I am another one looking for Orsha records. My family is >from what is now
known as Smolyany--at that time it was "Shmilyan," some 20 km >from Orsha. My
father, was born in 1902 in Shmilyan. However, on his citizenship papers, he
lists his last place of residence outside of the USA as Mogilev, which is not
too close to Orsha. Nonetheless, it does seem that Orsha was the commercial
center they looked to and spoke of. We have a few professional portraits of
him and his sister that were taken by a photographer in Orsha. The only
other family of ARGOFFs we know of claim to be >from Gomel', but their Russian
ancestors were married in Mogilev. However coincidental all that may be, we
can't determine a relationship.
Researching ARGOFF, CHAIFETZ, BORKIN. The ARGOFFs and the Shmilyan CHAIFETZs
came to the US between 1908 and 1913 and settled in Ansonia, Connecticut and
Worcester, Mass. Incidentally, some of the family history is chronicled in
the one-woman Off-Broadway and Emmy-winning PBS show "Bubbe Meyses" written
and performed by Ellen Gould, the granddaughter of Gittel (Argoff) Chaifetz.
Falls Church VA