Decyphering a town name

Butch Hill

I have located immigration records (ship manifests) for three of my
direct ancestors. I had hoped to be able to determine their town of
origin from the 'Last Residence' field, but the information doesn't
seem to readily idenfity one of the many names contained within
JewishGen. I think the town is located within the Minsk Gubernia as
that is where all of these folks were from. I also suspect it's
somewhere in the vicinity of Nyasvich. Below are the three spellings
from the software that reads the images. I think it's the same town
with different spellings. So far, my best guess is Sverzhen' Novy, but
it's just a guess. Any chance someone familiar with the languages
could lend assistance?

From a Rotterdam manifest - Twersny (Note: the 'T' is unreadable on
the original image)
From a Hamburg manifest - Swersne
From a Hamburg manifest - Szweszne

Sally Bruckheimer <sallybruc@...>

There is a town in the Jewish Communities Database called Sverzhen Novyy. And if there is a New one, there should be an old one as well, nearby. But in any case, the 'w' in Polish sounds like a 'v' in English or Russian, and this seems like a good possibility. 732 Jews in 1897 and in Minsk gubernia as you requested.


From a Hamburg manifest - Szweszne: thisremnds me of Sveksne. Sveksne/a is located in southwest Lithuania. eatof Memel and north of Kovne.

Karen <kgschneider@...>

I'm not sure which year this started, but in typical ship's records from Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the "last residence" column is on page one. Have you tried page two? On Ancestry, you can access page two by clicking the arrow on the far right in the middle of the document. Not sure if all sites let you do this because I've had trouble finding page two of these documents on Family Search. If you can access page two, however, the family will be located on the same number line as they are on page one. Then reading across on page two is the name and relationship of the person in the place they are coming from which, hopefully, will give you the name of a town, etc. And a little further across is the person they are joining in the U.S. If you can't locate a site with p.2 of the records I would be happy to look them up on Ancestry for you. Just email me.

Karen Gregar Schneider
Bolingbrook, Illinois, USA

Nicole Heymans

When requesting assistance for deciphering handwriting, it's always a help to include an image, which is a recently added feature that's a vast improvement to this discussion group. Or post to viewmate.

Nicole Heymans, near Brussels, Belgium

Rodney Eisfelder

Consider also Schwersenz in Posen (Prussian Poland). See:
It had a Jewish population of more than 1600 in 1840, reducing to around 300 by 1895.
From a Rotterdam manifest - Twersny (Note: the 'T' is unreadable on
the original image)
From a Hamburg manifest - Swersne
From a Hamburg manifest - Szweszne
I hope this helps
Rodney Eisfelder
Melbourne, Australia

Mike Posnick

The town most probably is Sverzhen.  Sverzhen and Novy Sverzhen are located adjacent to one another and near Stolbtsy in Minsk Gubernia, southwest of the city of Minsk.  My GOLOVENCHITZ relatives are from Novy Sverzhen.

Mike Posnick
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Esther Goldberg

Old in Polish is Stare.
Not necessarily have to be a New & Old