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Ariogala, Lithuania
55
º 16' N, 23º 28'E'
אײראַגאָלע

Alternate names: Ariogala [Lithuanian], Eragala [Yiddish], Ragala [Yiddish], Ejragoła [Polish], Eiragola [Russian], Hoyragola [18th century Grand Duchy of Lithuania], Ėĭragola, Ariogalos, Arëgala, Airiogala, Iragola, Ragola, Ragole

Recreating Ariogala, an Eastern European Shtetl

The Ariogala Research Group has ¡re-created¡ and brought to life their ancestral shtetl, by sharing family information and pooling resources to obtain complete records for the town of Ariogala, Lithuania. They have reconstructed the lives of their families and gained insight into the workings of Jewish communal life in the shtetl over 250 years, from the Grand Duchy period (18th century), through the Russian Empire period (1795 C 1918), the period of Lithuanian independence between World War I and World War II, to the Holocaust.

Samples of Documents and Photographs gathered by the Ariogala Shtetl Research Group

 


This presentation will begin with a description of archival documents, many of which are similar to those you will be able to find for your own town in Eastern Europe, particularly in areas that were part of the Russian Empire. Records that include all the residents of the town were used to uncover the relationships between families and to follow them to other towns.

 
Correspondence files found in Lithuanian archives show how the Jewish community leaders interacted with the government bureaucracy to provide religious, educational and welfare services for Jewish families.

Newspaper articles, personal memoirs of shtetl life in the early 20th century, and family photographs help to paint a picture of Jewish life preceding the Holocaust.


 

Finally, personal visits provided a sense of the place, and led to new information. They photographed the town, determined which buildings pre-dated the war, cataloged the remnants of the Jewish cemetery. They met elderly residents who shared memories of the Jews who once lived in the shtetl, and meet with the local secondary school children who now want to know about the Jewish families that once made up over half of the population of their town.

Multiple Resources to Give Your shtetl virtual life!

 

Architectural drawings of temple addition

A wide variety of records will be described, including:

Official censuses (revision lists and family lists)
Tax, voter and military/conscription lists
Applications for internal passports and to become farmers
Jewish community correspondence with government agencies
Bank and inheritance records
Landsmanshaftn (burial society) cemetery plots
Pages of Testimony for victims of the Holocaust
Architectural drawings of Jewish sites
Street maps with matching real estate lists showing where our families lived
Yiddish newspaper articles as evidence of plots and pogroms against the Jews
Photographs from the past and present
Letters, interviews, and personal memoirs
Remains of the synagogue such as the Oil Lamp from the Ner Tamid that hung above the Holy Ark

 

Lamp from synagogue Ner Tamid


This is an interactive project; new researchers join and contribute on an ongoing basis.

Sources include archives and museums, YIVO in New York, Yad Vashem, NARA (National Archives), the Library of Congress, and survivors, descendants and current residents of the town. And conclude with the tragic documentation of the mass murder of Lithuanian Jewry by the SS Einsatzgruppen ¡Action Groups.¡

 

BLOOD LIBEL IN ARIOGALA  

Jew hits his daughter and Pavasarininkas accuse him in death of Christian child C police do a house search C shtetl lives in fear

 

Maps, Cemetery Headstones, and Jews in 1931 Phone Book

Sonia and David Hoffman

In the Summer of 1999, David and Sonia Hoffman visited Ariogala, Lithuania, David's Friedland Family's ancestral shtetl. Ariogala is one of the oldest towns in Lithuania, and our research has established that the Friedlands lived there for at least 250 years. There are about 50 members of the Ariogala shtetl research group. At the time that most of our ancestors left Ariogala, at the end of the 19th century, Jews made up a majority of the population of the town.

Ariogala 1869 property owners map
[Click on Map to Enlarge]

Additional Maps

With the assistance of Vitalija Gircyte, Chief Archivist of the Kaunas Regional Archives, Regina Kopelevitch of Vilnius and her driver/assistant who provided a lot of the physical labor, we made our way across the decrepit wooden plank bridge suspended across a small tributary to the Dubysa River. In the month of June the grass and weeds were already at shoulder height and it took us awhile to find the old cemetery.

Holocaust Sites in and near Ariogala

This site is in the process of development; numerous photos of headstones will be added soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo #

Surname

Given Name

Father

Hebrew Date

Year

Photo Link

1

 

Simcha

Moshe

 

1907

 

2

AMULSKY

Rivka Vechna

Abraham

25 Adar

1903

 

3

RITOVSKY

Josef

Abraham/Abba

 

1903

 

4

Sarcophagus for #3

 

 

 

 

 

5

SISITSKY

Shlomo

Eli Melech

20 Elul

1928

 

6

 

Leah Elka

Abraham Aron

1 Pesach

1931

 

7

ZIV

Yaacov

Chaim

27 Shvat

1922

 

8

MARKOVICH

Nechami

Abraham/Abba

9 Adar

1935

 

9

 

Batya

Moshe David

14 Tevet

1919

 

10

ZIV

Itsak Dov

Israel Mordecai

16 Adar

1915

 

11

STERN

Pesach

Abraham

11 Elul

1914

 

12

WEINTRAUB

Yakov

Dov

2 Kislev

1882

 

13

WEINTRAUB

Dov Itsik

Yakov

4 Shvat

1926

 

14

CHUDOVICH

Zelik

Moshe

 

1930

 

15

 

Gitel

Itsak

 

1884

 

16 

 

Cesna

Moshe

 

1883

 

17

 

David

 

 

 

 

18

 

Gitel

Shmuel

 

1887

 

19

¡saint-martyr¡

Moshe Yakov

Israel Itsik

 

1888

 

20

 

Zelda Mera

Moshe

 

1910

 

21

fragment

 

 

 

 

 

22

RUMBERG/KRONBERG?

