LogoLida Area Residents & Their Descendants

If you recognize this family story, please contact

Laura Levy – llevydesign@hotmail.com

Our families only cared for the spelling of their last names in Hebrew, so they were recoded into Russian Cyrillic and from there to our Latin, or from Hebrew directly to Latin in a number of ways. The main thing is to sound out the spelling & see if the sounds are close. Note that Polish, which uses the Latin alphabet, has slightly different rules for some of the letters. In particular, in Polish c is pronounced ts or tz.


The photo below is the Cegalnicka/Tzegelnicka/Sigel/Tzigelnitski/Cigelnicki family of Smorgon.   Lile/Leah/Lilly CEGALNICKA (Sigel) Levy dob approximately 1909.   Elka MEIEROVITZ CEGALNICKA (Sigel) dob 1884 Smorgon  Sister Malcha (Mildred) born 1913/1914.   The family fled to Minsk after the pogrom of 1915. Her mother Sheina and sister Sara went to Vilna.  Elka, Lile and Mildred arrived in the United States in 1923.

Lillian, Elke, Macha 

Sisters Lillian, Elke and Macha (Mildred), 1922 or 1923

Elka's mother Sheina MEIEROVITZ, Elka's father was Eliezer.  Elka had at least 5 sisters and two brother.  Her sister,  Sara Kac, was murdered in Ponary in 1942, Nachman, her older brother, had a son Nisan Meyerowitz (dob 1901) married to Mere murdered in Kowno with his family in 1941.  Bashe M. Rabinowitz, fled to Ukraine. One son immigrated to USA, his name was Rabbi Eliezer RABINOWITZ.  Settled in Baltimore.   Sara Kac had a son Shlomo, who survived, made aliyah, and died in Israel several years ago and a son Lole who died immigrated to Caracas.  Other siblings, whereabouts unknown.

Elka married Chaim (Hyman) TZEGELNICK/CEGALNICK/ZIGELNICK/SIGEL dob March 2, 1883 Lida. (We finally got to Lida!) It seems they married in Vilna in 1906 - at least that's what her naturalization paperwork reads. Chaim had one brother and many step brothers and sisters. He arrived in the US under the name Nuch or Ruch Chaim Zigelinzky in 1914.  Chaim's father was Abraham TZEGELNICK/CEGALNICK/ZIGELNICK, who was probably also from Lida.  His name is Abraham Yehuda on Chaim’s headstone.

Tzigelnicki Family

The Tzigelnitzki Family

One of his sisters, Sarah Siegel (Sigel) lived in the US but returned to Europe to be with her sisters in France.  Two of his sisters were twins.  One of them might be named Simone or Simcha.   I haven’t located them, the only clue I have is that one of the sisters married a man named Lole or Mole Abromovitz  and had a daughter named Janine. The other sister had a daughter named Idit.

 French Connection - Abramowitz?

Family after the war in France in 1948 - Abromowitz?

 This is Chaim’s brother or stepbrother, Pesach Tzigelnitzki, and the translation of a letter written by him to Elka and sent from Voronova in 1926:

 Pesach Tzigenlntzki

Yiddish letter

Wilno, Wielka 47


Woronowa, June 6, 1926
Dear sister,
I am sending you my photo as I promised you. I understand very well that you have surely forgotten me already, you surely can't remember what I look like. However I think you will remember me some. I thank you very much for
your generosity with us, I know you are suffering a lot but you must be proud that you can help when it is needed, it is only not good when one cannot help ... Be well. Your brother Peisakh.





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