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Professor M.V.Dovnar-Zapolsky

Parish registers (metric books)

Separate parish registers were kept  for each religious group: Orthodox (approximately 70% of the population of Belarus), Catholic and Israelites (each approximately 15-20% of the population), Protestant-Evangelical, Lutheran (a very small part of the population). The births, marriages and deaths of all parishioners were registered in the parish. In some of the Orthodox and Catholic parishes, a small number of confession sheets with information on all the parishioners of a particular year, and marriage lists (information on the families getting married) have also been preserved. According to the annual copies of the parish records, which were  presented by each parish, summary registers for each district (uezd) or its part (deanery - blagochinie, dekanat) were written. The historical archives of Belarus preserve registers of separate parishes, as well as some registers of separate uezds and deaneries.

Our index contains general information concerning parishes and covering dates of the remaining parish registers; information concerning other types of parish records and lists. At present our website gives information relating to the former Vilno (Vilnius), Minsk and Grodno provinces. Information on parish registers for the Vitebsk and Mogilev provinces will be included in the index as soon as these records are anew systematized by the staff of the National Historical Archives of Belarus. It should be noted that our index does not separately indicate records of births, marriages and deaths. One can receive more detailed information in the inventories of the appropriate archive group (fonds) after applying directly to the Archive.
In addition, a part of the parish registers for the end of the 19th century and  the first decades of the 20th century are temporarily kept in the archives of the civilian registry offices (ZAGS) under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus. As soon as these registers are transferred to the Historical Archives, one will be able to find necessary information in our index.

Parish registers:

Orthodox and Uniate (Greek-Catholic) churches
Catholic churches

Unified index to Catholic parish registers held at the National Historical Archives of Belarus in Grodno (in Russian)
RAR Excel, 29 Ęb

Unified index to Orthodox parish registers held at the National Historical Archives of Belarus in Grodno (in Russian)
RAR Excel, 39 Ęb

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