I have recordings of my grandfather's cousin interviewing his father about life in Lithuania during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Asked where he was born, my great great uncle says,

"I was born on a farm. Uh, near, between, between, uh, Pumpyan and [unclear, maybe Porshwel]. Between Pumpyan and [unclear, maybe Porshwel]."

I've done research and have located the latitude and longitude of Pumpyan, but I'm having trouble identifying Porshwel. Was there a town in the Lithuanian area with this name? What are its longitude and latitude and how can I find out more about it.

(The spelling 'Porshwel' is a phonetic transcription of what he says during the interview. The sound is sub-par. It's possible I've spelled or heard wrong. I would post a snippet of the recording but I don't think I can do that on this site.)

1 Answer 1


There are a couple of possibilities very near by Pumpyan. Could "Porshwel" be either "Pushlot" (#1) or "Poshwol" (#2)?

  1. There is a town named Pušalotas about 7 km west of Pumpėnai (Pumpyan). Pušalotas has also been called Pushelat (Yiddish), Pushelaty (Russian), Puszolaty (Polish), Puscheloten (German), Pishelot, Pushlat, Puselat, and Pusholaty. The KehilaLinks site has quite a bit of information about Pušalotas, including some old photos. Pušalotas is at 55° 56′ 0″ N, 24° 14′ 40″ E.

  2. There is also a town named Pasvalys 15 km north of Pumpėnai. This one is more likely; its alternate names include Posvol (Russian, Yiddish), Poswol (Polish, German), Pasvale (Latvian), Pasvul, Posvul, Pasvalīs, Pasvalio, and Pozwoł. The KehilaLinks site has a page about Pasvalys, including a page listing a few immigrants to the US from Pasvalys. Pasvalys is at 56° 3′ 34″ N, 24° 24′ 13″ E.

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