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"Ligia" - which town in Minsk Gubernia #belarus #names


Michele Lock
 

I am trying to determine the town where my great grandmother Esther Lavine and family emigrated from, when they came to Trenton, New Jersey about 1893.  Here is what I know about their origins: The father Simon Lavine (abt 1840 – 1923) stated in the 1920 US census that he was from Minsk. On that same page, others listed their place of origin as Kovna, Vilna, Grodno, etc, so it appears they were asked what gubernia they were from (thanks to the enumerator Mrs. Koplowitz, who must have asked in Yiddish).

The only other information about the family is the 1917 Army draft card for their son Charles Lavine (born about 1885), who wrote ‘Ligia’ in Russia as his birthplace. He was probably 8 years or so old when he came to the US and was about 32 when he filled the card out.

 


So, what town in the Minsk gubernia might ‘Ligia’ refer to? I’ve tried the Jewishgen town finder, but without much success.

 

Michele Lock

Alexandria, VA

 

Looking for:

Lak/Lok/Lock and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis, Lithuania

Olitsky in Suwalki, Lithuania

Goodman in Czestokowa, Poland

Lavine in Minsk Gubernia, Belarus

Leybman/Lipman/Leapman in Dotnuva, Lithuania


boris
 

It is Lida, Belarus.

 


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Boris Feldblyum
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flmillner@...
 

Yes, Lida is probably the town.  We may be cousins.  My gggrandfather Benjamin Vine/Wein was from Lida.  He had a sister Celia who immigrated to NYC 1893 with her husband Bernard Levin.  They moved to Trenton about 1901.  Bernard's siblings used the surname Bergman.  Celia and Bernard had seven children (5 Levins, one Levine and one Lavine).  My grandmother, Rose Vine, was Celia's grand niece.  I can't find Charles, Esther, or Simon in my family file.  Bernard's father was Louis Levin.  Bernard's death certificate lists Louis and says he (like Bernard) was born in Lida.  Wish I could give you a real connection.  Lots of Levines, Levins, and Lavines in Trenton!
Fred Millner
Hamilton, NJ


Michele Lock
 

I originally thought the town was Lida as well. But during Russian times, Lida was in the Vilna gubernia, and I believe in the Grodno gubernia before that. 

In the 1920 US census, when asked by the enumerator Mrs. Koplowitz what his birthplace was, the father Simon Lavine answered 'MInsk'. I can see that his neighbors who were Jewish immigrants gave answers such as Vilna, Kovna, Galitzia, Grodno. It appears that Mrs. Koplowitz was asking them in Yiddish what gubernia they were born in, probably because she knew the usual 'Russia' was way too broad. See the partial column from the census image below; the entry that is the third from the bottom is for Simon Lavine:



This is why I believe Simon Lavine and his family are from the Minsk gubernia, and that 'Ligia' is located somewhere there. I have requested the New Jersey death certificate for Simon Lavine, to see if there is any more definitive information on that document, though it will likely just say Russia. The death certificate for his wife Ada Lavine says Russia, and that is it.

Michele Lock
Alexandria, VA


Sherri Bobish
 


Michele,

How about this as a vague possibility?  I've seen names of towns even more distorted.

Lahoysk, Belarus
Alternate names: Lahoysk [Bel], Logoysk [Rus], Lahoisk [Yid], Łohojsk [Pol], Logoisk, Łahojsk Region: Minsk

A very quick look at https://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Belarus/ finds virtually no records for this town.  There are several other 'Genners researching this town, and one is searching LEVINE.  Of course, that is an extremely common name, but you never know!

Regards,

Sherri Bobish


boris
 

Michele,

your logic seems to be impeccable. In that case, I would pour over maps and gazetiers of "Minsgyberna" in search of a place the begins with "Li". People tend to catch the first syllable accurately.

My rational behind "Lida" was that the enumerator Mrs. Koplowitz was most likely an immigrant himself, knew Russian, and inadvertently substituted English 'd' for Russian 'g'. Both letters record the same sound - but in different languages. A phrase such is "Lida resident" would be written as "Ligskij meshchanin" in Russian.

 


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Michele Lock
 

To all,

Thanks for all the replies.

I will look over a 'Minsgyberna' map, and hope that the names of places are in Roman letters, and not Cyrillic. I have looked over Google Maps, for towns that begin with 'L' and are roughly within 150 km of Minsk, and which might be about the same length as 'Ligia' and came up with the following - 
Lukashi
Luzhki
Leshcha
Lida
Lubcha
Lushchiki
Lukashyna
Logovishche

I'll consult more maps, and take another look at US documents for the other sons of the father Simon Lavine, and hopefully be able to narrow things down. The only thing I'm certain of right now is that this particular Lavine family came from the Minsk gubernia, probably from a town that begins with the letter 'L'.

As for all the other Levin, Lavine, Levy families in Trenton NJ - I am not particularly convinced that all these families are related, even the ones that took the name 'Lavine'. Simon Lavine is listed as 'Levy' on the 1900 US census, and that may be just as accurate as Lavine. I have no idea what the original family surname was before they came to the US. On the Belarus database on Jewishgen, I've found Levin, Levitan, Levinsky, Levko, Lev, Levi, and so on. Way too many variations of Levin, and way too common a name. 

Michele Lock