Sunday, November 1, 2020

The 1850 Revision (Census) That Didn't Exist. Spoiler Alert--It Does (For My Family)

My grandfather's father's family came from what's now Nizhyn, Ukraine (then Nezhin, Russian Empire) and some small surrounding villages. Nezhin Uezd (district) has tons of great records available online, thanks to FamilySearch; I even did a post cataloging the Jewish metrical (vital) records available online for Nezhin here.  With some small gaps, metrical records are available online from the 1850s through the Russian Revolution.  And the Chernigov Archive has some metrical records back into the 1840s.

There is less available census-wise, though.  FamilySearch does have family and tax lists from the 1880s and early 1900s that have been helpful.  But it seems that the revision lists of the 1850s, 1830s and earlier are just missing, at least for Nezhin's Jewish community, which has been a source of frustration.  (Miriam Weiner's site does list some available revisions, but they are not full and only are catch-ups on a few households.)  It seemed that my Lefand family had been in the area for quite a while; my 6th great grandfather died there in the early 1850s.  I was pretty sure that all of the Lefands in the area were his descendants, but with the records I had, I couldn't quite figure out how they all connected.  Wouldn't it have been nice to have a revision list from the 1850s to help me connect that?  Well, look what I've got!

Lefand Family 1850 Revision / Left Page - males

I now have the Lefand family's entry for the Russian Empire 1850 revision!  The head of household is that same 6th great grandfather whose death record I had from the early 1850s.  He is living with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren in one large household.  (Wasn't that nice of them, since it gives me all of the relationships I need.)  I've now been able to tie all of the Lefands in the Nezhin records to this one family.

If you heard a shriek one day last week, that was me when I saw this.  Sorry if I was too loud, but now you'll understand.

So where did I get this?  And does this mean the 1850 Nezhin Jewish Revision List has been found?

My family wanted to move to a village outside Nezhin in 1853.  To do this, they generated a lot of paperwork--a whole file of about 100 pages that's currently being translated.  And in this file was a copy of the family's 1850 revision page.  (Which explained to me why there were so many Ber/Berkos Lefands in the records--there were 4 by that name living in the household in 1850!)

Lefand Family 1850 Revision / Right Page - females

I'm still connecting all the disparate Lefands within my tree based on this new information, but so far, I have over 550 descendants of Efrayim Lefand, the 74-year-old head-of-household in this list.

So while this doesn't mean I've located the entire 1850 Nezhin Revision List, if you are related to the Heikin/Geikin family from the area, they wanted to move too, and the application was a joint one with my Lefands.  So I have their entries as well.

There will be more to come on this.  I'll talk about how I even knew this file existed, what else was inside, and some of the other files that I just got.  There's just so much here, and I'm super-excited!

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  1. Did you happen to notice any names such as Levitsky, Blum, Jacob and Bader?

    1. If you read this, it was only for my family. There are many metrical records that may include your family. I've listed them here and will soon to the same for some tax poll censuses from the 1880s and early 1900s.

  2. I’m new to this and will begin trying to research family history. My last name is Farben but it was Farbenblum. My father Emil was from Munkacs and my mother Magda Keszler was from Gat, a very small village near Munkacs.

    1. Gat civil registration records are searchable on JewishGen (thanks to the Subcarpathian Research Group, which I coordinate). Some Munkacs records are searchable already, and we've indexed some more that are currently available to donors (and will eventually be online). So you're fortunate, since until recently there was nothing online for that part of the world! Check out