The Gross-Steinberg Family Tree presents:

Shtetl Research: Krekenova, Lithuania

by James Gross

(Krakanova, Krakenovo, Krakinava, Krakinova)population 300
Approximately 18 miles from Kedaniai & Panevezys on the Neviazha River
Map coordinates are: 55 33'/24 06'

Date: 6/18/96
Dear fellow researcher,
The following is a compilation of recent and past letters from researchers doing Krekenova, Lithuania research. I urge you to submit your names to the JGFF as many of you have not done so yet.
James H. Gross
Member JGS of Phila

History of Krekenova, Lithuania

KRAKINOVA (KRAKENAVA) - Poevezh District D2

References at end

Krekenova, Lithuania is located on the Neviasza River. It is 30 kilometers from Kedainiai, Lithuania and Panevezys, Lithuania. Before WWI there were 300 Jewish families. During the war (1915) they were expelled to central Russia and the town was burned down. After the war (1921) there were 150 families living there. In 1939 there were 60 families.

The Jews earned their living in the linen trade. There were also a few artisans. Two large flour mills were owned by Jews and the towns marketing days were Monday and Thursday. The town had a synagogue, study house (Beit Midrash), a small synagogue (kloiz), and a large yeshiva that was founded and headed by Rabbi Moshe Cheskin. The Tarbut school had some 170 students. There was also a 2000 volume library. There were charitable institutions and social welfare was provided to the needy. Its youth organizations were Maccabi,Hehalutz Hatzair, and Hashomer Hatzair.

The town was noted for its scholors. Many of its leading figues had rabbinic ordination, but they did not earn their living from their rabbinic training. In the study house (Beit Midrash) the study of torah continued uninterrupted day and night.

From the rabbinate:
R. Moshe-Mishel Luria (served as the rabbi for 50 years);
R. Natan-Neta Plaum/Flaum (born in the town, he was the son of R. Mishel.
He served as a rabbi for 35 years and died in 5655/1895)
R. Shneour-Zalman Shneourson (died in 5645/1885);
R. Moshe Heskin (served 15 years as rabbim until 5675/1915);
and the last rabbi was R. Benjamin Movasha.

Natives: R. Shaul (son of Moshe-Mishel Luria); R. Eliezer-Yehuda Rabinovitz; Yosef-Eliahu Fried; Abba Shaban, public figure in South Africa.

"Yehadut Lita" (The Jews of Lithuania), Vol III, Association of the Lithuanian Jews in Israel, Tel Aviv, 1967,(hebrew). Translated and mailed to James Gross by Joseph Woolf, Moshav Ilaniya, Lower Galilee, Israel.

"Lithuanian Jewish Communities" by Nancy & Stuart Schoenburg, (c) 1996. Buy the book, its great!

Additional reference:
Amos Ben Shalom, Portrait of a Volksmensch, Johannesburg, S. Africa: Grosvenor Publishing Co., 1974. Shaban was born in Krakinovo. Chapter 1 is "Shaban and His Environment."

Krakenowo: Our Town in Lithuania 1901-1961, The Story of a World That Has Passed, published by Krakenowo Sick Benefit Society, P.O.Box 8426, Johannesburg 2000, S. Africa; Chairman Sydney Seeff."

Date: Wed, 15 Mar 1995
From: Ada Greenblatt,(
Subject: KREKENAVA, Lith.
I am seeking information for someone who is researching the town of Krekenava, Lithuania in Kovno Guberniya. According to records at YIVO, there was a Krakinover Benevolent Association, K.B.A. organized December 2, 1906. I think its headquarters was in the Bronx, NY.

Can anyone tell me if there is a cemetery plot in the New York area for this particular landsmannschaft and if so, where is it located? The office staff at every cemetery I've been to thinks I mean Krakower. They wouldn't know the difference between Krakinover, Krakower and a nutcracker! Ada Greenblatt or

Date: 95-04-12
Hi James,
What I can do in the distant future is take those names that were mentioned in the 1936 notice of meeting of the Krakinover Benev. Assn. and look up the New York City death index to see if any of them died between 1936 and 1948 (the last year that NYC death records are available to the public). From there I can look up the death certificates themselves and find out what cemetery they are in. I can then call the cemetery and find out if they have a landsmannschaft plot for Krakinover. Also, if you know of anyone from Krekenova who died in NYC before 1949, I can do the same with them also.

I won't be able to work on that until the summer or fall, though. So far I am still working on Arline's cemetery project and then I am going to Israel (and Jordan) from May 17 - June 24. Have a Happy Pesach!
Ada Greenblatt

Date: Sat, 26 Aug 1995
From: "A.E. Goldberg" (agoldber@Direct.CA)
Subject: KRAKENOWO, Lithuania
I have a photocopy of a booklet put out in 1961 about the town of KRAKENOWO, Lithuania. Many of the jews from this town moved to South Africa and in 1901 they started the Krakenowo Sick Benefit and Benevolent Society. They used to get together for yearly reunions right until the late 70's and may still be doing so - I don't know. This 41 page booklet was to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of the Society and consists of history, recollections, photos and stories. Most of it is in English but there are a few pages of Yiddish/Hebrew. I have never seen a Yizkor book but maybe this is something similar.


