I am researching the background of my great-grandfather
Max BECK. He was also known as Max BICK, Max BEK, Max
BEKOFF, and Bik MELECH.
According to his Declaration of Intention, filed around
1916 in Kings County Supreme Court in New York, he was
born 26 November 1886 in Meliaten, Russia. His last foreign
residence was Orizk, Russia.
According the the Ellis Island manifest for Max, his wife,
and sister-in-law, they were all >from Rarziak, Russia, or
In one book ("Where Once We Walked"?) I found reference
to 2 villages with a name like Meliaten. They looked like
they were not far >from each other, and neither had many
Jews living there. >from what I understand, comparing
ShtetlSeeker/MapQuest with Czarist-era maps, these
villages were in Volhynia, near Rivne (now in Ukraine).
I found 3 likely candidate towns:
1) 22.9 miles northeast of Rivne at coordinates 5043 2645;
2) west of Rivne near the Polish border at 5034 2434; and
3) a few miles southeast of Rivne at 5027 2637.
My first question is: Since Meliaten sounds like a very
small village, would any records have been kept at Rivne
(for the Meliatens listed above)? Or is there another
town/city nearby where they would have been kept?
My second question is: What modern town would
Orizk/Rarziak/Raziak be? When I set ShtetlSeeker to look
in the Ukraine, it came up with Ruzhki, at coordinates
5004 2837, and Erchiki, in Popelnya region, Zhitomir oblast.
When I set it to look in Poland, it found Uhrusk, at
5118 2337, near the Ukrainian border. Is there another
town more likely?
I believe that I have the general geographic area correct,
because my grandmother thought that her father-in-law Max
BECK was >from a Polish-speaking area, and he was definitely
from Czarist "Russia."Any help would be greatly apprciated! (I have already
entered BICK in Meliaten, Ukraine, in the JGFF, and will
enter the surname in Orizk in the JGFF, once I know which
town it is.)
researching: BICK in Meliaten & Orizk/Rarziak/Raziak,
HOROWITZ & LUBARSKY in Podolia