The Lodz Chevra Kadisha Indexing Project

Sample Indices

Introduction

At the 2000 Conference on Jewish Genealogy in Salt Lake City, JRI-Poland announced plans for a new initiative to index the Lodz Chevra Kadisha (Burial Society) records, which includes the burial records of the Old Cemetery in Lodz. This project is now underway.

The Old Lodz Cemetery was established in 1811 and essentially closed in 1892. However, burials continued to take place until 1922 because a number of burial plots had been previously purchased and because it became necessary to utilize the cemetery during World War I.

The Lodz Chevra Kadisha records include the more than 5,400 deaths listed in Stary Cmentarz Zydowski w Lodzi (The Old Cemetery of Lodz), published by the Jewish Community of Lodz in 1938. The authors, noted historians Philip Friedman and Rabbi Pinchas Gliksman, had no way of knowing how invaluable their efforts would become: within a year, the Nazis had invaded Lodz and, during the course of the occupation, removed the gravestones from the Old Lodz Cemetery for use as paving stones. The exact number of burials or gravestones in the Old Lodz Cemetery is not known. For a complete description of the contents of Stary Cmentarz Zydowski w Lodzi, see The Old Cemetery in Lodz, by Chaim Freedman.

JRI-Poland has taken on this indexing project with the enthusiastic support of Mr. Symcha Keller, head of the Jewish Community of Lodz. The much larger New Lodz Cemetery, established in 1892, survived nearly intact and planning for the indexing of the burial records of the New Lodz Cemetery is underway. More than 180,000 indices to these burials will be added to the JRI-Poland searchable database in the near future.

Tombstones in the old cemetery of Lodz

Above: During World War II, the Nazis removed the gravestones from the old Lodz cemetery for use as paving stones.

The Chevra Kadisha records are made up of two separate lists, each with its own numbering system. The first list is the Polish Subsidiary Death Register, 1826-1893, containing  2,034 entries. This list includes the individual's surname, given name, age, day, month and year of death. In some instances a maiden surname is included. Only adults ages 16 and over are included in this list. The registry numbers begin with #3412 and are preceded by a "P". 

The Hebrew List of Burials, 1822-1922, is a record of 3,411 individuals whose graves were marked with gravestones in the Old Lodz Cemetery. This list contains the same information as in the Polish list, with the addition of the father's name, and whether the individual was a kohen or levy. As a rule, children's graves were not marked with gravestones in the Old Lodz Cemetery. However, the exceptions to this rule are included in the data. Registry numbers begin with #1, end with #3411, and are preceded by an "H". Occasionally an individual may be included in both the Hebrew and Polish lists.

Above: The cover of a record book of the Lodz Chevra Kadisha, from Stary Cmentarz Zydowski w Lodzi.

The Lodz Chevra Kadisha Indexing Project should be of interest to anyone with Jewish roots in the Lodz region. As a result of the great influx of workers to Lodz in the 19th century, records include not only individuals who were born and lived in Lodz proper, but also those with roots in many regional Polish villages and towns. Some of the records in the Hebrew and Polish lists may coincide with data already in the JRI-Poland database and will provide additional valuable information for anyone researching their family in this region.

Indexing Method

The first phase of this project, indexing of the Polish Subsidiary Death Register, 1826-1893, has been completed and added to the JRI-Poland searchable database. Data entry was done by Shirley Rotbein Flaum and proofreading by Morris Wirth. 

The data was first entered from the original text in Stary Cmentarz Zydowski w Lodzi. Feminine surname suffixes such as "ówna" and "owa" were removed and the feminine suffix "a" altered. Alternate surname spellings were  added, where deemed necessary by experts consulted or by the fact that an alternate spelling may have been found in the index of the book. Known typographical errors in the original data were corrected.

A list of unique surnames taken from the data is available.

The second phase, indexing of the Hebrew List of Burials, 1822-1922, is now in progress. Hebrew-speaking volunteers are in the process translating entries and verifying Hebrew dates. The dedicated volunteers involved with this second phase are: Gilbert Hendlisz, Shmuel Kehati, Sarah Lasry, Yaacov Lipkin, Hanoch Magal and Israel Pickholtz. Look for this new database to be online by approximately June 1, 2001. For further information, contact Shirley Rotbein Flaum.

