An interesting project people with Jewish relatives that lived in Poland should be aware of is the Database of Jewish Cemeteries in Poland
. Started as a database of the Jewish cemetery in Warsaw, it has expanded to include cemeteries in the following cities and towns:
- Góra Kalwaria
- Grodzisk Mazowiecki
- Mińsk Mazowiecki
- Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki
- Wysokie Mazowieckie
New cemeteries are added on a semi-regular basis. Most recently in September the databases for Sopot, Palmiry and Korczyna were added.
The database includes photographs of graves, although the photos are small and generally hard to read. In Warsaw alone, there are over 80,000 records.
If you have family that lived in any of the above cities and towns, I recommend doing a search
and seeing what you find.
Of course, when looking for Jewish cemetery records for your research, always check out the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry
(JOWBR) as well. JOWBR has records from many countries, including 69 cemeteries in Poland. In Warsaw, JOWBR lists 5 cemeteries with only 591 burials, however, so clearly if you want to do research for all Polish cemeteries you’ll need to search both databases. JOWBR has 97,953 burials in Piotrkow that this site doesn’t have. Hopefully they will share data in the future.
For more information on JOWBR and how to use it, see my blog post from the JewishGen Blog: JewishGen Basics: JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR)
who lives in South Korea sent me a link about someone who came across an abandoned Jewish cemetery deep in the jungle in Belize. Truly there are few physical boundaries today.
The pictures are not very clear, but the woman who wrote the post, Megan Wood, was traveling in Belize and came across an abandoned cemetery
which had broken gravestones on the ground. I can’t see it myself, but she says in real life it was clear the image engraved on the gravestone was that of a Star of David.
Belize never had a major Jewish community, although some refugees from Sint Eustatius
were believed to have settled there after their community was destroyed by the British military which took over that island in 1781. Jamaican Jewish traders were also know to trade at the Belize port.
The IAJGS International Jewish Cemetery Project
(IJCP) lists two mentions of burial locations
of Jews in Belize, adding up to only 5 graves, but certainly not this cemetery in the middle of nowhere.
The Jewish Online Worldwide Burial Register (JOWBR) lists 4 out of the 5 graves
mentioned in the IJCP, but doesn’t list the names on the graves.
Who were these Jews and what were they doing far into the jungle of Belize?
Please check out my latest guest article on the JewishGen Blog:JewishGen Basics: JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR)
In the article I cover how to use JOWBR to find graves all over the world (there are over 1.5 million records in JOWBR), as well as other Jewish cemetery resources including JewishData.com
and many more.