JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Burial societies in determining town of origin #general

Ada Greenblatt <ada.Greenblatt@...>

Ken Stone <> asks:

If one can identify the burial society, synagogue, or other designated
sections of a large conglomeration of smaller cemeteries such as
Waldheim in Chicago, would that be a clue to European town of origin?

While it is safe to say that the majority of burials in a landsmmanschaft
plot were >from that particular town, there are a number of exceptions. For
unknown reason, my grandfather's sister and her husband, both >from Seta,
Lithuania, are buried in Waldheim's Chomsker plot, which is for a town in
Belarus where they have no roots. Although Waldheim has no burial society
for Seta itself, there are other people >from that town buried in Waldheim's
Keidaner and Kovner plots, which would make more sense since those were
nearby towns in Lithuania. Also for unknown reason, in New York my
grandmother's brother >from Nadworna, Galicia is buried in a Bialystoker
plot when not only are there four landsmannschaft plots for Nadworna, but
according to the Nadworna Yitzkor Book he was one of the founders of the
Nadworna Social Circle, Inc.

Taking the six NY and Chicago landsmannschaft plots for Keidan, Lithuania
as an example, which I have studied extensively, not everyone buried in
them is >from Keidan and likewise, not everyone >from Keidan is buried in a
Keidaner plot. I have Keidan-born relatives buried in Waldheim's B'nai
Itzchok plot, as opposed to its Kadaner Unt. Verein. Oftentimes, a person
was buried in a particular society only because the surviving spouse came
from that town. Or the deceased may have just associated with people from
that society in his/her lifetime.

In sum, while a landsmannschaft plot is a very good indicator of the town
in which the deceased was from, you would need more definitive
documentation (passenger ship records, naturalization records, vital
records) to back that up. I was fortunate in that the Chicago death certs.
of almost all of my first generation Lithuanian relatives buried at
Waldheim list their town of birth.

Ada Greenblatt

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