ONLINE NEWSLETTER (No. 9/2001 - 15. August 2001)

Editor: Elsebeth Paikin, Copenhagen, Denmark
The editorial staff: Lori Miller, Estelle Nemoy

Copyright © Micheline Gutmann

BREGMAN families in Pinsk

by Micheline Gutmann

There were probably several BREGMAN families in Pinsk The origins may be different. The word bregman means marsch. The river, which crosses the town, is called the Pripet and the surroundings are very marshy.

I am a descendant of Dobrushka BREGMAN who married Mosche VISSOTSKY (see My Vissotsky Family Of Pinsk (Belarus SIG Online Newsletter No. 3/2001)).


Their son Morduck (Maurice) was the first one to leave Pinsk. I guess he did not want to be drafted. In the census of 1894, he was declared dead. My grandmother, Basia (Berthe), who had lost her mother and was very unhappy, joined him with an aunt, probably one of the two BREGMAN sisters who married a DOBGEWITZ. She often spoke of the awful trip saying that she has been seasick.

What route could they have taken to come to France? I was told that other cousins took the train.

Thanks to the JewishGen Family Finder (JGFF), I found a cousin, Joel NOVAK, a descendant of Chana (Anna) BREGMAN. He knows from his grandmother that there were 16 BREGMAN siblings.

Since he knew of the American branch of the Vissotsky family, we could find how we are connected.

Until now, we know of 8 of the siblings, but with very few details about some of them. They went from Pinsk to France, as my branch, or to USA as Joel's. Some descendants are now also in England and some in Israel.

Also thanks to JGFF, Sadie SIMON, née BREGMAN, the daughter of Yudel BREGMAN found my address. At that moment she was a marvelous old lady of 92 years writing wonderful letters. She died recently at 96. My cousin Denise, née JASELMAN, then still alive (she died a few months ago), remembered when Yudel and his wife Golda SAFFER left Pinsk in 1914. Denise was only 5 years old. She always kept photos in spite of the war, in spite of all the damages done by the war (her husband has been deported). An exchange of photos could give the proof that we were related with Sadie.

A photo of Denise shows Sadie before she left Pinsk, with her little brother. Sadie wrote that she remembered her uncle, the very religious Rabbi SAFFER who went to Israel. She met him in New York. Her mother had two other brothers -- Mendel and another one who was a bookbinder.

In New York, she also met her uncle Shimon VISSOTSKY, who was so good with her. She came to Paris in 1962, but she did not know where to look for her family! Jewish genealogy was not yet born !

We heard of some other BREGMANs, in Canada, in the USA, and in Israel. We don't know if they are connected. Curiously, we found the same first names.

David told me:

"My father Solomon BREGMAN was born in Pinsk in 1895. His family moved to Vilna a year later, and he moved to Montreal in 1920. There is a large BREGMAN family in Montreal, who all trace back to the Matriarch, my father's auntie, the Bobeh Bluma. Her children were Julius, Solly, and Moses, all BREGMANs. I have a lot of information on their children ...".

Solomon's father could be Meier. For the moment, we cannot find a relation.

Julius -- many BREGMANs have this first name in their family -- was Yudel or Joseph.

David told me that Jonathan OGUR's grandfather was Benjamin BREGMAN who was born in Pinsk in 1875 and arrived to New York in 1900.

I corresponded with Arlyn KERR who recently wrote:

"My grandfather was Isaac BREGMAN, born about 1888 in Pinsk, son of Mordecai (Morduch) BREGMAN (born about 1860) and Dobe Taran (or Shmolewit). There were nine other children, and they all moved to Baranovichi about 1900. The only other sibling names I know are Solomon (childless, I think) and Dora (who had children Harry and Edward in the US, with the BREGMAN surname, but I can't trace them). All the others were apparently killed in Baranovichi."

We could not find any relation. Arlyn sent me a lot of information obtained through Oleg Perzashkovich especially a part of a census of 1894. Also a voter list in 1912. In spite of this interesting information, it is quite impossible to recognize my family.


BREGMAN Descendants