My paternal great-grandfather Ben PRESS from Vilkija or Seredzius #lithuania


I have been researching my family since 1990 but have hit a brick wall with my paternal great-grandfather, Ben Press. While my other three grandparents came from Lithuania or Russia around 1910, Ben Press came to America from Vilki (Vilkija) in 1885. His Castle Garden arrival record lists him as "Beryl Pres" and he was approximately 21-22 years old. I can find no other family members who either accompanied him or were left in Lithuania after an extensive search on LitvakSIG. There is a suggestion that the family may have also been associated with Seredzius. By 1893, he was in Des Moines, Iowa, and married Bessie Schatz (? Ginsberg.) They had 3 sons; he died in 1924. I would be very interested in corresponding with anyone with data on the Press family in this area of Lithuania.

Lin Mor

We may have corresponded in the past. I, too, have conducted an extensive search on Jewishgen and found little that can be used decisively. My maternal great grandmother was Rachel Leah Press/Pres before she married David Schneider/Shneyder. There is probably a link between our families somewhere, a clue in that favor is the fact that your places are near Kaunas. Rachel and David lived in Vidukle, near Raseiniai after they were married and that is where their children and some of their grandchildren were born. Have you done a DNA test?

Mashiach L. Bjorklund

My wife's great grandmother was Sarah Frieda Press (1884-1958). She was born in Šiauliai, Lithuania. She was the daughter of Issac Simon Press and Rachel Leah Reya. Issac was born in Rietavas, Lithuania (1857) and Rachel was born in Šiauliai, Lithuania (1855). Both died in Leeds, Yorkshire, England (1927 and 1936). Perhaps this info will give you a few new places to look.


Hi Ben, I haven't had much luck searching with Jewish Gen, Ancestry, Family search & My Heritage etc, but I have done my DNA with Ancestry & uploaded it to FamilytreeDNA & Gedmatch. If you are working with any one of these, maybe we can do some cross referencing ?
My paternal G'G'father Harris (Gersh) Press lived in Siauliai, Lithuania unknown DOB, DOD. My G'father Nathan Press DOB 1876-1928 born in Siauliai.
My G'G'mother was Esther Press, nee ? wie of Harris, died in London, England in 1911. It seems that they all immigrated to London, England abt 1898 except Harris Press, deceased.
Nathan married Betsy Tarutz 1897/8 before leaving Lithuania.
My problem has been searching for Nathan's siblings, or other members of that family. I suspect that there were other members immigrating with Nathan & Betsy Press
because Esther Press died in London. I cannot find hard evidence of any other members ? 
About my DNA, I have thousands of "relatives", like most people, but I don't take that seriously. What I find interesting is the nationality of some of my closest matches.
I am 100% Eastern European Jewish, centred around Poland, Lithuania , Germany & Belarus. Probably too much information.
I hope that's not too much of an overload Ben.                  Regards...........Bernie Press (Sydney. Australia)


Sorry for the late reply! Yes, my DNA is on Let me know if there is any connection. I also have a public tree on

Still no new information about Ben Press. I am trying to get an idea of what my next step should be, short of traveling to Lithuania! Any ideas welcomed.