The Lodz Chevra Kadisha Indexing Project
At the 2000 Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Salt Lake City, JRI-Poland announced plans for a new initiative to index the Lodz Chevra Kadisha (Burial Society) records, which includes the burial records of the Old Cemetery in Lodz. This project is now underway.
The Old Lodz Cemetery was established in 1811 and essentially closed in 1892. However, burials continued to take place until 1922 because a number of burial plots had been previously purchased and because it became necessary to utilize the cemetery during World War I.
The Lodz Chevra Kadisha records include the more than 5,400 deaths listed in Stary Cmentarz Zydowski w Lodzi (The Old Cemetery of Lodz), published by the Jewish Community of Lodz in 1938. The authors, noted historians Philip Friedman and Rabbi Pinchas Gliksman, had no way of knowing how invaluable their efforts would become: within a year, the Nazis had invaded Lodz and, during the course of the occupation, removed the gravestones from the Old Lodz Cemetery for use as paving stones. The exact number of burials or gravestones in the Old Lodz Cemetery is not known. For a complete description of the contents of Stary Cmentarz Zydowski w Lodzi, see The Old Cemetery in Lodz, by Chaim Freedman.
JRI-Poland has taken on this indexing project with the enthusiastic support of Mr. Symcha Keller, head of the Jewish Community of Lodz. The much larger New Lodz Cemetery, established in 1892, survived nearly intact and planning for the indexing of the burial records of the New Lodz Cemetery is underway. More than 180,000 indices to these burials will be added to the JRI-Poland searchable database in the near future.
Above: During World War II, the Nazis removed the gravestones from the old Lodz cemetery for use as paving stones.
The Chevra Kadisha records are made up of two separate lists, each with its own numbering system. The first list is the Polish Subsidiary Death Register, 1826-1893, containing 2,034 entries. This list includes the individual’s surname, given name, age, day, month and year of death. In some instances a maiden surname is included. Only adults ages 16 and over are included in this list. The registry numbers begin with #3412 and are preceded by a “P”.
The Hebrew List of Burials, 1822-1922, is a record of 3,411 individuals whose graves were marked with gravestones in the Old Lodz Cemetery. This list contains the same information as in the Polish list, with the addition of the father’s name, and whether the individual was a kohen or levy. As a rule, children’s graves were not marked with gravestones in the Old Lodz Cemetery. However, the exceptions to this rule are included in the data. Registry numbers begin with #1, end with #3411, and are preceded by an “H”. Occasionally an individual may be included in both the Hebrew and Polish lists.
Above: The cover of a record book of the Lodz Chevra Kadisha, from Stary Cmentarz Zydowski w Lodzi.
The Lodz Chevra Kadisha Indexing Project should be of interest to anyone with Jewish roots in the Lodz region. As a result of the great influx of workers to Lodz in the 19th century, records include not only individuals who were born and lived in Lodz proper, but also those with roots in many regional Polish villages and towns. Some of the records in the Hebrew and Polish lists may coincide with data already in the JRI-Poland database and will provide additional valuable information for anyone researching their family in this region.
The first phase of this project, indexing of the Polish Subsidiary Death Register, 1826-1893, has been completed and added to the JRI-Poland searchable database. Data entry was done by Shirley Rotbein Flaum and proofreading by Morris Wirth.
The data was first entered from the original text in Stary Cmentarz Zydowski w Lodzi. Feminine surname suffixes such as “ówna” and “owa” were removed and the feminine suffix “a” altered. Alternate surname spellings were added, where deemed necessary by experts consulted or by the fact that an alternate spelling may have been found in the index of the book. Known typographical errors in the original data were corrected.
A list of unique surnames taken from the data is available.
The second phase, indexing of the Hebrew List of Burials, 1822-1922, is now in progress. Hebrew-speaking volunteers are in the process translating entries and verifying Hebrew dates. The dedicated volunteers involved with this second phase are: Gilbert Hendlisz, Shmuel Kehati, Sarah Lasry, Yaacov Lipkin, Hanoch Magal and Israel Pickholtz. Look for this new database to be online by approximately June 1, 2001. For further information, contact Shirley Rotbein Flaum.
