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Dear folks,

We have begun a Latvia DNA Project with Family Tree DNA (FTDNA;

The Latvia Project is a dual Y-DNA / mtDNA project created for
individuals descended from families that have their earliest-known
origins in what is now Latvia. The Project will allow those who have
a family geographic origin in Latvia to compare their DNA with that
of their geographic neighbours and, possibly, find family matches.

After discussion with FTDNA advisors, we decided to create a
geographic group rather than a surname-specific group mainly because
we have already documented many of the descendents of our earliest
ancestor, Elia TRUPIN, born before 1800 in or around Daugavpils. Our
surname is rare, and a Y-DNA surname project would only duplicate the
links we have already found within solid documentary evidence held by
the Latvian State Historical Archive. The Latvia Project will give
a broader latitude by permitting both Y-DNA and mtDNA matching and
will permit anyone with family origins in what is now Latvia to

We hope that LatviaSIG members will consider joining the Latvia DNA

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions.

Donna Dinberg
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
blacknus at rogers dot com

Michael Dinberg
Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
85260md at gmail dot com

From: Svetlana Tumanov <sve.tumanova@yandex.com>
Date: Mon, Nov 5, 2018 at 2:02 PM

Looking for relatives and descendants of my Dvinsk family, my mother Zila DRITZ (1925-93 Winnipeg), daughter of Boruch Meyer Dritz, son of Meyer Dritz, son of Boruch Dritz, all born in Dvinsk and died in Ruga in the 18th century. Who were their wives? What are the names of our jewish mothers?
My GD Boruch was married to Hasja, the twin sister of Lea, who were neé Gurvich/Hurwitch/Gurevich(?) from Dvinsk. Supposedly, the family had a bakery & a taylor shop in the city.
Their mother emigrated to the US in 1905-10. In the last weeks, my cousin Bernie in Dallas & I, after an intensive search are delighted to find a DRITZ dynasty of my GD Boruch's four siblings, who moved to the US. But we know nothing about the Gurvich branch of the family or prior.
In the hope that our GGF & GGM have taken with them to the US siblings of Hasja and Lea, or at least to find the roots of our Grandma Gurvich family, as well as Dritz, prior to Boruch, born 1890 in Dvinsk.
Thank you very much.

Dear Eilat,

You have indicated an interest in receiving information about anything
that could benefit your research. This is just such a notice and is
coming from JewishGen because of the potential and interest in this

A documentary film featuring a South-African / English family with
roots in Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus is being produced by
Wall-to-Wall Television for the British Broadcasting Corporation for
its series "Who Do You Think You Are?" and will be broadcast later
this Year.

We believe that most researchers would want to contribute to the
success of this documentary if they had the chance and so we are
writing to you on behalf of the producers.

Some of you may have already received an individual message from Alex
Lowe who is researching the SUCHEDOWITZ / SHOKHET family and related
families from Kretinga and elsewhere for this documentary. She would
like to hear from anyone who has additional information that could
contribute to telling this story.

The information known thus far is as follows:

Arnold JARCHY , born 4th June 1858 in Dunabourg, Russia (Dvinsk- now
Daugavpils in Latvia), son of Lippmann JARCHY and Mathilde TOUROFF ,
both parents living in Dunabourg in 1883. Arnold emigrated to Paris
at some point before this.

Amelie SOLOMON , born 15th Jan 1860 in Grodno, Russia (now Hrodna,
Belarus), daughter of Miles/Meyer SOLOMON (died 15th May 1867 in
Grodno) and Rebecca LEVINSCHTEIN, living in Grodno in 1883. Amelie
also moved to Paris at some point before this date, possibly with her
brother the Rabbi Moise SOLOMON (25th Aug 1852 in Grodno) who moved to
London in 1877 and then on to Paris in 1879.

The SUCHEDOWITZ family (originally named SHOKHET), including
first-names Isidor, Joseph, Benjamin, Hoda Feiga, Pera, Beila and
Jacob, sons born in Kretinga in the 1870s, and family living in Memel
(now Klaipeda, Lithuania) around the turn of the century. The family
were possibly from elsewhere in the surrounding area. They emigrated
in various groups to South Africa around the turn of the century.

The GELFER / HELFER family, living in Zidikai (or a village sounding
similar to "Zadik") near Klaipeda in the 1880s and 1890s.

