My Grandmother emigrated from Berditoscher, Russia in 1912.

I'm trying to find out where this city was located?

Updated to add the probable source of this information (incorporating information from comments).

Searching for the name on Google yielded two transcriptions of information extracted from FHL microlfilm #1402604 by Janet Laubhan Flickinger in March 1999:

The transcriber says:

This is a list of Germans from Russia extracted from LDS microlfilm 1402604 - Mar. 1999. This manifest is one of those good ones that lists physical description, amount of money in their possession, place of birth, previous residence, but more importantly the names of nearest relative in the "old country" and the US and sometimes complete addresses > of the relative in the US. Those that have an asterisk(*) following the name, will have info on relatives below.

Here is the relevant part of transcription:

Pg-Line     Surname     Given Name  Age     Sex     M/S     Calling     Country     Race    Prev. Residence     Destination
2-11    Rüger   Anna Maria  21  f   s   servant     Russia  Germany     Popowka, Russia     Bison, KS
16-17   Schulz  Ferdinand   51  m   m   farm laborer    Russia  German  Berditoscher, Russia    Alpena, MI
16-18   Schulz  Rosalia     44  f   m   housewife   Russia  German  Berditoscher, Russia    Alpena, MI
16-19   Schulz  Olga    15  f   s   none    Russia  German  Berditoscher, Russia    Alpena, MI
16-20   Schulz  Wanda   8   f   s   none    Russia  German  Berditoscher, Russia    Alpena, MI
17-26   Müller  Heinrich    42  m   s   farm laborer    Russia  German  Karamyschewka, Rus  Baltimore, MD

There are no other families from 'Berditoscher' in the excerpt.

FamilySearch has the relevant image online:

enter image description here

"Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1883-1945," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:23QB-S2W : 8 December 2014), Ferdinand Schulz, 1912; citing Immigration, NARA microfilm publication T840 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,402,604.


3 Answers 3


Passenger lists can be difficult to decipher, and I think the transcriber has interpreted the place name incorrectly. I think a more accurate transcription would be: Berditschew.

Translating place names from Russian to English can be more of an art than a science, and this is likely a spelling of Berdychiv in modern Ukraine.

The JewishGen Gazetteer gives the following spelling variants for Berdychiv:

Alternate names: Berdychiv [Ukr], Berdichev [Rus], Barditchev [Yid], Berdyczów [Pol], Berdicev [Rom], Berditchev, Berditchov, Berditschew, Berdytschiw, Berdyciv


  • 1
    I've made a small edit to your answer because I think the questioner has merely accepted the transcription which I found elsewhere on the Internet.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 17:22

I have family roots I'm searching in Berdichev in the Ukraine, south of Zhytomyr. I wasn't familiar with the Berdychiv spelling given by Harry, but that does appear to be the same city.

I've often heard this branch of my family refer to one of themselves as a Berdichever. It could very well have been that your grandparent said it that way when they were asked where they were from.

There was a large Jewish population in that city, but the person you are referring to is listed as German. However, I do find it interesting the people on the ship record before and after them are all listed as Hebrew, but different towns are listed for them. None-the-less, there were Jewish people on the ship.

That Heurichdorp (or whatever it is in the column following the town name) is important, because that column is "The name and complete address of nearest relative or friend in country whence alien came." It could be a town nearby, or a streetname in Berdichev.

One other suggestion. Try checking all the passengers on that voyage for other people who are from what looks like the same town name. Other writings of the town name may be more legible and you might be able to determine precisely how they spelled that town. Look also for that Heurichdorp. Also, any other people from the same town might give you other clues, and they even might be relatives or friends of your grandparents.


I'm not sure if this would be of any help but my mother Amalie Ehler Schimke was born in Tibilisi, Georgia in 1912 and came to the US in the same year. Her father is John Henrich Ehler born in the 1880s in Saratov, Russia. I was able to find Saratov as well as Tibilisi on the map of Russia. They spoke German. Of course, as you are aware some of the towns have different but similar spellings. If you have not already done so you may want to look at the Tibilisi and Saratov enlarged maps to locate the city you are looking for with a similar spelling.

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