Minsk Vedomosti Translation Center, etc.

The Minsk Vedomosti was the official newspaper for the Minsk Gubernya, an important region in the Russian Empire, from 1838 to 1917. Here are some translations of Vedomosti legal notices, along with other translations and research resources.

Please note that Norman Ross Publishing, the same company that publishes the Minsk Vedomosti microfilms, has also microfilmed the complete runs of the Kiev and Warsaw vedomosti. The owners of Norman Ross Publishing sold the company to ProQuest/UMI in 2002. On the other hand, the New York Public Library has put scans of its Yizkor books online. So, you lose some but you win some.


People inherit one particular type of genetic material, called "mitochondrial DNA," or "mtDNA" for short, only from their mothers. The mothers get their own mtDNA from the maternal grandmothers; the maternal grandmothers from their own mothers; and so on back to Eve. Officially, this is called "matrilineal inheritance." I sometimes refer to this as "mom line" inheritance," because "mom line" seems less scary than "matrilineal."

I sent a sample of my cheek cells to Family Tree DNA, a company in Houston that handles genetic genealogy lab tests, and paid about $300 for the deluxe mtDNA test.

I used to think that my genetic type is fairly rare, but now I know that share it with about 1 percent of people who descend from Ashkenazic Jewish women born in Belarus, as well as about 0.25% to 0.5% of descendants of other Eastern European Ashkenazic Jewish women. My female relatives in Belarus who carried this mtDNA type were named Sima Rozovsky Dobrin, born around 1860; Sima's mom, Bertha Dobrin Rozovsky; and Bertha's mom, "Mrs. Dobrin." They all lived around Bragin, in southeastern Belarus.


  1. Index
  2. Advanced search
  3. Simple search (Hint: Try * -- Ro*o* will return Rogof, Rozoff, Rolofolowolo, etc.) Sometimes this search engine seems to be a little flaky, so, if you're pretty sure something you want MUST be here, and it doesn't turn up on the search results lists, try looking at individual files.


Old Rechitsa district history
Old Rechitsa district bibliography
Al Bell's Russian and Yiddish vital records transliteration guide
Selected ROZOVSKIJs from the 1906 Minsk Gubernya voter lists


  1. Translation notes
  2. Investors in Jewish Minsk gub. "box tax" rights, 1840-1843
  3. Creditors in an 1870 Minsk gub. bankruptcy
  4. Bobruisk Revision List, 1816
  5. Miscellaneous translations
  6. Shneersons of Lubavitch
  7. 1876 Rechitsa draft notice
  8. Jewish Nesvizh draft evaders, 1874
  9. Did a Rechitsa peasant child play with matches?
  10. 1860 foreign travel notices
  11. A June 1893 debtor list
  12. An 1893 Minsk district draft notice
  13. An August 1876 Minsk Gubernya draft notice
  14. A February 1860 list of Minsk Gubernya residents subject to fines
  15. A July 1853 Minsk Service list (60 names)
  16. August 1888 additions to the Bragin draft list
  17. January 1910 **WARSAW** draft evaders
  18. 1888 draft list additions for Nesvizh, Khojniki, Kholmech, Yurevichi and Stolpetz
  19. A June 1856 list of Minsk Gubernya draft evaders


  1. Ross Publishing - the surviving independent affiliate of the company that published the Vedomosti microfilms
  2. A link to ProQuest/UMI, the company that bought the original Norman Ross Publishing
  3. Field guide to Minsk Vedomosti legal notices
  4. Do-it-yourself Minsk Vedomosti glossary
  5. Some important 19th century Russian legal terms
  6. Selected ROZOVSKIJs from the 1906 Minsk Gubernya voter lists


  1. English translation of the entry from the Slownik Geograficzny for the city of Rechitsa
  2. Translation of the Slownik entry for the district of Rechitsa
  3. Selected records for people who might be A.L. Bell's relatives (** NEW: Someone sent me records suggesting that the Rozovskijs/Rozevijs of southeastern Belarus might stem from about three to six founders who were born in the early 1700s. I haven't had the energy to prepare the info for posting on the Web, but, if you're really into families with names like these, please e-mail me and I'll respond privately.)
  4. Notes on the history of Rechitsa, a town in southeastern Belarus
  5. Maps of ancient trade routes that connected Belarus with the Mediterranean civilizations"
  6. Ancient Sweden and its ties with the Dnieper River trade
  7. 1816 Revision List entries for Bobruisk and surrounding communities (many with ties to Rechitsa and Mogilev)
  8. Did a Rechitsa peasant child play with matches?
  9. 1876 Rechitsa draft notice
  10. Bragin region Nazi victims


  1. A.L. Bell's Jewish genealogy and Belarusan genealogy resource list
  2. Field guide to the 19th century Russian printed, italic and cursive alphabets
  3. A list of Jewish Belarusan victims of Stalin's purges
  4. Jews on the Crimean peninsula
  5. Eastview Publications -- a site that sells books, newspapers, microfilm publications and other publications from Russia and other former Soviet states
  6. A.L. Bell's lovely but underpopulated Yahoo! group, Jewish Genealogy 2000
  7. Cheap New York -- Useful for young people traveling to New York to do genealogy research.
  8. David the Translator (davidc@pop.mail.rcn.net)
    Can look up vedomosti items and other info at New York-area libraries. He can also handle traslations in Hebrew, Russian Yiddish and other languages. Fees negotiable. Not affiliated with Al Bell or responsible for any translations or mistranslations on this site. Be kind and remember that translators have to pay the rent, too!


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Mail suggestions and translations to A.L. Bell (allbell@ctc.net)

My surnames: SIVAK, RUDZKI, BLANKLEIDER - northern and western Poland; BATT, CHATZKY, FERER - Shumsk, Kremenets and Vinnitsa in Ukraine; ZHITOMIRSKY/GITOMER, HAFT/HEFT - Lubny, Ukraine; RUDO, ROZOVSKY, DOBRIN, PALEY - Southeastern Belarus and Baltimore. Not BELL, unless you're related to Sam SIVAK.

If you try a site and it's missing, please email me and ask for the new address. If you forget my email, try searching for my site at http://www.google.com. Google acts as a kind of archive as well as a search engine, so you might find helpful information there long after the original server has disappeared. Note that I'm now bogged down with life and may take quite some to respond.

If you want to mirror the content here on a Web site of your own, that's cool, as long as you give me some kind of credit and don't make a zillion dollars. If you make a zillion dollars, please share! Pretty please!

Last updated (very slightly) on Feb. 2, 2020