Creating a resource for collaborative research
on the history of the Jewish community
in what is today Lyakhovichi, Belarus    


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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.

This site is hosted at no cost by JewishGen, Inc., the Home of Jewish Genealogy. If you have been aided in your research by this site and wish to further our mission of preserving our history for future generations, your JewishGen-erosity is greatly appreciated.

United States Port Records Documenting Lyakhovichi Residents

This is a page in our Documents section. Click the Documents button in the left-hand column to see other resources. You may also wish to see other pages related to Migration linked from our page Migration Documents

The tables formerly on this page have been moved into our Migration Tables but the articles still have a separate value and have been retained on this page.

Our study of the records of US Ports other than New York City, is created from microfilm records held by the United States National Archives. The indexes from which the various lists were drawn are the indexes that accompany those holdings. These are not all of the records from which lists can be drawn for these ports, but they are all of those whose creation and holding was mandated by the US government. For instance, we can draw on a list of 10,000 Jewish immigrants through the port of Galveston created by the Jewish Territorial Organization and also by the Jewish Immigration Information Board, two US organizations whose records are accessible to researchers. But the data from those lists will be published elsewhere on our pages. Similar data from the Kiev bureau that recruited Galveston immigrants is also available in the Kiev state archives and in the archives of the Central Zionist Archives in Israel. And the University of Haifa has created a name-searchable database of the Galveston material from the records of the Central Zionist Archives, but again that info is on another page of this website.

Many more names can still be added to these lists by additional searching. You will want to regularly check this page. The St Albans lists (Canadian Border Crossing) and the Galveston lists are especially in need of augmenting; and for November 2008 we are finally collating the data we have collected over a few years for Tampa and for Texas border crossings. We have just begun the process!

Few records have to stand entirely on their own. Remember to check our other pages, starting with Migration Documents which contains all of the immigration lists created for the Lyakhovichi website. If you can't find an immigrant through one port, check the others. But if you do find an immigrant at one port, your work is not done. Originally, I had no idea that I would find my relatives who got off Philadelphia ships bound from Liverpool, in the Hamburg records. I was unaware of the role that the Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden played at the port of Bremen, and the records connected to that organization archived elsewhere. The idea that there were competing organizations trying to encourage healthy young men to immigrate to Eretz Israel and others trying to entice those same young men to Galveston, Texas, was a surprise to me. And that the organizational records of both the Eretz Israel organization based out of Odessa and the Galveston organization recruiting out of Kiev, could have surviving records, blew me away! Search widely. In this day of online digitized records, you will find it especially rewarding!

Lyakhovichi Immigrants entering the US through ports other than NYC
including Philadelphia, Boston, Galveston, and US towns along the Canadian Border with New England, New York, and Michigan

1929 Aerial view of Oldest American Immigration Station - Philadelphia Lazaretto, built 1799
The Oldest American Immigration Station - Philadelphia's Lazaretto built in 1799,

Serving Philadelphia immigrants through the end of the Nineteenth Century, my great-grandfather Abram PILNICK of Lyakhovichi had his medical inspection here, on his earliest arrival in the United States in the 1890s. By the time he was coming through the system for the fourth or fifth time, he and most other immigrants in the early 1900s, were put ashore at specific street docks belonging to Steamship companies in Philadelphia, proper. The American Line which ran from Liverpool to Philadelphia, was the first to open an actual immigrant station in the city, at the Washington Avenue dock in Philadelphia. It operated in partnership with the Pennsylvania Railroad but the railroad soon found it advantageous to encourage additional wharfage, and space on their docks, to be leased to the Red Star Line's service from Antwerp to Philadelphia. Many of my ancestors and relatives from Podolia and Volhynnia entered Philadelphia on the American Line ships Kensington, Southwark, Haverford, and Merion, but it was the Red Star Line that brought almost all of my Lyakhovichi relatives into the city after 1900. The Washington Avenue docks were in the vast domain of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which filled its land with warehouses, factories, freight depots, grain elevators, and more. In the 1870s the Pennsylvania Railroad built an immigrant station at Washington Avenue. The passengers arriving there had already passed through the Lazaretto (and later Reedy station) for medical examination, and now disembarked in a building which included customs inspections on the upper level (equal to the level from which they had gotten off the ship), and a railroad ticket office and boarding station on the lower level. The Washington Avenue Docks were ten miles upstream from where the Lazaretto was built to be the first line of defense against ships carrying disease like the 1793 Yellow Fever epidemic that inspired this building's construction. This photo is from the aerial photo collection of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania Railroad's Washington Avenue Docks (in Philadelphia) for American Line (Liverpool to Philadelphia) and Red Star Line (Antwerp to Philadelphia) Pennsylvania Railroad's Washington Avenue Docks for American Line (Liverpool to Philadelphia) and Red Star Line (Antwerp to Philadelphia).

