Jewish births, deaths, marriages, and divorces in the Russian Empire were recorded in synagogue ledgers. Here are some examples of the information that was recorded and how it appears in the records. Russian headings and entries were often accompanied by ones in Hebrew, either on the same page or on an adjacent page.

















Example:  Odessa 1892
1. Births numbered in order, Female (a) and Male (b).
2. Who performed the circumcision.
3. Date and month of birth and circumcision.
4. Place of birth.
5. Status or estate of the father, and father and mother's names.
6. Whether son or daughter, and given name.

The first record shown is for a male birth #28 (Col. 1b).  Periodically (generally once a month), a record was made of the total number of male and female births and the numbering was started anew.  This record is dated January 6, 1892 (3a), Tevet 18 (3b), for a birth in Odessa (4).  The parents are Odessa meshchanin Leizor Blik and his wife Feiga (5) and the child is a son named Ruvin (6).  Under Ruvin's name it says that he was actually born on Dec. 31, 1891 and circumcised on Jan. 7, 1892.  This is unusual but occurs sometimes, and in this case column 3 may give the date the birth was registered. 

Below it is female birth #35, also dated January 6, 1892 for a birth in Odessa.  The parents are Turkish subject Shliome Moshkovich and his wife Frejda.  The child is a daughter named Mindel.


















Example:  Odessa 1904.
1. Marriages numbered in order.
2. Ages of bride (a) and groom (b).
3. Who performed the marriage.
4. Date and month, Christian (a) and Jewish (b).
5. Terms of the marriage contract and name of witnesses.
6. Names of Bride and groom, including status and (usually) fathers' names.

Headings taken from records in Simferopol 1907 (not pictured)
1. Divorces numbered in order.
2. Ages of wife (a) and husband (b).
3. Who prepared the documents (get or khalitsa) and who were the witnesses.
4. Date and month, Christian (a) and Jewish (b).
5. Reason for divorce.
6. Who granted the divorce.
7. Names of divorcing couple, including status and (usually) fathers' name.


















Example:  Simferopol 1910.
1. Deaths numbered in order, Female (a) and Male (b). (headings not in photo)
2. Place of death and burial.
3. Date and month, Christian (a) and Jewish (b).
4. Age.
5. Illness or cause of death.
6. Name of deceased.

Translated and explained by
Alan Shuchat


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