JewishGen.org Discussion Group FAQs
What is the JewishGen.org Discussion Group?
The JewishGen.org Discussion Group unites thousands of Jewish genealogical researchers worldwide as they research their family history, search for relatives, and share information, ideas, methods, tips, techniques, and resources. The JewishGen.org Discussion Group makes it easy, quick, and fun, to connect with others around the world.
Is it Secure?
Yes. JewishGen is using a state of the art platform with the most contemporary security standards. JewishGen will never share member information with third parties.
How is the New JewishGen.org Discussion Group better than the old one?
Our old Discussion List platform was woefully antiquated. Among its many challenges: it was not secure, it required messages to be sent in Plain Text, did not support accented characters or languages other than English, could not display links or images, and had archives that were not mobile-friendly.
This new platform that JewishGen is using is a scalable, and sustainable solution, and allows us to engage with JewishGen members throughout the world. It offers a simple and intuitive interface for both members and moderators, more powerful tools, and more secure archives (which are easily accessible on mobile devices, and which also block out personal email addresses to the public).
I am a JewishGen member, why do I have to create a separate account for the Discussion Group?
As we continue to modernize our platform, we are trying to ensure that everything meets contemporary security standards. In the future, we plan hope to have one single sign-in page.
I like how the current lists work. Will I still be able to send/receive emails of posts (and/or digests)?
Yes. In terms of functionality, the group will operate the same for people who like to participate with email. People can still send a message to an email address (in this case, main@groups.JewishGen.org), and receive a daily digest of postings, or individual emails. In addition, Members can also receive a daily summary of topics, and then choose which topics they would like to read about it. However, in addition to email, there is the additional functionality of being able to read/post messages utilizing our online forum (https://groups.jewishgen.org).
Does this new system require plain-text?
Can I post images, accented characters, different colors/font sizes, non-latin characters?
Can I categorize a message? For example, if my message is related to Polish, or Ukraine research, can I indicate as such?
Yes! Our new platform allows members to use “Hashtags.” Messages can then be sorted, and searched, based upon how they are categorized. Another advantage is that members can “mute” any conversations they are not interested in, by simply indicating they are not interested in a particular “hashtag.”
Will all posts be archived?
Can I still search though old messages?
Yes. All the messages are accessible and searchable going back to 1998.
What if I have questions or need assistance using the new Group?
Send your questions to: support@JewishGen.org
How do I access the Group’s webpage?
Follow this link: https://groups.jewishgen.org/g/main
So just to be sure - this new group will allow us to post from our mobile phones, includes images, accented characters, and non-latin characters, and does not require plain text?
Will there be any ads or annoying pop-ups?
Will the current guidelines change?
Yes. While posts will be moderated to ensure civility, and that there is nothing posted that is inappropriate (or completely unrelated to genealogy), we will be trying to create an online community of people who regulate themselves, much as they do (very successfully) on Jewish Genealogy Portal on Facebook.
What are the new guidelines?
There are just a few simple rules & guidelines to follow, which you can read here:https://groups.jewishgen.org/g/main/guidelines
Thank you in advance for contributing to this amazing online community!
If you have any questions, or suggestions, please email support@JewishGen.org.
The JewishGen.org Team
Orange County California Jewish Genealogy Society Virtual Meeting April 26th 1:30 Pm PT #jgs-iajgs
The Orange County California Jewish Genealogy Society is having a virtual meeting on Sunday April 26th at 1:30 pm. Our topic this month is Jewish Genealogical Resources in the Los Angeles Campus Library of Hebrew Union College. Our speaker is Sheryl Stahl the Library DIrector. The link is on our website www.ocjgs.org. It will also be available in our newsletter or our mail chimp email meeting notices.
Vice President of Programming OCJGS
ViewMate Translation - Hebrew #ukraine
Barry E Chernick
I have posted on ViewMate a Starokonstantinov birth record page in Hebrew for which I need a translation. I just need the record for Males 5 and 6 (twins). It is at the following address ...
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much.
Barry Chernick, Bellevue, WA
Holland-American records - Dutch document ViewMate VM79365 #translation
Recently, Rotterdam City Archives posted Holland-
American ship records. Jewishgen was able to upload Jewish immigration data from Rotterdam. These documents are extremely helpful for immigrants leaving from this port city. Not only that but I was surprised to learn that they came through Brody. In Brody # of railroad order, booked by J. Kappeler In Brody. Interested in translation.
View Mate VM79365 applies. They were in Brody and Rotterdam in early April, 1906. I need help with translating the captions to the headings on the Rotterdam document from Dutch to English. I need help with what the numbers on my grandfather's line. His name on the record is the second from the bottom of the list: Marcus RAWIDOWSKY (DAWIDOWSKY).
Dear Moses Jefferson,
I have some peronal advise for you, in ref. to the land found
that belonged to your family in Slovakia.
