Date   

Tracing a Common Name #unitedkingdom

STEPHEN COHEN <meylercohen@...>
 

Over the past few years, I have read with great
interest and also frustration, the desire of many
people to trace thier family roots. One thing, >from my
perspective, is that they all have one thing in
common, namely the families they are searching for all
have names which shall we say are not that common.

My question is, how does one search for relatives
whose name is COHEN? and landed in the UK and USA at
the turn of the 20th century.

Stephen Cohen


JCR-UK SIG #UnitedKingdom Tracing a Common Name #unitedkingdom

STEPHEN COHEN <meylercohen@...>
 

Over the past few years, I have read with great
interest and also frustration, the desire of many
people to trace thier family roots. One thing, >from my
perspective, is that they all have one thing in
common, namely the families they are searching for all
have names which shall we say are not that common.

My question is, how does one search for relatives
whose name is COHEN? and landed in the UK and USA at
the turn of the 20th century.

Stephen Cohen


Cheaper Fares from the Baltic: Why Latvia? #ukraine

MARC M COHEN <marc-cohen25@...>
 

Sorry for the lateness of this reply.

One factor to consider is that for much of the 19th and early 20th
centuries, the least expensive fares >from the continent of Europe to
the USA and Canada were >from the Baltic or Black sea ports of Hamburg,
Danzig, Riga, etc., on North German Lloyd Steamship line. It has been
overshadowed by all the publicity for Ellis Island, but in many years,
Boston was the 2nd largest port of entry to the USA and Portland, Maine
was the 4th (after Philadelphia or Baltimore). Both were served by
North German Lloyd, and the least expensive ticket to the US was
typically a Baltic port to Portland. The same goes for Canada -- Halifax.

from the 1860s, Maine developed a substantial German-Jewish population,
followed later by Russian/Eastern European Jews who all landed in Maine
and stayed there. Despite the harshess of the winters, it was paradise
compared to Poland or Russia.

I have Barak relatives >from Khotin, Bessarabia and Storozynetz/Chernovitz
who arrived in Halifax and Kantorji relatives >from the same origins who
arrived in Boston.

Hope this helps,

Marc M. Cohen
Palo Alto, California (and a former resident of Bangor, ME.

Marc M. Cohen, Arch.D, Architect
Palo Alto, CA 94306


Ukraine SIG #Ukraine Cheaper Fares from the Baltic: Why Latvia? #ukraine

MARC M COHEN <marc-cohen25@...>
 

Sorry for the lateness of this reply.

One factor to consider is that for much of the 19th and early 20th
centuries, the least expensive fares >from the continent of Europe to
the USA and Canada were >from the Baltic or Black sea ports of Hamburg,
Danzig, Riga, etc., on North German Lloyd Steamship line. It has been
overshadowed by all the publicity for Ellis Island, but in many years,
Boston was the 2nd largest port of entry to the USA and Portland, Maine
was the 4th (after Philadelphia or Baltimore). Both were served by
North German Lloyd, and the least expensive ticket to the US was
typically a Baltic port to Portland. The same goes for Canada -- Halifax.

from the 1860s, Maine developed a substantial German-Jewish population,
followed later by Russian/Eastern European Jews who all landed in Maine
and stayed there. Despite the harshess of the winters, it was paradise
compared to Poland or Russia.

I have Barak relatives >from Khotin, Bessarabia and Storozynetz/Chernovitz
who arrived in Halifax and Kantorji relatives >from the same origins who
arrived in Boston.

Hope this helps,

Marc M. Cohen
Palo Alto, California (and a former resident of Bangor, ME.

Marc M. Cohen, Arch.D, Architect
Palo Alto, CA 94306


MY travels to the Ukraine #ukraine

Barbara Freedman <bfree@...>
 

I thought my travel to Zhvanets, Ukraine might be of interest to members of
the Ukrainian SIG. If anyone is interested in further information you are
welcome to email me. It was a special, amazing experience. Unfortunately, in
changing the story to plain text, the photos are missing and the layout has
changed. This was published in "The Independent" the newspaper serving
Vancouver's Jewish community.
Barbara


