"Not until I was over fifty years
of age did I learn my family did not come from 'somewhere'
in Russia, but that our origins were in Glukhov."
Looking back to 1993 when I knew of only fourteen relatives
in my paternal family, to now, when I have over 2000 ancestors
and descendants in my paternal database, and over 5000 in
my maternal database, I think it must be nothing short of
My paternal grandfather was Solomon Sovel. Not until I began
working on my genealogy did I learn that our family name was
Zavelsky and that we did not come from "somewhere"
in Russia, but that our origins were Glukhov.
We are all descended from Ilya Zavelsky, born circa 1795,
most probably in what was then Zavileyski, Poland. After the
third partition of Poland many Jews began migrating south
and we believe that by the 1820's Ilya settled in Glukhov
with his two sons, Moishe and Eliezar. To date all of the
Zavelskys we have found can be traced back to Moishe and Eliezar.
As this was also the time when Jews were mandated to take
surnames, there could have been other sons of Ilya who took
a different surname.
The derivation of the name Zavelsky is most interesting and
there are several possibilities. Most likely is that we originated
in the Zavileyski Uzed in Poland. Also, as Zavel comes from
the male name Shaul, a very early ancestor might have had
the first name of Shaul.
We suggest that to navigate this site in proper order you
click above to read the Historical Overview from the 1600s
through 1991.Then proceed to the story of our first known
Zavelsky, Ilya, born circa 1795. Tradition has prevailed and
the younger generations today are carrying on the family first
name of Ilya.
Use either The Family Tree or the Surname Index of names to
find yourself on the tree and then scroll back to see if you
are a descendant of Eliezar or Moishe.
I feel that I have been greatly privileged to have become
acquainted with and meet second, third and fourth cousins
I never knew of before in Russia, Ukraine, Australia, Israel
and the United States, through working on this genealogy project.
We have formed special bonds with those we met and visited
with in Russia and Ukraine along with many living in the states.
We have walked the streets where are ancestors resided in
Glukhov, Nezhin, Kiev and Kharkov.
We returned from our eastern European visit different people
with a greater appreciation for America and a great respect
for our ancestors.
Since our 1995 Ukrainian visit, many new relatives have been
found. We were pleased to find Zavelsky cousins living in
the Moscow area. We also discovered that some of the children
of Berk Zavelsky, who were presumed lost in the Holocaust,
were found. For me personally, this was a very gratifying
Again, since our 1995 Ukrainian visit, most of our relatives
have left the area. Svetlana Zavelsky and her mother immigrated
from Kiev to New York, Rafael Zavelsky and his family immigrated
from Kharkov to New York, Ovsey Zavelsky and his family immigrated
from Kharkov to Israel, Raya Zavelsky and her family immigrated
from Kharkov to Israel, Stanislav Zavelsky and his family
immigrated from Kiev to Germany. More moves, to numerous to
name have taken place along with many marriages and new births.
I have been collecting information on the history of the town
of Glukhov, the Jewish residents from the early days, and
what their life was like. I plan to put this on the site at
a later date.
In the future, there is much
more to come.
|New On The Zavelsky Site
| Charles Sovel Esq. argues before the Supreme Court, 1994...Click Here