Telzer / Telzak Family History


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The picture is from the Vandziogala Jewish Cemetery. It is for Shmuel ben Tzvi HaCohen, died 20 Adar I 1897. This is believed to be the grave of Shmuel Telzak. Very few of the stones have surnames.

According to the book, Lithuanian Jewish Communities, by Nancy and Stuart Schoenburg, Vandziogala (known as Vendzhigola) dates from the 17th century. Before World War I, it was mostly a Jewish settlement with 350 to 500 residents.

In the 1874 Vandziogala family list, Shmuel is listed as the son of Girsh. Girsh is the same as Tzvi and Hirsh which mean "deer" in Hebrew and Yiddish. The Telzers are HaCohen and Goodman Telzer named his son, who was born in 1898, Samuel. This would indicate that his father had died not long before since his previous male child, born in 1895, was named Harry.

The 1874 family list showed the name Telzak in Russian as follows. (See JewishGen for a page showing written Russian letters. Note that the last letter shown was only used after hard consonants until 1918.)

Telzak in Russian

According to a translation of the 1874 family list, there was a Telzak family in Vandziogala. The parents, Shmuel and Sifra were 46 and 47. Their male children were Gerts, 15, Gerson, 12, Gutman, 10, Izrael, 7, Iser, 5, and Girsh, 6 months. Their female children were Chaya Tauba, 18, Fruma Tsirka, 11, Feyga, 4, and Sorka, 6 months. Shmuel father's name was shown as Girsha. There is no doubt that the Telzak family is the Telzer family, based on age and burial information of the Telzers known to have emigrated to the U.S.

Shmuel Telzak's father was Girsha (Tzvi) Telzak, who was born in 1801. Girsha (Tzvi) Telzak's father was named Leyzer. Sifra's maiden name was Chasen. The surname Chasen appears in translated records as Khazen, Hazan, Khazan, and Khazon.

Vandziogala Information at JewishGen:

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This page was last updated 03/11/08