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Thursday, June 25, 2009

How to Obtain Complete Details from an index-only database

M. R. asked
I am trying to figure out if the birth record that I found on and listed below could be my great uncle's (Morris Yudin/Judin) or one of his brother's (Sam/Shamer, Abraham/Abram, Israel/Yrael) because the year is approximately right. (according to Morris's marriage certificate he was born in 1877) I believe the family was originally from Sharkovshchina (the American pronunciation of the family's original home was "Sharkoytzin" according to my uncle), part of the former Empire of Russia in the late 19th C., but present day in Belarus. I just found out that the father's name for the above men was Yehuda Leib Judin/Yudin (Lewis/Louis in English) and the mother's maiden name was Malka (Mollie) Shapiro (I don't know the Russian equivalent of Shapiro).

I would like to know:

1. Would a child born in one location have a birth registered in a location about 115 miles away at that time?

2. more information about that particular index entry, ie child's first name, parents name's, etc.

3. What is "Yehuda"?? the first name, the patronym or something else? On naturalization records/marriage records the father's name was only listed as Leib, but family just told me about the "yehuda" part, although there was an illegible word on a ship manifest before the word, Leib (you commented on this in a June 3 response, Tips on reading handwriting in old documents)

Thank you again for your help.
Jewish Gem

Belarus: Mogilev Male Birth Index, 1862-1893
about Yudin
Last Name: Yudin
Father: Leiba
Birth Year: 1879
Index: 248

Olive Tree Answer: Hello again! As always you have written a very concise and easy to follow query, so I thank you! I have left your query intact but am only going to answer questions #1 & #2 today.

Re #1 - The short answer is "yes". Anything is possible. The couple may have taken their newborn child to visit family and then decided to register the birth. There could be any number of reasons why a child's birth might be registered some distance from its home.

Re #2 - Whenever you find a database, whether it is online or in a book or on microfilm, always read the Source Information. Sometimes this is in the preface or at the end of the database. You have to look around for it but somewhere there should be an explanation of what the database contains, and how you can obtain full details if it is an index.

In this case if you go to and use their Card Catalogue to get to the specific search page for Belarus: Mogilev Male Birth Index, 1862-1893 you will find your answer. Under the search box, there is a paragraph titled Source Information, then a paragraph titled About Belarus: Mogilev Male Birth Index, 1862-1893 and lastly this statement

Where to go from here:
For more information about this database, please visit the JewishGen website:
Mogilev Birth Index for Boys, 1864-1894
There is a clickable link to the website and a very complete explanation of how to obtain the full birth record. Please keep us informed as to how your search is progressing!

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