The History of the Lyakhovichi Shtetl Website
This is a page in the Welcome suite. To reach any other page in that category just click the button "Welcome" in the table in the left-hand column.
Websites are a very different form of interaction between the creators, contributors, and users. They change frequently and yet they need to archive material that they have offered in their earliest days. Simply rearranging content can cause links to cease functioning and each new article can make it harder to find previously posted content that a user was still re-examining on a regular basis.
In the winter of 2008, many photo links were added to the homepage, they served as "headlines" linking to new articles and to those materials which now had new tools and perceptions with which to examine them. But they created a busy, confusing, experience, and so during the Spring, they were moved to one of the pages that has become part of the Home page suite. All over the website, you sill see changes that were designed to make the material simpler to view, easier to access, more pleasant to move through. The purpose remains the same. To create an environment in which you feel welcome to participate in
the documentation of the history of Lyakhovichi's Jews. We need your photos,
documents, and family stories. We need the questions that spur us to new discoveries
and the observations you have made in your own searching.
You can write to us, by clicking Contact . Gary Palgon has agreed to be our
single point of contact, and he will answer and/or forward your queries to Deborah Glassman
and Dr. Lamdan. Please write Lyakhovichi in the subject area of any email you send him.
The History of this Website (as of May 2008)
Gary Palgon, a long-time amateur
genealogist, has been researching his Lyakhovichi family for more than a decade.
Neville Lamdan, a respected historian, former Israeli
Ambassador, and since January 2006, Director of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy, at Jewish National and Hebrew University Library in Jerusalem, has been pursuing his family ties to this town for at least that
long. Gary coordinated research for a diverse group of people with a common
interest in Lyakhovichi, arranging the locating and translating of documents
related to the Jews of Lyakhovichi, and Dr. Lamdan contributed scholarly articles
that analyzed the specific materials available. Both men journeyed to Belarus to
uncover more. It has been a common effort with very positive results for Jewish
and area studies in Belarus. As webmaster, I, Deborah Glassman,
have added articles and indexes to this website and posed new questions for
research that I hope have complemented their work and will continue to contribute to a deeper
realization of the great resources for history in this area. You may reach us by clicking any of the Contact buttons on any page and putting Lyakhovichi in the subject area. Contact
The Efforts of a Research Community
The images and data of the 1850 Revision List, elsewhere on this website,
is the kind of material that has been uncovered by the research efforts of
Gary Palgon and Neville Lamdan and the Lyakhovichi Research Group.
The tally to their credit of nineteenth-century documents posted in May 2008 includes:
sixteen separate documents with over four thousand names.
The type of material covered: Military Discharges;
Military Draft Lists; Jewish voters for town officials;
Jews in the Deputy and Electors Tax Lists;
a list of Jewish townsmen;
a list of Jewish property owners;
a petition signed by 56 members of the Jewish community
asking to rebuild a synagogue in 1875; Revision Lists of 1816, 1819, 1834, and 1850.
Dr. Lamdan and Mr. Palgon have also spearheaded ongoing efforts to bring you the results
of early and late nineteenth century Revision Lists and the
last Grand Duchy of Lithuania Census in which Lyakhovichi was enumerated, in 1784.
Since the website began, we have also organized an ongoing effort to find
all published materials from which we can extract data on the families of
our communities and we have added thousands of names from different generations.
There are few shtetls that have had that kind of effort put
into making publicly available, the documentation of every Jewish family in the community.
As remarkable as are the joint efforts of the informally organized research group
(also called the Lyakhovichi Special Interest Group, and the Lachowitzer Group),
individual members have contributed further.
Brought together solely by an interest in the residence in Lyakhovichi of their ancestors,
individual members of the Lyakhovichi research Community have generously been sharing
historical documents that have been found for them in their own research
in the Belarus archives. We have been sent extracts from Revision Lists for
many years for particular family names as well as records from other Russian
communities where Lyakhovichi's Jews were recorded.
I am impressed by the generosity of those studying their family history who share
their hard-won findings, and I continue to be awestruck by the amount of effort
and committment evidenced by the leaders of this community, Dr. Lamdan and Mr. Palgon.
In the two year hiatus (2005-2007) forced on this website by my health and personal issues,
they continued to work at bringing major new resources to light.
This website is a salute to their work and, to all those who have generously
offered time and resources.
Participating in this research effort
We have had a very positive response from the community at large who,
seeing all that has been uncovered, would like to know how they can contribute.
There are projects for which you can volunteer your time, we can keep you updated
on the progress of projects that are in-process but not yet ready for publication,
we can help you network with other Lyakhovichi researchers, and more. Click
write Lyakhovichi in the subject area, and let us know what interests you.
A key picture of our Home Page
This is one of the pictures that has anchored our homepage. It was selected for a number of reasons. It shows an area of the town that appears in several images, from this heavily attended funeral in 1910 to a parade inspection of several divisions by an Archduke during WWI, to a scene of sledges running along its perimeter in the dead of winter in WWII. It shows the main business street of the town with its solid masonry buildings and cobblestone paving, and that a thousand Jews could fill it from end to end. It is also the place in which the eyewitnesses to the Nazi crimes report the beginning of the Nazi persecutions, the same Market Square into which the Nazis gathered the Jews of Lyakhovichi as they contemplated all the ways in which they would attempt to kill six thousand people.
This picture was kept for this page because it also demonstrates new possibilities as technology is put to the service of genealogy. Imaging recognition software may provide the transition from living people to theri previously unidentified relatives in this picture. Enhanced photo tools may allow us to enlarge the faces of individuals so we have a thousand individual portraits that we can examine in detail. As I studied the photo one more time in May 2008, I realized what a huge percentage of individuals were young people, no doubt members of the young Zionist and other political groups of the town. It is a resource that has not yet been tapped. Please go to the page dedicated to identifying these young people and help us begin the task of identifying the young activists of the early Twentieth Century at this Lyakhovichi Zionist Funeral of 1910. The potential of this and similar photos make it the perfect picture for us to use to request your family-held group photos as well as those precious portraits of individuals your family has treasured. Because as this website changes, some things remain the same - we are working together, collaboratively, to illuminate the Jewish history of Lyakhovichi!
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)
Alternate Names and Variant Spellings
Lechovitz (Yiddish); Lachowicze (Polish);Lachovici; Lackovich; Lakovitz; Lechovitch; Lechovicz;
Lechowitz; Ljakhovits; Ljachavicy; Liachovitch; Lyakhoviche; Lekovits
Who should Use This Site?
- if you want to learn about your ancestors in Lyakhovichi
-if you want to learn about a prototypical small town from which your ancestor may have come to Baranovichi, Novogrodek, Slutsk, and Minsk
-if you want to learn about Source Material
for a community originally
in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
that became part of Slutsk uyezd in Minsk
of Imperial Russia
-if you want to participate in a collaborative effort to bring together resources to build a three dimensional portrait of a community that flourished for almost five
Throughout the page
you will see requests for new information – new references, libraries,
documents, photos, even clues as to where we should check for something helpful.
Bookmark this site and return often. Also plan to do some work. There are
tools that you need, translations that you can do, difficult to find materials
that you can track down. We need your help to help!!! Gary Palgon who has been coordinating Lyakhovichi research projects very effectively for a long time has agreed to be the point man. He will answer your questions and share your primary source material with the webmaster for inclusion here. Please include Lyakhovichi in the subject area of email you send.