Posted By Igal Sokolov
I'd like to share the most exciting story that ever happened to me since I started my family research. My Tabakin family starts from Birzai Lithuania The census from 1898 stated 11 children of Movsha and Sheina Tabakin. I always knew that most of the family left Birzai to Riga and Moscow around 1914 and my mom has a good contact with all the descendants besides two male names mentioned in the census doc. But these two names never were even heard by any of the Tabakin descendants. I was sure that they died young.

To my surprise when I opened the list of Birzai internal passports I found these two names there, getting their passports in 1920. That gave me an idea to look for the Tabakin family name-bearers. The rest were female or didn't have kids so I was sure that there are no Tabakin in our family branch. I sent my question to a popular Russian language on-line social network. And... in about 6 hours got a reply from a granddaughter of one of the men listed in Census. We couldn't believe that we found each other and checked all the facts many times. Everything fitted like a perfect puzzle.
Most amazing fact that she grew up in Birzai since her family never left the place. She knew nothing about the rest of the family since her grandfather was murdered by Nazis in Aug 1941. She and I are still speechless from what happened to us. It's a happy family reunion after 95 years of separation.

Recently I contacted Latvian Central archive and got back a package of documents about my family in 50 (fifty !!!) pages dated from 1907 to 1938, including two photographs from 1920. These two pictures is most valuable finding, since nobody in the family had the pictures of these people. I was able to show the photograph of grandfather to his granddaughter for the first time in her life. She never even thought such a picture exists since he was killed in 1941. Now I have a big job of translating these documents, most of them in Lithuanian.
I want to express enormous gratitude to the organizers of the Internal Passports project and their translators. I'd like to encourage everybody to try it. My story shows that miracles happen. Thanks a lot to all volunteers who helped me and guided me through the research process.

Thank you,
Igal Sokolov
Sunnyvale, CA

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