Burial Society Plot Maps in YIVO's Landsmanshaftn Collections
The record groups for the following landsmanshaftn, synagogues, and benevolent associations contain one or more plot maps for that burial society. There are other societies in the YIVO landsmanshaftn collection that may have pre-existing maps but we have not mined for them. Should you come across them please let us know.
Note that these plot maps would be current only up to the time that the society became defunct. They would not contain any burials that occurred on the society's grounds after that time even though burials often continue to occur in a society's plot after the society was liquidated. For instance, society members whose graves were indicated as "reserved" on the map may have outlived the society and were buried in their reserved lot after the society ceased to exist. Many of these maps may contain the burial date and not the actual date of death. Plus the name of the deceased on the map may differ in spelling than what is on the gravestone. A deceased widow might be listed by her first husband's surname on the plot map, but by her second husband's surname on her gravestone. Thus in order to get a true and accurate accounting of all burials in the plot up to the present, including date of death, you will still need to go to the burial society in person and compare each entry on the map with the gravestone.
The advantage of these maps is that if you plan on indexing a burial society for the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR), it will give you a heads-up as to the size of the plot and the names of most of the deceased before you step foot in the cemetery. Plus the maps may contain the names of stillborns, infants, children, and sometimes even adults who are buried in unmarked graves, or whose gravestones are too faded to be legible, or are sinking into the ground, or have fallen face down where they cannot be read. If you plan on indexing one of these societies for the JOWBR, please check the JOWBR Cemetery Inventory beforehand to make sure that the society hasn't already been done. At least nine burial societies that have plot maps at YIVO have already been indexed directly from the gravestone inscriptions in the cemetery: Chaim Hersch Weiss Courland Benevolent & Relief Society, First Janower Sick and Benevolent Association, Erster Knihinin Stanislauer Kranken Unt. Verein, First Bialekamen Aid Association, First Stanislauer Young Men's Benevolent Association, First Toporower Sick & Benevolent Society, Independent Lemberger Ladies Aid Society, Kovner Unt. Verein, and Rostover Handwerker Unt. Verein. Also note that a burial society may have a plot in more than one cemetery (or multiple plots within the same cemetery) and that the society's plot map in YIVO's landsmanshaftn collection may be for only one of its cemetery locations. For instance, the map for the Courland Benevolent & Relief Society is only for the society also known as the Old Courland Lodge and not for the New Courland Lodge in the same cemetery