Ada Greenblatt <ada.Greenblatt@...>
The following message, while addressed to the Kedain Greenblatt researcher
in particular, may be of interest to all Kedain SIG members because of the
problems and pitfalls it details in dealing with a common Litvak surname
such as Greenblatt.
Dear Greenblatt researcher:
My Greenblatt's were >from Shatt/Seta, a shtetl 11 miles due east of Kedain.
Based on my research, to the best of my knowledge the Seta Greenblatt's
were not related to the ones >from Kedain, although who's to know whether or
not they were related beyond the period for which written documentation
exists? I have all the 19th c. Greenblatt vital records for Kedain from
the Lithuanian State Historical Archives in Vilnius (52 records) and I see
no similarity between the first names of those Greenblatt's with my Seta
ones. In other words, I don't see any evidence of an ancestor or ancestry
that both the Kedain and the Seta Greenblatt's could have shared in common.
BTW, I have submitted all my Kedain Greenblatt records to the LitvakSIG's
All Lithuania Database and they should be on-line in a few months after the
current beta version is taken down to be updated.
The main reason why I originally decided to collect the burial data from
the Kedainer Association plot at NY's Montefiore Cemetery back in Nov.
1995, which was the first Kedainer plot that I "catalogued", was not only
on account of the multitude of Greenblatt's in that plot (15 of them), but
because the Shatter Society plot was immediately adjacent to the back of
it. At the time I felt there could have been a connection between the Seta
Greenblatt's (who are not buried in the Shatter society plot) and the
Kedainer ones. However, based on the Hebrew name of the deceased on the
Kedainer Greenblatt tombstones in addition to checking the New York City
death certificates of all those Kedainer Greenblatt's who died prior to
1949, again I saw no connection with my Seta ones.
I have nothing to go by >from the Seta end either because there are no
existing 19th century vital records for Seta and my Greenblatt's do not
appear in any Seta documents at all until the 1892 box tax, even though all
US documentation on my gf and his 7 siblings (born between 1872 and 1895 )
says that they were born in Seta. Before Seta, my Greenblatt family
appears to have been >from Vandziogala, 15 miles due south of Kedain, which
back in the 19th c., along with Kedain was in the Kovno uyezd (Seta was in
the 19th c. Vilkomir uyezd). My gggf Meyer ben Itzko Grinblat (born c.
1823) appears in all Vandiziogala tax and family lists >from the 1840's
through 1874 and his spouse and offspring (including my ggf) appear in the
1874 Vandziogala family list. But of the 38 Greenblatt vital records in
the 19th c. Vandziogala record books, like in the case of Kedain none are
for my particular Greenblatt's. To complicate matters, at least one branch
of my Greenblatt family was >from Kovno and indeed it is the only Greenblatt
family listed in the 1816 Kaunas revision list. Two of the great great
grandchildren of this 1816 family, the late NY-born big band musicians Rube
Bloom (1902-1976) and Mickey Bloom (1906-1979), used to hang out with my
Greenblatt family in Newburgh, NY. Their paternal grandmother (1830-1888)
was a Greenblatt >from Kovno. There are no documents that indicate whether
all my Greenblatt's were originally >from Kovno.
But that all being said, yes it IS possible that the Seta Greenblatt's were
related to the Kedain ones. My father told me that his father was always
mentioning Kedain and when I returned >from my first trip to Lithuania in
1996, one of the first questions my father asked me after I told him about
Seta was, "Did you also visit Kedain?" But when I asked him point blank if
my grandfather had any Greenblatt relatives >from Kedain, he said not to
best of his knowledge.
Based on the above, my Greenblatt family could have originally been from
Seta, Vandziogala, Kovno or Kedain OR all of them, some of them, one of
them, or none of them. I hate to sound harsh here, but because of the
paucity of Seta records, I have to say that unfortunately by default the
burden of proof must now by necessity lie on the Kedain Greenblatt
researcher to determine that their Greenblatt's had any link with my Seta
ones. It cannot be the other way around. Under the circumstances
described above, any further pursuit of this >from my end would only be
spinning my wheels.
This kind of situation has happened before. My fellow Seta researcher and
Kedain SIG member who is researching Kamber >from Seta is unable to find a
link with those Kedain SIG members who are researching Kamber >from Kedain.
Again, they may be related, but there are no existing Seta records to prove
it. The resultant problems created by the lack of records for a particular
town and/or the lack of records going back beyond the earliest generation
that we can trace is something that some Kedain SIG members might wish to
discuss further in this forum (hint, hint -- I am trying to do my part to
revive this badly moribund discussion group).
So dear Kedain Greenblatt researcher, the best I can suggest is to ask the
oldest member of your Greenblatt family the following questions:
1. Do you have any known Greenblatt relatives >from Seta/Shatt (or
Vandziogala for that matter)?
2. Do you have any Greenblatt relatives who settled in BOTH Newburgh, NY
and Chicago? Not just Chicago only because there are many Greenblatt's
from Chicago who were not >from Seta.3. Do you have any known connection with the late big band musicians Rube
and Mickey Bloom?
4. Do you know of any connection between your Greenblatt's and the
surnames Raizman (Riceman) >from Seta (and later Chicago), Langman from
Vandziogala, Lisson >from Seta and Vandziogala, and Glickman >from Seta?
These are the known families that my Greenblatt family married into during
the 19th c. I (actually Lisson is based on speculation, not fact).
Continued good luck with your research and hope to see you all in New York
at the 1999 JGS Summer Seminar >from Aug. 8-13 at the Mariott Marquis Hotel.
Website <http://members.aol.com/nyc99conf/index.htm> (still under
construction but due to be updated with registration form shortly).