JGSGB Publication Addenda

As everyone knows, any reference book once published is immediately out of date as information changes all the time.  This applies to general information and to specific data.  With the Internet, changes happen even more rapidly than ever before.  This applies a lot to website addresses and new websites.  Republishing our Jewish Ancestors? Guides every time a few websites change is not realistic, so we will be providing updated information for of our Guides on this page.  We will add not only new website links but some more general information.

JGSGB Guide to Latvia and Estonia

Two addenda documents have been created for the JGSGB Latvia and Estonia Guide that was published in 2016, the first addendum published in 2019 can be downloaded by clicking Here; and the second addendum published in 2020 can be downloaded Here. The full Latvia and Estonia Guide can be obtained from the JGSGB Shop site in either hardcopy of as a download.



A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Poland - Update 10 July 2014

"Discussions are taking place in Poland about instituting new legislation covering access to birth, marriage and death records. The major item of interest for genealogists is a clause under discussion that would still require that birth records be 100 years old before they could be released while marriage and death records could be made available after 80 years, rather than the 100 years currently in force.

Another significant change being discussed is a clause that would enable Civil Registration Offices (USCs) to take up to 10 years between the date that records become 100-years old and the time they are transferred to the relevant branch office of the Polish State Archives. The clause would allow Civil Records Offices up to 10 years to prepare records that are 80 to 100-years old for transfer to the Branch Archives.  (Where the condition of the record registers do not meet their standards, the Polish State Archives requires that the books be fumigated and/or repaired prior to being moved to the archives.) 

There is another clause under discussion covering death records that would require transfer to the Branch Archive within two years of when the latest records in the books become 80 years old.

Jewish Records Indexing-Poland has not taken a position on this pending legislation; any statements from other organizations do not reflect the viewpoint of JRI-Poland.

JRI-Poland's approach has always been one of careful analysis and consultation. We have been in touch with major parties interested in this legislation and will continue to do so.  When there is additional information, we will share it on this forum.

Stanley Diamond

Executive Director, Jewish Records Indexing - Poland"



A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Poland - Update 3 August 2014

 "The first cadastral map of Lemberg/Lwow/Lvov to be posted in the Gesher Galicia Cadastral Map Room:


A complete cadastral map of the city of Lemberg surveyed 1849 and lithographed in 1853. A very clear and beautiful full-color cadastral map, showing this gem of the Austrian Empire already developed with many of the streets and significant buildings still visible today."



A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Poland - Update 22 August 2014 (updated 9 June 2018)

Gesher Galicia has added two new inventories of cadastral map holdings in the Rzeszow and Przemysl branches of the Polish State Archives

Przemysl: https://www.geshergalicia.org/maps-polish-state-archives-przemysl/

Rzeszow: https://www.geshergalicia.org/maps-polish-state-archives-rzeszow/

A Guide to Jewish Genealogy in Poland - Update 20 September 2014

Announcing three recent additions to the Gesher Galicia Cadastral Map Room:

Krakow Street Map Under Occupation ca. 1941

http://maps.geshergalicia.org/ special/krakow-occupation-nd/

This important map showing Krakow (Cracow, Krakau) under German occupation during WWII was provided to Gesher Galicia by the Jewish Historical Institute of Warsaw, Poland. Four zones are highlighted by hand, including the town center ('mixed/business district', A), initial German residential area (B), extended German residential area (C), and the ghetto ('Jewish residential', D). Streets are labeled with their Polish names, but some are Germanized. The Kazimierz district, two Jewish cemeteries and key churches are indicated, but not synagogues.

There are also two cadastral maps for two different towns named Rudawka: one in Poland, the other about 40 kilometers NNW, across the border in Ukraine.

Rudawka Village Cadastral Map 1852 (Gmina Bircza)

http://maps.geshergalicia.org/ cadastral/rudawka-1852/

This is a selectively-colored cadastral map of the village of Rudawka (now in the Gmina Bircza of Poland), surveyed 1852 and lithographed 1854. The map shows no village center or masonry buildings, but includes a modest estate and two small Catholic chapels.