You must feel probably very happy to find out that your family
owned land, it shows that they belonged
To above middle class level.
However, I am about to suggest and hopefully you will not be disappointed
Or you might but I am going to save you a lot of money.
All eastern European countries have created rules that are limiting us
the descendants from obtaining the land back, basically they claim who paid
the property taxes?, you didn’t ?, therefore if you really want it back you will
spend a fortune and might end without the land.
If you hire a lawyer, he will promise you a lot but, eventually he will keep asking
money and you will not move forward too much, it can take years.
My personal suggestion is , if you plan a Family Roots Journey, go and visit the city,
Try to locate the piece of land, find out if there is a local person who can be a tour guide
And have him locate the land before you arrive.
After WW II, all Jewish Properties became the countries property, after Communism Regime,
people were able to buy the land, in most cases who ever took care of the land maybe as a
farmer he bought the land.
Your guide might find, when he looks for the land that the local person who most likely owns it,
is going to react very upset and can be violent- sorry- they don’t like us to claim the land.
In conclusion, unfortunately, not too much success.
But if you can to go and visit that would be terrific to do such a Journey.
Romania + 40-74-414-5351
I have no information to add to your family research.
However, Spiitz is not so common name and I am related to that family in particular to Rebeca Spitz and her husband Simon Lichtschein from Terczal, Hungary.
Rebeca was born in about 1808.
Utah JGS Virtual Meeting - April 20 #jgs-iajgs
Banai Lynn Feldstein
Utah JGS is hosting a virtual meeting on April 20 at 6:30pm Mountain.
Speaker: Janette Silverman
Topic: Researching in Eastern European Archives
All are welcome to join us. Attendance is free.
Banai Lynn Feldstein
Utah JGS Webmaster
I know this is a long shot, but I'm trying to find information about a Holocaust survivor named FIRST about whom I have no information except that he married my aunt Eva BLOCH in the Riga ghetto.
Eva was born in 1919 in Sulingen, Niedersachsen, Germany, and was murdered in the Holocaust. She was single when she and her parents (my maternal grandparents), Iwan BLOCH and Toni BLOCH, were deported from Hannover to the Riga ghetto. By the time Eva was sent from Riga to the Stutthof concentration camp, where she was murdered, she was married to a man whose surname was FIRST. I know nothing about him except that he survived the war. I have several documents about my aunt showing her married name as FIRST, so I know that is the correct spelling, but none of the documents includes her husband's first name or any other information about him. Eva had no children.
My mother (Eva's sister) must have known Mr. FIRST's given name, because she was able to ascertain that he survived the war. She traced him but did not contact him, because she was afraid it might bring up painful memories for him, and she did not want to disrupt his new life in case he had remarried and had children. She never told me his given name or where he lived after the war.
If any of this rings a bell, please contact me privately. I would like to know if any of his descendants heard any stories from him about his marriage to my aunt
Deborah Blankenberg Lodi, CA dtblankenberg@...
(JewishGen ID #613395) Researching BLOCH/BLOCK (Germany to New York, Colombia and Missouri), BLINDER (Kishinev to New York via Poland? and Paris), KUSHER/KUSZER (Lodz vicinity to New York via Paris), GOLDSCHMIDT (Germany)
I have recently found the death certificate of my great grand mother Guitel Shereshevski. She was born in Bialystok in 1857 from Jeshua Shereshevski (banker) and wife Chana. She died in 1934 in Danzig.The Shereshevski are a very large family (there is even a facebook group for that family). A person has linked Jeshua to a Shereshevski branch on an ancestry tree but is incapable of explaining the link to me. There are many siblings Henoch (also born in Byalistok) Hershel and Peshe Libby born in Grodno (Belarus), Ariel Leib, Ephraim (born in Prenai Lithuania), Rebecca and David. To complexify everything the names of their parents is not known. I would really like to know and find if Jeshua is linked with them and if my great grand mother Guitel had brothers and sisters. Her parents moved at some point to Ekaterinoslav where Guitel met my great grand father Chaim Bespalov. Could somebody give advice on how to proceed?
Best regards, Catherine Jurovsky <catherine.jurovsky@...>
Renée K. Carl
The records of the US Consulate for Riga are a robust set of records, though for reasons lost to time, more is available if your surname is at the beginning or end of the alphabet. The consular records are different than the documents for the Visa File that you sought from USCIS and that Marian responded to. I presented on the consular records to the Latvia Research Group at IAJGS in Cleveland. These records are at the National Archives, College Park.
National Archives, U.S. Consulate, Riga (organization description):
National Archives U.S. Consulate, Riga (records):
There is also the collection of House Registers for Riga, these are in browse mode at Family Search - Marion Wehle or Arlene Beare might be able to provide the link or additional information. Even if people staying in a house for a night or two, their names appear on these lists.
