Re: Buying false papers

Steve Stein

I think every case was different. Our synagogue just this week lost one of our survivors. He was born with the surname Steinberg; at the end of the war, as a de facto leader of a group, he had a pile of exit visas to come to the US. He had one for himself, but one of the young men in his circle did not. So he gave the Steinberg papers to him, and eventually got another set of papers in the name of Blumenfeld, which he used. I don't know if he tracked the progress of the new Mr. Steinberg, but he died and was buried with the surname Blumenfeld.

Steve Stein
Highland Park, NJ

From Maud #austria-czech


Dear friends,
I am 90 years old. I presume you did not know that.
Still reading (4 languages) still using the PC as you see.
With greetings >from Tel Aviv, Maud Mihal Beer, nee Stecklmacher,
born in Prostejov, have been in ghetto Theresienstadt three years - survived!

Maud Beer

Re: Maiming to Avoid the Russian Draft?


My grandfather Zacharia Marcus,originally from Sveksna,Lithuania chanaged his age from younger to older and visa-versa to avoid the draft. Therfore his exact age was not known.When he died, he was 74 according to his documents; but my mothe velived tht he was really older.His cousin (the father o Edgar and GilbertSimon) cut of 2 of his fingers. There was a butcher Moshe in Crown Heights, Brooklyn NY, who was drafted; but managed to escape.

Zeliviansky Slonim - Stavropol

Vladimir Oksman

My great-grandfather Isaac son of Abram Zeliviansky was born in Slonim, Belarus at 1851. He established his family in Stavropol, Russia.
He and his wife Leah had 14 children.
One of them is my grandfather, 2 others died as children. I was able to find the families of the rest except:
Rakhel, DOB 12/8/1880. She married David son of Abram Zeliviansky (possibly her uncle) on 12/31/1902.
Nekhama, DOB 4/2/1890
Mordechai, DOB 6/15/1983. The last known his trace is WW1 award in 1915.
If anybody has any relation would be happy to discuss.

ViewMate translation request - Polish #galicia

alan moskowitz

This is my first time seeking help and hopefully am going about it correctly.
I've posted a vital record in Polish for which I need a translation. It is on ViewMate at the following address ...
I have just found a translation for the column headings so I do not need those and please ignore the request in the viewmate for  translation of the column headings.  Josef Zuker and Chancie Teitel are my great-great-grandparents.  
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much.
Alan Moskowitz
New  Jersey, USA

Response re: Tracking a passenger across the Atlantic through England

Sherri Venezia

Yes, many took the “direct” route....for example Hamburg to NY, but many chose the less expensive “indirect” route, requiring travel from the European port to the East coast of England, such as to Hull, then continuing the journey in pre-arranged rail connection to Liverpool where a different ship would be boarded to the final destination such as NY. I had wondered where my grandfather departed from, knowing that ( he told me many years ago and I had verified through Ellis Island records) that he sailed from Liverpool to NY. In studying carefully the other passengers origin point on the ship departing from Liverpool, many had started in Libau, which then confirmed my hypothesis that he left Russia, through Lithuania, then took the “indirect” first part of his immigration at Libau, sailing to Hull, then on by rail to Liverpool.

Sherri Venezia,
Davis, Ca

Researching: TODRIN ( Orsha), ROTTENBERG, KURZ, KORN, GERBER, HOROWITZ, MUNZER ( E. Galicia), LEVINSKY , FRANZ (Poland), WALDMAN (Russian Empire).

Re: Maiming to Avoid the Russian Draft?


My Great Grandfather was a butcher in Yampol, Ukraine and he chopped off his thumb to avoid being drafted. We have a photo to show it.
Judy Wolkovitch

Zelda Fridson: Translation from Russian needed

Bob Silverstein

I need the Russian portion of the entry for Zelda Fridson translated.  It is in upper right corner.

Bob Silverstein

Zelda Fridson: Translation from Yiddish needed

Bob Silverstein

I need the Yiddish portion of the entry for Zelda Fridson translated.  It is in upper right corner.

Bob Silverstein

Phoenix (Arizona) Jewish Genealogy Group - 26 Jan 2020

Emily Garber

The Phoenix Jewish Genealogy Group, a committee of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society, will hold its next meeting on Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 1:00 P.M. at The New Shul, 7825 E Paradise Ln, Scottsdale, AZ 85260. The meeting is free of charge and open to all.

Dr. Janette Silverman will present " 'A' My name is Alice - What's in a Name?"

Our immigrant ancestors left behind many questions after they arrived in their new home, some of which can be answered by finding records and carefully examining them. This discussion will focus on the mysteries of first names. Did Yetta Trachtenberg really have two brothers both named Samuel? What are the research techniques that can be used to unravel the mysteries of names? What tools can we use to perform an exhaustive search as genealogy research standards require?