from ZHVANETS TO PRAGUE
By Barbara Taylor Freedman

In May of 2004 I decided to go on a guided tour of Eastern Europe that began
in Warsaw, continued on to Krakow, Budapest, Vienna and Prague. I visited
the Jewish quarters in all of these exciting and amazing cities and also
spent a day at Auschwitz and Birkenau.
In the initial stages of planning I realized just how close I was to Ukraine
and arranged a private tour to visit 'my' shtetl of Zhvanets. I want to share
with you, my dear family and friends my journey to my past.
I flew >from Warsaw, to the city of Lviv* in Ukraine in a two propeller,
thirty passenger LOT* airplane. The 1000 mile flight was short. It took only
an hour and a half, but in that hour and a half I was to enter the 19th
century. In Lviv every modern amenity is available to the sophisticated
traveler , but when I left the city and drove into the country the world as
I know it would change dramatically.
I had sent my photo to Alex Dunai who met me at the airport. He is a large,
happy man with a big smile who greeted me with a bear hug as if I were a
long lost relative. We visited for a short time and he left on business for
Krakow, Poland. Alex had organized my tour and arrived with my guide
Svitlana Kovalyk and my driver Bogdan Melnik, who drove a four-door older
model Mercedes.
Svitlana is fluent in five languages and teaches both standard and business
English as well as literature. Bogdan spoke only Ukrainian. I do not know
one word in Ukrainian and I still don't.
My tongue and the Slavic languages have not yet become acquainted.
When we left the airport I suggested that we have a restroom stop before
starting the trip. This was my first reality check. As in most restrooms in
Europe there is an attendant who must be paid before paper is handed out.
However, the facilities were Asian style, that is, a hole in the floor but
with separate stalls.
So I began my journey to Zhvanets, 'my' village, my shtetl, where my great
grandfather Hanech Shapiro and all ten of my great uncles and aunts were
born. My grandmother, Bube Rifka Shapiro Taylor was married in Zhvanets. The
village is so small that it is not even on a current map.
When I visited the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, in the summer of
2003, to attend the 23rd international Jewish Genealogy conference, I found
a map >from 1876 that shows Zhvanets and the surrounding areas.
Although the actual driving distance was short by North American standards,
only 300 kilometers (186 miles), the drive to Kamianets-Podilskyi on a two
lane road took five and a half hours. The trees lining the highway reminded
me of drives in the countryside almost anywhere in the world.
Except here I saw a few people on the road in their horse drawn carts. The
day was cool. I did not see one gas station en route. Bogdan's radio was
tuned to a jazz station that I didn't mind at all.
He is also a musician and plays with a band. We would have dinner in
Kamianets-Podilskyi* at the Hotel Xenia where we would be staying for
two nights.
Page 2 of 7
Remember camping trips? Well when the need arose, it was ladies to the
right, Bogdan to the left.
Little did I realize when I started researching the Shapiro/Taylor family
tree four years ago, by scribbling a few names on a napkin at cousin Sybil
Howard's home in LA, that I would actually make a trip to my ancestral
village! My only thought at that time was just to get a 'little something'
jotted down for my wonderful grandchildren, Sydney and Adrian Freedman.
As we drove, we passed many small villages. We saw almost no cars on the
road. The homes are set back about 15 to 20 feet >from the road and are
fenced. On the road side of the fence, benches and chairs are placed where
the neighbors come out to sit, chat and gossip.
Cows graze in the grassy area between the fence and the road unless a
larger area is nearby.
We passed elderly men and women tending the family cows as they grazed along
the highway.
All the women I saw wore scarves, babushkas, tied around their heads. I saw
countless people of all ages working in their gardens or on larger plots of
land behind their homes. This wasn't just a pastoral scene >from the 19th
Century. This was survival. 29% of the 47 million people in the Ukraine live
below the poverty line. Every family in rural areas has a cow, chickens and
a plot of land. What is grown is vital to their daily needs. Potatoes are a
staple.
As we drove up to the hotel I was pleased to see that the Hotel Xenia looked
quite presentable. Alex had assured me that the hotel was clean and there
were no bugs! The advance payment of $40 per night included breakfast. The
hotel was like a stage set. >from the outside it looked great, but inside was
another matter, not that I was expecting a Sheraton. There was a maze of
stairs leading to unfinished floors and sections of the hotel. They had
probably run out of money and stopped and started construction many times
over the years.
I awoke the next morning after a good night's sleep in a very cold room
despite wearing four layers of clothing, my coat and an eye shade. I was a
sight to behold! The weather was quite cool and the old fashioned radiator
in my room, even turned on at its highest only raised the room temperature
to about 17 degrees Celsius.
After a certain time of the year the heat is turned off, no matter the
weather. The only window covering was a sheer lace curtain through which I
watched and heard the neighbour's chickens strutting in the garden.
Breakfast included potato pancakes, latkes, prepared the way my grandmother
used to make them. Not the crispy latkes that most of us now make, but more
like small oval pancakes, very light and sprinkled with sugar. The food was
very good and all the tastes were familiar. A dinner of meatball soup and a
main course of verenikas was Cdn $3.75. An excellent bowl of borsht was
35 cents. It was really cold in the dining room too and I ate all my meals
with my coat on.
The dining room area was divided into two parts, one was a large
high-ceiling space where parties were held and another cozier section which
included four enclosed booths - similar to a Japanese restaurant only with
Ukrainian cross-stitched red and blue embroidery on the curtains.
Before checking out of a hotel in the Ukraine, the room is checked to make
sure nothing is taken, even in the fancier hotel in Lviv. Believe me, there
was nothing to take >from the Xenia Hotel.
Only one very thin towel was supplied - that's it.
You can imagine my excitement when we finally got into the car that morning.
In fifteen minutes I would actually be in Zhvanets!
Page 3 of 7
To put things into some perspective here are a few statistics. In 1847
during the Czarist regime, the Jewish population in Zhvanets numbered 1619
people and according to the 1897 census,
among the general populace of 5005 there were 3,353 Jews or 67% of the
population. I did not expect to find any living relatives there as the
Shapiro and Taylor families left between 1904 and 1912.
In 1941 the Jewish population was totally annihilated in Zhvanets and
environs.
We arrived in Zhvanets quickly. Bogdan parked the car near the city hall and
Svitlana went in to find the Mayor. She knew I wanted to see the Jewish
cemetery and drive around the former Jewish area. He was away in
