Date   

Re: the name Samuel SAMUEL - Iraqi? #sephardic

Jeffrey Levy <jeffrey@...>
 

Dear Lisa,

You are talking about the 18th century (1700s). This same naming
convention was still being used in Europe. Prussia did not enforce
last names until the 1800s. In the 1700s most of my European/Ashkenazi
ancestors used this naming convention of First name + Father or
patriarch's first name. I would not go so far to say that your
ancestor in Latvia was >from such a distance just because this naming
convention was *also* used in Iraq. It is more likely that your
ancestor was >from the area of Europe that you have found him, since
they used that same naming convention. I acknowledge that Jews moved
around, but the instances of an Iraqi Jew moving to Latvia is unlikely
in comparison, since the immediate area surrounding Latvia used the
same naming convention at that time.

Good luck,

Jeffrey Levy

-----Original Message-----
Date: Thu, 09 May 2013 11:09:16 -0400
From: lisa.newman.a@utoronto.ca

The name Samuel SAMUEL goes back into the 18th century in Latvia in
our family. I was told that it was a common name among Iraq Jews.
If anyone has any information about this name and its origins, I
would be grateful to know about it.

Lisa Newman
Toronto, Canada


Sephardic SIG #Sephardim RE: the name Samuel SAMUEL - Iraqi? #sephardic

Jeffrey Levy <jeffrey@...>
 

Dear Lisa,

You are talking about the 18th century (1700s). This same naming
convention was still being used in Europe. Prussia did not enforce
last names until the 1800s. In the 1700s most of my European/Ashkenazi
ancestors used this naming convention of First name + Father or
patriarch's first name. I would not go so far to say that your
ancestor in Latvia was >from such a distance just because this naming
convention was *also* used in Iraq. It is more likely that your
ancestor was >from the area of Europe that you have found him, since
they used that same naming convention. I acknowledge that Jews moved
around, but the instances of an Iraqi Jew moving to Latvia is unlikely
in comparison, since the immediate area surrounding Latvia used the
same naming convention at that time.

Good luck,

Jeffrey Levy

-----Original Message-----
Date: Thu, 09 May 2013 11:09:16 -0400
From: lisa.newman.a@utoronto.ca

The name Samuel SAMUEL goes back into the 18th century in Latvia in
our family. I was told that it was a common name among Iraq Jews.
If anyone has any information about this name and its origins, I
would be grateful to know about it.

Lisa Newman
Toronto, Canada


David JAMES or BELASCO #sephardic

Clive Simmonds <clivesimmonds07@...>
 

I am seeking the following information about the 19th century British actor
David JAMES, who was born David BELASCO. (His nephew and namesake was San
Francisco-born theatrical impresario David Belasco.)

In the 5 October 1893 report of his burial at the Sephardi cemetery at Mile
End, the London Standard newspaper gives his father as Abraham Julian
Belasco. I believe this to be correct, although Wikipedia says his father
was Moses Belasco, which I think is incorrect.

The breastplate on his coffin stated that he was 56 when he died on 2
October 1893, but I believe he was the David Belasco born in London on 25
January 1835, making him 58 at death. I have also heard it claimed that he
was born in Birmingham.

The funeral report mentions the grave of "his first wife Leah who died in
1881". I can find no reference to her elsewhere.

The funeral report mentions the presence of "the widow" but gives her no
name. Could this have been Mary Ann O'Hara? The online family tree of a
family who are, as I am, related to the Belascos claims that she bore him an
illegitimate son - (David O'Hara Belasco, also an actor, stage name David S.
James) - to him at 66 Drury Lane on 4 April 1858. David S. James is
mentioned as his son in the funeral report. It could of course be that he
married Ms O'Hara after Leah died.

I'm wondering if the funeral report delicately glosses over one or two
truths about the man? Any knowledge or information will be gratefully
received.

Thank you. Clive Simmonds


Sephardic SIG #Sephardim David JAMES or BELASCO #sephardic

Clive Simmonds <clivesimmonds07@...>
 

I am seeking the following information about the 19th century British actor
David JAMES, who was born David BELASCO. (His nephew and namesake was San
Francisco-born theatrical impresario David Belasco.)

