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This site is created as a way to further research and publication of materials on the history of Lyakhovichi.If you have been aided in your research and wish to contribute materials and resources to further our knowledge, contact Gary Palgon and ask how you can help.

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Migration Documents of Lyakhovichi Residents

This is a page in our Documents section. Click the Documents button in the left-hand column to see other resources. All other pages related to Migration are linked from this page Migration Documents You are Here!

This page and the underlying indices that it includes, has been totally revamped in November 2008. We made new collections of data, new indices to material that had never previously been collated, and gathered raw material from archival sources that had not previously been used.

This is not the first time the material had been augmented, not the first time that new indices has been added, and not the first time the list was studied so as to make decisions about whether a given name should be included or excluded since its inaugaration in 2004; but this time all separate lists are brought together combining the material into a single data table which is divided alphabetically over several pages.

Those pages are:
Migration Documents A or O
Migration Documents B or P
Migration Documents CGHKQ
Migration Documents D or T
Migration Documents EIJY
Migration Documents F
Migration Documents L
Migration Documents M or N
Migration Documents R
Migration Documents S, Ts, Tz, Z, Ci Cy Ce
Migration Documents UVW

Additional Migration Articles are available on two more pages:
Emigration from European Ports - Details of European Ports of Emigration and Photos related to Emigration from Lyakhovichi
Migrations before 1880 – Emigrees in other Russian Cities

The tables formerly on these pages have been incorporated into the alphabetical tables listed above. But the articles, photographs, and manifest images can still be found on these original pages:

Ellis Island Entries- Lyakhovichi Jews 1892-1924
Third Parties named in the above Ellis Island Records
Index to Lyakhovichi Emigrants thru NYC not designated Hebrews
Emigrants and 3dParties in Records of US Ports and Canadian Border Crossings
Lyakhovichi Jewish Residents through port of Hamburg 1890-1907
Lyakhovichi and Baranovichi Residents in the records of the Poor Jews Temporary Shelter in London
Emigration via European Ports by Lechovichers
Migrations before 1880 -Emigrees in other Russian Cities

Migration Index (Surnames beginning with A/O)
Migration Index (Surnames beginning with B/P)
Migration Index (Surnames beginning with CGHKQ)
Migration Index (Surnames beginning with D,T,or Ch that says Tch)
Migration Index (Surnames beginning with EIJY)
Migration Index (Surnames beginning with F)
Migration Index (Surnames beginning with L)
Migration Index (Surnames beginning with M or N)
Migration Index (Surnames beginning with R)
Migration Index (Surnames beginning with S, TS, Z, Ce, Ci, Cy)
Migration Index (Surnames beginning with UVW)

786 Jewish Immigrants via Baranovichi-Ellis Island, to be edited for those with Lyakhovichi Birthplaces
Emigrants from Baranovichi thru Hamburg.

The previously promised article on Castle Garden records of Lyakhovichi Jews 1880-1892 (port of New York City prior to the opening of Ellis Island station) has not been written, instead the info has been added directly to the Migration Tables.These Tables have been expanded as information on the early immigrants has become available. I have found dozens from Lyakhovichi between 1880 and 1892, the last date being when Ellis Island opened. The first find where we had good evidence in the Hamburg records, the New York records, and augmented by clear interaction with our Lyakhovichi by the emigrants was that of the 1888 Moravia. Abraham Brewde a 53 year old baker from Lyakhovichi, his wife and children, as well as fellow Lyakhovichi resident David Rabinowitz a 22 year old cheesemaker, - all came steerage on the Moravia out of Hamburg, December 25, 1888. A descendant of David Rabinowitz sent us a picture and his obituary that we have posted. David's US passport identifies his Lyakhovichi as the one in Minsk. David's role as one of the oldest siblings in a family where he had over 20 siblings, ensured that many of siblings and their children from Lechovicher Mins,cited him on their immigration records also. We need your help to add more.

by Neville Lamdan copyright, 2001

Dr. Neville Lamdan

The Ellis Island Database is an extraordinary resource. Eilat Gordon was kind enough to comb it for the SIG and she produced almost 1,200 people who gave Lechovich or places with similar names as their last place of residence. SIG members provided another 66 individuals who were not on Eilat's list.