Kamianets-Podilskyi that morning but Svitlana spoke to Anna Viktorivna
Spivak, the assistant mayor, who phoned someone to come and give me a tour.
What a surprise when Petro Bratvanovych, a sprightly ninety-two year old
former deputy principal, teacher and historian joined us. Svitlana, Anna,
Petro, Bogdan and I crowded into the car and drove the very short distance
to the Jewish area.
Zhvanets is very, very small. Its 2004 population is 1650 people. It is
located on the second largest river in the Ukraine, the Dnester. We drove
first to the ruins of an old synagogue which had once been used for defense,
overlooking the Zhvanchik River. There were a few broken tombstones lying
about, a cow grazing in the field. It was sad and made me feel very strange.
We then went to the Jewish area near the market place. Petro pointed to a
couple of homes and said that was 'Guttmann's house' and that is where
"Seltzer" stored his wares. We saw the site of one of the original
synagogues, part of which is now occupied by a bakery the other an empty,
graveled overgrown lot. My Bube Rifka may have been married here! Anna went
to the bakery and bought me a loaf of warm bread just out of the oven.
No one spoke English except for my guide, so all our conversations had to be
translated. Anna had some work to do so we returned to the city hall where
the Mayor now joined our group and we all continued onto the cemetery. His
name is Mykola Borysovych Makovski, or Nick for short.
One of two original synagogues, circa 1800's Page 4 of 7 It was like being
in a Tolstoy novel.
We first walked by the Polish section of the cemetery where Nick pointed out
his father's gravesite. Photos of the deceased are put on the stones. We
walked into the woods to see the Jewish cemetery *. I felt quite emotional.
The stones that I saw were tilted, leaning towards the ground, but did not
appear to be broken. I scraped many layers of moss off one of the stones and
had I had the time to clean it up, the writing would have been legible. It
is in a heavily wooded area. There had been a recent rainfall and my brand
new Nike running shoes were covered in mud. The first time in my life I
actually dirtied a pair of running shoes!
We stopped at different points around the village and met some of Petro's
former students. One was an eight-three year old lady who remembered
lighting candles on the Sabbath for a Jewish family. A broad smile revealed
her one remaining shiny, gold tooth, Another elderly student proudly said
that she spoke English, but we were not really able to converse.
We returned to city hall, where Anna surprised me with a beautiful bouquet
of large, burgundy peonies and irises >from her garden. She invited me to
come and stay with her. They were very kind and probably both fascinated and
a little perplexed that a North American would have such an interest in
their village.
There is no indoor plumbing in the village as is the case in most small
towns and villages throughout rural Ukraine. The only difference between the
outhouse for the city hall and others that I saw was that it was made of
brick and was a doorless two-seater.
The village had telephones, but not one computer. Out of a total population
of 1650 people, eighty-five women >from the village live and work in Italy to
send home money to supplement their family's income. Very much like the
Philippine community. The average annual income for a doctor or a teacher in
the Ukraine is approximately six hundred US dollars a year. The mayor earns
273 UAH** a month. There is no work in the village.
Svitlana took some photos of the Mayor and I and he and Anna walked me to
the car and waved goodbye. Petro kissed my hand with old world gallantry. It
was in order for me to offer him something for his tour, which I did. At
first he did not want to take anything, but I asked Svitlana to tell him
that it had been an honour for me to meet someone who had been one of the
many liberators of Auschwitz. He smiled with great pride when she translated
this for me.
The next morning I decided to return to Zhvanets to have a quiet, more
reflective look at the shtetl. What good luck. It was market day and we
arrived at the square just in time to see that over a period of a hundred
years nothing had changed. People were selling and people were buying.
When you look at the photos, just imagine you're seeing horse drawn carts
instead of cars. There was a hatchback station wagon with the back open
displaying a pile of freshly baked breads and round loaves that looked like
challahs. Many people were selling shoes which of course interested me. They
were displayed on blankets on the ground and on the hoods of cars.
My Bube Rifka had gone to Kamianets-Podilskyi to have her wedding shoes
repaired.
I can see in my mind's eye what the village square would have been like in
the 1800's. I can hear the haggling over a loaf of bread or a piece of fish
for Shabbat. I am thrilled that even with not a little trepidation I decided
to embark on my small journey. It was small in terms of distance and time
but will loom forever large in my memory. I had the privilege and
opportunity to briefly glimpse the life that my Great Grandfather, great
Uncles and Aunts and my Bube and Zade lived.
Petro Bratvanovych and Svitlana Kovalyk
Page 5 of 7
I saw for myself part of the landscape that made up the Pale of Settlement
where almost five million Jews once lived.
I bless my family for their courage. Courage beyond anything I can
comprehend in leaving a small dot on a map in the Ukraine to journey across
the ocean. They had no money and no knowledge of the English language. They
were no longer able to endure the hardships, the poverty and the pogroms.
They endured conditions on the ships that we can't even imagine. And so they
arrived.
What a forever special trip it was for me. It gave me a sense of continuity
and identity and fills me with great emotion.
Zhvanets in Ukrainian means bell. Perhaps the sound of the tolling bell of
the Zhvanets >from which we came can still be heard and felt today just a
little in all 442 descendents of Hanech Shapiro who are currently named in
our family tree.
Had they not left I would not be here to tell their story.
Canada
Page 6 of 7
APPENDIX
* Lviv had the following names: Lwow, Poland (13th Century to 1772);
Lemberg, Austria (1772- 1918); Lwow, Poland (1918-1939); Lviv, Ukraine
(1939-to present). Lwow is pronounced Lvov or Lvuv
* LOT, which means flight in Polish, is the name of the Polish Airline
* Kamianets-Podilskyi , the Ukrainian spelling, is a district capital and
can be found on all maps dating back to the thirteenth century. Spellings
changed according to the governing countries language.
* Cemetery - Currently plans are underway for 'Zhvanetsers' to restore and
maintain the cemetery that contains about 1200 stones. I am certain that
some of our relatives rest there.
* The currency is called hrynya (h-ren-ya) and is written UAH. I US dollar
is equal to 5.33 UAH.
* Photos of market place and synagogue courtesy of Dr. Rand Fishbein, a
fellow Zhvanetser.
For more photos and information about Zhvanets go to his website at
www.familyroots.us
Reference: Kaminits-Podolsk & Its Environs /Bonnie Schooler Sohn/Avotaynu
Foundation Inc.
Layout Design by Shelley Freedman
Map of Ukraine


