Tabula Registers: An Untapped Genealogical Resource in the Lviv Archives by Alex Dunai
There is a little-known source for Galician researchers held in the Lviv State Historical Archive containing materials that were kept by an institution called in Polish “Tabula Krajowa“ which name can be approximately translated into English as “State Registrar”.
Those documents are collected in the FOND 166 in the Lviv State Central Historical Archive. The fond is also called Tabula Krajowa and is one of the biggest FONDs of the archive.It comprises 45851 documents dated 1632-1939, the main part of them dates back to 1780-1896.
The documents are neither well known nor commonly used by researchers, mainly for two reasons: complicated structure and language – they are written in an odd mixture of Latin, Gothic and old Polish bureaucratic language,a “language” that is difficult to read and understand.
FOND has 133 volumes of inventory (OPYS). Materials of the FOND are 6487 Tabula Registers listed in the 1st OPYS and 38608 separate files that appeared as a result of referring to the Tabula Registers and are listed in the remaining 132 volumes of inventory.
What are Tabula Registers? Who kept them? What was registered in them?
In order to better understand what the Tabula Registers are, let’s check the history of Tabula as a state institution.
The State Tabula starts its history from the Patent of the Austrian Emperor Joseph II from March 4, 1780. At the Royal Court of Justice in Lemberg there was created a special institution for registration of real property.
The institution was called “Royal Tabula” and it was making registration in the
so-called “Tabula Registers” of various documents concerning real property: sale, purchase, rent agreements, settlements, deeds, testaments, marriage contracts, promissory notes, guarantee obligations and various business contracts concerning the real property and business relations between realty owners.
The Tabula Registers were common for all layers of population – there was registered property of big landlords and magnates, state institutions, banks, state railroad, rural and city communities, churches, monasteries, etc., as well as various contracts of petty-traders, testaments, promissory notes, auction sales notes from a tiny shtetl in a poor province on the boundary of the Austrian Empire…
Only upon listing in the Tabula Registers deeds became legal according to the law.
In 1784 the Royal Court of Justice had been canceled and the Tabula was placed under the Nobility Court in Lemberg and was given a new name, a Galician or State Tabula .The State Tabula in Lemberg was for all of Galicia and only the Lemberg Nobility Court could make decisions on the cases that were registered in the Tabula or “intabulated”.
In 1850, after a certain court reform the State Tabula was moved under the jurisdiction of State Court.
Since 1792 there used to exist in Lemberg a separate City Tabula which kept Tabula Registers for the city of Lemberg. It fused into the State Tabula in 1860.
In 1871 there was issued a Regulation concerning decentralization of the State Tabula and as a result at all the circuit and county courts special Departments for land registration were created which during 20 years established Land Registers that were based on the Tabula Registers.
From May 1, 1891 State Tabula as an institution ceased to exist ; however Tabula Registers didn’t loose legal power. They were kept in the Lemberg Circuit Court and were constantly used as a primary source, because the newly arranged Land Registers in fact contained only references to the Tabula Registers.
Besides the registers that were kept by State Tabula there were also Tabula Registers kept by the local and Magistrate courts.
Thus the documents that we call “Tabula Registers” in fact are four types of documents:
The first type is Tabula Registers of villages and cities of Galiciathat were kept by the local and magistrate courts. Those are 1089 registers, organized in alphabetical order by the names of towns and dated mainly 1780-1895, although there are some older ones among them dating back to 1652 that were kept before establishing the institution of Tabula . Those are so called Tabula Antiqua- which means Ancient Tabula.
