Tuesday, June 2, 2009

To register or not to register

What's a few babies here or there...

My gg-grandfather Abram Ick Zejburski of Lomza, Poland, didn't seem to be in any rush to register the births of children with the town officials. Maybe he was too busy, maybe there was a per capita based tax he wanted to avoid, maybe the babies were sickly and he didn't see the point until they were healthy, who knows. We will never know the reason but here's what happened. A fellow researcher just told me that Abram may have registered the births in order to start on the paperwork needed to emigrate.

The first 2 children were Zelk Gilel and Sora Mariem. They are listed in the 1897 Russian Census (see link) as being 16 and 13 years old, respectively. Their births, however, were registered in 1887 with consecutive record numbers. At first I thought maybe the census was wrong and they were twins but I couldn't figure out why they would be made to look older on the census, especially son Zelk Gilel who would now be eligible for conscription into the Russian army. As I started to line up the the birth record data on the copy request I was sending to the Polish State Archives, I realized that the ages on the census were probably correct and it was delayed registration of the births that caused my initial confusion.

Zelk Gilel (Ilel) - born circa 1881, birth registered 1887
Sora Mariem - born circa 1884, birth registered 1887
Lejba - birth and death registered 1887 (birth record is not consecutive with older siblings so I think actual birth was 1887)
Aron - born circa 1888, birth registered 1901
Moszek - born circa 1892, birth registered 1901
Juszk - born circa 1896, birth registered 1901
Chawa Mindla - born after 1897 census, birth registered 1901
Rejzla Mindla - born after 1897 census, no birth record located, death registered 1898
Esther - born circa 1903 per 1910 US census, no birth record located

All 7 of the surviving children, 4 boys and 3 girls, came to New York with their parents, travelling on several ships between 1904 & 1909. I guess I should be glad that Abram registered the children at all and that the JRI-Poland workers and volunteers translated and indexed these records for me to find. I'll take what I can get!

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