Date   

Winter Issue of Avotaynu #general

GARY MOKOTOFF <garymokotoff@...>
 

Return to Judaism and Jewish roots echo throughout the Winter
issue of Avotaynu, which has just been mailed. Arthur
Benveniste's fascinating article illuminates the phenomenon of
modern Crypto-Jews; Gary Mokotoff's curiosity about a Cuban
refugee's name led him to the secret Jews of the Canary Island;
and two Christians--one >from Costa Rica, the other >from Jamaica--
request help discovering their own presumed Jewish ancestors.
Remarkable as it is, this surge of interest in Jewish roots is
not confined to Sephardim. Two years ago, Judith White discovered
her Jewish ancestry; now she reports her son's intent to close
the circle and raise his children as Jews.
The subtle but powerful subject of personal identity and
"belongingness" underlies almost all of the human interest
stories presented in the issue, many of them played out against
events of the Holocaust and/or mass migration, the two most
important events of Jewish life in the past 150 years.

Below is the Table of Contents

Avotaynu Declares Jewish Genealogy Month
AVOTAYNU Editors to Head B'nai Brith Genealogy Effort
Yad Vashem Database Will Document All Jews Caught Up in the
Holocaust
Living Vertically: Urban Research Methods
Genealogical Resources in New York City Abound for 19th Annual
Conference
In Which Haystack to Search: More on Sources for Russian-Jewish
Genealogy
Emigration >from the Port of Hamburg, Germany
Sherwood Forest Through the Genealogical Trees
Jewish Genealogical Research in Canada
The Jews of the Canary Islands
Crypto-Jews of the U.S. Southwest
Resources in Belgium Illuminate Larger Geographical Area
Finding a Family: A Tribute to My Father
Turciansky Svaty Martin
Oswego, New York: Wartime Haven for Jewish Refugees
A Trip to Ukraine
Morals of the Story
Peretz Amsel (18981942): One Man's Holocaust
Rediscovering Family
Traces of a Vanished World
The Last Mokotowski in Poland
How I Found a New Ancestor in Krakw, Poland
Making Lemonade Out of Lemons
Psychological Therapy Yields Genealogical Rewards
German Family Holds Paintings of Jewish Artist
Genealogy Research Helps Descendants
from Our Contributing Editors
Two Scholarly Journals
U.S. Update
Internet Corner
Family Finder
Ask the Experts
Book Reviews: >from A Ruined Garden: The Memorial Books of Polish
Jewry; These Are the Names: Studies in Jewish Onomastics; A
Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Female Ancestors; They
Became Americans: Finding Naturalization Records and Ethnic
Origins; 1998 Cemetery Project on CD-ROM
New Family Histories in Print


Re: Cousin marriages & Uncle + Niece marriages, & Sister-in-law marriages, too! #lithuania

kenneth pollan <kpollan@...>
 

I am not very religious, but I vaguely remember hearing about a Jewish law or
custom where if there were two or more sons in a family and one brother dies it is
a tradition, mitzvah or commandment for another brother to marry and care for
his widow.What if the surviving brother was already married, was he obligated to
care for his brother's widow and children? Does anyone know more about this? This
might explain why so many cousins lived together.

Pamela Pollan


ALD link #lithuania

Litvaks@...
 

Apologies to those that stumbled across this link over the weekend. This
was mistakedly activated for a short time before the mistake was realised
and corrected. The database, although close to release, has still to go
through some final alterations before going live sometime in February. Keep
watching this space for the official opening.

Sincerely, Trevor Tucker, LitvakSIG Webmaster


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Winter Issue of Avotaynu #general

GARY MOKOTOFF <garymokotoff@...>
 

Return to Judaism and Jewish roots echo throughout the Winter
issue of Avotaynu, which has just been mailed. Arthur
Benveniste's fascinating article illuminates the phenomenon of
modern Crypto-Jews; Gary Mokotoff's curiosity about a Cuban
refugee's name led him to the secret Jews of the Canary Island;
and two Christians--one >from Costa Rica, the other >from Jamaica--
request help discovering their own presumed Jewish ancestors.
Remarkable as it is, this surge of interest in Jewish roots is
not confined to Sephardim. Two years ago, Judith White discovered
her Jewish ancestry; now she reports her son's intent to close
the circle and raise his children as Jews.
The subtle but powerful subject of personal identity and
"belongingness" underlies almost all of the human interest
stories presented in the issue, many of them played out against
events of the Holocaust and/or mass migration, the two most
important events of Jewish life in the past 150 years.