In the 5 October 1893 report of his burial at the Sephardi cemetery at Mile
End, the London Standard newspaper gives his father as Abraham Julian
Belasco. I believe this to be correct, although Wikipedia says his father
was Moses Belasco, which I think is incorrect.

The breastplate on his coffin stated that he was 56 when he died on 2
October 1893, but I believe he was the David Belasco born in London on 25
January 1835, making him 58 at death. I have also heard it claimed that he
was born in Birmingham.

The funeral report mentions the grave of "his first wife Leah who died in
1881". I can find no reference to her elsewhere.

The funeral report mentions the presence of "the widow" but gives her no
name. Could this have been Mary Ann O'Hara? The online family tree of a
family who are, as I am, related to the Belascos claims that she bore him an
illegitimate son - (David O'Hara Belasco, also an actor, stage name David S.
James) - to him at 66 Drury Lane on 4 April 1858. David S. James is
mentioned as his son in the funeral report. It could of course be that he
married Ms O'Hara after Leah died.

I'm wondering if the funeral report delicately glosses over one or two
truths about the man? Any knowledge or information will be gratefully
received.

Thank you. Clive Simmonds


Austrian and Stryj Lists #general

Lande
 

I have been inundated with offers to help --very impressive and it is
wonderful that so many people want to help. Two offers have been accepted
and the names will appear on JewishGen and the Galicia group website,
respectively. Now all I have to do is come up with a dozen more lists.

Peter Lande
Washington, D.C.


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Austrian and Stryj Lists #general

Lande
 

I have been inundated with offers to help --very impressive and it is
wonderful that so many people want to help. Two offers have been accepted
and the names will appear on JewishGen and the Galicia group website,
respectively. Now all I have to do is come up with a dozen more lists.

Peter Lande
Washington, D.C.


Jan or Ivan VON WULF or JABLONSKI #general

Rose Schubbe-Beilharz <rose@...>
 

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I search for an ancestor of my husband and our five sons,

ca in the year 1840/1 a Prussian Officer Ignaz von Wulf had a son >from a
baroness Jablonski in Warszawa. The name of this son was Jan or Ivan.
Jan was probably educated >from his mother and he was an enthusiastic
Pole. He studied Jura and was 23 years old, 1863/4 after a revolt
against Russia sent to Siberia, where he worked 12 years in a mine.
Afterwards he was free, but he could not leave Siberia. He worked in his
profession and had 1881 a daughter Ekaterina Knjasev with an Efemia
Stroganova, who was married to Stepano Knjasev. This person was the
grandmother of my husband. She married August Schubbe, who was >from the
Baltikum and worked in the office of Finances in Irkutsk.

I am thankful for every new information and can also pay for it.

Sincerely,

Rose Schubbe


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Jan or Ivan VON WULF or JABLONSKI #general

Rose Schubbe-Beilharz <rose@...>
 

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I search for an ancestor of my husband and our five sons,

ca in the year 1840/1 a Prussian Officer Ignaz von Wulf had a son >from a
baroness Jablonski in Warszawa. The name of this son was Jan or Ivan.
Jan was probably educated >from his mother and he was an enthusiastic
Pole. He studied Jura and was 23 years old, 1863/4 after a revolt
against Russia sent to Siberia, where he worked 12 years in a mine.
Afterwards he was free, but he could not leave Siberia. He worked in his
profession and had 1881 a daughter Ekaterina Knjasev with an Efemia
Stroganova, who was married to Stepano Knjasev. This person was the
grandmother of my husband. She married August Schubbe, who was >from the
Baltikum and worked in the office of Finances in Irkutsk.

I am thankful for every new information and can also pay for it.

Sincerely,

Rose Schubbe


Re: DE JONA (DE YONA) family in Lviv (Lemberg) #general

Schelly Talalay Dardashti
 

Isak, you may well be looking at a Sephardic family. Many medical
doctors certainly left Spain after 1492 and went around the world.
Many of the "Royal" doctors in Eastern Europe had Sephardic roots.

