Scope: This project covers only those records of Jewish interest that are found at National Historical Archives of Belarus in Grodno for the Uyezds of Bialystok, Bielsk, and Sokolka. An inventory of the holdings of National Historical Archives of Belarus in Grodno can be found on the Belarus SIG website at http://www.jewishgen.org/belarus/grodno_archives.htm.
Background: Other than the City of Bialystok, there are very few Jewish vital records for towns now in Poland that were formerly part of Grodno Gubernia. This has stymied many Jewish genealogists in their efforts to create their family histories. The hope of these genealogists is that the Grodno Archives will have records that will fill the large holes in their family histories.
With the efforts of the Belarus SIG over the last five years, access to Archives in Belarus has increased, although it is still one of the most difficult to access in Eastern Europe. It is apparent that group resources and activism will be required to gain access to the treasures in the Grodno Archives.
Project Summary: This project is a general effort to gain access to the Jewish records for Bialystok, Bielsk, and Sokolka Uyezds that exist at the Grodno Archives through direct work with the Archives, through hiring of third- party professional researchers, and/or through cooperative research with Belarus SIG.
The funds collected for this project will be used to create detailed inventories of Jewish records, to acquire Jewish records, to index Jewish records, to translate the indices and/or records, and to create data to be added to the All Poland and All Belarus databases.
Specific records targeted by this project are Jewish Community Records, 19th Century Revision Lists, and the All Russia Census of 1897.
This project includes the participation of Bialystok Region researchers in the Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) project undertaken by Belarus SIG in August 2003. Here is a summary of the Belarus SIG BOF project: