Chana Mera was a child of Hirsch Leib HaLevy and Etta / Jetta Smarkovitch Abramowitz. Her father was a butcher and according to family stories, worked for the Tzar. Chana Abe was one of 10 children

Aunt Mildred told me her Aunt’s name was Anna Marie but my second Abramowitz cousins, grandchildren of Sarah, my grandmother’s sister, was told her name was Chana Mera.

The photograph of Chana and her husband was probably taken in the 1890’s. I base that on the type of card stock it is on and the words “Cabinet Protrait”. Cabinet cards were on heavy stock with square corners and were popular around then.

Could this have been their wedding portrait? Note that the address of the photographer is listed in the town of Bauske. Bauske is about 38 miles south of Riga. Before WWII, it was in the Courland area of the Russian Empire.

We know that Chana and her husband were forced to move to Ukraine. This occured probably duing the Russian Revolution of 1905 when the Russians expelled or killed anyone who they thought opposed them.

We also know that Chana gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, and that she died young. Were the twins born in Ukraine, or before they were expelled? Did she die in childbirth if they were born in Ukraine? Not knowing her husband’s name leaves us with a lot of questions.

Chana Abramowitz and husband
Chana and Husband back of photo

It is likely that Hirsch, Chana’s father, was born in Bauske. Was this then an arranged marriage with people he still knew there or did they meet on their own? Bauske to Jelgava (Mitau) is about 34 miles. Today it would be about a 45 minute car ride., but back then it must have taken several hours in a horse-pulled wagon.

map shoing Bauske to Jelgava