Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ber Tolchinsky Through Russian Empire Documents

Ber Tolchinsky was a younger half brother of my great-great grandfather, Hillel Tolchinsky.  Although to my knowledge Ber never left the Russian Empire, via a multitude of documents, I've been able to trace much of his life.
Ber Tolchinsky Birth, 1873

Ber Tolchinsky was born to Shimon son of Hersh Tolchinsky and Freida daughter of Meir Mechansky on February 22, 1873 in Nezhin, Russian Empire (now Ukraine).

In 1882, the Tolchinsky family was enumerated twice.
Tolchinsky Family--1882 Revision List, Take 1
Tolchinsky Family--1882 Revision List, Take2
Both times the family was enumerated in 1882, Berko Tolchinsky was listed as being a 9-year-old boy living with his parents and four siblings (including my 16-year-old great-great grandfather).
Page from 1899 Court Case, Nezhin
In 1899, Ber was involved in a legal dispute in which some Cossaks took two silver samovars from the family.  (Read about the details here.)  As the only literate complainant in the case, Ber wrote his version of what had transpired and signed it, as seen in the above image.
Marriage of Ber & Feiga Slonimski
In 1906, Ber married Feiga (daughter of David) Slonimski.  This year's records are unusual in that they were recorded in Russian only (rather than both Russian and Hebrew).
Birth of Sara & Blima Tolchinsky
On March 29, 1909, Ber & Feiga had twin girls, Sara and Blima.  Shortly thereafter the family was enumerated in a 1910 census.
Tolchinsky Family; 1910 Census; Nezhin, Russian Empire
Berko son of Simon Tolchin was listed as being 35 in this 1910 census; his wife was listed as being 25.  Interestingly, their two daughters Sara and Blima (the twins listed above) are given slightly different ages--Sara is said to be 2 years old, while Blima is 1 1/2.  Berko is said to be registered in Lubin (today's Lubny), and he has resided in Nezhin for 35 years (which makes sense as he was born there).  He owned real estate, and his profession was that of an unskilled laborer.
Birth of Shimon Tolchinsky; 1910; Nezhin, Russian Empire
Soon after that census was taken, Ber and Feiga had a son Shimon in August 1910 followed by a son Dovid in 1912.
Birth of Dovid Tolchinsky; 1912; Nezhin, Russian Empire
And then they disappear.

There are notations on some of the birth records (those of Ber, Sara & Blima, and David) saying that they all applied for birth certificates in 1922.  So perhaps they were looking to leave Russia at that time.  I've found no record of them coming to America, but maybe they went somewhere else in the world.  Or perhaps they were in Nezhin through WWII.

If anyone recognizes these names, please let me know!

Note:  I'm on Twitter.  Feel free to follow me (@larasgenealogy).

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