Ukraine SIG #Ukraine MY travels to the Ukraine #ukraine

Barbara Freedman <bfree@...>
 

I thought my travel to Zhvanets, Ukraine might be of interest to members of
the Ukrainian SIG. If anyone is interested in further information you are
welcome to email me. It was a special, amazing experience. Unfortunately, in
changing the story to plain text, the photos are missing and the layout has
changed. This was published in "The Independent" the newspaper serving
Vancouver's Jewish community.
Barbara


from ZHVANETS TO PRAGUE
By Barbara Taylor Freedman

In May of 2004 I decided to go on a guided tour of Eastern Europe that began
in Warsaw, continued on to Krakow, Budapest, Vienna and Prague. I visited
the Jewish quarters in all of these exciting and amazing cities and also
spent a day at Auschwitz and Birkenau.
In the initial stages of planning I realized just how close I was to Ukraine
and arranged a private tour to visit 'my' shtetl of Zhvanets. I want to share
with you, my dear family and friends my journey to my past.
I flew >from Warsaw, to the city of Lviv* in Ukraine in a two propeller,
thirty passenger LOT* airplane. The 1000 mile flight was short. It took only
an hour and a half, but in that hour and a half I was to enter the 19th
century. In Lviv every modern amenity is available to the sophisticated
traveler , but when I left the city and drove into the country the world as
I know it would change dramatically.
I had sent my photo to Alex Dunai who met me at the airport. He is a large,
happy man with a big smile who greeted me with a bear hug as if I were a
long lost relative. We visited for a short time and he left on business for
Krakow, Poland. Alex had organized my tour and arrived with my guide
Svitlana Kovalyk and my driver Bogdan Melnik, who drove a four-door older
model Mercedes.
Svitlana is fluent in five languages and teaches both standard and business
English as well as literature. Bogdan spoke only Ukrainian. I do not know
one word in Ukrainian and I still don't.
My tongue and the Slavic languages have not yet become acquainted.
When we left the airport I suggested that we have a restroom stop before
starting the trip. This was my first reality check. As in most restrooms in
Europe there is an attendant who must be paid before paper is handed out.
However, the facilities were Asian style, that is, a hole in the floor but
with separate stalls.
So I began my journey to Zhvanets, 'my' village, my shtetl, where my great
grandfather Hanech Shapiro and all ten of my great uncles and aunts were
born. My grandmother, Bube Rifka Shapiro Taylor was married in Zhvanets. The
village is so small that it is not even on a current map.
When I visited the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, in the summer of
2003, to attend the 23rd international Jewish Genealogy conference, I found
a map >from 1876 that shows Zhvanets and the surrounding areas.
Although the actual driving distance was short by North American standards,
only 300 kilometers (186 miles), the drive to Kamianets-Podilskyi on a two
lane road took five and a half hours. The trees lining the highway reminded
me of drives in the countryside almost anywhere in the world.
Except here I saw a few people on the road in their horse drawn carts. The
day was cool. I did not see one gas station en route. Bogdan's radio was
tuned to a jazz station that I didn't mind at all.
He is also a musician and plays with a band. We would have dinner in
Kamianets-Podilskyi* at the Hotel Xenia where we would be staying for
two nights.
Page 2 of 7
Remember camping trips? Well when the need arose, it was ladies to the
right, Bogdan to the left.
Little did I realize when I started researching the Shapiro/Taylor family
tree four years ago, by scribbling a few names on a napkin at cousin Sybil
Howard's home in LA, that I would actually make a trip to my ancestral
village! My only thought at that time was just to get a 'little something'
jotted down for my wonderful grandchildren, Sydney and Adrian Freedman.
As we drove, we passed many small villages. We saw almost no cars on the
road. The homes are set back about 15 to 20 feet >from the road and are
fenced. On the road side of the fence, benches and chairs are placed where
the neighbors come out to sit, chat and gossip.
Cows graze in the grassy area between the fence and the road unless a
larger area is nearby.
We passed elderly men and women tending the family cows as they grazed along
the highway.
All the women I saw wore scarves, babushkas, tied around their heads. I saw
countless people of all ages working in their gardens or on larger plots of
land behind their homes. This wasn't just a pastoral scene >from the 19th
Century. This was survival. 29% of the 47 million people in the Ukraine live
below the poverty line. Every family in rural areas has a cow, chickens and
a plot of land. What is grown is vital to their daily needs. Potatoes are a
staple.
As we drove up to the hotel I was pleased to see that the Hotel Xenia looked
quite presentable. Alex had assured me that the hotel was clean and there
were no bugs! The advance payment of $40 per night included breakfast. The
hotel was like a stage set. >from the outside it looked great, but inside was
another matter, not that I was expecting a Sheraton. There was a maze of
stairs leading to unfinished floors and sections of the hotel. They had
probably run out of money and stopped and started construction many times
over the years.
I awoke the next morning after a good night's sleep in a very cold room
despite wearing four layers of clothing, my coat and an eye shade. I was a
sight to behold! The weather was quite cool and the old fashioned radiator
in my room, even turned on at its highest only raised the room temperature
to about 17 degrees Celsius.
After a certain time of the year the heat is turned off, no matter the
weather. The only window covering was a sheer lace curtain through which I
watched and heard the neighbour's chickens strutting in the garden.
Breakfast included potato pancakes, latkes, prepared the way my grandmother
used to make them. Not the crispy latkes that most of us now make, but more
like small oval pancakes, very light and sprinkled with sugar. The food was
very good and all the tastes were familiar. A dinner of meatball soup and a
main course of verenikas was Cdn $3.75. An excellent bowl of borsht was
35 cents. It was really cold in the dining room too and I ate all my meals
with my coat on.
The dining room area was divided into two parts, one was a large
high-ceiling space where parties were held and another cozier section which
included four enclosed booths - similar to a Japanese restaurant only with
Ukrainian cross-stitched red and blue embroidery on the curtains.
Before checking out of a hotel in the Ukraine, the room is checked to make
sure nothing is taken, even in the fancier hotel in Lviv. Believe me, there
was nothing to take >from the Xenia Hotel.
Only one very thin towel was supplied - that's it.
You can imagine my excitement when we finally got into the car that morning.
In fifteen minutes I would actually be in Zhvanets!
Page 3 of 7
To put things into some perspective here are a few statistics. In 1847
during the Czarist regime, the Jewish population in Zhvanets numbered 1619
people and according to the 1897 census,
among the general populace of 5005 there were 3,353 Jews or 67% of the
population. I did not expect to find any living relatives there as the
Shapiro and Taylor families left between 1904 and 1912.
