Lithuania SIG #Lithuania Migration to Lithuania from northern Iran #lithuania

Peter Arnold <peter@...>

Hello, everyone at Litvak SIG.

The earliest ancestor I can trace in the revision lists is my GGGG
grandfather, Leyzer (Eleazar) AMOLSKY, born around about 1795, who,
as a youth, observed the retreat of Napoleon's army in 1812. This
story has travelled down the generations.

AMOLSKY is a very uncommon family name. I have been searching for a
place >from which the name could have been derived. Russian names are
often derived >from the city or town of origin, e.g. MOSKOWSKY and
GORODETSKY. Did AMOLSKY come >from a town called Amol?

I had, until recently, discarded the notion that they might have
originated in the small (once prosperous) Iranian town Amol, on the
Haraz River near the Caspian Sea. My faulty reasoning was that
Iranian Jews would have been Sephardim, which we're not.

However, having now done some further reading, I have come across the

Amol City is amongst the old cities of Iran
In respect to the relics and coins found in this region, this city
can be said to be the capital of this territory during the Sassanide

Iran, where the Jews are living for over 2,700 years, is the land of
the beginning of the Diaspora. Based on historical facts, the first
Jews exiled >from their homeland settled in Iran and >from there they
moved to other countries such as India, China and Russia.*

These Jews were, therefore, not Sephardim. They had been in Iran for
over a millennium before Isabella and Ferdinand. They were later
joined by Sephardim after 1492.

So: the curious possibility exists that my family originated in Amol,
and had moved into Lithuania sufficiently close to the middle of the
18th century for them to have still remembered their origins at
census time in the 19thC and to have adopted the name of their town
of origin.

Can anyone shed any more light on a migration >from northern Iran to
Lithuania? There were terrible pogroms in Iran in the 16th to 18th
centuries*. Could my ancestors have fled to Lithuania?

Many thanks, in anticipation, for any help anyone can give.

Peter Arnold

*Comprehensive History of the Jews of Iran Habib Levy-Abridged &
Edited by Hooshang Ebrami Translated >from the Persian by George W.
Maschke, 1999

Dr Peter Arnold
Grandfather: Tanchum AMOILS ben Avraham Zalman AMOLSKY
Kedain/ Saduwe/ Dotnuva, Lithuania
Father: Morris AMOILS->Maurice ARNOLD
Grahamstown/ Johannesburg, South Africa

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