The following individuals married into the SUCHEDOWITZ family, so
family groups with these names that occur near Kretinga and Klaipeda
are of interest too:

Abel KLUGMAN , born in Ratova in 1876.

Ms. Lowe would also be interested in hearing from anyone who has
visited any of these towns in the last 10 years.

If you have any information you would like to contribute please
contact Alex at alex.lowe@walltowall.co.uk

Many thanks,


Susan E. King
JewishGen, Inc.

Shalom Eilat
3 month ago we were in email contact .
A few days ago I recieved the results from the Riga archives. According to it , a few of my ancestors came from Vidzi.

I saw that u have web site at


I 'm searching data about Scherman family from Vidzi or New-Alexandrovsk,

as well as data about Zivian family from Dvinsk.

During the last 5 month I have got the names of about 400 peoples whose surnames is Zivian . Unfortunately , even the archives can't succeeded to find data about our maternal grandfather Moshe Zivian & his father Hirsh Zivian from Dvinsk.

I'm familiar very well with the data of the Yad Vashem web site .

Do u have any other source of info about Scherman family from Vidzi?

Thank in advance

Dr. Zvi Harzion/Isarel

Ziwjan and Scherman families


The records of the archival fond State Statistic Board – the census for 1935 of Rezekne, the birth records of the Jewish community in Dvinsk (before 1893 – Dinaburg, since 1919 – Daugavpils) for 1903, 1905 contain the following information:

Mowscha, son of Hirsch Ziwjan (the birth date is unknown) belonged to the Jewish community in Dvinsk.

His wife Scheina-Dweira, daughter of Hirsch-Leiba, née Scherman was born in 1883 in Dinaburg (now Daugavpils) (this date and place of birth was stated in the census for 1935, unfortunately, the birth records of the Jewish community in Dvinsk for 1880–1886 have not survived). The marriage records of the Jewish community in Dvinsk for 1895–1903 have not survived, therefore we cannot find information on the marriage registration of Mowscha Ziwjan and Scheina-Dweira Scherman. According to the census for 1935 she was a widow, she knew Yiddish.

Their children:

* daughter Hanna Ziwjan, born on July 7 (Julian calendar) of 1903 in Dvinsk (see Appendix No.1), she knew Yiddish and Russian languages.
* son Hirsch Ziwjan, born in 1904 in Dvinsk (unfortunately, the birth records of the Jewish community in Dvinsk for 1904 have not survived), he knew Yiddish, Russian and German languages. His occupation – a watch-maker, according to the census for 1935 Hirsch worked at the watchmaker's shop of Levin in Rezekne at 15. Maija Street. The census for 1941 of Rezekne contains information that a watch-maker Hirsch Ziwjan, born in 1904, was still alive on September 23 of 1941 (during Nazi occupation), when he was registered as living in Rezekne at Tirgus Street 4 with other 22 persons – Jews – handicraftsmen (see Appendix No.2).
* daughter Gnesia Ziwjan, born on November 12 of 1906 in Dvinsk, she knew Yiddish, Russian and German language.
* daughter Gesa Ziwjan, born in 1913 in Rezekne, she knew Yiddish and Russian languages.
* daughter Riva Ziwjan, born in 1914 (unfortunately, we did not manage to find any information about her).

According to the census for 1935 the family of Scheina-Dweira lived in Rezekne at Plekš?u Street 30, apt. 1 (see Appendix No.3), unfortunately, the house register has not survived.

Unfortunately, we did not manage to find any concrete information about Mowscha Ziwjan. There were several families Ziwjan belonging to Dvinsk and we could not establish how they were related to Mowscha Ziwjan. In case we will find any additional information we would inform you immediately.

The lists of the Jewish families belonging to Dvinsk, set up in 1875 (only males are registered in this list) contain many families with the surname „Ziwjan", four of them contain information about Hirsch Ziwjan:

* Hirsch, son of Itzik Ziwjan, aged 58 (so born in ca 1817),
* his sons:
* Mowscha, aged 35 (so born in ca 1840),
* Awsey, aged 34, so born in ca 1841),
* Simon, aged 29 (so born in ca 1866),
* Haim, aged 13 (so born in ca 1862).

* Jankel, son of Hirsch Ziwjan, aged 54 (so born in ca 1821),
* his sons:
* Hirsch, aged 37 (so born in ca 1838),
* Mones, aged 21 (so born in ca 1854).

