​​The Jewish Families of Ostropol
 Researching  Jewish Families in the territories of the Russian Empire and in the small Ukrainian town of Ostropol



References, Historians, and Reviews, for Early History of Jewish Ostropol and Volhynia
Judith Kalik - coming soon
Gershon Hundert - coming soon
Moshe J. Rosman - coming soon



Archives Holding Materials for Ostropol Jews from 18th Century Coming Soon!



Rec​ords from Other Towns in Ostrog District of Wolyn Voivodship before 1795 Coming Soon!


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The Kantor and Kantoretz Families of Ostropol and Lyubar 36.00 USD





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Fill in  Form on any page on website and then order  from Newspaper Lists of Conscription, Tax, or Voters  with this payment link  14.00 USD per individual's record

Custom Searches
I will do Custom Searches of the Newspaper of Record for the Guberniyas,  for Volhynia and Podolia Guberniyas for male births. I will do Custom Searches of Imaged Birth and Death Metrika where I have those registers. The search is for a 2 yr period when you have the year from a non Russian source, the year you have, and the year previous. Normally 60.00 USD for one two-year search,  sold in a package of 180.00 for four searches, a sixty dollar savings.

Family Summaries ​​
Ask me about a family summary on  your ancestors from where they appear in the 1834 Revision List and back in time from there. You get all of the family members we have identified, images of the original documents on which they appear from 1834 towards our time, information on who registered their surname in Ostropol in 1805, and a list of records so far found in which they appear. 

Deborah Glassman's publishing company is  called "Breaking Down Brick Walls Genealogy Publishers" - that is the name that appears on your order and credit card statement . You are ordering  eBooks or Search Services for individuals in the records, unless you are purchasing the print edition of the Jewish Families of Ostropol.  If the eBook is not successfully downloaded you must inform me so I can get it to you by another means. There are no refunds for eBooks once they have been downloaded.  There are no refunds for Search Services, once the scope of work has been agreed.  
Quarterly Columns  Go to the Quarterly Columns'  Section Link for More Complete List of relevant articles 


Ostropol Artifacts



​Ostropol Jewish Villages (from Pre-1795)- Gubin,  Knizhniki, Khnyaze, Ladogi, Miaskifka,  Mikelritzi, Mishkantz, Pechanovka, Pedynki, and more Coming Soon!


Our Research Calendar 

March 2019 The Parameters

Cemeteries:
Photos, Translations, Proximity 

***Cemeteries in Ostropol

Coming  Soon!

Karol Pawel Sanguszko (aka Paul Charles Sangushko) (1680-1750)
Owner of Ostropol from 1711. He ordered the creation of the  1727 Inventory of Ostropol which named Jewish residents.  The document is in the Wawel Castle Archive, of Poland's  National Archive in  Krakow Picture from Wikipedia common license


There is lots I don't know about the whereabouts of records from this time period. All suggestions welcome! Drop me a note on one of the Contact Forms. Make a suggestion, or recommend a person I should talk to! Want to hear from you!
Deborah Glassman
Historian of the Jewish Community of Ostropol











​​Records of Ostropol’s Jews during the
Commonwealth of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, from the 1580s to 1793 
by Deborah G. Glassman, copyright 2019

This article and all of the articles and indexes  linked on this page are copyright and may not be used without the written permission of the copyright holder.

  
This Section of the Jewish Families of Ostropol website  includes records created in: the national jurisdiction of the Commonwealth of the Kingdom of Poland and the  Grand Duchy of Lithuania; the subordinate jurisdictions of that nation; and by private parties including noblemen and other landowners. It includes ; Christian ecclesiastical authorities (in their roles as landlords, lenders, presiding clergy; and in ecclesiastical court proceedings) as well as those  Jewish records  of legislative organizations, courts, brotherhoods, rabbinical writings, registers, or other.  It will also include Books Reviews and aids to understanding our Ostropol kinsmen of this early period, as we find them. 
 