See the information above on this facility. By 1912, the Red Star Line had moved a short distance away to Reed Street, still in South Philadelphia; the North German Lloyd had acquired facilites just to the north at Fitzwater Street; and the Allan Line had moved several miles north to Callowhill Street. Vine Stree a little further north of Callowhill was where the city built its docks and housed the Italian lines. But you could see the relative importance of Washington Avenue and the municipal facility even then. The city renovated its piers between 1909 and 1911 and built an immigrant receiving area on its new upper deck, but because the station had no regular staff, the federal inspectors stayed at Washington Avenue and came north only when a ship actually docked at the city wharf. The Washington Avenue station was torn down in 1915 in anticipation of new money from the Federal government, but the amount eventually allotted was insufficient to buy riverfront property within the city boundaries. Inspections then took place on shipboard when they resumed after World War I. Information for this note was largely derived from an article by Dr. Fredric M.Miller titled PHILADELPHIA: IMMIGRANT CITY. The photo was from a pamphlet titled Tariff of Immigrant Fares from Philadelphia Issued by the Immigrant Clearing House Committee, in Effect April 1st, 1887 and the artwork was separately titled Engraving of landing place of European Steamers, and Pennsylvania Railroad Station, Philadelphia, c. 1887.

The first list we did of non-NYC ports (posted January 2005) covered the port-cities of Philadelphia and Boston. But a difficulty arose as we progressed to examining each individual record. Almost all of the people entering the port of Boston declaring a Lyakhovichi background, turned out upon further investigation, to be from Lechowitz Volin. So though we had done the work for hundreds of "Lechowitzers," they were not "our" Lechowitzer landsmen. The list below, is that same Philadelphia and Boston list expanded by an individual examination of the records and then augmented by additional cities including Canadian crossings and Galveston. The ones determined not to be from our Lyakhovichi have been removed to a file that we can post at some time in the future on a more general JewishGen site. If you have questions about a name you previously found on our site and can no longer find, query the webmaster.

Differences in names between this index and commercial indices Commercial genealogical firms are always in the middle of improving the services they offer to clients and the index that appears one day is likely to be corrected and augmented, the next. This list is from National Archives copies of records. The names are based on my readings and deciphering of the originals. Unlike the Ellis island Database which were made available on the committment to keeping these US owned records in the public sphere, the for-profit firms have an investment in their indices that we should not infringe. Whereas we can point out the differences between our index and that on the EIDB so you can get quick and easy access to the records, we cannot do that with a commercial search firm's index. When you can't find a record indexed here, there are two things you can try. If you are using a commercial site, try searching with just the entry date and as few letters as their search engine will allow, for either the first or last name. For instance, the name Zmudzik and Zmudziak are often butchered by indexers who are not expecting the unusual combination of Z-M. So look for a person by first name and the date we provide to get around this problem. You can also use the microfilmed card indices that were created for most ports in the 1930s and which are on a separate series of microfilm. Sometimes the problem is in the interpretation of what the card says, but when they are filed alphabetically, some of the problems are obviated. When filed by Soundex, the first letter has to match. If you continue to experience difficulty in finding a listing published here, contact the webmaster.


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)

Angel Island Immigration Station
San Francisco California, 1910-1940

Algiers Immigration Station
New Orleans Louisiana 1913-1934

Canadian Border Crossings to the United States

Lake Michigan Car Ferry c.1920s
Until the car tunnel between Detroit Michigan and Windsor Ontario, was completed in 1930, immigrants and transients entering the US from Canada at the port of Detroit, arrived by car ferry. Newcomers were documented at this port in the alphabetical Card Manifests of Entries through the Port of Detroit, MI, 1906-1954, United States National Archives microfilm publication M1478, 117 rolls. This image is from the Michigan State Archives

The table below includes some of the people who entered the United States at a US seaport or at a US border crossing station from Canada. The Canadian port records of the United States were kept between the years 1895 and 1954 and we have not completed extracting information for those years. The US records of immigration from contiguous foreign territory on the northern border is given the umbrella title of the St Albans Port records. St Albans was a single crossing station in Vermont which gave its name to the series of records when the Montreal immigration station moved its central offices there. The St Albans records are cards transcribed during the Depression from original manifests to individual alphabetized cards, though the ports of St Johns and Halifax often still exist as ship manifests. There are 937 microfilm reels under the heading of St Albans. Some are soundexed, some strictly alphabetical, some organized under the crossing point, and there are other access combinations as well. The St Albans records cover anyone crossing from Canada into the Unitied States from 1895-1917 and from 1917-1954 anyone crossing east of the Montana-North Dakota line. West of that line you will find them filed under the records of the Port of Seattle. Before 1906, the records seem not to include people born in Canada, but they do include those resident there, even for many years, if born in another country.

