Sunday, August 9, 2015

Some Thoughts when Comparing Death Records and Text on Gravestones

The  civil death register goes from late 1914 to probably most of the year 1938.

Number of deaths each year 
Except for the year 1915 with 231 deaths (!), 1918 with 69 deaths and 1920 with 77 deaths, there were between 26 to 55 deaths a year in this period, including deaths of children. It looks like children in most cases got no gravestone, or perhaps small gravestones that have sunk into the earth? 

Double Given Names
 I have learnt to appreciate the value of double given names for identifying a grave. When you have a person named  Yaakov Josef, son of Shlomo Meshil who died in 1935 on the gravestone, and then find Jakob Josef KOENIG, son of Salamon Meszil KOENIG who died in 1935 in the civil death register, you know you have a match.

Shem Kodesh and Kinnui
It has also been helpful to learn more about Shem HaKodesh ( the sacred name) and the Kinnui (nickname). When you have  Zvi on the gravestone and Hirsch or Hersz in the death register, you understand that this can be the same person. Mordechai on the gravestone is often listed as Markus in the death register. Arie as Leib or Leibusch.

Yiddish, Hebrew, German, Polish
It has also been helpful to remember that life for the Jews in  Lubaczow probably was influenced by at least four languages - Hebrew, Yiddish, Polish and German. The German language as a remnant of the Austrian rule.
I transcribed שבתי as Shabtai and found  Schabsa and Szabsa in the civil records.
When I transcribed  רחל as Rachel , I found Rachel, Rachla and Ruchla in the civil records.
רייזל can be Roza, Rojza and Rozalia.

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