Below is the Table of Contents

Avotaynu Declares Jewish Genealogy Month
AVOTAYNU Editors to Head B'nai Brith Genealogy Effort
Yad Vashem Database Will Document All Jews Caught Up in the
Holocaust
Living Vertically: Urban Research Methods
Genealogical Resources in New York City Abound for 19th Annual
Conference
In Which Haystack to Search: More on Sources for Russian-Jewish
Genealogy
Emigration >from the Port of Hamburg, Germany
Sherwood Forest Through the Genealogical Trees
Jewish Genealogical Research in Canada
The Jews of the Canary Islands
Crypto-Jews of the U.S. Southwest
Resources in Belgium Illuminate Larger Geographical Area
Finding a Family: A Tribute to My Father
Turciansky Svaty Martin
Oswego, New York: Wartime Haven for Jewish Refugees
A Trip to Ukraine
Morals of the Story
Peretz Amsel (18981942): One Man's Holocaust
Rediscovering Family
Traces of a Vanished World
The Last Mokotowski in Poland
How I Found a New Ancestor in Krakw, Poland
Making Lemonade Out of Lemons
Psychological Therapy Yields Genealogical Rewards
German Family Holds Paintings of Jewish Artist
Genealogy Research Helps Descendants
from Our Contributing Editors
Two Scholarly Journals
U.S. Update
Internet Corner
Family Finder
Ask the Experts
Book Reviews: >from A Ruined Garden: The Memorial Books of Polish
Jewry; These Are the Names: Studies in Jewish Onomastics; A
Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Female Ancestors; They
Became Americans: Finding Naturalization Records and Ethnic
Origins; 1998 Cemetery Project on CD-ROM
New Family Histories in Print


Lithuania SIG #Lithuania Re: Cousin marriages & Uncle + Niece marriages, & Sister-in-law marriages, too! #lithuania

kenneth pollan <kpollan@...>
 

I am not very religious, but I vaguely remember hearing about a Jewish law or
custom where if there were two or more sons in a family and one brother dies it is
a tradition, mitzvah or commandment for another brother to marry and care for
his widow.What if the surviving brother was already married, was he obligated to
care for his brother's widow and children? Does anyone know more about this? This
might explain why so many cousins lived together.

Pamela Pollan


Lithuania SIG #Lithuania ALD link #lithuania

Litvaks@...
 

Apologies to those that stumbled across this link over the weekend. This
was mistakedly activated for a short time before the mistake was realised
and corrected. The database, although close to release, has still to go
through some final alterations before going live sometime in February. Keep
watching this space for the official opening.

Sincerely, Trevor Tucker, LitvakSIG Webmaster


volunteering to input data #lithuania

Feige Stern <fstern@...>
 

Dear All,

I want to thank all those who worked to hard to prepare and input the
new ALD. It's awesome!

I would like to volunteer to input data to the database. I'm afraid my
computer skills are not great, and that's why I didn't offer to help
earlier, but I think I can manage simple stuff.

Exactly what does one need to know how to do to be able to do the job?
Please let me know.

Feige Stern
Cleveland, OH

Researching: KOLOVARSKY/KLAVARSKY/KAUVAR, Seduva, Lithuania;
SILVERSTEIN, Rasseinai, Lithuania; NAFTEL, Rasseinai, Lithuania;
SCHENKER, Dankera, Latvia; MEYLACH, Latvia; HOFFMAN, Bessarabia;
SCHWARTZ, Romamia


Attn.: All Kedainiai Researchers #lithuania

Ada Greenblatt <ada.Greenblatt@...>
 

Dear fellow Kedainiai researchers:

