27 June 2010

Lithuania: Vilna research group success

The Vilna District Research Group has translated a large number of records and set up a new website to disseminate the data to contributors.

These records, such as the 1897 Vilna Merchants Directory, provide a rich resource of genealogical information not available elsewhere. Here's one original entry and the English translation:

The new site is here. Data files are not at that site, but it does contain accessible content to those who have contributed financially to the project.

Joel Ratner, who heads this group, provided the illustrations for this post. He taught the Lithuanian/Latvian session at the recent Jewish genealogy course at Boston's Hebrew College.

Another illlustration lists individuals with the KAGAN surname in a 1903 business directory:
Vilna District Research Group (VDRG):

The VDRG is concerned with the acquisition, translation and dissemination of non-vital records from the towns of the Vilna uyezd (or district), which was one of seven districts within the province of Vilna.

Towns in the Vilna district during Imperial times were: Antokol, Boguslavishok, Bezdonys, Ciobiskis, Gelvan, Gedrovitz, Inturik, Jasiunai, Laibiskis, Maisiagala, Mikhalishok, Malat, Musnik, Naujoji Vilna, Nemenchin, Novygorod, Podberezhe, Rudamina, Salcininkai, Sheshol, Shirvint, Snipishok, Stundishki, Turgeliai, Vilna (Vilna City), and Yakubantse.

Projects so far include these important collections:

Revision Lists (census)

Antokol - 1858
Boguslavishok - 1858
Ciobiskis - 1858
Gelvan - 1858
Mikhalishok - 1858
Moletai - 1834 and 1858
Musnik - 1858
Novygorod - 1858
Paberze - 1858
Snipishok - 1858
Vilna City - 1858
Family Lists
Boguslavishok - 1907 (underway)
Vilna City - 1875 (underway)
Merchants Lists

Vilna 1877 - 1890
Duma Electors Lists
Vilna City 1st-4th uchastok - 1906
Vilna City 6th uchastok - 1906
Vilna City - 1912 (underway)

Vilna City Directories
Vsia Vilna 1911
Vsia Vilna 1912
Vsia Vilna 1913
Vsia Vilna 1914
Vsia Vilna 1915
Business Directories
1903 Vsia Rossia
Vilner Informator
Other Censuses
1942 Vilna Ghetto Census
Vilna Community Records:
1894, 1897 Vilna Talmud Torah Donors Lists
1909, 1910 Vilna Technicum Donors Lists (ORT)
1902 - 1916 Vilna Free Kitchens Board - List of children given assistance
WWI - Soldiers wives receiving assistance from the Vilna Community
LitvakSIG Vital Records Translation Project:

The LitvakSIG Vital Records Translation Project has produced translations of birth, death, marriage and divorce records for the city of Vilna.

Records exist for other Vilna district towns and Vilna gubernia. The Vital Records Translation Project (VRT) is not directly connected to the Vilna District Research Group, as it raises its own funds. It has already translated more than 159,000 vital records for Vilna gubernia towns. Just over 125,000 of those records are for Vilna city. Some 70,000 additional vital records remain to be translated for Vilna proper, and there are more for other towns.

Vilna gubernia towns with extant vital records include:
Alytus, Antokol, Boguslavishok, Butrimantz, Chabishky, Darshunishok, Daug, Eishishok, Gelvan, Jieznas, Malat, Merech, Mikhalishok, Musnik, Nemencine,
Nemunaitz, Novodvor, Novygorod, Olkenik, Oran, Podberezhe, Punia, Radun,
Shchuchin, Shirvint, Shnipishok, Stoklishok, Troki, Veviya, Vilna, Zaskevichi,
Zhusli and Zhezmir.
Readers interested in either the Vilna District Research Group or the LitvakSIG Vital Records Translation Project, may click here or contact Joel Ratner.


  1. Anonymous7:08 PM

    how do I get the revision list for Moletia 1834 1858 shown in this email. If there is a charge how much and how do I pay?

  2. Anonymous3:21 PM

    My family--grandparents last name- Michelis,fairly rich merchants. G-Grandfather had a car in 1915.
    G-mother "Liza Michelis" maiden sounds like arbeiter or arbiter.Liza had 3 children Hertzel,Nehama,Sara. Few years later ?? 1922 she became a Christian. Her husband left her. She died at age of 25 or 27 leaving 3 orphans.
    All of them were rejected by orthodox Jewish family. I heard some family from New York wanted to take only Hertzel.
    When I arrived to USA in 1973 I was told I had my family here.1 day later I had no family.
    I understand why they rejected us but still -I'm curious.
    I have no financial needs so if you find some relative tell them not to worry, i will not ask for help.
    My Polish name Marek Wojtkiewicz,new name Marek Voit