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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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Publications of Lyakovichi Shtetl Website:
Key Events in the Jewish Life of Lyakhovichi before the 19th Century
by Deborah G. Glassman, copyright 2004

It is hard to separate the events that would have impacted Jewish life from other occurrences that would have influenced everyone living in the region. It is harder to restrict the issues that would have influenced Jewish life in Lyakhovichi to those that are specific to the region. This is not a history of the Jews of Lithuania nor of the Jews of Poland. This restricts the reporting on other settlements to those specifically relevant to our city. We chose those that were in shared Jewish jurisdictions -i.e. the Brest-Litovsk region before 1623; those in Pinsk's jurisdiction from 1623 to the 1700s; those who were in the "Lithuanian" regions after the Minsk and Vitebsk area were cut off by the First Partition of Poland; and those that found themselves under Russian constraint in Minsk gubernyia in the 1790s. We also note events in cities listed with Lyakhovichi in the tax registers of the 16th century, in towns that were controlled by a shared owner in any time period, and in communities tied together by shared yeshivot, rabbis and tzaddikim (Hasidic leaders).

This chart is a rough work, most valuable for events close to home, and far from complete. Its current period of emphasis is in the time before Lyakhovichi was absorbed into the Russian Empire in the 1790s, but we would like to expand it to the end of the nineteenth century. We need your help to add significant facts that changed Jewish life and observance for the five centuries of Jewish life in Lyakhovichi that ended as the twentieth century began.To help please click Contact and send us an email.

Year and Event

1387 City of Vilna granted Magdeburg rights by   Ladislas Jagielo, King of Poland, and contesting claimant to Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Vilna is his Lithuanian capital. Vilna is allowed to use Magdeburg law to keep out Jews . This is thought to be, in part, a response to growing Jewish settlement throughout the area, with old established communities in Grodno and Brest-Litovsk and many smaller ones of undetermined age.

1388 Jews that have previously settled in Brest-Litovsk are given community and jurisdictional rights by Vytaut the Great, Duke of Novogorodek and Grodno. He does so also in his role as Grand Duke of Lithuania, which is not formally recognized til 1401. He specifically allows settlement of Jews in his capital city of Troki. The Brest-Litovsk community’s size suggests they have been long-present. They are already making decisions about smaller Jewish communities that   consider themselves under Brest-Litovsk’s authority. The Jewish community in Troki   is thought to have gained new settlers in Vytaut’s time but to have originated in 1320. The Jews of Lyakhovichi will be tied to the city of Troki in secular records and to Brest-Litovsk in religious jurisdictions for another two hundred years each.

Vytaut’s rights included 37 key elements among them: Jews do not have to rely on the impartiality of the city judges. Criminal cases involving two Jews are to be heard by the Deputy Vovoide, and can be appealed to the Vovoide, or directly to the Grand Duke. Jews may travel freely in the nation and may not be charged additional customs and duties to Christians. Jews were to be protected in their person and property by the same laws protecting Christians.

1389 Jewish community in Grodno receive rights from Vytaut. They are already well established, have cemetery and synagogue, and their primary business is agricultural in nature.

1390s The Kalte Shul in Lyakhovichi was said to have been built   in the 1390s. No archeological studies have been done to date. Brest-Litovsk had a number of Jewish communities under its jurisdiction throughout the Polessie region (where Lyakhovichi is) but most are not named. Vytaut, Grand Duke of Lithuania, is known to have settled Jews and Moslems on his properties in Troki, Novogorodok, and Osmena in this time period and allowed the building of mosques including the mosques at Novogrodek, Osmena, (and possibly that of   Lyakhovichi which was built in this time period). Some of Vytaut’s property including Gernainys, Osmena, and Troki, was later the property of the Gostautas family which in the 1430s owned Lyakhovichi .

1399 Grand Duke Vytaut settles Crimean/Tatar Moslems and Karaite Jews from the same region   in his family’s holdings. The Crimean Jewish community is settled in Troki, Vytaut’s capital. An older community of other Jews is already present in Troki at the time of the Karaite settlement. The Tatars are settled as soldiers in fortified areas including Troki, Novogrodek , Osmena.   ( Lyakhovichi’s Moslem settlement is thought to date to this time) We do not know   if Karaite Jews settled in the other Tatar communities too, like Lyakhovichi.   Vytaut also allowed Jews who were not Karaites to settle in Troki. No cities are recorded as built on his properties in his ownership period, he is largely thought to have expanded communities inherited from his father Kestutis or acquired by his military actions.