In checking variants of the name in Pere Bonnin's Sangre Judia (4th
edition, which lists year of a document and the place it was found),
I find the following information:

JONA (1324, in Valls Taragona)
JONAH (1173, Tudela)
YONA (1212, Girona)
YONAH (1012, Aragon)

The "de" indicates "from" or "of" (as in a family).

I would also check the name search engine at Sephardim.com, as well
as Jeff Malka's SephardicGen.com.

If this is your direct line, or you can find someone who is >from
this direct line and do a Y-DNA test (37 or 67 markers) at
FamilyTreeDNA.com and join the IberianAshkenaz DNA Project
(co-administered by both Judy Simon and myself), perhaps some
interesting connections might pop up. The Project has confirmed
some rather surprising stories of Sephardic origin in some very
Ashkenazi families!

Please contact me if you have additional questions.

With best wishes
Schelly Talalay Dardashti
New Mexico
dardasht1@yahoo.com
schelly@tracingthetribe.com

TALALAI-TALALAY-TALALAJ: Mogilev, Vorotinschtina, Zavarezhe,
Gorki, BEL; Novgorod Severskiy, Chernigov, UKR; St. Petersburg,
Moscow, Siberia.
TALALYA-TALALLA: Lerida/Llerida, Catalunya, Spain.

===
Isak Gath <ISAK@bm.technion.ac.il> wrote:

Hello Genners
I am looking for any information (ancestors, descendants)
concerning a Lviv (Lwow, Lemberg) Jewish family of medical doctors,
who lived there during the 17th and beginning 18th century. Typical
given names might have been, Simcha, Yochanan, Menachem Baruch and
Yaakov. Any information will be greatly acknowledged.


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: DE JONA (DE YONA) family in Lviv (Lemberg) #general

Schelly Talalay Dardashti
 

Isak, you may well be looking at a Sephardic family. Many medical
doctors certainly left Spain after 1492 and went around the world.
Many of the "Royal" doctors in Eastern Europe had Sephardic roots.

In checking variants of the name in Pere Bonnin's Sangre Judia (4th
edition, which lists year of a document and the place it was found),
I find the following information:

JONA (1324, in Valls Taragona)
JONAH (1173, Tudela)
YONA (1212, Girona)
YONAH (1012, Aragon)

The "de" indicates "from" or "of" (as in a family).

I would also check the name search engine at Sephardim.com, as well
as Jeff Malka's SephardicGen.com.

If this is your direct line, or you can find someone who is >from
this direct line and do a Y-DNA test (37 or 67 markers) at
FamilyTreeDNA.com and join the IberianAshkenaz DNA Project
(co-administered by both Judy Simon and myself), perhaps some
interesting connections might pop up. The Project has confirmed
some rather surprising stories of Sephardic origin in some very
Ashkenazi families!

Please contact me if you have additional questions.

With best wishes
Schelly Talalay Dardashti
New Mexico
dardasht1@yahoo.com
schelly@tracingthetribe.com

TALALAI-TALALAY-TALALAJ: Mogilev, Vorotinschtina, Zavarezhe,
Gorki, BEL; Novgorod Severskiy, Chernigov, UKR; St. Petersburg,
Moscow, Siberia.
TALALYA-TALALLA: Lerida/Llerida, Catalunya, Spain.

===
Isak Gath <ISAK@bm.technion.ac.il> wrote:

Hello Genners
I am looking for any information (ancestors, descendants)
concerning a Lviv (Lwow, Lemberg) Jewish family of medical doctors,
who lived there during the 17th and beginning 18th century. Typical
given names might have been, Simcha, Yochanan, Menachem Baruch and
Yaakov. Any information will be greatly acknowledged.


Uniszowice and Uniszowa #galicia

Ruth Kornbluth <rfenko@...>
 

Hello,

I want to thank all those who responded to my request for information
about the town of Uniszowice. I also got two responses that indicated
there was a town called Uniszowa which was very close to Ryglice and
Tarnow. I do think that Uniszowa is more likely the town I was looking
for as most of my ancestors seem to be >from Tarnow or places very
close by.

Thank you all again.

