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


Shtetl Links: Lyakhovichi


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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.

Primary Records of Other Nations Created about those from Lyakhovichi

This is a page in our Documents section. Click the button labeled "Documents" in the left-hand column to reach all of the other resources of the Document area.

We have greatly expanded the coverage of primary records in in the nations to which Lechovichers emigrated, their "nations of landing." There is now a link box on the first page of this new series of pages. Please go to Nations of Landing Records - Description of US Federal Records to find the links to all of the pages.

United States Local Records
Records Created in the Jurisdictions of Local and State Courts
by Deborah G. Glassman, copyright 2009

Court Records of the United States are public records. If one makes the effort to locate them, they can provide a wide variety of material that can aid in documenting a family or be an incomparable resource for a community's history. In the United States genealogical material that is covered in this jurisdiction ranges from United States Federal Records - Naturalizations and Declarations of Intent to become Citzens to Divorces,Name Changes, and a wide variety of civil and criminal cases. Specialty courts for probate, taxes, and property disputes are also a tremendous resource. With the exception of Naturalizations and Federal cases generally, most of the court records that will be available are from the state and local courts.

These are the court records that may in their relevant documentation include the mention of a place of birth and they are just starting to be available in online law databases. Such an online database led me to a suit by a Jewish native of Lyakhovichi, Minsk in a Kentucky Court. A certain Mr. Raffa of our town sued the members of his Jewish community in the American south, for convincing his wife to get a divorce from him! .

An older form of reporting on legal cases continues to hold value for researchers as well. Legal digests, court reports in newspapers, reports of bar associations and judicial reviews, all hold material that has largely been untapped. In the new world created by being able to access old newspapers digitally, or out of print materials via Google or specialty publisher, even long ago material is a keystroke away. Just before the July 2009 update, I spotted one in Clark's Digest Annotations, vol 11, 1947. I have not seen the actual article, just a snippet view on GoogleBooks. But in this review of New York's Lower court decisions, it references "a 500.00 bequest given to the Congregation Bnai Isaac Anshe Lechowitz in the Bronx for the purpose of transmitting it to the needy of Lechowitz, Russia." I hope to include the full details at the next update.

Genealogical and Lyakhovichi Community History Details in a Kentucky Case ____________________

206 Ky. 211
Okrent, etc.
Court of Appeals of Kentucky.
Decided December 16, 1924.
Appeal from Campbell Circuit Court.
Page 212
FRANK V. BENTON and C. W. YUNGBLUT for appellants.
GEORGE HEROLD for appellee.

Sam Raffa brought this suit May 18, 1922, against Joseph Okrent and his wife Ida Okrent. He alleged that they unlawfully, maliciously and wrongfully prejudiced the mind of Edith Raffa, his wife, and Maurice, his son, against him and so alienated her affection from him, and induced his wife and son to refuse to live with him, whereby he was deprived of the society, comfort and affection of his wife and son to his damage in the sum of $25,000.00. The defendants filed answer controverting the allegations of the petition. On the trial of the case there was a verdict and judgment in favor of the plaintiff for $6,500.00. The defendants appeal. It is insisted for the appellants that on the evidence the court should have instructed the jury peremptorily to find for the defendants, and that the verdict is clearly against the evidence and the amount of recovery palpably excessive.

Sam Raffa and his wife Edith were married in Lechovitz, Russia, in June, 1911. He had been married once before and, leaving that wife in Russia, had gone to South America. There he secured a divorce from that wife. After this he returned to Russia and there married Edith. About seven months after their marriage he left her in Russia and came to the United States, although she did not wish him to leave Russia. Their son, Maurice, was born two months after he left. He lived at Newport, Kentucky. There were a number of other people there who had come from the same place in Russia. They were all Jews, including Raffa. In 1922 a collection was taken up in the Jewish church and among other Jews to enable Raffa to bring his wife and son to Newport. He added some money of his own and the wife and son arrived in Newport on April 28, 1922. He met them at the station and took them to the house of a friend where they had breakfast. There one of the neighbors telephoned to Mrs. Okrent, who was an aunt of Mrs. Raffa, that her niece had arrived. Mrs. Okrent said she was baking and could not come just then. Raffa owned a house and after breakfast he took his wife and son to the house. In a few minutes he left them there and went out to buy some things or make some arrangements. While he was gone Mrs. Okrent came to the house in her car. The proof varies as to the condition of things when she got there. According to the proof for Raffa the house had been cleaned and was nice... End of Introduction Summary of Case.

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.

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

Jewish Lechovichers In US Court Records

The 2 images of the Name Change record of three brothers surnamed Kuntsevitsky shows the kind of genealogical valuable documents that are waiting to be uncovered in the Court Records and the introduction to a case summarized from a Louisville Kentucky record of 1925 suggests the range of information now opened by digital access.

Name Change Petition
David, Morris, Julius Kuntsevitzky
NYC 1900

Name Change Petition, page 2
David, Morris, Juklius Kuntsevitzky
NYC 1900