Sunday, November 17, 2019

Definitely Something to Speak Of/Shpikov--An Incredible 20th Century Document

I've found lots of Russian Empire documents on my Zubkis family.  I'd even found (thank you, Alex Krakovsky and his awesome wiki filled with Ukrainian documents) a 1903 family list from Kuna that updated what had happened in the extended family since the 1858 revision--at least as far as the Kuna administrators knew, since my family had left Kuna at least 30 years earlier.  But because they didn't know what had been happening in the family, some information was incorrect or dated.

But this new record, which seems to be a similar sort of early 20th century update to what had happened to the family since 1858, is awesome, since my family was actually living in the town in which the document was created, when it was created.
Shpikov 1902 Family List, Zubkis Family (Page 1)

This 1902 Shpikov family list takes what had been recorded on Kuna's 1858 revision list (census) and updates things that had changed between 1858 and 1902 (although it seems that there are notations here through 1905).  Children who had been born since 1858 are listed along with their birthdates.  What especially interesting is that one child, Yankel, was born born and died in between the lists but is still listed.

The left side of the record, pictured above, lists the males in the family.  Shaul Ber's two sons, Shaya and Yos, are living in the same household with their respective families.  Shaya (my great-great grandfather), seems to be the new head of household now that Shaul Ber passed away.

Shaul Ber is listed with 3 sons (one son, Yankel, is listed twice).  The oldest is listed as Yankel-Leib; however, I believe this is Aryeh-Leib (later Louis Supkoff), aged 19.  Louis was the first of the siblings to emigrate to America--and now I think I know why he went.  The note next to his name (thanks to the Genealogical Translations Facebook group) says that he will be enrolled into military service in July 1904.  But he ended up in Pittsburgh in January 1905, so apparently the Russian army was not for him!

Zelman (later Saul Supkoff)'s birthdate is given.  And then there's Yankel.  Yankel is listed as being 15 in 1902--except there's a notation saying that he died in 1889.  He died when he was about 2 years old but is still listed here.

Yos is listed with his four sons.  I knew the names of the oldest three and had been told that there was another son--and now we know that he was Shmil, born 1904.  His three sons who came to America took the surname Supcoff.

But even cooler than the male relatives (for me, at least) is the page with the females in the family:
Shpikov 1902 Family List, Zubkis Family (Page 2)
My great grandmother Malka left quite a paper trail in America.  But while I've found mention of her parents and siblings in Russian Empire documents, my great grandmother didn't appear until her ship manifest when she was coming to America--until now.  Malka Zubkis is enumerated here as a 10-year-old girl, along with her step-grandmother, mother, 3 sisters, aunts and female cousins.

And speaking of those female cousins, I knew they existed, but I only knew one of their names--and only her Russian name.  Here I find that Tanya's Yiddish name was Toiba, and she had a sister Rivka.  Both were killed in the Holocaust.

If you have ancestry from Ukraine, you must check Alex's wiki page (Google Chrome will automatically translate it, if you can't read Ukrainian), and check it often for new uploads!

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  1. According to my memories from childhood, my grandfather, Louis Supkoff's, emigration story was that he was chased by a bear, hid in a wagon under hay, and had to swim across a river. I did not fact check, but I'm pretty sure the bear was the Russian military. This is one of those things I wish I had asked when I was older. (The river part must be true. My grandmother was also from Shpikov. Her brother - accompanied by their Grand father - avoided the draft around 1904 by swimming, as told to his children.)

  2. Hi! What amazing work you've done.. I'm trying to figure out my own personal history as well. I have an aunt who lives in Shpykiv and am trying to figure out how to find her.. I live in Canada while my birth family lives in Ukraine (and some relatives in Poland, Kurdistan and Russia). Her last name is Torishnya.