This is my great-grandfather on my mother's side, Lazar Grigorievich Raitsykh.
The photo was taken in 1882 in the town of Khasavyurt (presently Dagestan), to which the inscription testifies: ‘From Lazar, in May 1882, in the town of Khasavyurt.’ My grandfather presented this photo to his brother Leon.
Lazar Grigorievich married Grandmother Hanna after he completed his service in the army, against his mother’s will: her daughters weren’t married yet, and in Jewish families it was customary to marry off daughters first, and only then the sons could get married. A family quarrel arose, Lazar’s mother being very disappointed by his decision to get married. He died in 1932 at the age of 82.
Lazar Grigorievich Raitsykh was born in 1850 in Temirkhan-Sura in the Northern Caucasus. For those times, he was quite an educated man, technically competent and literate in Russian. But, nevertheless, he was an Orthodox Jew and observed absolutely all Jewish customs. Lazar served in the imperial army, in engineering troops. When he was demobilized, he mastered the profession of building contractor in oil-fields and conducted some kind of research into oil deposits.
Lazar Grigorievich had three brothers and three sisters. Two brothers, Avraam and Iosif, died during the revolution in Petrograd . And the youngest brother, Leon, never married and lived the life of a bachelor in the family of his sister Rosa. Their sister Anna immigrated before 1917 with her husband and son to New York. Sister Nadya died early, and left a daughter, also Nadya by name; Grandmother Hanna Iosifovna brought her up. Nadya worked as a nurse, was at the front during the war, and after the war returned to Leningrad. Sister Rosa was mentally disabled, her descendants now live in Israel.