The Jewish Records Indexing- Poland (JRI-Poland) birth, marriage, and death indices found on the JewishGen Web site are invaluable resources for finding information with surname searches. This article provides a few tips for getting the most out of using these indices. These tips are based on my experience doing surname searches in the indices covering Kolomea Administrative District towns and villages for more than 50 requestors submitting hundreds of surnames.
I hasten to note that my experience in naming/name changes is restricted to American practices. Those of you from other countries should take into consideration nuances applicable to your locations.
Understanding the Nature of the Indices
The birth, marriage, and death records for Kolomea and other Galician locations are stored in the AGAD archives in Warsaw, Poland. The JRI-Poland project hired employees of the archives to prepare indices of those records in English. It is believed that several different archivists were employed in this project. It is suspected that English skills varied from one indexer to another. Variations in the spelling of surnames and given names in the indices could be the result of different English skills of indexers, different interpretations by the original government recording clerks, and/or different spellings of the same names by the persons filing the birth, marriage, and death events.