JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Benefits of District Research #general

Ann Rabinowitz

For many years, I have had the pleasure of using the All Lithuania Database on
the LitvakSIG site. In addition, I have been a member of the Ukmerge District
where my ancestral shtetl of Kupiskis could be found. Recently, I decided to
add another district to my research arsenal, that of Panevezys which
incorporated many of the towns surrounding Kupiskis.

This came at a propitious time as some descendants of the Meyerowitz family >from
Kupiskis contacted me regarding various questions they had about their
ancestry. These Meyerowitz family members had settled in Australia,
Israel, Pennsylvania, and South Africa. As I was also a member of the
Meyerowitz family of Kupiskis, this fit in with my own long-time questions about
how I was related to these other branches of the family as the other Meyerowitz
families had no knowledge of my family.

from prior research, I knew that the Meyerowitz family came to Kupiskis >from
Birzai to marry. Now, as I viewed what was available on the Panevezys District
site, I found the Birzai 1887 Family List. I knew that my great grandmother was
Freide or Fanny Meyerowitz, the daughter of Samuel and Bertha Meyerowitz and her
brother was Gershon-Movsha Meyerowitz and there were several sisters whose names
were not remembered. They all came to New York and then settled in Morristown,
Paterson and Plainfield, NJ, as well as Boston.

I had never been able to locate any vital or other records in Lithuania for my
great grandmother, who was born in 1860, according to her death and burial
records in America. This Family List provided a welcome opportunity to see if I
could, at last, find my errant great grandmother on a Lithuanian document.

My first look at the Birzai 1887 Family List produced a Samuel ben Beniamin
ben Wulf, born 1841. Here was my great great grandfather and, all of a sudden,
I was back two more generations than I had previously known about, It appeared
that Samuel and his wife Braine, who later became Bertha, had three children
listed: Reize, born 1868, Gershon, born 1871, and Sheine Ite, born 1873. No
mention of Freide or Fanny, my great grandmother, who was born in 1860. She was
missing as usual. Where was she?

After considering life cycle dates, I realized that my great grandmother was not
included in the Birzai 1887 Family List for the very reason that in 1887 she had
already married and had left home and was busy raising my grandmother
Hiena-Musha, who had been born in 1880 and her other children. Not to be
deterred, I knew it was the right family as the son on the list was Gershon and
his birthdate was 1871. This matched what I knew was my great grandmother's
brother, Gershon-Movsha's, birthdate. Now, I also had the names of the sisters,
Reize and Sheine- Ite, which I didn't have previously.

Given all this information, I now noticed that the Family List also included
Eliash ben Beniamin ben Wulf, a brother of my great great grandfather Samuel ben
Beniamin ben Wulf. Viewing his family, I found that his children and
grandchildren matched those I knew to belong to the Meyerowitz family who had
gone to South Africa and further afield.

What an "Ah Hah" moment as I finally knew how all of our disparate branches were
now related, albeit, distantly. I could feel my great grandmother smiling down
on me and saying "So you found us at last, what took so long? Don't stop, there
are more Districts to visit."

Ann Rabinowitz

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