Re: "His name was changed at Ellis Island" #names

Jules Levin

Most European immigrants came from places where more than one language was spoken; most people, even average people, knew more than one.  This was not unusual even in the US in the 18th and 19th Century.  A German newspaper published in the US had the largest circulation in America.  The Irish immigrants who arrived from the 1840s spoke English as a second language.    My grandfather from Shaky in Lithuania certainly spoke Lithuanian as well as Yiddish.  Since his wife only knew Russian and English, I assume he also knew one or both.  Typical American monolingualism is the exception in human societies, not the norm.  Of course, no one official spoke 40 languages, although I personally know a polyglot who claims that many.
Jules Levin

-----Original Message-----
From: "Stephen Weinstein via"
Sent: Jun 28, 2020 7:44 PM
To: main@...
Subject: Re: [] "His name was changed at Ellis Island" #general #usa

On Fri, Jun 26, 2020 at 08:35 AM, <YaleZuss@...> wrote:
Do you know anyone who can speak 40 languages?  Does any of them work for the amount paid the immigration inspectors?
I think the "40 languages" meant that the inspectors collectively spoke a total of 40, including English and 39 others, meaning that there were 40 languages that were each spoken by at least one inspector.  This could simply mean that 39 of the inspectors were immigrants from 39 different countries, and those 39 each spoke two languages, English and the language of their home country.  It does not mean that any one inspector spoke all 40 languages.

I know someone who can speak English and one other language.  And I think that out of several million immigrants, there were at least 39 immigrants who spoke
English and the language of their home country, but had no other marketable job skills, and would work for whatever immigration inspectors were paid.

Re: Yiddish or Hebrew name for IDA #belarus #names

Leslie J. Eisenberg

I've seen Adel for Ida in my family tree.  

Re: Looking for Polish woman who jumped off train to Auschwitz #holocaust #poland

Phil Goldfarb

There is a tailor named Sherman Ray (original name Sasha Rajko) in Tulsa, OK who along with several of his friends escaped the train in Poland and hid in the woods for a year. One of the friends had frostbite so they brought him into the ghetto for treatment where they were captured again. His parents and siblings were in the same boxcar with him and would not leave or jump out . They later died at Auschwitz as I found their records for them at Bad Arolson. When he was captured, they sent him to Auschwitz and the only reason why he survived is because he tailored all of the Nazi's clothing. He is 99 years old, still exercises every day (when the gym is open), a good friend of mine, and JUST RETIRED by closing up his shop due to Covid 19 virus. He is sharp as a tack and has spoken to our JGS several times in the past. If you want to hear his story, he was recorded on Voices of Oklahoma:
Phil Goldfarb
President, JGS of Tulsa

Re: Yiddish or Hebrew name for IDA #belarus #names


My grandmother from Kobryn's name on her ship manifest was "Chaje" - she was known as Ida.

My mother-in-law who was a survivor from Hungary/Czech's Hebrew name was "Aidel" - she was also known as Ida.

Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland virtual meeting on July 8, 2020 #jgs-iajgs #announcements

Sylvia Fleck Abrams

The Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland's
July Virtual program
will be on
July 8, 2020 - 7:00 pm

The Problem of “Grave” Errors in our Cemeteries

Rabbi Akiva Feinstein

The use of words, names and phrases on Jewish headstones is an ancient way of remembering a soul when they can no longer speak for themselves. Jewish custom is rich with traditions, insights and guidance on how to write these expressions. This presentation will review the common expressions, naming conventions, calculation of dates and certain other aspects while focusing on the need for accuracy and completeness. Our speaker, who worked as a chaplain for many years, will share his concerns and offer possible solutions to preserve this beautiful tradition for those unfamiliar with Hebrew names and conventions. Many examples will be cited to highlight important laws and customs. One does not need to have a strong Hebrew background to benefit from this presentation and learn how to decipher Hebrew names and dates on headstones.

