Saturday, January 9, 2021

Do I Have Cousins in Burlington, Vermont?

 In the 1880s a group of immigrants to Burlington, Vermont founded Chai Adam Synagogue. These immigrants came from Čekiškė, Lithuania - the same shtetl my Cruvant ancestors came from. Do I have kin in Burlington?

Chai Adam founders included: 

  • Morris Levin
  • Abraham Mowsowitz
  • Max Samuelson
  • Joseph Trotchky
  • Hyman D. Segel
  • M.L. Levin
  • Abram Kaplan
  • Isaac Levin
  • Sam Trotchky
  • Lewis Greenstein

Surname Kaplan

  • Hannah Kaplan married a second great granduncle, Girsha Abram Kruvond.  
  • Hannah's brother, Louis, went by Louis Cohen, and he married a first cousin three times removed, Sarah Cruvand.
  • Julius Kaplan married second cousin twice removed, Fannie Cruvand. (I only know he came from Lithuania. I believe they married in the U.S. His father's name was Max.)

While Hannah and Louis definitely came from Čekiškė, Cohen/Kaplan is an extremely common Jewish surname. Further research was required to see if Chai Adam founder Abram Kaplan is related. (More closely related than being a descendant of Aaron, brother of Moses.) 

I found who I believe is the same Abram Kaplan on Geni. While from nearby Josvainiai, Lithuania, his wife is from Čekiškė, so it could be the same individual. I asked Geni to find the shortest connection between us, and I was told it was through his wife. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a connection through him that Geni doesn’t know about yet.

Surname: Greenstein
  • Abraham Greenstein married first cousin three times removed, Rebekka Kroovand. (They were married in New York, and I am not sure where he immigrated from.) If I can confirm he came from the vicinity of Čekiškė, I'll research further to see if he is related to Lewis Greenstein.
Surname: Trotchky
  • No known relatives. Just a small note that Russian revolutionary, Leon Trotsky, was born in Bereslavka, Ukraine about 1200 km (745 miles) from Čekiškė. His surname at birth was Bronstein. He changed his surname to Trotsky after the surname of a Siberian prison warden.
The linked website at the beginning of this post has some great pictures from inside the Čekiškė synagogue I posted about a few years ago.

Note: Senator Sanders was born in Brooklyn, NY and later moved to Burlington. He is not a descendant of the Burlington Chai Adam founders. Alas.

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