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

ShtetLinks

Shtetl Links: Lyakhovichi

 

Home Contact
 




Key Pages
Indices
Welcome
Documents
Photos
Biographies
Collections
Geography
History
Terms of Use
Copyright Info

NAVIGATION

Home
Contact Us!
JewishGen

Belarus SIG

ShtetLinks

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.


Publications of Lyakovichi Shtetl Website:
Lyakhovichi Migrations before 1880
by Deborah G. Glassman, copyright 2005

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

Descendants of those who emigrated from what is now Belarus, at the end of the Nineteenth and the beginning of the Twentieth Centuries, are pretty sure they know why their ancestors moved, but the assumptions made are often wrong.

“They left because of the pogroms.” Not true - there were no pogroms in Lithuania and Belarus before the twentieth century, the guberniyas of today's Ukraina, contained almost all of them.

“They left because of the 25 year military conscription.” Not possible - 25 year conscription had ended with the death of Nicholas I in the 1850s and military service had been standardized at six years in the 1870s, and shortened even further in the late 1880s.

“They left because the Jews were expelled from their towns.” False- Russian law rearranged the Ukrainian provinces this way numerous times but such expulsions were rare after the first years of the Nineteenth Century in Belarus and Lithuania. However some Jews, living in Imperial cities like St Petersburg and other important cities, did hold individual permissions to reside in those places, which could be revoked. But whole communities were not uprooted in Minsk guberniya.

Actually - Most Jews finally moved from the Russian Empire between 1871 and 1912 because of fears that they were going to be forced out if they waited, and fears that they would then have to leave under even worse circumstances than they could manage before the crisis.

Jews who emigrated from the Russian Empire in the 1850s through 1880 moved to cities elsewhere in Russia and in European communities including those of Austro-Hungary, Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. They did not move because of impending disaster. Nor was it a sense of doom that was the motivation of those who put even more distance between themselves and Holy Mother Russia - those who landed in Great Britain’s Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow, and Belfast, or those who made it all the way to America in the 1860s and 70s. Over 70,000 Russian Jews arrived in the United States in the 1870s alone, a decade largely overlooked in the traditional emigration tales, probably because the 1870s migration was not for particularly “Jewish” motives. Rather, these migrations, overseas and internal to the Russian Empire, shared a long-set pattern with the movements of non-Jews, both inside and outside of the Pale of Settlement.

“You can’t keep them down on the farm once they’ve seen the big city” is a common American expression, in an older version than the World War I song that gave that billing to “once they’ve seen Paris.” Migration, in all nations and regardless of religion, in the nineteenth century, was from farms and rural areas to small towns, to cities that were regional centers. For individuals without compelling arguments to move on, an end to the movement could occur at any point along the way: outlying farm or tiny village to next size up small town; small town to a larger town in the vicinity; or pass the large regional center altogether and go to a major metropolitan area outside of the region entirely.

People moved as new employment and new business opportunities opened up. They moved as respected figures opened schools or offered apprenticeships or provided other services, that the migrant wanted. Rural residents also moved for the hope of inexpensive land and took advantage of land and colonization plans offered by their own nations as well as opportunities abroad. Russia’s land expansion opened up opportunities to many and the occasional uneven facilitation of Jewish farming settlements moved an equally intermittent stream of Jews from the guberniyas of Minsk, Vitebsk, and Mogilev, into the more sparsely settled Ukraine and Bessarabia.

Translate all of that into the lives of Lyakhovichi Jews. The son or son-in-law of the keeper of a small inn in Medvedichi, Mala Lotwa, or Koniunchy, (little villages around Lyakhovichi), decides that there is not going to be sufficient income to support the current innkeeper and his son or son-in-law’s family. He moves into the town of Lyakhovichi proper, with its large cobbled streets, numerous stone buildings, at least five synagogues, and factories owned by Jews that employ Jews.

A young man,whose father is active among the Koidanover Hasidim in Lyakhovichi, knows that the Rebbe has established a court in Baranovichi, the new railroad town just built in 1870, less than 8 km from Lyakhovichi. The town has many new employment opportunities and he can work and study with the Rebbe as well.

