Update on my landmanschaft question #general


Roxanne Richardson
 

Thank you to all of you who have sent me private messages with information, tips on
searching, and paths I might take to finding the passenger manifests of Hyman and
Sadie MEYERS and their children Joseph, Irving, and Fannie.

Many of you explained that there was no requirement for someone to be a society
member to buy a burial plot, and no requirement for a member to be >from the town
the home society was originally organized for.

I had long suspected that MEYERS was not the family's original surname, but had no
other name to go on. I searched for YEGUTKINS (and variations on that name) to see
if I could find any sign of the Meyers family in close proximity. It's an unusual
name, as many of you noted, and a good search strategy. I didn't find any obvious
hits that way. Once I confirmed HOMEL/GOMEL was where the family came from, I
began a systematic search for each of the kids and Sadie using the sounds like
option for the given name, the town name, Homel, a date range of 1902-1908, and the
sex/marital status for whichever person I was searching for. I didn't bother
filling in the surname, because I hadn't had luck with that even without other
filters.

I finally got a promising hit, searching for a "sounds like" given name of Shayna.
Sore MAJORZIK (another unusual surname!) arrived in New York on 20 Oct 1906 with
her children Minde, Itze, and Feige. The ages and sexes of the children I knew as
Joseph, Isidore/Irving, and Fannie were spot on (I subsequently found an outbound
UK manifest with the same group, with Josef as the name for the oldest boy, rather
than Minde, which I felt made the group even more likely to be the family I was
looking for). The family was >from Homel, Russia, and their destination was Sore's
husband. The name next to "husband" was Mr. Werner, 129 Livonia Ave. I flipped to
the back pages of the manifest to find the Detained Aliens list, and saw that
Sadie and the children were collected by her husband Chaim 3 days later. His
address was 442 Chester. 129 Livonia Ave is a few blocks away >from 442 Chester Ave.
I also noted on the manifest that in the column for Place of Birth listed Wilka.

I then checked the JewishGen Town Finder to see if there was a town by the name
Wilka in Belarus, and discovered that in 1900, Dolhinow was in a district called
"Vilejka." Perhaps Sadie (and Hyman, too) were born in Vilejka/Wilka, maybe even
in Dolhinow, or somewhere near it, after all, and moved to Gomel later on.

I bring this up, because while it is clear that the family's last residence was
Gomel, and that Fannie and her siblings were born there, that doesn't negate the
possible significance of Hyman and Sadie having purchased burial plots >from a
Dolhinow landsmanschaft. Maybe their reason for buying their burial plots >from
Beth Abraham Anshei Dolhinow has nothing to do with where they were from, as is
apparently the case for many people. But maybe it has a lot to do with it.

I don't know yet who this "Mr. Werner" was. He may have been a friend, or someone
from the Dolhinow society who the family could be certain could be contacted when
Sadie and the kids arrived. Perhaps Chaim had been boarding in Mr. Werner's home
and wasn't sure what address he would move his family into when they arrived. I
don't know yet, but the clues >from the manifest certainly make me want to look more
closely at how the family may have migrated in the decades prior to immigrating to
the U.S.

I was also able to find a manifest for a Chaim Majorezek/Mayorczek >from Homel, who
arrived in 1903 as a widower with a young son named Jankel. This doesn't appear to
be my Chaim, but perhaps he is a relative. This Chaim's occupation was a joiner,
and my Chaim was a carpenter, so there are certainly similarities. I will be
tracking him down further to see how he is connected, and I will continue to search
for our Chaim's records, as well as pursue any connections the family may have had
to Dolhinov and the Vilejka district.

Again, thanks to all who have emailed me with wonderful suggestions and resources.

Roxanne Richardson
Minneapolis, MN

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