JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Maiden names & volunteering #general

Bob Wascou <robertw252@...>

One of the things that always intrigued me was "What
was my father's mother's maiden name?" Since I never
thought to ask him and everyone else >from that
generation was gone so I had to find out elsewhere.
One way to determine this is to obtain a copy of his
Social Security application. He listed her last name
as KUSHNER. His brother also listed the same last
name. To be sure I also obtained the application of
Elizabeth WISHNEVSKY, a cousin, and she listed her
mother's name as KUSHNER. I felt sure that I had the
right name.

Just to be on the safe side I also obtained the
applications of some other cousins. Benjamin KLATE
listed his mother's name as KILIKISHNER. So now I had
two different last names for two sisters. Harry KLATE
listed it as KILOKISHNER. Now there were three
spellings for the same last name. I then obtained the
application for Harry KILISKY and he listed his
mother's name as KILISKISHNER. Four names for four

which one was the correct name? Right away I
eliminated KUSHNER as that seemed to be a shortened
version of the name. I also eliminated KILISKISHNER as
that seemed to be corrupted with the name KILISKY.

That is where thing stood until recently. As project
coordinator for the Kishinev Vital Records Project I
had hoped to find some records with the correct name.
I was not disappointed. I received birth records from
1886 and 1888 for two births for people with the last
name of KLOKUSHNER. A search of Alexander Beider's
book "A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames in the Russian
Empire" listed the name KLOKUSHNER >from the village
Klokushna. So now I believe that I have the correct
last name and the name of the village that they took
the name from.

While I was in attendance at the recently concluded
23rd IAJGS International Conference on Jewish
Genealogy in Washington, DC, I did a computer search
on the name KLOKUSHNER and was surprised to discover
two listings for the name. Both were >from a 1994 phone
and address record. A search in the online phone
directory,, still listed the same
names and numbers. This past weekend I called the
numbers. The people listed were related to each other.
I reached Valentina KLOKUSHNER and found out a lot
about her family. Yes, they were >from Kishinev where
our family came >from and had immigrated to the US in
1979. No, we don't have the link between her family
and ours but we both feel that we are related because
of the very unusual last name. They knew that other
family members had immigrated here years earlier but
did not know their names. She will try to find out
more information >from her 94 year old father-in-law,
David KLOKUSHNER and I will continue to search for the
missing link.

Moral of the story - Don't give up trying to find the
elusive maiden name. Volunteer to help with the many
JewishGen and SIG projects. You just might be able to
find the names that you are looking for.

If you can help transliterate Cyrillic or Hebrew
script and want to volunteer for the Kishinev Vital
Records project please contact me. If you are
interested in helping with other languages or projects
let me know and I will pass your name along to the
proper person. Can't help with the projects then
donate to JewishGen or to the SIGs so that we can
obtain more records or pay to have the records
transliterated. Better yet, volunteer and donate.

Kishinev Vital Records Project

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