1400-1430 During this time period the established Jewish communities were headed by an “elder” who was selected by the community to represent them to the Duke, his Vovoide, and the Deputy Vovoide in tax and legal matters. The community was separately headed by a rabbi for internal matters. Some communities like Brest-Litovsk and Grodno had Bet Dins from this early time, but mostly the daily life of Jewish communities is unknown in this time period.

1436 Polish law was dominant in this period after Vytaut’s death, which allowed more opportunities to discriminate against the Jews contrary to their earlier privileges. More cities received Magdeburg charters allowing them to exclude Jews.

1447 King Kazimir of Poland (Casimir Jagellon) grants rights to Jews in all his Polish and Lithuanian territories specifically naming important towns such as Brest-Litovsk on August 14, 1447 and specifying that the right is to extend to the many territories that Brest-Litovsk and the others control..

1450s/60s The Jewish community of Lyakhovichi was said in a history of Brest-Litovsk, to have been established in 1563. This is not possible because that year they were taxed as an established community and Jews from Lyakhovichi appeared in records dating back to the 1520s. In the list of cities taxed in 1563, Kletsk appears newer and less established but Kletsk purportedly had its Jewish community’s beginnings in the 1520s. The synagogue in Lyakhovichi was said to be five hundred years old before 1900, putting it into the fourteenth century. The date in 1563 might refer to a date at which the Jews of “Lachevitz” received a charter of rights, an event that often long followed settlement. In the period of 1400-1520s over two thousand new towns were created in Poland and Lithuania, and Jews were active in the process, though many of the towns have only been identified in research in the 20th century. Jan Gostautas was instrumental in creating many new towns on the lands he acquired in the 1430s, his documented interactions with Jews were positive, and he is known to have invited Jews to settle on his posessions.  

1460s King Kazimir of Poland, Casimir Jagellon, in 1463 conveyed property to individual Jews including several estates and leased to him their associated villages - in the district of Brest-Litovsk, one conveyance by deed and lease, was made to a man named Lewin Shlomovich. (“Russko-Yevreiski Archiv,” i., No. 5).

1490s Jews that are settled in Brest-Litovsk are wealthy and stable enough to attract leading rabbis including Rabbi Yehiel Luria, at this early date.

1495 Grand Duke Alexander orders expulsion of Jews from Lithuanian cities. Many noblemen refuse to expel Jews from their estates. Most Jews are thought to have gone to Poland, the rest to the estates of other Lithuanian nobles, and to Bohemia. Alexander gives away Jewish property after the expulsion which he will allow them to pay to recover in eight years when he readmits them to the country

1503 Jews invited to return to all of Duchy of Lithuania because of their support of war against Moscow. Jews return to Brest-Litovsk, Grodno, and Troki, cities of the Lithuanian Grand Duke and they are found in the same time period in the private towns of Lithuanian nobles. Many law suits are recorded as indivdual Jews and communities try to get back assets ranging from houses to cemeteries.

1506 Jews establish community in Pinsk

1507 King Sigismund I of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania renews Vytaut’s charter of rights to the Jews of Brest-Litovsk to all the Jews of Lithuania.

1514 King Sigismund I tries to create the post of Chief Rabbi and selects one each for Poland and Lithuania. But by 1516 Sigismund agreed to allow the election by the Jews of provincial chief rabbis and also lay leaders for each province who would represent Jewish interests to the crown.

1519 The Jews of Poland set up a Council of Four Lands (Great Poland –centered in Poznan; Little Poland – centered in Krakow; and areas centered in Lvov (Galicia)and Ostrog (the Volhynnian province later a Russian guberniya in the Ukraine) to adjudicate between different Jewish communities. They meet initially at the two annual fairs of Lublin and Yaroslav. The Lithuanian communities are not recorded with a central assembly before 1533.

1521 An anti-Jewish Lithuanian historian Justus Ludwig Decius, wrote in 1521 that “many Lithuanian magnates, including the greatest of the Commonwealth leaders” had turned over estate management to Jews. The greatest Commonwealth leaders in this time period were indisputably the Gostautas family who still owned Lyakhovichi.

