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

Jill Whitehead

Hi Chloe, it depends on the time and place. All my great grandparents came from the Suwalki Lomza gubernias in NE Poland (now partly in Lithuania) to the UK between 1865 and 1875. They had all lived within 20 miles of each other - which made it easy to look for their shtetls when I went to the ancestral area in 2000.  At the time they were not allowed by the Tsar to travel outside the immediate area in their part of the Pale. Partly this was due to the Tsar's crackdown following the 1863 Polish Uprising, so it depended on the situation at the time, as well as shifting borders. As my ancestors were close to the border with East Prussia/Konigsberg, a lot of people smuggling went on to get out (a lot to escape the Tsar's draft into the army). But the situation may well have been different say 20 years later, and under a different Tsar. At one time the major Polish landowners in the North of the Pale (Poland and Lithuania) were encouraging Jews to move south to their lands in modern Belarus or Galicia (now Ukraine), but you would need to check when this was, to see if it is worth looking further afield.  

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK

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