* Mowscha, son of Nochim Ziwjan, aged 26 (so born in ca 1849),
* his brother Hirsch, son of Nochum Ziwjan, aged 22 (so born in ca 1853).

* Hirsch Ziwjan, aged 37 (so born in ca 1838),
* his son Leiba, aged 3 (so born in ca 1872).

Unfortunately, without any concrete information about Mowscha, son of Hirsch Ziwjan we are complicated to assert who of mentioned Hirsch Ziwjan was Mowscha Ziwjan's father.

We suppose that Scheina-Dweira had at least two brothers:

Vidzi petty bourgeois Michel-Abel, son of Hirsch-Leiba Scherman was born in 1863 in Novo-Alexandrovsk (now Zarasai), Lithuania (this date and place of birth was stated in the census for 1935, according to the 1st All Russian census for 1897 he was 30 years old). His occupation – a tailor.

His wife Rasa (Rascha-Elka), daughter of Mowscha, née Maron, born in ca 1869/1870 in Novo-Alexandrovsk.

They had children:

* daughter Hana-Rochel (Roche) Scherman, born on July 7 of 1894 (Julian calendar) in Dvinsk,
* daughter Mascha Scherman, born on December 24 of 1896 in Dvinsk,
* daughter Scheina Scherman, born on June 11 of 1899 (Julian calendar) in Dvinsk,
* daughter Fogel Scherman, born on August 24 of 1903 (Julian calendar) in Dvinsk,
* daughter Sara Scherman, born on February 7 of 1904 in Dvinsk.

According to the 1st All Russian census for 1897 they lived in Dvinsk at Zhitomirskaya Street 94, apt. 5 (see Appendix No.4). Leiba (Leibe), son of Owschey Maron, aged 21, born in Novo-Alexandrovsk, place of registration – Novo-Alexandrovsk, occupation – a shoemaker, lived together with them.

According to the census for 1935 the family of Michel Scherman lived in Daugavpils at Rezeknes Street 20, apt. 4 (Rascha-Elka was not registered in the census for 1935). During the Second World War they all fled to Uzbekistan.

Vidzi petty bourgeois Wulf, son of Hirsch Scherman and his wife Selda, daughter of Leiba, née Stein (she died before 1929), had children:

* son Lev Scherman, born on November 10 of 1899 (Julian calendar) in Dvinsk. In 1926 Lev Scherman lived in Rezekne at Atbrivosanas aleja 46, previous address –Daugavpils (see his photo for 1926). His occupation – a tailor. Since February till May of 1929 and since March till April of 1930 he was registered as living in Rezekne at 15.Maija Street 61. He was struck off the house register on April 10 of 1930 as moved to Daugavpils.
* twins: son Solomon Scherman, born on August 5 of 1903 (Julian calendar) in Dvinsk,
* daughter Ida-Lea Scherman, born on August 5 of 1903 (Julian calendar) in Dvinsk (see her photo from the Latvian passport for 1926). On September 2 of 1926 in Daugavpils she married to a shoemaker Haim, son of Schlioma-Selik Dunawetzky, born on February 20 of 1902 in Dvinsk (see his photo from the Latvian passport for 1925). They lived in Daugavpils at Zala Street 43a.

They had at least two children:

o daughter Hana Dunawetzky, born on December 1 of 1926 in Daugavpils,
o daughter Selda Dunawetzky, born on August 25 of 1929 in Riga.

Haim Dunawetzky lived in Riga at Katolu Street 2, apt. 18. Since June 13 of 1941 he lived in Riga at Jekaba Street 26/28, apt. 9. Haim was struck off the house register on June 27 of 1941, not stated where.

Since March of 1937 Ida-Lea Dunawetzky, née Scherman and her daughters lived in Riga at Jekaba Street 26/28, apt. 9. Since September 19 of 1941 they were registered as living at Katolu Street 2, apt. 35 (territory of Riga ghetto during Nazi occupation).

* son Isaak (Isak) Scherman, born on July 4 (Julian calendar, July 17 – Gregorian calendar) of 1905 in Dvinsk (see his photos from Nansen passport for 1924, 1929). He was a tailor. On December 7 of 1930 in Riga Isak married to Duscha Ziss, daughter of Jankel Ziss and Pera, née Hanarin, born on April 22 of 1903 in Dvinsk (see her photos from the Latvian passport for 1927, 1930).