Hence, the question immediately arose whether it was credible that about 1250 Lechovichers could have headed for Ellis Island in the years 1896 and 1924 – bearing in mind that in 1897 the Russian census showed just 3,846 Jews in the town (within a total population of 5,016). Put another way, could it really be that some 32.5%, or almost a third, of the town's Jews in 1897 entered the US in the period indicated via Ellis Island alone?

On the face of it, the answer was simply "no". The figure of some 1250 individuals clearly required critical examination.

The first thing to be done was to delete people on the list of almost 1200 who came from places picked up by the EIDB Soundex facility which were patently not Lechovich, as the town was called by the Jews (Lachowicze in Polish, Lyakhovichi in Belorussian, to mention only a couple of several variants). Then people from "highly improbable" places had also to be stripped out. Since due caution was exercised in the elimination process, the reduced list - 939 names – was assumed to be overstated by 10%. When that percentage is deducted, and the 66 individuals on the SIG's input list are added back, the revised total was 911.

However, the original question persisted. Was it reasonable that over 900 of the town's Jews in 1897 – 23.4%, or aalmost a quarter of them – could have headed for Ellis Island during the time period in question? And factor in another consideration, not yet mentioned – that, after 1897, the town's population did not grow but, quite the reverse, it shrunk significantly, partly because of the magnetic attraction of more prosperous towns nearby, especially Baranovich which was booming thanks to the railroad, and partly because of the adverse impact of World War I, when Lechovich found itself in the middle of a war zone and was partly evacuated.

One possible hypothesis to explain the apparent anomaly meaningfully could be that many of those who are recorded in the EIDB as coming from Lechovich did not actually come from the town itself, but from the numerous villages in the administrative sub-district surrounding the town. Those people would have very naturally given "Lechovich" as their place of residence, because that was how they were registered in Czarist Russia at the time. And if one assumes, somewhat arbitrarily, that at least as many Jews lived in the villages and outlying places as in the town itself, the number of just over 900 can readily be halved to approximately 450 – or 11.7% of the 1897 figure. This surely is a more reasonable figure for people from Lechovich proper.

Additional refinements may be required, but they are of a lesser order. For example, not everyone who arrived at Ellis Island was admitted to the US - so remove, say, another 1-2% (?). Then, many bona fide Lechovichers had relocated before they sailed for America and are thus listed in the Ships' Manifests as coming from such towns as Baranovich, Nesvizh and Kletsk - so add on, say 2-3% (?).

Altogether, after adjusting the numbers as above, it appears that perhaps 12-13% of the town's population in 1897 (460 – 500 individuals) entered the US via Ellis Island. In and of itself, this is a fascinating statistic, bearing in mind the many other entry-points into the US, including overland via Canada.

An additional perspective is to be found in a Polish Census which recorded the town's Jewish population, in 1921, as 1656 individuals (out of a total of 2819). This depleted number in comparison with 1897 (less than half) clearly reflects a combination of emigration, relocation and the effects of war.

Some Particulars.

Rhythm of Migration. The first Lechovicher found to have passed through Ellis Island is Reise Mandel-Adelsohn, who arrived with her children (via Kletsk) in 1896. Thereafter, people came in one's and two's, until the trickle became a flow in 1902 (with 16 names). Lechovich arrivals totally ceased during World War I and the two years of Russian-Polish turmoil thereafter, only to resume slowly in 1920 (a mere 95 people over the five years between 1920 and 1924).

Peak Years of Arrival. 446 or virtually half of our core group of "over 900" Lechovichers arrived in just four years: 106 in 1904 (the year after the Kishenev Pogroms); 117 and 105 in 1906 and 1907 respectively (the two years after the "1905 Revolution"); and 118 in 1913 (the year before the outbreak of World War 1).

