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Rēzekne Families Stories and Pictures

The CILEVICS (Latvian) / ZILEWITSCH (Russian) / LEAVITT American) /
CHILEVITCH / CHILOWITZ (some phonetic variations) Family

This material was submitted by
Jeanne Wax

My mother-in-law was born in Rezekne. I put together a 150 page book about the family. I deleted most of the stuff, especially current pictures and name of extended family in USA. Here is some of the information from the book:

Click here to download a PDF version of this report.

Morduch/Mordechai (unk, est 1825-1877)
m. Khasa Sora bas Abram (1832 Krustpils Oct 24, 1912 Rezekne)
She m2 Dec 14, 1878 - Hirsch Tschernomordikov (1809 d. before 1897)

1. Abram Yankel (Yiddish)( c 1865 Rezekne Sept 3, 1938 Rezekne) Occupation - tailor
m1- July 21, 1887 Rezekne
Sora Rivka Savin bas Leiba/Lemka (c 1869 Sebezh, Vitebsk gub. c 1907 Rezekne)
m2- April 25, 1913 Rezekne
Freida Feiga (nee Losev, widow) (c 1880 Vilani - Dec 1941 Riga)
2. Chana/Anna Ethel (c 1867 April 26, 1946 )- m. Benj. Zacher, lived in NY, then Pa.
3. Henne Hascha/ Hannah Agnes (c 1871 Dec 1943) - m. Samuel Whitman, lived in Pa.
4. Reisa/Rose (c 1873 Nov 1946) m. Avraham Kavnat, lived in Johannesburg
Notes: - These are the only known children, living in one house, from Russian family census of 1896.

Sora was younger. Immigration clerks guessed ages. Abrams age changes with each document.

Latvian birth registration records were according to the Julian calendar, which is about 2 weeks earlier than our Gregorian calendar. The date the birth was registered does not necessarily mean the actual date.

Children of Abram and Sora:
1. Mera/Mary: LR July 25, 1888, US Sept 18, 1888 June 5, 1968 LA
2. Chana Beila/Anna: LR Nov 27, 1889, US Dec 12, 1891 Nov 2, 1970 Chi
3. Morduch Leib/Max (LR Nov 26, 1891, US Nov 18, 1892 May 6, 1982 Chi
4. Itka Zivja/Ida (US Sept 20, 1893 Jan 5, 1981 S Dg
5. Chaim/Hyman (LR April 7, 1895, US April 5, 1896 April 1, 1967 LA

6. Honon (LR June 19, 1897 unk) left as young adult and never heard from again.
7. Echiel Siman/Hilky (LR June 20, 1899 1944 Riga
8. Isaak/Isidore (LM Oct 14, 1901, US Oct 1, 1901 Oct 17, 1990 NY
9. Eliezer/Leo (US July 22, 1904 July 16, 1980 Chi
10. twins b/dc 1907

Abram and Freida:

1. Khasa Sora/ Khasja (LR Jan 18, 1917 April 24, 2005 Kiryat Ata, Israel
Freida ( daughter of Meyer and Riva Losev) and her first husband, Mendel Leib Dobrinsky:
1. David (LR March 15, 1905 Riebini 1971 Israel
Street names changed when the language changed when the powers in charge changed.
In 1929 Isaak Cilevics lived at 17 Glabeju St, later called Aizsargu St, now called Seiles St.
This apt, in the Jewish Quarter, was where they moved until forced into the ghetto in Sept 1941,
and then presumably killed at Rumbula.
Khasja survived because her husband was in the Red Army and she traveled into Russia. David
survived but his family did not.

The Rumbula memorial has stones marking some family names, placed in the shape of the Star of David.

132 Dzirnavu St, apt 5, Riga. Freida moved here in Oct 1940, after Abram died, since Khasja and David were both living in Riga. Echiel moved to the same apt with his wife and daughters in March 1941. Here are a few pictures from my 2006 trip I thought you might find interesting. This is the remains of the Choir Synagogue, built in 1871 and burned by the Germans with Jews inside on July 4, 1941. It was the largest synagogue in Riga.

The brown building is the pharmacy, which dates from 1890, so our family probably used it. Directly across the street (not in photo) is the poorest section of Rezekne, called America.

Stork nests are very common. We saw several on the 3 hour drive from Riga to Rezekne.

There is a Museum of Rezekne. On the wall are some old photos of life at the turn of the century. Since they dont have a museum book, the best I could do was take pictures of the pictures! In the center background, you can just see the church steeples.

Mary and Sam Senter Los Angeles
Mera/ Mary (LR July 25, 1888, US Sept 18, 1888 Rezekne June 5, 1968 LA)
Immig as Mary Chelevitz arrived Dec 15, 1905 on Caledonia
from Glasgow to NY going to Uncle Sam Whitman in Pa., came alone.
Annie and Carl Ross Chicago
Chana Beila/ Anna (LR Nov 27, 1889, US Dec 12, 1891 Rezekne Nov 2, 1970 Chicago)
Immig as Chane Cilesvics (misread, transcribed as Cilenrcz) arrived Sept 24, 1911
on Neckar from Bremen to NY, with Max, going to Chicago to Sam Senter.