Ruth Fenichel

Fenichel, Eisen, Reich, Ellend, Kornbluth, Feiwel all >from Tarnow
and surrounding towns
Pochapofsky, Budovlia >from Belarus


Descendants of Rosa and Louis SILVERSTEIN #general

Lois Cohen
 

Looking for information on the children of Louis and Rosa (Cohen)
SILVERSTEIN.

Sarah>Sadie Silverstein born in Boston, MA Dec. 31, 1895. Sadie may have
changed her name to Sadie Josephine Silver. I found her, single, in the
1940 Boston census living in a hotel in Boston.

Ali> Alex> Ellis Silverstein born in Boston, MA July 1897. He may have
used July 1, 1897 as his birth date. The only record I found was his World
War 1 draft card (1918) where he stated he was living with Mrs. Annie Bloom.
Annie was Ellis and Sadie's sister. Annie married David Bloom. Annie Bloom
died in 1922. I have contacted Annie's granddaughter who remembered
meeting a Josephine Silver once years ago and knowing this woman was a
relative of her late grandmother Annie Bloom. The granddaughter would also
like to learn more about her grandmother's family.

Lois Cohen
Loisteach@verizon.net


Gesher Galicia SIG #Galicia Uniszowice and Uniszowa #galicia

Ruth Kornbluth <rfenko@...>
 

Hello,

I want to thank all those who responded to my request for information
about the town of Uniszowice. I also got two responses that indicated
there was a town called Uniszowa which was very close to Ryglice and
Tarnow. I do think that Uniszowa is more likely the town I was looking
for as most of my ancestors seem to be >from Tarnow or places very
close by.

Thank you all again.

Ruth Fenichel

Fenichel, Eisen, Reich, Ellend, Kornbluth, Feiwel all >from Tarnow
and surrounding towns
Pochapofsky, Budovlia >from Belarus


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Descendants of Rosa and Louis SILVERSTEIN #general

Lois Cohen
 

Looking for information on the children of Louis and Rosa (Cohen)
SILVERSTEIN.

Sarah>Sadie Silverstein born in Boston, MA Dec. 31, 1895. Sadie may have
changed her name to Sadie Josephine Silver. I found her, single, in the
1940 Boston census living in a hotel in Boston.

Ali> Alex> Ellis Silverstein born in Boston, MA July 1897. He may have
used July 1, 1897 as his birth date. The only record I found was his World
War 1 draft card (1918) where he stated he was living with Mrs. Annie Bloom.
Annie was Ellis and Sadie's sister. Annie married David Bloom. Annie Bloom
died in 1922. I have contacted Annie's granddaughter who remembered
meeting a Josephine Silver once years ago and knowing this woman was a
relative of her late grandmother Annie Bloom. The granddaughter would also
like to learn more about her grandmother's family.

Lois Cohen
Loisteach@verizon.net


Re: Viewmate for identification: suggestion #general

André Günther
 

additionally a time frame would also be very helpful!

Andre Guenther, Germany

-----Original Message-----
Date: Fri, 10 May 2013 16:16:18 +0200
From: Joan Rosen <jgrosen98@gmail.com>

Researchers sometimes ask us to help them identify people in photos.
The latest one said:
"I have posted a photograph which I am hoping that someone recognizes
and can give me information on my grandfather's brother."
It would be very helpful if requests came with a name, in this case
the name of the grandfather or of the brother.  It might encourage
more of us actually to go to the web site and look at the photo!
Without a name as hint, it seems too much of a longshot to assume I
might recognize someone. One cannot always tell >from the name of the
person who sent the request.


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Viewmate for identification: suggestion #general

André Günther
 

additionally a time frame would also be very helpful!

Andre Guenther, Germany

-----Original Message-----
Date: Fri, 10 May 2013 16:16:18 +0200
From: Joan Rosen <jgrosen98@gmail.com>

Researchers sometimes ask us to help them identify people in photos.
The latest one said:
"I have posted a photograph which I am hoping that someone recognizes
and can give me information on my grandfather's brother."
It would be very helpful if requests came with a name, in this case
the name of the grandfather or of the brother.  It might encourage
more of us actually to go to the web site and look at the photo!
Without a name as hint, it seems too much of a longshot to assume I
might recognize someone. One cannot always tell >from the name of the
person who sent the request.


