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B/M/D Records
Ship Manifests
Identification Records

B/M/D Records

(Birth, Marriage, and Death Records)
Here are birth, marriage, and death records I've been able to acquire and post to the web:
You may need to disable popups. Click on a link below to jump to the manifest of that person(s) and then Click on the pictures at right for a closeup of the ACTUAL document.

  1. Tyla Riwke Kirsztejn Birth Certificate
  2. Hershel Charach (Cohen) & Shifra Pekarsky Ketubah
  3. [Explanation of Birth/Marriage/Death Records]
  4. Birth of Shimon Szymczak (1910)
  5. Marriage of Josek Kirsztejn and Tyla Westkowski (1838)
  6. Marriage Record (reprint) of Hershel Charach (Cohen) to Shifra (Siphra/Sophie) Pekarsky
  7. Birth of Siphra (Shifra/Sophie) Pekarsky (1907)

Tyla Rywke Kirsztejn's Birth Certificate (reprint):


This birth certificate was issued in 1927 in Raciaz as a replacement because the original could not be located. Tyla Riwke had requested a copy of her original birth certificate and when it could not be located, the city of Raciaz issued her an official replacement. As you can see in this document, her father was listed as Jankiefa (a.k.a. Jacob) and her mother is Chai-Bajli nee Zelek (Chaya Baila). She was born in 1890. From what I can gather, she must have requested this birth certificate so that she would be able to emigrate to the United States. In 1927, she emigrated with her 3 living children to the U.S. What's additionally interesting is that this document was given to my father (Victor) by his brother-in-law Morris after Morris' wife (Ruchla Laja/Ruth, Victor's sister) passed away. The interesting part is that when I went to Poland in November of 2008 to research genealogy, I cam across a census book that shows that a request was made for the original birth certificate back in 1927 and since one couldn't be located a new one was printed - essentially corroborating the story and putting to rest the question of why a request for a birth certificate was made in 1927 and proving that the above text, showing that the original could not be found, is, in fact, true.

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Here is the translation of the Birth Certificate:

Birth Certificate

It happened in Raciaz, Sierpski County, Warsaw District Day 18 January 1927 (One thousand nine hundred twenty seven)

Because in the records of the non-christian faith of the religious Raciaz distric there is no birth certificate of Tyle Riwke Kirzstejn daughter of Jankief and Chaya Baila, maiden name Zelek, the Mayor of the city of Raciaz is applying paragraph 5 rule 15 (instruction about conducting certificate confirmation by the Administrative Council of the Kingdom of Poland 10/22 November 1864) and invited two credible witnesses, owners of real estate in Raciaz, who when asked, confessed as follows:

We signed below therefore we confirm that we know her very well since childhood, Kirsztejn, Tyla Riwke who is currently married to Szymczak. We know her very well since her childhood and we confirm that she is Jewish (Mojzeszowego - of the Moses faith) and was born in Raciaz in 1890 (one thousand eight hundred ninety).

Our testimony is true and we can confirm it at any given moment and as proof, we affix our signatures here.

Witnesses: Ch. W. Lejsman Paid with Stamps:
  Sz. Rozensztein 1 Zloty
Mayor: S. Witkowski 50 Groszy
Seal: Court of the City of Raciaz  
Signed City of Raciaz: (mayor's signature) (1,50 PLN)


Hershel Charach (Cohen) & Shifra Pekarsky Ketubah:


This is the Marriage Contract (Prenup, more accurately) between Hershel Charach (Cohen) and Shifra Pekarsky.

When I translate it, I will post the full translation here.

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An explanation of the Birth/Marriage/Death records from the Archives:

Birth/Marriage/Death Records, known as BMD Records, were hand written notes written by the city or county or local clerk. A person would come to the local clerk and would state something for the record. This person would bring with him witnesses to testify to the announcement. The clerk would write the story (as was standard practice at that time) and the witnesses would affix their signatures.

Because of the non-specific nature of when people came and what they declared, it was very possible, quite often was the case, that the information given to the clerk was not accurate.  Sometimes, it was because it was just not important to be specific, such as when recording the age of the parents at the birth of a child. Did it really matter if the parents were 21, 22 or their age was just rounded to 20. Sometimes, false information was given to protect the child from harm. This was done to record the age of the child late so that when it came time to be conscripted into the army at 16, their paperwork would show them as 14 and they would not be taken. When they were taken, two years later, they were 18, not 16, and the hope was that they would be able to survive better, drawing from their knowledge and experience of being 18 years old and not 16. Sometimes, the dates recorded are simply the sates that the person came to the clerk. Does that mean that the person was born, married, or dies on that date? Not necessarily, but with no other information to go by, the recorded date is the accepted date.

