My grandfather came over from a small village (shtetl) near Odessa in Ukraine c.1900. The name as it was told to me was "Sukaron" (I am most likely misspelling it). I am turning 70 years old this year and, all my life, I have wanted to set foot in his home locale.

Does anyone out there know of such a place and where it might be located?

If I am, in fact, misspelling the name, might someone correct it for me and have any info re: present day location.

  • Seems our grandfathers came from the same shtetl. Did you ever get there?
    – Colin T
    Mar 22, 2023 at 10:17

2 Answers 2


To locate a shtetl (a small town or village where there was a Jewish community), the free, nonprofit Jewish genealogy web site JewishGen has several useful tools.

First, as has been recommended on similar questions, the JewishGen Communities Database and JewishGen Gazetteer (https://www.jewishgen.org/Communities/) allow you to search among approximately 6,000 places where there were Jewish communities, with options for searching by what the name of the town sounds like, and by restricting geographically, or seeing results with the distance from a city or town you specify, so that you can find another place which is nearby.

Second, the mailing lists on JewishGen allow you to ask questions like this to an audience who are familiar with the use of the tools above, and with the geography of many former Jewish communities. To sign up to read and post to those mailing lists you will need to register for an account on JewishGen, which is free. In addition to a general mailing list, there are also mailing lists for special interests, many of which are by country such as Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, etc.

Third, it may be possible to either speak to a relative who remembers the name of the town differently, or to find documents which list the name of the town. Documents which could include a person's town of birth include naturalization documents, death records, and immigration records. (Finding those documents is a huge topic which is better covered outside this answer.)


Jarrett Ross made a video in 2019 about "Using DNA and Immigration Records to Breakdown Brick Walls in American Jewish Genealogy".

In it, he shows his great-grandfather's Declaration of Intention for Naturalization showing his birthplace as "Sakoran Russia" and beside it, his Petition for Naturalization showing his birthplace as "Sukaron Roumania".

Jarrett concluded that the town was Sokyryany Ukraine, which back in 1900 was Sekuryany in the district Khotin in the province Bessarabia in the Russian Empire.

This is the description of Sokyryany from JewishGen that he shows in his video:

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Maybe that is the town that your grandfather was referring to. Do note, however, that Sokyryany is 332 km (about 200 miles) from Odessa.

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