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Volhynia (Wolin) Gubernia - Immigration to America Midwest

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  • Sarah Sax (Zaks) (c.1892 - c.1951)
  • Mollie Roberts (1892 - 1972)
    Malchah in Sonne's daughteiage. r from his first marriage.
  • Anna Winetroub (1888 - 1893)
  • Rosa Rubenstein (1868 - 1941)
    I found Rosa's death certificate online (attached). Father Joseph Rubenstein, mother Leah Krulak. Born June 2, 1868 and died in St. Louis on March 31, 1941 of breast cancer. Buried on April 2, 1941 in ...
  • Moses Rubenstein (c.1860 - 1941)
    Find A Grave . A member took a photo of his headstone at my request in February 2016. I thought this was my great uncle, but instead I found a Rubenstein who is most certainly a relative. According to ...

Iowa and Illinois - especially Rock Island (really the Tri-City area including Moline and Davenport), St. Louis, and Chicago - were a landing place for Jewish immigrants from this area between 1880 and 1920. This project will document the family surnames and towns that they settled in. This first came to my attention when I read that emigrants from my great-grandparents' town of Belogorodka tended to settle in these towns and cities.

Geography and Naming

Volhynia Gubernia - Other Names: Volinskaya, Wolin, Wolyn, Wolina, Wolinsk, Volinski, Wolinski, Volenskii, Wolenskj, Wolenskja, Volin, Volyn.

Volhynia was located in what is now northwest Ukraine, on the border with Poland and Belarus.

Volhynia was ruled by Poland until the late 18th century, when Poland was partitioned by the Prussian, Austrian, and Russian empires. After the partition of Poland, Volhynia was a gubernia, or province, of the Russian Empire until 1919, when the western part of Volhynia once again became part of Poland. In 1945 the entire area of the Volhynia Gubernia was absorbed into the Soviet Union, but the gubernia system was no longer used and the Volhynia name was used to identify a smaller region, called an oblast, in the western part of the old gubernia. Most of what was the Volhynia Gubernia is now in Ukraine, with a small part of northern Volhynia in Belarus.

Major cities and towns in and around Volhynia include Zhitomir (the former capital), Rovno, Lutsk, Kovel, Berdichev, and Novograd-Volinsk.

Towns in Volyhnia with Jewish Populations

Organized according to districts as of pre- WW I:

  • In Zaslav: Izyaslav, Belogorodka (Bilohorodka), Slavuta, Shepetivka (Shepetovka), Gritsev, Kornitsa, Sudilkov
  • In Zhitomir: Zhitomir
  • In Novograd Volynsky: Novgrod Volynsky (Zhvil), Polonne (Polonnoye), Korets, Barankovna, Horodnytsya (Gorodnitsa), Yemilchino (Emilchino), Romaniv
  • In Starkonstantinov: Starkostyantyniv, Teofipol. Kuzmin
  • In Kremenets: Kremenets, Velikiye Berezhitsy, Vishnevets, Rakhmanov, Radyvyliv
  • In Rovno: Rivne (Rovno), Berrezno, Tuchin
  • In Kovel: Kovel


  • Bierman (Berman)
  • Brill (Baril)
  • Brottman (Braftman)
  • Chuver (Shuver)
  • Cytron (Tzitrin)
  • Dokhterman
  • Fishgall
  • Filer (Feiler, Failer)
  • Fryer (Frejer or Frejerman)
  • Goldman
  • Golod (? Gould)
  • Goltzman (Holtzman)
  • Kantoff
  • Katz
  • Kleinerman
  • Kurlap
  • Lederman
  • Lerner
  • Melamed
  • Nissenholtz
  • Oberman
  • Orenstein / Horen / Gorenshtey
  • Reib
  • Rich (Stracher)
  • Roodman (Rudman)
  • Routman (Nedrick?)* Rudfeld (Ruthfield)
  • Rubenstein
  • Schechter
  • Shapiro
  • Sirota
  • Spector
  • Steinberg (changed from Borukhakh; ancestors Silberman and Karlina)
  • Tattleman (married Singman)
  • Taxman
  • Wallach
  • Warshavsky
  • Weintraub (Weintrob)
  • Winocur (Vinockur)
  • Zabarsky
  • Zeffren (Ziffrin/Ziffren/Seffren/Shifrin/Tsifrin)

Reib (name changed to wife's surname Rubenstein)

  • From Belogorodka. Arrived in 1885. Settled in Muscatine (IA), Rock Island (IL), Alton (ILL), and St. Louis (MO).
  • Max Reib Rubenstein and possibly Gabriel Rubenstein


  • Fannie Rubenstein, wife of Max Reib Rubenstein


There were various Weintraub families from Ukraine who settled in Iowa. It is still unknown whether they were related. The family who settled in Muscatine (IL) was from Volyhnia, probably near Belogorodka. The family who settled in St. Louis (MO) was from Rovno (Rivne) or Tajkury (near Rovno). Spelled Wintrob, Waintroeb, Waintroob. Settled in Marshalltown (IA), Muscatine (IA), Alexander (IL), St. Louis (MO).

