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Census of Jewish Family Heads
In Beograd, Serbia in 1856

Index prepared by Mathilde Tagger


   This database is based on a document no. YU/9 found in the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People in Jerusalem. That document is a list of the Jewish Family Heads who lived in Belgrade (now Beograd) in 1856.
   The census covers 307 family heads and a total of 1,471 souls. Besides the surname and given name of the family head, it includes the place of birth, his age, his profession, the number of his family members, his possessions and family. Twelve of the family heads were widows and three were pupils, probably orphans.
   The census was handwritten in Latin letters (diacritical marks have not been transcribed). At the time of the census Serbian was written in a variation of the Cyrillic alphabet. This is why it is probable that this document was ordered by a foreign charity society or by a philanthropist such as Sir Moses Montefiore.

Surnames and given names: Out of the 307 listed persons, 297 of them have a surname. They often have two given names. It is possible that the second name is the father's name but here there is no way to know.
Place of Birth: 93% were born in Belgrade, 5% in Bosnia. The remaining are from other places in Serbia, from Bulgaria and Turkey and one from Greece. The country name is added after the birth place by the indexer.
Age: For eleven persons the age is not mentioned. They are mainly widows. Most of the family heads were aged between 30 and 50 years. The eldest ones - three of them- were 70 years old.
Profession: Most of the professions are various kinds of merchants. A profession not often encountered is: Buttons maker. There were five of them! It was impossible to find the translation of three professions: Sambar that was used once, Samsor in 8 cases and Seprel in one case. In the original census this section included too eleven widows and three pupils. Not finding them appropriate to 'Profession', they are now in the Notes column.
Possessions: There are four kinds of possessions: house owner (45%), has no house (34%), has nothing (19%) and shop owner (1%).
Number of Family Members: This number is missing for 25 family heads. 70% of the families has between 3 and 6 members while 22% of the families count 4 members.
Notes: There was no Notes section in the original document. This new column now includes the name of the family head's father when given, pupils and widows.

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© Jeffrey Malka, 2007
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