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Important Note

The information on this page has been compiled by Ukraine SIG long time ago.
As JewishGen and the Ukraine SIG evolved, the contents of the page became redundant with other areas of
JewishGen (specially the KehilaLinks) and the new SIG website.

This page will be temporarily hosted by the Ukraine SIG site until this contents is transferred to the corresponding
KehilaLink and/or indexed into the Ukraine Database. Then it will be removed.

Volhynia Gubernia

Map of Volhynia

Volhynia Gubernia - Other Names: Volinskaya, Wolin, Wolyn, Wolina, Wolinsk, Volinski, Wolinski, Volenskii, Wolenskj, Wolenskja, Volin, Volyn.

Volhynia was located in what is now northwest Ukraine, on the border with Poland and Belarus. The shaded area of this map shows the approximate borders of Volhynia compared to today's international borders.


House in Volhynia

A Brief History of Volhynia Gubernia

Volhynia was ruled by Poland until the late 18th century, when Poland was partitioned by the Prussian, Austrian, and Russian empires. After the partition of Poland, Volhynia was a gubernia, or province, of the Russian Empire until 1919, when the western part of Volhynia once again became part of Poland. In 1945 the entire area of the Volhynia Gubernia was absorbed into the Soviet Union, but the gubernia system was no longer used and the Volhynia name was used to identify a smaller region, called an oblast, in the western part of the old gubernia. Most of what was the Volhynia Gubernia is now in Ukraine, with a small part of northern Volhynia in Belarus. Major cities and towns in and around Volhynia include Zhitomir (the former capital), Rovno, Lutsk, Kovel, Berdichev, and Novograd-Volinsk.

Also see these excerpts from The Columbia Encyclopedia.



The Volhynia researchers have found some wonderful and useful maps. Many are relevant to the entire Ukraine, not just to this gubernia.


Famous Jewish Volhynians

Revered and famous people have come from the Volhynia area. Read about them here.


Little Known Facts about towns in Volhynia Gubernia

In 1900, two large printing offices in Zhitomir issued nearly one-half of all the Hebrew books printed in Russia. (Source: 1900 Encyclopedia Brittanica, thanks to Al Rosenfield.)

The famous composer Stravinsky and his family, who normally lived in St. Petersburg, spent their summers in the country at Ustilug. (Source)


Books about life or towns in Volhynia Gubernia

Reviews of books about Volhynia

Additional Readings about Volhynia

"Tales of a Vanished Land" is about someone who was born in Kashoffka (now Kashivka, Ukraine), in Volhynia gubernia. You can read a review here.

Translation of Necrology: Jewish Partisans and Fighters of Volyn in Their Memory, published in 1997.

Pinkes Kowel, Memorial Book of Kovel

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum library holdings on Volhynia

Table of Yizkor books, holdings for Yale University libraries

The Memorial Book of Ostrow-Lubelski, containing a number of references to Kovel


Databases for Volhynia

Lists of Volhynian Tsadikim, 1861 and 1865, from the "Denunciation on Tsadikim and their Bad Influence, 1861 and 1865."
Official Rabbis of Podolia and Volhynia Gubernias, 1883.
Vsia Rossia of 1895, an index to the contents of Vsia Rossia of 1895, for Chernigov, Poltava, Kiev and Volhynia guberniyas only. Vsia Rossia ("All of Russia") is a business directory covering all of Russia.


Towns in Volynia gubernia

Jewish population of Volhynian towns from "Yevreyskaya (Jewish) Enciklopaedia" published in St. Petersburg in 1907-1913.

Use this handy, 10,000-name database of Volhynian towns to automatically generate a map of the vicinity of a town and to find the distances between towns.

If you can't find a Volhynian town in our database, perhaps it is one of the "Lost Towns," small settlements that disappeared and were forgotten.

Town list
Here is a page from a Russian book, with a list of towns in Volhynia.


Here are some of the Jewish towns in Volhynia:

Berdichev   Shumsk
Kolki Staraya-Rafalovka
Kovel   Sudilkov
Emilchino   Tuchin
Kremenets   Trochenbrod
Kipil   Volochisk
Polonnoye   Vishnevets
Lutsk   Zhitomir(the former capitol)
Novograd-Volinsk   Zhvil
Rovno   Ostrog


ShtetLinks in Volhynia gubernia







Poninka, a small town in Volhynia province of Ukraine, was Linda Cantor's grandfather's town and she had heard him talk about it countless times. She was finally able to see it for herself when she traveled to Ukraine in 2001. She then created the ShtetLink page.

It's about an hour west of Kiev and, while small, has a major paper factory. In addition, it adjoins Polonnoye, a larger community, which also has industry. The two towns are contiguous and share the Jewish community and cemetery.







Other TownLinks (not ShtetLinks)

Kamen Kashirsky

Kolki - Join the Kolki discussion group

Sudilkov, site 1

Sudilkov, site 2



Professional Researchers In the Volhynia Area

For the convenience of our SIG members, we are providing a list of researchers who may be able to assist you in your research efforts.


Other Research Resources

Here are a few other resources to look into.


Stories from Volhynia Gubernia

The history of Jews in Volhynia is more than just places and dates, of course; it's about people. We've collected some personal stories (OK, so maybe second or third hand) that add a human dimension to the maps and tables.

Mitchell Nitikman wrote a number of wonderful stories about the town of Tshon that Arthur Nitikman has had translated from Yiddish to English. 
Growing up in Shumsk
A Journey to the Past – June 2002 - Gilda and Bob Kurtzman

Before being integrated into the Ukraine SIG website, the Volhynia web site was originally created and donated by Mark Heckman with Webmaster Andrew Blumberg. Special thanks to Mark and Andrew for their enormous contributions to this effort.


  • Last Modified: 10-22-2017
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