They had at least three children:

o daughter Selda Scherman, born on July 20 of 1931 in Riga,
o twins: sons Jacob Scherman, born in 1939 in Riga,
o son Ruben Scherman, born in 1939 in Riga.

Before the Second World War they lived in Riga at Katolu Street 2, apt. 12. There are no information in the house register that they left. During Nazi occupation Katolu Street 2 was a territory of Riga ghetto. According to the Central database of Shoah's Victims Names of Yad Vashem they all were killed in 1941 in Riga.

For the better clearness the composition of the family is prepared also in the form of a genealogical table.

In a case only age of a person for a concrete year is indicated in the documents, his/her date of birth is given in square brackets. All dates are stated according to the Julian calendar. The place of birth (marriage, death) is given only in a case if it is specified in the document. Unfortunately the birth, marriage and death records of the Jewish community in Dvinsk have survived not completely, therefore our table might be not hundred per-cent accurate. In a case we will find any additional information, the table can be corrected and supplemented.

REFERENCE: fond 4359, inventory 2, file 6,

fond 4936, Inventory 1, file 26,

fond 2706, inventory 59, page 378.

fond 2110, inventory 12, file 1114,

fond 1308, inventory 15, file 3488, page 122,

fond 2942, inventory 1, files 5707, 5708, 6661,

fond 2996, inventory 4, files 16036, 16037,

inventory 17, files 12221, 12222, 12161,

fond 1371, inventory 4, file 1802, page 110.

Enclosure: genealogical table – 1 sheet, copies of the documents – 12 sheets.

Director N. Ri?ovs

Head of Department I. Veinberga

Looking for information as I am trying to flesh out my family tree and finally
made a connection back to Latvia. It looks like they were on the Dvinsk list
of 1875. I am decendent of Scholom Jacobs who was married to an Esta Golda.

Janekl Kwasnik Unkown DOB father of
Scholom Kwasnik 1841 approx DOB Scholom immigrated around 1906
with his five of his children. Scholom son Harry Benjamin was my Grand father.
He died in early 1960's.

Arbram Kwasnik 1846 approx DOB
Isorel Kwasnik 1830 approx DOB
Wulff Kwasnik 1850 approx DOB

Sorry don't have much else to go on as we are just starting out. It took a
while to find the original Name Kwasnik, Which was changed to Jacobs when they

Thank you
harry jacobs
yenkin2001 at yahoo

Harry jacobs (yenkin2001@yahoo.com) on Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 15:04:52

Looking for information as I am trying to flesh out my family tree and finally
made a connection back to Latvia. It looks like they were on the Dvinsk list
of 1875. I am decendent of Scholom Jacobs who was married to an Esta Golda.

Janekl Kwasnik Unkown DOB father of
Scholom Kwasnik 1841 approx DOB I now that Scholom immigrated around 1906
with his five of his children. Scholom son Harry Benjamin was my Grand father.
He died in early 1960's.

Arbram Kwasnik 1846 approx DOB
Isorel Kwasnik 1830 approx DOB
Wulff Kwasnik 1850 approx DOB

Sorry don't have much else to go on as we are just starting out. It took a
while to find the original Name Kwasnik, Which was changed to Jacobs when they

Thank you
harry jacobs

 I am a descendentof Kalman (Klonymos) Gever (b.around 1800) of Dvinsk,
I have the documents about his family from the Latvian State Achive.

I am crrently in contact with his descendents Eli Gever in California
who has family photographs from Dvinsk and Naomi Baumslag in

The names Baumslag and Gever appear in the documents you have on the
Shtetl site.

I'm also in touch with a cousin of my grandfathers who has some old
pictures of the family taken soon after their arrival in Manchester in
he 1890s.

Previously I have been in touch with list member named Donna Dinberg
who has a book called "Dvnsk: The Rise and Fall of a Town" which I am
sure will contain more useful information for you about the town.

I will be happy to provie you with images of the documents I have if
you would like to include them in your site and I can put you in
contact with Eli and Naomi and my grandfather cousin Anet if you do
not know them already.
I look forward to hearing back from you.

