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 Chaiken Family of Nezhin
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 Zavelsky Family of Glukhov
Click here to see diary excerpts from our visit to Ciechanoviec.
Click here to read the Ciechanoviec Yizkor Book
Click here to read about the Dennison/Kaplan Families

Click here to read about the Schnitzler Family
Excerpted from the Ciechanoviec (Bialystok District) Memorial and Records, published by the Ciechanovitzer Immigrants Association - in Israel and the USA
Ancestral Home of the Kaplan and Schnitzler Families

Ciechanoviec is located 69 k SW of Bialystok.

It was founded in the fifteenth century by the Kyski family, whose descendants called themselves Ciechanowites. The oldest synagogue in the town was built in the 15th century. Next to the synagogue stood six Houses of Study; three built from wood and three from stone.

In 1653 following the passing of the last of the Kyski family the lands of Ciechanoviec passed into the possession of the Radziwill family. The River Nurec divides the town into two unequal parts:
The Old City: Belonged to the Bialystok Government District from 1794 to 1843. From 1843 it was attached to the Bielsk district of Grodno Province in Russia.

The New City: Was in Bialystok district from 1794 -1807 when it was attached to Lomza District in Poland. The river served as a frontier between Russia and Poland before the final partition of Poland in 1795. In accordance with the decision of the Congress of Vienna in 1814, almost the whole area was annexed by Russia as the "Kingdom of Poland".

In 1775 there were 293 houses in the hamlet.

In 1795 there were 340 houses in Ciechanoviec and the population numbered 2650 persons. In 1847 it had a Jewish population of 2,054 and according to the census of 1897 the total population was 5,569 of whom 3,743 were Jews. Although we have no information about the persecution of the local Jews by the non Jewish population, there are documents proving that they paid heavy taxes to the estate owner, which did not accord with their number. Jewish trade and commerce were shackled and restricted by the local guilds. Heavy duties were placed on everything even for the upkeep of the Mikvah.

Ciechanoviec was famous in Jewish history for it’s great scholars who disseminated their wisdom and ethical views from there, serving as Rabbis and preachers to the community. It was a center of Torah study and also a center of manufacturing, handicrafts and commerce. In the 19th century it had its trade guilds of bakers, furriers, tailors, filmmakers, carpenters, potters, locksmiths and shoemakers. It also had its associations of textile workers and workers in breweries and spirit factories.

At the close of the nineteenth century, the economic situation of the middle-class Jews was very unsatisfactory. They were subject to the whims and caprices of the regional squires, who did not show great affection for the Jews.

During W.W.I, most of Ciechanoviec was burned to the ground. Many of the Jews living there fled elsewhere, seeking a refuge in the depths of Russia. Only a handful of the 4,000 Jews who had previously made up the community were left. However, when the war was over, the Jews returned to their ruined homes and rebuilt them.

In 1921, there were 1,649 Jews living there out of a total population of 3,291. The Jewish community expanded with remarkable rapidity. Its numbers doubled and tripled. Jewish self security increased and there was a general feeling that things would always be in order. When Ciechanoviec had reached it's height, there were about 6,000 Jews living there, then, everything was destroyed and swept away in the overwhelming flood.

The Ciechanoviec Jews were entirely wiped out during the Holocaust. Today there are no longer any Jews in the town.
#1...The River Nurec which divides the town into two unequal parts
#2...The Synagogue in the 1800s
#3...The Synagogue in 1995 slowly being restored. Today there is no working synagogue as there are no Jewish families.
#4...The River Nurec which divides the two parts of Ciechanoviec, 1995.
#5...The Market Square in old Ciechanoviec
#6...Ciechanoviec has an open air museum with 15 old Jewish tombstones set in the ground as a memorial along with replicas of old houses from 1850-1890.
Click here to see additional Ciechanoviec pictures,