  • Oscar Waintraub, probably brother and sister, Muscatine (IA), from near Belogorodka presumably since they intermarried with Reib family
  • Yehuda Dov (Benjamin "Bernard") Weintraub and family, St. Louis (MO), from Rovno (Rivne), Volhynia
  • Sam Weintraub, Marshalltown (IA)
  • Meyer Weintraub and family from Bilogorodka (Mary/Minnie, Eva, Herman, Sarah, Lily), settled in St. Louis
  • Bessie Weintraub (mother Ida) married Bernard Goldman of Davenport, IA.
  • Mary (Wintrob) Fryer and Oscar Wintrob (her brother?) who settled in Muscatine, IA with the Reib / Rubenstein family

Freyer (Fryer, ?Freger, ?Freer, ?Frejerman)

  • From near Belogorodka presumably since they intermarried with Weintraub/Reib family. Settled in Muscatine (IA). Ancestors of Rivkin family. Intermarried with Urdangen in Muscatine. Descendants moved to Rock Island (IL) and Davenport (IA).
  • Charles Fryer and his wife Mary (Wintrob) Fryer


  • From Gritsev. Settled in Rock Island (IL).


  • From Gritsev. Settled in Rock Island (IL).

Wallach (Wolk / Voolach / Velachikov)

  • From Belogorodka, Kovel, Vishnevets


  • From Belogorodka.



  • From Belogorodka or nearby towns. Married with Cytron.

Lerner (?Hochgelernter)

Winocur (Vinokur)

  • From Belogorodka. Intermarried with Filer, Schuver.


  • From Novogrod Volinsky (Zhvil), Vishnevets.



  • From Mezerich

"...My grandfather had an uncle named Pincus Nissenholtz who immigrated from Mezerich (near Rovno) to St Louis in 1902. He later changed his first name to Philip. He had four children who also immigrated to St Louis: Rose Nissenholtz, born 1884,"

"Schaje Nissenholtz, born 1887, Fannie Nissenholtz, born 1890, and Max Morris Nissenholtz, born 1894. Rose married Hersch Harry Appell and the Appell family settled in St Louis. Schaje changed his name to Charles Meyer and had four children; one, Joseph Meyer, remained in St Louis while the others settled with Charles in Houston, Texas. Fannie married Abe Mann and the family lived in Illinois Max Morris, like his brother in law Abe Mann, founded shoe stores: Max settled in Wood River and after retiring passed away in St Louis."

Cytron (Tzitrin)

  • From Belogorodka. Settled in St. Louis (MO).
  • Julius Cytron was born in Belogorodka, which is in the present day Ukraine in the region of Volhynia (a.k.a. Wolyn). He immigrated to St. Louis in 1921. Other related families were Lerner, Lederman, Gasmer, and Shanker. This Cytron family went from Russia to England, stayed a while and then some of them came to the USA. The largest branch of these stayed in St. Louis, MO.

Zeffren (Ziffrin/Ziffren/Seffren/Shifrin/Tsifrin)

  • From Belogorodka, also nearby Sudilkov and Shepetovka. Most who came to the states went to Rock Island, IL, St. Louis, MO or Chicago, IL.
  • Lineage of Marilyn J. Ziffrin, an American composer.
  • "Marilyn Ziffrin was born in Moline, Illinois, to parents Betty S. and Harry B. Ziffrin, (both children of Russian immigrants who emigrated from Belogorodka, Ukraine. Harry, who grew up in the then Tri Cities, of Rock Island & Moline, IL, and Davenport, Iowa, and Betty, who grew up in St. Louis, were first cousins; their fathers were brothers, and they both were first cousins of Lester Ziffren, the famous journalist, and Paul Ziffren, the Democratic Party leader from Los Angeles."

Routman (Nedrick?)

  • from Belogorodka, settled in St. Louis, MO
  • Ben Morris Routman, siblings Sarah, William, Emil

Roodman (Rudman)

  • From Belogorodka. Settled in St. Louis, MO.
  • Isaac Roodman
  • Sam Rudman ( - 1956) was born in Belogorodka to Aaron Roodman and Rachel. Sam married Lena and had 2 children. Sam married Sarah and had 2 children. He passed away on 1956 in St Louis, Missouri, USA.

Filer (Feiler, Failer)

  • From Belogorodka. Settled in Rock Island (IL) and Chicago (IL). Intermarried with Vinokur.

Rich -- name changed from Stracher

  • From Belogorodka. Settled in Rock Island (IL) and Chicago (IL). Intermarried with Zeffren and Dokhterman from Belogorodka.
  • Louis Rich is now a subsidiary of Kraft Foods. Louis Rich's father, Wolf Rich, came to the United States in the first decade of the 20th Century from Belogorodka, Ukraine. He settled in Rock Island, IL. Wolf was a butcher, a shochet, a kosher slaughterer in his native country. His son, Louis started his business, originally called the Rock Island Produce Company in 1923 on 9th Street in Rock Island. He started a slaughtering operation in the late 1920's or early 1930's, at that location, but the plant never was a Kosher slaughtering operation, and when the company grew and expanded, no Kosher slaughtering was done.

