Re: Why the name "Sylvester"? #names

Susan J. Gordon

Re: "Sylvesterabend in German" -- my Hungarian cousin, Eva, who survived the Holocaust in and out of hiding in Budapest, called New Year's Eve "Sylvester Night." This date was particularly harrowing in 1944, when "the Germans and Nyilas [Hungarian Nazis] were fighting against the Russians."
Susan J. Gordon
Ukraine - Zbaraz, Skalat, Chernivitzi, Lvov

Webinar - Researching NYC Resources Remotely #education #JewishGenUpdates

Nancy Siegel

We are pleased to invite you to attend a free webinar presentation in our JewishGen Talks series, with our speaker, Jordan Auslander.

Researching NYC Resources Remotely (English) 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

3:00 pm Eastern Time - New York (19:00 UTC)

*Presented in partnership with the JGS of NY

As the cosmopolitan gateway to the United States, New York City has always been a magnet for immigrants. Throughout the United States an estimated 40 million can trace roots to an ancestor who lived in Brooklyn. While many families passed through or settled in Gotham, not all family members came to the US, and some of those who remained in Europe and elsewhere may have lost contact with their American cousins. 

While on-site research is the optimal approach to research, this is not always convenient or feasible, especially now.

Nevertheless, much can be accomplished in advance or in lieu of physical travel. Components of New York City family history can be identified without setting foot on Broadway using a broad array of free and subscription internet sites as well as some conventional sources.

Advance Registration Required! 

Please click here: 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about how to join the webinar. Please direct any questions to:  webinars@... 

For information on other JewishGen Talks webinars, go to:

Nancy Siegel (San Francisco/CA/USA)

Director of Communications

Looking for Ukraine records for families #ukraine

Abe Hirsch

I am trying to find information on a few families from Tsybuliv and Monastyryshche, Ukraine.
They include:
Samuel and Elka (Voskobinik) Meyerson
Samuel Magnes
last name Bogomol or Bogomolny 

I have seen Magnus and Bogomol in the 1851 vital records for Monastyryshche.
I have their history in the US but am looking for more information in Ukraine.

Can you point me in any new directions?

Abe Hirsch

Har Nebo Cemetery in Phila #photographs #usa

Rachelle Litt

Would like to know if someone is willing to take some gravestone photos at Har Nebo Cemetery in Phila. 
Please respond privately for information needed.  Thank you!
Rachelle Litt
Palm Beach gardens Florida
Rachelle Litt
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Re: Haic "Soiketki", or "Soibetki" and Sara "Felester from Romania" #names #romania

Valentin Lupu

Hi Aline,
Felester (or some minor variations like Falester, Folester,....) is a family name found predominantly in Bessarabia (territory in the modern Republic of Moldova) and in Romanian Moldova. Most of the Felesters are from Botosani, Romania and some of them immigrated from Botosani to the States at the end of 19th century and the beginning of 1900s.
I have a hypothesis about the Felester name origin. Many Jewish people adopted a family name according to their geographical origin. In Romania and Bessarabia there are two main ways to do that: either adding the termination "eanu" to place name (Romanian) or "er" (mainly for Jewish people). Therefore, I think Falester is a Jew originally from Falesti (pronounced Faleshti), Bessarabia. Before WWII 51% of Falesti population was Jewish. Indeed, most of the Falester famiies were from nearby places (Telenesti, Orhei/Orgeev, Balti) and Botosani. I didn't find Felesters in Falesti and this is obvious. Falester was a person who migrated from Falesti and nicknamed the "Falester". It is exactly why Ashkenazy is always a Sephardi Jew (one who migrated from Ashkenaz into a Sephardic community). After many generations, the descendants of Ashkenazy are obviously Sephardi.
Valentin Lupu

Re: WG: death record for German emigrant interned at Camps de Gurs, France, in 1941: cause of death: troubles cerebraux #germany #france


American physician here. I don't speak French but it does not sound like one needs to for this.
You are right to be irritated, "brain trouble" is extremely non-specific. Anything in the entire textbook of neurology could fit.
You mention multiple sclerosis, alcoholism, intoxication of any kind, but equally a hundred other things.
The term may have had some specific cultural meaning "between the lines" in that time and place, but if so I do not know it. Sorry.