In 1941 the Jewish population was totally annihilated in Zhvanets and
environs.
We arrived in Zhvanets quickly. Bogdan parked the car near the city hall and
Svitlana went in to find the Mayor. She knew I wanted to see the Jewish
cemetery and drive around the former Jewish area. He was away in
Kamianets-Podilskyi that morning but Svitlana spoke to Anna Viktorivna
Spivak, the assistant mayor, who phoned someone to come and give me a tour.
What a surprise when Petro Bratvanovych, a sprightly ninety-two year old
former deputy principal, teacher and historian joined us. Svitlana, Anna,
Petro, Bogdan and I crowded into the car and drove the very short distance
to the Jewish area.
Zhvanets is very, very small. Its 2004 population is 1650 people. It is
located on the second largest river in the Ukraine, the Dnester. We drove
first to the ruins of an old synagogue which had once been used for defense,
overlooking the Zhvanchik River. There were a few broken tombstones lying
about, a cow grazing in the field. It was sad and made me feel very strange.
We then went to the Jewish area near the market place. Petro pointed to a
couple of homes and said that was 'Guttmann's house' and that is where
"Seltzer" stored his wares. We saw the site of one of the original
synagogues, part of which is now occupied by a bakery the other an empty,
graveled overgrown lot. My Bube Rifka may have been married here! Anna went
to the bakery and bought me a loaf of warm bread just out of the oven.
No one spoke English except for my guide, so all our conversations had to be
translated. Anna had some work to do so we returned to the city hall where
the Mayor now joined our group and we all continued onto the cemetery. His
name is Mykola Borysovych Makovski, or Nick for short.
One of two original synagogues, circa 1800's Page 4 of 7 It was like being
in a Tolstoy novel.
We first walked by the Polish section of the cemetery where Nick pointed out
his father's gravesite. Photos of the deceased are put on the stones. We
walked into the woods to see the Jewish cemetery *. I felt quite emotional.
The stones that I saw were tilted, leaning towards the ground, but did not
appear to be broken. I scraped many layers of moss off one of the stones and
had I had the time to clean it up, the writing would have been legible. It
is in a heavily wooded area. There had been a recent rainfall and my brand
new Nike running shoes were covered in mud. The first time in my life I
actually dirtied a pair of running shoes!
We stopped at different points around the village and met some of Petro's
former students. One was an eight-three year old lady who remembered
lighting candles on the Sabbath for a Jewish family. A broad smile revealed
her one remaining shiny, gold tooth, Another elderly student proudly said
that she spoke English, but we were not really able to converse.
We returned to city hall, where Anna surprised me with a beautiful bouquet
of large, burgundy peonies and irises >from her garden. She invited me to
come and stay with her. They were very kind and probably both fascinated and
a little perplexed that a North American would have such an interest in
their village.
There is no indoor plumbing in the village as is the case in most small
towns and villages throughout rural Ukraine. The only difference between the
outhouse for the city hall and others that I saw was that it was made of
brick and was a doorless two-seater.
The village had telephones, but not one computer. Out of a total population
of 1650 people, eighty-five women >from the village live and work in Italy to
send home money to supplement their family's income. Very much like the
Philippine community. The average annual income for a doctor or a teacher in
the Ukraine is approximately six hundred US dollars a year. The mayor earns
273 UAH** a month. There is no work in the village.
Svitlana took some photos of the Mayor and I and he and Anna walked me to
the car and waved goodbye. Petro kissed my hand with old world gallantry. It
was in order for me to offer him something for his tour, which I did. At
first he did not want to take anything, but I asked Svitlana to tell him
that it had been an honour for me to meet someone who had been one of the
many liberators of Auschwitz. He smiled with great pride when she translated
this for me.
The next morning I decided to return to Zhvanets to have a quiet, more
reflective look at the shtetl. What good luck. It was market day and we
arrived at the square just in time to see that over a period of a hundred
years nothing had changed. People were selling and people were buying.
When you look at the photos, just imagine you're seeing horse drawn carts
instead of cars. There was a hatchback station wagon with the back open
displaying a pile of freshly baked breads and round loaves that looked like
challahs. Many people were selling shoes which of course interested me. They
were displayed on blankets on the ground and on the hoods of cars.
My Bube Rifka had gone to Kamianets-Podilskyi to have her wedding shoes
repaired.
I can see in my mind's eye what the village square would have been like in
the 1800's. I can hear the haggling over a loaf of bread or a piece of fish
for Shabbat. I am thrilled that even with not a little trepidation I decided
to embark on my small journey. It was small in terms of distance and time
but will loom forever large in my memory. I had the privilege and
opportunity to briefly glimpse the life that my Great Grandfather, great
Uncles and Aunts and my Bube and Zade lived.
Petro Bratvanovych and Svitlana Kovalyk
Page 5 of 7
I saw for myself part of the landscape that made up the Pale of Settlement
where almost five million Jews once lived.
I bless my family for their courage. Courage beyond anything I can
comprehend in leaving a small dot on a map in the Ukraine to journey across
the ocean. They had no money and no knowledge of the English language. They
were no longer able to endure the hardships, the poverty and the pogroms.
They endured conditions on the ships that we can't even imagine. And so they
arrived.
What a forever special trip it was for me. It gave me a sense of continuity
and identity and fills me with great emotion.
Zhvanets in Ukrainian means bell. Perhaps the sound of the tolling bell of
the Zhvanets >from which we came can still be heard and felt today just a
little in all 442 descendents of Hanech Shapiro who are currently named in
our family tree.
Had they not left I would not be here to tell their story.
Canada
Page 6 of 7
APPENDIX
* Lviv had the following names: Lwow, Poland (13th Century to 1772);
Lemberg, Austria (1772- 1918); Lwow, Poland (1918-1939); Lviv, Ukraine
(1939-to present). Lwow is pronounced Lvov or Lvuv
* LOT, which means flight in Polish, is the name of the Polish Airline
* Kamianets-Podilskyi , the Ukrainian spelling, is a district capital and
can be found on all maps dating back to the thirteenth century. Spellings
changed according to the governing countries language.
* Cemetery - Currently plans are underway for 'Zhvanetsers' to restore and
maintain the cemetery that contains about 1200 stones. I am certain that
some of our relatives rest there.
* The currency is called hrynya (h-ren-ya) and is written UAH. I US dollar
is equal to 5.33 UAH.
* Photos of market place and synagogue courtesy of Dr. Rand Fishbein, a
fellow Zhvanetser.
For more photos and information about Zhvanets go to his website at
www.familyroots.us
Reference: Kaminits-Podolsk & Its Environs /Bonnie Schooler Sohn/Avotaynu
Foundation Inc.
Layout Design by Shelley Freedman
Map of Ukraine


