Search for content in message boards

Jewish records, Pyritz/Pyrzyce

Jewish records, Pyritz/Pyrzyce

Posted: 8 May 2007 3:59PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Victor
In case no one noticed, there are "some" Jewish births, deaths, and marriages filmed with the Lutheran "church duplicate" for Pyritz in the Family History Library Catalogue. On FHL microfilm 1334808, covering 1832-1842, I found separate Jewish lists for 1840, 1841, and 1842. The death records refer back to birth records kept by the Jewish community in Pyritz as early as 1815. The lists also identify local families by their number on a family list (probably lost, since the Jewish community of Pyritz was "destroyed" in World War II).

These records mention other places, and it appears that "church duplicates" exist for many other towns in the old Lutheran adminsitrative district that included Pyritz.

My own possible connection with Pyritz is one Solomon Victor who was born there about 1832. He definitely traveled to New York in 1854, and he definitely married in Chicago in 1883 and died there in 1900 (these events are tied together by his naturalization record in Chicago, which gives his arrival date). Where he was in the intervening decades is unknown, and so I am exploring the possibility that he is the Solomon Victor son of Moses who married in the area of Manchester, England in 1860. His wife and two children left England for Canada in 1868, without Solomon, whose whereabouts from that time forward are unknown. We had thought he simply died, but a carefully-posed family portrait in the next generation includes a photograph on the wall showing a gray-haired gentleman who, by a process of elimination, is most likely from the Victor side of the family. The man in the picture is certainly not in his 30's, and so cannot be Solomon Victor prior to the time his family left England.

Family tradition, in this case rather vague, suggests that Moses Victor was a leather merchant in Berlin. A Manchester directory believed to date from about 1861 (title page missing, however) has a business listing for "Moses Victor and Sons", but since there are no similar listings in directories before or after that date, we think Solomon was attempting to set up a branch office for the family business. Solomon himself was at that time a dealer in "smallwares", meaning braids, ribbons, trim, etc.

I would like to correspond with anyone who has Jewish roots in Pyritz before 1850.

John McCoy
(RealMac@aol.com)

Re: Jewish records, Pyritz/Pyrzyce

Posted: 6 Apr 2013 11:11PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi John,

I was delighted to read your message about your research of your Jewish ancestry in Pyritz. I have hit a brickwall there as well. I am researching the Jacoby family (Isidor Jacoby born about 1857 in the Schlochau area lived there certainly in 1874 and 1888 according to marriage certificates of his brother). My 3x great-grandmother Johanna Jacoby nee Lewinski also lived there in 1888. Unfortunately, this is pretty much all I know. The combination of a) no surviving records from Schlochau, b) scarce data from Pyritz (relevant years in the 1870s and 1880s are not available) and c) the fact that the name of Jacoby is quite common have made my search a complicated one.

So I just wanted to thank you for the hint that some Jewish data can be found in the Lutheran church books. Do you have any other Pomeranian/West-Prussian ancestry? Which names are you researching?

All the best from London


Julie

Re: Jewish records, Pyritz/Pyrzyce

Posted: 7 Apr 2013 12:00AM GMT
Classification: Query
As things stand now, the records of the Jewish community at Pyritz that are known to have survived include the years 1818-1819 (in an archive in Poland, I have no idea what is in these records) and 1840-1847 (in the Lutheran churchbook duplicates, as microfilmed by the Family History Library in Salt Lake City). In addition to the surname adoption list, and two population lists or Matrikels, 1853 and circa 1870, that's about all there is! There is an interesting summary of what is known about this community on the "Virtual Stetl", http://www.sztetl.org.pl/en/city/pyrzyce -- however, the population lists on this site don't match what I see on the microfilms. Also, and there seem to be some transcription errors in the town history, such as dating the 1853 Matrikel as 1835!

The population list that appears to be from about 1870 is problematic. It is undated, and only the microfilm from 1944 survives, with several frames completely illegible and others nearly so. This list is on Family History Library microfilm #1184446. I expect to post transcripts of what I see on the microfilms in the near future. I'll post a message here when they are ready!

It is sometimes possible to determine the origin of people at Pyritz, or at least narrow the possibilities, by comparing them with the surname adoption lists on the JewishGen web site -- see http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Germany/Naldex.htm .

If there are any more records for Pyritz, I haven't found them, but I continue to hope that more with turn up!

John McCoy
(RealMac@aol.com)

Re: Jewish records, Pyritz/Pyrzyce

Posted: 7 Apr 2013 2:24PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi John, many thanks for your reply. It remains complicated. I am looking forward to your next post. Maybe the 1870 list will bring some clarity. I will also let you know, should I find out something new about the Jewish community in Pyritz.

