On the occasion of Hanukkah, which will last until December 6, Glavarhiv published Jewish metric books on Moscow and the county towns of the Moscow province for 1870-1918. Get acquainted with records can be found in the online service “My Family”. Materials are available in Russian.
“The religious community of Jews in Moscow was formed in the middle of the 19th century, and metric records of births, marriages, divorces and deaths were kept even earlier. On the first day of Hanukkah, we opened access to books and notebooks that will help citizens find information about their ancestors who lived in Moscow and the Moscow province. Thanks to online access, you can view the materials not only in the capital, but also anywhere in the world. For the Catholic Christmas in “My family” we will publish metric books of Catholics and Lutherans “, – the chief told Main Archival Department of the City of Moscow Yaroslav Onopenko.
Mandatory keeping of books by rabbis for the recording of acts was established by the “Regulations on Jews”, approved on April 13, 1835. The books and notebooks preserved in the fund of the Moscow Choral Synagogue were separately intended for the registration of births, marriages, divorces and deaths.
Until the 1890s, books and notebooks were kept only in Moscow. This is due to the fact that the inhabitants of settlements where there were no state rabbis had to turn to the rabbis of nearby cities. However, by the end of the 19th century, the number of Jews in the Moscow province had increased, and deeds had also been registered there since the 1890s.
In addition to the generally accepted date of birth, marriage, and death, the acts also indicated the day and name of the month on the Jewish calendar. Interestingly, the date of birth registration for the girl was considered the day of naming, and for the boy – the day of circumcision. In the column with information about the parents, the mother’s maiden name was indicated in addition to everything else. There was also a separate column, which prescribed the address of the family.
In the books on the married there was a column “Main acts or records of the obligation between the marrying and their witnesses”, which entered the names of issued documents and the names of witnesses. The books of the dead initially lacked information about the place of burial. Indicate the place of residence of the deceased at the time of death and the name of the cemetery where the burial took place, began only in the early twentieth century.
When performing the rite of naming, circumcision, marriage, divorce or burial, the rabbi had to make a corresponding entry in Hebrew and Russian in his own notebook, and then transfer it to the metric book within a month. Extracts from the metric books were submitted annually to the provincial authorities (also in two languages).
All materials were kept in a synagogue or prayer house. Private notebooks of rabbis and metric books were to be certified by members of the Jewish spiritual boards. They kept records of births, marriages, divorces and deaths. After the enactment of the provision on the subordination of Jews in the cities and counties to the general government, approved on December 19, 1844, the city councils began to verify the metric records in the synagogue books.
Corrections in the metric books were not allowed. Mistakes were enclosed in brackets or crossed out, and the correct version was written on special sheets in the attachments. If the rabbi could not perform all the rites on his own because of the large territory or because of the large number of people in his charge, he appointed assistants. They registered the acts in his presence or with his written permission.