Vishtinetz (Vistytis) , Lithuania

by Bert Oppenheim

Material for this site comes from The Oppenheim Family History, 1750-1995, published in 1995, copyright Bert Oppenheim. Used by permission. For more information or to obtain a copy of the book, contact the author at

Cover, Oppenheim Family History

My visiting and studying Vishtinetz came from my attending a family reunion in 1993. My wife, Cindy and I took all of the names of families posted on a large board and then placed them on a computer program.

This activity resulted in my getting interested in genealogy. I didn't have the slightest notion as to where my family came from. We started by making trips in Michigan and Indiana as well as New York to find out about my roots. You see my grandfather had nine brothers and sisters and all but one immigrated to America. I found many cousins and uncles that also immigrated as well as brothers and sisters of my great-grandfather. I found death certificates and immigration papers as well as trusts, newspaper articles and cemetery records that helped me establish that most of my family came from Vishtinetz, Lithuania. My mothers side of the family came from Keidan, Lithuania.

The next step was to make the trip to Lithuania. I was given help by many people to make my trip most productive. I found synagogue records and some vital records in the Vilnius archives and visiting shtetls around and including Vishtinetz was most helpful.

My family members had tons of help for me. The most helpful was an autobiography of some 500 pages that discussed living in Vishtinetz at the end of the 1800's into the 20th century and the immigration to America. With the collected information I now proceeded in getting interested in the Prussian War and the history of that time frame.

Collecting all of this information resulted in my tackling writing a book that I swore in earlier years that I wouldn't or couldn't achieve. My determination was assisted in knowing that my family would have a permanent record or story of the families history.

So others may enjoy and gain knowledge about my Shtetl I decided to post a home page that will be informative to those whose ancestors are from this area also.

--Bert Oppenheim

Other resources:

JewishGen Family Finder

U.S. Holocaust Museum

LitvakSIG Home Page All Lithuania Database.

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Updated by J Berman 27 Nov 2001