DRUYAN, EPSTEIN - Rostov-na-Donu #russia #ukraine

Robyn Dryen

When my grandfather’s cousin died in 1938, he left bequests to his two sisters:

  1. Anna (neé DRUYAN), wife of Isaac EPSTEIN 
  2. Gitel DRUYAN

All were living in Rostov-na-Donu, Russia when the will was made in 1929.

Anna (c.1882) and Gitel (c.1887) were born in Veselaya - one of the Jewish agricultural colonies in Ekaterinaslav, Ukraine.

Apart from finding a Leib/Lev Epstein, a possible son of Anna and Isaac, who was born in Rostov in 1913 and was killed on the Russian front in 1944, I have not been able to find any trace of these people. I have considered the possibility that they, or their children may have emigrated to Palestine or elsewhere after 1929 but have not found any promising leads. I have not found them in any of the few lists of those displaced or killed in Rostov during WW2.  

Does this sound familiar to anyone? Do you have suggestions for further research?  

Robyn Dryen

Sydney, Australia

Re: Recent experience with Latvian Archives #latvia

Kathy Lorber

I also had positive contact with the Latvian Archives this winter. I requested the birth, death and marriage records on one line of my family. What I actually received was a compilation of the information in a two page document. I did not receive copies of the records themselves. I was a little surprised but decided maybe that was my own fault for not specifying copies of originals in the beginning. My email correspondence went very quickly. In the end, I did a wire transfer of only $27.00 US. I did not receive the volume of records that others may have, but what I received was sufficient for my needs. I received the file in a pdf by email. But about 10 days later I also received a hard copy of the information in the mail. This surprised me since it did not add anything to the information. My contact was:

Natālija Ivašina 
Head archivist of the Latvian State Historical Archives 
at the Latvian National Archives

Kathy Lorber
Montville, NJ
LORBER: Poughkeepsie, NY, Bardejev, Austria-Hungary; FELDMAN: NYC, Varifalu;
LIVINGSTON/LEVENSTEIN: Chicago, Davenport, IA, Lithuania; GOLDMAN/SZEYP: Davenport, IA, Mariampol, Lithuania; DAVIS: Chicago, Wales, UK, Courland; HERTZBERG: Chicago, Latvia


Laura Mayer

My mother has always believed that her father came from a Jewish family.  Mum is now 85 and the last remaining sibling is 90.  Mum remembers being taken as a child to her 'grandmother' in Bow, East London - Katie 'Bernstein'.  She also knows her dad had two sisters Miriam and Annie both seamstresses like Katie and believed there was a brother 'Jack' a barber in Golders Green.  She also knew that - in her words - dad had fallen out with his mother other a stepfather and ran away and tried to join the British Navy during WW1, refused due to age (born 1900) and so hopped ship to the states and rode the trains a little before joining the US Navy.  He was also apparently naturalised American and celebrated by having a large tattoo across his back of the American Eagle.  Nanny had a photo of him in his navy uniform circa 1920.  He then returned home to marry nanny -a christian which enraged Katie even more - but here's the kicker....his marriage certificate is in the name of George Edward Jackson and he was known as Ted.  Mum never realised anything until his funeral in 1954 when his sisters came and kept calling him Emanuel or Manny.

After some investigation we found that who we think was his biological father Marks Bernstein died in 1907 and on the census in 1901 there was a Bernstein family Marks, Katie, Emanuel, Aaron, Miriam and Annie as well as a Jacob Arkovitch or Orkovitch and his daughter Eve whom we believe may have been Katie's father and sister.  Jacob states he is Russian.  in about 1910 Emanuel and Aaron were placed in the Jewish school/orphanage in Knights Hill London but there are no records of them leaving.  So we are assuming where nanny says he ran away from home he actually meant 'the home'.  After than nothing.  A Jacob Arkovitch travelling with two children who states he is German leaves Tilbury (the nearest port to East London) to New York then nothing.  Jacob nor Eve show up on any census from then on assuming that was them?

We don't know when Grandad changed his name to George Edward Jackson, on the boat going to the states or when he landed or whether he called himself anything else because I cannot find anything either in the UK or the States.  The US Navy has no record of either name yet we had proof of him in a photo on ship !!  All we know is he married in 1922 at George Edward and was on the 1939 census as the same and died the same.  My aunt who has all the family records has no birth certificate for him and there is no record of a George Edward Jackson returning to the UK either!  So we know he changed identities so maybe Aaron did too and he was actually Jack the Barber ???  We think Miriam married but not so sure about Annie so there must be aunts, uncles, cousins out there who may have been told about their Uncles at some point?