Re: Rabbi KEIDENOWER, Frankfurt, Berchat Hawewach? #rabbinic

Gilbert Hendlisz <gilbert.hendlisz@...>
 

You refer probably to Rabbi Ahron Shmuel Kaidanower (1614-1676), a
reknown rabbi in Frankfurt and then in Cracow, called the "Maharshak".
His son, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh Kaidanower was also a notorious rabbi. This
Tzvi Hirsch was the father-in-law of a Rabbi Elchanan Hendel of Kirschahn.
Hope it helps.

Gilbert Hendlisz (Brussels)

Le 10/05/13 21:23, Rachel Unkefer a écrit :
from a manuscript of a family history written in German, there is a
reference to a Rabbi KEIDENOWER (or a rabbi >from Keidan?). I've
copied the phrase in German here and then my translation into English.
Does this ring any bells with anyone?

"...der ein naher Verwandter des beruehmten Frankfurter Rabbiners
Keidenower, Verfasser des Werkes 'Berchat Hawewach" war."

"was a close relative of the famous Frankfurt Rabbi Keidenower,
author of the work 'Berchat Hasewach.' "


Rabbinic Genealogy SIG #Rabbinic Re: Rabbi KEIDENOWER, Frankfurt, Berchat Hawewach? #rabbinic

Gilbert Hendlisz <gilbert.hendlisz@...>
 

You refer probably to Rabbi Ahron Shmuel Kaidanower (1614-1676), a
reknown rabbi in Frankfurt and then in Cracow, called the "Maharshak".
His son, Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh Kaidanower was also a notorious rabbi. This
Tzvi Hirsch was the father-in-law of a Rabbi Elchanan Hendel of Kirschahn.
Hope it helps.

Gilbert Hendlisz (Brussels)

Le 10/05/13 21:23, Rachel Unkefer a écrit :
from a manuscript of a family history written in German, there is a
reference to a Rabbi KEIDENOWER (or a rabbi >from Keidan?). I've
copied the phrase in German here and then my translation into English.
Does this ring any bells with anyone?

"...der ein naher Verwandter des beruehmten Frankfurter Rabbiners
Keidenower, Verfasser des Werkes 'Berchat Hawewach" war."

"was a close relative of the famous Frankfurt Rabbi Keidenower,
author of the work 'Berchat Hasewach.' "


Litvaks in Riga Vital Records #lithuania

William Yoffee
 

LITVAKS IN RIGA VITAL RECORDS

The Panevezys District Research Group is posting Excel spread sheets
containing Vital Records data that show the tendency of Litvaks in the late
19th Century to have contact with the city of Riga in what is now Latvia.
During that period it was in the Province of Livonia of Imperial Russia
outside the Pale of Settlement. These data were collected and translated
from the Riga Rabbinical records and the 1897 All Russia Census by Christine
Usdine, a French Jew of Livonian origin. With her kind permission, Sam
Aaron, a District Research Group Coordinator for LitvakSIG, extracted data
for individuals whose records show evidence of a connection with or origin
in the Districts of what has become modern day Lithuania. Other LitvakSIG
district research groups also will have this information available. It
should be emphasized that these data show only a connection of Jews with
Riga and should not be interpreted as necessarily showing Jews who lived
in Riga.

Riga has been a commercial port and center of trade since the beginning of
the 13th Century. Founded by a Teutonic Order and German merchants, it was
an important city in the Holy Roman Empire and eventually became a member of
the Hanseatic League of commercial cities. In the 16th Century it converted
from Roman Catholicism to Lutheranism. In the 17th Century it became a part
of Sweden, until 1710 when it was conquered by Russia. It remained a Russian
port until the end of WW1, but its culture remained predominately German. In
1867, nearly 43% of the population spoke German. In the middle of the 19th
Century there also arose the Latvian National Awakening movement.