Ben Forman
Manchester UK

searching: BERNSTEIN/WEINER: Ylakai, CAHN/WOLF: Koeln; FURMAN: Kaluszyn;
GEVER: Daugavpils/Dvinsk, Latvia; SAWADY: Zavadi,Posen; STILLMAN:
Pilica/Czestechowa; Zeyder/Zeidler: Kursan, Lithuania

-- My Latvian ancestors changed their name from GEVER to SILVERMAN sometime
before arriving in England in the 1890's.
On the Latvia SIG we hypothesised that this could have been because a
member of the Dvinsk Gever family accidentally blew himself up after a
meeting of an anti-"black hundreds" group, as described in a book Donna
Dinberg has.
A family of 3 Gevers (Solomon, his son and sons wife) came to England,
but were SILVERMANs on the documents we have here, the maiden name of
the sons wife was SILVER, according to documents, so perhaps that is why
they chose Silverman as a name, as it seems to bare no resemblance to
the name GEVER.

 Subject: Searching families of ZIWJAN and SCHERMAN
From: "Zvi Harzion" <zvyh@bezeqint.net>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 20:55:14 +0200
X-Message-Number: 2

Dear all,

I am new to this SIG and would like your assistance with looking
for any information regarding the family of ZIWJAN (various
spelling are possible: ZIWJAN, CHIVIAN ,TZIWJAN ,ZIVIN,
CIVJAN,TSIVIAN , etc.) from Dvinsk ( also called Dinaburg
and Daugavpils) and Rezekne or any other place in Latvia.

My great grandfather Hirsh ZIWJAN lived in Dvinsk.
His son (our grandfather) Moshe ZIWJAN was born maybe sometimes
between 1860-1883 ,lived at Dvinsk and then letter at Rezekne
and died between 1920 and 1934. My grandfather Moshe ZIWJAN
married Sheina-Dweira SCHERMAN (born 1883 in Dinaburg).

They had few children:
Hana (b.1903 in Dvinsk),
Hirsch (born 1904 in Dvinsk) was watchmaker in Rezekne ,
Gensia or Genia (born November 12 1906 in Dvinsk) ,
Gesa (b. 1913 in Rezekne)
Riva-Rebecca ,our mother (b. 1914 in Rezekne) .

Our mother immigrate to Israel around 1934 and lost contact
with her family due to the holocaust. All our mother's sibling
lived at Rezekne 1941. I can't rule out any connection of our
ZIWJAN clan to places such as Griva ,Krustpils, Viski, Preili
,Riga, Glazmanka (Gustini) ,Kraslava, Ventspils ,and Bauska.
There are few families with this surname who lived at Lithuania,
Estonia and Belarus. For part of them we found direct
connection to their ancestors from Latvia.

One of the assumptions we are trying to verify is whether
Moshe Ziwjan's is actually Moshe Fiatel-Haim ( b. 1867).
Moshe Fiatel, Perez ZIWJAN (b. 1865 ) , and Hona
ZIWJAN (b. 1863 ) are siblings. All grandsons of Simon
ZIWJAN (b.1821)and all born in Dvinsk.
The only information about them, coming from a testimony
given to YadVashemis related with Zila Kodisch nee ZIVIAN
(b. 1881/2) which might be the daughter of Hona Ziwjan .

Another assumption we are trying to verify is whether Motel
ZIWJAN (son of Hirsch) was Moshe Ziwjan's brother.
Motel ZIWJAN was born around 1875 and lived in Ventpils.

Researching: ZIWJAN from any place in Latvia especially
from Dvinsk ,and also Belarus and Lithuania .
SCHERMAN from Dvinsk, Zarasi, Vidzi and Novo-Aalexsandrovsk.
Also researching MARON and STEIN.

Any information will be highly appreciated
Dr. Zvi Harzion / Israel

 Thanks to the amazing work of Christine Usdin and her remarkable
translations of the Dvinsk Birth Records I have been able to connect to a
hitherto unknown branch of my family.

This particular branch of the LOTZOV family moved from Ludza to Dvinsk in
the 1890s. Dvorka LOTZOV married Itzik Mendel TRAININ. They had three known
children: Sora Faiga, David and Hirsch. According to all the evidence this
whole branch, as well as all of their cousins, were wiped out in the
Holocaust. However, Sora Faiga married Sam CHITRIN and left before the

Christine's translations allowed me to reconstruct this branch of the family
and I'm now in contact with Sora Faiga's family in Canada.