Renée Carl, Washington DC Latvia names: Ketcher/Katcher/Katsher, Bortz, Budovnitz
Ellen Morosoff Pemrick wrote:
"The manifest also indicates that visas were issued for them in Riga, Latvia on Oct. 1, 1926.
What agency would have issued those visas? Neither of my grandparents was a U.S. citizen at that point, although my uncle (the infant son) certainly was, having been born in NYC. Would copies of the visas be available somewhere? A recent Genealogy Index Search Request that I submitted to the USCIS yielded no information on my grandfather that I didn't already have."
Need to add. The link to the article I references was cut...
Here is a full link to the article about History of Jews in Bessarabia 15-19c at:
Yefim Kogan <yefimk@...>
From what you describe, your grandparents should have visa records on file with USCIS--the question may be where they are filed, or whether the search results you obtained were accurate.
I cannot check the manifest without the names, but assuming they were issued immigrant visas those documents would have been collected from them upon arrival in the US and forwarded for filing with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS, now USCIS) in Washington, DC. At that time the documents would become one of the Visa Files, 1924-1944, indexed at INS under the name as it appeared on the ship passenger list. If either of your grandparents never naturalized, or never interacted with the INS again after 1944, the visa documents should remain in their Visa Files. USCIS information on Visa Files is found here.
BUT, if they naturalized after March 31, 1944, their Visa File would have been moved to their Naturalization Certificate File, i.e., "C-File." The C-file, with the visa file contents inside, would then be indexed at INS under the name as it appeared on the naturalization certificate.
If not naturalized, but they had some other business with the INS after March 31, 1944, they should have an A-File (not simply the alien registration form document, but an actual file). The Visa File contents would have been placed inside the A-File, then indexed by INS under the name used at registration in the early 1940's.
INS' practice of moving files "up" to other file series (called "consolidation") can make requesting these files or understanding search results confusing. If one assumes that a post-1944 C-File only duplicates court naturalization records one can miss out on many vital documents.
All that said, there's always a chance your search results were incomplete. For example, if the only name provided was an Americanized name it may not have brought back a Visa File still indexed under the name as it appeared on the 1926 passenger list.
I hope this helps, you or someone else,
The website address is as follows http://www.westerncharitablefoundation.com/database/search/
Not as in the body of your message.
Michael Hoffman, Borehamwood, HERTS UK
At 00:44 16/04/2020, Daniel Gleek wrote:
Can anyone please help me find the resting place for:
I do not have an answer but the way I would tackle this is to contact as many London cemeteries as I can
David Lewin, London
Identifying mystery relatives #general
What is the best way (if there is one) do disseminate photos of anonymous people in the hope that someone will recognize a face or a place or even have another copy of the same image, with captions?
Posting in ViewMate is one way, but I suspect not many researchers visit it regularly.
Posting in Facebook Jewish Genealogy group reaches people only for a day or two.
Reversed image search on google, yandex, and tineye is possible, but most likely will be a waste of time as they don’t seem to index large photo collections.
Ideas are welcome.
There is an “anonymous” page on my web site, if anybody is interested, at http://www.bfcollection.net/subjects/anon2/anon_02.html
It is a mixture of my family photos and strangers from my collection. As I am organizing family albums in this forced downtime, more faces appear and more answers are needed.
Thank you all! Boris Feldblyum
Another thought. Have you checked if they possibly obtained a U.S. passport for the American born child before they returned to Russia? You can search the passport application database:
Database covers through 1925. A passport application may contain valuable information.
Regards, Sherri Bobish, Princeton, NJ
Barbara L. Kornblau
Something else has changed re: the US Holocaust Museum and Yom Hashoah remembrance.... I live in the DC Metro area. Every year during the weak of Yom Hashoah, people go to the Museum to read names of victims of the holocaust. Most are given a list or names to read and some bring their own names. I go to the Museum every year with my list of family member victims and victim names of members of Jewishgen who have given me their family names over the years. All kinds of people would come to the museum to read victims names all week.
I contacted the museum and they said there is no provision to do that this year.... To me that doesn't comport with "Never Forget." My grandfather's first cousin died 2 days after liberation from Bergen-Belsen. A British soldier gave her a potato. She died with food in her stomach. It pains me to think of not honoring her and what she went through
I am thinking of maybe setting up a zoom meeting with friends and relatives to read the list of names so holocaust victims from friends and family, will not be forgotten this year. If you might be interested in reading your family names, please contact me....Maybe we can organize something for a group of us. Thank you and be well.
Barbara L. Kornblau
I want to introduce you to a new set of records I found among Revision lists.
Before doing this, I want to go back to history of our region.