Grandad became a merchant seaman when he returned to the UK and went all over the world then worked on the docks in East London eventually as a foreman when he congenital heart disease (maybe that's what killed his father so young?) became too much for labour work.

I cannot find any birth certificates for Marks or Kate or a mariage certificate so I am assuming they may well have been born outside the UK but that is a guess based on Jacob.  Eve (by Jacob) however is enrolled in a London school in the 1870s.

I do not live in the UK but France now so do not have the ability to delve into paper records.  So reaching out for help!  I think their synagogue was on the Commercial Road East London but again I cannot go there to delve through the records.  

Can anyone shed any light or hope that we may find the truth ?  Grandad is the one behind the life belt.  Kind regards.

Re: Refugee doctors in 1930s had to re-qualify before practising in UK #unitedkingdom

rv Kaplan

The Scottish Jewish Archives Centre in Glasgow (  ) has copies of research notes made by its chairman, Dr Kenneth Collins, who is an expert in this area.  He covered the subject in his book 'Go and Learn' and researched the Royal College of Surgeons register 30 years ago. Not aware that these records are online, though. 

The records show that Ernst Rachwalsky requalified in Edinburgh in 1937 - with the Scottish Triple Qualification - LRCP and LRCS (Edinburgh) and LRCPS (Glasgow).
He had an MD from Breslau in 1914. Unlike many others who studied in Scotland before taking the requalifying examinations, he had studied in London and he gave his address as Upper Wimpole Street. He gave his last address in Germany as Glatz. All Triple Qualification exams were held in Edinburgh and successful candidates could practice with the Licentiate qualifications. The attraction of the Scottish exams was that they could be taken after a year in Britain while the similar Conjoint Board exam. in London required an extra two years residence.  This was the only time that Scottish and English registration requirements differed. 

Harvey Kaplan
Scottish Jewish Archives Centre

On Wed, 29 Apr 2020 at 22:01, Gerald and Margaret via <> wrote:
Refugees with medical qualifications arriving in the UK in the 1930s had to re-qualify before they could practise.  Several institutions offered this course, but it was known that the qualification could be obtained more quickly  at a Scottish University.  I know that my maternal grandfather, Ernst RACHWALSKY (1889-1961) took the exams in 1936 but was it at Edinburgh or Glasgow.  ??  Are there any relevant records on-iine ?

Margaret Levin

Re: Manifest Question #poland

Lynne Schneider

Lee, please check your dates. If your ggf Henry was in the US since 1875, then your gg-uncles had to be considerably older than 9 and 7 in 1893. Unless Henry’s arrival date of 1875 is a typo.

Lynne Schneider

Hebrew name question #names

Jeffrey Cohen

On a document a relative has a name that looks like  HAY MEM YOD. Does anyone have any idea what this is ?

Re: Manifest Question #poland

Jill Whitehead

It is not impossible that your ancestor arrived unaccompanied or at a different time to the rest of the family. Part of my family arrived in Edinburgh in 1870 to join other family already there who had arived in 1867/8.  The young men were escaping being conscripted by the Tsar after the 1863 Polish Uprising. In 1870 my great grandparents (who were first cousins) arrived aged 11 and 15 (they later married in 1877), together with the two younger brothers of my great grandfather who were both aged under 10 years old. They seemed to have been unaccompanied by an adult, with my 15 year old great grandfather responsible for all the younger children. In those days, a 15 year old was considered an adult. Yet other family members came in 1872, my great grandmother's younger siblings and her mother.

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK

Re: Refugee doctors in 1930s had to re-qualify before practising in UK #unitedkingdom

Jill Whitehead

Edinburgh University and the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre in Glasgow keep such records, and there are varioius memoirs of scientists you can Google. There is also the British Library's sound archive on "The Living Memory of the Jewish People."  I referenced all three of these in my article in April 2018 Shemot (journal of the JGSGB) on the Kindertransport refugees taken in by my Edinburgh family. The children were related to one of the foremost scientists who had settled in Edinburgh in the 1930's, Dr Martha Turk. Walter Tellerman's autobiography is also instructive "A Physicist's Labour in War and Peace."

