I'm trying to determine where in Russia the town/city from the passenger list actually is located in Russia today - below pic is for the passenger "Belinsky" showing contact and town/city for 1911 arrival in NY on the SS Birma from Libau Russia to NY. Appears to read "Shemelincsi" Volynsk guberniya. Unable to locate on any map.

From passenger list under person and city/town where one came from

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Added above after original post It shows the place of birth of 3 close relatives from Draft Registration Cards - thought it may help

  • 1
    Do you know Belinsky's religion? (I'm wondering if it could be a Jewish shtetl.) Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 2:48
  • I do not know for a fact their religious background - the name is Stephandia Belinsky or Belinskaja as per Ellis Island. Under the Race /people heading they answered Russian while some others answered Hebrew. Any help or advice how to in finding out if they were Jewish/Hebrew would be appreciated.
    – Ron Smith
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 20:01

2 Answers 2


The best match that I could find is 'Shemetitsa' from the JewishGen Gazetteer.

It is listed as a 'populated place' with coordinates 51° 03'N 28° 26'E, which would place it within the Volhynian governorate in the north of modern Ukraine, about 2km SE of Luhyny.

I've looked for it with a number of online maps, including mapcarta, and Google Maps and there doesn't seem to be much there today.

Mapire have an historical map of the area around Luhyny. The map doesn't have a scale, and the place names use a Cyrillic script (plus the tape joining the sections of the map is irritating), but there is a settlement to the south-east of Luhyny that may be Shemetitsa.


What's written on the card may be an attempt to 'Anglicise' the place name to allow it to be written in the Latin alphabet.


I have checked out the names of villages and towns on the map of Volhynian Governorate (Volynskaya guberniya) and I suppose that the most close to them are Lyakhovtsy ("Lachowcy") https://uk.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%91%D1%96%D0%BB%D0%BE%D0%B3%D1%96%D1%80%27%D1%8F and Jukovtsy ("Jukowcy"). https://uk.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%AE%D0%B2%D0%BA%D1%96%D0%B2%D1%86%D1%96 The last one I can't decode for now. Do you understand what is written?

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About the first image: Belinsky Shemelinsky. Probably it is double surname and was written as Belinsky-Shemelinsky. For polish origin it was normal. As well as for noble people. There were nobles with the same surname in Volynskaya gubernia. https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%91%D0%B5%D0%BB%D0%B8%D0%BD%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B5

You need to find the documents about your ancestors to check out who they were.

Here you can check out all the places of this guberniya: https://www.wdl.org/ru/item/14073/view/1/1/

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