Rudawka Village Cadastral Map 1853 (Stary Sambor Raion)

http://maps.geshergalicia.org/ cadastral/rudawka-rudavka- 1853/

A complete, selectively-colored cadastral map of the village of Rudawka (Rudavka,) now a defunct settlement in the Stary Sambor Raion of Ukraine, surveyed 1853 and lithographed 1854. Covering a large but sparsely populated village straddling the Rudawka River with two other rivers flowing in, the map shows no village center or masonry buildings, and only a tiny Catholic church.

(Note to researchers: there are several other formerly Galician towns with the name of, or beginning with, Rudawka. Knowing the coordinates of "your" towns are key when names are so similar.)

The map room home page is:  http://maps.geshergalicia.org



All Galician Database
28 July 2014:
New databases added: :Drohobycz Jewish Birth Index (1921-1938)Kosów Jewish Marriage Records (1852-1876)Mielnica Jewish Death Records (1820-1851); and Sanok Jewish Marriage Index (Grooms Only) (1916-1939).

Major updates to existing databases:  Thousands of more records added to the existing vital records collections: Lviv Jewish Birth Records (1805-1871)Lviv Jewish Death Records (1805-1880)Lviv Jewish Marriage Records (1801-1866); and Sanok Jewish Birth Index (1869-1913) (the 1890-1913 births are new)

Want to know more about finding records in Poland please buy the guide.



3 November 2014:

 American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee - http://search.archives.jdc.org

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee announced that they will be posting online with free public access its Poland collection from 1945-1949. This collection was confiscated by the Communist Authorities. To access the collection go to: http://tinyurl.com/nhrj5vw


Update 6 November 2014
Additional Information not covered in the Guide:
The Museum of History of Polish Jews (Polish: Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich) is a museum on the site of the former Warsaw Ghetto. The cornerstone was laid in 2007, and the museum was first opened on April 19, 2013. The museum features a multimedia narrative exhibition about the vibrant Jewish community that flourished in Poland for a thousand years, which opened to the public in October 2014.

The Core Exhibition occupies more than 4,000 m2of space, and will present the thousand year history of Polish Jews – once the largest Jewish community in the world. History of Polish Jews will be presented in eight galleries:

Forest – the gallery tells the tale of how, fleeing from persecution in Western Europe, the Jews come to the land of current Poland. A place where they arrived and were told by the voice that came from the sky – Po-lin (en. Here rested). In this way, Poland for the next 1000 years would become the largest European home for the Jewish community.

First Encounters (the Middle Ages) – devoted to the first Jewish settlers in Poland. Visitors meet Ibrahim ibn Jakub, a Jewish diplomat from Cordoba, author of famous notes from a trip to Europe. One of the most interesting objects presented in the gallery will be the first sentence written in Yiddish in the Prayer Book of 1272.

Paradisus Iudaeorum (15th and 16th centuries) – this gallery presents how the Jewish community was organized, what role Jews played in the country’s economy. One of the most important elements in this gallery will be an interactive model of Kraków and Jewish Kazimierz, showing the rich culture of the local Jewish community. Visitors will be able to understand that religious tolerance in Poland made it a ‘Paradisus ludaeorum’ – ‘Jewish paradise’. This golden age of the Jewish community in Poland ended in pogroms that occurred during the Khmelnitsky Uprising. This event will be commemorated by a symbolic fire gall leading to the next gallery.

The Jewish Town (17th and 18th centuries) – this gallery presents the history of Polish Jews until the period of the partitions. It is shown by an example of a typical borderland town where Jews constituted a significant part of the population. The most important part of this gallery is a unique reconstruction of the roof and ceiling of Gwoździec, a wooden synagogue that was located in Ukraine.

Encounters with Modernity (19th century) – this part of the exhibition presents the time of the partitions when Jews shared the fate of Polish society divided between Austria, Prussia and Russia. The exhibition includes what role played Jewish entrepreneurs, such as Izrael Kalmanowicz Poznański, in the industrial revolution in Polish lands. This part also tells visitors about what changes underwent in traditional Jewish rituals and other areas of life, and the emergence of new social movements, religious and political. This period is also marked by the emergence of modern anti-semitism, which Polish Jews had to face.

