As a national collection, the Minsk Archive contains some records for the city and region of Brest. Consult the Minsk Archive web page for up-to-date contact and location information about the archive.

About the conditions of records in the Minsk Archive
This undated JewishGen article by Dave Fox, Belarus Records in Various Archives, is an overview of the contents of all the Republic of Belarus Archive locations. It includes a photograph of a very thick record book in deteriorated condition and another photograph of record books piled on a cart awaiting re-shelving.

Our Brest-Belarus Group researcher comments: Please note the condition and thickness of the books. There are 32 of these huge books just for Brest. One side of the page is Russian the other is Hebrew. The split is at the bind of the book and it is very difficult to read the writing near either side of binding. The Minsk archive does not allow the books to be taken apart to photo copy, digital photo, or microfilm (by the Mormons when they were allowing microfilming in the past). As a result, much of the Jewish records filmed by the Mormons in Minsk not readable for data close to the center for either Russian or Hebrew. In some cases the records are smudged, worm-eaten, or faded. Handwriting is of varying quality from illegible to beautiful calligraphy. I have seen this first hand. If a researcher has to go through 32 of these huge metrical books looking for specific surnames, there is a great likelihood that they will miss some names. However, if every name is extracted and put into a database, there is a much better chance that names will not be missed. Once data is in the database, people can then request a jpg file of the record they want.

Another researcher gives this view: There are 30 Metric Books, not 32. Yes the split is at the binding, but it is not difficult to read the writing near either side of the binding. This can be seen in the two copies of the Metric Book Birth Records for Binenbaum that appear below. It is true that the Minsk Archives will not allow the books to be taken apart for copying. However, a limited number of copies can be requested and they will be made by the Archive's staff. The current cost is about US $.50 per copy, with a set-up charge of between US $3 - US $5. In the over 15 documents that were copied of the Binenbaum Surnames, none of the records were illegible. My staff researched seven specific Surnames and we do not think that we missed any records. Not all of the Metric Books are huge. Most are between 200 - 300 pages.


Contents of the Minsk Archive for Brest City

There are over 18,500 records of the Brest-Litovsk Jewish Community in the Minsk Archives. These include birth, marriage, and death records for some years from 1895 - 1914. The following three sections illustrate each of these record types.

Birth Records for the Brest Jewish Community
Birth records are available for the following 13 years: 1895, 1896, 1897, 1899, 1901, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1908, 1910, 1912, 1914. During these years records are available for over 6,080 male births and over 5,024 female births.

Year Book Sheets Male Births Female Births
1895 1 180 529+ 382+
1896 3 182 503+ 386+
1897 5 208 618+ 489+
1899 9 191 584+ 473+
1901 13 186 525+ 389+
1903 16 169 551+ 463+
1904 17 171 543+ 398+
1905 19 148 454+ 403+
1906 20 150 480+ 391+
1910 26 130 387+ 322+
1912 28 140 380+ 349+
1914 30 130 126+ 131+

Here are photographs of the covers of some of these books:

book 19 book 20
Cover of 1905 Book 19 Cover of 1906 Book 20

The following figures illustrate the birth record contents:

birth cover sheet
Key to the 1896 Birth Records
birth records
Transcription, translation of a typical 1896 Birth Record page


A search in December, 2003, for the Surname BINENBAUM (BINEMBAUM) found this birth record:

yankel binenbaum

Record 265 is at the middle of the page at left. A rough translation:

On 8 June 1904 in Brest Town a boy Jankiel [Yankel or Yankiel] was born. The date of his circumcision was 15 June 1904. His father is the petty bourgeois citizen of Brest, Anczel [Anshel or Antchel ] BINENBAUM. His mother is Cywia
[Ciwza or Tzivia or Tsivia] Abram-Ickowna [Itzcovna or Itskova]. Abram-Icek [Itsk] was father of Cywia.

Note: Tsivia's father was possibly Abram-Itsk Velichansky. Tsivia might have had a sister, Fejga - Reizla who was the wife of Wolf (Volf) Binembaum.

The formal reference for this record: Fond 1520, Opis 5, Dyelo (book) 17, Page 74.

 


The search found this second birth record:

gutman binenbaum

Record 77 is at the middle of the page at left . A rough translation:

On 1 March 1906 in Brest Town a boy Gutman
[Gimann] was born. The date of his circumcision was 8 March 1906. His father is the petty bourgeois citizen of Brest, Anczel [Anshel or Antchel] BINENBAUM. His mother is Tsivia [Ciwza] Gershkovna.

Note: The nam of Tsivia's father differs from that given in the birth record for e shown above.

The formal reference for this record: Fond 1520, Opis 5, Dyelo (Book) 20, Page 27.

 

Marriage Records for the Brest Jewish Community
Marriage records are available for the following nine (9) years: 1897, 1900, 1901, 1904, 1906, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1913. During these years records are available for over 1,983 marriages.

Year Book Sheets Marriages
1897 6 90 238+
1900 11 83 277+
1901 14 83 218+
1904 18 70 222+
1906 21 67 211+
1908 24 69 216+
1909 25 80 180+
1910 27 80 198+
1913 29 84 181+

Here are photographs of the covers of some of these books:

book 6 book 21 book 24
Cover of 1897 Book 6 Cover of 1906 Book 21 Cover of 1908 Book 24
  book 25
  Cover of 1909 Book 25  

The following figures illustrate the marriage record contents:

marriage cover sheet
Key to 1897 Marriage Records
marriage records
Transcription, translation of a Typical 1897 Marriage Record

Death Records for the Brest Jewish Community
Death records are available for the following eight (8) years: 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1906. During these years records are available for over 2,870 male deaths and over 2,576 female deaths.

Year Book Sheets Male Deaths Female Deaths
1895 2 153 420+ 408+
1896 4 163 441+ 393+
1897 7 153 300+ 231+
1898 8 122 326+ 304+
1899 10 143 394+ 397+
1901 15 146 382+ 323+
1906 22 109 234+ 277+

Here are photographs of the covers of some of these books:

book 2 book 4 book 7
Cover of 1895 Book 2 Cover of 1896 Book 4 Cover of 1897 Book 7
book 8   book 22
Cover of 1898 Book 8   Cover of 1906 Book 22

The following figures illustrate the death record contents:
death cover sheet
Key to 1896 Death Records
death records
Transcription, translation of a typical 1897 Death Record page



Contents of the Minsk Archive for Brest Region
The Minsk archive apparently contains data for these Brest Region shtetlekh:

  • Antopol, Belarus
  • Kamenets, Belarus
  • Kobryn, Belarus
  • Pruzhana, Belarus
  • Selets (Syalyets), Belarus
  • Shereshevo, Belarus
  • Terespol, Poland
  • Volya, Belarus
  • Wysokie-Litovsk (Vysokoye), Belarus
     
    The content of these records is currently unknown.


Page Last Updated: 17-Nov-2016