Max Solovitzig & Sarah Wilensky-Solovitzig, resting in Waldhiem Cemetery #general

Steve S <t_steve14@...>
 

Dear Ms. C and others,

Thank you for your reply. You are of course correct, but I
don't know which section of Waldheim Cemetery my
GrantGrandParents are buried. I know, I'll have to write
or call the cemetery main office. I'm sorry I didn't do
this
before making my request.

Thank you very much for your time and effort.

Sincerely, Steve Sola


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Max Solovitzig & Sarah Wilensky-Solovitzig, resting in Waldhiem Cemetery #general

Steve S <t_steve14@...>
 

Dear Ms. C and others,

Thank you for your reply. You are of course correct, but I
don't know which section of Waldheim Cemetery my
GrantGrandParents are buried. I know, I'll have to write
or call the cemetery main office. I'm sorry I didn't do
this
before making my request.

Thank you very much for your time and effort.

Sincerely, Steve Sola


How can I discover my great grandfather's date of birth? #general

Daniel Gee <danielgee@...>
 

Dear Genners,
I'd appreciate any advice you can offer me on this impossible task!
I want to find out my great grandfather's birthdate and I have
exhausted all the avenues I can think of.
So, can you see something that I may have missed?

Nathan SACK (1876-1921) lived in Cape Town in the early 1900s.
A document states he was a "Native of Russia", so I presume he was
born in Prussia or, otherwise, his parents were >from there.
He must have been in Cape Town for many years though, because my
late grandfather remembered he had a strong South African accent.

By 1909 he'd travelled to the East End of London where he married
Milly SILVERSTEIN and, after her death, Sophie ISOWITSKY.
Both his marriage applications state his brother attended both weddings.
His name was Hyman SACK ("Chono" in Hebrew ..Chet-Nun-Hay),
so I think it is probable that his brother also lived in London.

I have both marriage applications (>from the Court of the Chief Rabbi),
state marriage certificates, his death certificate and burial application,
but none specify a date of birth.

An article was published in the Cape Town Jewish Chronicle some years
back, appealing for information about the SACK family, but I did not
receive a response >from the 'correct' family.

Did they have GPs in those days? And would the doctor have recorded
this information and how might I gain access to his normal doctor's notes?
I have seen the cemetery records, he had no headstone and he died in an
asylum in North London.

