My maternal grandmother left Seduva for South Africa in 1910. Her parents
were originally >from Ponevezh. My grandmother told us stories about
eaving Seduva and about her family roots.
Though South African records are usually hard to find, I have found a
trove of information about the family when they immigrated.
However I have never found a shred of information about them when
they lived in Lithuania.
Is it possible that no records survived >from Ponevezh and Seduva
I have searched every way I can, with different spellings,
wild cards, using first names and a few letters etc and never
had any success.
Perhaps an expert who reads this newsletter can help me find out
something about his family.
This is what I know >from the South African documents. The family
name is MEIROWITZ.
Father Harry, Mother Dora and three children. Harry left before
the family and established himself in Potchefstroom, Transvaal.
Passenger Manifest departing Southampton, bound for Cape Town,
in December 1910 lists Dora (age 43 yrs) and children Ada (20 yrs old),
Anna (17 yrs old) and Lavis (12 yrs old).
I feel sure their Yiddish names were Devora/Deviere and the children Etka,
Hanna and Lavis.
In SA they were known as Dora, Ethel, Hilda and Louis. I was told that
Harry's Yiddish name was Hirsch but that is unverified.
I have a copy of a letter written/signed by Harry to the SA Immigration
authorities in August 1910. He verifies the family's expected arrival
and says they were in England for the sake of the children's education.
They settled in Potchefstroom and then movedbto Johannesburg. I have no
information about how long they stayed in England.
Ethel died in Potchefstroom in 1916. Harry and Dora died in the 1930s
There are no headstones for any of these three people!
This is what I know >from my grandmother's conversations.
Dora's maiden name was HACK. She was born in Ponevezh.
Her parents were Yehuda and Liba HACK. Her father was born in Ponevezh.
He was a tailor.
Harry was born in Ponevezh. His parents were Moishe and Cherna
MEIROWITZ. Harry moved to Shadova where was a Rabbi. (This may or
may not be correct.
He became a shop keeper and I don't believe they were religious).
My grandmother Hilda told many stories about the Cossacks coming to
town an what happened to the Jews. She was very clear that they lived
in Seduva however.
I also have a photograph of the family taken in Ponevezh when my
grandmother was about 5 years old. A message on the back is >from
It says: Dear Daughter in Law - I send you your pictures and
goes on to say that Sheine came to visit and liked the picture.
I assume they were visiting Ponevezh and Sheine is probably
That is all I know. I hope to visit Lithuania and Seduva and Ponevezh
are on the itinerary. I wish I knew something about the family when
they lived there and importantly what happened to those that remained.
Any help would be so appreciated.
New York, NY
Searching: MEIROWITZ Ponevezh, Seduva, Potchefstroom, Johannesburg
HACK Ponevezh; KUJANSKY Grodno, London, Johannesburg;
GORDON Birzai; ZILBERG/SILBERG Birzai, Pretoria