In the 15th and 16th Centuries, Jews had economic ties to Riga. They were
allowed to work there for limited periods of time, but were not permitted to
live in the city. The few "protected Jews" who were permitted to live there
were banished in 1743. Those Jewish traders who had been required to
register in a small town outside Riga were granted permission in 1813 to
live in Riga. In 1858 they were permitted to own real estate. The city was
never hospitable to Jews, who were frequently either expelled, subject to
severe restrictions or forced to live outside the city. The Jewish
population in 1824 was only 513. In 1850 it grew to 605. By 1867 it grew to
5254 (or 5.1% of the population). Between 1881 and 1897, Jews as a percent
of the total population declined >from 8.4% to 7.9%. The first synagogue was
established in 1850 and the Choral Synagogue was established in 1871. Riga
was never welcoming to Jews, but because it was the most important city in
the region it was something of a magnet to Jewish residents of nearby
gubernias of the Pale of Settlement. Even Jews who had little or no
connection to the city claimed a connection. For example, my grandfather and
all of his siblings claimed to have been born in Riga. The same was true of
my wife's paternal grandparents and their siblings. Documents clearly show
that they were all born and lived in the Panevezys District.

BIRTH RECORDS have been extracted for 1503 children born >from 1854 to 1875.
Line #249, however, notes that for years 1866 through 1868 the listings
are illegible. The information for the child and the father includes the
father's surname, given name, patronymic and the town and District of the
father's origin. Information about the mothers is not complete since only a
small number of maiden names and very few places of origin are noted. It is
interesting to note that in the Comments column most of the persons listed
as officiating at the religious ceremonies are >from locations in what is now
Lithuania or Belarus. For convenience, where the place of origin of the
father is in the Panevezys District, it has been highlighted.

MARRIAGE RECORDS have been extracted in two groupings. The grouping listed
by Groom lists 293 marriages >from 1854 to 1877. The listing by Bride lists
332 marriages between 1857 and 1877. No entries have been extracted for
Brides in 1866. Almost all marriages on both lists were performed by the
same rabbi in Riga. Many more grooms than brides in the Grooms list had
origins in the Panevezys District. The opposite was true in the Brides list
where more brides than grooms had origin in the Panevezys District. On both
lists there were some listings where both bride and groom were >from the
Panevezys District and even >from the same town. Where the brides' or grooms'
origins were in the Panevezys District, their towns have been highlighted.

DEATH RECORDS of 1063 individuals were recorded in the Riga Rabbinical
Records between 1854 and 1875. There are none listed for the years 1866
through 1868. A large number of the deceased were listed as having
originated in the Panevezys District. In the column listing the District of
origin, Panevezys is highlighted. In the column listing the town of origin
the name of a town currently in the Panevezys District is highlighted.
However, many of those listed as having originated in other Districts are
also listed as having originated in towns that are currently in the
Panevezys District and many who are listed as having originated in the
Panevezys District are also listed as having originated in a town not
currently in the Panevezys District. The relevant towns and District are
highlighted. The fact that a name is listed in the Riga Rabbinical Records
should not necessarily be taken to mean that the individual died or was
buried in Riga.

DIVORCE RECORDS are divided into three lists, one in which the husband
appears to be the petitioner, the second in which the wife appears to be the
petitioner and the third in which either or both could have been a
petitioner. The list of husband petitioners contains 206 records dated >from
1855 to 1909 (lacking records for 1867 and 1868) of which 49 husbands were
from the Panevezys District. Only 13 of the wives are >from the Panevezys
District. In 6 cases both parties were >from the Panevezys District, and in 3
of those case both parties were >from the same town. The list of wife
petitioners contains 148 records dated >from 1866 to 1893 (lacking records
from 1867 to 1871). Only 12 of the wives and 25 of the husbands were >from
the Panevezys District. Of these in only 1 case were both parties >from this
District and in 3 cases were both parties >from the same town in this
District. The list where either or both husband and wife could have been a
petitioner contains 306 records dated >from 1855 to 1882. The records for
1867 and 1868 were mostly illegible. Much of the information about origin on
this list was either missing or illegible but the existing data show that 21
husbands and 9 wives were >from the Panevezys District. The grounds for
divorce in all of the cases was "Lack of commitment to the marriage". In
the husbands' petitions only one added "mutual consent" and two added
"discord". In the list of husband and wives petitions, five added "mutual
consent".

