Telephone books in Ekaterinoslav, Ukraine in 1904 #general #records

Phil Goldfarb

I am a 4th generation pharmacist by profession and my great grandfather was one in Mogilev and then in Ekaterinoslav from 1895-1904. My grandfather told me that they had a telephone in the drug store while in Russia but when they came to the U.S in October, 1904 they did not. My question is: were there telephone directories in Russia, specifically Ekaterinoslav in 1904 and if so, where can I try and find him? The first telephone directory in the US was in 1878 so I am hoping that by 1904, Russia would have gotten them,

One fun side a pharmacist he had access to quite a bit of liquor which he used to make his "prescriptions" at the time. In 1904 the Russian General who was over Ekaterinoslav used to come into the drug store for a little schnapps every day. My great grandfather became friends with this general (name lost in history to us). One day in September,1904 he told my great grandfather that he needed to sell his store and leave as there was going to be a major pogrom. My great grandfather listened to him, did so, sailed to the US in October, 1904 with $795 (at least what he told them on his ship manifest) with his family and escaped the January 4 & 5 1905 great pogrom in Ekaterinoslav. 

Thanks for any help
Phil Goldfarb
President, JGS of Tulsa


Speaking from memory, I am not sure there was such a thing as “Telephone Book” in Russia of 1905. There were books titled “Telephone and Reference Books” but I think they came in later. (If anybody wants to correct me - feel free). More common were books titled similar to “All of ..” as in “All of Moscow”, “All of Kiev”, “All of Ekaterinoslav” (if it existed).


Regarding your great-grandfather’s story, the suggestion is to check some of the factual details. While pogroms were almost regular occurance, I doubt they were planned four months in advance. Four days would be more likely. Also, I just browsed the Russian internet but could not find a reference to a January, 1905 pogrom in Ekaterinoslav. The first, huge, wave of pogroms started around Passover-Easter time in 1905. As bloody and horrible as it was, it turned out to be a small introduction to the October, 1905 pogroms.


Boris Feldblyum
FAST Genealogy Service

While you might be correct on certain aspects. However when I personally visited the new Ellis Island probably 20 years ago, there is a wall which discusses pogroms. On that wall it talks about a single pogrom that happened in Ekaterinoslav on January 4 & 5, 1905. To say that the upper military did not know in advance about pogroms is incorrect. They knew. From the end of October to early January is just over 2 months. Even in Germany, the Nazi's had a "trial run" of Kristallnacht in Bad Arolsen several days before. When they saw that nothing happened, they executed the "real thing" on November 9-10, 1938.I stand by the story.
Phil Goldfarb
Tulsa, OK


I do not have information about telephone books in Ekaterinoslav, however, your post caught my attention.  My grandfather, Louis (Lazer) Witkin was born in 1890 in Cherikov, Mogilev and I have found nothing on any genealogy site about his family or even records about his arrival in the US in 1907.  In addition, my grandmother, Bessie (Basha) Bernstein Witkin was born in Ekaterinoslav in 1894 and came to the US in 1913.  I haven't been able to find any records from Ekaterinoslav although I know that her mother, two aunts and cousins also came to the US over time..   Have you found resources for your research in either of those towns?  
Thank you,
Judy Cannon

Alexander Sharon

First telephone directory (телефонный справочник)  in Russia was published in Moscow in 1901. At this time in Moscow were only 2,860 subscribers, mostly business owners and few private phones were assigned to the members of the Empire elite (such as Prince Golitsyn).  In 1904 "Moscow Telephones" company change hands from Bell to Swedish-Dutch-Russia stock company which was engaged in expansion of the phone net following developed by L.W. Ericsson system in Stockholm.

Telephone net expansion took a bit of time in Russia, concentrating mainly on the largest cities, and even if one phone was indeed installed in Ekaterinoslav pharmacy in 1904, who could called the pharmacy, when the all other folks in town have no access to such facility.

Alexander Sharon

Risa Heywood

Genealogy Indexer ( has some Ekaterinoslav directories including a 1903 Yekaterinoslav Gubernia Commemorative Book. They are in Russian but you can search for your family's names using DM Soundex or OCR Adjusted search.

My grandfather, Samuel (Shmuel) Teitzel, was born in Ekaterinoslav. His family immigrated to America in 1904. I haven't yet been able to find any records for them there, though.

Risa Daitzman Heywood

Sherri Bobish


Have you searched WITKIN at:

A very quick soundex search shows VITKIN as one alternate spelling in the Belarus database.

Perhaps with a soundex search you will find your family.


Sherri Bobish


I am interested in the october Pogrom in Ekatarinoslav. Boris Bespaloff, the older brother of my grand mother aged 25 died in that pogrom. Is there any list/information on that particular pogrom. Thanks in advance
Catherine Jurovsky

Shlomo Gurevich

I am not sure that telephone books were published in Ekaterinoslav in yearly 1900s. For example, even the big 1913' All Ekaterinoslav book contains lists of businesses, governmental offices and homeowners with their addresses but without phone numbers.  Only some rare advertisements contain them. But maybe the following information can be helpful for you: 
The following pharmacies in Ekaterinoslav are listed in 1903' Ekaterinoslav Gubernia Memory Book:

1. Sartioson heirs' (The Avenue)
2. Pharmacist Oswald's (The Avenue)
3. Pharmacist Gurvich's and its subsidiary (Voyennaya Str.) 
4. Pharmacist Stephanovich's (Alexandrovskaya Str.)
5. Ekaterinoslav Medical Society's (Torgovaya Str.)
6. Pharmacist Bystritzky's (The Avenue) and its subsidiary (Peterburgskaya Str.)
7. Pharmacist Peck-Fon Ammenshild (Pervozvannovskaya Str.)
8. Pharmacist Weinstein (The Avenue)
9. Pharmacist Lemberg's Homeopathic Pharmacy (Sadovaya Str.)

Shlomo Gurevich,
Hoshaya, Israel