Dr. Janette Silverman is a Senior Genealogist, Research Team Manager at AncestryProGenealogists®. Her team of 10 researchers specializes in Eastern European and Jewish research. She recently traveled to England, Poland and Lithuania doing research in various archival repositories.  When she travels she maintains a blog at .

Janette is a member of the Board of IAJGS. She was the JewishGen Ukraine SIG Coordinator for 6 years, 2017 JewishGen Volunteer of the Year, the 2016 Chair of the IAJGS conference in Seattle, and was, for many years, the Chair of the Phoenix JGS. Janette speaks at conferences and groups worldwide, most recently presenting at RootsTech London. Upcoming presentations include Limud Arizona 2020, Rootstech 2020, the National Genealogical Society, US Holocaust Memorial Museum and, with Emily Garber and Lara Diamond, a week of study about Jewish Genealogy at the Genealogy Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP).

Janette has been involved in Jewish and Eastern European genealogical research for almost 40 years. It began as a hobby with her dad and became a career. Her doctoral dissertation, In Living Memory describes the origins and immigration of four branches of her family, contextualizing their lives from their European origins to their lives in the United States.

For further information about the Phoenix Jewish Genealogy Group, see our web page at

Emily Garber

Re: Pale of Settlement

Vladimir Oksman

Most of the "Russian" Jews are from Pale. 
My great-grandfather Isaac Zeliviansky originally is from Slonim, Belarus. Slonim was inside Pale. He got permit to live outside Pale, in Stavropol, Russia. He got it because his profession - tailor, his specialization was hats. He just have found his profession is in demand there, in Stavropol. He moved from Pale at 1876. Interestingly he still listed in all records as "Slonim meshanin".

JGS of Illinois Jan. 26 program on Library of Congress research resources

Martin Fischer

“Family History Resources from the Library of Congress” will be the topic of a presentation by genealogist Tina Beaird at the Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. Her presentation will begin at 2 p.m. at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook, Illinois.

The JGSI meeting facilities at Temple Beth-El will open at 12:30 p.m. for those who want to use or borrow genealogy library materials, get help with genealogy websites or ask genealogical questions from genealogy expert volunteers before the main program begins at 2 p.m. For more information, see or phone 312-666-0100.

Our speaker, Tina Beaird, is the owner of Tamarack Genealogy and is a genealogy and local history librarian at the Plainfield Public Library. She holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree with a specialization in archives/preservation from Dominican University. She has won multiple research and digitization grants to preserve and digitize historic documents and photographs.

Currently, she is a board director of the Illinois State Genealogical Society, the Northern Illinois Historic League and the Illinois State Historic Records Advisory Board as well as a commissioner for the Illinois World War One Centennial Commission. Tina is also an active member of the Society of American Archivists and the American Library Association. She volunteers, as time permits, for Illinois history and genealogical societies.

Tina Beaird lectures at the national, state and local levels on topics including genealogical methodology, military records and archival preservation. She has offered assistance to researchers for over 15 years and occasionally still finds time to conduct her own family research, which she has been pursuing for over 20 years.

At each regular JGSI monthly meeting, a “help desk” operates from 12:30 to 1:55 p.m. Expert member volunteers access online databases and answer genealogical questions one-on-one for members and visitors as time allows.

The JGSI library has more than 800 volumes of interest to Jewish family historians. Many are available for borrowing by JGSI members for a limited time. All are available for perusing from 12:30 to 1:55 p.m. at each regular monthly meeting.

Family history researchers with ancestors who lived in the Chicago area should search for their names in the the JGSI Jewish Chicago Database (JJCD) at

Submitted by:
Martin Fischer
Vice President-Publicity
Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

Martin Fischer
Vice President-Publicity
Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

JGSI website:

Mile High Resources: Researching Colorado Records with Ellen Kowitt

Ellen Beller

Sunday, January 26, 2020
9#0 AM to Noon
BMH-BJ Congregation

Beginning with a brief history and modern statistics, this lecture will provide local and online resources for anyone interested in documenting individuals in Colorado. Local repositories will be covered including materials at the CO State Archives, DU Beck Archives, History Colorado Hart Library, DPL Western History and Genealogy Department, Boulder Carnegie Library, National Archives Rocky Mountain Region (NARA), and the Bureau of Land Management Colorado Office. An inventory of CO records found online the global giant websites including Ancestry.comFamilySearchJewishGen, and MyHeritage will be reviewed as well as other collections with notable CO content such as the Industrial Removal Office, American Jewish Archives, and a variety of digitized CO newspapers. We will review current laws for access to vital records and the procedures of the CO Department of Public Health and Environment to obtain them, as well as a discussion regarding Colorado Session Laws circa 1861-1997. Previous indexing projects conducted by JGSCO volunteers and where to find them will be explored including Jewish gravestones in CO, JCRS patient applications, obituaries of the Intermountain Jewish News, synagogue memorial plaques, and mohel records.
For more information

Re: Buying false papers

Dan Oren

Were names changed at Ellis Island? Is the earth round or flat? Are there consequences to our behaviors?