Ages. Lechovichers arriving at Ellis Island ranged in age from a new-born of two months to a 67 year old. However, 462 - or over half of the core group - fell into the 16 – 25 year old bracket. If that bracket is widened to 14 – 30 years old, then the number rises to 570, or about 63% of the total. Noteworthy.

Family Groupings and Migration Patterns. Among the Lechovichers arriving at Ellis Island were singles, husbands travelling ahead of their families, wives and children joining their husbands and fathers, complete families, and even a few elderly people. The different groupings are difficult to quantify but presumably they reflect the general migration patterns of Jews from other "shtetlach" in the Minsk Gubernya.
End of article by Dr. Neville Lamdan

Migration Documents of Lyakhovichi History

These records were created about people who were once resident in Lyakhovichi, after or as, they moved away. Most were created about those who were born in Lyakhovichi, on documents required to list their legal place of birth. Records created about a Belarussian citizen in Minsk, in the 1990s might name the town of birth as Lyakhovichi, though the elderly resident might not have seen our town in fifty years. A Soviet identity card carried in places as far away as Tashkent, Crim, or Omsk (in Uzbekistan, Crimea, and Siberia respectively) might have listed a Lyakhovichi birth, we know our people were in all of those places. Most of Lyakhovichi's former residents who lived in the Soviet Union did so in the largest cities - Moscow, Leningrad, and in the Belarus Soviet, in Minsk.

Emigrants of the 1920s and 1930s got to safe haven in Cuba, Mexico, and Argentina, as well as British Mandate Palestine, South Africa, and Australia. The first two decades of the Twentieth Century saw the massive transplantation of Jews of Lyakhovichi to large cities, small towns, and farms, across the United States but we also know of those who only got as far as the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom, before stopping their journeys. In all of those places, the demand for information about one's birthplace, family, and dates and places of emigration, created records, some of which survive, documenting Lyakhovichi emigres.

For a record to be included in this section of our website, it must create a clear link between those who departed from the town of Lyakhovichi and their places of settlement and transit. It differs from other records created about Lyakhovichi emigres in that it was created at the time of the relocation, it is a primary document that specifically cites a birthplace or last residence in Lyakhovichi as attested by the migrant at the time of the move. Many valuable immigration documents that you have in your own family history will not meet that criteria because they do not list a town of birth or last residence of Lyakhovichi. Some records that do include that information, will still not make this posting because they are not accessible in a way that lets us find the data - the good news is that as more original materials are digitized and made searchable with software, the possibilities of new insights are multiplied.

The documentation created by the shipping companies and filed with national governments as "entry manifests" are just one part of the records that are available. We will publish the records of ticket agencies; newspaper listings of ship arrivals with passengers; aid societies minute books that detail aid given to transients; and other materials that add to our knowledge of the movement of people from Lyakhovichi.

Lyakhovichi emigrant Israel Winogrod on a Galveston Texas document in records of Jewish Territorial Organization (ITO) in Kiev, Russia
The Jewish Territorial Organization (ITO) in 1907, established an organization in Kiev to send emigrants to the port of Galveston, Texas. This database contains a total of 5,000 names. The file of the immigrants' names to Galveston is in the ITO section of the Central Zionist Archives in Jerusalem and can be searched online at Mass Jewish Migration Database The actual register photographed above remains in the State Archives in Kiev. Click on title to go to larger image of this page from the ITO archives, it is easy to find him in the alphabetical listing

Important Notes about This Page

All names on this page were included in Surname Index Nov 2009

Find any name on this page by hitting "control F" on your keyboard and typing in the name.

