Meaning of Bazel and Chepah #names #romania


I understood the maiden name of my grandfather's mother to be Rose Sussman and the maiden name of my grandmother's mother to be Rose Smith.  Both were from Romania.  But on my grandparents New York marriage certificate from 1903, it lists my grandfather's mother's maiden name as Bazel Sussman and my grandmother's mother's maiden name as Chepah Smith.  Are Bazel and Chepah first names, titles, or something else?
David Schaffer
Vienna, Virginia

Re: Military Uniform, Russian or Polish? #photographs


It is definitely not Russian. Probably Polish or Austrian. 

Re: Military Uniform, Russian or Polish? #photographs


It is definitely not Russian. Probably Polish or Austrian. 

Re: Military Uniform, Russian or Polish? #photographs


Definitely NOT Russian. Looks rather Austrian than Polish.  

SAEVITZ/SAVEVITCH and variant spellings #ukraine


My father-in-law, Herschel Saevitz (aka Harry Sayevitch), was brought to the UK as a child from the Poltava region of Ukraine c 1905. The 1911 UK census shows him to have been born in Kriukov, which seems to have been a shtetl near Kremenchug. His parents were Nathan Saevitz, b Romny, Ukraine c 1877 and Rebecca Troshansky, b Kremenchug c 1880. His siblings comprised Louis, Benjamin, Joseph, Esther and Gertrude.

Inspection of the LDS films for Romny leads me to think that Nathan was the son of Movsha Avram Hirsch Gillels Saevich, a former soldier of Romny. A very distant family connection has suggested that Nathan's mother was Paulia Lesnia. I have not yet seen documentation to refute or verify this.

Nathan was a Levite, and the FT-DNA Ashkenazi Levite project, of which Nathan's grandson is a part, has shown distant but direct paternal links with the Horowitz rabbinical dynasty. I do not know when the name evolved into Saevitz. Rabbinical records for Romny include entries for Saevitz males officiating at marriages but it has not been possible to verify whether these individuals are linked to Nathan's line.

As I have been researching this line for some years without making any further progress, I will probably abandon the search soon. However, if there is anyone with links to the family or who has helpful observations, I'd be very grateful to hear from them.

Thank you in advance for any insights.

Mary Sayers
Peak District, UK

Re: Vetting family tree submissions to genealogy sites for data soundness #general

Moishe Miller


For those that are new to genealogy, I would like to add one more thing
to be cautious about. A source citation does not automatically make
something true.

For instance, in researching my SCHWIMMER family from Munkacz, I came
across Israel Schwimmer, living in NY. Israel passed away in 1938 in NY.
There are TWO death records for an Israel Schwimmer in NY, in 1938.

+ Nov:
+ Jun:

If the wrong record is used, the wrong parents would be "cited", with a
data source, for this Israel Schwimmer. That is one of the reasons Bill
Dollarhide suggests, "There should be at least two citations (a minimum
of two separate sources) for each event listed." (See

Stay safe,

Moishe Miller
Brooklyn, NY

This week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page #ukraine #yizkorbooks

Bruce Drake

“Leah Tziger [née Pinchuk] is a chapter from the Yizkor book of Rafalovka in the Ukraine. It is the story of a young girl’s struggle to survive after she and her family went into hiding and escaped the liquidation of the ghetto. Her father did not make it, and she and her mother were caught by a Ukrainian policeman as they set out on the road.

“We knew these were our last moments,” she writes. “I don't know whether it was the survival instinct and the human will to live, or the horror stories I had heard about the cruelty of the Ukrainians that prompted me to say: ‘I'm running.’ ‘I wouldn't want the last thing I see to be blood spraying out of you,’ my mother whispered. I told my mother she would see my blood even if I stay - I chose to die running and spare myself torture and cruelty.”

And off in her school uniform she ran, on the long and twisting path it took to stay alive until the liberation.


Bruce Drake

Silver Spring MD

Re: Inventory of 1834 Revision List for Vilna #lithuania

Joel Ratner

I've attached the inventory for the 1834 Vilna Revision List.

Place of Birth #belarus

Mary Ellen

I have a listing of a family member born in 1846 in Minsk,Minsk, Oblast, Belarus, Ssr.
I assume there is a town  minsk in the state of Minsk  and  Where/ what is Oblast? 
Mary Ellen Pollack


Re: Military Uniform, Russian or Polish? #photographs


I'm not at all an expert but just from looking at images on Google and looking up who controlled Stanislaw during WWI I think it's actually an Austrian uniform.