Ostropol was founded in 1561 and sometime in the next forty years had a Jewish community sufficient to be mentioned by the most famous rabbinical authority  of sixteenth century Poland, Rabbi Meir ben Gedaliah of Lublin (1557-1616) (aka Maharam of Lublin). It was a simple reference, reporting Ostropol among the Jewish communities with synagogues, to be visited by a particular Jewish penitent as part of his sentence for an accidental manslaughter. [From Meir ben Gedaliah, Sefer She`elot u-teshuvot Maharam Lublin, Jerusalem 1977, pp. 18v-19r Question 43] Ostropol had only one synagogue at-a-time, in the Commonwealth period, but we don’t yet have a definite record of whether that synagogue on whose doorstep the penitent was to prostrate himself, was the famous wooden shul of Ostropol that we know was in existence from at least 1648 until the Twentieth Century. Maybe it was a predecessor building, that was eventually replaced by the large wooden sculptural building full of beautiful folk paintings and an ark bathed in light from high windows. We know that the building standing in 1648  stood for another two hundred and fifty years. If it had been a less stately predecessor building, then the community grew in the following fifty years from small beginnings to being able to build a landmark synagogue, and to house it's own  famous rabbi of international renown, Rabbi Samson ben Pesakh of Ostropol who was martyred in nearby Polonnoye in the Khmelnitski Massacres, 15 July 1648.
 
Ostropol and  the nearby castle city of  Konstantin (later called Old Konstantin aka Staro Konstantinov) were towns on the Sluch river  built by Prince Konstantin Ostrog (Ostrovsky) in 1561. The castle city of Staro Konstantinov was larger and more important, but the ground was much boggier where it was built near the headwaters of the Sluch River, and Prince Ostrovsky began construction at  Ostropol the same year. He wanted  drier storage for the grain he shipped in one direction to   Polish and Lithuanian markets, and for the armaments  brought upstream by which he kept his  army operating in Volhynia. Konstantin Ostrovsky was more than a castle-building leader  of the sixteenth century. He was the founder of one of the largest landholdings in the nation and it included little Ostropol. He was also the inheritor of one of the  largest Volhynian communities - Ostrog, which had been named for his ancestors two centuries earlier. Ostropol’s Jewish community was from its earliest days, connected to the Jewish community of Ostrog. The Jewish communal organization called the Council of Four Lands included Ostrog as one of its leading components from 1580 and Ostrog's elected Jewish representatives stood not just for the Jews of Ostrog but for the Jews of forty towns that were subordinate to Ostrog, including Ostropol.
 
This is the period about which we currently have the least documentation, but I have found more information in the last few months about this early period and hope to share more primary sources soon. I have written an  article  Ostropol's Research Calendar -Parameters   for  my Quarterly Column on Ostropol Research. It includes the record-creating jurisdictions of the pre-Russian period  from the 16th Century to 1795. You can see the full article at the pages for that column at Research Calendar -Parameters but it is so important to our understanding of these earliest records that I have re-posted it here as well.
   
  
Quarterly Column Ostropol's Research Calendar
March 2019– The Parameters of the Search, and Specifics 1560-1795  by Deborah G. Glassman, copyright 2019
  

The Research Calendar procedure is a tool used by researchers. It has a significant role in historical research and should be an integral part of any  genealogical research. For the study of the History of Jewish Families of Ostropol, it concentrates on six separate things.

1. Identifying the Record-Creating Jurisdictions in which Ostropol existed in any Time Period until that in which the National Jurisdiction changed, and identifying  the records created in those jurisdictions and sub-jurisdictions about Ostropol’s Jewish residents. (Parameters)
2. Identifying publications, institutions, and individuals who can provide more information about the jurisdictions and the records created in each, including locations and access. (Survey).
3. Planning the subsequent searches of said records, including archive requests and specs for researchers. (Proposal)
4. Documenting the response of  record caretakers, and the progress of researchers by date. (Tracking)
5. Extracting the information from the records (Extraction)
6. Reporting the process so the material can be further examined by others, and re-examined when new context emerge (Report)

There are four distinct Time Periods  for Ostropol which existed until the  national jurisdiction changed.
Time Period 1: Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (from the building of Ostropol in 1560 until the Final Partition by Russia in 1795. )
Time Period 2: The Russian Empire (1793-1918)
Time Period 3: The Soviet Union (1921 -1991)
Time Period 4: Ukraine (1991-to date – this first column is being written in 2019)
  
  
A determination of the Parameters requires us to learn for each:
The systems of government in each, the systems of administration of those governments and the systems of administration for  other jurisdictions in the region. 
The subordinate and superior jurisdictions for all forces of jurisdiction over Ostropol and its Jews.
The physical boundaries of each governmental unit both superior and inferior, and those of competing jurisdictions that administered any facet of the lives of Ostropol’s Jews.
To establish a rough assay of where records created by any of those jurisdictions might be expected to be found.

