Coordinates: 54°14' N, 28°29' E

Elevation 169 m

Alternate names: Barysaw [Bel], Borisov [Rus, Yid], Borysow [Pol], Baryssau [Ger], Barysavas [Lith], Barisava [Latv], Borisovas, Borissow, Barysaŭ, Барысаў [Bel], Борисов [Rus], באריסאב [Yid]

Old Borisov was located on the left bank of the Berezina River. Now the city spans both sides of the river. The Berezina flows generally south southeast and empties into the Dneiper River which flows to the Black Sea. The area is mostly wetland and was once heavily forested, but much of the forest has been cleared. In winter, daylight hours decrease to less than seven and a half hours per day; much of that is overcast or snowy, so very little sunshine. In summer, daylight increases to more than seventeen hours per day.

Borisov is the administrative center for the Borisov district within Minsk Province (Gubernia), not only now, but also during the Czarist era. Family members that said they came from Borisov may have meant the large town or  one of the smaller villages in the district.The JewishGen Locality page for Borisov shows a map and a list of nearby Jewish communities. The JewishGen page for the Minsk region shows Borisov on their map of the Minsk province and has a table that shows additional Jewish communities in the Borisov district.

1980 Map of Borisov (from Note that by this time the city is on both sides of the river.



1907 Map of Borisov (from The town is four or five north-south streets and four or five east west streets, all on the left bank.



1890s map (from of the banks of the Berezina looks almost copied from the one below



1864 Map (from of the banks of the Berezina, including Borisov about the same size as in the 1907 map. Also to the north is Staroi Borisov, i. e. Old Borisov. I wonder if the old town was abandoned after the destruction in the Napoleonic Wars.


1609(!) Map of the whole Commonwealth of Lithuania and Poland, showing Borisov, but not Minsk which is now much larger. (from


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Updated December 31, 2016
Copyright © 2016 Susan Slusky
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Content last updated Friday, November 06, 2020 at 06:42 PM US Eastern Daylight Time