On the Jewish Street – a gallery devoted to the period of the Second Polish Republic, which is seen – despite the challenges that the young country had to face – as a second golden age in the history of Polish Jews. A graphical timeline will be presented with the most important political events of the interwar period. The exhibition will also highlight Jewish film, theater and literature.

Holocaust – this gallery shows the horror of the Holocaust, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 90% of the 3.3 million Polish Jews. Visitors are shown the history of the Warsaw Ghetto, and are introduced to Emanuel Ringelblum and Oneg Shabbat. The gallery also presents various reactions of Poles to the extermination of Jews.

Postwar Years – the last gallery shows the period after 1945, when most of the survivors of the Holocaust emigrated, mostly because of the post-war takeover of Poland by the Soviets and the state sponsored anti-Semitic campaign in 1968 conducted by the communist authorities. An important date is the year 1989 (marking the end of Soviet domination), followed by the revival of a small but very dynamic Jewish community in Poland.
Update 12 November 2014
About two-thirds of the Krakow Census of 1880 is now viewable online for free, with (handwritten) name indices, thanks to Poland's National Archives in Krakow and National Digital Archives. It is not known whether the rest will be similarly available.

The general procedure is to first check the two name indices, which are roughly alphabetized by surname of the head of household:



When you find an index entry for a person of interest, record the two numbers next to it in the "Lizcba domu" and "Dziel. miasta" columns (e.g., 50 and VIII).

Then, visit


which has links to groups of census images, and find the link that includes "Dz." followed by your "Dziel. miasta" number (Roman numerals) and has a "nr" range including your "Lizcba domu" number (Arabic numerals). For example, if your numbers are 50 and VIII, the relevant link is "Spis ludnosci 1880, Dz. VIII, nr 25-67, T. 19."

After following that link, search for a census image that looks like a spreadsheet and has your "Liczba domu" number (e.g, 50) in the top right. There might be several with the same "Liczba domu" number, and one or more should have information about the person/family of interest.

Along the way, you will need to enlarge thumbnail images (by clicking on them), and possibly enlarge even further (by clicking on the icon that looks like a white rectangle on a black circle near the bottom right of the first enlargement). Fully enlarged, high-resolution images can be saved to your computer ("Download" link below the image)



Update 21 January 2015

The following new book should be considered along with the rest of the Bibliography on page 71

"Polin: 1000 Years of Jewish Life in Poland" Published by Polin the Museum of the History of Polish Jews

(2014) ISBN 978-83-62887-00-2

Update 29 May 2017


The Yiddish Book Center has the 3 volume set by Leyzer Ran entitled "Jerusalem of Lithuania" (Yerusholayim de-Lita : ilustrirt un dokumentirt) available for online reading and download [NOTE: the links to the books no longer work due to a redesign of the Yiddish Book Center website and no alternative link can be found on the website. If new links become available they will be added]. These books are available through other book sellers. This set is the first developed as a pictorial history of the Jewish community of Vilna. See the following links:

http://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/collections/yiddish-books/spb-nybc314075/ - leyzer-ran-yerusholayim-de-lita-ilustrirt-un-dokumentirt
http://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/collections/yiddish-books/spb-nybc314391/ - leyzer-ran-yerusholayim-de-lita-ilustrirt-un-dokumentirt-volume-2-vol-2
http://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/collections/yiddish-books/spb-nybc314392/ - leyzer-ran-yerusholayim-de-lita-ilustrirt-un-dokumentirt-volume-3-vol-3
Be advised that Vol. 1 and 2 are very large files - over 2 and 3GB in size.

Update 12 July 2017
Krakow - A Guide to Jewish Genealogy and History, Third Edition (April 2017) 170 pages. Geoffrey M. Weisgard.

