Identifying town name from WW1 and WW2 Draft Cards. Maybe in Bessarabia? #bessarabia #russia


I have the WW1 and WW2 Draft Cards for the same person - it's the only piece of data I have that lists his birthplace.  

The WW1 Draft card line 5 has 3 words, I can't really decipher the middle word (but maybe it's shorthand for Bessarabia?), and the first word is very elusive.  Each guess I make has zero results in google.  

The WW2 Draft card is much more legible, but still are those Us or Js or Vs?  Still no result in Google, so I am asking for help from more experienced eyes and knowledge of places in Russia and/or Bessarabia.    

Is this town name familiar to anyone? 

--Lianne Yarvis
MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately

Sherri Bobish


Try searching at JewishGen's Communities Database, and also the Gazetteer.

You can manipulate the search in many ways, i.e. starts with, phonetic, and contains.  

Since the spelling of the town is so uncertain, you can even try searching for any town that contains certain letters, i.e. itz.

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?)

Yefim Kogan

Lianne  Shavua Tov,

I was trying to resolve your puzzle and I could not.  There was not such a town (ARJOVONITZ or ARZANOVITCH or similar) in Bessarabia, and likely in the whole Russian Empire.  I even looked into old names of towns and could not find anything.

I also looked into Bessarabia Geographical Dictionary,
where we have towns, shtetlakh and even villages where Jews used to live or/and work,  and the closest place was Arloneshty.

Here is a suggestion to you.   If you have any other information about that person, maybe written on a post card or  letter.  That may help.

All the best,
Yefim Kogan
Bessarabia Group Leader and Coordinator

Odeda Zlotnick

You are looking for a person who was an alien in 1917, lived in NY, had a wife and 2 children and signed his name in Hebrew letters as Harry Ackerman הערי אקערמאן

If you limit your seach to H* Ackerman with a wife named Anna in immigration data on family search, you'll find:
New York, Southern District, U.S District Court Naturalization Records, 1824-1946;

This even has his picture, and the date of his marriage in the US.  The ship he arrived on, the name he had then.

Odeda Zlotnick
Jerusalem, Israel.

Marshall Lerner

  • First Name :   Elsi
  • Last Name :   Akerman
  • Nationality :   Russia, Hebrew
  • Last Place of Residence :   Orzaworak, Russia
  • Date of Arrival :   April 9th, 1909
  • Age at Arrival :   20y
  • Gender :   Female
  • Marital Status :   Single
  • Ship of Travel :   Alice
  • Port of Departure :   Trieste
  • Manifest Line Number :   0012
Marshall Lerner
West Chester, PA

Lerner or Beitel from Brecini; Sternberg or Steinberg from Khotin; Gherbel or Gabel from Darabani & Bucharest; Eisenberg & Markowitz from Roman or Tirgu Neamt
Smoler from Zhitomir; Hodes from Lodz; Pachter from Wolbrom or Kielce


Here is the link in for the ship list. The spelling of the town may have been extracted above incorrectly, so look at the original and JewisGenners can help with what it might really be. 

Larry Bassist

R Jaffer

Based on the ship manifest, I believe the town is Urzedow, Poland. Here is my thinking. The town on the 1909 manifest began with what sounded like Orr followed by a space and some other letters. It was part of Russia at that time. I searched the JewishGen town finder for "orr". Then I looked at only those locations that were part of Russia c.1900.

The closest match was:
Russian Empire

When I compare the town spelling of Arzanowitz on the WWI draft record, it closely matches "Urzendow" below but is missing the letter "d".  I think this is the closest match to the various spelling of the town on your records.

Roberta Jaffer

Alternate names: Urzędów [Pol], Orzendov [Yid], Uzhenduv [Rus], Urzendov, Urzendow, Uzhendov


Using the information found by Odeda Zlotnick, Marshall Lerner and Larry Bassist, I looked at the various spellings. From my own personal experience, I decided that the ship manifest was probably the most reliable. The town name appears three times on Elie Akerman's arrival record. Examining all 3 spellings, I come up with Orzawenets, with Arzawenets or Orzavenets being reasonable alternatives. Although I cannot find any information on such a town, I've learned from experience that not being able to find this town name on JewishGen or using Google does not mean it didn't exist. It may have been quite small, or the spelling might be off just enough to keep it from showing up in a phonetic search. I've seen it happen before, and I know I will see it happen again. I believe you are right that the "Bess." notation on the WWI draft registration refers to Bessarabia, as I have seen that notation appear before.

The closest town name I found was Zhvanets, which is roughly 5 miles from Khotyn, Ukraine. Although Zhvanets was reportedly in Podolia gubernia, nearby Khotin/Khotin was in Bessarabia gubernia. It may or may not be the town you are looking for, and I'm not saying that it is, but I believe the town you are looking for might potentially be in this region.


Cary Pollack

Tamarac, Florida