Robert Roth MD
Kingston NY USA

Re: Moses Hyam or Hyam Moses - name reversal in early 19th century #unitedkingdom

Jeffrey Knisbacher

Double name reversal was very common. My late father Max Knisbacher was Markus Mendel on his Palestinian Citizenship Order (British Mandate)
of 11 January 1937 and entered the U.S. in October 1938 under that name. It was based on the Hebrew Mordecai Menahem. In the U.S. he reversed those names and the reversal was how we knew him growing up and is recorded on his tombstone. He always went by "Max" growing up in Berlin (born 1913) and made that official on his U.S. naturalization.  Jeff Knisbacher 

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

Bruce Drake

In curating these weekly Yizkor book excerpts, I have come across numerous accounts of pained Jewish parents, facing death for themselves and their families, who would put children in the keeping of a non-Jew in hopes it would ensure their survival. In many cases, the willingness to take in such a child was not an act of mercy or altruism, but greed — whether it was for money or to put the child to work. And in many cases, that same greed stood in the way of families' efforts to get their children back after the Nazi horror was over.

Such is the case in “A Baby Girl Captured by the Gentiles,” a chapter from the Yizkor book of Mikulince (Mikulintsy) Ukraine by Zalman Pelz. This is the story of a child given up to a Polish woman on the promise of her return if any of the family survive, the cruelty the woman inflicted on her, and the struggle to get her back years later.


Bruce Drake

Silver Spring MD

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

Alan Kania <alankania@...>

I have three ways of doing research on my family history (a) I gather my own research that I can clearly document with primary-source information (NOT family stories), (b) for difficult areas of research (usually in foreign countries), I hire professional researchers who have a good reputation for accurate primary-source research, and (c) I use public resources like, or other popular subscription web-site - BUT ONLY AS GUIDANCE.  If someone has posted information that would be valuable to my own family tree, I contact the person who posted the information to see if they are willing to share the source where they found that information.  I have found that some Europeans posting to are actually including a photo of the resource material and a full citation of where that information can be found.  To me, using due diligence in my own research will help assure others of having information that won't send them down blind-alleys or dead-ends in their own family trees.  Blindly accepting someone else's posted research is as effective as doing your family research with information you found on a bathroom wall.

Re: WG: death record for German emigrant interned at Camps de Gurs, France, in 1941: cause of death: troubles cerebraux #germany #france

Alyssa Freeman

Doing a quick Google search of the term makes it look like that it could refer to Alzhimer's/Dementia.

Alyssa Freeman
Henrico, VA

Re: Witkin family from Mogilev #belarus

Carole Feinberg

Sorry, Judy, I cannot offer you any help. But, your post helped me recall my early years. In the 1940s and 1950s, for a treat, my parents would buy deli from Witkin's Deli in Bronx, NY, for the family to enjoy at home. Mmmmmm. It was a weekend treat. Come to think of it, you ought to look into Jewish cemeteries in New York City, many of which have searchable online databases. Besides surname, look into Mogilev landsmanshaftn, too (social/burial societies). Traditional Jewish tombstones usually include the father's given name of the deceased, Good luck finding your family.

Re: "High Rabbi" in Poland, Ger Rabbi #poland #warsaw #rabbinic


It's very possible that the "high Rabbi" was the rebbe of Ger but it could have been the leader of many other Chassidik dynasties. Why do you believe it is him? From what I can find quickly online the center of the Ger dynasty was in Gora Kalawaria (Ger) which is closer to Warsaw than to Krakow. Ger was one of the largest sects before the war (and remains so today) and probably had a strong presence in Warsaw so he may have been a follower. 
I don't know off hand of a different Chassidik sect based in Krakow but as a larger city it would have had many shteibelach (smaller synagogues) connected to various sects. There could have been a big Rabbi who he followed there who wasn't a leader of a dynasty but had a large following. Also your mother may have remembered Krakow when in fact it was a smaller town in the area.
As far as why he would travel to visit the rebbe, he most likely went to spend the high holidays or another holiday there. It was and still is common for Chassidim to travel to gather with the sect leader for the holiday prayers. The rebbe would have spoken, and possibly give individual Chassidim blessings or counsel. 

