LitvakSIG Vilnius District Research Group #lithuania

David Ellis

Did some of your ancestors live in or near Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania?  If you've done research on these ancestors, you probably have looked at the All Lithuania Database maintained by the LitvakSIG organization.  The contents of this database reflect records written in Russian, Polish, German or Lithuanian in books kept in archives in Lithuania.  Copying and translating these records involves an enormous amount of effort from volunteers and paid translators.

LitvakSIG's Vilnius District Research Group (DRG) supports the acquisition of archival records and the translation of the data into spreadsheet form.  A complete set of spreadsheets covering records from Vilnius and surrounding towns is made available to qualified contributors to the DRG.  A contribution of $100 or more allows access to the data for five years, including data that has not yet been loaded into the All Lithuania Database.

The spreadsheets have been a valuable source of information in my research into the ancestry of my great-grandfather, who lived in Vilnius before coming to the US.  They can be analyzed in ways not supported by the web interface to the database.  By investigating patterns of given names across a family, I was able to use the spreadsheets to identify a substantial number of direct ancestors and other relatives previously unknown to me.  In particular, the spreadsheets helped me identify relatives from 18th century records that were compiled before Jews in Lithuania were assigned inheritable surnames.

Additional information on the Vilnius District Research Group can be found at has a dozen other DRGs whose spreadsheets cover other areas of Lithuania.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly by e-mail, and I will be glad to respond. 

David Ellis 
Coordinator, Vilnius District Research Group


Hello David,

Can you please advise me of any Groups researching the Shteitls of Kretinga, Gordz, Trisket all near Memel from where my two sets of grandparents came to England and Ireland from in the 1890s. Thank you for any help you can give me, Their names were Sergie, Shuster/Suzman and Dribben.

Many Thanks

Philip D Cohen

Carol Hoffman

Philip Shalom,

In answer to you question regarding the following shtetls in Lithuania, see below for information and appropriate URL:

Kretinga is in the Panevezys District, Kaunas Guberniya.

Gordz is Gargzdai and is in the Telsiai District Research Group.

Memel is Klaipeda is in the Klaipeda District Research Group, Kaunas Guberniya.

Sadly I cannot find a place named Trisket, not even in the Gazeteer.

I suggest that you go to the search page of the LitvakSIG All Lithuania Database, and start looking for your ancestors. Read the introduction to help you get started.

Happy searching and all the best,

Carol Hoffman
LitvakSIG President

Carol Hoffman

Correction -
Kretinga is in the Telsiai District Research Group of LitvakSIG
Thanks to Russ Maurer for catching this error.

Carol Hoffman

Yale Reisner


On the matter of “Trisket,” there is a town in Ukraine on the southern border of Belarus called Turiisk (Pol. Turzysk), known in Yiddish as Trisk. It was a 70% Jewish town until the Einsatzgruppen came and murdered them all. 

Not Lithuania, but, given the proximity to Belarus, maybe arguably Lita?

Best wishes,

Yale J. Reisner
Warsaw, Poland
JGFF #913980


Is malat/moletai part of this LitvakSIG's Vilnius District Research Group (DRG) work? If so how to know which records refer to people living in this shtetl? Thanks so much

Jerome Yankowitz

David Ellis

The town of Moletai is in the Vilnius district.  Available data for this town includes revision lists from 1784 to 1888 and vital records from 1853 to 1939.

For more information on the Vilnius District Research Group, check out the page:

David Ellis
Natick, MA


I suspect that the town of "Trisket" is Tryskiai, Lithuania formerly know as Trishik [Yid].
-Jack Sterling Friedman

Sterling/Grosberg/Segal – Manchester, Leeds, London, UK and Tryskiai-Trishik, Siauliai, Lithuania

Napolion/Bik/Siekin – Daugavspils-Dvinsk and Michaliskes, Latvia, Uzpaliai-Uszpol and Braslav, Lithuania

Sagat/Sa[bg]owski – Nowogrod and Bialystok, Poland

Friedman – Akron, Ohio and Bocejkovo, Beshenkovitz, Polotsk, Belarus