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Kusiel and Sarah Shimernitsky (Simernitsky)

We know very little about these two people. We learned their names from the death certificate for Yetta Pesachinsky, which cannot be guaranteed to be accurate, since such information was given in the midst of grief and sadness.

Before about 1830, Jewish people in Russia identified themselves by their given name, followed by "son of _____" or "daughter of ______" . Around 1830 - 1850, for tax and military service purposes, Russia began forcing Jewish people to select and use surnames. Surnames were based on an ancestor or parent, a locale, physical characteristics, or myriad other sources. Many times the surnames were chosen by the authorities and assigned, rather than selected by the Jewish individuals. (The Jews didn't need or want them; they knew who they were and who each other was!). You can learn more about the history of Jewish surnames here (link will open in new window).

Since Yetta was born around 1849, it's quite possible that "Shimernitsky" was in fact based on an ancestor; that her name means "of Shimon". If some day we find records for this time, we might find Kusiel identified as "Kusiel bar Shimon" ("bar" means "son of" in Hebrew"). On the other hand, we don't find any of Yetta's decendants having the name "Shimon". Since this is an Ashkenazic tradition, this theory may be incorrect.

We also aren't sure where Yetta, Kusiel, or Sarah were born. Also in the mid-1800's, the Russian Czar decided that the fertile land in the southern Ukraine should be farmed. He made it possible and relatively easy for people to migrate there, especially Jews. You can read more about the agricultural colonies here (link will open in new window).

Children of Kusiel and Sarah Shimernitsky

Yetta Shimernitsky Pesachinsky
Yetta was born about 1849. We know she was from Ekaterinoslav in what is now the Ukraine, but we aren't sure she was born there.
We assume Yetta had sisters and brothers, but we know nothing about them.



Henkin / Genkin Family Rincover / Herincover family Lapidus / Lapidos family Katz family
Berlin family Wiesenthal / Visentaul family Avrutin / Lavrutin family Pesachinsky / Penson family