Re: Who Was Cudek APOTHEKER from Krakow # galicia #general


Shalom Jacob,
I am a Cudek.  I live in Ottawa, Canada.  I doubt the information I have is related to your query but I thought I would respond.  Here is what little I know:
In Canada our spelling is Cudeck.  My grandfather Joseph Cudeck was born April 30, 1909 in Czestochowa, Poland.  He arrived in Toronto, Canada just before WWII.
I remember stories that the original last name was indeed Tzudik but that the name was anglicized for immigration purposes.  I also know that there were/are
Cudeks living in Paris and they had/have a fur factory.
Joseph Cudeck (d.June 4, 1985) married Eva Rose (Jan 20, 1909-Nov 11, 1989).  They had 2 children:  Sydney (Nov 28/36-Oct 31/76) and Jerry (May 2/47-Nov 24/97).  Sydney married Anne Gliklich (Apr 5/38-Dec 20/20).  They had 2 children.  Denise (b.July 11/64) and Ken (b.Nov 9/66). As far as I know, we (Denise and Ken) are the last surviving Cudeck's in Canada. We have no children. Jerry Cudeck embraced the Chasidic culture late in his life and married twice.  The second marriage produced a daughter who I believe lives in New York.  She is probably in her 20's or 30's by now and is married. 
Feel free to contact me again if you need more information.  I hope this information was helpful for you.  Shabbat Shalom.
Denise Lascelle (nee Cudeck)

Re: Moses Hyam or Hyam Moses - name reversal in early 19th century #unitedkingdom

Marshall Lerner

My grandfather was Moshe Chaim but his gravestone reads Chaim Moshe ben Shimon.Zev ha Levi. When I asked family members about the transposition I did not receive a satisfactory answer. As a result I have come to accept that it might simply be an error.I will follow this tread with interest.

Re: The male name Shapsei #names #lithuania

Peter Wiesner <peterwiesner@...>

The original first name of my grandfather, Steve Krotoczynski, who was born in Kleczew Poland, was Czapse, which appears to be a variant of Shapsei.  When he emigrated to America and then to England, he assumed "Steve" as his first name.  Later he lived in Berlin, Germany and used the German equivalent of Steve, "Stephan." I don't know about the connection between "Czapse" given at birth and his later assumed names. 

Peter Wiesner, Newtown, PA USA

Re: Name of Mendelson #names


I would love to share information. I have traced my Mendelson line back to the 1700's. Most of them being born in Mogilev and Shklove Belarus. I still have many gaps in my tree with at least 65 names of Mendelson ancestry that remain a mystery fate unknown. I am always looking for new connections to help fill in those blanks. There are a few leads I have traced with no positive results even though I know there is a connection. That makes me sad, when they don't want to answer you, even just to at least confirm or say no. My great great grandfather was Morduhk Mendelson and his father was a Movsha-Shlema/Shlomo. My great grandmother was Anna Mendelson Rakovschik who was one of at least 12 children. Two of her brothers Samuel and Louis also came to America. 

Re: The male name Shapsei #names #lithuania

Jill Whitehead

Thanks for all your comments. I was taken by Moshe Davis's example of Robert. I read that Bob Dylan's hebrew name was Shabtai. (My) Samuel Servian's sister's eldest son was called Reuben, which later became Robert when he emigrated to the USA from Liverpool in 1907.  Whether he was named after Shapsei I do not know. Also equally possible, Samuel's brother Abraham/Albert named his youngest son Sidney, which may be more likely.

Jill Whitehead, 

Re: The male name Shapsei #names #lithuania


My Great Great Grandfather was Szapsaj Zylberstzejn.   His Hebrew name (known from his son's grave ) was Shabtai.
Shabtai/Sapse/Szapsz/Szapsaj) שבתי Zylbersztejn זילבערשטיין
 He was married a woman from Wasoz - the Lewandowska family, and later died in Szuzcyn both in Lomza Gubernia  a neighboring Gubernia to Suwalki

Sourcing Photos #general #photographs


What is the best way to source photos? As my cousins and I do photo exchanges, a documented source seems to be the best way to resolve future questions about the contents of the image.  I'd like to do this sourcing electronically. Also, how does one do this if the name of the image changes or the location of the image changes? I am constantly re-organizing my file folders.
Thank you,
Tammy Weingarten

Re: Replies to Queries Sent from the JGFF #general

Elizabeth S. Lourie

Yes!!! In the one exchange I had, I was finally able to get my message to the requester but subsequent ones failed and I finally had to give up. I felt bad that she would think I was ignoring her.  I hadn’t thought of using my webmail.

Elizabeth Schwartz Lourie
Washington, DC

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