Many thanks again,

Paul Cheifitz
Cape Town


My father's sister, Sora Schaya - born in Dvinsk about 1873, married Hirsh
Joffe, son of Gershon Joffe, from Kupiszki, Lithuania. They had at least two
children, Gershon Joffe, b. 1899 in Dvinsk and Lia Joffe, b. 1905 in Dvinsk.

They all lived in Dvinsk, but I don't know if and when they left or where
they went. The only piece of information I have is that a relative in
Baltimore received a post card from China in 1948 from Sora. This is a
verbal hand-me-down story so I have no idea whether it is true or not. I
know that many Jews went to Shanghai to escape the Holocaust and perhaps
Sora and family did go there. Any information or suggestions would be
greatly appreciated.

Barry Shay

The family Gordin (Gordon?) came from a village Krizy (near Dvinsk,
Latvia). Leizer Gordin (z.l) was my great-grandfather, Michael
Gordin(z.l) - my grandmother, Zelda Gordin (z.l) - my mother and I -
Reuven Slutskin - was born in Daugavpils in 1934.
Brother of Michael Gordin and his kids emigrate in USA, and my mother
corresponded with them. However all the connections and addresses are
lost now.
Please help me to renew the connections with my relatives in USA. I
live in Modiin, Israel.
Many thanks! Reuven Slutskin rs1rls2@gmail.com

From: rk carl <rkcarl@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 6:16 AM
Subject: searching Budovnitsh

I am searching the surname BUDOVNITSH, also spelled BUDOVNITZ and BENDOVITCH. I have been able to trace my great-grandmother back to Dvinsk (Daugavpils), Latvia. I found your web page (http://www.eilatgordinlevitan.com/kurenets/k_pages/budovnitz.html) about your BUDOVNITZ family from Druysk, which is only 30 miles from Dvinsk.

My great-grandmother, Anna (Khaika) BUDOVNITSH married my great-grandfather Solomon (Schlema) KATSHER in Dvinsk in 1904. They immediately set off for London and then the United States. They settled in St. Louis, Missouri and Anna died in childbirth in 1911.

Anna had several younger siblings who lived in London: Zipporah, Rebecca and Lou. Their father's name (my great-great grandfather) was called Zalman.

I have found a couple of other BUDOVNITZ family members in St. Louis but have not been able to establish exactly how, or if, we are related.

I'm hoping that we might be able to figure out a connection.

Renee Carl
Washington DC

The 1897 Dvinsk(Daugavpils) All Russian Census is complete
and is now searchable online in the JewishGen Latvia Database:
< http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Latvia >.

The database consists of over 18,000 names, and is a real treasure-trove
because the 1897 All Russian Census contains the place of origin among
its many data fields. Dvinsk, in Vitebsk Gubernia, was near the borders
with Lithuania and Courland, and so even if you do not think that your
ancestors came from there, it will be well worth a search.

This data completes the 1897 Census database which we began in 2002 with
data for Vitebsk Gubernia: Rezekne (Rezhitsa) and Krustpils (Kreuzberg).
In 2003 we added data from Riga, and in 2005 we added data for five
Courland Gubernia towns: Talsi (Talsen), Jaunjelgava (Friedrichstadt),
Jekabpils (Jakobstadt), Valdemarpils (Sassmacken), and Tukums (Tukum).

Complete details about this database can be found at:
< http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Latvia/AllRussia.htm >.

We are very grateful to the archivists Rita Bogdanova and Lena Polovceva
for all the hard work they put in so that we could have this database.
Our thanks go to the JewishGen webmasters Warren Blatt, Michael Tobias,
and Stephen Weinstein, who have made the resource available online.

Arlene Beare, UK
Database Coordinator for Latvia SIG

From: Laurence Raine <lmraine@gmail.com>
Oct 30, 2012

My Grandfather, Joseph Raine - was born Joseph Rein - born in Dvinsk
emigrated to UK and USA in 1906/7. There are some Rein's in the
website - though I can not find his parents - Morris Rein and Rose
Esther Portnoy from Dvinsk. Does anyone have any information on the
Reins/ Portnoys of Dvinsk? Thank you. Laurence Raine

I was so happy to find your site. I have been trying to research the
Meltzer family from Dvinsk as we will be visiting Latvia next summer.
I had researched in 1996 for a family reunion but couldn't get past my
paternal grandparents.