Find any name anywhere on this website by going to the Google search bar and typing the name immediately before this phrase

from the word "site" to the slash after lyakhovichi (just cut and paste it into your browser)

Currier and Ives's highly romanticized
Castle Garden Immigration Station in New York City, predecessor to Ellis Island

Using the Ellis Island Database
by Deborah G. Glassman

Originally pub. as
"The Ellis Island Database and Lyakhovichi," copyright 2004

Neville Lamdan wrote a very pertinent analysis of what we could learn from the Ellis Island Database as it pertained to people from Lyakhovichi and it is the main article in the center of this page. The purpose of the article which you are reading, is somewhat different. I want you to understand what the Ellis Island Data Base does and does not do and how it produced another four hundred people from Lyakhovichi for our list and then in a later search produced another fifty. It is important that you understand the work that can still be done in this same database to produce additional valuable data - names of people who never came to the U.S., clear identification of the name as it appeared in European record when you only know the American form, and clues to naturalization records that are stored in other archives.

The Ellis Island Data Base is a massive project undertaken by volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, of US government records in the public domain. It is searchable as a free database at Researchers worked hard to index the entry records created at the port of New York from the 1890s through the 1920s. What they were reading until they came to the records of the 1920s, were handwritten manifests created by ships officers. The lists were of each passenger disembarking at the Port of New York based on lists compiled by the ship's officers as the people boarded at the start of the voyage. Each of the lists had all of the difficulties of reading script of varying degrees of legibility. After 1920, many of the ships from larger shipping companies provided typed lists – in addition to typographical errors, the typed lists were usually rewrites of handwritten manifests created earlier at boarding in Europe and so legibility issues were formalized into a typed form unlikely to be disputed.

When I looked for the entry record of my grandfather (he was not from Lyakhovichi but it was my starting point in the Ellis Island indexed database), I could not find him or his mother or sister. I then used one of the tools created by Steve Morse, (a wonderful friend to genealogists who designed the software that you use when you search the Ellis Island Data Base from the Jewish Gen "One-Step Search" site - see under Research Tools). I searched only for people from my grandfather's town and found my grandfather and identified the problem. His mother’s entry – Golda Kleinman was read by the indexer as Toldes Klusinamen. My grandfather’s entry and his Yiddish name of Velvel (typically written on German manifests as Welwel) was in fact written Welwel but read by the indexer as Nelvel. Nelvel Klusinamen would not come up on normal searches for Velvel Kleinman. I check immigration records a lot and I soon found patterns in indexer misreads.

You will see the first name “Lore” appears in many Ellis Island records for Jewish women, yet this is a name that does not appear commonly in this time period. Examination of record after record shows that the indexers have misread the style of writing an “S” as the letter “L.” All of those women are actually named Sore (Sara). An equally common mistake is caused by the European crossing of the letter “J.” So thousands of Jews named Fankel are said to have entered the country when we actually had an influx of the much more common name of Jankel (the German spelling for Yankel).

Because the S/L mistake is so pervasive, I realized that to do a search of all people from Lyakhovichi, I had to find all of the spelling variants of Lyakhovichi, Lechowitz, Lachowitz, etc. and then do all those searches again with an initial letter of S. The search was productive. In addition to finding entries that were misread with an S, I also found the L misread as J and I, so I searched and found variants that started with those letters. Do not think that the emigrants spelled the town this way or pronounced it like this. These are script misreadings. Similarly when I changed the Soundex searches to include where the wicz endings were misread as wier, this did not indicate another valid spelling but poor handwriting.

Why do a search by town for everyone who gave it as their last residence? When we have completed examining all of those records, we will have a long list of names of people whose children came to America. We will have an even longer list of people whose spouses and siblings joined them in the US from Lyakhovichi. And you will learn the names of cousins, aunts, and grandparents, of the ancestor who came to the US.

Final caveat! Ellis Island manifests are not lists of everybody born in Lyakhovichi who entered the United States. They list people who gave their last legal residence as Lyakhovichi when entering the United States at the port of New York through Ellis Island. My great-grandfather, who was born in Lyakhovichi, had a last legal residence of Slutsk. Many emigrees from Lyakhovichi before 1906 just listed the guberniya of Minsk, so we do not have an accurate last residence for them. And many US immigrants entered through other ports – Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, even little Galveston in Texas! But this is a tremendous resource for us to explore.