Thursday, February 11, 2016

I Love Delayed Birth Records

My great grandfather Josef Joshowitz was born in 1883.  Or 1885.  Or somewhere around there.  Once he came to the United States, he was pretty consistent with a birthday of October 11, 1885.  He generally also gave his birthplace as various spellings of what is now Tiachev, Ukraine.  However, Tiachev was both the town and the rayon/district in which Tiachev (as well as Kolodne and Uglya, where he married) were located.  So I've never been completely certain of where he was born.

Austria-Hungary only began to institute civil registration of vital events including births in the fall of 1895, well after any of Josef's potential years of birth.  And I'd indexed the earlier years of vital records for the Maramaros Project, but Josef's birth wasn't found among the few births that actually were reported in the 1880s through any of the rayon.

But then I was going through the post-1895 civil registrations for Kolodne and a few surrounding towns.
Josef Joshowitz Birth Record, Full Page

Josef's birth had been registered in March 1908--and here the year 1883 is given as his year of birth.
Josef Joshowitz Birth Record, Closeup
There were several interesting things on this record.  Josef's parents are given (and confirmed for me) to be Chaim and Mindl Eizikovics Josovics.

There is a notation on the far right which translates as "The chief judge permitted this registration. Information of parents is according to the date of birth."  So this implies that Chaim was 45 in 1883 (born in 1838) and Mindl was 42 (born in 1841).  However, their ages on their death records imply that Chaim was born around 1850 and Mindl around 1852.  Pretty far off!  So I'm not sure how accurate either of these set of years are.

There is one critical piece of information here--both parents' towns are given as Kricsfalva.  This is modern-day Krychovo, Ukraine, located about two miles northwest of Kolodne.  So I have a new family town!  And it turns out that there were Joszovics families there, so I need to do some more investigating.

To top it off, I thought I finally had my great-great grandfather Chaim's signature, as he reported the birth:
Unfortunately based on the handwriting, I believe only the "x" is his.  This is consistent with the other place I thought I would have his signature, where he used three x's.  Perhaps he was illiterate; perhaps he only wrote in Yiddish or Hebrew, none of which I see in these records.

But because this was a delayed birth record, I have significantly more information than if the birth had actually been reported in the 1880s.  And now I get to investigate Krychovo!

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1 comment:

  1. I sometimes wonder about those X's and the conclusions we draw. When I sign papers at the bank, THEY put an x on the line to show me where to sign and my signature in my hand appears next to it, just like your Old Chajim.

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