Another note is that the spelling of names was not very important. In Hebrew, our names were very accurate, but in Latin characters, how they translated was adjusted by the clerk who was recording the information based on the pnemonics. Therefore, you might see the name Tyla as Tila, Tilla, Tillie, Tyla and see Abraham as Abram.

Many of the Polish records are indexed and on the Internet. You can find the Indexes, the names, and request copies of the BMD records either from the archivist in the central archives or you can request a microfiche to be sent to your local Latter Day Saints (LDS) church from the main LDS church. Each LDS local church has a research library with fiche machines. You can print out the fiche and take the copies, but the film stays with them.

Last, it's important to note that the recordings of the BMD records in the books changed languages. Before 1868, the books were recorded in Polish. After 1868, they were recorded in Russian. When translating, it's necessary to know the dates in order to know who needs to translate it. Also, Poland has a privacy law that doesn't permit researches to look at books less thatn 100 years old. Therefore, to gather recorded information of people born after 1908 (Since I did the research in 2008), we had to submit a request to the local office of records in the town where the person was recorded (books older than 100 years were sent to the central archives, in our case, Plock. More recent than 100 years stayed in the local archive of the towns of Drobin, Sierpc, and Raciaz).

If you want help with looking for records, ask me and I'll point you in the right direction and explain how it works.


Birth Record of Shimon Szymczak:

Drobin, 1910


Translation pending.....

Shimon, the eldest son born to Abraham Szymczak and Tyla Riwke Kirsztejn, was born in Drobin, Poland January 10, 1910. This document was pulled by the local archivist in Drobin and copied, stamped, and notarized on 12/1/2008 as to its authenticity.

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Marriage Record of Josek Kirsztejn to Tyla Westkowski

Raciaz, 1838 Akt 4


Translation pending....

This is the marriage recording of Josek (Isaac) Kirsztejn & Tyla Westkowski, in 1838, they are the parents of Jankief (Jacob) Kirsztejn (who married Ghaja Baila Zelek), the father of Tyla Riwke Kirsztejn (who married Abraham Szymczak), the mother of Victor Martin Solomon (who married Marcia Rita Cohen), my father.

Josek Kirsztejn & Tyla Westkowski
  \----------- Jankief Kirsztejn & Ghaja Baila Zelek
                      \------------ Tyla Riwke Kirsztejn & Abraham Szymczak
                                           \---------- Victor Martin Solomon & Marcia Rita Cohen
                                                            \------------ Avraham Solomon & Rebecca Steiner

This is the marriage certificate of my Great Great Grandparents. I have cleaned and cropped the image for clarity sake.
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Marriage Record (reprint) of Hershel Charach (Cohen) to Shifra (Siphra/Sophie) Pekarsky

Brooklyn, NY June 13, 1926


This is the marriage certificate of my maternal grandparents Hershel Charach (Cohen) and Shifra (Siphra/Sophie) Pekarsky. It reads:

Document # B 22248
Marriage Register No. H.D.8145-1926

This is to certify that Harry J. Cohen residing at 483 Avenue C, Bayonne, NJ born Age 26 at Russia and
Sophie Pekarsky residing at 458 Dumont Av, Bkn, N.Y. born Age 18 at Bkn, N.Y.

Were Married

on 6/13/26 at Bkn, N.Y. as shown by the duly registered license and certificate of marriage of said persons on file in this office

Dated at the Municipal Building, Brooklyn, N.Y.


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Birth Record Shifra (Siphra/Sophie) Pekarsky

Brooklyn, NY June 14, 1907

This is the birth certificate of my maternal grandmother Sifra (Shiphra/Sophie) Pekarsky. Shifra is the common Hebrew name used for her. Sophie was her English name. When she was registered, her name was registered as Siphra. Before reading this document, I was not aware that she was born at home, not at a hospital. The birth certificate reads:
City of New York
Department of Health
State of New York
Certificate and
Record of Birth
No. of Certificate
Name of Child

Siphra Pikarsky

Sex Female Father's Occupation Carpenter
Color White Mother's Name Cheie Pikarsky
Date of
June 14, 1907 Mother's Name Before Marriage Cheie Zakin
Place of Birth
Street and No.
158 Belmont Ave. Mother's Residence 158 Belmont Ave.
Isaac Pikarsky Mother's Birthplace Russia
158 Belmont Ave. Mother's
Russia Number of Previous Children 3
40 How many now living (in all) 4
Name and Address of person making this report: Signature: Betty Katzenbogen
Residence: 149 Belmont Ave
Date of Report: July 1, 1907

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Side Note:

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