Overview of Gesher Galicia’s Research Projects

The Vital Records Project
Project Coordinator: Tony Kahane

Vital, or metrical records are the core of genealogical research. These Jewish birth, death, marriage and divorce records for Galicia may be found in a variety of archives in different locations, even for a single town. Many such records have not survived the events of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. The proportion that has survived varies considerably between towns.

For further information on the Vital Records 2018 Project and on the archives in which Gesher Galicia is working, click here.


The Holocaust Project
Project Coordinator: Michał Majewski

Gesher Galicia’s expanded Holocaust Project includes a range of types of records from Galician towns, found in state archives and some municipal archives in Poland and Ukraine. These include:

  • Vital records of the Jewish community from the period 1939-1942.
  • Lists of Jewish residents of towns, and of ghetto inhabitants for those towns that had a ghetto.
  • Lists of people employed in forced labor camps.
  • Lists of people receiving food ration coupons.
  • Testimonies about Holocaust deaths, provided by survivors after May 1945.
  • Questionnaires that Jewish health-care personnel were obliged to complete, with details of family members and of professional training and practices.
  • Books (of the whole population) listing punishments for infringements of regulations under the Nazi German occupation.

For further details, please click here.


The Josephine & Franciscan Cadastral Surveys Project
Project Coordinator: Andrew Zalewski

Jewish genealogists seldom tap into early population records from Galicia. Gesher Galicia has made these important sources the subject of an ongoing research initiative. The indexed names of the inhabitants are searchable through the All Galicia Database on the Gesher Galicia website (free to all). Click on the link to learn more about the Josephine and Franciscan Surveys.

  • The Josephine survey was ordered by Emperor Joseph II in 1785 (hence, it is sometimes referred to as the Josephine cadastre). Thousands of communities in Galicia – along with those in other provinces of the Habsburg Monarchy – were surveyed, with the names, house numbers, and every plot of land recorded in specially prepared registers. To learn more, click here.
  • The Franciscan survey – ordered by the imperial edict of Francis I in 1817 (and referred to as the Franciscan cadastre) – recorded Jewish names using given names and surnames. Its first phase was conducted in 1819–1822, with the Jewish landholders found in many communities. Charting cadastral maps was the survey’s new feature but detailed land measurements in Galicia did not finish until 1854. To learn more, click here.


The Maps Project
Project Coordinator: Jay Osborn

Gesher Galicia’s extensive Map Project involves scanning and assembling digital versions of highly detailed regional maps, street maps and cadastral maps. These are then displayed in the online Map Room.

For further details, please click here.


The Galician Medical Students/Doctors Project
Project Coordinator: Andrew Zalewski

From the earliest period, the presence of Jewish medical practitioners in Galicia was influential. They had a unique educational experience and gained rapid professional acceptance. Several of them engaged in various nonmedical activities, contributing to Jewish and non-Jewish literature, and taking part in civic affairs and in the religious reforms of their local communities.

The project is designed to survey archival academic records and to create an annotated database of Jewish medical students and graduates from Galicia. The first stage of the project focused on the period 1784 to 1918, covering several universities in the Habsburg realm, recording Jewish surgeons, medical doctors, and midwives. In the second stage, our research progressed through the interwar period, 1919-1939. The 2017–2020 research activities concentrated on archival surveys in the Jagiellonian University, Lemberg/Lwów University, Pest University, and Prague University.

For further information, please click here.


The Jewish Taxpayers Project
Project Coordinator: Mark Jacobson

Gesher Galicia is conducting a project in 2018-2019 to index some 20 sets of Jewish taxpayers lists, all from the period of the 1930s, from towns in the Stanisławów and Tarnopol areas. For some of the larger towns, the house addresses of the taxpayers are included in the town list.

For further details, please click here.


Fond 424 Project
Project Coordinators: Paweł Malinowski

This is a short-term project, in the first half of 2018, to scan some 70% of the almost 200 files in Fond 424 at AGAD in Warsaw, to complete the indexing or updating of these same files, and to upload (or re-upload) all the revised index sets.

For further details, please click here.



Earlier projects that are no longer active


Tarnopol Jewish Censuses

Although officials in Austria-Hungary – and in the Second Polish Republic that followed the collapse of the Austrian Empire – conducted censuses in Galicia over an eighty-year period, very few original enumerations have survived, at least in the eastern part of Galicia.

The city of Tarnopol (now Ternopil, in western Ukraine) is something of an exception here. The full Jewish census of 1910 – the last official Galician census conducted by the Austrian government – exists. So do the census of 1890 (though about a quarter of it is missing) and the index book of the census of 1890 (with no part missing). In addition, the census book of the 1880 census also exists, though many of its pages are damaged, with information missing.

Gesher Galicia has indexed the 1910 Jewish Census of Tarnopol, which is held in the State Archive of Ternopil Oblast (DATO). This large city attracted residents from all over Galicia and further afield. For this reason, this census is one of the more important records of its kind for Galician researchers.   With almost 14,000 names, it lists every Jewish person resident in Tarnopol in 1910, along with information on people who had moved away permanently, or were studying in other places. Entire households are listed, along with their house numbers, professions, and ages, and relationships within the household.

Gesher Galicia has transcribed both these index books and put the information on the All Galicia Database.

Gesher Galicia has also transcribed an 1850 Jewish census, updated in 1857, from Brody.

For further information, click here.


Austrian Ministries Files

Gesher Galicia has indexed several selected files of bureaucratic records kept by the Austrian government in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While not specifically focused on the Jewish population, several of these files contain detailed information on people, many of whom were Jewish. This is particularly the case with records dealing with innkeepers, lawyers and certain other occupations. These Austrian Ministries files are held at AGAD in Warsaw, in their Fonds 304-311. Gesher Galicia members can order scans of particular files, if the files have been indexed and appear on the All Galicia Database.

For further information, including on how to order scans of Austrian Ministries files, please click here.



Gesher Galicia is a non-profit organization carrying out Jewish genealogical and historical research on Galicia, formerly a province of Austria-Hungary and today divided between southeastern Poland and western Ukraine. The research work includes the indexing of archival vital records and census books, Holocaust-period records, Josephine and Franciscan cadastral surveys, lists of Jewish taxpayers, and records of Galician medical students and doctors - all added to our searchable online database. In addition, we reproduce regional and cadastral maps for our online Map Room. We conduct educational research and publish a quarterly research journal, the Galitzianer. Gesher Galicia is also organized for the purpose of maintaining networking and online discussion groups and to promote and support Jewish heritage preservation work in the areas of the former Galicia.

You can search our free All Galicia Database, Map Room, and archival inventories, and read about member benefits starting at $50 per year. You can also join online.

Our general contact address: info@geshergalicia.org