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Migrations

   
     




To America
The earliest Klionsky Ellis Island records are from 1892, when Shimon Klionsky and his younger brother Borl (later, Barnet) arrived at approx. ages 27 and 20 respectively. Shimon fathered four children in New York City, then moved to Binghamton, NY and had a fifth child posthumously, after an untimely, accidental death. He is the patriarch of the large Binghamton branch of the family.

Over the next 30 years, at least 90 others followed, with various spellings, through Ellis Island. Most settled in New York City, but a few were more venturesome. The Clionsky clan went to York, PA and later Harrisburg. Another Klionsky (of unknown relationship) went to Seneca Falls, NY. Some filtered out to nearby NJ and CT. A Jacob Klionsky went to Cayahuga County, OH (Cleveland).

To Other Destinations
One Klionsky family went to California. Several Klionskys who have come to the USA in recent decades report that a family member - grandfather or granduncle - left for the USA early in the last century and was never heard from again. For one, the reported destination was California.

Other Klionskys are known to have moved, in the same time frame, from the Minsk region to places other than the USA. Osher and Shifra and their 8 children went to Argentina; two families, cousins of each other, moved to Baku (now in Azerbaijan, on the Caspian Sea). Two Klionsky households appear on a 1900 list of people from Riga, Latvia who were seeking travel documents; one of them has a documented Borisov origin.

The other is a dentist listed as Shmerka Susman Klionsky, son of Salman; another contemporary Riga document - a list of Jewish inhabitants in 1885/6 - includes a single Klionsky, one Zalman Klionsky, age 67, from Borisov. So if, as is most likely, Zalman and Salman are the same person, the other Riga family also has a documented Borisov origin.

Of course, some Klionskys remained in Russia. Some remain there to this day, while others from at least 4 different strains have migrated to the USA in recent decades. There have been secondary and even tertiary cross-border migrations. Some descendants of those who moved to Argentina now live in Israel, others in Australia and the USA. Descendants of those who moved from Borisov to Baku are now in England, Israel, the USA, France and Russia. Grandchildren of those who came to the USA in the 1890s have moved to Finland, Spain, and England.

Success in New Places
Klionskys, in general, seem to have done quite well in a wide variety of enterprises ranging from entertainment and the arts to business and the professions. The Klionskys who moved to Baku included a pharmacist and another man who built a successful business (before it was confiscated by the Bolsheviks) that manufactured equipment for the oil industry boom that drove the local economy at that time.

One of his great-grandsons is Paul Goodman, now (2005) a Member of Parliament in Great Britain.

Immigrants tended to business - Seneca Falls had Klionsky Scrap Metal and Iron; Binghamton had the Klionsky's Binghamton Furniture Company; New York City had Klionsky and Cohen Shoes.

Their children branched out. There are presently enough Klionsky (or Klion) pathologists to serve the needs for this medical specialty in a city of 150,000, and at least eight other physicians as well (not including at least 3 physician-spouses), not to mention a chiropractor, a couple of PhD psychologists and more than enough lawyers (at least a dozen, not including spouses) to defend them all from malpractice suits.

And, of those lawyers, one is also a PhD psychologist and another a PhD virologist! The youngest Major in the US Army in 1945 was Samuel Morton Klion; the Ethics program at Columbia University Business School was named after him in honor of his later achievements.

The Emmy-winning mime and choreographer, known as Adam Darius, is the son of a Klionsky woman.

Marc Klionsky of New York City was selected several years ago to sculpt the Nobel Prize medal for Elie Weisel, who in turn wrote the forward for the book about Marc's art, published in 2004.

Sam Tanenhaus, grandson of the late Anna Klionsky of Binghamton, NY, is presently the Editor of the NY Times Book Review.

World Events Intervene
World events didn't escape us. An 1880 list of Borisov draft dodgers includes four Klionsky names. There was an experimental Jewish agricultural colony in Mogilev, Sennitskaya Volost, where a Klionsky boy was born in 1867.

There are lists of Klionskys killed by Nazis in the ghettos of Borisov and of Brest; at least 10 other Klionsky Shoah victims appear in Yad V'shem databases, and more as soldiers in the WWII Russian Army.

Klionskys were simultaneously in the armed forces of Russia, England, and the USA in that war. Others served later in Israel.


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Lower East Side in late 1890s

 

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