Sample Indices

Polish Subsidiary Death Register, 1826-1893

Surname Given Name(s) Year Registry Number Date of Death Age Maiden Name
JAKUBOWICZ Jankiel 1826 P3412 18-Mar 36  
ZIMNOWODA Perla 1826 P3413 15-May 30  
JAGODNICKI Mendel 1826 P3414 8-Sep 60  
NEJNADEL Michal 1826 P3415 24-Sep 50  
PINKUS Hanna 1826 P3416 26-Dec 50  
ARONOWICZ Ruchla 1827 P3417 3-Feb 41  
GROSMAN Sura 1827 P3418 14-Apr 71  
BERNSZTAT Jonas 1827 P3419 22-Apr 71  
JAKUBOWICZ Sura 1827 P3420 6-May 90  
WOLK Tauba 1827 P3421 9-May 20  
BLAJSZTYFT Nachman 1827 P3422 10-Jun 24  
SENDOWICZ Libe 1827 P3423 4-Aug 22  

 

Hebrew List of Burials, 1822-1922

NOTE: v = "vel" or "also known as"

Surname Given Name Year Registry Number Date (Civil -  to be added) Date (Hebrew) Age Maiden Surname Father's Name Notes (Levite or Kohen refer to male or Father)
  Simchah 1822 H1    10 Av 5582     Moshe  
ROGOZINSKI Rachel 1825 H2   17 Tammuz 5585 25   Menachem wife of the baker
  Moshe 1826 H3   28 Sivan 5586     Rabbi Zev Wolf Kohen; grandson of Mikhal Ka"tz
JEROZOLIMSKI Aharon 1828 H4   3 or 23 Av 5588 9   Rabbi Menachem Zev Kohen; born in 5578
ZONENBERG Pinchas 1830 H5   17 Adar 5590 56   Naftali Tzvi Kohen; died on Friday
  Miryam 1830 H6   7 Tishrei 5591     Berel Levite
PINKUS Beila 1831 H7   5 Av 5591     Shlomoh  
  Shimshi 1832 H8   26 Av 5592     Yehuda  
ZOLNIERSKI v ARONOWICZ Shlomoh 1833 H9   28 Tevet 5593     Aharon  
  Rivkah 1834 H10   4 Tishri 5595     Avraham  
  Rivkah 1836 H11   15 Elul 5596        
  Chanah 1837 H12   5597     Avraham  
DOBRZYNSKI Elimelekh 1836 H13   14 Cheshvan 5597 36   Natan  
ROGOZINSKI Moshe 1836 H14   28 Kislev 5597     Tzvi Hersch Kohen; 4th day of Chanuka
FAJTLOWICZ Moshe 1837 H15   25 Elul 5597 70   Ezriel  
GOTSCHALL Ozer 1837 H16   19 Tishri 5598     Yehuda  
BRONOWSKI Yehuda Leib 1837 H17   25 Tishri 5598 67   Yedidyah  
PILGRIM Avraham 1838 H18   29 Kislev 5599 70   Shmuel  
  Shlomoh 1839 H19   3 Tishrei 5600     Yakov day after Rosh Hashana
HEBER Betzalel Yehuda 1839 H20   15 Shvat 5600 66   Yakov Levite
LIPSKI Yitzchak 1840 H21   Adar I 5600 72      
  Lieba Mariyam 1840 H22   29 Sivan 5600     Yehuda Rosh Hodesh Tammuz eve
  Gelleh 1840 H23   24 Cheshvan 5601     Shmuel  
WAJLAND Meshulam Feivel Shalom 1841 H24   15 Shvat 5601 20   Rabbi Shimon from Leczyca
LEWKOWICZ Breina 1841 H25   12 Nisan 5601     Avraham  
NAUMBERG Ester 1842 H26   4 Elul 5602 40   Rabbi Pinchas Kohen
  Ester 1842 H27   12 Elul 5602     Zev Kohen
KOHEN Yehuda Leib 1843 H28   24 Shvat 5603     Rabbi Naftali Ka"tz-Kohen; descendant of Rabbi Naftali Head of Beit Din of Poznan
GUTENBERG Yokheved 1843 H29   Iyar 5603 21 FRENKEL Shmuel Sega"l-Levite; from Kalisz
TRYBOWNIK Rabbi Rafael Yakov 1843 H30   13 Cheshvan 5604 30   Hersch, of Piotrkow murdered on Monday

 

Surviving records less than 100 years old are held in the Civil Records Offices (Urzad Stanu Cywilnego) of each town.

For information on the 20th century records available for your town, visit the Routes to Roots Foundation website, CLICK ON THE 'SEARCH DATABASE' button (on the right side) and enter the town name. Look for the town name in the Repository/City column of the search results. There are typically links to lists of available births, marriage and death records for the town.

Note, however, the Routes to Roots Foundation database may indicate turn of the century records that have already been transferred to the appropriate branch of the Polish State Archives where they can be indexed for the JRI-Poland database.

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