Origin of the my surname Genis #ukraine #general

June Genis

According to a family history written by one of my uncles, my grandparents Jacob Morris (Moshe?) and Minnie Rivke Genis emigrated from Dubno, now Ukraine, in 1888 just after they married.  I have been unable to find an immigration record and suspect they may have come in under temporary visas and then just stayed.  I do however have a departure record for 1901 from Hamburg for a Yacob, Mende, Chaim, Yosef and Noah which I believe is a return from a visit back home after their first three children, known to me as Herman, Joseph, and Nathan (my father), were born.  There is also a Castle Garden arrival record for what looks like Yacob, Mendol, Yonin, Yosef, and Noach. 

The family history indicates that my grandfather had a brother who is not named and that their mother ran a grocery store.  There is no mention of their father but Jacob's grave stone indicates that his name was Joseph. Their mother's name is also not mentioned but from Jacob's death record I learned that her name was Rachel. My 1st cousin Bennett Genis has Y tested but has never had a match come up with the same surname.  In fact it appears that his best match is likely Catholic as his father was a member of the Knights of Columbus.  The name Genis is found in Spain and some sites do credit Bennett with as much as 6% Sephardic DNA. All of us Genis cousin's who have tested also show both Greek and Italian DNA which could have been acquired migrating from Spain thru Italy eastward but I have nothing at this point to support that possibility.  I have also found the name in Bessarabia which is plausible but no names I can recognize . The only other place I have found the name Genis is in the Netherlands and can find no connection to my Genis line.

We have always pronounced our name with a soft G but my orthodontist, a dental school colleague of my father, alway pronounced it with a hard G.  I found what I believe is an NYC birth record for Herman listed as Genec.  When I was growing up in NYC there were very few people in the phone book named Genis but when Russia opened up Jewish emigration, in the 70's I think, that changed.  So the name i still rare in the US but not as rare as it used to be. I have not been able to trace any further back than my grandparents although Bennett did meet someone in Israel many years ago who claimed to be related.  However it was a woman with a different last name that he could not understand very well because of language conflicts.

My understanding is that most records for Dubno were lost in WW II but I would appreciate any leads to where I might find information that would allow me to track further back.

June Genis

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