Foreword by Andrew Zalewski, M.D., Gesher Galicia Board Member

Published by Gesher Galicia, in association with British researcher Geoffrey Weisgard, this highly readable guide to Krakow family history research is an essential tool for all those with an interest in Krakow. The book describes in great detail the wide range of information sources about genealogy and the history of the Jewish communities of Krakow and Kazimierz from the 16th and earlier centuries to the present, and including the Holocaust and the important decades before and after.

This third edition contains much new information that was made public since the last printing in 2015. Many of the new sources have come to light as a result of special interest groups, like Gesher Galicia, and continuing academic research in Poland, Israel, America, and elsewhere. The variety of different sources illustrates the diversity of the Jewish community in Krakow, particularly in the late 19th and 20th centuries.

A lengthy article on the history of Jewish Education in Krakow is included as an Appendix, and there is a comprehensive bibliography and a detailed index. The book also explores research opportunities in Krakow and elsewhere, thereby providing useful suggestions on how to add more names to your own Galician family tree.

PAGES 32-35

Updated 3 August 2015

"There are important reasons to repeat your past searches on the JRI-Poland database.

A significant change to the JRI-Poland search system was introduced just prior to the July 2015 conference in Israel. Following one-year of intensive development by Michael Tobias, there is now a new search system with additional options for refining your searches with faster results, especially for the JRI-Poland surname mapper.

The new search system features:

·         A new standardised format for all vital records results.

·         Exact spelling

·         Given name searches include some limited given name synonyms.

·         Quick access mapping link for all search results (for town-based data).

·         Due to the recent change in Polish Privacy Law, Marriage and Death results and Mapping will include data up to 1934 where available.

·         Improvement in the handling of accented characters.

·         Introduction of "Fuzzy Matching, a technique to find close matches that are mis-spelled or mistyped. There are 3 levels of Fuzzy Matching starting with searches for names or towns which are different from your request by 1 letter or pair of transposed letters.

There are links to a full explanation of Fuzzy Matching on the JRI-Poland search page.

There are exclusive tools for searching on the JRI-Poland website. Instead of just surnames, it's possible to search the JRI-Poland database by surname, given name, and town or a combination of these. In addition, you can search by year ranges and record types.

Also, only by searching through the JRI-Poland portal can you specify a radius of, say, 50 or 100 kilometres from certain geographical coordinates. This can still focus your search, but also yield results from several different Gubernias.

Together, these features provide an invaluable tool - both for expanding your overview or focusing searches and solving dilemmas associated with too many results when a search involves large towns and common surnames.  But these extras are only available as a standard feature when you search via www.jri-poland.org."


Page 41

Updated 14 December 2015

Podgorze 1847 Cadastral Map on the Gesher Galicia Map Room

The first map from a new cooperation agreement between Gesher Galicia and the Polish National Archives in Krakow, this beautiful 1847 Podgorze cadastral map: http://maps.geshergalicia.org/cadastral/podgorze-1847/ A complete full-color lithographed cadastral map of the town of Podgorze (Podgorza, Josefstadt), surveyed in 1847 and lithographed in 1849. Although dominated by its much larger neighbor city of Krakow across the Wisla (Vistula) River, at the time this map was made Podgorze was a separate town under Austrian rule. On this carefully made map, parcels and houses are all clearly numbered, and many features shown are still visible today. The residential area centers near the river but also sprawls along a main road looping through town. Key features shown include the ancient Krakus Mound, the large Karl's Bridge, two churches and a Catholic cemetery; important Jewish sites would appear 30 years later. Images for this map were provided by the Archiwum Narodowe w Krakowie. The GG Map Room home page: http://maps.geshergalicia.org/ Our partner archive in Krakow: http://www.ank.gov.pl/ We anticipate posting an important mid-19th-century map of Krakow from this same archive collection soon. On a personal note: This map is the result of efforts begun by the late Pamela Weisberger more than two years ago, to bring valuable genealogical resources from the Polish National Archives in Krakow directly to family history researchers for their study and research. Following additional work and communication by Maciej Orzechowski and myself, six weeks ago the Archives generously agreed to provide Gesher Galicia with high-quality map images from their collection, and to permit the assembly and online publication of complete maps as 'walkable data' and an essential research tool. We ordered and received the scanned sheet images soon after, and now have assembled this wonderful map for all to use. This is only one agreement and only one success in the long-term project begun by Pamela eight years ago, to gather and present landowner records and maps of Galicia to our members and other researchers. My involvement in this work began in early 2012 at Pamela's invitation, after Alex Feller and I had struggled to assemble separate sheet images of the Rohatyn cadastral map gathered by Gesher Galicia into something useful for the town descendants' group. Collaboration between Pamela, Alex, and others, with Pamela's vision to link maps and data and memories in all Galician towns, is what started the Gesher Galicia Map Room and drove its growth. We hope we can honor her memory and build on her vision by further growing the site and extending its utility in the coming years.