It should be noted that Jewish religious divorces were decided by rabbinical
courts (Beit Din), usually composed of at least one rabbi and sometimes
several rabbis who were specialist in knowledge of the Talmudic law on
divorce (Tractate Gittin). The court also included two laymen who presumably
were also learned in Talmudic law on divorce. By far the most frequent
laymen appointed were Shmuel Shofer and Abram Alpert both >from Birzai. On
several occasions, individuals >from Pasvalys were appointed. One other
factor that may have attracted Jews >from elsewhere to Riga was the eminence
of its rabbis who were activist for Jewish causes in the Russian Empire (eg.
Neumann, Pompianski, and Pucher) or had important yichus (eg. Rivlin and
Shapiro).

For information about participation in LitvakSIG or the Panevezys District
Research Group, please contact me at the email address below. To contact
Christine Usdine to learn more about her work and how it can be useful to
you, e-mail me privately and I will forward your message to her.

Bill Yoffee,
Panevezys District Research Coordinator,
kidsbks@verizon.net


Lithuania SIG #Lithuania Litvaks in Riga Vital Records #lithuania

William Yoffee
 

LITVAKS IN RIGA VITAL RECORDS

The Panevezys District Research Group is posting Excel spread sheets
containing Vital Records data that show the tendency of Litvaks in the late
19th Century to have contact with the city of Riga in what is now Latvia.
During that period it was in the Province of Livonia of Imperial Russia
outside the Pale of Settlement. These data were collected and translated
from the Riga Rabbinical records and the 1897 All Russia Census by Christine
Usdine, a French Jew of Livonian origin. With her kind permission, Sam
Aaron, a District Research Group Coordinator for LitvakSIG, extracted data
for individuals whose records show evidence of a connection with or origin
in the Districts of what has become modern day Lithuania. Other LitvakSIG
district research groups also will have this information available. It
should be emphasized that these data show only a connection of Jews with
Riga and should not be interpreted as necessarily showing Jews who lived
in Riga.

Riga has been a commercial port and center of trade since the beginning of
the 13th Century. Founded by a Teutonic Order and German merchants, it was
an important city in the Holy Roman Empire and eventually became a member of
the Hanseatic League of commercial cities. In the 16th Century it converted
from Roman Catholicism to Lutheranism. In the 17th Century it became a part
of Sweden, until 1710 when it was conquered by Russia. It remained a Russian
port until the end of WW1, but its culture remained predominately German. In
1867, nearly 43% of the population spoke German. In the middle of the 19th
Century there also arose the Latvian National Awakening movement.

In the 15th and 16th Centuries, Jews had economic ties to Riga. They were
allowed to work there for limited periods of time, but were not permitted to
live in the city. The few "protected Jews" who were permitted to live there
were banished in 1743. Those Jewish traders who had been required to
register in a small town outside Riga were granted permission in 1813 to
live in Riga. In 1858 they were permitted to own real estate. The city was
never hospitable to Jews, who were frequently either expelled, subject to
severe restrictions or forced to live outside the city. The Jewish
population in 1824 was only 513. In 1850 it grew to 605. By 1867 it grew to
5254 (or 5.1% of the population). Between 1881 and 1897, Jews as a percent
of the total population declined >from 8.4% to 7.9%. The first synagogue was
established in 1850 and the Choral Synagogue was established in 1871. Riga
was never welcoming to Jews, but because it was the most important city in
the region it was something of a magnet to Jewish residents of nearby
gubernias of the Pale of Settlement. Even Jews who had little or no
connection to the city claimed a connection. For example, my grandfather and
all of his siblings claimed to have been born in Riga. The same was true of
my wife's paternal grandparents and their siblings. Documents clearly show
that they were all born and lived in the Panevezys District.