My grandfather was Kadish Meltzer who married Basha Minna Stork(?)
from Courland. They had six surviving children, five sons and one
daughter. My father Albert Samuel, Avrum Tshimon, was born around
1896. They all immigrated at various times around 1910-1915. Some to
New York and some to Rochester N.Y. and some to Cleveland Oh.

If you could help me by telling me how to research or have any
information, I would be deeply appreciative. We are taking grandson
#4 (we have 6) on his Bar Mitzvah journey and it would be wonderful to
share some history with him and the other 5 grandsons!

Carole Meltzer Rock

Rein in Dvinsk

From: Laurence Raine <lmraine@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 2:44 PM

My Grandfather, Joseph Raine - was born Joseph Rein - born in Dvinsk
emigrated to UK and USA in 1906/7. There are some Rein's in the
website - though I can not find his parents - Morris Rein and Rose
Esther Portnoy from Dvinsk. Does anyone have any information on the
Reins/ Portnoys of Dvinsk? Thank you. Laurence Raine

On Mon, Jan 14, 2013 , elliottmalkin@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear Eilat,

I was wondering if you know anything about the Malkin family from
Birzai. The family lived in Liozno and also has links to Dvinsk. I've
written more about them on my site and would love to hear your

Thanks for your website. You have great material.

> Best, Elliott Malkin

-Berko GORDON resided in Vidzi in the 1860s, and at least two of his
sons were born there: Abram Josel, and Morduch.
In the 1870s the family resided in Daugavpils (Dvinsk).
Khatzkel GORDON was born in Daugavpils, 1878. He married Miriam
Gurevitch from Dusetos, and they resided in Kraziai. There, they had
three daughters, born between 1909-1918:
* Chana, who married Jakob MAGIDZON
* Chaia Raiza, who married Benjamin KROM, and
* Riva.

Any information about the descendants of the above will be
greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Orit Lavi
Tsukey Yam, Israel

I am looking for information on the my grandfather’s family whose surname was Osipowicz. He had told the family that he was Russian in citizenship but polish in ancestry. I found a person who came over in 1905 and was named Jewel Osipowicz and listed his birthplace as Dvinsk. He also listed his age as 20 on the ship manifest but according to the family he was much younger when he came over by himself. Maybe he lied about his age. According to the family he was either 13  or 14. If he was 13 or 14 and he arrived in the United States in 1905, that would make his birthdate around 1891 or 1892. He listed his father name as Joannes Osipowicz and his mother as Amilia Cwierka. He traveled to the United States by himself and left his parents and several sisters back in Russia.
Can you help me with your database on any of this information?

Jean Calligan
What a wonderful website – I will explore it further and enjoy the rich vista into the past that you have provided.  I have a question for you that might help me in upcoming travel to Dvinsk.
From relatives, I obtained a couple of street names from past generations but can’t find them on a current map – as they are Russian, I thought/hoped they might still exist under other names.  I then saw one of your photos with the following caption:  “Speaking in Russian through our guide Simon, this lady, who heads the JCC, gave me current locations of streets. The archives listed addresses with streets from Czarist times.”  Is there a way for me to find out the current street names/locations for old addresses in Dvinsk? 
Any other advice re going to Dvinsk? I am just beginning my history search….
Thanks very much,
Paula Trossman

The following two YIVO links elaborate on Lynn Saul's helpful reply to
Judith Larsen, who is new to the list.  Lynn goes to the heart of the
matter in giving historical background:  "Suwalki Gubernia was a region
populated by Litvaks--"Lithuanian Jews." Lithuania as a country was not
recognized during most of the 18th and 19th centuries. Poland and Russia
controlled the area..."

The terms "Lithuania" and Litvak" may lead to befuddlement if considered
separately from the history that is essential to their definition with
respect to Jewish genealogy.


Take a look at this chronological set of maps in YIVO's digital history
of Jewish Life in Poland:   http://polishjews.yivoarchives.org/maps

You'll immediately see how many ways this question might be answered
on the period that you are researching.


YIVO's answer (caps mine): Yiddish term for a Jew of HISTORICAL, or
"GREATER," Lithuania. http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Litvak

All the material that follows is from this article, with spacing added for

The Litvaks' territory of origin is significantly larger than the borders
of both the independent Lithuanian Republic of the interwar period
(1918-1940)--which did not include the center of Litvak culture, Vilna
(Vilnius)--and the contemporary state of Lithuania.