Binyamin Kerman
Baltimore MD

Re: Are there (death) Records or Anouncements of Polish Jews in the Russian Army circa 1880? #poland #russia

Jill Whitehead

Hi Barry,

Jedwabne is in Lomza Gubernia adjacent to Suwalki Gubernia in NE Poland. Both these were and are border gubernias, in the 19th century being the border with East Prussia (Konigsberg).  The area was frequently overrun by Prussians/Germans and Russians etc. in various land grabs or wars e.g. the late 18th century partitions of Poland, Napoleon in the early 19th century, and then the Tsar.

Jews fought the Tsar in two uprisings in the 1830's and 1860's, but Jews were not always on the same side, partly because of enforced conscription into the Tsar's army. Most of my family came to UK in the 1860's from this area to escape conscription into the Tsar's army but also because of famine in the Baltic area.

However, in one of my lines (the Brins later Browns of Edinburgh), the teenage and younger children were sent away because, according to strong family stories which I cannot verify, their father was a Captain in the Tsar's army and was allegedly given land for his troubles. There is little evidence or documentation of any of this, or BMD records for some towns in this area, because of the constant wars.

Many records were destroyed in WW1 and WW2 for certain towns (not all) when this area became the German front line, and Jedwabne was later the site of an infamous massacre by the Germans in WW2. 

You mention Warsaw. One of the children of the Captain in the Tsar's army escaped via Warsaw when she married her husband there (he came from Grodno), a fact confirmed via her children's Scottish birth certificates which give the place of her marriage as Warsaw (and her first child was born there too). Her three male brothers and one cousin's birth places were all given as Vishtinetz, then a town in Suwalki gubernia, in their naturalisation certificates. This town is now Vistytis in Lithuania following border changes in 1919 after WW1 Peace Settlement. 

It does help to learn about the history and georgreaphy of your ancestral area. You should note that there are older records for Jebwadne on JRI Poland website, and there may be some on Litvak SIG. You need to search to find out what there is here.

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK

Re: Double Surname in Belarus Revision List #belarus #general

Steven Usdansky

ryabinkym@...: I have been working under the assumption that Shliomovich Sinensky was a combination of two last names based on the revision list showing the father of Fayvush Shliomovich Sinensky as Iosel.  Michael Richman's comment suggesting that Fayvush's father had a double given name, with one showing up as the father's given name in the revision list, and the other as the patronymic in the surname, is something I never considered, but makes more sense to me than a double surname.

Re: unusual name on tombstone #names

David Shapiro

The name seems to be Sanneh סאנע which is short for Nesanel נתנאל. It is followed by the word Hacohen הכהן.

David Shapiro

Translation of death record #translation

David Ellis

My ggg-gf Lewin LICHTENSZTEJN was born in 1832 in Mlawa, Poland.  He moved to Plock when he married Rayca LEDERBERG.  His parents were Nusen, who died in 1835, and Feyga, a sister of the Kuzmir Rebbe, Yechezkel TAUB.  
Attached is the 1822 death record for another Lewin LICHTENSZTAJN, who was a rabbi in the town of Kowal.  Could he be Nusen's father, my seventh-generation ancestor?  Can somebody translate the Polish for me?

Działoszyce Book of Residents Ready for Search #poland #announcements


Działoszyce researchers will be pleased to hear that the Jewish entries in the 1890-1931 Book of Residents Index are extracted.  The Index directs us to one of four volumes and the page where we can find details and household of each resident.  Most of the entries in the volumes are in Russian.


If a resident died after 1890 but before the Index was created or was born after its creation, or married and left the town to be registered with a spouse elsewhere, the resident's name does not appear in the Index, yet can none-the-less be found in a volume. This underscores the importance of fully extracting every page in all the volumes, which is our goal. We are half way through volume extraction.


Books of Residents are invaluable in that the entries provide details of an entire household over a span of time: date and town of birth, parentage and occupation. In some cases, this is the only place a person is documented when their birth, death or marriage was not registered or the book with their registration did not survive.


The status of “permanent resident” was inherited from the father or an unmarried mother. It was often a bureaucratic headache to change your town of permanent residence, so most people did not go through this effort if they moved to a different town.  The Books of Residents include vital details of household members where the head of household was a permanent resident. Any vital metric changes (death, additional child, moving out of a child through marriage, army service or issuance of an ID card) were noted to update the book during this time frame.


For additional details on Books of Residents, see


Please contact me directly for more information to find your family listing in the Działoszyce Book of Residents.


