Migration Eastward from Germanic countries #germany #lithuania


As far as I can tell, my father’s maternal family lived in Lithuania from at least about the 1820s-30s, but they had a Germanic surname, Steinberg. I am wondering if there was a mass migration of Jews to the east sometime after surnames were required in Germanic countries and before the early 1800s. If that was so, would there be any way to trace the family back to Western Europe? In Dec 1882 my ggrandfather followed his two oldest children and brought the rest of the family to NYC from Reissen with a letter of introduction from Isaac Elchanan Spektor and Alexander Moses ben Zvi Lapidas.

Estelle Guttman
Reston VA
Ex NewYorker

Kenneth Ryesky

1.  Tzarina Catherine the Great was in born to a German noble family, had French tutors for her formal education, and during her reign she brought over many German and French individuals into Russia.

2.  On a few occasions I heard my grandfather speculate that his family had come over to Belarus from Germany.

For whatever that may be worth.
Ken Ryesky,  Petach Tikva, Israel     kenneth.ryesky@... 

GERTZIG, BRODSKY; Yelizavetgrad, Ukraine
IZRAELSON, ARSHENOV; Yevpatoriya, Ukraine (Crimea)

Michele Lock

Is Reissen a town in Germany, or are you referring to a town in Lithuania? 

I tried Jewishgen's town finder, and couldn't locate the name in either country.

for what it's worth - Steinberg is German for 'Stone Mountain' and in German is pronounced 'Shteinberg'. In Yiddish, Stone Mountain is Shteynbarg, but of course written in Hebrew letters. The two names are similar because Yiddish is a Germanic language, with Slavic and Hebrew influences.
Michele Lock

Lock/Lak/Lok and Kalon in Zagare/Joniskis, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Minsk gub., Belarus