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The Progenitor:

Avram Seligman

(ca. 1740 - ca. 1798)

This 1811 record from the Reviskaya Skaza (Revision List) of the Petty Bourgeois Jewish Settlers of the Shtetl of Parichi  lists male members of the families of two of Avram Seligman's sons, Moishe Abramovich, age 48, and Yankel Abramov, who had died in 1802. Several of Avram's grandsons and great-grandsons were also listed., but no  females were apparently recorded in this census.


he earliest records of a Seligman (Zelikman, Zeligman) family in the town of Parichi (near Bobruisk), Byelorussia are from an 1811 census of Jewish settlers. They suggest the clan's progenitor was Avram Seligman, though he had  likely died years before the census was taken.

That his given name was Avram can be deduced from the patronymic (Abramovich) used by his five sons. Yankel, the eldest for whom a record survives, was born in 1759, putting Avram's birth at about 1740 at the latest; most of his sons fathered their first children by about age 18.

That Avram had died by 1798 is strongly suggested by the fact that a grandson bearing his name was born in that year. Ashkenazic Jewish tradition observed to this day favors naming newborn children after deceased and never living relatives.

Who his wife was, his occupation and where his family came from are questions whose answers are probably lost to history. But the family had likely not been there long. Jews didn't live in the Bobruisk area in large numbers at this time; by 1766 there were only about 400 in the vicinity.