Wording Used When a Birth Record Is Not Available

When recording books of residents and alegata marriage records (that is, “marriage supplements”: additional documents presented at time of marriage), if a birth record was not available then testimony was given by witnesses (usually two witnesses) who knew the person, in order to establish the person’s place and exact date of birth.

Because the actual birth record was not available, usually only the year of birth was recorded, rather than the day, month, and year.

Rather than a birth record, usually one of these documents was provided:

Russian Polish English
показательный акт przykładowy akt ”exemplary akt”
запись показательный przykładowy rekord ”exemplary record”
акт сбидетеля akt świadka ”witness akt”
запись сбидетеля rekord świadka ”witness record”
сбидетельский акт akt zeznania / akt znania ”akt of testimony” (or “akt of knowing” or “akt of attestation”)*; more details regarding akt znania

* An example (Włoszczowa 1832 alegata marriages for Major Tenenbaum and Salamona Kierszbaum): Document indicated that Salomona Kierszbaum intended to marry Dawid Tenenbaum and asked for an akt znania to replace a birth certificate. The mayor called witnesses to ask: “What is the name and surname of the person who wants to enter marriage? how old is she? where was she born? and what is her marital status?”

Read other topics regarding Polish Jewish genealogy.

Thinking of joining CRARG? Feel free to write to me (danielkazez@crarg.org) to ask if we have records for your family! —Daniel Kazez, CRARG President (a volunteer/unpaid position)

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