Another young man, sees an entirely different educational opportunity in that same Baranovichi. One of the great leaders of Traditional Judaism, whose teaching chain descends from both the great Rabbi Elijah of Vilna and Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin, has set up a school in Baranovichi too. Both the Hasidic and traditional Jewish schools attract thousands of students from all over the Russian Empire, and Lyakhovichi residents tend to feel that both schools really belong to them, set up as they were, in the newly built "suburb" of Lyakhovichi. Their opinion doesn't change, even though five hundred year old Lyakhovichi soon becomes a much smaller town than the railroad town built in 1870s and 1880s.

A man in his forties with a large family to support, hears that as a blacksmith and metal worker, there are inns on the major routes that will subsidize his setup of a shop for taking care of carters, teamsters and stage-drivers. The innkeepers typically provided no-rent accomodations for a period of time and if the smith makes the tools that his sons will need to set up their own places, he can set them up in business for little out of pocket investment. The network of roads around a central town such as Lyakhovichi or Kopyl can be their patrimony.

Kletsk, Mush, Nesvizh, and Kopyl, saw population growth in the 1830s with the paving of the old post roads. You can look at the pictures of Lyakhovichi at the end of the nineteenth century to realize that cobbled paths could substantially increase the number of people and the kinds of traffic, the roads could support. Many of the 1830s immigrants into those communities had businesses connected to the roads - innkeepers, teamsters, merchants who hauled their own goods. It was in this period that families with Lyakhovichi histories from at least the 1780s appear in these paved-road towns. The name Lyakhovitski, Lechovitcher, and other variants on our town's names, also start to appear in Mush, Kletsk, and Slutsk, in the 1830s.

Railroads allowed new communities to develop and breathed new life into old ones. Mush, today called Nowa Mysh, which was just a couple kilometers away from Lyakhovichi on the old road west to Slonim, and Slonim itself, were both tremendously enriched by the railroad in the 1870s.Hansewicze, today called Gantsevichi, was on the railroad line that ran from Luniniec to Baranovichi and the majority of its Jewish settlers came from the nearby community of Lyakhovichi, after 1870.

Tracing the movements of Lyakhovichi Jews in the Russian Empire Tracing your individual family, you can take advantage of sources that are denied a researcher who tries to follow the movements of entire towns. Starting in whatever Russian Empire town in which you found your family member, you can move back through record after record– Voter’s lists; conscription lists; official documents with signatory pages; revision lists (censuses); etc. Investigating these records, eventually you will come to a point where your person does not appear in an earlier set of records or where it is stated that they arrived from a different town. We need the data that you find when it cites their previous residence as Lyakhovichi or one of its subsidiary towns such as: Koniuchy; Mysloboje; Paszkowce; Zubelwice; Niedzwiedzica (Medvedichi); or any of the fifty other small towns that have been dependencies of Lyakhovichi at one time or another.

This page hopes to have regular updates on Lyakhovichi people found in other towns and also on records that can be studied to extract that data for our research community. We will have articles on tracing the movements of Lyakhovichi and Minsk guberniya Jews out of Russia; onto agricultural settlements in Russia and Eretz Israel; and into the large cities of the Russian Empire.

Residents or Former Residents of Lyakhovichi
in the Records of other Russian Empire Towns

Surname

First Name

Age

fthr

Relation-
ship /Oc

Born/
Registered
/Lived

Town, District, Guberniya Where Record Created

Date

Source

ANSHLOVITCH

Haim

-

Gerts

fthr of
newborn/-

Baby’s “fthr from Lekhvitz”/Minsk

Minsk

3/19/1882, 11 Nisan

Minsk Birth Records

ANSHLOVITCH

Gerts

0

Haim

newborn

Minsk/Baby’s fthr from Lekhvitz

Minsk

3/19/1882, 11 Nisan

Minsk Birth Records

ANSHLOVITCH

Khaia

-

Itska

mthr of
newborn

Baby’s fthr from Lekhvitz/ Minsk

Minsk

3/19/1882, 11 Nisan

Minsk Birth Records

BEREZNER

See OLKHA

Malka

21

Rafail

bride/maiden

Minsk/ Marrying OLKHA, Abram in Minsk

Minsk

12/26/1921, 4Tevet

Minsk marriage records; more info in database including witmesses

BOGIN

Iokhel-Iosel

-

Not given

fthr of
newborn

Baby’s “fthr from Lekhvitz”

