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Nikolsburg Graveyard Register Database

by Mark Tritsch

This database contains the names of over 4,500 persons recorded as buried in the Jewish Cemetery of Nikolsburg.  This town is now known as Mikulov and situated in the Czech Republic.

The Jewish community of Nikolsburg (halfway between Vienna and Brünn) was from early times the seat of the Moravian Chief Rabbi, and during the 18th and early 19th centuries it expanded to become the dominant Jewish settlement of Moravia and a great center of Jewish learning.  A big cemetery was laid out next to the ghetto and as the size of the community grew it was enlarged and also parts of it were covered over and reused.  The names of over 4,500 persons buried in the cemetery are recorded in the Nikolsburg Cemetery Register, which is the source of the information contained in this database.

Actually entitled "Grundbuch für den Friedhof der Israelitengemeinde Nikolsburg", the register was compiled in 1898 by the then Chevra Kadischa (burial society) under the chairmanship of Hermann Deutsch.  However, the book was continuously brought up to date in the following years and the last entries are in the 1930s.  So it is in fact a complete record of graves which were visible in 1898 or later.  Most of the records are from the 19th or late 18th century.  There is no fixed date to which the earliest records can be referred, since some older parts of the cemetery were covered over and reused, but some records go back to the 17th century.

A significant feature of the data is that for the years 1914 - 1917, it contains burial records for hundreds of Galician Jews, thousands of whom lived in Nikolsburg during the First World War as refugees.  These graves are all in section IX of the graveyard.

The original register

There are two original copies of the Register, both in the possession of the Brno Jewish community and presently accessible only at their office in Brno.  The material for the database has been taken from a xerox of one of these originals.

The original register contains four columns: the position of the grave, the surname, the first name(s) and a column for comments.  I have entered all the data available in the register into the database.  Where German words occurred, I have translated them into English.  However it has not been practicable to include the Hebrew entries.  These were in fact not many in number and I have noted their presence in the original with the abbreviation "HN" in the comments field of the relevant entry in the database.

The register is organized according to the layout of the graveyard, section for section (these are numbered with roman numerals), then row for row within each section and by grave number within each row (these in arabic numerals).

The Database

There are at present five fields in the database:

  • Grave section_row_number
  • Surname
  • Given name(s)
  • Comments
  • Age (Date of death)

In the "section_row_number" field, the section is in roman numerals, row and number are in arabic numerals.  The surname field may contain alternative surnames used for the same person.  The given names field may also contain two or more names.  The field for age and date of death at present contains very little data on age, but the date of death is given for burials after the 1880s, when this began to be entered in the register.  The comments field may contain several different kinds of information from the register:

  • Names of relatives *
  • Surnames entered without further comment in the original register *
  • Maiden name *
  • Occupation
  • SGA = same grave as (name); sometimes two persons were buried in one grave *
  • NG = no gravestone
* the entry concerned will be returned by searches with the appropriate surnames.

Finding neighbouring graves: Sometimes relatives are buried next to one another or in close proximity in the same row of graves.  You can look for for these by doing a "Global Text Search" for the grave section_row.  For example, if you are looking for neighbours of grave V_5_9, entering V_5 as a global text search will give you all the graves in row 5 of section V.  Sometimes it is worth looking at the graves in neighbouring rows as well.

Name lists: Before doing a search it may be useful to consult the following.

Only the beginning...

The grave section/row/number is at present of only limited use for actually finding the graves on the ground, since the graveyard map has been lost.  Reconstruction of this map is an urgent task, which I hope may be accomplished in the course of this year.  It is my hope that by making this database available, it will be possible to gather together persons interested in collecting additional information on site during visits to Mikulov.  The gravestones, about half of which are in Hebrew, contain much additonal information that could in future be included in this database.  The age field, for example, currently has data for only very few entries.  If you can help, please contact me!

Copyright ©2000 Mark Tritsch


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