Administrative units and physical boundaries of  Commonwealth of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania at the National level, provincial level, county level.
National Level -System of Government: The government was a monarchy and also a parliament of nobles called a Sejm. There were three Senators from Volhynia in the national Sejm plus almost all prominent Nobles had offices that included them in the Sejm as well.  Nobles were very independent on their landed properties and in the rights they controlled. Jewish settlement was controlled by the owners of the land they settled or by cities with privileges allowing them to choose or refuse particular settlers. Kings and the parliament were limited in their rights to override particular nobles on whose lands the Jews had settled. The monarchy did maintain some taxation rights nationally.  It  did maintain a national treasury. It did maintain a national military force. The national capital was in Warsaw from 1569, and this city served as the administrative headquarters of the nation.

The national government’s authority over  Ostropol’s Jews
- re taxes:  Jews subject to very few national taxes and assessments  in the Commonwealth period but Ostropol’s Jews were calculated in military assessments and communally allocated head taxes,  
- re military service  - Jews did not serve in the national military until the very end of the Commonwealth period. Jews from Ostropol’s administrative area did serve in local militias, which were subordinate to local nobles, but  which interacted with national military forces . See the story involving Ostropol as part of the Ostrog Jewish Council, affected by the actions of a Jewish musketeer in a militia in the region, in the notes of Rabbi Meir ben Gedaliah of  Lublin (1558-1616) appended elsewhere on this page.
- re Judicial Courts of Polish officials: Warsaw was the court administrative center (for the Kingdom of Poland). Lutsk was the court administrative center for Volhynia voivodeship under the national government. Eighteenth century Poland’s king and national officials,  had very little direct legal jurisdiction by  which it could compel  Jews in private towns to appear in courts of law. Nevertheless Jews may stll appear in court records. Jews could be called to appear, fined, or held accountable for actions taken on the king’s holdings,  or in contravention to a specific monarchial  privilege such as the right to attend a fair, or non-payment of tolls. Frequently, a traveler who ran afoul of customs, tolls, or into a monopoly dispute, might be imprisoned or see his goods impounded even if they were not officially subject to the national jurisdiction, and then would appear in court proceedings. The records might include crown courts in Warsaw and the courts run for the crown under the subordinate jurisdiction of the voivodeship.  
re privileges – In other parts of the nation, the Jews received privileges such as the right to hold a fair directly from the king, but in Volhynia, it was largely the noble landlord who received such privileges and the Jews were just major beneficiaries. I have not yet found information on the recording of Ostropol's Fairs in the Commonwealth period. I hope that some of the records of the noble landlords may help us establish information about Jewish participation at Ostropol and the participation of Ostropol's Jews in other venues. 

National Records  of the Commonwealth period, which we especially need to learn more about ANSWERS WILL BE POSTED IN LATER COLUMN AS FOUND
***National Poll Taxes Where are the 1764 and 1784 records of National Poll Tax that would include Ostropol? These listed households by head of household often with patronym, wives, and children (varied by first age of reporting in different places).
***Military supplemental taxes
***Court records that name Jews of Ostropol Where are the records of Court disputes in Wolyn voivodeship? Where are records resolved in monarchy’s courts in Warsaw? Court records that name the Noble landowners of Ostropol? Disputes between  debt holders and the Jews of Ostropol?
*** National Military and their interaction with  Private militia  that included Jews in private towns
***Inventories of Archival Materials from the National Level in this time period 
***Direct subordinate level - The nation was divided into administrative areas called by historians today “voivodeships” (wojwoda), which were equivalent to the English concept of provinces. In the Commonwealth period, Ostropol was in Wolyn voivodeship, which had been established as part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1566 and became part of the new Union of Poland and Lithuania in 1569. So the founding of Volhynia guberniya was concurrent with the founding of Ostropol. This same region generally corresponded to the area later called Wolyn guberniya in the Russian period. Just as in the later Russian period Ostropol was in Wolyn (pronounced Volin, aka Volhynia guberniya), in the Polish period it had been in Wolyn wojwoda (and it was pronounced the same way it was later said in Russian.)

 Voivodeship Level -System of Government: The government was titularly headed by a one person equivalent to a Duke or Prince and with a title equivalent to Governor. That party was always a member of the highest nobility and was called the Voivode or Woiwode. One of the earliest  voivodes of Volhynia, was Janusz Ostrog, the brother of the Konstantin Ostrog who had founded Ostropol. In a microcosm of the national form, the voivode government also had a  sejmik (small parliament) representing each of the three powiats (or counties) of the voivod. Nominal judicial authority was held over the Jews, by the person who held the role of deputy regional governor called a podwojewoda. That Deputy gvernor in was in charge of an appeals court where a dispute between Jews and Christians could be heard. Many noblemen with Jews living on their lands, did not allow the appeals process to go to this court, but kept the right to hear appeals themselves. This appeals court, in any case, had no authority over individual Jews for actions taken with the Nobleman’s authority or taken on one nobleman’s property unless with that nobleman’s consent. The administrative seat of Wolyn voivodeship  was the city of Lutsk (also spelled Luck). This was the place where judicial courts met, office holders were elected, and office holders could be petitioned. 