His hospital notes, which are comprehensive, do not state this information.

Although it is unlikely, he *may* have had his Bar Mitzvah in South Africa,
but do any old shul records still exist, and would they have contained
information about his date of birth anyway?

I don't know if this is of any relevance, but his asylum notes state he had
a "tattoo mark" on his arm. I don't believe many Jewish people had
body tattoos as some youngsters do these days - and I don't think
he was in the services. I guess he could have fought in the Boer War,
but know little about the event. I wonder if this was just a simple
birthmark that might have been described as a tattoo (ie the meaning has
changed)? Just a thought..

Finally, some years I ago (when I thought he may have been born in RSA)
I made some enquiries and learned that birth records were kept in Pretoria,
but this did not begin until after Nathan's birth (in 1876).

Any ideas or suggestions as to what else I might do to find this information
would be appreciated!
As always, please respond privately.
Daniel Gleek in London
danielgee@tiscali.co.uk

Also seeking the surnames:

KUPCHIK / COOPTCHICK - >from Odessa to London & USA
ISOWITSKY - >from Odessa to London
HERMAN - >from Kolo to London & New York
GLEEK / GLICK - >from Riga to South Africa & Palestine
GLICKMAN / GLUKMAN - >from Vilnius/Warsaw to London & Belgium
WAITZENSANG - >from Vilnius/Warsaw to London & Belgium


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen How can I discover my great grandfather's date of birth? #general

Daniel Gee <danielgee@...>
 

Dear Genners,
I'd appreciate any advice you can offer me on this impossible task!
I want to find out my great grandfather's birthdate and I have
exhausted all the avenues I can think of.
So, can you see something that I may have missed?

Nathan SACK (1876-1921) lived in Cape Town in the early 1900s.
A document states he was a "Native of Russia", so I presume he was
born in Prussia or, otherwise, his parents were >from there.
He must have been in Cape Town for many years though, because my
late grandfather remembered he had a strong South African accent.

By 1909 he'd travelled to the East End of London where he married
Milly SILVERSTEIN and, after her death, Sophie ISOWITSKY.
Both his marriage applications state his brother attended both weddings.
His name was Hyman SACK ("Chono" in Hebrew ..Chet-Nun-Hay),
so I think it is probable that his brother also lived in London.

I have both marriage applications (>from the Court of the Chief Rabbi),
state marriage certificates, his death certificate and burial application,
but none specify a date of birth.

An article was published in the Cape Town Jewish Chronicle some years
back, appealing for information about the SACK family, but I did not
receive a response >from the 'correct' family.

Did they have GPs in those days? And would the doctor have recorded
this information and how might I gain access to his normal doctor's notes?
I have seen the cemetery records, he had no headstone and he died in an
asylum in North London.

His hospital notes, which are comprehensive, do not state this information.

Although it is unlikely, he *may* have had his Bar Mitzvah in South Africa,
but do any old shul records still exist, and would they have contained
information about his date of birth anyway?

I don't know if this is of any relevance, but his asylum notes state he had
a "tattoo mark" on his arm. I don't believe many Jewish people had
body tattoos as some youngsters do these days - and I don't think
he was in the services. I guess he could have fought in the Boer War,
but know little about the event. I wonder if this was just a simple
birthmark that might have been described as a tattoo (ie the meaning has
changed)? Just a thought..

Finally, some years I ago (when I thought he may have been born in RSA)
I made some enquiries and learned that birth records were kept in Pretoria,
but this did not begin until after Nathan's birth (in 1876).

Any ideas or suggestions as to what else I might do to find this information
would be appreciated!
As always, please respond privately.
Daniel Gleek in London
danielgee@tiscali.co.uk

Also seeking the surnames:

KUPCHIK / COOPTCHICK - >from Odessa to London & USA
ISOWITSKY - >from Odessa to London
HERMAN - >from Kolo to London & New York
GLEEK / GLICK - >from Riga to South Africa & Palestine
GLICKMAN / GLUKMAN - >from Vilnius/Warsaw to London & Belgium
WAITZENSANG - >from Vilnius/Warsaw to London & Belgium


Yizkorbooks and genealogical books #general

Avigdor&Laia <lbendov@...>
 

Recently someone sought a home for a used yizkorbook. It may be difficult or
impossible to find those still able to read Hebrew or Yiddish (or other
European language) >from these books, or to find those associated with some
towns. Sixty years is a long time and there may be no living survivors.
Descendents, if any, may also lack interest in tracking their family. May I
offer a solution?
If anyone has a used yizkorbook, genealogy book, or book on the Shoa (diary,
memoir, etc.) and cares to donate it to our library for safekeeping and for
Holocaust research, please contact me privately. The Yad LeZehava Holocaust
Research Institute in Israel is continuing to index its library and plans to
post this online to inform researchers and the general public of the titles
in our collection of such books. Of course, an acknowledgement will be sent
of any donation of such books.

We are primarily interested in books and family research in Eastern Europe
with an emphasis on Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine (Belarus), Hungary, and
Soviet Russia.

