Was it common for relatives to move far away from their families? #lithuania #ukraine

Chloe Kogan

My question could be a very general one relating to the whole Pale of Settlement at any time pre-WWI, or, if the answer depends upon specific times and places, I would specify Lithuania and Ukraine around 1900.

Here's my question: Which scenario would have been more common?

  1. Relatives all live close to one another, in the same or neighboring communities (a day's walk at most from a central place).
  2. Relatives scattered to distant areas or other countries, needing to journey multiple days by railroad or cart to visit each other.
I've been wondering how far I should search for relatives from a town that I know was a primary home for a family. For example, a group of my Fisher ancestors lived in Utena, Lithuania, and they all remained there until emigrating to the Americas -- all except for one son who married a woman from Anyksciai and apparently moved to that town to start their family. Those two towns are roughly 35km apart, but, as I understand it, they were connected by a railroad line and so maybe they were considered "close" at the time? Should I broaden my search radius to 40km around Utena and expect that most if not all Fisher relatives would be captured within that boundary? Or is it likely that individual family members could move 50 km away, or 75km, or to the other side of the Pale even, for marriage or work or other reasons?

If family members tended to live within, say, 40km of a primary home town like Utena, then I would focus all my energy on Fishers inside that circle, rather than needlessly broadening my search to the entire country of Lithuania for little or no gain. On the other hand, if there were no rules as to where family members might move, then I would accept that I have to search the whole country and beyond to look for the needles in a much bigger haystack.

I hope this question makes sense! Thank you in advance for your thoughts and feedback.

Chloë Kogan
Arizona, USA
Email: 802ben@...

  • KOGAN & BERCOVICI: Romania (Iasi/Jassy), Moldova, Ukraine (Sekuryany, Akkerman)
  • FISHER / FISERIS & MARGOLIS: Lithuania (Anyksciai, Kupiskis, Skapiskis, Utena)
  • Many emigrated to Canada (Montreal) & the U.S. (Massachusetts)

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