Belarus SIG #Belarus LIFSHITZ Grodno #Belarus

Justin Loe <justinloe@...>

The other piece of research that I'm trying to pursue is the line of
Ezekiel Lifshitz, born in Grodno around 1880 and died in New York, US
sometime in the 1940s. Ezekiel Lifshitz worked in the printing/publishing
business and, according to family history, was involved in printing the early
work of The Forward. He was also involved in The Grodner, which appears
to have been a relief organization for Grodno. He had a brother, name
unknown, who ultimately emigrated to Argentina.

Since Lifshitz is a very common name, genealogy research can be a bit
difficult. DNA research is, for the time being, also excluded because there
are no direct paternal descendants.

So, my thinking is that those who might have Lifshitz ancestry >from Grodno
might be interested in comparing notes.


Justin Loe

Fairfax, Virginia

Belarus SIG #Belarus Re: MEYERS, TAFT, FEITELSON Families #Belarus


My great aunt Golda MEYERS (born 1875) >from the MORRIS TAFT family (my
grandfather) had a son who married into the FEITELSON FAMILY and as
mentioned, the TAFT family emigrated to BRIDGEPORT in approx. 1906. Golda's
son were Mo, Henry, Ben and Lou.

Shirley Kirsten, Fresno, CA

Belarus SIG #Belarus RE: LIFSHITZ - DNA Study #Belarus


Dear Belarus SIG Members,

Justin Loe recently posted about his Lifshitz family >from Grodno. He
mentioned that DNA research is excluded [for his own family] since he
doesn't have living male Lifshitz relatives. This is indeed a situation
where genealogical Y-DNA testing unfortunately can't help.

However, I want to let everyone know that a Lifshitz DNA surname project
does actually exist, and is definitely an option for many other researchers.

Any living male with the Lifshitz surname (any spelling or reasonable
variation) is eligible and encouraged to participate in the Lifshitz DNA
Project. The goal of the project is to get past our paper trail brick walls
and utilize genealogical DNA testing to find links between seemingly
unrelated Lifshitz families.

I started the Lifshitz DNA project last year after testing my own Lifshitz
cousin, whose family immigrated >from Brest and/or Antopol and are Cohanim.
There are several other people in the Lifshitz project already, who
unfortunately don't match my cousin or each other. Since Lifshitz is a
common Jewish surname, I expect there to be many people who don't match each
other, but I also expect that we will eventually get some matches. The more
people who participate, the better chance we'll have of finding those
elusive matches!

So, if you are a male Lifshitz, or if you have a male Lifshitz relative who
you can recruit to participate, please visit the following link to read more
about the project and to join:

As a reminder, you can also visit JewishGen's Genealogy by Genetics website
for general information about genealogical DNA testing:

Please contact me privately for any further information about the Lifshitz
DNA Project. Hope to hear >from the many Lifshitz researchers who I know are
out there!

Elise Friedman
Lake Worth, FL

Researching in Belarus:
CHESIN, EHUDIN (Mstislavl/Mogilev)

Belarus SIG #Belarus Re: Information for Jerry Seligsohn on location of Horodok #Belarus

Eilat Gordin Levitan

From: Eilat Gordin Levitan <eilat.gordinlevitan@...>
Date: Aug 26, 2007 2:28 PM
Subject: Re: [belarus] Information for Jerry Seligsohn on location of Horodok

The Horodok west of Minsk ( less then 30 miles away) was in Poland
between the wars. It is the same Horodok which had a movie taken by
David Shapiro in 1932. I just created a page for the town for

Eilat Levitan

Belarus SIG #Belarus Re: Information for Jerry Seligsohn on location of Horodok #Belarus

David M. Fox <davefox73@...>

While I have no personal family ties to Horodok, I decided to explore the
new Horodok ShtetLink site created by Eilat. It is a wonderful tribute to
the shtetl, the people and descendents >from the shtetl and well as a
wonderful memorial to those >from Horodok who perished in the Holocaust.

Thank you Eilat for making the effort and a great effort it is! The URL for
the site is found below.


David Fox
Belarus SIG Founder & Past Coordinator
Arnold, Maryland, USA

Eilat Gordin Levitan <eilat.gordinlevitan@...> wrote:
The Horodok west of Minsk ( less then 30 miles away) was in Poland
between the wars. It is the same Horodok which had a movie taken by
David Shapiro in 1932. I just created a page for the town for

Belarus SIG #Belarus Minsk Gubernia: AARON/S/ARONCZIK/VINACOR #Belarus

MavAlan Shaffer <mavalan_shaffer@...>

Many thanks to everyone for so kindly helping in
searching for my Aaron/s family.

