Belz (Baltsi) Bessarabia #bessarabia #romania


Dear All,

I’m trying find my ancestors from Belz. 

Last name was something like Duchovna. My grandfather came to Philadelphia in about 1904/5. Family lore is that he was from Belz, Romania, but Emigration papers say Russia. Any help would be appreciated. And are we related to David Duchovny?

Thanks. Stephen DeCherney, MD, MPH

Corey Brand

Hi Stephen,
The town has a variety of names: Russian Beltsy or Bieltsy. Romanian and current Balti. Yiddish Beltz or Belz. Polish Belcz. And so many more spelling variations. It was part of Bessarabia, which was incorporated into the Russian Empire until WW1. After WW1, it was in the Kingdom of Romania. After WW2, it became part of the USSR. And in the 90s Moldova became its own independent state. Europe’s map has been changed constantly throughout history. There’s a popular Yiddish folk song called Meyn Shtetele Belz, about the town. JewishGen hasrecords for Balti. My great grandmother is from Balti, and I’ve been able to trace a lot of her extended family using the old records that are on the site. 

Bessarabia Revision Lists  Bessarabia Birth Records Bessarabia Death Records Bessarabia Marriage and Divorce Records
These are the best way to map out the family tree. More records appear when I search Duchovny than Duchovna. 
There are some listings also in the JewishGen Family Finder. 

David Duchovny’s ancestors hailed from Berdychiv, Ukraine, according to his Wikipedia article. A relation is possible as Jews moved around a lot. 

Corey Brand
South Florida

In this case, researching:
Vaysbikh/Weisbach, Akerman/Ackerman, Ziselman/Zieselman/Zisselman/Zeiselman, Shteynik/Stein
All hailed from Balti, settled in Brooklyn
Created the Family Circle of the Descendants of Zachary and Moses in Brooklyn


There seem to be a confusion here -- the popular song is about Belz at the border of todays Poland and Ukraine. The Balti (Belts in Yiddish) is in Moldova former Bessarabia. And it is a rather large town (by Moldovan standards). Seeălți

Luc Radu
Great Neck, NY

Mitchell Collier

Addressing Luc’s comment:

The song Mein Shtetle Belz *was* written about the place in Bessarabia (now Moldova), not the place at the border of today’s Poland and The Ukraine.


and, as Luc pointed to,ălți


Mitch Collier