I have been asked by the LitvakSIG to try to organize an effort to purchase
the 1834 revision list and the 1874 family list for Kedainiai that is held
by the Kaunas Regional Archives. Each of these lists are a census of all
the families that were officially registered in Kedainiai, giving the name
of the head of household, including patronymic, names of wife and children
and other family members, and ages. The 1834 Kedainiai revision list,
which is 27 pages, is the earliest known list to be in existence for
Kedainiai at the Kaunas archives, which may help you trace your family back
to your earliest ancestor on record (although Vitalija admits that it is
"not complete"). The 1874 Kedainiai family list is probably the most
valuable and complete listing of Kedainiai Jews in existence. Without
having seen the list, but based on the size of the town and in comparison
to another shtetl in Kovno uyezd where the 1874 family list has already
been obtained, I would estimate that the 1874 family list for Kedainiai
contains at least 3,200 individuals.

The LitvakSIG has worked out a special arrangement with the Kaunas Archives by
which the archivists will translate the 1874 family list and enter the data
into a spreadsheet which they will send us on diskette. It will be made
available to all contributors and eventually be included as part of the All
Lithuania Database. The 1834 revision list will be photocopied and
translated in America by a Russian Jewish emigree who has translated
previous lists for the LitvakSIG. The estimated cost for both of the
Kedainiai lists combined is in the $1500-$2000 range, including translation
and data entry. Since the archives' fee for searching just one family name
is $70 (with waiting time up to one year), this is much more time and cost
efficient. Plus, it is quite an advantage for us to obtain an entire list,
rather than just extracts for certain families, because it allows us to
find other potential relatives with different names.

If you are interested in this effort, I would encourage you to make a donation
of at least $50-$100, since I don't know if everyone will be interested.
All donations to LitvakSIG are tax deductible. Checks should be made out
to LitvakSIG and sent to Peggy Freedman, LitvakSIG Treasurer, 245 Dalrymple
Road, Atlanta, GA 30328. Please put "Kedainiai" in the memo field so Peggy
knows where to credit the money. Also, drop me an e-mail if you are making
a donation, so that I can keep track of where we stand with our effort.

To those of you who have already contributed to the Kovno uyezd research
group and want to earmark that contribution specifically for Kedainiai,
please let me know. Because the attempt to find 1858 lists for Kovno uyezd
has not yet turned up anything to date, we are now taking a more
shtetl-based approach.

Thanks for your time and I hope you all support this effort.

Ada Greenblatt
ada.Greenblatt@worldnet.att.net


Lithuania SIG #Lithuania volunteering to input data #lithuania

Feige Stern <fstern@...>
 

Dear All,

I want to thank all those who worked to hard to prepare and input the
new ALD. It's awesome!

I would like to volunteer to input data to the database. I'm afraid my
computer skills are not great, and that's why I didn't offer to help
earlier, but I think I can manage simple stuff.

Exactly what does one need to know how to do to be able to do the job?
Please let me know.

Feige Stern
Cleveland, OH

Researching: KOLOVARSKY/KLAVARSKY/KAUVAR, Seduva, Lithuania;
SILVERSTEIN, Rasseinai, Lithuania; NAFTEL, Rasseinai, Lithuania;
SCHENKER, Dankera, Latvia; MEYLACH, Latvia; HOFFMAN, Bessarabia;
SCHWARTZ, Romamia


Lithuania SIG #Lithuania Attn.: All Kedainiai Researchers #lithuania

Ada Greenblatt <ada.Greenblatt@...>
 

Dear fellow Kedainiai researchers:

I have been asked by the LitvakSIG to try to organize an effort to purchase
the 1834 revision list and the 1874 family list for Kedainiai that is held
by the Kaunas Regional Archives. Each of these lists are a census of all
the families that were officially registered in Kedainiai, giving the name
of the head of household, including patronymic, names of wife and children
and other family members, and ages. The 1834 Kedainiai revision list,
which is 27 pages, is the earliest known list to be in existence for
Kedainiai at the Kaunas archives, which may help you trace your family back
to your earliest ancestor on record (although Vitalija admits that it is
"not complete"). The 1874 Kedainiai family list is probably the most
valuable and complete listing of Kedainiai Jews in existence. Without
having seen the list, but based on the size of the town and in comparison
to another shtetl in Kovno uyezd where the 1874 family list has already
been obtained, I would estimate that the 1874 family list for Kedainiai
contains at least 3,200 individuals.

