Subject: Records for Vitebsk & Vicinity
From: "Nancy Grossman" 
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 20:20:06 +0200

This may be heartening news for some of the Vitebsk (& vicinity)
researchers.  In 1995 a cousin of mine received a research report from RAGAS
on family in Vitebsk conducted at the National Archives in Minsk.  The
information on sources used seems to co-incide with the information given by
Howard Rensin; however, I received 4 pages of information on my family and
now know the first name of my great-great-great-great grandfather Kopel, who
would have been born in the mid to late 18th century.  The information
appears identical or very similar to information found on revision lists.
It includes the head of household, his age, other members of the household
(sons, daughters, mothers, etc...) and their ages, patronymics, the street
they lived on and the name of their landlord, notes on draftees and
induction dates, notes on those assigned to the town community, extracts
from metrical records with the record number (which may or may not still
exist), references to previous revision lists and the names of the head of
household's brothers along with the towns they lived or traded in; in this
case Kursk, Belyi, Smolensk, and Karachev.

The record groups are as follows:

Quote from RAGAS:

In the record groups the "Vitebsk Town Government", the "Vitebsk Province
Government" the "Vitebsk Province Statistic Committee" there are the
following documents concerning to genealogy of persons of the surname
BLINIK, who resided in the town of Vitebsk, 1874-1915.


RAGAS lists the record groups as follows:

Family List of Jews of the Town of Vitebsk for the Year 1874
Archival source: Record Group 2496, Inventory 1, Item 2520 (page & entry

General List of Male Jews of the Town of Vitebsk for the Year 1874
Archival Source: Record Group 1416, Inventory 1, Item 2680 (page & entry

Case about Conducting a Census for Jewish Population of Vitebsk Province for
the year 1874
Archival Source: Record Group 2502, Inventory 1, Item 239 (page & entry no.)

An Extract from Metrical Record of Jews Being Born for the Year 1894 in the
Town of Lutzin and the Lutzin District (copy of 27 July 1913)
Archival Source:  this line is cut off my copy but appears to read:
Record Group 2496, Inventory 1, Item 2164 (page & entry no.)

Alphabet (sic) to Family Lists of Traders and Jews-Commoners of the Town of
Vitebsk for the Year 1915
Archival source: Record Group 2496, Inventory 1, Item 3236 (page & entry

Further Quote from RAGAS:

...I obtained a reference compiled on basis of family lists of Jewish
Community of Vitebsk, 1874-1915. These records show Shimon Levi BLINIK and
his sons, as well as his siblings and nephews (see enclosed reference and
genealogical table). There is genealogical information for 3 generations of
the BLINIK family from mid-1800 to 1915.


Although it would be nice to have access to the earlier revision lists &
metrical records as well as learn the maiden names of wives; the situation
is not all that dismal.

A printout on Vitebsk from the Museum of the Diaspora obtained in 1983
mentions that the Jewish community kept a Pinkas book from 1706 onwards.  I
contacted the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People in
Jerusalem but the person I spoke with told me they did not have a Pinkas
book for Vitebsk.  The fact it was mentioned in the printout led me to
believe it still exists.  How can we find out what happened to it?  Was it
destroyed during the war?  Is it mentioned in the Yizkor book?

Nancy Grossman
Frankfurt, Germany