Dear Scandinavian Genners,
This is my husband Norman's Finnish and Swedish families, and how we
Grandmother Lena BESPROSVANNI Zelvin was born in Viborg the oldest
child of Elka Gold and Reuven Besprosvanni. We have a copy of a census
written in old Swedish script. It says that Reuben's father was Orem
(Aaron?) We were faxed this by someone who was researching the Jews of
Viborg, who was connected by someone in one of Finland's synagogues,
whom my husband cantacted. It was translated by a Finnish neighbor of
Reuven was a cantonist, kidnapped into the Russian army as a child,
from the cantons. and was finally allowed to settle in Viborg where hemarried and raised a large family. He had a dry goods store. Yes,
there is a name Besprosvanni (with various spellings.) It literally
means "person without a name." It was given to many of those cantonist
children so that they would forget their Jewish names.
It is believed that Reuven's name had been FISHEL or it was Reuven's
mother's maiden name. There were cousins Harry and Jacob Fishel born in
the 1870's and they came >from Meritz/Merkine.
Lena, the eldest and Minnie (Masha) the next oldest, were the only
ones to emigrate to America.
Olga (Haya Dvera,) "Chitza" married Jacob BURTIN. They had 14
children and all lived in St. Petersburg. We only know of Ella, Katyi
who married ? and had a daughter Chaisa, and Abram Burtin. We would
love to find any of the BURTIN family.
Yenti (Enta) married a Mr. METRIKIN. We know nothing more.
Aaron (Aharon Baruch) Vanni (born BESPROSVANNI) married Rakel
(Rachel) STOLER the daughter of Slomo STOLER. Aaron was a successful
furrier and milliner. He visited America in 1913/14 and tried to
convince Norman's grandfather (Lena's husband) to become a furrier. He
returned to Finland. He was a in a German prisonor of war camp in
WWI. He had 2 children,
1. Sam Vanni became one of Finland's most famous artists. His works
are in their museums.
2. Elli married Hans Hansson and lived in Sweden. She is buried in the
Jewish cemetery in Stockholm. We are in contact with the Sam's family.
My husband found them by posting a message to the synagogues in
Finland. They said "Yes, we know Sam Vanni" Then Norman's sister and
husband visited with Sam and his family twice, before he died.
Solomon (Sholem Itsik) BESPROSVANNI\BESPROSVANNY married in Sweden
and is buried in the Northern Jewish Cemetery there. We have recently
found the Swedish family!!! Through e-mail and now in person. Sholem's
great granddaughter and her Israeli husband visited here in November and
we spent a wonderful few hours with them. Her maiden name is Ormestad
and her husband is a Friedman. My husband traced them through the
Internet. It is all possible.
Now we hope to find the METRIKINS and the BURTINS of St. Petersburg. Has
anyone heard of them????
Eastchester, New York