Polish Subsidiary Death Register, 1826-1893
|Surname||Given Name(s)||Year||Registry Number||Date of Death||Age||Maiden Name|
Hebrew List of Burials, 1822-1922
NOTE: v = “vel” or “also known as”
|Surname||Given Name||Year||Registry Number||Date (Civil – to be added)||Date (Hebrew)||Age||Maiden Surname||Father’s Name||Notes (Levite or Kohen refer to male or Father)|
|Simchah||1822||H1||10 Av 5582||Moshe|
|ROGOZINSKI||Rachel||1825||H2||17 Tammuz 5585||25||Menachem||wife of the baker|
|Moshe||1826||H3||28 Sivan 5586||Rabbi Zev Wolf||Kohen; grandson of Mikhal Ka”tz|
|JEROZOLIMSKI||Aharon||1828||H4||3 or 23 Av 5588||9||Rabbi Menachem Zev||Kohen; born in 5578|
|ZONENBERG||Pinchas||1830||H5||17 Adar 5590||56||Naftali Tzvi||Kohen; died on Friday|
|Miryam||1830||H6||7 Tishrei 5591||Berel||Levite|
|PINKUS||Beila||1831||H7||5 Av 5591||Shlomoh|
|Shimshi||1832||H8||26 Av 5592||Yehuda|
|ZOLNIERSKI v ARONOWICZ||Shlomoh||1833||H9||28 Tevet 5593||Aharon|
|Rivkah||1834||H10||4 Tishri 5595||Avraham|
|Rivkah||1836||H11||15 Elul 5596|
|DOBRZYNSKI||Elimelekh||1836||H13||14 Cheshvan 5597||36||Natan|
|ROGOZINSKI||Moshe||1836||H14||28 Kislev 5597||Tzvi Hersch||Kohen; 4th day of Chanuka|
|FAJTLOWICZ||Moshe||1837||H15||25 Elul 5597||70||Ezriel|
|GOTSCHALL||Ozer||1837||H16||19 Tishri 5598||Yehuda|
|BRONOWSKI||Yehuda Leib||1837||H17||25 Tishri 5598||67||Yedidyah|
|PILGRIM||Avraham||1838||H18||29 Kislev 5599||70||Shmuel|
|Shlomoh||1839||H19||3 Tishrei 5600||Yakov||day after Rosh Hashana|
|HEBER||Betzalel Yehuda||1839||H20||15 Shvat 5600||66||Yakov||Levite|
|LIPSKI||Yitzchak||1840||H21||Adar I 5600||72|
|Lieba Mariyam||1840||H22||29 Sivan 5600||Yehuda||Rosh Hodesh Tammuz eve|
|Gelleh||1840||H23||24 Cheshvan 5601||Shmuel|
|WAJLAND||Meshulam Feivel Shalom||1841||H24||15 Shvat 5601||20||Rabbi Shimon||from Leczyca|
|LEWKOWICZ||Breina||1841||H25||12 Nisan 5601||Avraham|
|NAUMBERG||Ester||1842||H26||4 Elul 5602||40||Rabbi Pinchas||Kohen|
|Ester||1842||H27||12 Elul 5602||Zev||Kohen|
|KOHEN||Yehuda Leib||1843||H28||24 Shvat 5603||Rabbi Naftali||Ka”tz-Kohen; descendant of Rabbi Naftali Head of Beit Din of Poznan|
|GUTENBERG||Yokheved||1843||H29||Iyar 5603||21||FRENKEL||Shmuel||Sega”l-Levite; from Kalisz|
|TRYBOWNIK||Rabbi Rafael Yakov||1843||H30||13 Cheshvan 5604||30||Hersch, of Piotrkow||murdered on Monday|
|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.