on the Jewishgen Yiskor Book Project]. This is the earliest of two Suwalki Memorial Books and was edited by Berl Kagan and published in 1961, New York, 826 pps. There are two small sections on Ratsk plus much more covering the general Suwalki area. 

Raczki - Jewishgen Communities DataBase on

Gminy Raczki - official Polish website  

Google Translate - Polish to English  translate text, web pages or documents.   note:  this tool is not 100% accurate and was erroneously translating 'Raczki' as 'Handles'

Suwalk-Lomza Interest Group for Jewish Genealogists

JRI Poland

Polish State Archives - databases

Polish Genealogy Society of America
Raczki researchers/descendants are encouraged to submit additional material and suggestions (documents, maps, photos, videos, histories, references, family stories, etc.) to the Webmaster below.   
JewishGen KehilaLinks

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Last Updated on November 7, 2014  

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