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Colonists of Novopoltavka, Kherson Gubernia, Ukraine (Russian Empire)

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  • Moises Aron (Movsha) Blejer, Twin (1851 - d.)
    Also: 1858 Novopoltavka, Kherson, Russian Empire Revision List Movsha, son of Girsh Blekher, age 7, twin to Shmuel We know that Moshe Aron Blecher who immigrated to Basovilbaso was born in 18...
  • Ben Zion Zeev (Wolf) Bleger (1867 - d.)
    Mario Blejer and I were unable to find out what became of Wolf Blejer and his family. Did they return to the Ukraine? Did they emigrate to the United States? Unless they were all wiped out by an epidem...
  • Chaim Alter Blecher (1854 - 1935)
    Great new article in Wikipedia about Moisés Ville and the early Jewish settlers of Argentina, sent by Baron Hirsch, including a reference to our ancestors!! And in 1905 a group from Kherson Governo...
  • Gejman Jossel Natonson (1821 - d.)
    One of the heads of household in the 1843 Novopoltavka signatory list. "Yosel Natanson". His brother, Mozes, was also listed as a head of household. The other two brothers were younger and would have b...
  • Saúl Litmanovich (1871 - 1959)

Brief History of Novopoltavka

Update October 2013: We know now for certain that the 1840 colonists came from Latvia (Courland), likely from one of four cities: Hasenpoth (Aizpute), Mitau (Jelgava), Bausk, and Goldingen (Kuldiga). I have found two of the Novopoltavka families listed in censuses and family lists of Goldingen. Furthermore, descendants of Latvian Jews, as well as others who appear to have Prussian ancestry, match on a segment of Chromosome 4. We are still investigating this since it might not be only Prussian and Latvian Jews, but also those from the nothern part of Lithuania, which borders Latvia, so it's hard to tell what it means.

Update August 2015: With the translation and digitization of the Courland-Kherson Jewish Relocation 1837-1840, available by searching Latvia DB or Ukraine DB on Jewish Gen, we have much more information about the founding families of Novopoltavka. So far, we have found settlers from Libava (Pap), Bausk (Aronson, Lipmanovich/Litmanovich, Wolfson, Yosselovich), and Goldingen (Natanson, Eserer).

Jewish agricultural colonies in the Russian Empire were first established in Kherson Gubernia in 1806. The Ukase of December 9, 1804 allowed Jews for the first time in Russia to purchase land for farming settlements (Koloniya). Jews were provided exemption from military service, tax abatements, and reduced land prices as incentives.

The original settlements did not fare well for various reasons. There was a second wave of colonization. In June 1841 Count Vorontzov, the governor general of Kherson, founded four new colonies which, according to the wishes of the settlers were called Novy Breslawl (New Breslau), Lvov (Lemberg), Romanov, and Novo Poltavka (New Poltavka), and settled 700 families in these colonies. Novo Poltavka (Novopoltavka) had 150 families or households. We are fortunate to have a list of signatories from 1843, translated by Pavel Bernshtam, that gives the names of the heads of household of the colonists. We recently hired a researcher to list the heads of household that occur in the 1858 Revision List and to look into specific families. There is a close match between the 1843 list and 1858 list, not surprisingly.

Novopoltavka Colonists - from the 1843 Signatory List

  • Aronson - household of Abram Aronson (Abram Aronson is an elder)
  • Belkind - household of Girsh Belkind
  • Blekher - households of Vulf and Girsh Blekher
  • Kagan - households of Aron, Shai and Belzon Kagan and Todras Kogan
  • Kats - households of Frank, Goriyat, and Girsh Kats
  • Kravets - households of Zalkin and Gershan Kravets
  • Litmanovich - households of Girsh and Moshka Litmanovich
  • Natonson - households of Yosel and Mozes Natonson
  • Pap - households of Yudel and Aron Pap (Yudel Pap is an elder)
  • Teper - household of Vulf Teper
  • Vulfson - household of Mihel Volfzon, households of Yosel and Vulf Volfan (sic)
  • Yosselovich, household of Girsh Yosselovich (Yusilevich)

Courland-Kherson Jewish Relocation 1837-1840

Adult males

1858 Revision List : Men Who Would Have Been of Age in 1843


  • Natonson / Blekher
  • Litmanovich / Vulfson
  • Vulfson / Blekher
  • Teper / Blekher ("Tuber" is assumed to be Teper)
  • Aronson / Blekher (Aronson were definitely in Novopoltavka in 1858)
  • Selzer / Blekher (Selzer are not in the 1858 Revision List)

1858 Novopoltavka Revision List

Sources and Links

1843 Signatories from Novopoltavka

Elders (starejshiny - rus.)


  • Aron Levinshtein
  • Girsh Yusilevich (?) Girsh Yosselovich in the 1837 Courland-Kherson Relocation List
  • Khaim Lyutin (?)
  • Yosel Mayer
  • Monasha Aronburg
  • Izrail Krakover
  • Frank Kats
  • Ber Bakaler
  • Shmul Levi
  • Meir Merovich
  • Elkel (?) Merovich
  • Elkel (?) Odenman (?)
  • Tuv'ya Zusman
  • Girsh Blyakher
  • Zalkin Kravets
  • Gershan Kravets
  • Vulf Blyakher
  • Vulf Teper
  • Mozes Natonzon
  • Aron Kagan
  • Mozes Mozien (?)
  • Movsha Sayden
  • Khaim Lavsh (?)
  • Girsh Mendelson
  • Meir Simon Yakubson
  • Girsh Shvorts
  • Abram Echerer (?) or Abraham Eserer, relocated to Kherson with brother, Mejer
  • Aron Frinberg
  • Girsh Izralson
  • Itsik Yakubson
  • Shrol Fakish (?)
  • Yosel Brener
  • Girsh Shaftilevish (?)
  • Abram Roskin
  • Yakob Yakobson
  • Abram Ber Itsik
  • Yosel Arkalovich
  • Yosel Litmanovich
  • Goriyat Kats
  • Girsh Belkind
  • Girsh Raskind
  • Leizer Lenger
  • Borok (?) Gershovich
  • Shmul Gershenzon
  • Belzon Kagan
  • Leib Kanter
  • Todras (?) Kogan
  • Abram Ber Bertan
  • Yosel (?) Werfon (?)
  • Vigdor Cherenchik (?)
  • Movsha Aronovich
  • Bal??? Bakaler
  • Fandel Davidovich
  • Aron Shvartz
  • Itsik Markus
  • Khaim Spirt (?)
  • Leiba Aron Evel (?)
  • Girsh Kats
  • Simon Pragin (?)
  • Girsh Leton (?)
  • Girsh Blunberg (?)
  • Shlomo Levin
  • ??? Shmorgon (?)
  • Izrail Levinzon
  • Aron Kantias (???)
  • danil (?) Khaikin
  • Movsha Vain
  • Yosel Volfan, probably Yosel Vulfson
  • Volf Volfan, probably Vulf Vulfson
  • Simon Kran
  • Aron Pap
  • Volian (?) Arontam (?)
  • Yosel Shvartz
  • Shmul Glazman
  • Sodik Freiman
  • Khaim Rosin
  • Yona Medlin (?)
  • Levin Kretsar
  • Markus Khaimovich
  • Girsh Litmanovich
  • Ber Berliner
  • Leiba Zamulson (?)
  • Faivish Gitelman
  • Leiba Ringeras (???)
  • Movsha Pol
  • Girsh Geitanson (?)
  • Shal Kagan
  • Girsh Teris (?)
  • Girsh Geiben

Signatures at the bottom