Inventories of Jewish Galician Records held at AGAD, Warsaw
In the early 1950s, a large contingent of record books arrived in Warsaw from areas in the eastern parts of interwar Poland, which were by then in the Soviet Union. In it were metrical records from the main religious communities of the region – Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Jewish, Protestant and Russian Orthodox. These records had been kept by separate offices, according to religious affiliation. The books were from towns in what had been – during the Second Polish Republic (1919-1939) – the Wołyń (Volhynia) Voivodship, Polesie Voivodship, Nowogródek Voivodship and the eastern part of Białystok Voivodship – as well as the voivodships of Lwów, Stanislawów and Tarnopol, the three eastern “Galician” provinces. The Jewish element in this contingent, though – consisting of about 4,000 books of metrical records and index books of metrical records and some censuses – came only from the Galician areas.
These books were then stored away safely in the Ministry of Information in Warsaw. In the early 1980s, it was decided to bring out this forgotten storehouse of information. Those sets of records more than 100 years old were sent to the Central Archives of Historical Records in Warsaw, AGAD (Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych), while those less than 100 years old were to go to a Civil Registration Office (Urząd Stanu Cywilnego, USC) in Warsaw. Of the Jewish books, about 1,750 went to AGAD. The rest, over 2,200 books, were directed to the USC office. The division was not done very carefully, with the result that AGAD received a few hundred books that were – at the time of distribution at least – less than 100 years old. Since 1997, with some gaps in the process, USC has been transferring to AGAD those books that have become more than 100 years old. As of mid-2016, AGAD held 3,219 Jewish metrical books and indexes of metrical books in its Fond 300. USC in Warsaw still held something under 800 books. The Polish law applying to Civil Registration Offices was amended in 2014, to allow death and marriage records more than 80 years old to be made publicly available, while the restriction on birth records remained at 100 years. Such death and marriage record books are also now eligible for transfer from USC to AGAD.
Also as of mid-2016, there are records books in Fond 300 from 101 localities, all but three of them in the eastern part of Galicia. There are also a few towns with with no records at present in Fond 300, but for which the USC Warsaw still holds records. The town of Brody, for instance, has no record books in Fond 300, but there are death records for the town from 1941-1942 that are due to be made publicly available in 2023 and then eligible for transfer to AGAD.
Gesher Galicia has produced a complete inventory of the record books in Fond 300. It is based on AGAD’s own inventory, but with some corrections and further information on individual books. For many of the books, AGAD has uploaded the digital scans of the records onto its web site. We have included in our own inventory the links to the page scans of those record books that have been made available by AGAD and where the links are working.
Some 22 index books of records in Fond 300 are said by AGAD to be from unidentified towns. Gesher Galicia, though, has identified about 14 of these books, and we have included the identifications in our inventory, at the same time sharing our identifications with AGAD. We have also corrected the previously wrong attributions of two other index books in this Fond.
JRI-Poland has indexed the majority of the books in Fond 300. Gesher Galicia has also indexed about 30 of these books, including the transcription of the index book of the 1890 Jewish census of Tarnopol.
** For the inventory (with page scans, where available) of Jewish metrical records held at AGAD in Fond 300, sorted by town name, click here.
** For the inventory (with page scans, where available) of Jewish metrical records held at AGAD in Fond 300, sorted by file (Sygnatura) numbers, click here.
AGAD has a second set of Jewish records in its Fond 424, consisting of 191 files, many of them metrical records. The main difference with Fond 300 is that the material in Fond 424 consists of loose sheets – records of marriage certificates, marriage banns certificates, death certificates, and birth certificates – and is not in bound-volume form. The Fond also includes 36 files of community records (including financial records) from Tarnopol.
Most of the towns with records in Fond 424 are from eastern Galicia, and are now located in western Ukraine. A few, including Kraków, Lesko and Przemyśl, are from western Galicia. There are also a handful of towns that are now in Ukraine, but which were never in Galicia. These include two towns from the former Bukovina, and one from the interwar Polish Volhynian voivodeship.
Gesher Galicia has indexed about half the files in this fond. The most recently updated and expanded versions of these files are being added to the All Galicia Database during Fall 2016.
** For the inventory of Fond 424, sorted by File (Sygnatura) number, click here.