1522 The Jewish settlements in Tiktin and Novodvor receive rights

1523 Jews from Brest-Litovsk trade at the fairs in Lublin Poland.

1529 Jewish communities in Brest-Litovsk listed in government document of   a special military taxation of Lithuanian Jewish communities- Brest, Grodno, Klodzk, Kobryn, Ludmir, Lyakhovichi, Machislav, Novodvor, Novogrodek, Pinsk, Slonim, Slutsk, Tiktin, Troki, Vladimir. According to Russko-Yevreiski Arkhiv, quoted in Jewish Encyclopedia, this was a three part document- imposing requirements of militia service, requiring a full census, and imposing a tax based on that census.

1533 documents refer to an assembly that speaks for all Lithuanian Jews

1534 Sigismund I declares the Jews free in his realm from the Jew badge and other clothing marks required by The Fourth Lateran Council of 1215.

1539 During King Sigismund I’s reign (1507-1548) many areas in Poland and Lithuania were removed from direct king-ducal control and handed over to noble and church jurisdictions. He published a decision adopted by the Diet in 1539 that the king was only to be appealed to on Jewish matters related to Jews on his own territories or from whom he received a direct financial benefit.

1546 Printing house for Jewish books established in Brest-Litovsk

1550 The number of Jews estimated to be in all of Lithuania is c.10,000. with the largest community in Brest-Litovsk. But in the Commonwealth created under the terms of the Union of Lublin (Poland-Lithuania), the Lithuanian Jewish community is so much smaller, it pays only one quarter of the assessed taxes and the Polish communities pay three quarters.

1550 Brest-Litovsk becomes a center of Jewish rabbinical learning when it opens earliest Yeshiva in Lithuania in 1550.

1550s Jewish communities in Josly, Koval, Slonim, Mastevov, and Kremenitz. Jews are still being actively excluded from Vilna and Kovno. The number of Jewish communities in the Polish Crown lands are estimated at 173 and the number in Lithuanian lands are 30+. Each of those communities had small adjoining Jewish settlements of a few families each, totally under the jurisdiction of the larger. This is in a time period in which only eight cities in Poland-Lithuania had total combined Christian and Jewish populations of over 10,000 people, so a Jewish community of several hundred was considered large.

1559 A Jew , Moses Yakim of Lyakhovichi, is mentioned with another Jew, David of Kovno the Apothecary, in a lawsuit Oc 20, 1559 "Aktovyya Knigi Metriki Litovskoi Sudnykh Dyel," No. 39, fol. 24b .

1560 Specific streets are reserved to Jewish settlement and ownership despite previous town wide settlements - in Grodno just 3 streets were provided for Jewish residence and business  despite a large community presence; Novogrodek Jews were given just 1 but they refused to relinquish their residences in the now disallowed neighborhoods;. the Jews of Kletsk continue to own property across the breadth of the city as they had in the censuses of the mid 1550s. (At that time Kletsk was on the same side of the river as Lyakhovichi, on the road to Lyakhovichi)

1563 A special tax was levied on the Commonwealth’s Jews - 12,000 grushim. Here is the way the taxes were divided among the Jews of Lithuania: On Minsk - 600 grushim; Stroja - 600; Lotzk - 550; Ludmir - 500; Troki - 376; Brisk - 264; Grodno - 200; Kremenitz - 140; Tiktin - 100; Dvoretz - 60; Novogrodok - 30; Lyakhovichi- 30; Kletzk - 15.

1563 All communities responsible for the 1563 taxes were required to maintain community registers, pinkasim,  so regardless of the date of founding of Lyakhovichi, a register had to have been in existence from this date.   Chevra Kadisha records and pinkasim of other organizations were not mandated and so might have started at any time, those of the Slutsk Chevra Kadisha began in 1679. This is the same year that the Council of Trent ordered Catholic parishes to begin keeping registers of   baptisms, marriages, confirmations, and later required burials as well.

1563 is the date said to be the “founding of Jewish communities in Ostroja, Dvoretz, Lachevitz and Toratz, but two of the towns are recorded with Jews in earlier tax lists. It may refer to the date charters or privileges were received or renewed.

