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Belarus Census

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Recent Census Information[edit | edit source]

Belarus Ministry of Statistics and Analysis right click to translate in your browser

Historical Census Resources[edit | edit source]

Research use: Excellent source for identifying family groups. Due to the difficulty in using metrical books, the revision list provides the most information for the least amount of effort. The original returns are bound in volumes that are sometimes three to four feet thick, making them very difficult to handle except on microfilm.

Record type: Population enumerations were conducted after the revisions for the purpose of assessing a poll tax and identifying those for conscription into the military.

General: The term supplemental revision lists was used in some areas when referring to family lists. Since there was no universal mandate as in the case of the revisions to create these records, they occur randomly at different times for different places. Family lists were also created by conscription offices that listed all male members of a family along with their parents.

Time period: 1860-1920.

Contents: Head of household, family members, ages; other details vary.

Location: Central state historical archives in Minsk and Grodno.

Population coverage: 30% coverage because conducted randomly on a local basis and not always preserved.[1]

Census Records (Revision Listings) National Archives Belarus - Minsk and Grodno Provinces

Lithuanian National Archives for some Vilno Province records - right click and translate in your browser

Russian Empire Census[edit | edit source]

Research use: Identify family groups and give extensive personal information. Identify location of birth as well as residence, leading to other research sources.

Record type: Population enumeration primarily for statistical purposes.

General: The only general census in Imperial Russia was conducted in the middle of winter, January 28, 1897, when the population was least mobile. It was undertaken by the Central Census Bureau, subordinate to the Central Statistical Committee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Russian Empire. Two copies were created, one kept locally and the other sent into the Ministry. The Ministry copy was eventually destroyed. A second census was anticipated in 1914 but World War I intervened.

Time period: 1897.

Contents: There is a separate list for each household. The first page of each enumeration form notes state (guberniia), county (uezd), district (volost), village, name of head of household, number of dwellings, number of souls found on day census was taken (divided by sex), number living there permanently, how many people are there who are not peasants, those who live there but are not official residents, and signature of person who compiled the form. On the following pages is listed: name; note if blind, deaf, mute, or insane; relationship to head of family and head of household; age; marital status; social rank; birthplace; where registered; residence; note if person is absent at the time of the census; native tongue; literacy; place of study or graduation; main profession; additional profession; military status.

Location: Central state archive in Grodno has the census for the Grodno region.

Population coverage: 10% (see preservation note).

Preservation of records/vulnerability: The lists are well preserved in a good facility. The records were little used in the twentieth century.[1]

Revision Lists[edit | edit source]

Research use: Excellent source for identifying family groups. Due to the difficulty in using metrical books, the revision list provides the most information for the least amount of effort. The original returns are bound in volumes that are sometimes three to four feet thick, making them very difficult to handle except on microfilm.

Record type: Population enumeration for the purpose of assessing a poll tax and identifying those for conscription into the military.

General: Ten official revisions were conducted in the Russian Empire through 1859. Enumeration began in Belarus, after it was annexed by that empire, with the fifth revision (1794-1808), and continued with the sixth (1811), seventh (1815-1825), eighth (1833-1835), ninth (1850-1852) and tenth (1857-1859). One copy was kept in the county treasury (uezdnoe kaznacheistvo) and the other was sent to the provincial fiscal chamber (gubernskaiia kazennaia palata). Separate lists were kept for the different social classes such as merchants (kupechestvo), townspeople (meshchane) and peasants (krestiane). Revision lists (skazski) are filed and bound by districts and large cities.

Time period: 1794-1859.

Contents: Revision number of household, name, parentage, age, age at time of previous revision, sex, nationality, social rank, relationship to household head, and change of status since the last revision of all those in the household. Females were not recorded in the sixth revision. The fifth revision included information on the parentage of the females but this was dropped as of the sixth revision. Sometimes the lists are accompanied by supporting documentation.

Location: Revision lists are at the central state historical archives in Minsk and Grodno.

Population coverage: 75% coverage. This record was not compiled for non-taxed classes: the nobility, high officials, clergy, military, and foreigners. Also, many people evaded enumeration.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Belarus,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 2002.