According to the 1850 Census of the Russian Empire, the Jewish population had grown more than half since the previous census in 1834 to 2,350,00 people. Within the Pale of Settlement, 25 percent of the population was Jewish. Therefore, the Russian government began receiving many more inquiries for the construction of synagogues.
In 1853, the Russian government conducted an inventory of the existing synagogues. Its purpose was to have a better count of the operating synagogues. The government’s findings indicated that synagogues in a majority of shtetls within the Pale of Settlement had been built without obtaining the necessary construction permits, and, as the government’s document indicates, they had been operating since the “beginning of time”.
For example, in each Mozyr uezd shtetl, there was, at a minimum, one unregistered synagogue. As a result, the authorities enacted a new set of building codes: 1) a synagogue could not be located closer than 200 meters to any church, and b) synagogues could not be taller than churches.
Cold synagogue in David-Haradok. Photo by A.Bochnig.
From the archive of Instytut Sztuki Polskiej Akademii Nauk (IS PAN R0000026409)
Archival documents list the following shtetls of Mozyr uyezd as having unregistered synagogue buildings: Skrygalov, Kopatkevichy, Petrikov, Lenin, Lakhva, David-Horodok, Turov, Karolin. The documents also list the sizes of congregations, the names of Rabbis, the names of heads of congregations, the names of treasures, and the names of Torah experts (khochoms).
May 22, 2014
Hello, my ancestors came from Turov. I have a photo of one of the synagogues (see the link I left in the ‘website’ field of this form. My great grandfather, Chone (or Chunnan) Muravchick (son of Chaim Muravchick who owned a livery service and his wife Raisel) married Dora (or Devorah) Bashkin around 1909 in Turov. My great grandfather came to the US without Dora, who came a few years latter with their daughter, Fannie (Fannie died in the US at about age 6). My great grandfather became Hyman Miller when he immigrated, but his brother Morris retained the Muravchick name. I have seen the name spelled many different ways in English. Hyman’s parents, Chaim and Raisel were killed by the Germans during WWII. They must have been very old at the time.
May 23, 2014
Hi Scott, thanks for the interesting info. Please let me know should you need some help with genealogical research on your ancestral family.
July 1, 2014
My family were part of the emigration from the Orsha Region of the 1655 troubles to the Kraichgau of Baden, Germany. We had the name: Vitebsk Guberniya as the origin listed in the Baden records as well as two passport records from Wurtemburg requesting travel permission back to Russian Poland and just to Russia on the other travel request document in the 1830’s. Please keep me abreast of any information on Tolochin, Orsha, Barisov, and Vitebsk City. Our family was the Gilf -Hilf – and Veber – Weber’s.
July 1, 2014
Thanks for following us! What type of information and for what years you are looking for?
July 8, 2014
I would love to get some documents of when our family would have been part of the invitation to emigrate to Belarus from the Derbent Area by the gentle king of Lithuania that everyone loved and all cried at his funeral. Our family was known to emigrate from the Derbent area of Daghestan after the Grand Vizier Rashid had placed us on his supposed Loyalty List that was created when the Derbent area was being lusted after by both the Golden Horde Mongols of the Astrakhan area and the Ilkhanate Mongols of the Maragheh area of Iran. We were in the Orsha region from the Lithuanian Kings invitation to live in Belarus until the Orsha troubles of 1655. The 1267 Grand Vizier Rashid’s list and the Lithuanian Kings invitation to live in Belarus was the reason to leave Derbent. The Edict of Khuzistan that required the Visible Headress and Higher Taxes on us was the need to move to Derbent in 725. So any documents on our family for those timespans would be so much appreciated. This information that I am sending is the family lore passed down to us by generation.
July 9, 2014
Thank you for following us! We only work in Belorussian archives, and don’t really know what is going on with Derbent and Dagestan area documents. Sorry for not being able to help you.
July 11, 2014
Hellos again, Yuri.
What Belorussian archives would I be able to achieve records about my families’ roles from the move under the Good Lithuanian king until the Orsha when we moved to the Kraichgau region of Baden – Germany?
I would be willing just to achieve these documents if available to me.
July 16, 2014
in Belorussian archives available records for the research beginning from 1745.