Botosani, Romania

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

Botosani early 1900s

Botosani Today

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 [pages 25-62] and Situation of the Jews in Roumania - Since the Treaty of Berlin (1878) [pages 63-87]

Radu B. Rosetti (a.k.a. Verax) wrote his own view of how the Jews came to Romania in Romania and the Jews, 1904. 

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
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

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Botosani Research projects

In 2008 a group of dedicated Botosani descendants/researchers started an independent project to photograph and develop computer spreadsheet indexes for all Jewish civil records and other registers located at the Botosani branch of the Romanian State Archives. This project is not part of the Jewishgen Romania Database. 

As of 2017  all available Jewish Botosani civil records (over 120,000) from locations with a significant Jewish presence in the former historical counties of Botosani and Dorohoi are now indexed.  Other nearby towns have also been indexed. 

For more information on these records send email to: or the webmaster.

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

Completed Civil Birth, Marriage, Death (BMD) record indexes:

Botosani city BMD - 52,452 records 1865-1910
Botosani city Jewish Mitrices, BMD 1849,57,58,60-65, schools
Botosani city

condica  - 167 foreign residents

Botosani city condica - about 200 Austrian residents 1834
Botosani city catagrafii - 2486 records 1845
Bucecea Jewish Mitrices, BMD 1860, 1863, 1865-1907, 1912
Burdujeni BMD 1865-1906
Dorohoi BMD 1865-1910
FrumusicaBMD 1877-1907, 1911
Mihaileni BMD 1865-1910
Herta BMD 1865-1931
Hertza VillagesBMD1865-1931
Piatra NeamtzBMD1865-1914
Radautz Prut BMD 1865-1906
Saveni BMD 1845, 1865-1914
Stefanesti BMD 1865-1907
Sulita BMD 1865-1910
Targu NeamtzBMD1865-1914

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

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How You Can Help

We need people familiar with the Romanian language and Jewish names for future work at home using the photographed records. We also need to pay for the photographer,  archive fees, and  small administrative costs. All money received go directly to acquiring records.   

 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)

The JewishGen Romania Database is a conglomeration of component Databases from 3 related SIG groups and individual donors.
Exact contents and a standard Jewishgen database search option are at: 

Botosani and Iasi records are part of the Moldavia Vital Records.  If you know your ancestors are from Botosani or Iasi you can use the Moldavia Record inventory to see if there are civil records (BMD) for your time periods.  If not, search for your names in the entire Romania Database because this includes many more types of records from nearby places that might fit.

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 2008-2019 Botosani, Robert Zavos, Webmaster/Coordinator, All rights reserved.

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Last Updated on September 28, 2019

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