Back To Journal

Friedland Family of Ariogala

By David B. Hoffman,

Using his grandfather Leib Shliomovich’s 1882 birth certificate from Kaunas, Lithuania, David Hoffman learned that his grandfather’s grandfather was Lazer FRIEDLAND. Lazer first appeared on an alphabetical list of males made from the 1874 Ariogala family list, which showed that his father’s name was Zelik.

1874 Ariogala Male Index to Family List

Leyzer and his father Zelik were then found on the Ariogala 1848 taxpayers list and on the 1846 candle taxpayers list, which revealed that Zelik Friedland’s father was Boruch. The family also appears on an 1847 application to become a farmer.

Lazer’s father, Zelik Friedland, was found on the Ariogala 1816 revision list in the household of his father, Boruch, son of Abram.  Boruch Friedland’s family included his sons, Leyba and Zelik, their families, and his daughter, Chasa Ritavsky and her family. (Chasa is the great great great grandmother of Sherri Bobish, another member of the Ariogala Research group, who is researching the Ritavsky family. Revision lists are one of the most useful documents for tracing female ancestors).

1816 Ariogala, Lithuania Revision List


Boruch was 66 at the previous revision in 1811; so in 1784, 27 years earlier, he would have been 39. His wife, Zlata, would have been 41. Their son Leyba, and daughter Chasa are old enough to be on the 1784 list, and Boruch had an older son, Abel, who was listed as a separate head of household on the 1816 list.

1784 Grand Duchy Census Extract for Ariogala

The family was identified on the Grand Duchy of Lithuania 1784 census list: Boruch, son of Abram, his wife Zlata, son Abel, daughter Kassia, with two additional daughters, Malka and Meriam. These names are repeated in this family for the next two hundred years.  Note that identifying the correct "Boruch son of Abraham" of the two on the list is based on the presence of his wife, Zlata, son Abel, and daughter Kassia.

Assuming Boruch was about 40 in 1784, he would have been around 20 in 1765. Fortunately the earlier 1765 GDL Census for Ariogala is available and includes considerable detail. We found  Boruch Abramowicz (son of Abram) and his wife, living with his father Abram Wigderowicz (son of Vigder) in Family #4. The patronymic, Wigder gives us another generation.

1784 Grand Duchy Census for "Town of Eyragola, Jewish Towndwellers in 1765, February 15"


Estimating that Boruch was born in 1745, his father, Abram, would have been born around 1725.  Abram’s father, Vigder, would have been born about 1700.

Family #3 shows Vigder, son of Boruch, who is probably the father of Abram.  It looks like Boruch, son of Abram, was named for his great grandfather Boruch, who was born around 1675.

Families #5 and #6 headed by Marek Wigderowicz and Mendel Wigderowicz, appear to be additional sons of Wigder and brothers of Abram.  If they are, there is a great deal of new information about other branches of the Friedland family that has been learned from the Grand Duchy lists.


If your ancestors came from Ariogala, you are invited to join our active Ariogala Shtetl Research Group. Please contact Sonia Hoffman

about the author
David B. Hoffman

David was a co-founder, past president, past vice president  and past 
secretary of LitvakSIG. He also had been on the board of Jewish Genealogy Society of Los Angeles and an editor of their journal Roots-Key. He presented many research papers and talks on genealogy in the U.S. and abroad.

Professionally David was a clinical psychologist beginning his career as a professor of Community and School Psychology at Florida State University. A gifted lecturer, David was twice honored for distinguished teaching. 

David and his wife Sonia founded the Jewish Family History Foundation which 
acquired and translated the 18th century poll tax lists for the Grand Duchy 
of Lithuania.