From "My great grandfather, Wolf Stracher, changed our last name to Rich, after he emigrated to Rock Island, IL in 1910. His wife, Rachel Filer, also had a brother that emigrated to Rock Island from Belogorodka. On my mother's father's side, the Dockterman, and Tsifren/Ziffren/Zeffren families also emigrated from Belogorodka to Rock Island, IL and to Davenport, IA which is across the Mississippi River from Rock Island. The Docktermans and Ziffrens came starting in about 1889, which my grandfather, Leib Stracher who changed his name to Louis Rich, came in 1910. There was a Rich family from Belogorodka who came to Rock Island as well it was one of that family who suggested to my great grandfather, Wolf Stracher that he take a more American name, thus we became the Rich family. Other surnames that emigrated in our family to Rock Island were Rich and Rothenberg.

Tattleman (married Singman)

  • From Belogorodka. Immigrated to St. Louis (MO).

Goltzman (Holtzman)

  • From Belogorodka. Settled first in Chicago (IL) Moved to Texas

From this site:

"Eliezer (Lazar) Lawrence GOLTZMAN, my great-great-grandfather, was son of Chaim Idel Goltzman; Lazar married Marimeeta SIEGEL and he died sometime before 1921, which is when his twin sons Max and Morris moved to the United States. Max's granddaughter Lydia Shipman recalled that they first lived in Chicago, then moved down to Texas, where the family has been for almost 100 years now.."

  • Mordko (Max) Goltzman (Holtzman) arrived from Belogorodka in 1913. He settled first in Chicago (IL), then moved to Texas. His brother Morris came with him.

Chuver (Shuver)

  • From Belogorodka. Settled in St. Louis (MO). Intermarried with Vinocur.


  • From Belogorodka. Settled in Rock Island (IL). Intermarried with Rich family.
  • Zeivel Dockterman was born in Belogorodka in 1846 and immigrated to Rock Island (IL) in 1909 with his family. His wife was Meta Freida Rich, also from Belogorodka. Her first husband, who died in Ukraine, was Israel Abraham Zeffren (see above for Zeffren family).

Bierman (Berman)

  • From Kornitsa. Settled in St. Louis (MO) and in Minnesota. Intermarried with the Grossman family.
  • Two children settled in St. Louis (MO), including Fred Bierman. The rest of the family settled in Minnesota. Fred Bierman was in the scrap business, incorporated in St. Louis in 1904 as Fred Bierman & Sons. Reib/Rubenstein also in the scrap business across the river in Alton, IL, as were a number of Jewish immigrant families.
  • Abraham Berman b. 1887 of Shepetovka with his parents Louis Berman b. 1858 and Rose Schneider b.1864 and his wife Lena Minnie Rosenberg b. 1894 settled in Chicago, IL.


  • From Shepetovka, Sudilkov, Korets, and Zhitomir.
  • Before emigrating to America, the Kantoff and Brottman Families were associated with three cities within Imperial Russia, all located west of Kiev in what is now Ukraine: Zhytomyr, Shepetovka, and Korets. In addition, they were once inhabitants of a shetl near Shepetovka known as Sudilkov.

Brottman (Braftman)

  • From Shepetovka, Sudilkov, Korets, and Zhitomir.




Brill (Baril)

  • From Shepetivka, Ymilchino, and Novograd Volinsky, as well as elsewhere in the Ukraine.

Golod (?Gould)


  • From Belogorodka.

Rudfeld (Ruthfield)

  • From Zaslav and Slavuta. Immigrated in 1920. Did NOT settle in the Midwest, settled in Boston area.


  • From Zaslav. Married with Rabinovitch from Zaslav. Immigrated in 1904.


  • From Zaslav. Immigrated to Chicago. Married Liss/Lisker, Stein, and Soble.

Orenstein / Horen / Gorenshteyn

  • From Zaslav, immigrated to St. Louis


  • From Zaslav


  • from Gritsev


  • from Belogorodka, immigrated to Rock Island, Illinois

Steinberg (changed from Borukhakh, ancestors Silberman and Karlina)

  • from Slavuta, settled in Omaha, NE

Marriage Patterns

  • Benjamin Shuver (1870) , son of Israel Dov Schuver and Yenta Schuver, married Fannie Frimme Vinocur (1874), probably prior to their settling in St. Louis (MO).
  • Charles Freyer b. 1845 married Malka (Mary) Weintraub b. c. 1851 before their settling in Muscatine (IA)
  • Nachum (Max) Reib b. 1859 married Feige (Fannie) Rubenstein b. 1865 and they emigrated with their two oldest children, Charly and Sarah to Muscatine (IA)
  • Shapiro of Zaslav married Rabinovitch of Zaslav.


Holocaust in Volhynia