The Canadian ports of US immigration retained in US records were (from east to west):
Nova Scotia: Clements Port, Yarmouth, Liverpool, Port Hawkesbury, Sydney
New Brunswick: Connors, Clair, St. Hillier, Edmondson, Green River, St. Leonard, Grand Falls, Aroostook Junction, Andover, Centrelle, Richmond Road/Richmond Corner, Woodstock, Debec Junction, Fosterville, Macadam Junction, Upper Mills, Milltown, St. Stephen, St. Andrews, Fair Haven, Wilsons Beach, Welshpool, North Head, Grand Manan, L'Etete
Quebec: St. Regis, Dundee, Huntingdon/St. Agnes, Athelstan, Hemmingford, St. Johns, Lacolle Junction, Noyan Junction, St. Armand, Frelighsburg, Highwater, Mansonville, Magog, Georgeville, Beebe Junction, Stanstead Junction, Stanhope, Coaticook, Hereford, Comins Mills, Paquetteville, Megantic/Lake Megantic, Armstrong
Ontario: Rainy River, Fort Frances, Pigeon River, Fort William, Port Arthur, Sault Ste. Marie, Bruce Mines, Thessalon, Blind River, Cutler, Gore Bay, Little Current, Depot Harbour, Parry Sound, Collingwood, Goderich, Point Edward, Sarnia, Courtright, Sombra, Port Lambton, Walpole Island, Wallaceburg, Walkerville, Windsor/Walkerville, Ojibwa, Amherstburg, Port Stanley, Port Burwell, Port Dover, Port Colborne, Windmill Point, Crystal Beach, Fort Erie/Erie Beach, Bridgeburg, Niagara Falls, Port Dalhousie, Toronto, Port Hope, Cobourg, Brighton, Trenton, Belleville, Picton, Deseronto, Bath, Kingston, Wolfe Island, Gananoque, Rockport, Brockville, Prescott, Iroquois, Morrisburg, Aultsville, Cornwall
Manitoba: Bannerman, Snowflake, Killarney, Mowbray, Morden, Haskett, Gretna, Emerson, Sprague
Saskatchewan: Willow Creek, West Popular River, Wood Mountain, East Poplar River, Big Muddy, Radville, Marienthal, North Portal, Northgate
Alberta: Twin Lakes, Coutts, Pinhorn
British Columbia: White Pass, Stewart, Anyox, Port Simpson, Prince Rupert, Ocean Falls, Powell River, Union Bay, Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Bamfield, Victoria, Steveston, Ladner, White Rock, Douglas (near White Rock), Pacific Highway (near White Rock), Aldergrove, Peardonville (near Huntingdon), Huntingdon, Mission, Upper Sumas, Chilliwack, Keremeos, Similkameen, Penticton, Osoyoos, Bridesville, Myncaster, Midway, Carson, Grand Forks, Cascade, Rossland, Paterson, Waneta, Rykerts, Kingsgate, Gateway, Newgate, Philips/Roosville
Yukon: Forty Mile Creek, Dawson City

The first thing you will probably figure out, is that many of those places are unlikely to include many Jewish immigrants. The farther from a major city or port of ship disembarkation, the less likely the Jewish traveler was to use it as a waystation. But you can begin moving through the records by town alphabetically, picking the towns you think most likely or you can use the Soundex rolls to narrow your search. The St Alban films are are divided into four sets of Microfilm groups.
Manifests of Passengers Arriving in the St. Albans, VT, District through Canadian Pacific and Atlantic Ports, 1895-1954. 639 rolls.
Manifests of Passengers Arriving in the St. Albans, VT, District through Canadian Pacific Ports, 1929-1949. 25 rolls.
Soundex Index to Canadian Border Entries through the St. Albans, Vermont, District, 1895-1924. 401 rolls.
Soundex Index to Entries into the St. Albans, Vermont, District through Canadian Pacific and Atlantic Ports, 1924-1952. 98 rolls.

A Lechovicher in the St Albans Records

Chaim Noah Brevda through Buffalo

A Lechovicher in the Detroit crossing records
If you are in the process of making your way through these records and you spot people from our town, we would appreciate your input!

Canadian crossing records have a second set of values for Lyakhovichi immigrants.
They list the date of original Canadian entrance, even decades earlier, with the ship and port. Those entries into Canadian immigration jurisdiction, are maintained in Canada's National archives and may include details on the nearest relatives still in the last European residence. Second, many of the people who entered the US through Canadian ports did so initially on short term visits. Their return to Canada was documented by the Canadians in the period 1908-1918 if the person had not been born in Canada. Visits to Canadian relatives in that time period by US residents and those traveling on Russian passports, were also documented. The 1908-1918 materials are on 46 reels of microfilm held in Canada's National Archives which photodublicated the original manifests. We have not yet sought our fellow Lechovichers in those records.