Archives Project

Indexing the 19th Century and early 20th Century
Jewish vital records of 93 towns and villages
in the former Austrian Province of Galicia

Revised February 2012

Click here for news of indexing of latest transfers from Warsaw USC (Civil Records Office) to AGAD Archives

The Project

AGAD, the Archiwum Glowne Akt Dawnych (The Central Archives of Historical Records in Warsaw), is the repository of about 3,000 Jewish metrical books for the area of the former Lwow, Stanislawow, and Tarnopol Wojewodztwa (now Lviv, Ivano Frankivsk, and Ternopil oblasts in Ukraine). These registers are mainly for the period from 1877-1911 when these areas were a part of the Austrian province of Galicia.

The records are written in Polish or German, which during the Austrian period had equal status. While the text in these registers is relatively easy to understand, few of these books contain an index, which has been a major barrier to on-site research. There are separate books for births, marriages, and deaths.

The AGAD project started up in late 2000 and continued until the JRI-Poland indexing project was terminated by the Polish State Archives in November 2006. During the six-year term of this project, over 700,000 records, including records for all 88 towns with records at AGAD, were indexed. The AGAD project contributes nearly 20% of the index entries in the JRI-Poland online database.

As of February 2012, JRI-Poland and the Polish State Archives are in discussion on a new indexing agreement. When a new agreement is reached, JRI-Poland will make an announcement on the JRI-Poland and Galicia SIG mailing lists.

The goal of JRI-Poland's AGAD Archives Project is to create on-line searchable indices to enable researchers to quickly locate records of potential interest. You will be able to search for your family surnames using Daitch-Mokotoff soundex and Beider-Morse Phonetic Matching. The online index will identify the name, the year of the document, the document type (birth, marriage, or death), a record number, mother and father's names, and sometimes a town reference.

Sources of Vital Records

The linked Inventory of Jewish Vital Records for Eastern Galicia identifies the towns for which there are registers in the AGAD Archive, as well as the Lviv (Ukraine) Archive and the Warszawa USC (Urzad Stanu Cywilnego or civil records office). This table includes both the current and former (Polish) names of the towns and the records available for each town, those records indexed and online in the JRI-Poland database, and those included in LDS Microfilms of the records at the Lviv (Ukraine) Archive.

Registers are to be transferred from the USC to the AGAD Archive whenever all the records in a specific register are more than 100 years old. In practice, this transfer had occurred every two years. However, the last three transfers have taken place in 2006, 2011, and 2012.

The recent transfers of 2011/2012 extends the AGAD collections of 63 towns, many up through 1911, and introduces records for 5 towns - Chodorow, Monasterzyska, Podkamien, Przemyslany, and Sniatyn. A table summarizing these recent transfers is provided here. JRI-Poland hopes to start indexing these records soon.

The AGAD Archive holdings include certain records that are 100 years old or less, which are protected from public use. Only records over 100 years old have been indexed.

Records held at USC (civil records) offices in Poland are not available to the public for research or indexing. The inventory for the eastern Galicia records at the Warsaw USC is based on online information from the Polish State Archives and cannot be verified by JRI-Poland.

The Lviv Archive holdings of Jewish vital records were microfilmed by the LDS Church. An inventory of these films has been prepared as a joint Gesher Galicia/JRI-Poland project. For more information, click here.

More indices to Galician Jewish vital records and other non-vital records can be found at the All Galician Database provided by Gesher Galicia.

Finding Records for Your Ancestral Town

If your ancestral town does not appear in this table, don't be discouraged. Vital records for many smaller towns are included in the registers for the larger, nearby district and sub-district towns in the table. Suzan F. Wynne's The Galitzianers, The Jews of Galicia, 1772-1918 contains a listing of Galician towns that includes the associated main district and sub-district towns. This listing starts on page 291 of the book. The listing is not a complete list of Galician towns. It is based on the 1870 census and includes only towns where Jews were living at that time.

You can also search on-line for the location of your town's records by using the "Galician Town Locator" on the PolishRoots™ web site. This information was compiled from the 1900 census conducted by the Austro-Hungarian empire (Gemeindelexikon der im Reichsrate vertretenen Königreiche und Länder) which lists the location (standorte) of Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, and Jewish records. Note: This database indicates where the records were registered, however, it only provides limited information about which records still exist.

In this article, we are talking about Jewish vital records (births, marriages, deaths). Many other Jewish records can be found in the AGAD Archive as well as the Lviv branch of the Ukraine State Historical Archives. The best way to find out if there are non-vital records for your district or sub-district town (and where they can be found) is to use Miriam Weiner's Routes to Roots Foundation website. Click on "ARCHIVE DATABASE" and then "Search Database."