The LitvakSIG has worked out a special arrangement with the Kaunas Archives by
which the archivists will translate the 1874 family list and enter the data
into a spreadsheet which they will send us on diskette. It will be made
available to all contributors and eventually be included as part of the All
Lithuania Database. The 1834 revision list will be photocopied and
translated in America by a Russian Jewish emigree who has translated
previous lists for the LitvakSIG. The estimated cost for both of the
Kedainiai lists combined is in the $1500-$2000 range, including translation
and data entry. Since the archives' fee for searching just one family name
is $70 (with waiting time up to one year), this is much more time and cost
efficient. Plus, it is quite an advantage for us to obtain an entire list,
rather than just extracts for certain families, because it allows us to
find other potential relatives with different names.

If you are interested in this effort, I would encourage you to make a donation
of at least $50-$100, since I don't know if everyone will be interested.
All donations to LitvakSIG are tax deductible. Checks should be made out
to LitvakSIG and sent to Peggy Freedman, LitvakSIG Treasurer, 245 Dalrymple
Road, Atlanta, GA 30328. Please put "Kedainiai" in the memo field so Peggy
knows where to credit the money. Also, drop me an e-mail if you are making
a donation, so that I can keep track of where we stand with our effort.

To those of you who have already contributed to the Kovno uyezd research
group and want to earmark that contribution specifically for Kedainiai,
please let me know. Because the attempt to find 1858 lists for Kovno uyezd
has not yet turned up anything to date, we are now taking a more
shtetl-based approach.

Thanks for your time and I hope you all support this effort.

Ada Greenblatt
ada.Greenblatt@worldnet.att.net


Re: GLUSTEINs in Argentina #latinamerica

Carol Skydell <skydell@...>
 

To Ada and anyone else who is writing to families found in telephone books....

The very same thing happened to me...and perhaps my experience will be
helpful to others....so here goes!

First, I made the huge mistake of writing in English! I did that not only
once, I did it twice... By the time it dawned on me that Spanish was the
language spoken in Argentina, and I drafted a much simpler letter and was
about to have it translated into Spanish, I was treated to a major stroke
of luck... The daughter of one of the male SKIDELSKY'S I had written to in
English responded. This opened the door to over 250 Argentinean SKIDELSKYs
who had not a clue they had Norte Americanos in their family.
Since the original successful contact, I have been to Argentina, met and
was able to convince many that my efforts were a.) non-governmental
b.) non-threatening
c.) purely altruistic

I think we all need to understand that we are dealing with a population
living in a country that has had anti-semitic outbreaks in recent history,
thus creating a super-cautious Jewish population. Also, the assimilation
has probably been greater in Argentina than most places. To get a better
handle on this, I think you all should read a letter sent to JewishGen on
Fri, 28 Jun 1996 by Paul Armony. You'll find it in the JewishGen Archived
Messages accessed >from our homepage at http://www.jewishgen.org

Good luck in gaining greater understanding of the Argentineans and
accomplishing successful research.
Carol Skydell
Laguna Hills, CA


Latin America #LatinAmerica re: GLUSTEINs in Argentina #latinamerica

Carol Skydell <skydell@...>
 

To Ada and anyone else who is writing to families found in telephone books....

The very same thing happened to me...and perhaps my experience will be
helpful to others....so here goes!

First, I made the huge mistake of writing in English! I did that not only
once, I did it twice... By the time it dawned on me that Spanish was the
language spoken in Argentina, and I drafted a much simpler letter and was
about to have it translated into Spanish, I was treated to a major stroke
of luck... The daughter of one of the male SKIDELSKY'S I had written to in
English responded. This opened the door to over 250 Argentinean SKIDELSKYs
who had not a clue they had Norte Americanos in their family.
Since the original successful contact, I have been to Argentina, met and
was able to convince many that my efforts were a.) non-governmental
b.) non-threatening
c.) purely altruistic

I think we all need to understand that we are dealing with a population
living in a country that has had anti-semitic outbreaks in recent history,
thus creating a super-cautious Jewish population. Also, the assimilation
has probably been greater in Argentina than most places. To get a better
handle on this, I think you all should read a letter sent to JewishGen on
Fri, 28 Jun 1996 by Paul Armony. You'll find it in the JewishGen Archived
Messages accessed >from our homepage at http://www.jewishgen.org