BIRTH RECORDS have been extracted for 1503 children born >from 1854 to 1875.
Line #249, however, notes that for years 1866 through 1868 the listings
are illegible. The information for the child and the father includes the
father's surname, given name, patronymic and the town and District of the
father's origin. Information about the mothers is not complete since only a
small number of maiden names and very few places of origin are noted. It is
interesting to note that in the Comments column most of the persons listed
as officiating at the religious ceremonies are >from locations in what is now
Lithuania or Belarus. For convenience, where the place of origin of the
father is in the Panevezys District, it has been highlighted.

MARRIAGE RECORDS have been extracted in two groupings. The grouping listed
by Groom lists 293 marriages >from 1854 to 1877. The listing by Bride lists
332 marriages between 1857 and 1877. No entries have been extracted for
Brides in 1866. Almost all marriages on both lists were performed by the
same rabbi in Riga. Many more grooms than brides in the Grooms list had
origins in the Panevezys District. The opposite was true in the Brides list
where more brides than grooms had origin in the Panevezys District. On both
lists there were some listings where both bride and groom were >from the
Panevezys District and even >from the same town. Where the brides' or grooms'
origins were in the Panevezys District, their towns have been highlighted.

DEATH RECORDS of 1063 individuals were recorded in the Riga Rabbinical
Records between 1854 and 1875. There are none listed for the years 1866
through 1868. A large number of the deceased were listed as having
originated in the Panevezys District. In the column listing the District of
origin, Panevezys is highlighted. In the column listing the town of origin
the name of a town currently in the Panevezys District is highlighted.
However, many of those listed as having originated in other Districts are
also listed as having originated in towns that are currently in the
Panevezys District and many who are listed as having originated in the
Panevezys District are also listed as having originated in a town not
currently in the Panevezys District. The relevant towns and District are
highlighted. The fact that a name is listed in the Riga Rabbinical Records
should not necessarily be taken to mean that the individual died or was
buried in Riga.

DIVORCE RECORDS are divided into three lists, one in which the husband
appears to be the petitioner, the second in which the wife appears to be the
petitioner and the third in which either or both could have been a
petitioner. The list of husband petitioners contains 206 records dated >from
1855 to 1909 (lacking records for 1867 and 1868) of which 49 husbands were
from the Panevezys District. Only 13 of the wives are >from the Panevezys
District. In 6 cases both parties were >from the Panevezys District, and in 3
of those case both parties were >from the same town. The list of wife
petitioners contains 148 records dated >from 1866 to 1893 (lacking records
from 1867 to 1871). Only 12 of the wives and 25 of the husbands were >from
the Panevezys District. Of these in only 1 case were both parties >from this
District and in 3 cases were both parties >from the same town in this
District. The list where either or both husband and wife could have been a
petitioner contains 306 records dated >from 1855 to 1882. The records for
1867 and 1868 were mostly illegible. Much of the information about origin on
this list was either missing or illegible but the existing data show that 21
husbands and 9 wives were >from the Panevezys District. The grounds for
divorce in all of the cases was "Lack of commitment to the marriage". In
the husbands' petitions only one added "mutual consent" and two added
"discord". In the list of husband and wives petitions, five added "mutual
consent".

It should be noted that Jewish religious divorces were decided by rabbinical
courts (Beit Din), usually composed of at least one rabbi and sometimes
several rabbis who were specialist in knowledge of the Talmudic law on
divorce (Tractate Gittin). The court also included two laymen who presumably
were also learned in Talmudic law on divorce. By far the most frequent
laymen appointed were Shmuel Shofer and Abram Alpert both >from Birzai. On
several occasions, individuals >from Pasvalys were appointed. One other
factor that may have attracted Jews >from elsewhere to Riga was the eminence
of its rabbis who were activist for Jewish causes in the Russian Empire (eg.
Neumann, Pompianski, and Pucher) or had important yichus (eg. Rivlin and
Shapiro).

For information about participation in LitvakSIG or the Panevezys District
Research Group, please contact me at the email address below. To contact
Christine Usdine to learn more about her work and how it can be useful to
you, e-mail me privately and I will forward your message to her.

Bill Yoffee,
Panevezys District Research Coordinator,
kidsbks@verizon.net

140521 - 140540 of 662557