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Botosani, Romania

other names: Botoschan (Ger), Botoszany (Pol), Botoshani (Rus,Ukr),  Botuschani.  Location 4745' / 2640'

Botosani early 1900s

Botosani 2008

Take a Tour 

Old Botosani

Botosani 1900  5:33

New Botosani

Botosani 5:29

Botosani Montage 4:15

imagini Botosani  9:54

Botosani History

Botosani is a major city in northeast Romania and the capital of Botosani Judet (county). Early Jewish population is known from the 16th/17th centuries. Over the next few hundred years Jews leaving the Russian Empire, Galicia, and Germany headed south toward northern Romania (Moldovia and Bukovina). Jewish population growth was very rapid throughout the 19th century. Botosani Judet  and Dorohoi Judet became major Jewish centers along with Jassy. Dorohoi merged with Botosani after WW2.  

According to the Jewish Yearbook, [London, 1902-03] the Jewish population (25,000 in 1901/02) in Botosani was 72% - the highest percentage of any large city in the world at that time. Iasi (Jassy) was the 2nd highest at 58%.

Elias Schwarzfeld, writer and Romanian Jewish historian from Jassy, wrote two important articles which appeared in the American Jewish Yearbook, 1901-02:

The Jews of Roumania - From the Earliest Times to the Present Day and Situation of the Jews in Roumania - Since the Treaty of Berlin (1878)

Radu B. Rosetti (a.k.a. Verax) wrote his own view of how the Jews came to Romania in Romania and the Jews, 1904. This is a very detailed and interesting history but it is very worthwhile to preface this by reading the Introduction and especially page VII.

A key turning point in Jewish life in Romania occured in 1866 with laws that  denied them citizenship, schooling, and economic opportunity. In 1878 the Congress of Berlin attempted to legislate basic rights for religious and other minorities, however it soon became apparent that nothing had changed for Jews in Romania. At the same time a new era of economic and religious opportunity opened across the Atlantic. It was not surprising that from 1890 to 1910 about 90% of all Romanians who emigrated to the United States were Jewish. [Samuel Joseph, 1914], chapter IV. 

A large community remained up through the Holocaust and tried to regroup after WW2. However, the communist regime placed numerous restrictions on Jews including measures such as closing schools, outlawing all Jewish organizations and restricting occupations/professions that were common to Jews.  This time the new state of Israel was relatively close and a very friendly option. At first Jewish families slowly left for Israel until eventually a critical mass was achieved and the emigration rate increased significantly. The following table tells the story:

YEAR  Population of Romania Jews in Romania Total Botosani County Jews in Botosani
County
1930 14,280,729 451,892 315,780 30,141
1956 17,489,450 146,264 428,050 10,098
1966 19,103,163 42,888 452,406 2,494
1977 21,559,910 24,667 451,217 1,171
1992 22,810,035 8,955 461,305 261
2002 21,680,974 3,941 452,834 115

Population numbers by ethnicity from census reports for the period 1930-2002,   Romanian National Institute for Statistics.

Botosani Links

Google Translate - Romanian to English  translate (a few pages) of text or web pages from/to English or other languages. Not perfect but free and very fast.

Train route in 1891 Baedeker Handbook pages 402-403. The Express train from Czernowitz to Bucharest completed the 331 miles in 16 hours in 1891. In 2007 it took 14 hours.


Botosani Research projects

In 2008 a small group of dedicated Botosani descendants/researchers started a project to photograph and develop computer indexes for all Jewish civil records and  registers (Mitrices) located at the Botosani branch of the Romanian State Archives. The initial effort included almost 50,000 Jewish birth, marriage, and death (BMD) civil records from 1865 to 1905. Addional types of records and  other towns in Botosani Judet (county) continue to be added as manpower (translators) and contributions (record acquisition and photography) permit.  

We now dedicate our project to the memory of our friend and colleague Rony Shaham who was one of the primary translators from the beginning.

Completed record indexes:

Botosani city Civil records (3,000 marriages, 20,000 deaths, 25,000 births) 1865-1910
Botosani city Jewish Mitrices (2,800 births, 700 marriages, 2,100 deaths) 1849,57,58,60-65
Botosani city

condica  - 167 foreign residents

1824
Botosani city condica - about 200 Austrian residents 1834
Botosani city catagrafii - 2486 records 1845
Bucecea 1,300  births, 900 deaths, 200 marriages 1860, 1863, 1865-98
Dorohoi
5,802 births (1886-1905), 1,905 marriages(1865-1905)  1865-1905
Mihaileni 2,625 births, 2,300 deaths, 260 marriages 1865-1895
Saveni 2,560 births, 1,600 deaths, 370 marriages 1865-1907
Stefanesti 3,275 births 606 marriages, 245 deaths 1865-1907
Sulitsa 3,159 births, 1976 deaths, 546 marriages 1865-1910

Details of the project were published in Avotaynu - The International Review of Jewish Genealogy [Vol 27-2, Summer 2011, 11-13].

HOW  YOU CAN RESEARCH YOUR BOTOSANI FAMILY

Join the  Botosani Yahoo Group. Browse or search the message archives. Download key files, try the links, look at the photos, ask questions on the message list. We have over 150 members who often can help guide you on research options.  You may  find other researchers with common ancestors. Try Steve Morse's  one step tools for key Botosani databases. Once you find potential records we can guide you on options to obtain actual copies.

HOW YOU CAN HELP 

Help transcribe. We especially need people who are somewhat familiar   with the Romanian language and Jewish names.   

Help us photograph and acquire new records. In order to keep costs low we hire local photographers and do all transcribing by unpaid volunteers. We need to pay for the photographer,  archive fees, and  small administrative costs. All money received go directly to acquiring records. Make contributions for your specific towns to help us continue these projects.    For more information send email to: recsbot@gmail.com or the webmaster.

 Romania and Border Countries

Romania Map


Additional Maps

Google Maps: Satellite View of Botosani

WHKLMA Historical Atlas - Romania

Historic Maps of Europe

Botosani Jewish Cemetery Botosani Synagogue
Botosani Cemetery

Botosani Synagogue built 1834

Botosani Transit

Fresh Market - National Archives

Botosani Transit - frequent, quiet, clean Supermarket with Botosani Branch of National Archives in Background

Jewishgen Searches and Links:

Romania Database (for Botosani)

Click the button to show all entries for Botosani in the JewishGen Romania Database.

You can also enter your Surnames, Givennames,  or other Towns anywhere in current Romania or Moldova at the  Jewishgen Romania Database

JewishGen Kehilalinks Romania SIG

This page is hosted at no cost to the public by JewishGen, Inc., a non-profit corporation. If you feel there is a benefit to you in accessing this site, your JewishGen-erosity is appreciated.

Copyright 2008-2014 Botosani, Robert Zavos, Webmaster/Coordinator, All rights reserved.

My other sites:
Bucecea
Hirlau
Iasi
Pittsburgh
Suwalki-Lomza SIG
Suwalki

Last Updated on March 24 ,2014  

There have been    visits to this page since January 24, 2008