Minsk

1/3/1882, 24Tevet

Minsk Birth Records

BOGIN

Khasia

0

Iokhel-Iosel

newborn

Minsk

Minsk

1/3/1882, 24Tevet

Minsk Birth Records

BOGIN

Etka

-

Girsh-Khaim

mthr of
newborn

Baby’s fthr from Lekhvitz

Minsk

1/3/1882, 24Tevet

Minsk Birth Records

GERSHAT

Mendel

30

Borukh

groom /
bachelor/

Vilna/ Minsk/
married to SEIFER nee MUKOSEY from Lyakhovichi

Minsk:

12/25/1921, 3Tevet

Minsk marriage records; more info in database including witmesses

GRINBERG

Zavel

32

Movsha

groom /
bachelor

Lyakhovichi /
married toGRINGAUZ, Leya in Minsk

Minsk

6/3/1921, 5Sivan

Minsk marriage records; more info in database

GRINGAUZ

Leya

24

Itska

bride /
maiden

Minsk/
married to GRINBERG, Zavel, from Lyakhovichi

Minsk

6/3/1921, 5Sivan

Minsk marriage records; more info in database including witmesses

GURVITZ

Rokhla

age ng, a merchant

Shepshelov

merchant of Shachnovich, Lyakhovichi volost, Slutsk district

Lyakhovichi volost

in gazette Minsk Vedemosti

26 June 1893

Debtors List - published and translated by A.L. Bell - thankyou! - for nonpayment of Kazen arrears, violation of pub laws; New May 2008

KHVEDIUK

Meier

24

Movsha

Head / cabman

Lyakhovichi /
Lyakhovichi/
Bialystok

Bialystok,
Bialystok,
Grodna

1897

1897Grodno Census

KHVEDIUK

Sladka

22

Yankel

wife /
“supported by husband”

Lomzha /
Lyakhovichi

Bialystok
Bialystok
Grodno

1897

1897Grodno Census

KHVEDIUK

Malka

6

Meier

dtr / “with parents”

Bialystok/ Lyakhovichi

Bialystok
Grodna

1897

1897Grodno Census

KHVEDIUK

Beniamin

4

Meier

son /
“with parents”

Bialystok/ Lyakhovichi

Bialystok
Grodna

1897

1897Grodno Census

KHVEDIUK

Masha

2

Meier

dtr /
“with parents”

Bialystok/ Lyakhovichi

Bialystok
Grodna

1897

1897Grodno Census

KHVEDIUK

Sheina

25

Meier

lodger /
Worker in cloth factory

Bialystok/
Lyakhovichi

Bialystok
Bialystok
Grodna

1897;

1897Grodno Census

KHVEDIUK

Ryvka

9

Meier

dtr / “maintained by husband”
presumably refers to Sheina KHVEDIUK’s husband

Bialystok/ Lyakhovichi

Bialystok
Grodna

1897

1897Grodno Census

KIVENSKA

 Inda

14

Iser

Servant in household of Ryvin Gusyatski (son of Khaim) and of his wife Syna Gusyatski (dtr of Yankel)

Baranavichy

Bialystok
Bialystok
Grodno

1897

1897Grodno Census

MUKOSEY
, maiden name See SEIFER,
See GERSHAT

Braina

32

Izrail

bride

“divorced”

Lyakhovichi /
Marrying GERSHAT, Mendel in Minsk

Minsk

12/25/1921, 3Tevet

Minsk marriage records; more info in database including witmesses

OLKHA

Abram

21

Yakov

groom /
bachelor

Lyakhovichi/
Marrying BEREZNER, Malka in Minsk

Minsk

12/26/1921, 4Tevet

Minsk marriage records; more info in database including witmesses

PILNIK

Abram

 

Leib

Lyakhovichi meschanin

Slutsk - tried for Penal Code 1658 and 303 /
Schedule of cases September 1888 session

Slutsk
Minsk
Minsk

9/24/1888

Slutsk District Court,Reported in Minsk Vedemosti, not online

PILNIK

Abram

 

Leib

Lyakhovichi meschanin /
Lyakhovichi


Slutsk - Issued Duplicate Passport to replace lost one
Original issued Lyakhovich 8 July 1897

Slutsk, Minsk, Minsk

10/08/1901

Slutsk Police Records #7931, Reported in Minsk Vedemosti not online

PILNIK

Yosel

 

