Monday, September 1, 2014

Please Excuse Me from My Court Date--It is my Sabbath

I recently received an email from a man named Andrew who lives in Kiev.  He has been researching his family from villages surrounding Nezhin, in the same area as my Lefand, Tolchinsky, and Halperin families lived.  He had seen a document that I had posted about a branch of the Lefand family which lived in the village of Drozdovka near Nezhin, which is also Andrew's ancestral village.  He had a document relating to this family that he had found in his research:
Nezhin Court Document, 1869

This document was from court proceedings, and it was a document signed by Itska (son of Meir) Lefand in 1869.  Itska was notifying the court that he could not attend on the case's scheduled date, since it was a Saturday, as it was his Sabbath.

I'm not positive how Itska is related.  It is likely that all of the Lefands in/around Nezhin are related--the same first names are repeated over and over, and Lefand is an uncommon Jewish name, but I haven't yet found documents far enough back to confirm or deny my hypothesis.

My great-great-great grandfather was Yehoshua Zev Lefand, son of Berel Lefand.  Berel's father was (likely) Meir.  This may have been the Meir who was the father of this Itsko, but I cannot (yet) be sure.  If so, this Itzko would be my 4th great grand uncle.  But regardless, this is a very cool document!

Full translation, thanks to William F Hoffman:
Received 2 April 1869 and addressed "To the Nezhin Conference of the Peace" [kind of like the court of a justice of the peace, but I think this is an appeal level.] 
The Nezhin Conference of the Peace summoned me [to appear] on the 12th of this month of April for hearing of the complaint against me of the Cossack Roman Pylypenko [some words, probably denoting his rank, I can't quite make out yet]. Since April 12 falls on a Saturday, I cannot appear for the hearing because of my religion, and for that reason I request the Nezhin Conference of Peace to designate another day. Nezhin townsman Itska Lefand." 


  1. I don't suppose there is a document from the court saying "OK, we'll set a new date."