All the best!

Julie

Re: Jewish records, Pyritz/Pyrzyce -- Update!

Posted: 12 Apr 2013 4:17PM GMT
Classification: Query
There are two population lists for the Jewish community of Pyritz/Pyrzyce on Family History Library microfilm #1184446. These lists are part of a collection of records from Jewish communities in Prussia that were microfilmed in Germany in 1944. The microfilms were later copied at the German archives in Cologne, but it is my understanding that the original documents themselves have been lost.

The original microfilms were not very good, and from what we see now, they must have suffered some damage as well.

The list designated as no. 266 is dated 22 apr 1853. It is in good condition. It lists Jewish households by number (but we don't know what those numbers mean, if anything) with the ages of everyone.

The list designated as no. 265 is far more difficult. It consists of 8 sheets, or 16 sides, with individual entries numbered 1 to 319, for 72 households. Because the entries are numbered sequentially, we can deduce how many names have been lost in the illegible sections, due to an ink blot, page 2 not visible at all, parts of page 5 and 15 completely faded (a problem with the original microfilm), and parts of many pages too dark to read. At the very end of this list, however, on page 16, I was able to make out the entry "summa 1865", 72 households and 314 persons, and the next line, "pro 1864", 69 households and 300 persons, then a line showing the results of subtraction, indicating that the community had increased from 1864 to 1865 by 3 households and 14 persons. Thus, the list was created sometime in 1865. From the totals, it is evident that 5 entries in the list of 319 must not have been counted in the total, for reasons that I have not yet discovered -- perhaps there were some apprentices or clerks living in these households who were not Jewish?

List 265 has a column that requests the birth date of everyone under the age of 13. The entries in this column are frequently illegible, but often we can make out the year. A typical entry will say something like 4/10/62 -- this is day-month-year format, 04 oct 1862. Notice that by recording the date of birth for everyone under the age of 13 should bring us back to the 1853 list. I estimate that a total of 50 entries have been completely lost (no usable information).

List no. 265 has a column in which street addresses were recorded, but I have not been able to make out the names of most of the streets. I would be happy to hear from anyone who is able to read the street names and other notations that are not very clear.

I will post transcripts of these lists (or at least, what I can decipher) in the near future.

John McCoy
(RealMac@aol.com)

Re: Jewish records, Pyritz/Pyrzyce -- Update!

Posted: 14 Apr 2013 6:03PM GMT
Classification: Query
I've posted two files on my genealogy web site, see my list of miscellaneous essays and sources at: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~chevaud/dutoit/page2.html . The links to the records for Pyritz/Pyrzyce are in the last item of the list.

The two files are:

1. Vital records for the Jewish community of Pyritz, 1840-1847, which were found microfilmed with the Lutheran "churchbook duplicates" for this town. There are many names that will help connect families!

2. Two population lists or "Matrikels" for the Jewish community of Pyritz, dated 1853 and 1865. The 1853 list is almost entirely legible. The 1865 list is far more difficult, and 50 of the 319 lines are completely obliterated due to damage to the original microfilm made in 1944 in Germany (the original documents are believed to have been lost). Nevertheless, it is possible to connect many people who appear on both lists, and even more connections can be verified through the sample of vital records.

I reserve the right to revise these transcripts, because the script on the microfilms is sometimes difficult. Let me know if you spot any errors!

Similar information, but I think far less reliable, is on the "Virtual Stetl" web site, where the 1853 list appears to be dated 1835, probably a transcription error! The 1865 list and the vital records seem never to have appeared on the internet before.

John McCoy
(RealMac@aol.com)

Re: Jewish records, Pyritz/Pyrzyce -- Update!

Posted: 19 Apr 2013 5:03PM GMT
Classification: Query
While editing my transcript of the 1865 population list, I discovered that what looked at first like a blank page with a sort of test pattern or template for the photographer, in fact contained faint images of the text for the missing page 2! The test pattern was apparently a sort of frosted celluloid template to be placed over the manuscript to determine the correct enlargement setting for the camera, but of course it should have been removed before the picture was taken. Some of the text shows through the template, but very faintly. As a result of this discovery -- and I have looked at this frame many times before, without ever seeing a trace of text! -- I have recovered information on an additional 15 names.

My next idea is to look at the surviving Matrikels for the Jewish communities near Pyritz/Pyrzyce, such as Bahn, Stargard, and Berlinchen. Has anyone looked at these records? Has anyone already transcribed them?

John McCoy
(RealMac@aol.com)
per page

Find a board about a specific topic