Leib

Lyakhovichi meschanin /
Lyakhovichi

Slutsk - debt for overseas-passport fees
Search for capital ordered by Governor of Minsk and Slutsk uyezd Police Chief

Slutsk, Minsk, Minsk

07/24/1901

Slutsk Police Records #9600, Reported in Minsk Vedemosti not online

SEIFER nee MUKOSEY

Braina

32

Izrail

bride “divorced”

Lyakhovichi/ marrying GERSHAT, Mendel in Minsk

Minsk

12/25/1921, 3Tevet

Tevet

Minsk marriage records; more info in database including witmesses

SHKOLNIK

Mortkha

28

Leizer

Head /
dealer

Repyshcha/
Repyscha

Repyscha, Repyscha, Grodna

1897

1897 Grodno Census

SHKOLNIK

Beila-Freida

26

Volf

wife / “maintained by husband”

Lakhovichiy, Slutsk U.

Repyscha, Repyscha, Grodna

1897

1897 Grodno Census

SHKOLNIK

Movsha

3

Morthka

son /
“with parents”

Repyshcha / Repyscha

Repyscha, Repyscha, Grodna

1897

1897 Grodno Census

SHKOLNIK

Brokha

1

Mortkha

dtr/
“with parents”

Repyshcha / Repyscha

Repyscha, Repyscha, Grodna

1897

1897 Grodno Census

 

 




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
site:http://www.shtetlinks.jewishgen.org/lyakhovichi/

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




A late 19th Century Russian Passport, Cover


Same Passport, interior first page

Thanks to Maris Gavzy Rabolini!

 

Overview of Records about Lyakhovichi Residents in Nearby Towns and Cities
by Deborah G. Glassman, copyright 2005

In February 2005, we printed what we called a "First Report" with a table of Lyakhovichi people in the records of the Slutsk Chevra Kadisha and a look at materials from other sources that might show Lyakhovichi natives in other towns. We have moved the Slutsk table of names to its own page but the introduction to the use and location of the Chevra Kadisha records is still here.

When did your ancestors leave Lyakhovichi? For many who know of their connections to our town, it was a clear period of time from the 1880s through the 1920s. Their ancestor emigrants were heading for distant lands - the United States, Canada, South America, South Africa, and Israel. But there are many who will discover that their ancestors, in Minsk, Slutsk, Novogrodek, Nesvizh, Baranovichi, Kletsk, etc. (working down from larger settlements to smaller), had arrived in those places from Lyakhovichi all through the nineteenth century.Many of the towns of nearby Belarus, cities of the Russian Empire, and major cities across Europe will have records that will illuminate Lyakhovichi origins of people who left Lyakhovichi but did not continue on to places abroad. This series of articles looks at those in the nearby surrounds.

School registrations, marriage registers, and property documents, in Slutsk and Minsk, make clear that the primary generation appearing in those records from the 1860s to 1900 are former residents of Lyakhovichi and their children. We find Lyakhovichi former residents in the Minsk Vedemosti (official government newspaper printed in the city of Minsk and covering the large territory which was called Minsk guberniya. They are listed as "of Lyakhovichi" in documents as varied as police recordings of missing passports; fines for unlicensed emigration; claims against debtors; and probate proceedings. The next update will have more information on records from the Minsk Vedemosti with examples of Lyakhovichi finds! We will also post the discoveries you can make in materials you find in other on-line resources like the 1897 All Russian Census from Grodno which shows Lyakhovichi people in Bialystok and Kobrin. We have begun a table for that information which we post below.