From a Jewish historical and cultural perspective, Lite (Yiddish for
Lithuania; Heb., Lita) includes large swaths of

northeastern POLAND (notably the Bialystok and Suwalki regions);

northern and western BELARUS (notably the Grodno [Hrodna], Minsk, Slutsk,
Pinsk, Brisk [Brest Litovsk], Shklov, Mogilev [Mohilev], Gomel [Homel'],
and Vitebsk [Vitsyebsk] regions);

southern LATVIA (notably the Dvinsk [Daugavpils] region);

northeastern PRUSSIA (notably the region of the Baltic port city Memel

This expansive definition of Lithuania in Jewish historiography and
culture corresponds roughly to the large territory under the jurisdiction
of the Lithuanian Jewish Council (Va'ad Medinot Lita), which governed
Lithuanian Jewish communal affairs fro 1623 to 1764.

Sonia Kovitz
Visit our home page at http://www.litvaksig.org

Litvaks Dvinsk Census 1897

Litvaks found in the Dvinsk (Latvia) 1897 Census

The Latvian State Historical Archives has digitized many of its records in its “Project Raduratski”, with the aim of providing on-line access to archival documents which can be used for family history research.

The late Christine Usdin was engaged in a massive personal project to translate these documents and extract from them Jewish names, and had agreed that the LitvakSIG might extract from her translations those entries pertaining to persons with connections to towns within the borders of present-day Lithuania.

The present extract is from her translation of the 1897 All-Russian Census pertaining to the city of Daugavpils (Dvinsk), and contains over 15,000 names.

The list will be of particular interest to members of the Zarasai DRG, as most of the names extracted had links to Lithuanian towns that were in the northern districts of Kaunas guberniya closest to the border, and of these, most were in Zarasai district: (Zarasai, Antaliepte, Dusetos, Kamajai, Obelai, Pandelis, Rokiskis, and Salakas and Vidziai).  There were also many names with links to towns in Ukmerge district (Ukmerge, Kupiskis and Utena), but many other districts were also represented.

An enormous thanks goes to Sam Aaron who extracted these records for LitvakSIG.  His efforts are greatly appreciated.  The introduction that Sam provided can be found on the first worksheet of the spreadsheet.  The second worksheet contains the actual data from the records.

My name is Solomon Diner, I live in Sydney Australia and I will be visiting DVINSK in May 2015 to explore my family background. I would appreciate any information to help my investigation into my family tree and who can guide us around Riga and DVINSK  during our visit.
With many thanks
Sol Diner
From: Susan Schonfeld <sxschon@icloud.com>
Date: Wed, Sep 26, 2018 at 4:50 PM
 Hillel Gurevich of Dvinsk
Any information on my great grandfather from Dvinsk He was married to Rachel

Slifkin, Slivkin

1910. L to R - Pesa Riva Slivkin, age 10 (my grandmother) . Doba Sheva Slivkin. Shabsa (not sure on actual name) Slivkin, age 20. Israel Leib Slivkin. and Tamara Slivkin age 7-8. I know Tamara and son were killed in the ghetto, but had no info on the brother.

Apparently all Slivkins in Latvia were related. There were 3 brother in 17** Abraham, Morduch and Monash (?). I am from the Morduch line. I have been in contact with others from the Abraham line and they have a family tree of both the Abraham line and the Morduch line.


Jill Workman 
Tamara Foss nee Slivkin was born in Dvinsk, Latvia in 1902. She was a housewife and married. Prior to WWII she lived in Riga, Latvia. During the war she was in Riga, Latvia.

This information is based on a List of Jewish residents, found in List of names of Jewish residents of Latvia, the result of research by the Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Latvia under the supervision of Prof. Ruvin Ferber and with the cooperation of the Latvia State Historical Archives, 2002. This information is based on a List of residents, found in Resident registration book, including the names of Jews, 62 ?ertr?des Street in Riga, 1927 - 1944.
Slomo Slipkin Slifkin was born in Riga, Latvia in 1908 to Yitzkhak and Doba. He was married to Rakhel. Prior to WWII he lived in Riga, Latvia. 

Slomo was murdered in the Shoah.

This information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed here) submitted by his relative, A Kabalkin

Slifkin, Slivkin

Shlomo and Rachel Slifkin/ Slivkin