Belarus? Geography Question: Slonim Zaludok Grodno Wilna

Joel Weintraub

Hi Jenners, I could use some help in understanding where two brothers came from in Europe.  I'm 99% sure they are brothers with many ties on official documents. The first comes into Ellis Island in 1901.  The column where it asks last residence shows Slonim Russia.  Eleven years later, on his U.S. Petition for citizenship he indicated he was born in 1875 in Grodno Russia.  Brother two comes into Ellis Island in 1904.  His manifest shows last residence as Zaludok.  On his U.S. Petition for citizenship in 1910 he puts down he was born in 1877 in Wilna Russia.  My goal is to narrow down their origin city, and then search to see if records exist for a close relative with a different family name that I think they took in America.

Thanks in advance.  You can write me privately.
Joel Weintraub
Dana Point, CA


Hello Joel --

During the years you mentioned, first born sons were exempt from service in the Czar's army. Later born sons were sometimes "adopted" by neighbors who had no sons and were past child-bearing age. So on official records, they had the "adoptive" family's last name.

According to Wikipedia:
Slonim is now a city in the Grodno Region of Belarus.(BelarusianСло́німRussianСло́нимLithuanianSlanimasPolishSłonimYiddishסלאָנים‎, Slonim)
It is located at the junction of the Shchara and Isa rivers, 143 km (89 mi) southeast of Grodno

Slonim was in the area annexed by Russia in 1795. Administratively it was part of the Slonim Governorate until 1797, Vilna Governorate until 1801 and Grodno Governorate until World War I. In 1897 it was the fourth largest city of the governorate after the leading cities of BiałystokGrodno and Brześć.

Slonim was one of the many towns in Poland that had a significant Jewish population. The imposing Great Synagogue, built in 1642, survived the destruction and brutal Nazi liquidation of the Słonim Ghetto with 10,000 Jews massacred in 1942 alone. The 10 small synagogues around the Great Synagogue called Stiblach did not survive.

The Slonimer Hasidic dynasty came from there. Michael and Ephraim Marks (of Marks & Spencer) were born in Slonim. The wealthiest family in Slonim before World War II were the Rabinowicz brothers, Vigdor and Yossel. Their parents were Dovber and Rivka Rochel (née Kancepolski). After World War I, they entered the forestry business together with Yaakov Milikowski, and were known as the Rabmils. They escaped the Nazi atrocities by flying to Israel (Palestine at the time). ... Slonim is on the railway line between Baranavichy and Vaukavysk. [My father was born in Baranovichi, Belarus in Dec 1904. He died in Nov 2007 one month before his 103rd birthday.]

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Zaludok -- See photos at

See the KehilaLinks website at

And the JewishGen webpage at

Jewish Cemetery Project webpage for Zaludok

Zaludok memorial in Holon cemetery in Israel,_Zaludok_and_Szczuczyn_memorial.JPG

Zaludok genealogy Message Board
Researching families Poretsky, Pelovsky and Antokolski from the shtetl Zaludok in Belarus. The Pelovsky family originated in Vilna.

Best regards,

Marion Werle


Slonim was in Grodno gubernia, and Grodno is also a city, so it's difficult to know whether your ancestor was referring to Grodno the province or Grodno the city. Unfortunately, as you well know, our ancestors often gave the name of the province, rather than the specific shtetl, on official papers. There are some revision lists translated for Slonim on the Belarus SIG database, but overall, there is less available on the database for Grodno gubernia than for Minsk gubernia. I had to hire a researcher (which I put off for two decades) in order to find more information on one of my ancestral shtetlach, located in Slonim uyezd (district). But you might want to check the Belarus database to see what turns up.

Marion Werle <canadagenes@...>
Los Angeles, CA

Joel Weintraub

Thanks everyone for their input

Joel Weintraub
Joel Weintraub
Joel Weintraub
Dana Point, CA