1564 A Jew from Lyakhovichi,   Samuel ben Israel, is named by the King’s Agent as one of 2 de facto rulers of Brest-Litovsk region during a time of epidemic.

1564 King Sigmund Augustus responded to a horrific charge of ritual murder in nearby Brest-Litovsk in 1564 by banning the charge in the Commonwealth, saying all such charges were groundless. (At his death in 1572 Jews all over Poland-Lithuania noted the death of the “righteous king” in their community registers)

1566 Taxes were levied on the Jews of Lithuania in the amount of 6,000 shuk grushim. The following communities were told to pay 3,760: Brisk - 1300; Lutzk - 500; Ostroja - 500; Ludmir - 300, Troki - 300; Grodno - 200; Tiktin - 170; Kremenitz - 150; the Jews of Novogrodok, Slonim, Lyakhovichi, Kletzk, Toretz, Chochri, Makas, Vilna and Kovno - altogether - 250.

1569 The Union of Lublin ends the right of Jews in Lithuania to dress as nobles and to travel armed with swords.

1572 New settlers including Jewish craftsmen and merchants welcomed into settlements owned by Chodkiewisz such as Skuodas Lithuania (possibly including Lyakhovichi). Chodkiewisz allows Jews to rebuild their older structures in stone on his properties.

1572 For the first time, Jewish communities in Poland and Lithuania noted the death of a King/Grand Duke in their minute books with the title “melech tzedek” righteous king when Sigismund Augustus died 26 Tammuz 5332, July 8, 1572.

1623 The communities of Kletsk and Lyakhovichi and neighboring towns on the same side of the river as Lyakhovichi (Kletsk was on that side until 1705) were transferred from Brest-Litovsk region to Pinsk region

1623 The Lithuanian Council of Provinces (Jewish governing organization) recognizes three regions – Brest-Litovsk, Pinsk, and Grodno   and joins with the Polish Council of Four Lands. Both have been in existence for around a century.

1648-1654 There was no interest among the town’s owners, the family of the military commander of the the Polish-Lithuanian Republic, in surrendering the city, its fort or its Jews, to the Cossacks, so the Jews of Lyakhovichi were not murdered in the Khmelnitsky Massacres.   During Russian-Polish War 1654-1667, Lyakhovichi was only city not invested by Russians and so again the cossacks were kept out.

1652 The Lithuanian Council of Provinces (Jewish governing organization) requires each town with a rabbi to maintain a Bet Midrash for adults and a Yeshiva for younger students and to maintain the students at the Jewish community’s expense.

1680s Grand Duchy of Lithuania takes a series of military censuses of fortified towns – we do not know if Lyakhovichi was among them, Slutsk was included in 1683 and 1689. Jews are part of the militias of most fortified towns in Lithuania

1740sThe Governor of Novogrodek Vovoidship commissions a detailed mapping of the vovoidship and its individual powiats. Leaseholders, owners, fords, roads, ferries, are marked on many of the charts.
1748 The head of the Yeshivah in Brest-Litovsk encouraged the founding of a Yeshivah in Lyakhovichi headed by Rabbi Azriel Gavza and by Rabbi Libla Magid. They began a thirty year effort to create an environment for Torah study in Lyakhovichi. Their efforts resounded and for years after their deaths in 1773, Lyakhovichi was called "a city of scholars and Torah." At this time, Lyakhovichi is the first known Yeshiva outside of Brest-Litovsk to be founded in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania after the sixteenth century.
1764 The jurisdiction of the Council of Four Lands and the Lithuanian Council is ended and they are no longer allowed to represent the Jews of Poland and Lithuania to the Crown.

1765 Grand Duchy of Lithuania Census includes over 700 Jews in Lyakhovichi

1784 Grand Duchy of Lithuania Census includes over 700 Jews in Lyakhovichi. We have examined this census and it is a list of all members of a household, men, women, and children. it lists first names, patrynomics, ages, relation to head of household, and in some cases, occupation. It gives the total for 1784 and for 1764 and compares the difference. This material gives us every reason to believe that the 1764 census is just as comprehensive.

1793 The Lechovicher Hasidic Dynasty is established when Rebbe Mordechai of Lechowitz returns to the town after thirty years of   active field work for the new Hasidic movement. Lyakhavichi ranks with Karlin and Stolin in the preeminent Lithuanian Hasidic communities .

