When is Minsk not Minsk? #belarus

Howard Margol

"From: shimong5@...
I was told by elderly relatives that my great-grandmother had told
them that both the FELDMAN and MINOCHIN (MENUCHIN) sides of my family
were >from MINSK. I've recently received indication that they were
actually both >from SHKLOV. I recall reading that Belarus immigrants
to the U.S. of that generation (around the turn of the century) who
were >from the Minsk region or even a neighboring region of Belarus (in
the case of SHKLOV, the MOGILEV region) would tell their children or
grandchildren that they were >from "Minsk" as opposed to the
"backwater" shtetl in the Minsk or neighboring region that they were
actually from. I'd appreciate any feedback on this concept and if in fact
it is a valid one.

I've found both MINOCHIN and FELDMAN ancestors interred in the
Shklover Benevolent Association section of the Mt. Zion cemetery in
Queens, NY. Did these early 20th century societies based in the Bronx
or Brooklyn generally make their cemetery plots available only to
those who came >from the particular town (and their spouses or
children) and were association members or were they available to
others as well under certain circumstances?"
The concept you mention is a very valid one and remains in practice even
today. If a visitor to someplace in the USA, or even to a foreign county, is
asked where are they from, they give the name of a major city even though
that is not actually where they live. They may be >from a small town outside
of New York City but they will say they are >from New York, meaning New
York City.

Regarding cemeteries in the 20th century, many immigrants became a member
of a burial society connected to the region where they were >from even if a
burial society closer to where they were actually >from did not exist. I
believe membership was open to everyone, regardless of where they were from.

Howard Margol

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