Judy Golan

Kfar Vradim, Israel


JRI-Poland Działoszcye Town Leader

JRI-Poland Kielce Area Coordinator

Re: unusual name on tombstone #names


Looks to me to be Sana followed by the title HaCohen, then YALEN.     The symbol of the open hands giving the priestly blessing is for a descendant of the Cohens the tribe of priests from ancient Israel.  You can find Sana here, in section 3.  a shortened form of Nisan

David Rosen
Boston, MA

On 6/4/2020 9:32 PM, Sandy Levin wrote:

I am trying to figure out what the father's name on this tombstone might be.  I can read the Hebrew, but the name is not known to me.  Any suggestions?

Inventory of 1834 Revision List for Vilna #lithuania

Joel Ratner

The 1834 Revision List for "Vilna" includes records from LVIA/515/15/542 - 548. The records from 542 are currently part of the ALD. I have taken full inventory of the records in 543 - 548. Jill and Russ estimated there are approximately 15,000 records among the 6 LDS microfilms holding these records. I can report there are 7600 registration numbers with records to be translated and can confirm there are many records for other towns including:
There are also a handful of records for Musnik and Podberezhe as well as a whole host of others.
There is also a single record for Olkeniki. The surname for that record is LEIPUN.
The listing I developed indexes the image numbers so it is easy to figure out where records for a given town are located. Anyone interested in the spreadsheet can email me.
Joel Ratner
Newton, Ma.

Re: unusual name on tombstone #names

Avrohom Krauss

Let me preface my interpretation with a general comment about tombstones. Although engraved in stone, names on tombstones are not always ‘engraved in stone!’ Mistakes do occur. Hebrew names were not always known by survivors or were mangled. Also, engraving mistakes occurred. Often engravers did not know Hebrew and followed the numbers which were translated into Hebrew letters. Letters that are similar were sometimes erroneously substituted. I believe this happened in this case. Allow me to explain.
My guess is that the seemingly long name in question is in fact two words (notice space in between). It appears to me that the first word is the fathers name (Sine); the second, tribal status (HaKohen). If correct, we have to explain some spelling and engraving errors. The father’s name seems to be the Hebrew name ‘Sine’ - samech, yud, nun, yud (Sinai in English) but was misspelled ‘samech, aleph, nun, ayin. (The final letter ‘ayin' could have been used for the Yiddish phonetic spelling-especially if the person was from Galicia). The second word is “HaKohen.”. The clue here is the priestly hands on top of stone. Again, we have to explain the second letter which appears to be a ‘nun’ should be a ‘kaf.’ The letters ’nun’ and ‘kaf' are similar. Take a ‘nun' and widen and it becomes a ‘kaf.’ The next letter appears as a ‘daled’ but should have a little leg under the left side of top to form a ‘heh.’ The final letter that looks like a ‘vav’ should be lengthened to form a final ‘nun.’ There you have it! Shmuel Yaakov ben Sine HaKohen! This is my guess.>

Avrohom Krauss
Telz-Stone Israel

Re: Searching for my father's family in #galicia #poland


Thank you for your message.

  • My grand mother CHANA SPIRA-HAMMEL was born in DUKLA 07/25/1877. I have since discovered that  IZAAK HAMMEL (circa 1840) + LAJE SPIRA ( circa 1840) had another daughter MALKA HAMMEL born circa 1867.  MALKA married MATES WEINSTEIN born in  KORSZYNA.  My guess is that there must have been other siblings during that 10 year period. Very little has remained from DUKLA's Archives.
  • Also trying to find the link between my great-grand-mother FEIGE WITZTUM married with MARKUS WITZTUM both from RYMANOV and FEIGE WITZTUM married with ABARAHAM WITZTUM from SAMBOR. 
  • Looking for family RAND from LUTOWISKA. My grand father was SAMUEL RAND ( 12/14/1883) son of ELYIAHO DAVID RAND ( circa1850) and ZISSEL EISENBERG (circa1850) 

I am using mainly besides JewishGen, JRI Poland, Yad Vashem website, Gesher Galicia, I found most of my family on Yad Vashem website,
I want now to find the missing links.
Tank you for your time and for any help you can provide.
Henny Wiesenfeld

Re: Chislavichi and Monastyrshchina of Mogilev gubernia #belarus #russia

Sharon Rottman

Thank you so much. I'm very excited about finding your website.
My ggrandfather Isaac Rachlin was from Khislivichi.
Is the memoir you mention, on the site? If not, how can I get a copy.
Seems we are neighbors..I am from Bet Shemesh.

I have been by Hoshaya not so long ago when we visited Tzippori.

Sharon Rottman

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