Belchatow Book of Residents

This webpage was written in order to better understand the Belchatow Book of Residents. According to the ELA Database in Poland (Database of the Registers of Population in Archival Materials) Books of Residents were compiled and updated in Belchatow from 1906 - 1932.  Despite this, there are listings of people who left Belchatow before the census was created.  I have no explanation for why they were still listed except that their departure may not have been officially reported. 

According to the JRI-Poland agreement with the Polish State Archives, the archivist was permitted to index only entries of individuals born up to and including 1900.  Anyone born after that date was omitted.  Therefore, if a woman was born in 1899 and her husband born in 1901, he may not be included although her entry may state she was "living with husband."  

A surname list for the Belchatow Book of residents is available by clicking here:

A listing of all the towns mentioned in this Book of Residents is available by clicking here:

To best understand the information in the columns, click on the example here and read the explanation below.

Click image below to enlarge  

Columns:

1. This is the signature number or the fond or location number in the archive.

2. The page number is the number of the page in the ledger/registry. (#69 listed in table) 

3. This is the house number (see #10 in table) which equaled mortgage number [means in general: the lower the number, the older the house and also the closer to the center of town]

4. The entry number lists each person living in the household. Every head of the household started with # 1 and every household unit (i.e. family unit) is listed on a separate page (even if they lived in the same apt). So if a couple was living with one of their parents, they would be listed on 2 different pages since each male was considered the head of his household.  Rojza Fajga is the head of her household (and the only person listed in that household). Look at Jekiew Hersz.  He is the head of his household and Chaja Rywka (#2) also lived with him. Sometimes children are listed as 2, 3, and 4. 

5. Surname and given name MALE or surname and given name, maiden name of first marriage FEMALE.  Children living with parents are listed below parent (s) with same page number.

6. Surname and given names of parents and maiden name of mother

7. Date of birth: day - month - year

8. Place of birth

9.  Means of Support: in addition to occupations, this column contains additional information about family members living together. For example, the wife's entry may say "living with husband."   There are several places to view translations of occupations. Two such listings can be found at http://tinyurl.com/ytmro3   and   http://tinyurl.com/25y6tv

10. Previous place of domicile may contain useful information about where the person lived before Belchatow.

11. Remarks: This column may list information about military service, death, incarceration, moves to other locations, etc.

A copy of a page in the Book of Residents is shown below in the original Cyrillic. Not all the columns shown here were extracted by the archivist and therefore are not included in the index.  Omitted were the columns translated as Civil Status (marital status) and Social Class (descent i.e. social class. E.g. townsman) as well as the column stating the religion, since only the Jewish residents were indexed for this database

Click on images below to enlarge

As with all data found in documents, one must corroborate the findings with other known information, or substantiate the data listed here with other records.  There were some errors made by the census taker as well as misinformation provided by responders either intentionally or unintentionally. For example, there were many reasons why people misrepresented their ages.  Check dates of birth given here with actual birth records and other documents that list this information before accepting it as fact.  

An overview about Books of Residents can be read at: http://www.jri-poland.org/bor.htm

The information contained in this database was indexed from the Book of Residents at the Lodz Polish State Archives.  Noted Lodz researcher Petje Schroder did the errata on the file and translated the notes column.  Hadassah Lipsius offered her technical expertise   and vast knowledge of Jewish Polish documents to help create the file. This information is accessible to you today thanks to Jewish Records Indexing-Poland, Stanley Diamond's leadership, and Michael Tobias' skills as webmaster. 

Roni Seibel Liebowitz
Belchatow Town
Leader

For more information on Belchatow see the Shtetlinks page.

 

June 2007

 



Surviving records less than 100 years old are held in the Civil Records Offices (Urzad Stanu Cywilnego) of each town.

For information on the 20th century records available for your town, visit the Routes to Roots Foundation website, CLICK ON THE 'SEARCH DATABASE' button (on the right side) and enter the town name. Look for the town name in the Repository/City column of the search results. There are typically links to lists of available births, marriage and death records for the town.

Note, however, the Routes to Roots Foundation database may indicate turn of the century records that have already been transferred to the appropriate branch of the Polish State Archives where they can be indexed for the JRI-Poland database.

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