If anyone has any interest in any of this - please e-mail me. Ed Goldberg

To: (jameshgross)
Date: Sat, 11 May 1996
Subject: Krekenava
Hi from Iowa:
I'd love to be included in the web project. I have some background information, and also FTW input on several ancestors and their descendants from Krekenava. Thanks for initiating this. What do you need from me? Regards -

From: "Stephen Lee Snyder Reston, VA "
Date: Mon, 13 May 1996
Subject: Re: Krekenova
I'm searching for PRESS from Krekenova. This name may have been Americanized, I'm not sure. The two people I know of are Rachmiel (Robert) and Lena PRESS. Steve Snyder or
Reston, VA

Date: Mon, 13 May 1996
Subject: Re: Krekenova
My friend Carol KAFTAN, is researching Krekenova and Remegola, Lithuania. She is not on the net. You may send email to me. We will be in Krekenova in July. Best wishes,
Betty Provizer Starkman

From: Dave Curwin (
Date: Tue, 14 May 1996
Subject: RE: Krekenova
While I don't have any information about Krekenova now, I don't mind being part of a place for further research and discussion. -Dave
David Curwin
With wife Toby, Shaliach to Boston, MA

Date: Tue, 14 May 1996
Subject: Krekenova/ Carol Kaftan
Dear James,
Thank you for the message. Both Carol and I live in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (35 miles north of Detroit). Carol had family in Krekanava. I am a professional genealogist and the founder of the JGS of Michigan. The trip for me will be purely research since I have visited Eastern Europe several times. We will of course visit the cemetery. We are planning to photograph all of the remaining stones in the cemeteries we visit (hope weather is good). Best wishes,

Date: Tue, 14 May 1996
Subject: Re: Panevezys & Krekenova

I am researching Krekenava. My great-great-grandfather Benjamin Kramer was born there in 1852, moved to Seduva at unknown time as his children were born in Seduva. The family immigrated to Baltimore in the 1890s. I have paid the Lithuanian archives to research the revision lists but haven't heard from them yet. Ed Fudman

To: (jamesgross)
Date: Fri, 17 May 1996
Subject: Krekenava

I don't have official documentation - just facts given by one branch of my family, which I incorporated into my database and family history. Edith Noick was the third of four chiildren of Tzvi Noieck. She was my great-grandfather's sister. Her branch of the family ended up in South Africa. I have many generations of her descendants in my family tree, along with all the other branches. Let me know if you can use any of it. The other shtetls my family came from are -LUKNIK, RIETIVAS, SHAVEL, TELSIAI, TRESIK, UZVENTIS, and others in that NW Lithuania vicinity. If any of these names come up, I can contribute family names, etc.

This is what "Lithuanian Jewish Communities" by Nancy & Stuart Schoenburg (Garland Publishing, Inc., New York & London, 1991) has to say on Krekenava:

KRAKINOVA (RAKENAVA) - Poevezh District D2

(see top of page for text. Davida's info is a duplicate of text provided by Mr Woolf. I hope you can use some of this.
Regards - Davida

Date: Tue, 14 May 1996
From: Dave Curwin <>
Subject: GARBER
researching: GARBER /Krekenova, Lithuania,

Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996
Subject: map info
Jewish Gen researchers,
I recently posted a variant of this letter on Jewishgen. In the list below I have indicated 4 sources for maps.

1. a great map of lithuania: "The Baltic States-1845" by Adolph Steiler
Map #M7 from Jonathan Sheppard Books
P.O. Box 2020 Plaza Station Albany,NY 12220
Price: 5.95 + 3.75 rolled shipping.

2. Contact the geography & Map division at the Library of Congress Send them a letter asking them for info on old WWII maps and/or preWWII maps for your town. Supply the town name variants and coordinates. Also ask for any reference info from historical gazatteers. They will send you complete info on your town, including excerpts from old maps. After getting the free sample copies, you can request a full sized copy upon payment.

Library of Congress
Geography and Map Division
Washington,D.C. 20540

3. National Archives
Attn: Robert Richardson
Cartiographic Branch
Washington,D.C. 20408
Ask him for any info on old maps, or German aerial photos of your town. Supply the town name variants and coordinates.

4. Geneology Unlimited: 1-800-666-4363
good for poland maps. do 2 things,ask for catalog and send them a large SASE letter requesting a free copy of the series ME200 map grid of Middle Europe & a copy of the series ME75 map grid of Middle Europe
Courtesy of James Gross (LARKLANE@JUNO.COM)

From: "Prof. G. L. Esterson" (
To: James H Gross (
Date: Sun, 25 Aug 1996
Subject: Re: the unofficial Panevezys group

Dear Jim,
Since you sent me the digest of messages from researchers interested in Panevezys and Krekenova some months ago, I haven't heard anything from or about the new group. I would be very interested in subscribing to this group. Is there anything that I have to do in order to subscribe?
Looking forward to hearing from you. Regards from Israel,
Prof. G. L. Esterson, Ra'anana, Israel

From: "Martin N. Kruger" (
Date: Sat, 26 Oct 1996

Dear Mr. Gross,
I am tracking the following people and possibly you can advise how I can find out about these people:
Tzvi Heirsh KRIGER/Kruger born 13.08.1836 in Kravenova, Lithuania (near Panevezys).Looking forward to hearing back from you
Martin Kruger

From: (Harry Hurwitz)
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 1996
Subject: Krekenava
For: James H. Gross Please include me in your Krekenava Group. My ggfather, Yosef-Dov (Berre-Yosse) HURWITZ (GURVICS) was from Krekenava. We are told that he lived to 100 years. I do not know where he was buried. His wife's name is not known, and we know of two sons, Avraham (b.1866) and Hirshe- Meyer (my gfather,b.1875). There may have been a son, Wolf, and a daughter whose name is not known. I have much info to share on Abraham and Hirshe- Meyer's descendants. Has anybody in the group found any of the above names in vital records, census lists, etc.?
Harry Hurwitz
Rehovot, Israel

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