Tabula registers exist for the villages and towns of Galicia as follows:
Belz ( 15 volumes)
Blyszczywody(included into Mokrotyn)
Brody (32 volumes dated 1794-1884)
Buda(included into Wysoka)
Busk (5 volumes)
Dobromyl ( 16 volumes)
Dobrzanica (included into Uszkowice)
Dolina ( 10 volumes )
villages of Dolina area(included into Lopianka)
Drohobycz with suburbs( 81 volumes)
villages of Dunajow vicinity
Dynow (3 books 1780-1825)
Folwarki Wielke and Folwarki Male
Gerynia (included into Witwica)
Gliniany ( 8 voumes )
Grodek Jagiellonski (11 volumes dated 1797-1880)
Halicz ( 10 volumes 1753-1886)
Hoszow (included into Stankowce)
Hrusatycze (included into Strzeliska)
Jaroslaw ( 50 volumes 1792-1892)
Jaworow ( 9 volumes 1792-1893)
Kalusz (7 volumes 1758-1822)
Kniahinin ( 4 volumes 1801-1885)
Kolomyja ( 30 volumes)
Kropiwnik Nowy and Stary
Krystynopol (7 volumes 1792-1883)
Kuty ( 18 volumes 1781-1888)
Mariampol ( 3 volumes1807-1855)
Mokrotyn with Smerekow, Przedrzymichy and Blyszczywody
Nadziejow (included into Lopianka)
Neudorf (included into Bolechowce)
Nojdorf (included into Zawidowice)
Nowe Miasto( 1 volume )
Olesko ( 3 volumes 1798-1882)
Prochnik ( 14 volumes 1814-1874)
Przedrzymichy(included into Mokrotyn)
Przemysl with suburbs (56 volumes 1799-1894)
Przemyslany ( 11 volumes 1816-1881)
Radziechow ( 2 volumes 1827-1874)
Rawa Ruska ( 12 volumes 1796-1882)
Rozen Maly and Rozen Wielki
Roztoczki (included into Witwica)
Rudki ( 4 volumes)
Rybno with Slobodka
Rymanow with neighbouring villages (6 volumes 1782-1888)
Sambor with neighbouring villages (69 volumes)
Smerekov (included into Mokrotyn)
Sniatyn ( volumes 1791-1832)
Sokal (volumes with index)
Stanila with Stebnik and Kolpets
city of Stanislawow with suburbs (99 volumes 1784-1882 )
Stankowce with Hoszow
Stebne with Dolhopol
Strzeliska Nowe and Stare
Sulukow (included into Lopianka)
Tartakow ( 1 volume 1817-1883)
city of Tarnopol (50 volumes).
Trebowla (12 volumes 1803-1886)
Truskawiec (included into Tustanowice)
Untervalden (included into Uszkowice)
Ustrzyki Dolne (1855-1880)
Witwica including Roztoczki and Gerynia
Wojnilow (3 volumes 1652-1839)
Wysoka & Buda
Wyzniany & vicinity
Zablotow ( 3 volumes)
Zaleszczyki( 4 volumes)
Zawidowice & Nojdorf
Zbaraz( 8 volumes)
Zloczow (50 volumes)
Zolkiew (24 volumes)
Zurawno (2 volumes)
Zydaczow ( 8 volumes
Some of those registers (for example for Bolechow/Bolekhiv) have indexes for the realty owners. For many other registers indexes didn’t survive, for example for Stanislawow/Ivano-Frankivsk with suburbs there are 99 volumes of documents dated 1784-1882 with no indexes, on Tarnopol/Ternopil there are 50 volumes of registers with no indexes, which of course complicates working with those documents.
Second type is Tabula Registers that were common for all of Galicia-this is the biggest and most complicated by its structure group of Tabula Registers that comprises about 3000 volumes. These records were kept in a certain order:
1) Registers of documents (Libri instrumentorum )
2) Registers of the realty owners (Libri dominiorum)
3) Registers of obligations and promissory notes granted by realty (Libri obligationum)
4) Registers of contracts concerning mortgage, sale/purchase and rent of realty (Libri contractorum)
5) Registers of powers of attorney for property cases (Libri plenipotentiarum)
6) Registers of agreements (Libri pactorum)
7) Registers of references concerning promissory notes (Libri preanotationum)
8) Registers of financial settlements of realty owners (Libri quitantiarum)
9) Registers of declarations concerning property issues (Libri relationum)
10) Registers of settlements (Libri fundationum)
Registers of documents(Libri instrumentorum ) and registers of realty owners (Libri dominiorum) were arranged by circuits:
Brzezany, Bochnia, Wadowice, Zolkiew, Zloczow, Kolomyja,Lwow, Nowy Sacz , Jaslo,Przemyslany, Rzeszow,Sambor,Stanislawow, Stryj, Sanok,Tarnow, Tarnopol,Czortkow.
All the rest of the registers were kept for all of Galicia.
There are about 300 volumes of various types of indexes to the Tabula Registersof Galicia, including the ones organized by the names of realty owners and by the names of towns.
The third type are Tabula Registers for the city of Lemberg(Lviv). Those are 932 volumes dated 1787-1886 that include registers of realty owners, registers of contracts and deeds, registers of wills, registers of powers of attorney, etc
For the Tabula Registers of Lemberg there is a big group of indexes that are organized in the order of house number and in the order of the realty owners’ names.
Besides those there are indexes of individuals who had financial claims on the property owners in Lemberg.
The fourth and the smallest by number of the registers are the Tabula Registers concerning inhabitants of the towns in the suburbs of Lemberg – 67 volumes organized by the names of towns:
Basiowka, Bilogorszcze, Brzuchowice, Hamulets, Grzybowice, Hodowice, Horodowice,Holosko Wielkie, Holosko Male, Zydatice, Zawadow, Zamarstynow, Zarudce, Zaszkow,Zboiska, Zimna Woda, Rudno, Kaltwaser, Zniesienie, Zubra, Kleparow, Kosiejow, Krzywczyce, Persenkowka, Sichow, Sknilow, Jaryczow,Jaryczow Nowy
There are indexes and reference books available for the above documents.