You probably remember that in 1812, by the Treaty of Bucharest, the Ottomans
gave to Russia Empire the eastern part of the Principality of Moldavia
(Moldova), and also parts in the South which were under Turk ruling. That
territory constituted Bessarabia.
I would suggest to check out an article about History of Jews in Bessarabia
The Budjak part of Bessarabia (South-west part) went back to Moldavia
Principality in 1856 and returned back to Russia in 1878. You can see at the
article I references on page 4 "Map7-Southern Bessarabia 1856-1878 - part of
You can see a south-western part of Bessarabia with towns on the map - Cahul
and Chilia under Moldavia Principality, later Romania. This part of
Bessarabia with towns of Cahul (Kagul), Chilia (Kiliya), also Izmail, Leovo,
Reni, and some smaller towns went from Moldavia Principality to Russian in
1812, back to Moldavia Principality in 1856, and back to Russia in 1878.
Records we found are exactly from that region from that time.
This is "List of residents of that Southern region in 1860 who relisted
[probably moved] to different places in Bessarabia and got all privileges
and monetary allowance".
What is interesting is that the list has Jewish records together with
non-Jewish. That is a very rear case. I think I only found another small
set like that.
Records unfortunately do not have towns people lived or/and moved too. It
is possible that they even did not move, but lived in the same towns, and
had "Russian" protection of sort. There is though amount of money they
received. It is usually 35 rubles per person. Also there is a column Who
signed when receiving money. In some cases it was the person who got the
money, but in many cases it was somebody else, because a person was not literate.
We are going to translate all what is in these pages. If anyone is interested in working on this documents, please let me know. It is total of about 10-12 pages handwritten in Russian.
All the best, be safe and healthy. Yefim Kogan
The earliest story of van Millingen family is that my direct ancestor, Samuel van Millingen’s brother, Michael van Millingen spent about 20 years in Batavia, East Indies where he later made a fortune. He returned to Holland in 1763 with his Batavian born wife Elisabeth Westplate Cool, of Dutch family, and they soon settled in London where they had five children, raised as Anglicans. This family was known as the Anglican branch whilst my ancestor’s family was the Jewish branch. We have early family records that evidence that Michael was born a Jew. His brother, Samuel settled in London long before Michael’s arrival in London in 1764.
Dutch East India Company (VOC) records show that Michiel van Millingen became a free citizen and private merchant in Batavia in 1753. I then discovered that Michiel went to Batavia as a soldier from Rotterdam in 1744 under the name of Michiel van Meijningen – the same and one person as Michiel van Millingen. I learnt that the place name of Millingen in Holland listed for other VOC employees was also spelled by the VOC clerk at that time as Meijningen.
According to Hambro (London) Synagogue records Samuel van Millingen (diamond merchant) and family were named either as Millingen or Millingham. The Hebrew name variants are Millingham, Millenheim, Millinheim, Milingheim and Melingham. The Hebrew name for Samuel van Millingen’s father is Natan Millingham (or Millinheim). The burial record (1820) is the only record that show Samuel’s father’s Hebrew name as Natan. Michael van Millingen died in Paris in 1806; it is not known if he was buried with Jewish rites there.
After many years of extensively researching I have come to a complete dead end on van Millingen origins that remain elusive.
Is Natan also a patronymic name? Would we be related to Nathan family in Holland? There is no virtual record found of any Jewish van Millingen/Meijningen families in Holland (or even Germany). The question is this. Were Jewish VOC employees forced to adopt a surname after their placename when they started to work for the VOC?
Previously I posted a photo card with a family picture on the front and a Yiddish inscription on the back. Thanks to the jewishgen community I received a translation identifying the family and further identifying the stamp on the card as coming from a DP in Germany. The card came from the collection of the late Miriam Magilner born Meri-Leje Sapockaite in Merkine Lithuania and was from a cousin Luba Shapira husband Lazar and child born Boris, but now called Bern'le. Then I recalled there was a letter in Miriam's artifacts from Luba Shapiro (born Merikanski) with a Haifa return address. Bern'le would be 74 today. So on the outside chance that descendants or relatives of Luba and Lazar Shapiro can be found I have posted the envelope with the Shapiro's return address in Haifa and the letter which I assume is in Yiddish.
the envelope with address in English can be seen at
the letter in Yiddish (rather long) can be seen at
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page and if relatives can be found let them know.
Thank you very much.--
Delray Beach, Florida USA
Belarus - EPSTEIN, HELFAND, POLLACK
Galicia (Poland, Ukraine) - HERZLICH, TREIBER
I've posted a an 1867 birth record from Brod, Bereg, Hungary, now in Ukraine. I am interested in the last two paragraphs at the bottom of the document.
The document is in Hungarian and posted at:
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate page.
Thank you very much!
Searching: Eisdorfer (Brod), Grosz (KIsAlmas and Munkacs), SubCarpathia Hungary, now Ukraine.