Lithuania SIG #Lithuania New data set on the LitvakSIG Collective Data site #lithuania

Russ Maurer

LitvakSIG is pleased to inaugurate an important new data set on the
Collective Data portion of our website, the Obeliai
questionnaires. This data set will be of potential relevance to anyone
with ancestors >from Kovno gubernia (Kaunas, Panevezys, Raseiniai,
Siauliai, Telsiai, Ukmerge, Zarasai districts) as well as Suwalki
gubernia and Trakai district.

Here is some brief background. Because Jews, as a group, were falsely
suspected of disloyalty to the Russian Empire, they were hastily
thrown out of western Kovno gubernia in May of 1915 as WWI came to
Lithuania and the Germans attacked >from East Prussia. Most were sent
to interior Russia. After the war, tens of thousands of the surviving
displaced Lithuanian Jews tried to return to Lithuania, almost all of
them passing through the frontier quarantine station in the tiny town
of Obeliai. This was, for all practical purposes, the only route back
from Russia. In Obeliai, each returnee (or family head) filled out a
questionnaire indicating where they intended to go if readmitted to
Lithuania and including significant personal details about each family
member such as the date and place of birth, maiden name, father's
name, etc. Many of these questionnaires have been preserved in the

The first installment of the Obeliai questionnaires can be found in
the "LCVA files" section of the Collective Data site.

A qualified donor to any of our district/gubernia research groups
automatically has access to the collective data site. If you are not a
qualified donor and would like to become one, you can do so online at
A donation of $100 to any of our research groups will do the trick.

After about 18 months, these records will be added to the free,
searchable, All-Lithuania database.

Check it out!

Russ Maurer
Records Acquisition & Translation coordinator, LitvakSIG

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