I was very interested to see the posting re Minsk
Gubernia and Minsk as I remember my grandfather,
Joseph AARONS (ARONCZIK) saying he was >from Minsk
Gubernia (b. Seliba 7 May 1877).
He came to England with his wife Sarah (Gurevitch) in
February 1900.

His brother Thomas Harry (b.1883) married Frieda
Winocur >from Swislotz. Thomas emigrated to the U.S. in
Frieda came with their 3 children in March 1910.
We have her Immigration document (sailed on The Rhein
from Bremen 12th Feb 1910 to New York) which shows her
husband's name beginning with 'Ch', and her surname as

We have the 1910 N.Y. Brooklyn Census showing Thomas
and Freide AARON and 3 children (505 Howard Avenue).

Now we are trying to find the Immigration Document for
'Thomas Harry' ARONCZIK but looking for a given name
beginning with 'Ch', born c.1883, >from Swislotz,
married to Freide, arriving in the U.S. 1906, a boot
repairer, parents Solomon and Grecia.
We believe it would be in the latter part of the year.
We have found a 'Chane ARONCZIK' on the Steve Morse/
Ancestry site and would be grateful if anyone with
Ancestry access could email a copy to us, or any other
possible suggestions.

Also we would very much like to see an old map showing
Minsk Gubernia and Seliba and Swislotz.

With very many thanks,
Mavis Shaffer
London, UK


Yahoo! Answers - Got a question? Someone out there knows the answer. Try it

Belarus SIG #Belarus Re: Minsk Gubernia: AARON/S/ARONCZIK/VINACOR #Belarus

David M. Fox <davefox73@...>

There are many resources on the SIG website, including maps.
Please see:

Dave Fox,
Arnold, Maryland USA

MavAlan Shaffer <mavalan_shaffer@...> wrote:

Also we would very much like to see an old map showing
Minsk Gubernia and Seliba and Swislotz.

Belarus SIG #Belarus Highlights of the Recent Salt Lake City Conference. #Belarus


Highlights of the 27th Annual International Association of Jewish
Genealogical Societies Conference, held recently in Salt Lake City Utah will be presented
by the JGSMI ( Jewish Genealogical Society of Michigan) on September 9, 2007
at 12:30pm at the Detroit Holocaust Memorial Center, Zekelman Campus on
Orchard Lake Rd between 12 and 13 Mile Rds in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Members and friends of the JGSMI who attended the Conference in Salt Lake
City Utah will present an overview of the Conference and will tell about sessions
that they attended.

Members of JGSMI no charge Guests $5.00
RSVP Alexandra Goldberg 248-496-1324, AlexandraAtGofP@...

Judi Fox

Belarus SIG #Belarus Pianist Dania Garber of Bobruisk #Belarus

Eilat Gordin Levitan

I am looking for any information about the family of the Pianist Dania GARBER.
Dania was born in Volozhin c 1920.
Dania studied in the Vilna school of music. The Soviets, arriving in
1939, invited him to play piano far inside Russia. He was married to
another pianist in Bobruisk. He only returned to Volozhin for one
visit after the war. Someone >from Volozhin said that Dania passed away
many years ago. His brother Monia ( born in Volozhin in 1922) was
just found alive in Scotland.
You could read more about the family as written by first cousin Monia
Perlman at;
Thanks for any information,
Eilat Gordin Levitan
Los Angeles

Belarus SIG #Belarus TV Program - Slonim #Belarus

David M. Fox <davefox73@...>

For Belarus SIG members in the UK or those that can get BBC1 on satellite,
you may be interested to know that the family history series "Who Do You
Think You Are?" starts again on Thursday 6th September at 21:00 BST. In the
first programme, the popular newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky visits Slonim in
Belarus to find out more about her grandparents.
(information >from the LidaRoots newsgroup)


David Fox
Belarus SIG Founder & Past Coordinator
Arnold, Maryland, USA

Belarus SIG #Belarus RE: Karan, Belarus - Is there such a place? #Belarus

Allan S. Karan <akaran@...>

Dear Members,

I have been reading with interest you posts on Russian surnames and how
they came to be. Since my father came >from Slutsk with the surname
Karan, I assume his family originated >from a place named Karan. I recall
a village with that name in reading Vasily Grossman's "A Writer at War"
when he was in the Belarus area but can't seem to find it on a map. I
have found a Karan in Bashkortostan, Russia which is a distance from
Belarus even though I recall your postings saying traveling distances
was not unusual. Is (was) there a Karan, Belarus?

