Title: Minnesota Death Index, 1908-2002
Publication: Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2001
Title: World Family Tree European Origins Vol. E1, Ed. 1
Page: Tree #0447
Author: Br�derbund Software, Inc.
Publication: Release date: September 15, 1997
Note: [Br�derbund WFT European Origins Vol. E1, Ed. 1, Tree #0447, Date of Import: Mar 22, 2003]
His Jewish name was Raphael bar Abraham ha Levi -- Raphael, son of Abraham, of the tribe of Levi. Called "Raful", he was born in Revutskoye, between Odessa and Kiev in very rural Russia, where he helped his mother conduct the family's honey and wax business. By the time he was 12, he started to establish his own career. Raphael gained wide respect and some wealth in Russia as a merchant of a particular quality of grain and flour of only the very highest standard. Tradition says he sold wheat to the Czar. "He guarded this reputation religiously, always carefully delivering this one top quality. And also it should be mentioned, at the exact price he had quoted it, regardless of how the market had fluctuated in between time of delivery. He would take many great losses in these transactions, on a rising market, but in the long run it did him much good, as it soon became known that his word was his bond. "Raphael also followed very closely the footsteps of his father... during his entire life his religion always came first. And, while most of his business dealings were with Gentiles, he would many times gain their disfavor because of his own strong religious beliefs. He would refuse to deal with them on the Sabbath, regardless of the fact that his business involved such a highly fluctuating market. He would close on the least important holidays, he would refuse to eat in the fine homes of his Gentile business associates, and this would anger them greatly, many times to the extent that they would sever their business connections with him entirely, feeling he had insulted them. But he would never waver. Were it not for this, along with his great honesty in all his dealings, he could have easily built a very vast fortune." (Arthur Silver, from the Oreck Family News, December 1967) Even after the Czar was gone, Raphael was able to maintain his position as a wheat broker. He lived rurally in Novoukrainka, between his Revutskoye birthplace and the larger Yelisavetgrad, in the Kherson guberniya (province) of the old Russian Empire. He travelled a lot in his business. According to recently discovered Ukrainian documents, "Refuel' Avrumovich Orekhovskij" indeed lived in Novoukrainka in the 1890s. He was the elder of the "Fifth House of Prayer" from 1900 to 1903. Miriam Oreck Long (1993), Avram (Abe) and Annie's daughter, heard stories that Raful was an "agronomist" and may have come to America before the others, reaching the grain country, perhaps Minneapolis, then returning to Russia with information (possibly for a sponsoring business or client estate) about wheat culture here. He then may have advised his family to come here. After his children had all departed Russia for Duluth with their spouses, he finally joined them in America, not out of necessity, for he left a prospering business. He briefly visited to Duluth in the summer of 1902, leaving each of his children a sizable cash gift. He returned to Russia, sold out all his property and belongings. About 1905, he came back to stay, accompanied by his second wife, Rivka, and their daughter, Ida. He bought a couple of houses on 4th Ave. West and 3rd St., and from the rentals was able to make a living. INFORMATION ABOUT OUR FAMILY ORIGINS: Raful Oreckovsky and his siblings were from a village called Revutskoye (later called obrovelichkovka), between Odessa and Kiev, in the Russian Empire (now Ukraina). George Hershel Harris (formerly Oreckovsky), and probably his brothers, were born 11 miles west of Revutskoye, in Tishkovka. These settlements were just west of the village of Novoukrainka. Growing documentation of our roots, including three recently discovered Russian certificates of birth, indicate that the Oreckovsky family of the earlier 1800s were registered residents of Kishinev, about 160 miles to the west in Bessarabia, now Moldova. The certificate of death of Aleck "Albert" Oreckovsky (1875-1935), states that both he and his parents, Israel and Sarah Shapiro Oreckovsky, (Raful's nephew and niece), were born in "Revutsk", really Revutskoye. "The Novoukrainka Connection" of our family, referred to by Daisy Marcus, is being better understood every day. David Marcus (1993), Daisy's widower, said Novoukrainka and Bershad were underlined on their map during their early work together on our family's history. Her Oreckovskys were from Novoukrainka and Revutskoye; her Averbooks, from Bershad, 90 miles to the west. A Russian photograph of Raful ("Raphael") Oreckovsky circa 1875 was made by L.M. Shtejn in Yelisavetgrad, 40 miles northeast of Novoukrainka. There is also a photo circa 1880 of Raful's daughter, Eudie Oreckovsky Sosnovsky, taken at the same Shtejn studio as her father's, in Yelisavetgrad. Yelisavetgrad and Novoukrainka were both in Khersonskaya guberniya (region), where Raful's brother, Samuel Oreckovsky, was born in 1840, according to his certificate of death. Today Yelisavetgrad is Kirovograd, in the Ukraine, 175 miles north of Odessa and 175 miles south of Kiev. The town has also been called Kirovo and, just after 1917, Zinoviev, or Zinovyevsk. Thanks to Linda Harris Mehr's family records, it is now documented that Jennie (Batonick) and Dave (Oreckovsky) Harris's daughter, Rose Harris, were also born in 1899 in Novoukrainka, as was John Oreckovsky's wife, Bessie Batonick. Raful's daughter, Pearl, married Moishe Viener (originally Vinitskij), born in Bobrinets, just 35 miles southeast of Novoukrainka. Joseph Mandy Averbook, Daisy Weisberg Marcus's great-uncle, and the son of Raful's sister, Sarah Oreckovsky and Azreal Averbook, was born in Bershad, Ukraine, 90 miles west of Novoukrainka and Yelisavetgrad (Kirovograd). The small town of Sosnovka was 50 miles from Novoukrainka and 35 miles north of Yelisavetgrad. The Sosnovsky (now Sonosky) family probably came from there. One unidentified family photo with Russian printing was taken in Zlatopol, "Golden City", now called Novomirogorod, west of Sosnovka and 35 miles north of Novoukrainka. About 175 miles east of Novoukrainka was Alexandrovsk (now Zaporozhye), where Aaron Shapiro's daughters, Mary and Gertrude, were born. Just 15 miles south of that was Orekhov, a possible earlier home of the Oreckovsky (really Orekhovskij) family in the late 1700s. 1900-1903 N.Y. Ship Passenger Arrival Records (No Raphael Oreckovsky found by Nat'l Archives) "In 1902 Raphael was getting older and very lonesome for his children, so he decided to visit them in America. When he arrived he spent a week in the home of each child. Parties were given for him just about every night in the week, and he enjoyed tremendously renewing acquaintances of many of his old friends whom he had known in Russia and with his family, which had grown since he last saw them. He now felt this is where he belonged... When he arrived back in Europe, he proceeded to liquidate his business interests, and in short time [1904 or 1905] returned with his wife and daughter Ida to Duluth.." (Arthur Silver, from the Oreck Family News, December 1967) In Duluth, with modest wealth and restless for lack of business activity, he purchased some income property and also financed and engaged his grandnephew, Monick, to enter into the jewelry and curio business.
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