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- 2. Click TOWN-EXACT SPELLING
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 07:33:02 -0500 From: Warren Blatt
Howard V. Epstein wrote:
My father and his family came from the shtetl named Olita in
Yiddish, Alytus (Lithuanian or Russian). On a journey to Olita in
1995, we learned that the Nieman River had historically divided the
city-- on one side in Vilna Gubernya and the other side being Polish
but with no specific gubernya indicated. I have tried to search for
civil documents, etc for both sides of Olita but those draw a blank.
Any suggestion as to where I might get either some information from a
distinct Polish source and a Lithuanian source.
Warren Blatt responded:
The Jewish vital records of Olita (Alytus) are very plentiful
Those from the "Polish" side (in Kalvarija district of Suwalk
gubernia of the Kingdom of Poland of the Russian Empire) are at the
Lithuanian State Historical Archives in Vilnius, and some marriage
records are at the Polish State Archives branch in Suwalki.
The 1835-1865 marriages at the Suwalki archives were
by by the Mormons 30 years ago, and I extracted and transcribed them
10 years ago -- the full extracts were published in 1992 in
"Landsmen", the quarterly journal of the Suwalk-Lomza Special
Interest Group for Jewish Genealogists (see:
Of those on the "Russian" side (in Troki district of Vilna
gubernia of the Russian Empire), the Jewish vital records of
1852-1914 are also at the Lithuanian State Historical Archives in
Vilnius. Rhode and Sacks' "Jewish Vital Records, Revision Lists and
Other Jewish Holdings in the Lithuanian Archives" devotes nearly
three full pages to the inventory of the Alytus Jewish vital records
Boris Feldblyum and Yakov Shadevich did a detailed study of
Olita marriage records. See "Some Problems in Researching Eastern
European Records", in "Avotaynu" IX:3 (Fall 1993), pp. 12-13.
The later (post-1915) Olita Jewish records are also very
plentiful, and I've had successful searches of these records. They
are at the Lithuanian Central Civil Register Archives (Lietuvos
Centrinis Metriku Archyvas) in Vilnius. See "Avotaynu" XIV:1 (Spring
1998), pp. 21-24.
See the JewishGen Eastern Europe FAQ (EEFAQ) and the Litvak
FAQ for details on these books, archives, agencies and resources.
Warren Blatt Boston, MA