Good luck in gaining greater understanding of the Argentineans and
accomplishing successful research.
Carol Skydell
Laguna Hills, CA


Bishenkowitz and Kamen Inquiry #belarus

Hollman, Steven P. <SPHollman@...>
 

I am seeking assistance in connection with a search for cousins believed
to have perished in the Holocaust. Their names are MOISEY GOLMAN,
mother MYRA GOLMAN, and two siblings (POSIUM GOLMAN? and ???GOLMAN).
Their last known residence was Kamen (Karwin? Kamien?) or Bishenkowitz.
Another brother, Yankel Yehuda Golman (or Holman) escaped to the U.S. in
1925. Father William Golman was killed during World War I while serving
in the tsar's army. Red Cross Tracing Service had no records. Does
anyone know of good Holocaust resources for these shtetls?

Steven P. Hollman
Washington, D.C.
sphollman@hhlaw.com


Belarus SIG #Belarus Bishenkowitz and Kamen Inquiry #belarus

Hollman, Steven P. <SPHollman@...>
 

I am seeking assistance in connection with a search for cousins believed
to have perished in the Holocaust. Their names are MOISEY GOLMAN,
mother MYRA GOLMAN, and two siblings (POSIUM GOLMAN? and ???GOLMAN).
Their last known residence was Kamen (Karwin? Kamien?) or Bishenkowitz.
Another brother, Yankel Yehuda Golman (or Holman) escaped to the U.S. in
1925. Father William Golman was killed during World War I while serving
in the tsar's army. Red Cross Tracing Service had no records. Does
anyone know of good Holocaust resources for these shtetls?

Steven P. Hollman
Washington, D.C.
sphollman@hhlaw.com


Re: Bishenkowitz and Kamen Inquiry #belarus

Hilmis@...
 

Let me know if you find anything. I am also looking for information on my
ancestors >from Bishenkowitz.
Leslie Moser
Hillsdale, NJ
Hilmis@aol.com


Belarus SIG #Belarus Re: Bishenkowitz and Kamen Inquiry #belarus

Hilmis@...
 

Let me know if you find anything. I am also looking for information on my
ancestors >from Bishenkowitz.
Leslie Moser
Hillsdale, NJ
Hilmis@aol.com


Keidan Records Appeal -- Update #lithuania

Ada Greenblatt <ada.Greenblatt@...>
 

My GRUSKIN and LISSON co-researcher Diane Rabson writes:

Ada,
I will be sending a check shortly to Peggy Freedman for $50.00 to help
us obtain the revision lists!
Diane Rabson
Boulder, Colorado

Dear Diane,

Thank you very much for your donation, which just so happens to bring us to
the $1,000 mark. We are more than halfway towards our goal, which is
fantastic in such a short period of time.

Diane, when I get a chance I will get back to you privately in more detail
about my most recent LISSON research, one of the two surnames >from today's
Keidan district that we share in common. I would like to say here though
that on my trip to Israel this past October, I met with a woman whose late
husband, Joseph LISSON, was born in Vandziogala, Lithuania (in the Kovno
district). She confirmed for me what I had already suspected, that the
LISSON's had roots in both Vandziogala and Seta, just like my GREENBLATT's,
which gave me even more reason to believe that my GREENBLATT great great
grandmother's maiden name was LISSON. Since I know that your LISSON's are
from Keidan and I have also recently found out that I may be related to the
Keidan GREENBLATT's, I asked Mrs. LISSON if there were LISSON's >from Keidan
too. She responded yes, that some LISSON's lived in a little village near
Keidan called Zagovich. Do any Keidan SIG members know where this town is
located? -- I don't see it on a current detailed map of Lithuania.

Diane, I also know that some of your LISSON's lived in Syracuse, NY. Mrs.
LISSON of Israel informed me that her husband's brother settled in
Syracuse, NY and changed his name >from LISSON to LYON. I'll tell you more
about this privately. A third brother was the LISSON buried in the
Vandziogala Jewish Cemetery, whose tombstone picture I once sent you.