Why let facts get in the way of false narratives? But for any Jewish genealogist who is the kind of person really interested in truth, we have a great speaker who has proposed to discuss one of the above three critical questions in life at this coming summer's IAJGS 2020 International Conference in San Diego, August 9-14, 2020. (For now, you'll have to guess which of these three questions we have in mind.) The Conference Program Committee has been working diligently to select the best of the best of the applications for presentation. We haven't released the list of speakers and topics yet, as our diligent conference webmaster gets our website spiffed up to handle the bundle of emails that will go out any day now and the deluge of responses that come back as potential speakers commit to delivering informed, sparkling, and, dare I say, spectacular, presentations. We are seeking nothing less! But I'm sure counting on one of our speakers (he/she doesn't even know this decision yet) to present a fascinating discussion on this perennial, but always interesting, topic. Come to learn the conference and learn more! The JewishGen listserv is the best one in the world, but there's no substitute from learning in person about such topics from the world's experts!

As Conference Chair Robinn Magid is telling everyone, "See you in San Diego!"

Dan Oren

Program Chair, IAJGS 2020 Conference


Sheldon Dan <sheldan1955@...>

There was a relative that I knew of when I was younger.  Fischel GOLDSTEIN was born in either Pultusk or Przasnysz, Poland.  He may have been born in 1874, according to the U.S. Social Security Death Index, or in 1890, according to his gravestone.

I immediately have a problem, because according to my records his father, Hyman GOLDSTEIN, was born in 1860 and Hyman's first wife Ruchla SEBORER was born in 1864 and died in 1887.  Hyman's second wife Dora NEARMAN was born in 1869.  Hyman's father Moshe SOBOTA died around 1882, but Moshe's brother Yussel SOBOTA was believed to have been born in 1830 and died in 1911, and Hyman's grandfather David SOBOTA was born about 1800.  I have a real problem with the 1874 date, because that would have been inconsistent with the ages of both his father and either of his father's wives.

Ruchla had two daughters, Etta Ryfka (1883-1885) and Fanny (born 1886), who married Isidor DIAMOND.  Dora had six children, Maurice (1891-1967), Lillie (1893-1984), Charles (born 1895), Ida (1897-1984), Kate (1899-1998), and Arthur (1907-1970).  Maurice was born in New York; Lillie was born in Boston; Charles was born in New York; Ida and Kate were born in Memphis; and Arthur was born in New York.  If the 1890 date is correct, Fischel would have been the eldest child of the second marriage.

The 1940 U.S. Census has Fischel listed at the B'nai B'rith Home for the Aged (now the Memphis Jewish Home and Rehabilitation) in Memphis, although he lived in Little Rock, AR, in 1935.  The age on the census form implies he was born about 1875.

I seem to recall that my parents took "Cousin Fischel" to various events.  In his later years he was known as an artist and the Memphis Jewish Community Center had many of his paintings displayed.  Fischel died in 1982 in Memphis.

I would like to reconcile this branch of the family with my records, which might or might not be accurate.  Please let me know if you have any information about this particular family.

Sheldon Dan

Sheldon Dan

Re: Tracking a passenger across the Atlantic through England

Sharen Hogarth

I have a document from 1906 noting that my grandparents provided information at the U.S./Manitoba Canada border in order to confirm that they had travelled by boat from Belgium to Canada and  taken a train from Halifax to Winnipeg, Manitoba en route to Minneapolis. The document notes that they originally came from Russia, how much money they had & the name & address of my grandfather’s uncle in Minneapolis.

Their ship manifest from Belgium also noted that they were headed to the U.S.

Sharen Hogarth



Tracking immigration from England to North America includes Canadian ports such as Halifax and Quebec City among other dockings. From the British North American ports (Canada after 1867), immigrants made their way to their various destinations. Thus, not finding ancestors on ship manifest lists recording entry to U. S. ports may suggest that initial entry was 'north of the border'. In this case, I believe there are not entry records.


Re: Pale of Settlement

Yefim Kogan

Here are a few more comments about Pale of Settlement. The area with that name is not only land acquired from the Kingdom of Poland.  Areas of Tavria (Crimea) and Kherson gubernia were also part of Pale, but never were under Poland,  but rather Turkey and Tatars.