Of course, the huge amount of the documents and necessity to use several kinds of indexes may threaten many researchers . However many of those documents contain information that is invaluable for Jewish genealogy research.
Jews in Galicia have never been big landowners, but frequently they were at least owners of their houses - houses where the families resided. Besides, traditionally Jews were very active in commerce and business. Certainly some of the deals and contracts were not registered in the registers run by officials. However lots of them were registered, for example in the Tabula Register of Kalush for 1811-1822 there are listed 89 various contracts where Jews are the participants.
Here are examples of such contracts:
Contract of purchase #124. Kalusz April 29, 1816
Today,in the end of the day,between a realty owner Ester Glanz on the one side and her son Moses Glanz on the other side has been agreed and declared next:
1.Ester Glanz sells a house #327 (which she has inherited according to the Will dated Iyar 5, 5567 on Jewish calendar and issued by her husband Izaak Glanc who died in a fire) and a parcel of land whithin the known bundaries between the neighbours Osias Hausner and Dawid Lemonim,to her son Moses Glanz for the amount of 1400 florins which she has received in advance. Thus,
2.The seller immediately upon signing this contract on purchase considers her son a purchaser and guarantees him a full right of ownership and this shall be inscribed into the land registers.
3.From the day of purchase the purchaser Moses Glanc shall bear all the expenses involved.
4.The seller must pass the land to the purchaser along with the debts.
This contract has been signed in the presence of two witnesses.
Kalusz April 29, 1816
Erechiel Glanz signed this contract to verify it
Witneses: Jakob Rudolf, ,Berl Frankforter
Contract of purchase #146. Kalusz, May 6, 1817
Today between two married couples:Chaim & Sara Mariam Kaufman and Abraham & Chaje Kaufman with permission of their stepfather Feibel Spindel on the one side and Joel Juny on the other side, there was decided,agreed and confirmed the next:
The seller, the above mentioned brothers Chaim and Abraham Kaufman, with permission of their stepfather Feibel who acts as heir of their deceased mother Malka, have sold to the purchaser Joel Juny for the amount of 1060 guldens parcel of land with a house #376.
The above mentioned parcel with a house is located whithin the nextboundaries:
on the east - Coetur Street,on the south - neighbours Abraham Spatz and David Vogler, on the north-a parcel with a building belonging to Markus Klarman,which he has bought from the deceased owner Malka Kaufmanand joined to his parcel,so
in case Markus would like to build anything on his parcel he has to leavea passage about 7.7 feet wide and the rest of the passage will be on the side of a neighbour Haim Weichertz and the above purchaser may use the passage exactly as its written in the Markus Klarman's contract ofpurchase; and
since the purchaser has paid in full to the sellers the cost of the above mentioned parcel,the sellers are obliged to pass this land along with all the duties and debts to the purchaser,and
the purchaser takes to his account paying off all the debts except the debts for purchasing construction materials, and expresses his readiness to pay off the bills;
upon signing this agreement,the purchaser gets the right of ownership to the land and this must be inscribed into the land registers;
the purchaser must cover all the expenses since the day of the purchase.
This agreement has been signed in the presence fo two witnesses.
Kalusz, May 6,1817
Osias Feibel Spindler, Chaim Kaufman,Sara Mariam, Abraham, Chaje
Witnesses: Marcus Pflugman, Hersz Schuldiner from Kalusz
Inscribed into Kalusz register on August 8, 1817,# 450
In the Tabula Register of Horodok/Grodek Jagiellonski for 1848-1860 from the listed 308 contracts 92 were signed by Jews.
In the Register from Krakowiec/Krakovets for 1809 - 1829 there are listed 64 contracts between Jewish people.
Most often one comes across agreements on purchase / sale of houses and plots of land, promissory notes, wills (particularly informative – there are listed all family members, property of the family, administrator of the inheritance); documents of public sales also contain much information valuable for genealogy researchers.
Power of Attorney. Krakowiec, May 17, 1810
Moszko Med, Susse Med and Feiga Zlota Med issued a Power of Attorney to Hershko Haberman, Przemysl citizen, in order to represent them as the heirs of their deceased parents Abraham Mortkowicz and Dyna Leibowiczowa.
Power of attorney has been signed by witnesses: Szmul Rosenbach and Joseph Knapp
Promissory note. Krakowiec, August 17, 1810
Dawid Malc and his wife Eidla borrow 500 zlotys from a priest Michal Sawicki.