Resolution of BROIDA Rabbinic Tree Using Civil Records #rabbinic


I would like to open a discourse leading to the resolution of some
differences between various versions of the Lithuanian BROIDE/BRODA/
BRAUDE rabbinic tree. I am not a rabbinic researcher and can only
compare the distilled trees without benefit of the original sources
leading to those published trees. But what I bring to the table is
a collection of civil records >from Kelme, Lithuania, which can
perhaps resolve some differences and confirm one or another of the

I invite interested and knowledgeable researchers to join in the
discussion which can be held on this RavSIG forum or privately if
it is too focussed for general interest.

The references I cite are as follows:

1. Rosenstein: "Braude Beginnings" in Avotaynu Volume XVI Number 3
Fall 2000 pages 43-45;
2. Sackheim: "Scattered Seeds", unpublished, Chart 431 BRODA Family;
3. Ofir: "Excerpts >from Mishpakhat Broida and relationships with...",
1981 family tree chart;
4. Friedmann: "Otzar HaRabanim";
5. Miscellaneous 19th century civil records >from Kelme, Lithuania

Some of the specific questions I believe need discussion and
resolution are:

1. What were the secular and official Lithuanian/Russian names
corresponding to the BRAUDE Hebrew names?

Obvious equivalencies are: Yosel/Yosef/Joseph; Meer/Meir;
Girsh/Hirsh/Tzvi-Hirsh; Yankel/Yakov; Leiba/Leib/Aryeh-Leib;
Srol/Yisroel/Yisrael; Orel/Aharon; Tevel/David.

But can "Eliash son of Yudel" on a 1849 tax list be Eliash-Hirsh
ben R. Aryeh-Leib (recognizing that Yehuda and Aryeh and Leib are
related names)?

What is the secular name for Simkha-Zisel? Only one name appears on
the 1849 Homeowners list that looks vaguely like it may fit, and
that is "Shimkhe son of Yavnel". But Srol, not Yavnel, is used as
the secular equivalent of Yisrael. The name Yavnel appears in
another connection related to the BRAUDE surname. Yosel-Meir son of
Yavnel BRAUDE is a signatory of the 1848 estimate of Kelme Jewish
Community Box Tax.

Is Benaish Binyamin?

Could Nakhman be Naftali-Hertz?

2. Who were the sons and grandsons of R. Joseph ben R. Tzvi-Hirsh
BRODA of Lazdiai, Zabludow, Grodno?

Were R. Tzvi-Hirsh (Friedmann #17201) and R. Israel the sons of R.
Meir and the brothers of R. Aryeh-Leib as depicted by Sackheim and
Rosenstein or are R. Tzvi-Hirsh (Friedmann #17201) and R. Israel
the sons of Joseph and the brothers of Meir as depicted by Ofir?

The direct descendancy of R. Tzvi-Hirsh >from R. Joseph is supported
by the Kelme Revizskaya Skaska (Revision List/Census) >from 1816.
Family Number 20 shows Head of Household Girsh BRODA son of Yosel,
his wife Dworka, their son Jankiel-Jona and his wife Rocha. This
record also resolves the discrepancy in the reported name of R.
Tzvi-Hirsh's son R. Jonah (Sackheim) vs. S R. Yakov (Friedmann and
Ofir). Everybody is correct--he was Jankel-Jona. Girsh son of Iosel
BRAUDE appears on a 1846 military draft list as having died in
1845. Izrael son of Josel appears on a mid-century Polish-language
tax list. Yankiel son of Hirsh appears on another mid-century
Polish-language tax list.

Another family in the same Kelme Revizskaya Skaska (Revision
List/Census) >from 1816, Family Number 16 shows Head of Household
Leiba BROIDA son of Meier, his wife Leia, children Zlota,
Eliash-Girsh and Fruma, and son-in-law (Zlota's husband) Shmuel.
Eliash-Girsh does not show up in rabbinical trees. Leib son of
Meier BREIDE is a signatory of the 1844 estimate of Kelme Jewish
Community Box Tax. Leyb son of Meer BRAUDE and Elyash-Girsh son of
Leyba BRAUDE appear on a mid-century Polish-language tax list. In
1846 Eliash-Girsh son of Leib could not pay taxes as he had no
means of earning a livelihood.

The reported ages/estimated birth dates reported in this 1816
census also support the Ofir tree. R. Tzvi-Hirsh was born in 1757
and R. Aryeh-Leib in 1779, typically one generation removed,
supporting the contention that R. Tzvi-Hirsh and R. Israel were the
brothers of R. Meir, R. Aryeh-Leib's father.

Having said that, I must note that this is not a firm rule. The
number of years between the youngest and oldest of R. Shmuel
(KELMER)'s children was over 30 years.

Kelme Tax list (uncertain date) in Polish >from mid 19th century
shows a taxpayer "Izrael son of Josel". This seems to support the
Ofir position if indeed this is a BRAUDE. On the other hand another
tax record shows "Srol son of Meir" demonstrating the tenuousness
of this type of induction.

I will be discussing some of these issues and the methods of using
secular records to resolve problems in Rabbinic Genealogy in Israel
next month, so any comments and relevant analyses and references
would be welcome in the next two weeks.

Bob Weiss in Northridge, CA

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