Rabbi Akiva Feinstein is the Director of Spiritual Care at Montefiore Home and Hospice in Beachwood, Ohio. He has worked as a chaplain for more than 15 years. Born in South Africa and raised in Los Angeles, he is very interested in Jewish genealogy—especially the customs of Jewish life as they relate to naming and burial. He has done research on his own family’s departure from Lithuania (Memel) and immigration to South Africa. Some years ago he presented to our group on the mystery and true identity of the Ansel Cemetery.

This program will be free and open to the public, but space may be limited.
We will be using the Zoom meeting platform, so you may watch, listen and participate from the comfort of your own home.

Preregistration is required, and must be requested by 6:00 pm on July 8th.

To preregister, send an email message with your Name, Email address, current location, and Zip Code, by clicking here: rsvp@...

After you register, you will receive an email reply acknowledging receipt of your message. Once we have obtained the details for joining the meeting, we will forward those details, including a link and password.

If you have any problems registering for the program, please contact: webmaster@...

Submitted by Sylvia F. Abrams
Immediate Past President
On behalf of Programming Committee


Re: Robinn Magid appointed Assistant Director of JRI-Poland #announcements


Mazel Tov on the appointment of Robinn as JRI Assistant Director.  I cannot imagine anyone with greater expertise and compassion to serve in this position, and know we will all benefit by her work.  

Viewmate Translation Request - Russian #translation

Greg Tuckman

I've posted a vital record in Russian for which I need a translation. It is on ViewMate at the following address ...

Marriage Record of Boruch Mordko WEJSBLECH and Chaia FRYM:;data=02%7C01%7C%7C41c63209707d4da0c53f08d81bb08771%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637289792276520986&amp;sdata=m6UXFKPelcr9gAMQO%2Bkr8lVAK9QHVrz3LudMLzRaw7Q%3D&amp;reserved=0
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much.
Greg Tuckman
Phoenix, Arizona  USA

Re: Looking for Polish woman who jumped off train to Auschwitz #holocaust #poland


Hello Marilyn,

Thanks for writing. I don't know if she was the only one to escape in that car. If you know this woman, or for that matter, anyone else who escaped on the way to a concentration camp in Nazi Germany, please let me know. I woud like to add to the information I have gleaned about a few of the 700 or so survivors, many of whom are nameless.

Best regards,
Dale Zeidman

Records of passport applications from Poland and trip to France #france #poland

wenglenski virginie <vwenglen@...>



I am looking for my great grandfather who immigrated (with wife and child) from Poland (Lodz) to France (Paris) in 1913.

I suppose you needed a passport to cross the borders.

Do you know if there are records of passport applications and where they can be found?


I also want to know how my family made the trip between Lodz and Paris. They had no money.

Do you know the route usually taken and the means of transport used?


Thank you and  have good day.


Virginie Wenglenski

Re: Looking for Polish woman who jumped off train to Auschwitz #holocaust #poland


Hello Rich,
Thanks for writing about your cousin through marriage. I admire her determination and courage in surviving for two years by the "skin of her teeth" in Nazi Germany, and it is wonderful that she went on to live a "long and satisfying life." I am adding the information to the stories I've learned about a few of the 700 or so survivors who were able to jump from concentration camp-bound trains. It is sad that so many of the people who jumped remain nameless. It is good to know that she is a witness to what happened so many years ago -- so the world will never forget.
Dale Zeidman

Re: Looking for Polish woman who jumped off train to Auschwitz #holocaust #poland


Thanks for sharing your story. I will add it to my knowledge of how more than 700 people survived the trains to concentration camps. I regret that so many will forever remain nameless. Has this information been shared with Yad Vashem? I know they would appreciate receiving it. I would like to hold onto your information. It is too important to forget.
Dale Zeidman

Re: "His name was changed at Ellis Island" #names

Diane Jacobs

This would be most likely after going through the formal inspection and those marriages should be recorded in the NYC marriage indexes. 