Rachel Leah

Itsak Shmuel

17 Av

1907

 

23

 

Yakov

Avigdor

6 Sivan

1909

 

24

 

Sara Rivka

Chaim

25 __

1872

 

25

 

Miriam

Chaim

 

1870

 

26

BEKER

Rivka Leah

Itsak Menachem

10 Adar

1925

 

27

ZELDIS-PEBOVSKY(From Virbalis, Suwalki)

Bluma

Shlomo

Pesach

1938

 

28

SHIKOVICH

Simcha

Yehuda Leib

20 Adar

1930

 

29

¡a woman¡

 

 

16 Tevet

1937

 

30

 

Miriam & Arieh

Yehoshua

27 Elul

1866

 

31

 

Yakov

Meier

 

1870

 

32

 

Pesa

Eli

Shvat

1905

 

32

 

Eli Melech

Menachem

Tevet

1868

 

33

 

Yehoshua

Zeyev/Wulf

Shvat

1877

 

34

 

Zayev/Wulf

Yosef

Shvat

1878

 

35

 

David

Mordecai

Sivan

1876

 

36

 

Dyna

Nochem

Tishrei

1840

 

37

 

Yosef

Aron

Nisan

1879

 

38

 

Chaya

Kalman

 

1872

 

39

 

Yechial Mikel

Abraham

8 Cheshvan

1903

 

40

GOTZNER

Misha Slomo

Slomo

 

1884

 

41

 

Yakov Erachmial

Itsak

 

1889

 

42

 

Menachem Mendel

Abraham

 

1887

 

43

 

Vichna

Sholem

3 Adar

1880?

 

44

 

Zvi Eleazer

 

 

 

 

45

 

Naftali

Itsak

 

1892

 

46

 

Chana Rachel

Chaim

 

1892

 

47

 

Leah Malka

Nison

Adar

1894

 

48

 

Miriam

Chaim David

Kislev

1882?

 

49

 

David

Eliachun/Wulf

 

1896

 

50

 

Yehuda Leib

Menachem

 

1832

 

  

1931 Lithuanian Telephone Directory

This is the section of the 1931 telephone book for Ariogala, in Lithuanian (the Jewish names would have Lithuanian suffexes but are still recognizable.) Note that this was in the Keidaniai telephone area code, and that these other towns were included too (but are not listed here.) For those of you whose families are listed, the addresses are valuable. If the same houses do not exist today, it would have been because they were bombed during the war, but were most likely rebuilt on the same site since the same families owned the same land. 

Our thanks to Linda Cantor, of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island, who donated the 1930 Lithuanian Telephone Book.

Re: 1930 Ariogala telephone numbers:
Kedainiu apskr.
Pt. alv. mok. kvd. 31-36
Betygala Pernarava
Girkalnis Vilkija

Abramavicus, Kive, Vytauto g-ve 31 13
Bekeris, Chone, Vytauto gatve 43 3
Bendzlus, Kazys, Vytauto gatve 84 20
Daugirdas, Mykolas, Plemborgo dvaras 19
Eisbergaite, Brone, d-ras, Vytauto g-ve 49 24
Gilvicius, Josel s, Vytauto gatve 44 23
Juskevicius, Domas, vandens maluno savininkas. Plemborgo malunas 17
Kaganavicius, Michelis, odu ir avalynes prekyba, Turgavietes aikste 3 10
Kaganavicius, Mausa, zaliu odu prekyba, Vytauto g-ve 55 14
Kopelianskis, Chackeils,Vytauto g-ve 51 12
Kuselevskis, Alzikas, Aekliu g-ve 14 8
Kuselevskis, Tanclielis, Vytauto g-ve 76 5
Kuselevskis, Leiba, Vytauto g-ve 63 21
Kuselevskis, Mendelis, Vytauto g-ve 41 11
Kvantai, broliai, vandens malunas ir elektros stotis, Dubysos g-ve 39 18
Milneris, Chone, limonado dirbtuve, Turgavietes aikste 2 15
Morkus, Juozas, ukininkas, Cekavos dvaras 16
Policijos IV nuovados virsininko kabinetas,Vytauto g-ve 82 2
Simanavicius, Antanas,kunigas-klebonas, Vytauto g-ve 98 9
Telegrafas 7
Valsciaus valdyba, Vytauto g-ve 40 4
Viesas telefonas pasikalbejimams, Pasto istaiga 1
Zivas, Hirsas, sydu smulkaus kredito banko vedejas, Vytauto g-ve 45 22
Zydu smulkaus kredito bankas,Vytauto g-ve 34 6

Harvey Kaplan's Ariogala Descendants in Scotland

Richard Lutz's family

Judy Miller's Family in 1921: "Bubbe's 25th Wedding Anniversary"

If your ancestors came from Ariogala, or lived there for some period of time, you are invited to join our active Ariogala Shtetl Research Group. Few vital records for Ariogala have survived, but many vital events for it's citizens are recorded in nearby towns. For instance, the Keidan marriage records show a large number of the families of the bride or groom came from Ariogala. In many cases the wedding took place in the nearby town, but the new young family moved back to live in Ariogalawith one set of parents or the other.

Begin by searching the All Lithuania Database on the www.jewishgen.org/litvak website; remember that even these hundreds of thousands of records barely scratch the surface of what lies in the many archives, libraries and museums. Be sure to list yourself in JewishGen's Family Finder, and write to everyone else who is listed with connections to the town. In this case and for other towns, a great deal of research has already been accomplished and by joining with these groups you can learn a lot and share your own research with the group yourself.

Please contact David Hoffman for more information.  You may also be interested in reading about using various Ariogala documents to follow David Hoffman's Friedland Family of Ariogala, Lithuania back to the 18th century records of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

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