Monday, December 8, 2008

Netherlands: 1639-48 Jewish burial register online

The Municipal Archives of Amsterdam has published the "Burial Register of the Portuguese-Israelite-Municipality Talmud Torah in Amsterdam, 1639-1648" (Comessado em Pesah do Anno 5399 em Amsterdam, in Portuguese). Introduction, text and index: Lydia Hagoort, with W.Chr. Pieterse.

This transcription is the first both printed and digital book by Amsterdam's Municipal Archives. The download is free.

The website is in Dutch, as is the information about the register. With a smattering of languages, I got through a quick overview, but I know missed many important details. However, as in most genealogical books, lists of names are not dependent on language. A name is a name, and this register is a goldmine if you are searching Sephardic names.

The homepage links to an article about the register, and in the article is the download link for the book, which text is mostly in Portuguese with some Hebrew. Other portions are in Dutch.

Entries offer data concerning each burial: name, family relation, burial date and a list of people attending the burial with indications of the amount they paid - I am not sure if these figures were as contributions to a particular burial or as general donations to the cemetery. Sometimes the family relationship is mentioned: son, grandson or uncle of the deceased. Data includes Jewish and/or secular dates.

There are also lists of people who paid for burials or for gravestones. Annual expense accountings are included.

An earlier burial register over the years 1615-1630, was published previously: Livro de Bet Haim do Kahal Kados de bet Yahacob (1970, original text), by Wilhelmina C. Pieterse. The next register, beginning in 1680, has not yet been published.

On page 8, find a note on names and variants, including changes in initial, middle or endings of certain names. I have added some others not in that note:

Barrasa, Baraza, Barazza, Barassa, Barraza, Barasa
Curiel, Corial
Paache, Palache, Pahache, Payache
Bivas, Bibas
Palasios, Palacios
Mendes, Mendez
Anar, Nar, Naar
Valerio, Valeirio
Barbanel, Abarbanel
Yessurun, Yezurun, Ysarun, Ysurun, Yisurun, Juzurun, Esarun

First names also offer variations. For example, Jacob may be listed as Yahacob, Yacob, Jacob, Jaquo, Yaquo and others.

There is a glossary of Hebrew terms, with explanations in Dutch. A bibliography of useful texts is on page 10, and the cross-referenced Name Register starts on page 198. The introduction reveals there are some 165 hand-written pages in the original.

For a very detailed article (in Dutch) about the 1614-1943 Jewish community archives, click here. The book is available free for download at the links above.

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