1795 The Russian government creates a new Revision List, a census of the new territories taken in the last Polish partition. It follows the traditions of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Censuses. It is in Polish. It lists every member of the household down to small children over one year. It lists where the person had been resident prior to the Revision List being taken. It has a place for knowledgeable and authorized members of the Jewish community to sign it, attesting to its accuracy. We have not yet found the enumeration for Lyakhovichi. In an 1805 registry of those who want to keep Taverns in the Lyakhovichi area and register as townsmen in Lyakhovichi, many were former Lyakhovichi residents who had been enumerated in 1795 in Stvolovichi Kahal, 15 miles north of Lyakhovichi. We do not yet know the connection between the two towns, and we have not yet seen a Revision List for Stvolovichi, either.

1798 The leaders who have been preaching Hasidism to Lithuanian Jewish communities are arrested at the instigation of traditionalists and imprisoned. Released December 1798.

The Nineteenth Century We need more information on key events in Lyakhovichi Jewish life in the Nineteenth Century. Can you help us for our next update? You can direct us to source material, suggest reading material, offer the skills of knowledgeable historians, or share your family's information on members who played key roles. Send us an email by clicking Contact

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Kalter Shul 500 year old synagogue in Lyakhovichi
500 year old Kalter Shul of Lyakhovichi
with a construction date over the door from the reign of Vytaut the Great (ruled 1390s-1430s).

The Kalte Shul in remembrance
(This is the first part of "The Shuls of Lechowitz by Alter Brevda) See note below where the rest of The Shuls of Lechowitz, appears.

The Kalte Shul was an architectural rarity, not only to us, but renowned in the whole neighborhood. Over the door was written the age (was it necessary to point to the indication of the construction date?) from 500 years back. To come into the shul one had to descend 5-6 little steps, to fulfill what is said: " from the depths I call to you Lord". Right across from the door was the great circular bima, for the reading of Torah, and over it was a canopy with a carved giant eagle within it. In its beak the eagle always held a cake. That was the eruv, in order to prevent the Lechowitzer Jews from desecrating the Shabbos, Heaven forbid, to have to carry a burden on the Shabbos. The rabbi alone used to prevent, that the cake should not be too old or moldy, and he used often to change it for a fresh one. The aron kodesh, in the eastern wall, with its powerful height held up the ceiling. It was composed of a whole network of rarely beautiful carvings. At every opening of the aron kodesh doors flew out doves-cherubim, which bore a delicately carved keter torah. A little higher, two other doves held the Crown of Priesthood: two priestly hands held up with their fingers as during the Priestly Blessing. And even higher glistened with its splendor the Crown of Kingship. On both sides of the aron kodesh were set in the earth four-cornered stone tables and on right and left there were menorahs on them. The lectern was decorated with short verses and abbreviations. The ceiling of the shul was like a great basin painted in sky blue, and on it painted the sun, moon, and stars, as well as also all twelve tribes with their flags and symbols, woven through with various flowers and with verses. By the ledge of the walls were a lot of little candlesticks. On Chanukah and Simchas Torah candles were lit in all of them to achieve an appearance of fiery illumination. All four walls were covered with carved texts of prayers and supplications and of angels and seraphim-names. On the western wall, over the door - a pair of large lions with open mouths. Over us children - I remember - they would always cast fear, just as in the verse carved nearby: "A lion roars, who shall not fear?". Our Kalte Shul was the real "small Beis haMikdosh". When you would come in to this our shul from outside, from the small dark little houses, and set eyes on all the splendor, you used to begin to understand the sense of "this is nothing but the house of God."

The Shuls of Lechowitz was written by Alter Brevda on his sickbed, shortly before his death in 1947. It first appeared in Lachowicze: Sefer Zikaron, edited by Y.Rubin, published Tel Aviv 1965 by the Association of Former Residents of Lachowicze 1948-1949 (printed in Hebrew and Yiddish). It was beautifully translated by Andrew and Stephen Warshall, with their thanks to Mr. Moshe Inditsky of Tel Aviv, Israel, representative of the Lachowicze landsmanschaft for permission to use the material. Mr. Inditsky has been equally kind to those who are working to bring information about Lyakhovichi to the publicís attention from this website. He has continued to share more information about the Lyakhovichi landsmanschaft some of which is on our Emigrant Groups page.

