This site is a collation of the descendants of my great-grandfather, Aaron Schroeder from Sassmacken, Russia.

The information comes from various Schroeder descendants, both in my line and others.


In the early 20th century, the town of Sassmacken, or Saßmacken, was located in the Russian Empire. This is the German name for the town known locally as Sasmaka. It is now located in the Talsi municipality of Latvia and, in 1926, was renamed to Vāldemarpils after a Latvian nationalist hero.

The map was drawn in 1865. It shows Sassmacken (САСМАККЕНЪ) just to the west of what is still known as Lake Sasmaka. It was a town of just 1,700 to 1,800 inhabitants in those days. In 1880, the population was almost 70% Jewish but that number began to decline rapidly due to emigration. By 1890 it was about 50% and, by 1900, had dwindled to about a third.