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK

Re: Name adoption lists #germany


Thank you for putting this research work online. Your site is really very useful.
Best Regard From france

Re: genealogy forums in russian to overcome brick wall in research? #russia #ukraine


Hello Bris
Thank you very much. I have created an account on jroots and will post some requests with the help of my russian teacher (I am a first year student !!)
I fully understand the impact of the war in the Dombass even though I did not know social media  forums had been cut. in fact I had requested some help to find them to an ukrainian researcher as I did not realize that Karakubstroy was the war area! She was duly offended by my request and I had to apologize !

I would not be able to read these books you mention, not being fluent in either hebrew or russian, of which I am really sorry about ! Could you give me more information about them! Very best regards

Re: genealogy forums in russian to overcome brick wall in research? #russia #ukraine


Dear Yellena
Thank you very much for your answer.
I will write to the red cross. Can I do it by email or is it only by mail.Do you have any ideal about the lifting of quarantine in russia? In France we will open all shops on May 11 and people will be able to go back to work and go out. Of course I do not know if the Archives will open up as well !!

Concerning the Kaminski to be sure i fully inderstand they have submitted testimonies for Yurovskiis coming from these 3 towns? and their address is on those testimonies? The 3 towns are quite distant. How are you sure they are related?

As far as Lazar and Karina are concerned I only have what is at Yad Vashem. I only recently discovered their existence in the naturalization file of my grand father Naum Israel Benzion "Jurovsky" in France. The file dates back from 1932. For 4 years the naturalisation files were not available to researchers due to termite ridden premises.

Best regards and stay safe.

Re: Isaac MYERS/MOYERS b1829 Spittalfields, please can you help? #unitedkingdom

Emma S

Dear Michael,

Thank you very much for your reply. 
I have found the burial information so when this pandemic is l over I will try to find out if the stone still exists. Thanks very much for your help.

Best wishes,

Merridale Cemetary, Wolverhampton, MYERS Isaac 76 yrs. Buried 9 Mar 1905, abode - Union Workhouse Wednesfield. Grave 7026. Reg No G4/13239 (I am not sure what the reg no is).

Monastyeshchina #belarus #russia

Shlomo Gurevich

New pages dedicated to the Jewish community of Monastyrshchina (Mstislavl uyezd, Mogilev gubernia) were added to my website at

Shlomo Gurevich
Hoshaya, Israel

Re: Refugee doctors in 1930s had to re-qualify before practising in UK #unitedkingdom


My cousin Kenneth Collins has written extensively on Scottish Jewry and in particular those involved in the Medical profession.

He writes:

"My records show that Ernst Rachwalsky requalified in Edinburgh in 1937 - with the Scottish Triple Qualification - LRCP and LRCS (Edinburgh) and LRCPS (Glasgow).

He had an MD from Breslau in 1914. Unlike many others who studied in Scotland before taking the requalifying examinations he had studied in London and he gave his address as Upper Wimpole Street. He gave his last address in Germany as Glatz. All Triple Qualification exams were held in Edinburgh.

This was all obtained from the Royal College of Surgeons register which I consulted more than 30 years ago."

Michael Tobias

Russian translation #translation

Laufer, Shmuel

A need Russian translation for 5 certificates of Zelazo family from Sarnaki. I don't need word-for-word but details such as names, dates, locations, occupations, and so on are very helpful.


A marriage certificate of Mordechai and Matel Zelazo for which I need a translation. It is on ViewMate at the following address ...


A birth certificate of Menuja Zelazo (Akta 14) for which I need a translation. It is on ViewMate at the following address ...


A death certificate of Litman Zelazo for which I need a translation. It is on ViewMate at the following address ...


A birth certificate of Efroim Ber Zelazo for which I need a translation. It is on ViewMate at the following address ....


A birth certificate of Srul Jankel Zelazo for which I need a translation. It is on ViewMate at the following address ....


Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.


