Sarah L Meyer
I need your suggestions regarding this new information.
My paternal great-grandfather Fischel MEYER arrived in the US on 25 May
1885 >from Hamburg on the SS Polaria. The family information was that
the original surname was PERCHIK and that his family came >from in or
near Odessa. The MEYER surname was purchased to avoid Czarist
conscription. Both the immigration records in New York and the Hamburg
records have him traveling under the name Fischel MEYER, and his wife
and daughter arrived in 1887 (although the records have the wrong age
for the daughter Esther and have her mother's first name as Chaye rather
than Rebecca as do all of the other records). Other family lore
(unfortunately undocumented) is that he traveled on a Turkish passport.
The Beider book has the surname PERCHIK as >from Odessa which
matches with the family stories.
I have now found Fischel MEYER in the Hamburg records and they
list his residence as Kowno, Russia. Knowing that he definitely came
from the Ukraine, I entered Kowno in Shtetl Seeker and also asked it tomeasure the distance >from Odessa and not >from Kiev. Based on that
measurement, the closest town was Cioban, Kishla at 37.5 mi South of
Odessa, located in Bessarabia on the Black Sea, just across the river
from Kherson Guberniya. This is the southern most match for Kowno(there was one about 85 mi N of Odessa) and one between Nikolaev and
Kherson (about 75 mi >from Odessa) and a fourth about 108 mi >from Odessa
on the Dnieper river and several much further north (closer to Kiev or
My question is this: Is this Kowno likely to be the actual town
that my paternal great grandfather came from, or is it likely to be the
name of the town where the person whose papers he bought came from? My
feeling is that the town on the Black Sea known as Kishla is most likely
the correct town, if it had any Jews at all. Any suggestions as to how
to find out whether or not there were Jews in this town in the 1870s
would be welcome.
Sarah L. M. Christiansen
Researching EDELBERG, BIRGARDOVSKY, MAGRUTSKY, PERCHIK, HITE, ARONSON,
SCHLAMOVITCH (in the Ukraine and elsewhere)