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Bessarabia Business Directory of 1924

· Introduction
· Contents
· About this Database
· Notes for further research
· Acknowledgements
· Search the Database

This database contains records of more than 13,000 grocers, teachers, local officials, stone carvers, butchers, bakers, innkeepers, lawyers, peddlers, rabbis, and many others who worked in the early 1920s in Romania's eastern counties (formerly Bessarabia Gubernia of the Russian Empire), and who apparently were Jewish.

This information was extracted from the Anuarul "Socec" al României-mari ["Socec" Annuary of the Great-Roumania], published in Bucureşti in 1924-1925 by the prominent Romanian publishing house Socec & Co.  The Library of Congress calls the two-volume set a historic address book that "stands as the most complete survey of Greater Romania during the interwar period." http://www.loc.gov/rr/european/phonero/romfondr.html.

Database Contents

We extracted "Jewish-sounding" names listed for cities, towns, villages and hamlets in the nine counties that formed the Bessarabia region of pre-World War I Imperial Russia.  They were:

County, Cities
(Russian/Ukrainian name in parens)
# of
localities
# of
records
Population
(in 1924)
Bălţi
  · Bălţi (Beltsi)
  · Sculeni (Skulyany)
  · Pârliţa (Parlitsa)
  · Răşcani (Ryshkany)
  · Făleşti (Foleshty)
  · Alexăndreni
98 895
135
102
94
50
49
47
372,012
22,000
2,094
1,350
2,980
2,640
900
Cahul
  · Cahul (Kagul)
  · Leova (Leovo)
28 253
92
37
147,266
12,000
3,442
Cetatea Albă
  · Cetatea Albă (Belgorod Dnestrovskiy)
  · Tarutino (Tarutyne)
  · Tatar-Bunar (Tatarbunary)
  · Arciz-Vechi (Artsyz)
  · Bairamcea (Nikolayevka-Novorossiyskaya)
  · Starocazaci (Starocazache)
  · Sarata
56 1,391
606
167
140
82
72
28
22
374,806
33,900
6,087
9,898
2,577
5,000
6,373
4,380
Chişinău (not including the capital)
  · Ciuciuleni (Chuchuleny)
  · Hânceşti (Ganchesty)
  · Nisporeni (Nisporeny)
76 575
51
122
54
395,596
7,280
6,608
6,000
Hotin
  · Hotin (Khotyn)
  · Lipcani (Lipkany)
  · Edinţi-Târg (Edinets)
  · Secureni (Sekuryany)
  · Briceni (Brichany)
126 2,497
827
329
148
183
75
399,532
[not given]
4,062
4,200
7,200
10,030
Ismail
  · Ismail (Izmail)
  · Chilia Nouă (Kiliya)
  · Reni (Reni)
  · Bolgrad (Bolhrad)
  · Valcov (Vilkove)
24 640
197
174
82
66
43
228,878
37,000
12,944
12,866
18,000
6,176
Orhei
  · Orhei (Orgeev)
  · Teleneşti (Teleneshty)
  · Rezina (Rezina)
  · Călăraşi (Kalarash)
  · Olişcany (Olishkany)
110 1,926
733
334
182
148
30
342,557
20,000
5,100
5,500
7,000
5,936
Soroca
  · Soroca (Soroki)
  · Briciova (Bricheva)
  · Dumbrăveni (Dumbraveny)
  · Mărculeşti-Colonie (Markuleshty)
  · Vadu-Raşcov (Vad-Rashkov)
  · Vertiujeni Colonie (Vertyuzhany)
  · Zguriţa (Zguritsa)
112 1,988
627
127
53
211
98
127
102
381,509
27,800
5,220
2,886
5,435
9,140
2,374
5,220
Tighina
  · Tighina (Bendery)
  · Căuşanii-Noi (Kaushany)
  · Cimişlia (Chimishliya)
  · Petrovca (Petrivka)
  · Romanovca (Basarabeasca)
74 1,220
567
166
65
61
50
314,778
35,400
4,622
7,157
1,827
3,117
Chişinău (Kishinev), the capital 1 1,669 133,000

No Jewish names appeared in listings for many towns and villages.  The database contains 13,054 records for 705 localities, including Chişinău (Kishinev).

After the breakup of the Soviet Union, the independent Republic of Moldova was formed from most of Bessarabia, while significant portions of Bessarabia came under Ukrainian rule.  Names have changed since 1924 for many towns and villages.  The database shows the present name, county or province, and modern nation – Moldova or Ukraine – for each 1924 locality.

A note about the publisher:
(Adapted from an article in Wikipedia)
Socec & Co., the powerhouse of Romanian publishing during the first half of the 20th century, was founded in 1856 in Bucharest by Ion V. Socec, a Jewish bookseller who had apprenticed for 10 years under a prominent bookseller of his time.  He built his shop into the first bookstore chain in the nation, with 13 stores around the country by 1939.  The company printed textbooks and, over the years, published the most important Romanian writers, such as poet Mikhail Eminescu and novelist Anton Holban.  The business directory apparently was intended to be an annual report, but its editions printed over the years apparently were based on data collected before 1923, the Library of Congress notes.  http://www.loc.gov/rr/european/phonero/romdir.html.

About this database

Each record countains the following information:

  1. Occupation or type of business, in Romanian.  In plural form because all grocers, for example, in the town were listed in one paragraph.
  2. Occupation or type of business, translated into English.
  3. Last Name
  4. First Name and initial, if given.
  5. Address, in major cities and county capitals.
  6. Town name in 1924
  7. County name in 1924
  8. Today's location, including county and nation.  Some town names changed between 1930 and the present.  Some may have been merged into nearby villages or towns.  Some disappeared – farmland appears today where the 1930 map showed a settlement.  The present county, or judet, is shown for locations in Moldova; in Ukraine, the current raion (region) and oblast (Odess'ka province) are shown.
  9. Comments or added information from the directory listing.

Notes for further research

The Library of Congress created page images for the entire printed directory and made them available on line in the European Reading Room of its Digital Collections division.  http://www.loc.gov/library/libarch-digital.html.

A complete description of the directory, research suggestions, and a link to page images are here: http://www.loc.gov/rr/european/phonero/romdir.html.

Bessarabia pages begin with image number 1913.  To find the pages for a specific county, refer to this Library of Congress guide: http://www.loc.gov/rr/european/phonero/rmdir2help.html.

Acknowledgements

The Project Manager was Harvey Kabaker (Silver Spring, MD, USA).  Volunteer researchers for this project were: Ala Gamulka (Toronto, Ontario, Canada); Paola Khalili (London, UK); Ayana Kimron); Yefim Kogan (Newton, MA, USA); Alison Shein (Arlington, VA, USA); Flo Wolf (Atlanta, GA, USA).


Search the Database

The Bessarabia Business Directory of 1924 can be searched via both the JewishGen Romania Database and the JewishGen Ukraine Database.


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