Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Kapilevich / Kopelovich / Kalmen Families of Belarus and Lithuania

« Back to Projects Dashboard

Project Tags

view all


  • Lipa Kapelevich Kapelowicz Kapilevich, >Logoysk (c.1845 - 1928)
    When I was a boy, my grandfather Jack Kaplan told me that during the famous WW1 Battle of Meuse-Argonne, exhausted from battle, he fell asleep in the hayloft of a barn. His grandfather Lipa, long dead,...
  • Jack Kaplan (1895 - 1977)
    During the famous WWI Battle of the Meuse-Argonne, Jack, a 22-year old combat engineer was exhausted after four days of shelling and rain, and became separated from his unit. He lay down in the straw o...


This project is intended to facilitate genealogical and historical collaboration among those interested in the Jewish Kapilevich, Kopelovich and Kalmen families of Belarus and Lithuania. The surname has been spelled and modified in countless ways as the family made its way around the world, including Kaplan, Koppel, Kapp, Kaplowitz, Koplowitz, Kaplow, Kapilevich, and Kopelovich, among countless other variants.

We have thus far identified three lineages with matching DNA and repeated common first names. For purposes of analysis, we assume that the three lineages descend from three brothers who were born in Lithuania during the 1790's. They are as follows:

The "Rokiskis Lineage": The known founder of this branch was Lipman Kopelovich who was born circa 1783. His exact birthplace is unknown. This tree has been actively researched by Harvey Kaplan, Shawn Kopel and Solly Cope. Descendants of this family emigrated to South Africa and Australia.

"The Vieksniai Lineage": This known founder of this branch that lived largely in Vieksniai was Shaya Kalmen who was born circa 1793. His exact birthplace is unknown. This tree has been actively researched by Andrew Colman. Its descendants can be found in South Africa, the UK, and Israel.

"The Belarusian Lineage". The known founder of this lineage was Kalman Kopelovich who was born circa 179_. His exact birthplace is unknown. Kalman's son Zalman lived in Zembin circa 1745. One of his sons, Lipa, moved to Logoysk, Belarus where he married into the Rapaport Family. This tree has been actively researched by Adam Brown. Descendants today live in the US, Israel, Belarus, Lithuania, Russia and South Africa.

How can you participate?

(1) Add your branches to the Geni tree. This is a 100% shared collaboration and the tree belongs to all of us. Please do not duplicate existing entries.

(2) Upload photographs and documents to the tree. Primary materials are the lifeblood of any historical endeavor and yours are just as valuable as anyone's!

(3) Invite family members to tree. The more the merrier and maybe you may uncover someone with a latent talent for historical research!; and

(4) If you have the last name of Kapilevich, Kapp, Koppel, Koplowitz, or any of the variants, and have Belarussian or Lithuanian roots, please participate in our new Y Chromosome DNA study of the Kugel family as a means of sorting out the recent branches of the tree. We actively encourage family members to participate by contacting family member Adam Brown.