Where would I find information and records for Vidzy, Belarus? #belarus #lithuania


Tax Lists for Vidzi (now Vidzy, Belarus) on LitvakSIG solved a long-standing mystery about the town of origin for the patriarch of the Gorcey family in the U.S.  Thank you LitvakSIG!
Previous research had established that the Gorcey name (think famous actors Leo and Bernard) was originally Ugorsky -- it was also briefly Gorsky in the U.S. before becoming Gorcey.  I had obtained a Hamburg passenger list that indicated that original immigrant came from Widz, Russia.  However, conflicting information existed -- passenger lists for his wife and children listed Kowno and draft registrations and naturalization papers identified Dwinsk as the town of orgin.  I had the name of Abraham's father, Moshe Chaim, from his gravestone.  When I rechecked the Unified Search for Ugorsky, it pointed me towards Tax Lists for several Ugorskys in Vidzi, including Moshe Chaim.  I believe that this is confirmation of Abraham's origin.  I am doing a happy dance.
I have several questions.  First, does anyone have any knowledge of Vidzy that could help me dig further?  Second, where can I find the Vidzy records (e.g., archives) or seek help locally -- in Lithuania or Belarus?   Vidzy is now part of the Vitebsk Oblast, but around 1890 (the date of emigration) it was Vidzy, Novo-Aleksandrovsk uyezd, Kovno (now Kaunas) gubernia, Russian Empire.  In particular, should I get help from Lithuanian experts or Belarussian?

David Kathan
Chevy Chase, Maryland


Refer to Miriam Weiner's Return to Roots database and you will see records for Vidzy are in Vilnius, Vitebsk, Minsk and Kaunas.   I suspect that all the tax and voter lists have been translated.  You should confirm the current position with the Zarasai district co-ordinator - see list at https://www.litvaksig.org/district-research/.  

There are other record types not included in the RTR survey that might shed light on your family such as records of litigation and inheritance.   The location will depend on the time period - recall that Vidzy was in Russia, then Poland, the USSR and finally Belarus.  

Paul Hattori
London UK

MINDEL, MINDELL from Utena and Vyzuonos, Lithuania
FELLER from Pabrade, Lithuania