Moldova Jewish Records

From FamilySearch Wiki
(Redirected from Moldova Jewish Records)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Moldova Wiki Topics
Flag of Moldova.svg.png
Beginning Research
Record Types
Moldova Background
Local Research Resources
Jewish Genealogy Research
Wiki Topics
Israel coat of arms.png
Beginning Research
Original Records
Compiled Sources
Background Information
Finding Aids


Israel coat of arms.png

Go to Jewish Genealogy Research Main Page

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

At the time your Jewish ancestors lived in what is now Moldova, it was known as Bessarabia.The following articles will provide you with historical background and context:


Find the Town[edit | edit source]

In order to research your family in Moldova, it is essential that you have identified the place where they came from. It is not enough to know only 'Moldova' or 'Bessarabia;' you must know the town or shtetl that they came from. In addition to research in the records of the country the immigrated to, you may also want to examine the following sources to help you determine possible town locations.

JewishGen Family Finder[edit | edit source]

  • The Family Finder is a database of both ancestral hometowns and surnames that have been researched by their descendants world wide. The Family Finder allows you to connect with others who are researching similar ancestors and origins and collaborate your research. To add the surnames and locations you are researching, click on Modify (Edit your existing entries) or Enter (Add new entries). Type in the surnames and/or locations of interest and hit Submit. To search the database and see if you can connect to family members and other researchers, choose Search (Search the database) from the Town Finder home page. You can search for a surname and/or a town. Search results will appear in a chart format giving you the surname, town, country, and researcher information (often includes contact information) and the date they last logged into JewishGen.

Miriam Weiner's Surname Database[edit | edit source]

aUsing the Surname Database on Miriam Weiner's Routes to Roots Foundation website can help narrow down a more specific location for where individuals lived who shared your ancestor's surname.

  • Use the Standard Surname Database if you know your ancestor's given name, surname, or town name. This database is comprised of name lists from local historians and heads of Jewish communities, name lists from books, and name lists from various archives.
  • Use the OCR Surname Database (optical character recognition) to search for your ancestor's surname in either the Latin alphabet or in Cyrillic. This database is comprised of information from business directories, address calendars, telephone books, typed name lists, and name lists from books and from archives.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

JewishGen Gazetteer[edit | edit source]

  • The JewishGen Gazetteer is a useful online gazetteer for locations in Eastern Europe. Note that wild card searches are not supported. To view an entry page, click on the Jewish star to the left of the town name. Entry pages provide jurisdictions for before WWI, the interwar period, after WWII and modern-day. Alternate names and Yiddish and Russian spellings are also included. In the center, you'll find a map and a list of additional Jewish communities located nearby. Finally, under Additional Information and in the green box at the top, you'll find links to references and additional resources that may help you in your research.

Bessarabia Geographical Dictionary[edit | edit source]

Bessarabia Geographical Dictionary available through the Bessarabia Special Interest Group (SIG) is a list of places Jews lived or conducted business. The gazetteer is available to download in both Excel and PDF format.

Spiski Naselennykh Mest Rossiiskoi Imperii[edit | edit source]

The Spiski is a Russian langauge gazetteer that lists the populated places in Imperial Russia. The Bessarabia Gubernia (Province) Spiski is available online. For help reading this gazetteer, see the Spiski Gazetteer "How to" Guide.

Maps of your Ancestor's Town[edit | edit source]

  • JewishGen Bessarabia SIG Military-Topographical Maps explore the other map options under the Map tab on the Bessarabia SIG website.
  • To view present-day Moldova at Google Maps, click here.
  • For a Jewish population density map of Europe in 1900, click here.
  • For a map showing the percentage of Jews in the Pale of Settlement and Congress Poland, c. 1905, click here.
  • To view an additional historical map showing the historical percentage of Jews in governments, click here.

Revision and Family Lists[edit | edit source]

Revision lists are enumerations of the taxable population (most Jews in the Russian empire fell into a taxable social class). There were ten revisions taken sporadically from 1772-1858. These records are a foundational source in genealogical research as they provide names, ages, and relationships.

Supplemental Lists, also known as Family Lists, can be found ranging from about 1860 through the end of the nineteenth century. They are similar in format to revision lists and are often grouped with revision list records in an archive.

JewishGen (indexed records)[edit | edit source]

Many revision list records have been indexed and are available through the JewishGen Romania-Moldova Database. To see translation/indexing projects in progress, see the Bessarabia SIG Project Search Form.

FamilySearch (digital images)[edit | edit source]

There may also be records available through the FamilySearch Catalog.

a. Click here to access catalog entries for Moldova.
b. Click on Places within Moldova and a list of places will appear. You may need to click on a district and then select the Places within feature again.
f. Click on the Taxation or Census topic. Click on the blue links to view specific record titles.
e. Icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records. A camera with a key on top means the record is viewable but with certain restrictions that may mean the record can only be viewed at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, a Family History Center, or FamilySearch Affiliate Library. Take a look at the Family History Center Finder to discover a location near you.