Finally and most important, if I recall correctly, the Kaunas archives has
informed me within the past year that no one with the name LISSON appears
on the 1874 Vandziogala Family List (although I would need to check my
correspondence to confirm that). Nor does the surname appear on the 1877
Seta box tax list (although both LISSON and GREENBLATT became citizens of
Seta at a later date). So let's hope that for both your sake and mine,
that LISSON does appear on the 1874 Keidan Family List!

I related this LISSON story publicly in the spirit of inspiring other
potential Keidan list contributors as well.

Ada Greenblatt
ada.Greenblatt@worldnet.att.net


Keidan Jews #Keidan #Lithuania Keidan Records Appeal -- Update #lithuania

Ada Greenblatt <ada.Greenblatt@...>
 

My GRUSKIN and LISSON co-researcher Diane Rabson writes:

Ada,
I will be sending a check shortly to Peggy Freedman for $50.00 to help
us obtain the revision lists!
Diane Rabson
Boulder, Colorado

Dear Diane,

Thank you very much for your donation, which just so happens to bring us to
the $1,000 mark. We are more than halfway towards our goal, which is
fantastic in such a short period of time.

Diane, when I get a chance I will get back to you privately in more detail
about my most recent LISSON research, one of the two surnames >from today's
Keidan district that we share in common. I would like to say here though
that on my trip to Israel this past October, I met with a woman whose late
husband, Joseph LISSON, was born in Vandziogala, Lithuania (in the Kovno
district). She confirmed for me what I had already suspected, that the
LISSON's had roots in both Vandziogala and Seta, just like my GREENBLATT's,
which gave me even more reason to believe that my GREENBLATT great great
grandmother's maiden name was LISSON. Since I know that your LISSON's are
from Keidan and I have also recently found out that I may be related to the
Keidan GREENBLATT's, I asked Mrs. LISSON if there were LISSON's >from Keidan
too. She responded yes, that some LISSON's lived in a little village near
Keidan called Zagovich. Do any Keidan SIG members know where this town is
located? -- I don't see it on a current detailed map of Lithuania.

Diane, I also know that some of your LISSON's lived in Syracuse, NY. Mrs.
LISSON of Israel informed me that her husband's brother settled in
Syracuse, NY and changed his name >from LISSON to LYON. I'll tell you more
about this privately. A third brother was the LISSON buried in the
Vandziogala Jewish Cemetery, whose tombstone picture I once sent you.

Finally and most important, if I recall correctly, the Kaunas archives has
informed me within the past year that no one with the name LISSON appears
on the 1874 Vandziogala Family List (although I would need to check my
correspondence to confirm that). Nor does the surname appear on the 1877
Seta box tax list (although both LISSON and GREENBLATT became citizens of
Seta at a later date). So let's hope that for both your sake and mine,
that LISSON does appear on the 1874 Keidan Family List!

I related this LISSON story publicly in the spirit of inspiring other
potential Keidan list contributors as well.

Ada Greenblatt
ada.Greenblatt@worldnet.att.net


Re: Tranlations #poland

SHEILA TOFFELL <toffell@...>
 

I don't know the exact translations, but I was told that any word ending in
RZ indicates a profession. I had the same problem, and solved it by getting
hold of a Polish - English dictionary. In this way, I found out that my
GGfather and GGGgfather were both glaziers >from the word "sclarz" in vital
records. I'm sure the liberal arts library at your college could provide
one. Good luck. Sheila Toffell

I am seeking the translation for four Polish words indicating
professions:

naucz.

kamaszn.

zarz fabr.

kup.


JRI Poland #Poland Re: Tranlations #poland

SHEILA TOFFELL <toffell@...>
 

I don't know the exact translations, but I was told that any word ending in
RZ indicates a profession. I had the same problem, and solved it by getting
hold of a Polish - English dictionary. In this way, I found out that my
GGfather and GGGgfather were both glaziers >from the word "sclarz" in vital
records. I'm sure the liberal arts library at your college could provide
one. Good luck. Sheila Toffell

I am seeking the translation for four Polish words indicating
professions:

naucz.

kamaszn.

zarz fabr.

kup.