Best Regards,


Allan S. Karan
White Plains, NY USA

Belarus SIG #Belarus "Who do you think you are" /BBC-TV #Belarus

david nathan <d.nathan1@...>

Hi Genners,

"Who Do You Think You Are" is an immensely popular BBC TV series in which
personalities are helped to find their roots and research their family
history, now in its third series. For those in the UK or who can receive BBC
programmes via satellite, it is well worth watching.

Each series has given me new ideas and new leads to finding my own and my
wife's antecedents - and it is entertaining at the same time.

Starts Monday 6 September at 9 pm BST.

David Nathan, London UK

Belarus SIG #Belarus AARON/S/ARONCZIK/VINACOR #Belarus

MavAlan Shaffer <mavalan_shaffer@...>

Thank you everyone for your help in trying to find the
Ship Manifest and US Immigration paper for my g/uncle
'Thomas Harry AARON', born c.1883 ?Seliba, Minsk
Gubernia, son of Solomon and Grecia.

We have the 1910 NY Brooklyn Census (Sheet 229,
Supervisor's District No.2, Enumeration District
Address: 505 Howard Avenue.
AARON Thomas (27), to US 1906
wife Freide (26), to US 1910
sons Abraham(7), Oscar(6), daughter Fanny (4).

We have Freide's Immigration paper:
Freide ARONCZIK (26), children Abram, Ascher, Feige.
Husband's given name begins 'Ch' (?).
from Swislotz. Father's name VINACOR (?).
Top of page no.28.
Sailed on 'S.S. Rhein' >from Bremen Feb 12th 1910.
Arrived NY March 2 1910 (Page no.158)

I received the following helpful reply >from Laura:

'I found what I believe to be your missing Ch.
Aronczik. On Ancestry, there is an additional page
of special inquiry regarding Friede which gives her
husband's name as Chone ARONCZIK. I then found on
Ancestry a Chone ARONZIK on the 'Pennsylvania' leaving
Hamburg May 13, 1906 arriving in New york on May 25,
1906 (in German only) but I couldn't find him in the
corresponding manifest for arriving in New York.
Checking for a Chone arriving on that ship in 1906 on
Ancestry, I finally found him mistranscribed as Chone
MONZIK on that ship. There are some discrepancies
however. It lists him as age 24, single and last
place of residence as Shelub (?). I can't decipher
his occupation.
I then tried to locate him on the Ellis Island website
via Steve Morse, but that particular manifest is in
two locations, and the major part won't come up.
It's supposed to be T715_715 page 31 line 15.'

Can anyone help further our search please?

With very many thanks for all your kind help.
Shana Tova,
Mavis Shaffer
London, UK

Belarus SIG #Belarus surname KARAN #Belarus

Michael H. Witkin <michael@...>

Allan S. Karan writes:
I have been reading with interest you posts on Russian surnames and how they
came to be. Since my father came >from Slutsk with the surname Karan, I
assume his family originated >from a place named Karan. I recall a village
with that name in reading Vasily Grossman's "A Writer at War" he was in the
Belarus area but can't seem to find it on a map. I have found a Karan in
Bashkortostan, Russia which is a distance >from Belarus even though I recall
your postings saying traveling distances was not unusual. Is (was) there a
Karan, Belarus?

According to Beider in his 1993 “A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames >from the
Russian Empire”, there are a number of “type”s of surnames. Among them are
topographical, as you suggest, but also occupational (i.e. Glazer, Malamed),
based on personal characteristic (i.e Kleine, Gross, Roite), indicating
clergy (i.e. Cohen, Levi, Levin), rabbinical (Katzenellenbogen), >from a
female given name (i.e. Witkin, Chaia,), and more. Beider uses 12 codes for
assigning sources for surnames.

Here are some results >from Beider:

Chernyj, popular in Gomel and Vilna comes >from Russian for black hair.
Referred >from “Charnyj”

Karan, popular in Minsk, Mozyr comes >from the shtetl Kran near Zitomer “see

Kran, popular in Vilna and Dvinsk is an artificial surname meaning “cock,
tap, faucet” in Yiddish and Russian

Michael H. Witkin
New York, NY 10003

Belarus SIG #Belarus Yizkor Book Project August 2007 report #Belarus

Joyce Field

For the month of August 2007 the Yizkor Book Project added five new
books, four new entries, and 14 updates. We are pleased to announce
that Yad Vashem is now submitting to JewishGen translations of
necrologies of yizkor books which the Yizkor Book Project does not
have online. These translations are listed on the translations index
page at and will
also be added to the Necrology Database at, which is updated

We also want to call to your attention the previously unpublished
manuscript by Robin O'Neil, "Schindler: Stepping Stone to Life," at The
remaining chapters will be online in September.

