Ringel house number 299 was in the heart of Rzeszów's Jewish quarter

Cadastral maps of central Rzeszów

Ringel house number 299 was in the heart of Rzeszów's Jewish quarter

Looking again for a birth record for Hirsch Ringel in Rzeszów, I found instead at Gesher Galicia's All Galicia Database listings for his three brothers, Juda, Jakob and our great-grandfather Schija Ringel, born June 13, 1856. 

The birth dates and place for the three brothers is not new to us. We have had that information from JRI-Poland for many years. However, these records from the Historical Archives of Ukraine in Lviv have only recently been added to the Gesher Galicia database. 

What is new—or at least I have noticed it for the first time—is that these birth records give a house number for the child's parents. For all three of the Ringel births in 1856, 1859 and 1861, it is recorded that Moses and Rose Lea Ringel reside in House Number 299 in Rzeszów. 

Now you might think that finding an address on a vintage map of a mid-nineteenth century Polish town would be a long shot. But I have had experience with land-parcel (cadastral) maps from this region. If there were cadastral maps for Rzeszów, there was a good chance I would find the location of house 299.

In the Gesher Galicia map room are three cadastral maps for Rzeszów, produced in 1849, 1888 and 1909. On all three, house 299 is clearly identified among a row of houses behind the old Jewish cemetery.

It is smack dab in the center of the Jewish quarter: across the way from the new synagogue to the east and down the block to the main town square to the west. Judengasse (Jew Street) was a block over. 

One thing to keep in mind is that house numbers were not assigned as we do sequentially by street. Rather they were given chronologically without reference to a street. Thus a new building or subdivided lot may have non-sequential numbers.

On the subject of subdivided lots, the Ringels' house is divided into a main building at 299-1 and some kind of outbuilding that was also a dwelling at 299-2. This division of the property is reflected in all three versions of the map, going back to before Schija's birth. 

Jews were not allowed to own property in Rzeszow until after 1860, so it is safe to say that the Ringel family were tenants at that address. However, the records tell us that the family lived in that particular place in the middle of Rzeszow's Jewish quarter during our ancestor's childhood years. 

That feels like a mini breakthrough, learning not just where the family came from but something about what their life may have been like in that place. I'll follow up with more about Jewish life in Rzeszow as time permits.