I read that line in an email on the UkraineSIG listserv, a part of JewishGen.org, and my mouth dropped open. Records from Medzhybizh? How do I get my hands on those?!
Researching Eastern European origins presents a variety of challenges: languages, shifting country borders, name changes, and records loss. There is also the myth of records loss – the Nazis destroyed everything – and then there are the true, devastating losses.
On 10 April 2003, a massive fire tore through the Kamyanets-Podilsky Archives, destroying or damaging more than 100,000 files, including “five the most valuable fonds of the history of Kamyanets-Podilsky Province since the end of the XVIII – the beginning of the XX century.”(1) The archives held the records of the area that comprised Podolia guberniya during czarist times.
According to an article in Avotaynu (2), “Five of the most valuable fonds were severely damaged:
- f.226, Podolia State Chamber (Kazennaia Palata) (1796-1919);
- f.228, Office of Governor of Podolia (1795-1917);
- f. 112, Office for Peasant Affairs of Podolia Guberniya (1861-1919);
- f. 678, Kamianets city office (1875-1920); and
- f. 249, Office of Military Governor (1795-1845).
Destroyed or damaged records also included revision lists and Jewish metrical volumes. Since the 2003 fire at the Kamyanets-Podilsky Archives, researchers with ancestors from towns in the region have wondered if they might ever access or work with data relating to their relatives. My paternal grandmother’s parents were both born in Medzhybizh, so this has always had a great impact on the research for my family.
Today, with the support of JewishGen.org, I’m announcing a fundraising campaign to support the translation of records from Letichev and Uezd, including Snitkov, Derazhnia, Medzhybizh, Zinkov, Mikhalpol, Volkovintsy, Butsnevtsy. Yes, you read that right – documents for Letichev and the towns of Snitkov, Derazhnia, Medzhybizh, Zinkov, Mikhalpol, Volkovintsy, Butsnevtsy!
This project will translate and index 1221 images of records from towns of Lectichev and its uezd, including Snitkov, Derazhnia, Medzhybizh, Zinkov, Mikhalpol, Volkovintsy, Butsnevtsy. These images are from the 1829 and 1833 lists of families for conscription.
This opportunity to translate and make the dataset and documents originally from the Kamyanets-Podilsky Archives available for study is truly exciting news, and JewishGen.org needs your donations to make it a success.
Donate to the project here and look for the line that reads “Document Translation and Indexing Project for Letichev and Uezd”
We have a translator ready to start, so I hope you will join me in funding this important work.
(1) http://www.archives.gov.ua/Eng/Archives/ra22.php, accessed 27 August 2015
(2) http://www.avotaynu.com/nu10.htm, accessed 27 August 2015