Jay Osborn

Gesher Galicia Map Room Coordinator maps@geshergalicia.org


Page 41

Updated 14 December 2015

Krakow Cadastral Map 1856 on the Gesher Galicia Map Room We've just posted a beautiful historical cadastral map of the important Galician city of Krakow to the Gesher Galicia Map Room: http://maps.geshergalicia.org/cadastral/krakow-krakau-cracow-1856/ A complete, partially-colored, lithographed cadastral map of the city of Krakow (Krakau, Cracow), surveyed in 1848, corrected and lithographed in 1856; surrounding the city are seven suburbs including Kazimierz, then still an island between branches of the Wisla (Vistula) River. The modern city is easily recognizable in this 160-year-old map, which includes a complete record of building and parcel numbers. All the features of an important 19th-century city are shown, including hospitals, theaters, government and military buildings, schools, brickworks, breweries and a vodka distillery, several synagogues (the Kupa synagogue is labeled) and two large Jewish cemeteries, dozens of churches and monasteries, several meyerhofs, the Wawel castle, and a southeastern rail extension dating from the same year as this map. Images for this map were provided by the Archiwum Narodowe w Krakowie. On the online map page of the National Archive in Krakow you will see alternate versions of some of the map sheets included in our image; some of those alternate sheets are fully colored and very beautiful:


For the assembled image we have presented of the complete city, we chose these partially-colored sheets instead because of their usefulness to historians: all of the parcel and building numbers are included, allowing genealogists and others to locate exactly where in the city their families lived, or owned businesses, or mingled with the several overlapping cultural communities. We hope you enjoy your visit to this 19th-century version of the modern city of Krakow. The GG Map Room home page: http://maps.geshergalicia.org/

Our partner archive in Krakow: http://www.ank.gov.pl/ Jay Osborn Gesher Galicia Map Room Coordinator Warsaw, Poland maps@geshergalicia.org


P157 - Internet Articles

Updated 28 September 2017

For those interested in the Great Synagogue of Vilnius, please follow updates and details at:


Great Synagogue Listed on Cultural Treasures Registry, including a map by archaeologist Dr. Jon Seligman and further details at:



Chapter 15 P59

Updated 5 April 2019

The State Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Economy in Lithuania recently published a new 50-page travel guide to Jewish Lithuania. It is free to print from tourism offices and downloadable as a pdf. To obtain the pdf go to: https://www.lithuania.travel/en/publications 
Click on the Jewish Cultural Heritage In Lithuania. It is available both in English and Lithuanian. The guide covers both larger towns/cities: Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda Siauliai,Telsiai and Ukmerge and smaller areas with entries on almost two dozen other localities.
Another site, https://www.lzb.lt/en/2018/11/21/visit-the-lost-shtetlakh-the-jewish-towns-in-lithuania/  has a section on visiting the "Lost Shtetls of Lithuania". This was a joint-venture between the Lithuanian Jewish Community and www.lietuvon.lt. It includes links to downloadable pdf materials for many sites. Some of the material is in English and Lithuanian, while other information is only in Lithuanian. Use a translation service such as https://translate.google.com to help you navigate the pages.