Update on Czernowitz Cemetery Database Project

From: Bruce Reisch <bir1_at_nysaes.cornell.edu>
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2003 10:54:51 -0400
To: czernowitz-L_at_cornell.edu
Reply-To: bir1_at_nysaes.cornell.edu

<x-flowed>During the meeting in Washington, I had a chance to talk to Hymie
Reichstein and Lawrence Tapper about how to proceed with the creation
of an online searchable database. This project will proceed as one
in which we recognize that the data is owned/copyrighted by the
Jewish Genealogical Society of Ottawa, and will be donated to
JewishGen which will in turn post this to a searchable web site via
the Online Worldwide Burial Registry. I've agreed to distribute
pages from the burial registry to iniduals who are capable of
transcribing the data into Excel spreadsheets. I have more than 20
volunteers already! But it isn't simply a matter of sending these
pages to volunteers. A complete set of instructions must be

Guidelines have to be developed for the data-entry project, for example:

1. We will use a template based on the one developed by JOWBR and
described on their web site.

2. We will need to develop criteria on volunteer qualifications -
e.g. ability to use Excel, ability to read old-style German
handwriting, etc. We should also recommend possible web sites that
will be helpful in correctly reading old-style handwriting.

3. What do we do with "umlauts" - or other accents noted in the text.

4. For each volunteer transcriber, we will also need a "verifier"
who will proof-read the data entered and correct as necessary.

5. Each image of each register page is 1 to 2 MB in size, and has up
to 30 names. Volunteers should be able to accept attached files of
this size.

Hymie Reichstein will be looking into these issues, and I am awaiting
instructions from him as to how to proceed. I will also ask Hymie
(by copy of this email) if we can post a few sample images to our
Czernowitz web site of the burial register pages so that volunteers
have a better idea of what to expect to receive, and whether they are
capable of entering the data that appears. As soon as procedures are
worked out, I will begin to distribute the images.

For the time being, I haven't just stored the images in a safe place
for later use. On the contrary, I've examined about every 10th image
among approx. 2500 images. The scan quality is superb! I've marked
those that are in Cyrillic characters (these have been done already)
and created an index to the rest. Alti Rodal provided an excellent
description of how these registers were obtained and what sort of
information they show in her article in Avotaynu last year. Here are
some further details from my examination of the material so far:

1. The first section is all in Cyrillic, post 1964.

2. There are major sections for each letter of the (Latin) alphabet
for 1906-1962. Between 1906 and 1947, the Latin alphabet was used
and most names are clearly readable. From 1948 to 1962, it's all in
Cyrillic. Within each Latin letter, each line contains a name,
parcel, and grave number, along with a year of death or sometimes the
exact date of death (or is it date of burial). Rarely, a line shows
that the remains were transferred to Sadagora, Secureni or Radauti
for burial. Within the letter A, for example, all deaths are listed
for 1906 in sequential order, then for 1907, etc. through 1962. The
language switches to Cyrillic (Ukrainian or Russian?) in early 1948.
This section rarely contains the name of the father, while the first
section in Cyrillic I believe mostly has the name of the father of
the deceased.

3. There is another major section organized by Parcel number. Each
burial is listed within each parcel. The time period goes from the
late 1800s to the early 1900s, as far as 1930s from what I've seen so
far. So while there must be some overlap with the 1906 - 1962 lists,
the sections organized by Parcel number seem to be the only means to
find a listing for pre:1906 burials. (The cemetery was first opened
in 1866 - the older one was built over in 1946 during Soviet times.)

4. The volume for letter T is unusual in that names beginning with T
are listed for various years. Names are not listed in order in which
the burials occurred. This volume was apparently created during the
interwar period judging from the use of the Romanian language.

5. Just prior to the section with 1906 deaths for letter D is an
unusual section - including some correspondence from 1913; a few
inidual death certificates for Hacker, Frieda Picker, Simon
Stecher, Betty Gross and - ONE PAGE FROM THE 1903 SADAGORA CEMETERY
BURIAL REGISTRY! (Sadagora researchers get excited by such finds, so
forgive my use of ALL CAPS. Yes, I found one Reisch listed on this

Once again, I express my gratitude to all those involved in securing
the massive amounts of data and information from Chernivtsi. Thank
you JGS Ottawa, especially Hymie Reichstein; Alti Rodal; George
Bolotenko and family; and Lawrence Tapper.

Received on 2003-07-27 11:12:43

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