Avigdor Ben-Dov
Director of Special Projects
Yad LeZehava Holcaust Research Institute
POB 513
Kedumim, Israel


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Yizkorbooks and genealogical books #general

Avigdor&Laia <lbendov@...>
 

Recently someone sought a home for a used yizkorbook. It may be difficult or
impossible to find those still able to read Hebrew or Yiddish (or other
European language) >from these books, or to find those associated with some
towns. Sixty years is a long time and there may be no living survivors.
Descendents, if any, may also lack interest in tracking their family. May I
offer a solution?
If anyone has a used yizkorbook, genealogy book, or book on the Shoa (diary,
memoir, etc.) and cares to donate it to our library for safekeeping and for
Holocaust research, please contact me privately. The Yad LeZehava Holocaust
Research Institute in Israel is continuing to index its library and plans to
post this online to inform researchers and the general public of the titles
in our collection of such books. Of course, an acknowledgement will be sent
of any donation of such books.

We are primarily interested in books and family research in Eastern Europe
with an emphasis on Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine (Belarus), Hungary, and
Soviet Russia.

Avigdor Ben-Dov
Director of Special Projects
Yad LeZehava Holcaust Research Institute
POB 513
Kedumim, Israel


RICHTER, WILDER and GOTTESMAN families in Austria #general

Jslevey@...
 

Hi all,

I was fortunate to be able to find information about my greatgrandparents on
familysearch.org today. It's still lacking, but I've been so fortunate in
finding other family information that I'm going to post this and give it a try.

My great grandfather Abraham RICHTER was born in Austria. My father believes
he was >from Vienna. His father's name was Beril and his mother's name was
Male GOTTESMAN. He married Sadie WILDER in NYC on February 7, 1905. Sadie was
also born in Austria, but the site doesn't say what city or town and nobody in
my family seems to know. She had a sister Rose and another sister Tillie.
Her father's name is listed as Schulym Gezel, and her mother's name is listed
as Maly Bar..uhut.

I'm going to add these names on JGFF and I will post to the Austrian-Czech
list as well. If anyone has any ideas as to where else I might look, or if
anyone might even know something about any of these people/families, please feel
free to drop me a line.

I want to say that I am so pleasantly surprised that I have found so much
information so soon, and I am getting ready to get a family tree program to
enter in all this info, and to post or upload the results I have achieved thus
far.

Thank you,

Janette Levey Frisch


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen RICHTER, WILDER and GOTTESMAN families in Austria #general

Jslevey@...
 

Hi all,

I was fortunate to be able to find information about my greatgrandparents on
familysearch.org today. It's still lacking, but I've been so fortunate in
finding other family information that I'm going to post this and give it a try.

My great grandfather Abraham RICHTER was born in Austria. My father believes
he was >from Vienna. His father's name was Beril and his mother's name was
Male GOTTESMAN. He married Sadie WILDER in NYC on February 7, 1905. Sadie was
also born in Austria, but the site doesn't say what city or town and nobody in
my family seems to know. She had a sister Rose and another sister Tillie.
Her father's name is listed as Schulym Gezel, and her mother's name is listed
as Maly Bar..uhut.

I'm going to add these names on JGFF and I will post to the Austrian-Czech
list as well. If anyone has any ideas as to where else I might look, or if
anyone might even know something about any of these people/families, please feel
free to drop me a line.

I want to say that I am so pleasantly surprised that I have found so much
information so soon, and I am getting ready to get a family tree program to
enter in all this info, and to post or upload the results I have achieved thus
far.

Thank you,

Janette Levey Frisch


Polish Translations #general

duccio leoni <duccio.leoni@...>
 

Hello everyone

Just in case I posted my request in the wrong discussion group, I would be
very grateful if someone could translate for me the Lodz birth certificate
of my grandmother and aunt ANELA & SOFFIA DOBRANICKA.

Viewmate http://data.jewishgen.org/viewmate in the To View section - as
file - VM8214 and file VM8213

Please if you can send the translations to my personal address
duccio.leoni@onetel.net
Thank you in advance, it would help me finding the rest of the family
details

Duccio
England
217885


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Polish Translations #general

duccio leoni <duccio.leoni@...>
 

Hello everyone

Just in case I posted my request in the wrong discussion group, I would be
very grateful if someone could translate for me the Lodz birth certificate
of my grandmother and aunt ANELA & SOFFIA DOBRANICKA.

Viewmate http://data.jewishgen.org/viewmate in the To View section - as
file - VM8214 and file VM8213

Please if you can send the translations to my personal address
duccio.leoni@onetel.net
Thank you in advance, it would help me finding the rest of the family
details

Duccio
England
217885


Aliens Acts #unitedkingdom

Estelle Wolfers <Estelle@...>
 

The text of the 1905 Aliens Act is available to download as a pdf on
the MovingHere site - http://www.movinghere.org.uk/ .

Estelle


Re: Looking 46 New Rd Whitechapel #unitedkingdom

jeremy frankel
 

Estelle,

You may be interested to know that New Road still exists today
(though I'm sure that #46 has long since gone). It runs north to
south >from Whitechapel Road to Commercial Road.

Jeremy G Frankel
ex-London, England
Berkeley, California, USA


JCR-UK SIG #UnitedKingdom Aliens Acts #unitedkingdom

Estelle Wolfers <Estelle@...>
 

The text of the 1905 Aliens Act is available to download as a pdf on
the MovingHere site - http://www.movinghere.org.uk/ .

Estelle


JCR-UK SIG #UnitedKingdom Re: Looking 46 New Rd Whitechapel #unitedkingdom

jeremy frankel
 

Estelle,

You may be interested to know that New Road still exists today
(though I'm sure that #46 has long since gone). It runs north to
south >from Whitechapel Road to Commercial Road.

Jeremy G Frankel
ex-London, England
Berkeley, California, USA