17 April 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday: Whoo-Hoo! JRI-Poland and AGAD!

There's nothing like immediate gratification to brighten one's day! Tuesday night I read an announcement from Jewish Records Indexing-Poland that, as previously promised, the AGAD Archives in Warsaw (Archiwum Giowne Akt Dawnych - Central Archives of Historical Records) has started to digitized and put online vital records in their collections. Not only that, but the first online registers from Fond 300 (Tarnopol and Stanislawow oblasts), Signatures 1 through 2514, are linked to JRI-Poland database search results. I immediately found a record of great interest for my Liebross family history research.

Previously, when I wanted to acquire records that had been indexed by JRI-Poland, I ordered them via the efficient system set up and managed by Israel Pickholtz (thank you, Israel!). Israel P. would collect orders and then send them to AGAD who would fill them, send the records to Israel who would distribute them to those who had ordered. Since some money had to change hands, this limited how many of the records I'd ordered. 

I had tried to sort through the indexed records on the JRI-Poland website that would likely tie (using the standard genealogy principle of working backwards from what one knows) to my known Liebross and Wenkert family surnames and relatives. Since not every name listed on a record was always indexed, I did not catch one that would have been of interest.

Now for some indexed records in Fond 300, when one searches on surnames in the JRI-Poland database, one may click on a link on the far left side of the results table: "View scanned image." Before using the link, note the akta number and the year of the record. The link currently takes one to the first scanned image of the Signature (or book). At that point one must click on page images to locate the correct registered vital record (Akta). In some of these books the Akta number starts over at number 1 with each new year. So, if you don't immediately find the record of interest, make sure to double-check that you are in the correct year of the register.
JRI-Poland does intend to place direct links to image pages on which indexed records occur.

As a sidelight, I have to say that seeing the records in the context of digitized images of entire register books is stunning. Before, I merely received a page. Now I may see what the actual register books look like. Very nice. 

Birth Record for Ester, 16 September 1885, Jewish Metrical Books, Town of Jaglienica Births 1860-1904,
1906, Tarnopol Wojewodztwa, Fond 300, Year 1885,  Sygnatura 259, Akta 113, Archiwum Giowne Akt
Dawnych (Central Archives of Historical Records), Warsaw, Poland.

I have not had this record translated yet, but I can make out a few salient facts. Ester (no surname and no father is given on the record) was born in 1885 to Ruchel Liberus in Schulhanowka (now Shul'ganuvka - and not listed in JewishGen's Communities database, but found in the Gazetteer). Ruchel was the daughter of Mane and Cirl Liberus of Zaleszczyki [be still my heart!]. 

In earlier research in death and tombstone records, I'd found that Mane (likely Emanuel) was the father of Louis Liebross and his brother Simon.

Louis' and Simon's mother's name was a bit more of a challenge. Jewish tombstones don't usually include the deceased's mother's name. On Louis' death certificate the spot for mother's name was left blank.[1] On Simon's, "Celia" was written with a question mark, indicating that the informant was unsure.[2]

What I did know was that two women in the family had been given the name Tziril: Celia Liebross (Louis and Bertha's third daughter) and Cecile Liebross Markowitz (Harry and Gertie Liebross' second daughter). It was likely there was a Tziril in the family's past.

The fact that Ruchel is associated with family in Zaleszcycki is of great interest, as well. I'd previously established that Bertha's sister Perl Wenkert Ett and her family were from Zaleszczcyki and the nearby shtetls of Torske and Ustechko. I had some tantalizing clues that there were people with the surname Liebross in the Zaleszcycki area. Now I believe I have a link to my Liebrosses: Ruchel, sister of Louis and Simon Liebross. And Mane and Tziril Liebross registered as living in Zaleszcycki.

Ester's surname may have been Gottlieb. I've located another AGAD record through JRI-Poland that shows Ruchel married to Israel Gottlieb in 1903 when she gave birth to Perla. At that point, however, they were living in Kopychintsy about 12 miles from Shul'ganuvka.[3]

It's not always easy to get to "yes" in genealogical research. But, I'm feeling pretty good about my most recent find. This supports the contention that Tziril was the mother of Louis and Simon Liebross. It also adds some new players, especially Ruchel Liebross - sister to Louis and Simon. Of course it would be great to find marriage records for Louis, Simon or Ruchel to further bolster the information on Ester's birth record. As AGAD continues digitizing and JRI-Poland continues to index, perhaps those will be my next finds.

1. Kings County, New York, Certificate of Death no. 14091 (29 June 1935), Louis Liebross, New York City Municipal Archives, New York.
2. Queens County, New York, Certificate of Death no. 5951 (18 November 1927), Simon Leibross [sic], New York City Municipal Archives, New York. 
3. Birth Record for Perla Gottlieb, 19 May 1903, Jewish Metrical Books, Town of Kopyczynce Births 1877-1896, 1901-1904, Tarnopol Wojewodztwa, Fond 300, Year 1903,  Sygnatura 2419, Akta 45, Archiwum Giowne Akt Dawnych (Central Archives of Historical Records), Warsaw, Poland. 


  1. Fantastic! oh my what a solid link, connecting those two family trees of Louis and Simon Liebross. Simon Libros right? in the records.

  2. Well, we know from family lore (as well as some other records like City directories where they are living together and a manifest where Louis indicates he's going to his brother) that Louis and Simon were brothers. What we didn't know was if there were any other siblings. So, if we can find further info on Ruchel, we have a sister (!) - and for you and me, a great great aunt.


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