Saturday, October 12, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Which Ancestral Home Would You Like to Visit?

Randy Seaver asks for a difficult decision in this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun:

Here is your assignment, if you choose to play along (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music, please!):

Tell us which ancestral home (an actual building, a village, a town, even a country) you would most like to visit.   Which ancestors lived there and for how long?  

(2) Share your ancestral home information in your own blog post or on Facebook, and leave a link to it in the comments.

Thank you to Linda Stufflebean for suggesting this topic.

Randy appears to be fortunate in that he has several lines in his family that were in the same location, making it easy to choose that place.  Mine are kind of scattered all over the place, which makes the choice difficult.  On the other hand, Randy did give country as an option, so I think I'll choose "Russian Empire."  As in the one that doesn't exist anymore.  But it was the country from which all of the ancestors on my mother's side of the family emigrated.

All the American documentation I have says that the Brainins came from Kreuzburg, which is now Krustpils, Latvia.  I would love to go there and try to find some European documents that actually confirm that's where they were from.  Supposedly my 3x-great-grandfather was a doctor; maybe that increases the possibility of finding a record about him?

The Mecklers came from Kamenetz Litovsk, Grodno gubernia, which is now Kamyanyets, Belarus.  I have that family tracked back to my 3x-great-grandfather Zvi Mekler.  I wouldn't expect to find much about my family in modern Kamyanyets, but I want the opportunity to look.

The Nowicki family came from Porozovo, Grodno gubernia, now Porazava, Belarus.  This is another location where not much has survived regarding the former Jewish population, but you never know unless you try.

The Gorodetskys were at least registered in Orinin, Kamenets Podolskiy gubernia, which is now Orynyn, Ukraine.  I don't know how far back that registration goes or how long it might have been since someone lived there.  The family was apparently at one time in the city of Kamenets Podolskiy (now Kamyanets Podilskyy), which is where my great-grandfather and his older sister are said to have been born, so that's probably the more important location to visit first.

The Schneidermans were also said to have been from Kamenets Podolskiy, although I don't think it was stated whether that was the city or merely the gubernia.

I don't know where the Jaffes, Bindermans, Blooms, or Yelskys are supposed to have been from.  I guess I would start searching for the Jaffes and Bindermans in Krustpils and the Blooms and Yelskys in Porazava.  I might also have Cohen and Kardish/Kortisch ancestors.  I would start my search for them in Kamyanets Podilskyy.

So that gives me a lot of territory to cover.  What was once one (very large) country would now necessitate going through at least three modern countries.  And not going at all to modern Russia, because my ancestors all seem to have stayed in the Pale, apparently not having any of the high-end occupations that permitted one to reside in Russia proper.


  1. Save up your pennies, nickels, and dimes! That will be a great trip.

  2. It'll certainly be longer than a month!


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