The provincial government (Voivodeship)’s authority over Ostropol’s Jews 
-re taxes: information still being sought
- re judiciary: The records might include those of  the courts of the vovoideship in Lutsk run by the highest judicial authority of the vovoideship, the Starosta. or the official in charge of Jewish-Christian disputes the Podwojewoda. If the dispute originated in a Christian ecclesiastical court, the notes related to the originating case would also be included.
re militias: information still being sought
re property transfer: Property, both real and moveable, could be conveyed by Jews in Wolyn voivodeship. The conveyance may have been privately documented within the muniment box system – that is a family held all of the records of their purchase and sales within their own secured chests. A record would be conveyed with the property in question, and so the documents were not in a single government-controlled location. Because of this, the common way for a property record to move into a public record was via a lawsuit. The types of property that might have been conveyed in Ostropol in the eighteenth century were leases to real property; licenses to manage an asset – a fish pond, a windmill a  ferry, a ford, et al.; permissions to conduct a particular business or trade;  privileges; and hereditary rights. Conveyance might be  by deed, or bequest, or some other form. Jews often owned their houses by deed from the magnate and cited that original deed even if conveyed afterwards by a later deed or probate. Many residents, both Jews and Christians, in Wolyn Voivodeship, did not own the property by which they conducted their business (farms, shops, stores, or equipment). Nonetheless, they did havesome rights connected to it, and their heirs had rights if the property was properly bequeathed or conveyed.
re probate information still being sought
re travel information still being sought
Inventories of Archival Materials from the Wolyn voivodeship
State Archives of Volyn Region
21, Veteraniv Str., Lutsk, 43024 (building 1)  37a Glushets Str., (building 2)
This  archives holds documents of the sixteenth century including royal charters and privileges, church metrical and marriage books,  and miscellaneous items.
State Archives of Zhytomer Oblast
2/20 Ohrimova Hora Str. ( building 1) 
3 Samkova Str. (building 2) 
Zhytomyr, 10003 
Tel./Fax: 380(412) 42-48-00, 42-60-61 
E-mail: [email protected] 
This archives holds deeds and  inventories of estates of 18th century
Direct subordinate level - The voivodeship was divided into  administrative units each called a poviat, which was largely equivalent to the English concept of counties but was most often translated as districts. Poviats were often named for their largest city. Later in the Russian period, the guberniyas were divided into administrative units called an uyezd (again equivalent to  county and translated as  district), which were also often named for their largest city. Ostropol was in Lutsk poviat in the Polish period from the sixteenth century until 1793 and officially Lutsk was absorbed into Russia in 1795.

Poviat level -System of Government: There  were three poviats in Wolyn voivodship. They were centered in the towns  later called Lutsk, Vladimir-Volinski, and Kremenetz.
The county (poviat's) administrative authority over Ostropol’s Jews
Re taxes info not yet found at this level
Re land records info not yet found at this level
Re district courts info not yet found at this level

Magnate (aka Highest Noblemen)'s Authority - Ostropol was a private town, owned by an individual noble landlord each of whose predecessors  had inherited the town from  a member of his family, in the years 1560 through 1720. From the building of the town in 1560, until 1720, the land was part of the inheritance of one family, those descended from Prince Konstantin Ostrogsky.  It was part of the largest private landholding in  the kingdom – the Ostrogsky Ordinance. In 1720, the rights were divided and two different noble landlords owned different rights in what was then established as the Old and New Jewries in Ostropol. This separation continued through the end of the Polish-Lithuanian period. 

