ShtetLinks: ALYTUS, Lithuania

Also known as:

Location: Latitude 54 deg 24', Longitude 24 deg 3'

Background Information

Click for Article on Alita by Joseph Rosin (Haifa, Israel)

English Edited by Fania Hilelson-Jivotovsky (Montreal, Canada)

Please enter your family names and your name on the JewishGen Family Finder (JGFF) for Alytus. You can find other reserachers below by searching JFGG (see below).

Searchable Databases


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 and well documented.

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 microfilmed 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 there.

Boris Feldblyum and Yakov Shadevich did a detailed study of the 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 SIG's FAQ for details on these books, archives, agencies and resources.


Warren Blatt Boston, MA

To: Joseph Rosin
Sent: Tuesday, March 21, 2000
Subject: Appreciation of your article on Alytus

Dear Mr. Rosin,

I would like to express my deep appreciation of the article that you have written, for the Shtetlink of the Jewishgen, on the Internet. I am referring to the article about my birthplace: Alytus (Olita), Lithuania.

The sources you have found, your research, the pictures you have incorporated and the general layout of the site, turn it into an excellent and highly interesting article. Reading it is both a learning experience and a pleasure.

I think that I may thank you not only for myself but also on behalf of other Jews born in Alytus, and their descendents.

I would like to wish you many more such successes and good health for many years to come.

Sincerely yours

Saadia Bahat

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Created on March 19, 2000
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