Revision List Finding Aids[edit | edit source]

If you are unable to locate records online, there are several resources to help you determine what records are available for your town and which archive they are currently stored in. Revision list records are referred to as "census" records, and may be translated as "Revision tales" or "Fairy tales." See the Additional Resources- Finding Aids and Records Inventories heading in this Wiki article for more information.  

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Throughout the Russian Empire, birth, marriage, divorce, and death records were required to be kept by the Jewish community beginning in 1835. Jewish records were generally kept in a tabular format with the left-side of the page in Russian and the right-side of the page in Hebrew. Vital records are available online in both indexed and digital image formats.

JewishGen (indexed records)[edit | edit source]

Many vital records have been indexed and are available through the JewishGen Romania-Moldova Database. To see translation/indexing projects in progress, see the Bessarabia SIG Project Search Form.

Ancestry (indexed records)[edit | edit source]

Birth records, 1829-1910, are available as indexes from Ancestry in the Bessarabia (now Moldova), Births, 1829-1910 Collection. Indexes may contain a Family History Library microfilm number, and images may be accessible online. Use the FamilySearch Catalog and search using the Film/Fiche Number to see about record availability.

FamilySearch (digital images)[edit | edit source]

There may also be records available through the FamilySearch Catalog.

a. Click here to access catalog entries for Moldova.
b. Click on Places within Moldova and a list of places will appear. You may need to click on a district and then select the Places within feature again.
f. Click on the Jewish Record topic (it may be found at either the town or uyezd level). Click on the blue links to view specific record titles.
e. Icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records. A camera with a key on top means the record is viewable but with certain restrictions that may mean the record can only be viewed at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, a Family History Center, or FamilySearch Affiliate Library. Take a look at the Family History Center Finder to discover a location near you.

Vital Records Finding Aids[edit | edit source]

If you are unable to locate records online, there are several great resources to help you determine what records are available for your town and which archive they are currently stored in. See the Additional Records - Finding Aids and Records Inventories heading in this Wiki article for more information.  

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Holocaust[edit | edit source]

Yizkor Books[edit | edit source]

Yizkor books are memorial books commemorating a Jewish community that was destroyed during the Holocaust. Books are usually published by former residents and records the remembrance of homes, people and ways of life lost during World War II. Most books are written in Yiddish or Hebrew, but in recent years, many have been translated and made available online. You may wish to refer to the Glossary of Yizkor Book Terms list to help you.

Historical Photos[edit | edit source]

The Image Database on Miriam Weiner's website contains photographs and postcard views of many towns and cities throughout Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Poland, and other select countries dating back to the early 1900s. These include pre-WWI and current town views, photos of synagogues, Jewish cemeteries, and Holocaust memorials. Even if you are unable to find a picture of your ancestor's town, it may still be interesting to see what other towns in the area looked like, which will allow you to a get a feel of what life may have been like for your ancestor.

Additional Records - Finding Aids and Record Inventories[edit | edit source]

JewishGen (indexed records)[edit | edit source]

The JewishGen Romania-Moldova Database contains indexes of additional records including Soviet Repression records, business and commercial directories, WWI information, voter lists, and more!

Miriam Weiner Routes to Roots Foundation[edit | edit source]

Use the Archive Database to locate what records exist for your ancestor's town, and where to find them. Search for the name of your ancestor's locality, and the database will provide results for known surviving records from that location, and where the records are held. (Remember to adjust the search criteria for Soundex options or spelling variations).

This database contains documents such as army/recruit lists, family lists and census records, Jewish vital records (birth, marriage, death, divorce), immigration documents, voter and tax lists, property and notary records, Holocaust documents, police files, and pogrom documents (school records, occupation lists, local government and hospital records).

  • See Routes to Roots Foundation and hover over Belarus for a Genealogical and Family History guide to Jewish and civil records in Eastern Europe

Jewish Roots[edit | edit source]

The Еврейские Корни (Jewish Roots) site is an excellent resource to help you locate archival documents. The website is in Russian, but if you are using the Google Chrome browser, simply right click anywhere on the page and select Translate to English. Search using the name of the town (find the Cyrillic spelling of the town on JewishGen Town Finder) to see what archival records might be available for your location. In addition to the database, use the Forum to connect with other researchers and find other potential resources for your location.

Bessarabia.ru[edit | edit source]

The Sources for Genealogical Searches tab at Bessarabia.ru contains information about the types of records available in archives. The site is available in English, but as you explore, consider using the Russian version of the site, as in some cases, more information is available. If you do not read Russian, use the Google Chrome browser, then simply right click anywhere on the page and select Translate to English. You may also wish to use their Forum to inquire about records and connect with other researchers.

Reading Records[edit | edit source]

Moldovan/Bessarabian Jewish records are most commonly written in Russian or Hebrew. Use the resources in this list to help you learn how to read the records. You may also consider using a free translation service such as the FamilySearch Community (Be sure to post in the Russian Empire Genealogy Research group or tag @RussianEmpireGenealogyResearch in your question) or JewishGen View Mate.

Russian[edit | edit source]

Hebrew[edit | edit source]

Additional Resources[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]