Thanks in advance



Shmuel Laufer

Rehovot -Israel


Research: Laufer (Przasnysz, Poland); Domb (Pultusk, Poland); Bruckman (Sarnaki, Poland); Zelazo (Sarnaki, Poland); Preschel (Berhomet, Chernivets'ka, Ukraine), Leder (Berhomet, Chernivets'ka, Ukraine); Schnap (Berhomet, Chernivets'ka, Ukraine); Mitelman (Chelm, Poland); Tenerman (Dubienka, Poland)



Seek details on FROST family from Lublin Yizkor book from Szczebrzeszyn and Kurow in Poland #poland

Yakov Slabiak

I am researching my maternal grandmother's family name FROST.  Her maiden name was ITA FROST, born in 1898, and her parents were Arye (Leib) and Rachel Frost.  I do not know where my grandmother was born nor anything about her history.  I do know that at some point before World War II my grandmother lived in Zamosc and raised a family there.  My mother Hene z'l, and my uncle, Arye Leib z'l, were born in Zamosc.  My grandmother made aliyah after the war and lived in Haifa until her death in 1977.
For years I had searched the Zamosc records for the surname FROST but was unable to find any lead.  Then suddenly I noticed in the JewishGen Yizkor Book Necrology Database - Lublin several entries with the surname FROST for the towns of Kurow and Szczebrzeszyn, both in the Lublin database.  There is a chance that my grandmother's parents are listed here but I need to access the details of the deceased who are listed.   How do I access further information on names of the deceased listed in JewishGen Yizkor Book Necrology Database - Lublin?  In the list of names FROST, I found the names LEIBEL FROST and RAKHEL FROST. These could be my maternal great grandfather and great grandmother but how do I access their details? Also, the listing identifies the Town of Szczebrzeszyn. Does that require looking at another Yizkor Book? 

Thanks. Yakov Slabiak

Maxim KOTZIN #russia

Ted Kotzin

Locking for information about Maxim (or Max) Kotzin, born 1862 in Kaunas, who was a doctor and professor in Moscow from before 1899 until he died about 1936; his wife Sophie outlived him and was in Moscow to at least 1959.


Ted Kotzin,  Torrance CA  TKotzin4713@...

Re: Yiddish Publishers in Warsaw #poland

Clifford S. Goldfarb

Thanks for that tip, Steven. Although there were no details of the publisher in the listings, I can add M. Goldfarb to my list. I can also try to find copies of the books listed to see if there is more information about the publishers.    Cliff Goldfarb   <cgoldfarb@...>

Date: Wed, 29 Apr 2020 12:22:22 EDT     From: Steven Lasky    
If you search my website, (Museum of Family History), under "Goldfarb publishing," you will find eighteen mentions of a Goldfarb publishing group in Warsaw



POLLAK family in Brooklyn, NY #names

Neil Rosenstein

Trying to make contact with the family of Eli and wife Sara POLLAK of
Brooklyn, parents of 1. Gloria, married -----, living in Brooklyn 2.
Yocheved, married. ----, living in Brooklyn and 3. Michael POLLAK,
married, died about 2000, in New York.
The family descended from the FRUCHTER family which traced back to
HOROWITZ rabbis of fame.

Manifest Question #poland

Lee Jaffe

This a question I posed about a year ago to the FB Tracing the Tribe group with no real help.  I thought I'd try again here.

I found a found a manifest record for my great-grandmother Bessie JAFFE's arrival using her Hebrew name, Pesche, in 1893.  The record shows she was traveling with two sons, Sender 9 and Gedale JAFFE, age 7.   I managed to match Sender and Gedale to my great uncles Samuel and Charles from the inscriptions on their graves. 

My great-grandfather Henry was already in the US since 1875.  Another son, Albert,  remained behind to complete his rabbinic studies and joined the rest of the family in 1905.

This leaves one crucial gap in the record: What happened to my to my grandfather Jacob, the youngest child born in Poland?  We gave a rage of birth dates for my grandfather but our best guess would make him 5 or 6 years old when his mother and two older brothers made the crossing.

I can find no manifest record for Jacob anywhere and a friend who does genealogical research was unable to find anything showing when my grandfather arrived.  For years, we believed a story he told about making the journey with a younger cousin when he was thirteen.  But there are numerous inconsistencies with that version, not the least of which him appearing in the 1900 census. I have Jacob's passport application in which he uses his father's 1895 naturalization petition to establish citizenship.

 I can think of no version of the story where my great-grandmother would have made the crossing without her youngest son. But everything  I've read and heard says that Jacob could not have been with his mother and 2 brothers on the 1893 crossing if he doesn't appear on the manifest.   I know of no other family to make the crossing after who could have accompanied him (except Albert, but that would have been too late to be on the 1900 census).

Any thoughts about avenues to explore that might help us figure out how and when Jacob arrived?

Thanks,    Lee Jaffe  <leejaffe54@...>

26841 - 26860 of 668767