Blokhs of Minsk

Abe Ratner was from Minsk

In the 1920 census form for the Ratner family, the enumerator first wrote down Minsk and then crossed it out and wrote Russia for Abe's birthplace. Similarly, Rose is noted as born in Rostof, which is also crossed out and replaced. I'm not going to put up the image, since the quality is very bad and will not be legible at blog size and resolution. If you want to check for yourself, look up the 1920 census in Ward 5 of Albany NY.

So then I did a quick look for the name Bloch in the JewishGen Belarus database. What pops up are lots of people named Blokh in the Minsk guberniya. On a first pass, I didn't find a Abram Blokh born in May 1869, but I think it is pretty likely we now have the original home region for another of our eight great-grandparents.

To recap:

Selma Ratner's parents came from Rostov by way of Rezshita in Latvia (Rose) and the Minsk area of Belarus (Abe).

Walter Rabinowitz's parents came from Lithuania probably Kovno (Joseph) and unknown but probably also Kovno guberniya (Lena).

Hermann Ringel's parents came from the Rzezow area of Poland (Schija) and Krakow (Feigel).

Elly Wohlgemuth's parents Julius and Bette resided in Koenigsberg but we don't yet know where they were born.

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