Larry Hamilton's Research on Ludwinowski as the original surname of the Lewis Family
(Larry is an officer of the Suwalk-Lomza Interest Group)

My first step was to hypothesize that the original surname at least began with the letter ďL.Ē  Itís not a certainty (after all, my grandfather changed his name from KUSHNER to HAMILTON), but itís a high probability.

My second step was to hypothesize that Hyman LEWISís original given name was Chaim.  Again, not a certainty, but a very high probability.  (Subsequently, I looked at the picture posted of his tombstone, which confirmed that his name was indeed Chaim.)

I then scanned the Marijampole vital records indexes for surnames beginning with L, where the fatherís name was Chaim.  There was only one family that fit that profile: LUDWINOWSKI Ė which could easily have been changed to LEWIS.  These are the entries I found:

     Hinda, daughter of Chaim, born 1837

         Ita, daughter of Chaim, born 1839, died 1843

 My first inclination was to doubt whether this was the same family.  After all, if Chaim was fathering children in 1837, he was probably born no later than 1815.  Still there were no other alternative candidates that fit the profile.   So I made the identification, but tentatively.  But then, when I found that Hyman was 83 years old when he died in 1898, that enabled us to place his birth in 1815, which is exactly where we would expect it to be. 

I have no explanation for why the births of Solomon and his two brothers do not appear in the Marijampole indexes.  Conceivably they were born someplace else besides Marijampole, possibly in the town where their mother was from (if that was a different town).   Or maybe they were born in the missing years.  The Marijampole records for 1845 and 1855-1858 are missing.  According to certain information, Moses was born in 1857, which is a missing year.  Maybe Harris was a little older than he thought and was born in 1845 instead of 1848.  And maybe Solomon was a little younger than he thought and was born in 1855.  Itís a mystery, but not a show-stopper.

Presumably, the surname of Ludwinowski was derived from the town of Ludwinow (called Liudvinavas in modern Lithuania), which is situated just six miles south of Marijampole.  Someone who moved to Marijampole from Ludwinow would have been given the moniker Ludwinowski.

Research on the Schiff Family by
the Editor of Landsmen, Publication of the Suwalk-Lomza Special Interest Group

Click here to view the research done by Marlene Silverman, editor of Landsmen, on the Schiff family.  Esther Tobia Schiff was the wife of Solomon Lewis, son of Hyman Lewis.