Finally, Yad Vashem has just published an additional volume of the
Pinkas HaKehillot Germany, volume IV in two parts. The table of
contents will be online shortly. The tables of contents of all other
volumes of the Pinkas HaKehillot series are listed at

All new material has been flagged at

New books:

-Aleksandriya, Ukraine
-Bilhorod-Dnistrovs'kyy (Akkerman), Ukraine
-Kaluszyn, Poland
-Szczebrzeszyn, Poland
-Zelechow, Poland

New entries:

-Biecz, Poland: Pinkas HaKehillot, Polin, vol. III
-Klimontow, Poland: Sefer Sosnowiec
-Kolonja Izaaka, Belarus: Pinkas Hakehillot, Polin, vol. VIII
-Odelsk, Belarus: Pinkas HaKehillot, Polin, vol. VIII


-Antopol, Belarus
-Biecz, Poland
-Bielsk, Poland
-Chelm, Poland
-Czestochowa, Poland:
-Dusetos, Lithuania
-Jaslo, Poland
-Lenin, Belarus
-Radzyn Podlaski, Poland
-Schindler: Stepping Stone to Life (A reconstruction of the Schindler
-Slutsk, Belarus
-Sokolka, Poland
-Sosnowiec, Poland
-Zaglembie, Poland

Please contact me privately if you would like to donate translations
you have done or undertake a new translation. Contributions of
money to current yizkor book translation projects are urgently
needed. Please make donations to the books listed at

Joyce Field
JewishGen VP, Data Acquisition

Belarus SIG #Belarus BBC1 Slonim Broadcast #Belarus

Paul & Irene Berman <ikpjb@...>

Does any Belarus list member know if the BBC1 TV broadcast centering on
Slonim, which was mentioned in the last newsletter, is available on Israel
satellite or cable TV?
Irene Berman
Shoham, Israel

Belarus SIG #Belarus surname like PETRUSKITZ #Belarus


The discussion of various Belarus-related surnames prompts me to ask for suggestions about one that has puzzled me for a long time.

My maternal grandmother came to the U.S.A. in 1902 >from Wisoke-Litovsk (now Vysokoye) in the Brest District, Grodno Gubernia.

Her father died when she was only three years old and her mother remarried. She used her step-father's name (VILNER/WILLNER) as her maiden name. But when she died in NY in 1934, my uncle gave the authorities the name PETRUSKITZ as her father's name for the death certificate.

I have not been able to find any example of that name. I have found similar-sounding names such as PETRUSKA and PODRITSKI in census records, ships manifests, etc.

I'm sure my uncle did his best to recall and spell a name he had only heard mentioned many years earlier.

Would anyone be willing to venture a guess as to what name I should be looking for?

Joy Weaver
E.Islip, NY USA

Belarus SIG #Belarus Surname KARAN #Belarus



I have found that there are many KRAINES family members >from Slutsk. Could
it be possible that the KARAN family shortened their name >from the KRAINES
name? KRAINES means crown and they were Cohanim >from what I was told.

Good luck on your search.
Rishy Savin
Miami, FL
Researching Kreines/Kraines in Zelva, Volkovysk and possibly Slutsk

Belarus SIG #Belarus Karan, Belarus - Place and Surname #Belarus

Allan S. Karan <akaran@...>

Dear Members,

Thanks for responding directly and through the Sig. I very much
appreciate your replies, When I lived in Dublin and would take my map
out, five very helpful strangers would walked up to me and give me five
different directions to the same place. I finding Genealogy the same.

The actual spelling of the name >from a hand written school Russian
registration is "Xorona" since the name has not been shortened or changed,
I assume it is an original name or place and not being derived from
another one. Can I make that assumption?

Warm Regards,

Allan S. Karan
White Plains, NY USA

Belarus SIG #Belarus Introducing our new research coordinator!!! #Belarus


David Feldman and I are very happy to introduce our new research coordinator,
Ruth Silver. Please give her a few weeks to come up to speed. We have
sent her a spreadsheet listing all the projects we know about. She will contact
project coordinators. If you have ideas for new research projects, please
send your ideas to her at ruth.silver@.... Ruth sent me this
information about her genealogy interests/progress:"My maternal great
great grandfather Michael (Chaim Checkel) Weinstein came to England in
1879 >from Grodno. We have not yet discovered whether this was the town or
a nearby village. My great grandmother (who was born in England) always
claimed that her family had been important people in their village, but
we have no information.I have been tracing my family for about 7 years
and have found relatives in Australia, America, Canada, and Spain. However
as yet we have made no inroads into Belarus. (my father's family from
Lublin has been much easier to trace and I have now reached the early
part of the eighteenth century).I live in Switzerland and my email
in ruth.silver@....

Sharon Fingold and David Feldman, Co-Coordinators
JewishGen Belarus SIG