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Kishinev Genealogy Records


Prof. ChaeRan Y. Freeze identifies six common varieties of records that can be expected to be found in the Moldovan archives. (see “Following the paper trail: genealogical resources in the Ukrainian and Moldovan archives," in Jewish Roots in Ukraine and Moldavia, p. 8).

Jews in Russia had to enroll in their Jewish regional council (kahal) for tax purposes. The kahal also issued passports for interal travel. “Whenever Jews were expelled or left a town, they not only had to apply for a passport but also for registration in another kahal.” (Freeze, in Jewish Roots in Ukraine and Moldavia, p. 8).

  • Kahal / Jewish community Records - Kahal or Jewish community records (include documents and correspondence relating to synagogues, Jewish cemeteries, correspondence with local government officials, membership and tax lists of Jewish societies and organizations and other materials; could also include metrical books).

    1874-1940 (incomplete)
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability of Kishinev "Kahal/Jewish Community" records.

  • Tax Records

    Poll-tax Records (podatnye spiski)
    In poll-tax lists (also known as “revision census” records or revizski skazki) you will find names of male members of the household on the left. Names of females are also found elsewhere on the same form. Ages are there but not dates of birth.

    Tax Lists - Tax lists, correspondence and documents, including many Jewish names.

    1891-1939 (incomplete)
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability of Kishinev "Tax Lists".

  • Metrical Books (Metricheskie Knigi) – Metrical books are the records of birth, deaths, marriages, and divorces. In 1826 they started being recorded by state-appointed clerks called “rabbiners.” Many records contained errors until 1835 when more strict rules of data recording were promulgated and enforced. These records can provide a wealth of information about events in the life of our ancestors. Names, dates, places, relatives' names and even places of burial can be found in these records. There was pressure to ensure that births, marriages, and deaths were recorded because some state benefits depended on whether a birth, marriage, or death could be verified in the metrical books. Unfortunately, the precision of the data varies.

    Images of the Kishinev Metrical books 1829-1915 are available online at Family Search

    Birth Records - Birth registrations in separate Jewish metrical books in Romanian or Russian with Yiddish translations in some cases.

    1829-1910 (incomplete)
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

    1904-1929 (incomplete)
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

    Marriage Records - Marriage registrations in separate Jewish metrical books in Romanian or Russian with Yiddish translations in some cases.

    1880-1910 (incomplete)
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

    1913-1929 (incomplete)
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

    Divorce Records - Divorce registrations in separate Jewish metrical books in Romanian or Russian with Yiddish translations in some cases.

    1879-1910 (incomplete)
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

    1913-1918 (incomplete)
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

    Death Records - Death registrations in separate Jewish metrical books in Romanian or Russian with Yiddish translations in some cases.

    1858-1907 (incomplete)
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

  • Social Estate Registration Records – Since 1804, Jews had to register under one of four social categories 1) Agriculturalist 2) manufacturers and artisans 3) merchants and 4) petty townspeople. Taxes and privileges depended somewhat on which social category the person was registered into.

    There are no records of this type identified in the RTR database for Kishinev.

  • Family Registers (Posemeinyi Spisok) – Every male had to register his name into these lists for military purposes. “Each record included the individual's social status (e.g., merchant or townsperson) name, age, poll-tax registration number, place of permanent residence, primary occupation, current locaus of residence, and finally a notation about his military draft status” (Freeze, Jewish Roots in Ukraine and Moldavia, p. 13)

    There are no records of this type identified in the RTR database for Kishinev.

  • Recruitment Lists – Each town maintained a recuitment list of its inhabitants by household and included the names of women as well as all the men in the household.

    There are no records of this type identified in the RTR database for Kishinev.

In addition to these state-sponsored records, genealogical researchers should not overlook state court records, school records, and records of various administrative institutions that the archives might hold. The format of these kinds of records, makes finding one pertaining to your relatives a difficult and time consuming endeavor. Look also for records from the many Jewish educational institutions – schools, institutes and colleges.

  • Census Records (Lists of inhabitants, resident lists and family lists. Generally, all members of the household are listed, with ages and relationships to the head of household. Some document formats include occupations, and dates/places where the family lived before or where they moved to.)

    1828-1945 (incomplete)
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

  • Voter Lists - Election and voter lists

    1925-1937 (incomplete)
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

  • Immigration Records - Migration and emigration documents, including registrations as individuals moved from one town or district to another within Ukraine and Moldova, as well as documents relating to those people who emigrated from these countries.

    1843-1844
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

    1875
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

  • Holocaust Records - Holocaust material, including lists of confiscated property, deportation lists, lists of those killed, and transport and inmate lists of forced-labor camps and ghettos.

    1941-1945
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

  • Property Owners Records - Land and property records (include correspondence and documents relating to private residences and businesses).

    1869-1942 (incomplete)
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

  • Police/KGB Files - Police files relating to many civil matters in addition to criminal files (including membership in Jewish organizations, residence registrations, possession of “inflammatory literature” and other so-called “crimes”).

    1889-1942 (incomplete)
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

  • School Records - School records, including correspondence, lists and documents containing many names of students and teachers in both Jewish and public schools.

    1902-1931 (incomplete)
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

    1837-1849
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

  • Occupation Lists - Lists of Jewish workers by profession and business; business license applications.

    1848-1856
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability. 1835;

    1866-1939 (incomplete)
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

  • Jewish Hospital Records - Hospital records, including material for primarily Jewish hospitals, e.g., correspondence and name lists.

    1822-1908 (incomplete);
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

    1865-1874 (incomplete)
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

  • Local Government Records - Local government records (correspondence and documents, including many Jewish names).

    1835,
    LATE 19TH CENT
    1910
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

    1920-1940
    Check RTR Archive Records Group database for availability.

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Other Kinds of Records that may be of genealogical value:

  • Business Directories (Vsia Rossiya, “All Russia") – These date from the end of the 19th century and some have been filmed by the Library of Congress (including 1895, 1899, 1903, 1911-1912 and 1923). They are arranged by town and usually have an alphabetical list of occupations or industries, followed by names of people within those categories.

  • Synagogue Record and Pinkassim - Pinkassim are books that record the births, marriages and deaths and various other lists for use by the Jewish community. Whether the Moldovan National Archives has any for the Jewish community of Kishinev I don't know. Many of these books were destroyed in Eastern Europe during the Holocaust, but some survived and may eventually show up for Kishinev.

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