Identify Ancestral town in Latvia abandoned 1893 #latvia

John Yaffe <jlyaffe@...>

My great grandfather was Abraham Yaffe (1835-1892)
He lived and worked in a one industry Jewish factory town 30 km NW of Riga, near a Latvian Naval Base.
The  factory was a Jeans Factory / Uniform Factory, and the Latvian navy was a customer.
Around 1891, the Russian Empire took over the naval base for its strategic value over the Baltic region. 
Abraham YAFFE was killed at the town well in 1892 during a pogrom.
He left behind his wife Rachel Friedland (1842-?) and a family of 6 sons and 2 daughters. 
The family fled to Dvinsk within a year or so as the town collapsed.
The only names I know for certain, are those who ended up with in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada where I reside.

Yeshia (1875-1930) rabbi
Max      (1879-1949)  taylor
Louis    (1881-1943)  taylor
David    (1883-1957)  taylor (my grandfather)

The boys were urged to leave Latvia before they were drafted by the Russian Empire at age 18.  So they did.
I believe the Ancestral town name was a short name beginning with "D"

I am looking for birth and marriage and offspring details for the rest of the immediate family.

John Yaffe

Sherri Bobish


Try using JewishGen Gazetteer - Radius Search
You can find locations within a certain radius of given coordinates.

To find the coordinates of Riga that you will need, use:

Good luck in your search,

Sherri Bobish

Searching: RATOWSKY / CHAIMSON (Ariogala / Ragola, Lith.)
WALTZMAN / WALZMAN (Ustrzyki Dolne / Istryker, Pol.)
LEVY (Tyrawa Woloska, Pol.)
LEFFENFELD / LEFENFELD / FINK, KALTER (Daliowa/ Posada Jasliska, Pol.)
BOJDA / BERGER (Tarnobrzeg, Pol.)
SOKALSKY / SOLON / SOLAN / FINGER(MAN) (Grodek, Bialystok, Pol.)
BOBISH / APPEL (Odessa?)

Michele Lock

The Russian Imperial Navy had a base at Liepaja (Libava) - perhaps this is the base your family history is referring to?

There is a town east of there called Durbe, though there are also other smaller towns nearby that begin with the letter D. 

My experience with Lithuanian town names is that the Yiddish equivalents are often one or two syllables shorter than the modern names (for instance Yiddish Gruzd for modern Gruzdziai). So your one syllable town name that begins with a D could have a Latvian name of two or three syllables. 
Michele Lock

Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock in Plunge/Telsiai in Lithuania
Rabinowitz in Papile, Lithuania and Riga, Latvia
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lev/Lew in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus

John Yaffe <jlyaffe@...>

Thanks for the hints.  I did find the coordinates of the Milestibas Salina (57:04 N 24:02 E) which is about 7 miles NW of Riga.   Few settlement names from the 19th century were to be found.  But I will continue.

I am aware of that larger naval centre ... but my grandparents referred to their home town as near Riga, while Liepaja is over 100 miles away.
And a cousin who emigrated to Israel 30 years ago spent time at the Holocaust Centre and did say that the town was sacked twice... Once in the1890's and again 15 years later.   That's why I was looking for anyone familiar with the Jeans Factory since it had been in operation for 60 years or so at least.   I also noticed from the maps that there is another military base ESE of Riga that I will also investigate.     But I still have not found birth records of my great-grandparents or their children. Hard to find any web sites with historical information about Jews in Latvia in the 19th century.   

John Yaffe