System of governance by a private noble landlord: the individual nobleman could make decisions to admit or refuse individual Jews to the town, to the separate Jewry he controlled, and to dependent villages he owned.  He could sell them  property real and movable. He could grant leases, monopolies, privileges of all kinds to any member of the Jewish community or person asking to join the Jewish community. The assets conveyed could be  real estate, or permission to operate resources like fishponds, woodlots, windmills, bridges, ferries. He could grant licenses to operate business types exclusively, to engage in trades, to buy and sell products used in the production of hard goods from leather to wool to furs.  Ostropol, like most other private towns, was required to provide a governing body to interact with the Nobleman, to collect taxes from individuals that were assessed to the community as a whole, and to provide for the smooth functioning of the community by appointing a rabbi, a cantor, a slaughterer, a bath house attendant, a sexton, a treasurer, and parties who could give their  oaths in their capacity as officials of this body called a Kahal under the Commonwealth and Kagal later under the Russians. Jews could own houses and businesses by deed, will, and lease.  
 The Nobleman (who owned Ostropol)’s authority over  Ostropol Jews:
Re taxes: Trying to find specific records and evidence, not samples from other towns
Re property: ditto
Re judicial decisions ditto
Re leases ditto
Re travel ditto
Re customs and borders ditto
Re the Jewish governing body of the town ditto
Re the operations of these businesses when owned by a Jew: taverns; shoemakers ditto
Archival Sources of Information:
At one time the Sanguszko Archives held a 1727 Inventory of Ostropol after the community split, and it was specified as that of “New Ostropol.” That archives has been reconstituted at the Wawel Archive in Warsaw. I will query for that record in March  2019. 
The Wawel Archive contains records for the following families: Potocki, Sanguszko, Dzieduszycki and Lubomirski.
From the CAHJP archives website in the territory of Belarus and the Ukraine, as well as private archives of Polish noble families, such as Landskorunskij, Lubomirskij, Potockij, Radziwil, Sapeha, Tarlo, Treter, Zamojskij; files from central government organs (14th-18th centuries),

Jewish Communal Authority inside Ostropol.  The  Jewish community was organized into a kehilla governed by a  group of property owners  who were elected by other Jewish property owners and approved by the local nobleman. The government body was called a kahal during the Polish-Lithuanian period, and a kagal during the Russian period until the mid nineteenth century, after which the name was officially replaced with obshevsto, the much less distinctive term for any Russian society or communal organization. Regardless of the name, it was set up on the rules of a medieval "corporation" which made each responsible for the debts and obligations of all of the others in the society. It was run by an oligarchy of around  twenty elected  officials whose terms were from one to three years in most places, but I have not seen specifics on the Ostropol elections. 

The Ostropol Kahal’s authority over Ostropol’s Jews. Representatives of the Jews in Ostropol were members of a governing board called the Kahal. They were  required to collect monies owed to the nobleman; to appoint a rabbi, cantor, and sexton for the synagogue; to appoint a bath house attendant; to pay the kosher slaughterer;  to appoint a treasurer; to attest to the accuracy of required documents under oath. They could negotiate loans  and agreements with other parties, (where they did not infringe on the nobleman’s rights), including to church establishments, other nobles, and  to those requiring tolls or fees.
Ostropol’s Kahal as a subordinate  jurisdiction to the Ostrog District Jewish Council (1700-1764)  which represented a core community in the Council of Four Lands. Few documents of the larger organization, survive, none to my knowledge mention Ostropol.
Other  Jewish communal organizations, which interacted with the Kahal and kehilla
Chavura (plural Chavurot)– burial societies,  study societies, charitable organizations. From 1740s, a growing phenomena in this region. Ostropol has a surviving Burial Society Register from 1763 and a Psalm Society register from around the same time.
Bet Din – Jewish courts
Ad hoc organizations at Fairs

Parties with whom the Jews of Ostropol interacted during the Commonwealth period
Commonwealth - Polish Military for Poll Tax collection (1717-1758)
Commonwealth - Officials for Poll Tax Enumeration 1764,
Voivodeship - Officials for civil and criminal court administration
Magnates – large noble landowners including the principle owners of Ostropol
Smaller local land owners  - including those who may have leased or allowed to be built: ferries; fords; windmills; water mills; factories;  - because of the Muniment system, most public records will be court records.
Church institutions  (Roman Catholic) including convents, monasteries, churches and their officials.  - The most common interaction was the Church organization making a loan to the Jewish community at interest, and the next was  leasing property to individual Jews to manage. A third type  included benefices to the church of a value derived from Jewish contracts or leases.  All of these records might be in the Church’s own records later confiscated by the Russian government, or in records of the Old Acts of the Polish Archives or in State Archives of the Russian period. ​
  


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Write to Deborah Glassman  with any questions about Ostropol research or your family in Ostropol or Volhynia.  I have added dozens of  new articles and new lists about the Jews of Ostropol. Please come back frequently to see the new additions, the new quarterly columns, and artifacts and info! You can use this form, like all of the forms on this website, to tell me what information you would like to order, or what questions or feedback you have.  
     
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