Seeking info. on passage from Europe to Brazil circa 1913/1914 #russia #belarus

Myrna Waters


My ggparents and their 8 youngest children left the town of Puchovichi, Russia in either late 1913 or early 1914 on a journey to Brazil where they had been offered land and an opportunity to settle.( Puchovichi was about 35 mi. SE of Minsk.) One of my great uncles made a recording of his memories of this journey.  He was around 8 yrs of age at the time and in his 80's when he recorded this.   He did not record the names of the port or the ship they traveled on.  I believe there were other villagers on the same voyage, possibly even relatives as he said an agent came to the town and told the Jewish people that there was an organization that wanted to make a Jewish settlement there and they would have free land and a home,etc.  (Possibly this was one of the Baron Hirsh farming settlements?)   
I believe they left from either Hamburg or Bremen (as they returned to Hamburg from Brazil several months later and again I have no records of this passage.)
My Great Uncle said they left Russia during a blizzard and took a train to Germany.  He said his father had a passport.  He said it was a steerage boat, not a passenger boat, if that helps narrow the possibilities.  He said the boat made several stops at various ports and took cargo on and off, plus people from various countries came onto the boat.  He remembers one port where many Italian people came onboard.  He said they arrived at Ameriga? (not sure if this spelling or name place is correct) and then they got on a train for possibly 2 days until they arrived at (Lubinengo?) In english it was called Flower Island?  From there they took a train again and finally arrived at their destination.  It was rainy season in Brazil, the baby sister died and they had to bury her in a cemetery far away from the holding area they were living in.   My ggfather then went to the area where the settlement was to be built.  At this point the immigrants could decide to return to Germany if they did not find this to be suitable for them and that is when my ggfather decided to return to Germany. 
I do know they arrived in Hamburg because they then left Hamburg on April 18, 1914  on the S/S President Grant and arrived in NY on April 30, 1914.

If anyone has any ideas about where any of these records might be found, please respond.  I do not know how the family name was spelled in Russia.
As with most names I have seen it spelled many ways from the Ellis Island manifests.   My ggfather had been to the USA twice before bringing his older boys to the USA, including my grandfather and returning to Russia afterwards.  There were 3 of them already in the USA when he finally brought over the rest of his family.   Here are various spellings of our family name:  Zlodnik, Zlotnick, Slotnik, Slotnick, Slatnick.   My ggfather was Judel, Jude and my ggmother was Tania, Toni, Tone.  

Thank you for your assistance. 

Myrna (Slatnick) Waters

Researching:  SLEPACK (or similar)Belarus/Bialystok area; SLATNICK/SLOTNIK (or similar) Minsk/Puchovichi area of Russia; KURZMANN JasLo, Poland and Drohobych, Ukraine area (both formerly in what was the Galician area of Austria prior to WWI), KURTZMAN in NY/Bronx and NJ/Newark from 1914, SADOWSKY (or similar) from Belarus area of Russia/Bialystok area 19th century to Newark,NJ 1905 or after.



Most of the jewish immigrants that came to Brazil from in the begining of the 20th centrury arrived at the ports of Rio de Janeiro or Santos. If your family came to the Baron Hirsch farming settlements ("Jewish settlement" and "free land" suggest this hypothesis), it means they had to travel to the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in Southern Brazil, where those colonies were located, or they traveled by ship to the nearest port (Porto Alegre). If they spent 2 days on a train to get there, so it is very unlikely that their port of arrival was Porto Alegre since the distances from this port to the colonies are not so big (200 miles +/-).

"Flower Island" in Portuguese is "Ilha das Flores". This was the name of the hostel for immigrants that arrived at the port of Rio de Janeiro between 1877 and 1966. Their website: (only in Portuguese, unfortunately). Nowadays it is a museum. The books with the names of the immigrants who staied there are kept the brazilian National Archives and are online. However, they are not indexed, what means that you have to open the book (PDF format) and search for your family page by page. It's a boring task, but not impossible, that's how I found my grandparents' names there. The books are here: (again, only in Portuguese) You have to create an account (click on "Criar Cadastro" and fill the form). Once you're in, go to the menu Favoritos and chose Hospedaria de Imigrantes -> Hospedaria da Ilha das Flores. There are 71 books, you'll have to search for the book that covers the aproximate date of arrival of your family. However, there was no train station there (it's an Island) and I doubt that there was a railway connecting Rio de Janeiro to the Baron Hirsch colonies or nearby cities.

The ship manifests with the names of the immigrants arriving at the port of Rio de Janeiro are also on this website, but with the same problem: you have to open one by one. If you don't know the ship's name or an aproximate date of arrival it's like looking for a needle in a haystack. To open them go to the menu Favoritos -> Relacao Vapores Entrada Porto Rio de Janeiro.

I don't know any place called "Lubinengo". I googled it and found nothing. "Ameriga" sound like "America", but there are many places with America in the name.

"Rainy season in Brazil" depends on the region. In Rio it is between December and March, but it can rain on every month, there is not a dry season. In Rio Grande do Sul it rains a lot  between June and September, but, again, it can rain all the other months.

You said your great uncle's baby sister was buried on the region. There are 2 jewish cemeteries close to the Baron Hirsch colonies, in the cities of Passo Fundo and Erechim. Both are in the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry. Have you tried searching for you family name there?

Hope it helps!

Flavio Baran