Also some of the categories (estates) of Jews were allowed to live outside of Pale:  Merchants, University graduates, retired from Russian Army, Jews who were Honorary Citizens (hereditary or private) (see, Jews citizens of other countries.


Yefim Kogan

JewishGen Bessarabia SIG Leader and Coordinator



Jewish Genealogy Society of Maryland program Jan 26, 2020

Susan Steeble

Speaker: Lara Diamond
Title: “Jewish Genealogy 101”
Date and Time: Sunday, January 26, 2020, 1:30 p.m.
Location: Pikesville Library’s meeting room, 1301 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, MD

Please join us on Sunday, January 26, 2020, when Lara Diamond presents our next program: “Jewish Genealogy 101.” This overview of genealogy resources available for Jewish genealogy will include online sources and documents not yet online for both the United States and Europe; Lara will also cover some basic knowledge critical to researching one’s Jewish roots.

Lara Diamond has been researching her family for 25 years, starting as a middle school student. She has traced all branches of her family multiple generations back in Europe using Russian Empire-era and Austria-Hungarian Empire records. Most of her research is in modern-day Ukraine, with a smattering of Belarus and Poland. As she is an Ashkenazic Jew, she gets to have particular fun with her completely endogamous genome. She is president of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Maryland, leads JewishGen’s Subcarpathian SIG, and is on JewishGen’s Ukraine SIG's board of directors. She also runs multiple district- and town-focused projects to collect documentation to assist all those researching ancestors from common towns. She blogs about DNA and her Eastern European research at

The program is free for paid members and $5 for non-members (applied to JGSMD membership fee) after their first meeting. Please check our web site at for late updates and for the time, location, and program of future meetings.

Susan Steeble

JGSMD Public Relations

Baltimore, MD

Re: Tracking a passenger across the Atlantic through England

Paul King

Tracking immigration from England to North America includes Canadian ports such as Halifax and Quebec City among other dockings. From the British North American ports (Canada after 1867), immigrants made their way to their various destinations. Thus, not finding ancestors on ship manifest lists recording entry to U. S. ports may suggest that initial entry was 'north of the border'. In this case, I believe there are not entry records.


Re: Buying false papers

Barbara Mannlein <bsmannlein@...>

Sally Bruckheimer is correct.    

Names were NEVER changed at Ellis Island or any entry point. Passenger manifests were created from the ticket registers containing the names used when tickets were bought. Names were checked off as passengers boarded. The departure manifest was then given to the Ellis Island officials who used it to create the arrival manifests copying **exactly** what was on the departure manifest. Each passenger WORE A TAG giving his ship's name, manifest page # and line # (and hence his name). All the clerks did was to check the name off a manifest. The clerks did not write anything down at Ellis, they simply checked off the manifest.
It wasn't like a bus full of strangers arrived and officials asked what their name was. There was already a paper trail. EI clerks spoke 2-3 languages each. There was no reason to ask questions in English.

As researcher Sharon Roth pointed out previously, "if the Starbucks barista spells your name wrong on the cup, they aren't  forcing a "name change" on you, since there is no mechanism of enforcement."

1. "Ellis Island Isn’t to Blame for Your Family’s Name Change"

2. "They Changed Our Name at Ellis Island"

3.  "The Myth of Ellis Island and Other Tales of Origin"

4. "American Names / Declaring Independence"
      by Marian Smith, Immigration & Nationalization Svc Historian

5. "Why Your Family Name Was Not Changed at Ellis Island…. "

 6.  "Why Your Family Name Was Not Changed at Ellis Island"

 7. "The Ellis Island Name Change Myth"

 8.  "Jewish Americans changed their names, but not at Ellis Island"

 9. "Just How Were Passenger Manifests Created?"      (2009)
    [senior INS archivist Marion Smith, British genealogists Saul Issrof and Nick Evans.] 


10..  From the US GOVT:   (2013)
    Immigrant Name Changes
On Jan 19, 2020, at 11:00 AM, Sally Bruckheimer via Groups.Jewishgen.Org <> wrote:
"In passing, let me mention that none of the claims made against the involuntary name-changes narratives stands upa to scrutiny and that I have identified a mechanism that would lead immigrants to believe their name(s) had been changed involuntarily by the immigration process."

In spite of what is said here, there were no documents needed to enter the US before WW I, and no names were used at Ellis Island. People there had tags around their necks with the page number and line number of the passenger list. This has been stated repeatedly by the ICE (formerly INS) experts. 

Men in steerage had to appear healthy and able to work, women had to have a husband or father who could support them, and children had to have parents who could support them. People who did not meet these requirements were returned to Europe at the ship-owner's expense, but could later come in a cabin class with no questions asked.

Barbara Mannlein
Tucson, AZ

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