My name is Martha
DRASSINOWER. My family is originally from Bukovina, from
Chernowitz, Vishnitz, Vama, Radautz, Gura H., although others lived in
Vienna and Yugoslavia.
Our "family name" was originally Katz, and my great anscestor was
Shmiel Katz, a shoihet. He left a town in Russia, name unknown,
and moved to a city/town called Drasinov (or Drachineas as an alternate
spelling) in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (which town I have never found
on a map, but other family members purport to have done so). To
differentiate him from his other Katz cousins/brothers, he was called
the Drasinov-er, the one who went/came from Drasinov in
Austra/Hungary. Then the law was passed requiring jews to take on
last names and he became the Drasinover, hence our last name.
Other of his siblings/cousins took on the name Katz. So I have
still cousins who are called Katz.
Alternate spellings are: DRASSINOWER, DRASINOVER, DRASSINOVER,
DRASSYNOVER, DRASYNOVER. Common first names are: Shmiel/Shmuel,
Litman, Abraham for men and TOVA or PERLE (PEPI) for women. All
DRASSINOWERS are cohanim. Some of those from Vishnitz were
followers of the Vishnitzer Rebbe.
I have the family tree going back 7 generations to Shmiel Katz, the
first DRASSINOVER. I date Shmiel Katz back to the late 1700's,
and have confirmed that with older relatives, but find it hard to
research "katz" and find DRASSINOWER much easier.
I am still missing 3 or 4 branches, however. My current theory is
that these branches likely perished in the Shoah, since I have
found a fair bit on the Yad-Vashem database. Unfortunately, it is
hard to piece together. There are some duplicates from the
database, there are DRASSINOVERS with the same first names, and so it's
hard to know if there were two DRASSINOVERS with the same name or else
if it is a true duplicate. Most of the survivors in my family do
not recall many of the names or were too young to know about their
parent's cousins so I am a bit at a loss.
My great grandfather was also a Shmiel Drassinower, from Vishnitz, and
was nicknamed "Britton" or "Britoneas" a local expression I am told
meaning 'great strength'. My great -grandfather is known to have
been very strong having fought off 2 russians soliders in Vishnitz at
one point. I met one former Vishnitz resident who remembered this
story of 'Britton' Drassinower and confirmed family lore on this point.
Also, in about 1905, one DRASINOVER and DRASYNOVER family and other
cousins went to the US via Ellis Island. I have been unable to
track down their children after that, despite white pages searches and
some Census records. My current theory is that most of the
children were female and they would have taken on married names.
I have tried the usual searches on Jewish Gen and simply found other
cousins that I know about and with whom I am in touch.
If anyone has any information or suggestions, please respond privately
Martha DRASSINOWER, Toronto, Canada
researching DRASSINOWER/DRASINOVER/DRASYNOVER - Bukovina