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 Chaiken Family of Nezhin
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 Katz/Hollander Family
 Zavelsky Family of Glukhov
Those we knew and who have passed on and had contributed so much to this project.
Alex Ephrat (1916-1996), Eilat, Israel
Rakhil Kvartikina (1902-1996), Kiev, Ukraine
Julia Ballo (1931-1999), St. Petersburg, Russia
Mark Zavelsky (1939-1999), Kiev, Ukraine
Rose Sovel (1904-2000), Philadelphia, PA
Charles Sovel (1933-2003), Philadelphia, PA
Nathan Louis Franklin (1907-2005) Chicago, IL
Vera Sovel Flaxman (1917-2005), Denver, CO
Click here to see the first three generations of the Zavelsky Family Tree.

"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 a miracle.

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 moment.

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

#1...Eliezer Zavelsky my 2nd great grandfather b.1820 in Russia
#2...Mina Zavelsky my 2nd great grandmother b.c.1820 in Russia
#3...Moshe Aron Zavelsky, born 1840 in Glukhov, son of Eliezar Zavelsky. My great grandfather.
#4...Zalman Meir Zavelsky son of Moshe Aron, called Solomon Sovel in America, born 1871 in Glukhov. My grandfather.
#5...Harry Aron Sovel, son of Zalman Meir, born 1909 in Philadelphia. My father.
To see additional Zavelsky Family pictures, click here.