Belarus SIG #Belarus Smorgon/SUTSKOVER #belarus

Peter John Hinton <peter@...>

I am researching two families who came >from Lithuania/Belarus, one of them
from Smorgon and the other >from Vilnius, but I have come to a standstill !
In 1899 David MORRIS and Katie FREEDMAN married in London. We have
established that David, who was born in Smorgon/Smarhon in 1875, came to
England on his own aged 15 in 1890, went to South Africa 3 or 4 years later
and returned to London in 1899 to marry Katie. She was the daughter of Aaron
Alter FREEDMAN and came >from Vilnius. David said on his naturalisation
application that he had never used any other name than Morris but we suspect
this may not be so. He said his father was called Moses Mordecai MORRIS and
his mother Sarah KALISKY. We do not believe that Morris was David's original
surname and there are several possibilities remembered vaguely by the family
was given the name Sutcover as a forename.

I have come to a dead-end in my search for where I can consult, either
on-line or at the LDS Family History Centre in London, they don't appear to
hold any
birth/marriage/death records for Smorgon/Smarhon. This town does not appear
to have been in Poland in the 19th century as it is not listed as a place on
the JRI-Poland web-site. I have not discovered a similar source for Russian
data. As far as the LDS is concerned the only thing they appear to have is a
record of landlords which is held in the Belarus archives in Minsk.
Smorgon/Smarhon it seems was at one time described as being in the Oszmiany
district (uyezd) of Vilna (Vilnius) Gubernia which I imagine was when the
whole area was under Russian control in the 19th century, and is now a
district (raion) in the province (voblasts) of Hrodna (Grodno) in Belarus.
I have tried to locate the bmd records in national archives in Vilnius or
Minsk, but have drawn a blank there.

There is no evidence that Katie's father ever applied for naturalisation in
Britain (there was an Aaron Freedman who did so in 1894 but they were not
the same).

Any help would be gratefully received.

Dorset, UK

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