Max and Becky Leavitt Chicago
Morduch Leib / Max (LR Nov 26, 1891, US Nov 18, 1892 Rezekne May 6, 1982 Chicago)
Immig as Mordche Cilesvics (transcribed as Nordche Cilenrcz) arrived Sept 24, 1911
on Neckar from Bremen to NY, with Annie, going to Chicago to Sam Senter.
Ida and Louis Greenberg - Chicago
Itka Zivja / Ida ( US Sept 20, 1893 Rezekne Jan 5, 1981 San Diego )
Immig May 27, 1913 thru Canada to Pt Huron, Mich with Hymie.
Hymie and Helen Leavitt Los Angeles
Chaim / Hyman (LR April 7, 1895, US April 5, 1896 April 1, 1967 LA) Hillside Cem, LA
Immig May 1913 thru Canada and Mich with Ida

Izzy and Celia Leavitt Brooklyn

Isaak / Isidore (US Oct 1, 1901 Rezekne Oct 17, 1990 Bkl)
First immig as Isaak Zilewitz Jan 30, 1930 Hamburg to CapeTown, then
Immig as Isak Zilevitschs arr Oct 7, 1930 on Majestic Southampton to NY to brother-in-law
m. Rezekne Oct 20, 1923

Ceitke/Celia Gantzer (LR July 1, 1903 Ludza, Latvia Jan 28, 1974 NY)
Immig as Zeitka Cilevics arr July 25, 1932, adm July 26, on Bremen
from Bremen to NY to husband (and sister, mother in NY)
Izzys occupation was tailor, then operated fish market
Rezekne marriage license of Izzy and Celia, Oct 1923

Leo and Mary Leavitt - Chicago

Eliezer / Leo (US July 22, 1904 Rezekne July 16, 1980 Chicago)
Immig as Leiser Cilevic arrived Nov 30, 1922 on Lituania
from Libau to NY going to Illinois to brother Max
Hilky and Roza Cilevics - Rezekne

Echiel Siman / Hilky (LR June 20, 1899 1944 Riga?) ( he might have been doing labor)
mc 1919
Roza/Rebecca Serebro (c 1902 Dec 1941 Riga)
Israel Srol (c 1921 1941 Rezekne)
Rachel (c 1925 Dec 1941 Riga)
Mera (c 1929 Dec 1941 Riga)

Abrams sister Zacher line NY and Pa.

Chana / Anna Ethel (c Dec 1867/69 Rezekne April 26, 1946 Pa)
Immig as Chana Sachur arrived Nov 24, 1913 on Carmania from Liverpool to NY
m. Chaim Benzion b. Joseph / Benjamin Zacher (c 1864 Vilani March 29, 1930 NY)
Abrams sister Whitman line eastern Pa.
Henne / Hannah Agnes (c 1871/73 Rezekne Dec 31, 1943 Pa)
Immig as Henr. Gnese Wittmann arr June 12, 1895 on Willehad from Bremen to NY going to Phila.
m. June 1893 Shloima b. Iekhiel / Samuel Whitman b. Michael (c 1871 June 7, 1932 NY)
Immig as Salamon Wittmann arr June 26, 1893 on Lord Gough from Liverpool to Phila. Why Philadephia, going to visit aunt?

Family believes many Jews started businesses in the coal mining towns.
Max Zacher was on the Lackawanna train from NY to Scranton when it stopped at E. Stroudsburg. He liked the look of the town so he got off and stayed there. Some of his cousins later joined him.

Abrams sister Kavnat line S. Africa
Reisa / Rose (c 1873 Rezekne Nov 1, 1946 Johannesburg
m. Abraham Kavnat (18?? 1938 Joh.)
immig to S. Africa prob. early 1900s

Dobe Stolbov was born 1874 as Riva, so either her name was Dobe Riva or Riva Dobe.
The Latvian records show Riva but often first and middle names were used interchangeably. Some records indicate she was born in Riebini, although she said Rezekne. Possibly both are correct, since Riebini was located within the Rezekne district.,br /> Her mother was Pesa Entel b. Shmuil bc 1850 Rezekne, death uncited, but possibly between 1925-1930

(based on great-granddaughters name). Her father was Itzhak b. Nachman b 1839 Riebini, died after 1900. Dobie died Feb 7, 1954 in Brooklyn ;
cemeteryrecords are under Dobie,
gravestone says Dora Gantzer.
She immigrated as Doba Gentzer (Gancers), arriving Dec 3, 1931 on Bremen from the port of Bremen, Germany, to be picked up by daughter Mary.

Doba had 3 children: Nachman Gancers who married Doba Serebro, Mary (Wasserman), and Celia (Leavitt).
In photo below baby Norman is son of Nachman and Doba, who came to USA as the only survivor in his family. His father died in an accident, his mother and two younger sisters were killed in the Holocaust.

Norman applied for citizenship in Aug 1943 while in the army in S.C. On the papers he wrote he was born Dec 12 (1922) as Naftolis Gancer, immigrated as Naftalijs Gancers on Samaria from Liverpool, arriving Oct 1, 1938.

Doba Serebro Gancers and her daughters Rocha and Pesa died 1941.
Her son Norman came to US in Oct 1938. Celia and her daughter Sylvia came to US in July 1932.
Dobie came to US inDec 1931. Celias sister Mary came to US in 1923.
1931 Doba, Rocha, Pese, Norman, Dobie, Sylvia, Celia