Iwona's Sources - Alegata - Documents in Genealogy

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Alegata - Unknown and Important Documents in Genealogy

  Alegat is a Polish word of Latin origin, from allegatio, "sending someone as an intermediary; a citation of proof; a submitted document." It is not only an interesting relic of phraseology from ecclesiastical langue, but above all, it includes great potential genealogical significance. This word, seemingly forgotten and archaic, is currently undergoing a rebirth, precisely because of genealogy. Many beginning researchers do not know about the existence and meaning of these documents.

Alegata (the plural of alegat) are original documents attached to metrical records, most often to marriage records, as essential proof of the fulfillment of formalities required by parish priests or civil registrars (during the Napoleonic era, one person, as a rule, held both titles). In other words, they are original extracts from the birth records of spouses who come from areas outside the territory of a given parish, or death records of spouses as proof of widow or widower status. Also found in alegata are extracts from death records in the case of persons who died outside their home parish. Also attached sporadically are transcripts of divorce cases or banns. The documents were drawn up during the period 1808-1945 by priests, administrators, and, at times, local justices of the peace (for example, for foreigners) . Alegata accompany metrical records in the form of loose documents at the end of the books or as separate files of documents sown in to the book, also called aneksy. Alegata or aneksy are standard items in inventories of metrical registers (for all faiths) from the territory of the former Russian partition. This resulted from internal regulations of the Russian administration that ordered submission of alegata and of duplicates of the records to the appropriate units of national administration.

Unfortunately, alegata are lacking as archival units in the holdings of metrical documents from the territories of Galicia and Prussia. Sometimes one may encounter this type of document among the pages of metrical registers. Unfortunately, the alegata have rarely been microfilmed by the Mormons; nor have they been copied, and thus they are accessible only on site at the archives.

Figure 1: An 1812 alegat dealing with the 1771 baptism of lakub Podgurski in Sienna.               

Alegata in the inventory of entries for the Roman Catholic parish in Sienno include:

Births, marriages, deaths: 1810-1825, 1826 -1870, 1874-1906. Alegata: 1811-1814, 1823, 1825, 1826-1830, 1832-1835, 1839-1873, 1874-1906

The documents reproduced as Figures 1, 2, and 3 provide examples of alegata containing information not available in regular metrical records.

1) an alegat dated 3 October 1812 regarding the baptism of Jakub Podgurski, baptized 22 July 1771 in Sienno parish. Thanks to this alegat, we gain valuable information about the date and place of Jakub's birth, because the registers for this parish begin only with the year 1810.

2) an alegat dated 5 May 1858 in the parish church at Radom, dealing with the death of Karol Podgurski, who died in the hospital on 27 August 1855 at the age of 60, and who lived in the parish town of Pawlowice. In this case, there were problems finding information about the death, because Karol died 80 km. from his place of residence.

Figure 2: An 1858 alegat dealing with the 1855 death of Karol Podgurski in Radom.

3) an alegat dated 11 October 1825in the parish of Pawlowice, dealing with the second reading of the banns for the marriage between Pawel Podg6rski and Marianna Porzanka. The bann was to be read on 30 October 1825. The future spouses came from different parishes, Pawel from Pawlowice, Marianna from Sienno. Obviously, this marriage record was not in the Pawlowice parish registers. The additional and valuable information provided by the alegat was the bride's maiden name-originally the name Stanczyk was entered, but it was crossed out and "nee Bobańska" was written in above it-and the death of the groom's father, noted in the document's margin.

Figure 3: An 1825 alegat dealing with marriage banns.

Iwona Dakiniewicz, Łódź, Poland genealogy@pro.onet.pl

[with translation assistance from William F. Hoffman]

 

 

 

 

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Last Updated on August 15, 2014