Balti vs Balta... what is connection #bessarabia #ukraine

Yefim Kogan

Hello everybody, 

I got a question from our member if there is a any connection between Balti and Balta...  is it the same place, or what, and I replied,  but also decided to send my reply to the whole group.

There are not two but three towns with similar Balti.


1) Beltsi or currently written Balti – that is one of the largest towns in Republic of Moldova, used to be a center of Yassy and later Beltsy uezd (county) in Bessarabia gubernia (province).


2) Balta was an uezd center in Podolia gubernia.  It is very close to Bessarabia and current Moldova.  Several towns, which were in Balta uezd before 1917 are now in Republic of Moldova, like Rybnitsa.


3) To bring more confusion to the picture, there is a town of Belz in Galicia, now in Ukraine… pronunciation of towns 1) and 3) in Yiddish is the same "Belts"

Here are these three towns on the Google map.


 To add, there are families which lived in Balti, Bessarabia, but were registered in Balta, Podolia, and visa versa.

In Bessarabia there are some other towns with same or similar names.

All the best,

Happy Thanksgiving.
Yefim Kogan


In Romanian baltă is a Lake or Swamp. balti is the plural.  Balta in Podolia was Russian from ca 1800 except 1941-44 when administered by Romania as part of Transnistria. Also from 1924 to 1929 was the capital of the Moldovan Republic. Balti is in Bessarabia and was part of Romanian Moldova Principality to  1812 and from 1918 to 1940, 1941-1944.

Luc Radu
Great Neck, NY

Yefim Kogan

Luc,  thank you.  It is good to know the roots of the names.
Couple of comments:  1) Balta in Podolia was in Russia Empire from end of 18 century to 1918, after that from 1918 to 1941 and from 1944 to 1991 was part of the Soviet Union, and now it is part of Ukraine.  Just want to let you know that Russia and Soviet Union are different countries.
Also Baltsi in Bessarabia were part of Moldova Principality  (Romania did not exist yet!) until 1812, From 1812-1918 part of Russian Empire, 1918-1940 and 1941-1944 - part of Kingdom of Romania, 1940-1941 and 1944-1991 part of Soviet Union.

One more thing about Beltsy, Bessarabia...  The "Uezd" or county Beltsy was a center, was named Yassy until late 19 century, even town Yassy was part of Moldova Principality and later Romania.

All the best,
Yefim Kogan