Death records are among the most valuable groups of record. They are a varied lot, covering: obituaries, probate, death registers, burial society registers, burial permissions, eulogies, et al. They each have different structures. They each present different benefits and problems but most give some information about from where the person lived prior to his death and often prior to his residence at death. General surveys have not yet turned up many civil registers for Lyakhovichi’s nearby "towns of destination." Of Minsk, Slutsk, Novogrodek, Nesvizh, and Baranovichi - only Minsk death records have been reported. All were under requirement to keep Jewish records per Russian law since 1837 (though Baranovichi was not built until the 1870s), but we have only a few years for Minsk 1836/1839, 1840, 1846, and 1861, filmed by the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. None of the other civil death records of Minsk have been located and none of the other towns, or Lyakhovichi for that matter, have been found. There are other kinds of death records for which we can hunt. By incredible good fortune, two of the communities in that short list have surviving Burial Society (Chevra Kadisha) books. This is an amazing event – in all of the Russian Empire’s two thousand plus Jewish communities in Europe, only thirty-five Burial Society registers are known to survive. And two are from Lyakhovichi’s nearby communities of Slutsk and Neshvizh! The Slutsk register covers from the 1680 to the 1920s. The Neshvizh register covers from 1774-1903 on 171 pages. Igumen, Ivenets, Rubezhevichi, are all towns of Minsk guberniya that join in the select group of Jewish towns with surviving registers but they are rather far from Lyakhovichi for us to expect much relevance there. Minsk itself, is recorded with a marriage registry of 1872 and a communal register (or perhaps just a statute register) covering from 1623-1761 in the Vernadsky Library, we may yet profit from a study someone will do of that material. But the documents that suggest the most possibilities are those of Slutsk and Nesvizh's burial societies.

The Records of the Nesvizh and Slutsk burial societies are Hebrew language documents and both have been microfilmed. I hope to have more information on the Nesvizh register in a later report.

The Slutsk register has been heroically translated, transcribed, and put into a database and on CDROM by a group of American researchers that titled themselves the Slutsk Historical Society. It is over 18,000 names long with many entries further annotated by the translator Carleton Brooks. An explanation of the Slutsk Chevra Kadisha book and of the Society can be found at History of Slutsk Chevra Kadisha The table in our Website article titled "Lyakhovichi Residents Named in the Register of the Slutsk Chevra Kadisha" is not anywhere near as breathtaking in scope. It is first, a list of the 134 people from 1848 to 1924 whose listing in the Slutsk burial register was accompanied by the phrase “mi Lekhovitz” (from Lekhovitz) or “Lekhovitzer”. Anybody who has associated with groups of Jews knows that “er” endings are fairly common on Jewish surnames, so it is not easy to determine if a “Lekhovitzer” was a native of Lekhovitz or a form adopted by an ancestor as a surname. I did not try, I included them all. But even when the “from Lekhovitz” is clear in the register, it is less clear as to whether they are referring to the deceased, the deceased’s father, or for females, a husband. After you have figured out which of the parties is being identified with our town, you are still left with the confusion as to whether they came from Lyakhovichi of their own volition in their lifetimes, or if a corpse was transported from Lyakhovichi to Slutsk, to be buried in association with other family members. Since the majority of those who died in Lyakhovichi were buried in Lyakhovichi, it seems reasonable that most of those “from Lyakhovichi” named in the Slutsk Chevra Kadisha were residents in Slutsk but originally from Lyakhovichi. This seems borne out by the great reduction in names from “out of town” in the years previous to 1848, when there were less economic incentives to bring Jews from towns to cities. There were only sixteen people from Lyakhovichi buried in Slutsk between the 1770s and 1830s and that in a time period in which the Lyakhovichi Jewish population was in the 700s and the Slutsk population just double that. If it had been a long tradition to transport the dead, the numbers would have probably remained consistent. So the list of 134 people who moved to Slutsk for economic reasons through the late nineteenth century and because of the war conditions of World War I, when many appear in Slutsk records as "refugees/displaced persons from Lekhevitz", is augmented by the much smaller proportion of 16 who died in the previous 100 years. We are well into the 1870s though, before one custom of the earlier burials disappears – recording the dead with a father’s name in lieu of a surname. This doesn’t mean that the dead did not use a surname that was well known, just that in the conservative custom associated with recording deaths, the surname was not given. Finally, this table reflects my interpretations and transliterations of information relevant to Lyakhovichi and its inhabitants. You can find the original in Hebrew available for purchase from the Jewish National and University Library (on the campus of Hebrew University in Jerusalem) or you can contact the Slutsk Historical Society to purchase an English language translation of the document.

Click here for:

  • Lyakhovichi Residents Named in the Register of the Slutsk Chevra Kadisha
  • Click the same link to go to the third table on that page NEARBY LYAKHOVICHI COMMUNITIES IN THE REGISTER OF THE SLUTSK CHEVRA KADISHA There is a name index to the listings, also on that page.