Alter Brevda started out a career in photography that lasted decades, as an assistant to itinerant photographers. By the 1890s, he had established his own photography studio and its artist-studio like glass-walls and courtyard were recalled by others remembering the town. His name appears on a photography business in Lyakhovichi from the 1890s through the 1920s. If his trade was photography, his eye was an artist's. He developed a very visual memory and you feel as if you are seeing what he describes in his memories of Lyakhovichi's synagogues. But, he doesn't put time frames on the material he describes. We can't tell if a synagogue vanished under a Nazi boot, or was wiped out in World War I bombings. A report that the Kalte shul which he so movingly remembers, was burned down in 1874, needs someone else to dispute it, as he blends all of his memories of Lyakhovichi into a single timeless event. When Alter Brevda, (born Mordechai Gershon son of Dov Ber Brevda) died in 1947, he was an old man and his memories included events from the 1860s and 1870s. But because he cared so much about these landmarks of his life, his descriptions are equally timeless.

Alter Brevda
(ne Mordechai Gershon Brevda)

Alter Brevda's article continued speaking about the Kalte Shul's noted figures before he went on to discuss the other synagogue buildings still extant in his day. "And as the shul, so also its gabais and clergy: beauty leads to beauty. The two gabais of those whom I remember: - Yakov Layzer, a Jew, a scholar of uncommonly stately appearance, and Eliyahu Liess, my brother-in-law, a great scholar, [and] the Cantor Lippe was known as the pious maskil (enlightened one) of that time. "

Then Mr. Brevda discussed the other synagogues in less detail.

The Groyser Beis Midrash was a large building with vaulted immense doors, where was the place of study for Chevra Sha"s, Chevra Mishnayos, Chevra Ayin-Yakov, Chevra Tehillim. There, all strata of the congregation, from scholars to ordinary Jews, used, as they say, to concentrate on studying and saying Torah for its own sake. From among the eminent members of that Groyser Beis Midrash, should here be remembered Hirshel der Schreiber (his official family name: Mishkowsky), who received his name "schreiber" in recognition of his talent for writing written letters just like printing. He printed out and ornamented the walls of the Beis Midrash, between all twelve windows, with texts of various prayers, blessings of the Torah, counting. With pithy printed texts was provided also the lectern, over which the eternal light burned constantly, day and night.

The Schustershe {Shoemakers'} Shul, the Schneidershe {Tailors'} Shul, two Chasidic meeting houses, - one where in its time prayed the great R. Aharle, [Rebbe Aron Malovitsky, the Lechovicher Rebbe, son of Rebbe Mordechai II of Lechowitz] and the other of the Koidanover Chasidim - all of these were also to be found in the shul-court. For the sake of completeness one must also recall the Beis-Yakov Shul, which was erected through the rich man of the town, R. Avraham-Yakov Kaplan, a Jew a great scholar and master of charity with a branched-out beautiful family. His son Pinye took for son-in-law the Pinsker Rabbi's brother, a famous son of Torah, who in himself combined Torah and enlightenment (he, that son-in-law of Pinye's, Tzizling, with his children and children's children, Pinye's grandchildren and greatgrandchildren, live with us in the land of Israel and occupy a distinguished place in local social life)."

Go to our page Historic Sites of Lyakhovichi - to see modern and antique images of the synagogues Alter Brevda describes.



Use Your Library and Google Skills to Help

We want to post information or images materials related to the 1529 Special Military Tax on Lyakhovichi. We want to do the same for the 1563 Special tax on Lithuanian communities that included Lyakhovichi. We would also like to find copies of the documents about Moses Yakim of Lyakhovichi in 1559 and Samuel ben Israel of Lyakhovichi in 1564. Have you seen scholarly articles, in any language, on this material? Can you suggest a research process that would uncover them? Have you seen any records related to Lyakhovichi traders, travellers, plaintiffs, defendants, et al, to which you could refer us? A few years ago, it was not clear to researchers on Lyakhovichi that we could find eighteenth century documentation but we now have seen the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Censuses for our town. Help us make another breakthrough to documentation from even earlier centuries!