Indexing Status

For the AGAD records, there are NO LDS microfilms with one exception – Lwow 1814-1837 births.

As of February 2012, all of the AGAD records that have been indexed are now part of the online database.

As of the date of the termination of the JRI-Poland indexing project, the following records in the AGAD collection were NOT indexed. In addition, the records transferred in 2011/2012 have not been indexed.

Gliniany: 1893-1904 B
Horodenka: 1899-1904 B; 1895-1905 M
Jaworow: 1848-1876, 1900-1904 B; 1861-1905 M; 1842-1903 D
Komarno: 1877-1904 M; 1905 D
Kosow: 1877-1884, 1896-1900 B; 1877-1891, 1899-1905 M; 1877-1886, 1892-1903 D
Krakowiec: 1827, 1829-1889 D
Krzywcze Gorne: 1818-1879 D
Lwow: 1904-1905 B; 1904-1905 M; 1864-1899, 1902-1905 D
Mielnica: 1896-1900 B; 1896-1903 D
Mosty Wielkie: 1892-1905 D
Rohatyn: 1898-1905 B
Rudki: 1877-1884, 1897-1904 B; 1883-1885, 1896, 1903 M; 1867-1895, 1897 D
Tartakow: 1900-1905 B; 1877-1904 M; 1901-1905 D
Uhnow: 1877-1888 B; 1853-1876 D
Zniesienie: 1902-1905 B; 1872, 1877-1878, 1882-1884, 1886-1905 M; 1877-1905 D
Zolkiew: 1853-1876, 1904-1905 B; 1815-1873, 1904-1905 M; 1870-1905 D

A note of appreciation:

JRI-Poland expresses its sincere appreciation to the previous management of the Polish State Archives, the director of the AGAD Archive, and the staff of AGAD who did such an outstanding job of indexing the records.

The JRI-Poland AGAD Archives project has been very successful and we owe this success to all the Town Leaders who led the fundraising effort and to all the Contributors who helped pay for the indexing of their towns. We also owe a debt of gratitude to Gesher Galicia, who supported the indexing of AGAD records with Research Grants and are partners with JRI-Poland in all Galician projects.

JRI-Poland would like to thank Alexander Sharon, who verified the town names and locations of the towns included in this project.

Searching the JRI-Poland Database

Search the database by clicking here. To narrow your search to only towns in Lwow, or Stanislawow, or Tarnopol Wojewodztwa, set "Geographical Region" to the Wojewodztwa of interest. Click here to find the major towns in each Wojewodztwa.

Current Ordering Procedure

Researchers can order records indexed as part of the AGAD Archive project directly from AGAD. Click here for instructions and further information.

Interpreting Your Galician Vital Records

Jewish record keeping before 1877 was not standardized and the records did not have an abundance of information, some just the barest information. Not all records used the same form or recorded the same information. In 1877, the form used to record Jewish vital events was standardized. These data fields were included on every form used for Jewish registrations from 1877 up to World War II. The data fields were always the same, but the filling in of the forms by the local Jewish registrar was not consistent.

To help you decipher your Galician record, JRI-Poland has created an aid to help you understand and interpret these Jewish vital records. By clicking here, you will be able to view and print images of the headings of representative birth, marriage, and death records along with translations of these headings. There are a number of examples of the pre-1877 records, where forms were not standardized, and one example of post-1876 forms with standardized headings.

This aid to interpreting your Galician vital records is in PDF format, which requires that you have Adobe Acrobat reader, which can be downloaded for free here.

Maps of Eastern Galicia

From Nu? What's New? with some editing
News About Jewish Genealogy from Avotaynu
Vol. 4, No. 20 - November 23, 2003
Gary Mokotoff, Editor

Randy Daitch has made me aware of two remarkable map collections on the Internet, one for Ukraine and the other for Austro-Hungary. All show great detail.

Ukraine 1:100,000 Topographic Maps: (the URL is case sensitive) Maps of this detail are 1 inch = 19 miles (1 cm = 10 km). The above link displays a map of Ukraine, and clicking on any portion of the main map loads a sectional map. The maps are in Russian. Warning: a typical map is 1.7MB, so it is recommended that you have high-speed download capability.

Topographic Maps of Eastern Europe:
Topographic Maps of Eastern Europe offers a collection of small and large scale historical maps of the lands of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Pale of Jewish Settlement in late Tsarist Russia.

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