Diane Jacobs 

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: "Stephen Weinstein via" <>
Date: 6/28/20 10:36 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@...
Subject: Re: [] "His name was changed at Ellis Island" #general #usa

To be a smart ass, I would like to respond as follows to everyone claiming that absolutely no names whatsoever were ever changed at Ellis Island:

There were "hundreds of immigrants were married on Ellis Island" (  Since married women didn't keep their maiden names in those days, unless the bride and groom already had the same surname before they married (which is possible, but not common), each woman who got married at Ellis Island would have changed her name there -- to her new husband's surname.

This, I hope, will resolve the question conclusively and bring the argument to an end -- but I don't think it will.
Diane Jacobs, Somerset, New Jersey

Re: German translator needed #translation


On Sun, Jun 28, 2020 at 03:39 PM, <luau_2000@...> wrote:
I found the Grundbuck (land registery) for my great grand parents from Zemschen Bohemia, now Tremesne in Cz Republic.  Looking for person to translate these German records. Thank you. Florence
Do you have a source for finding old Grundbuchs that you can share? Especially interested in Berlin, Leipzig, Cottbus areas mid 1800’s through pre WWII.

Many thanks, Janyce
Jan Lastman, Toronto ON CANADA.  Janllb@...
Researching: LASTMAN and LASTMANN w/origins in HOLLAND late 1600s then => Lublin early-mid 1700s.
By early-mid 1800s there were LASTMAN/N branches => Łódź, Radom, Warsaw, Szydlowiec and Ostrowiec, POLAND and Leipzig and Breslau, GERMANY
My LASTMAN  branch relatives married in 1800s and early 1900’s to KLAJMAN, KAUFMAN, LEDERMAN, KAC, CUKIER, STROSBERG, WAJCHANDLER/WHITE, TYSZLER, ZYLBERSTEIN, KUTCHINSKY/KUTNER, DAVIDSON (was MANDELSBERG), DAVIS, BURACK, BORENSTEIN, HERSHENHORN etc... then => Toronto and Rio de Janeiro in early 1900s.  Plus LASTMAN/Ns who remained in Europe but survived the Holocaust => France, Israel, Australia, Sweden, NYC and boroughs, LA, New Orleans etc.
Also researching:
MADELSBERG that somehow became DAVIDSON while still in Ostrowiec POLAND (!), immigrating as DAVIDSON => Toronto, Montreal, NYC and Detroit, most EARLY 1900s pre WW1
— SINGER / ZYNGIER from Janow Poldaski POLAND => Toronto and possibly Columbus OH all pre WW1 married to SCHAFER / SHAFIR from Linitz now Illinits UKRAINE (Russia) => Toronto and Detroit and possibly Columbus OH all pre WW1

All listed on Rapoport-Quint Family Tree on MyHeritage or contact  janllb@...

Re: New Translation of Memorial Book of the Sventzian Region in Lithuania just published #lithuania

Jeffrey Gandz

Can you please tell  me if this book covers Adutaskis, a small city within the gubernia of Swencionys and some of my ancestors (KRAWATZ, KRAVITZ, KRAVETS...and many other variants of this name)?   If so, I will gladly place an order.  


Re: Yiddish or Hebrew name for IDA #belarus #names


My mother was known as Ida, but her given name when she was born in Poland was Ita.

Re: "His name was changed at Ellis Island" #names

Stanley Levine

My Boss' last name was Threefoot. However, he did not look like a Native American. When i asked him about it he told me what happened to his father. His father was German with a last name of Dreyfus. This was changed to Threefoot at ellis Island. The German word "Drey" means "Three" and "Fuss" means "Foot" so it makes sense.

Re: Rezniks of Pohost, (Slutsk) and New York #belarus #usa


Hello Sam,
I would really like a copy of the Resnikoff tree.
Could you please send me a copy

Peter Weinstock

Late Registrations in the SubCarp Records #subcarpathia

David Zoldan

My question is regarding late registration in the SubCarpathian Records for births and deaths.

In one example, the birth of a relative, Mozes Zoldan, in 1883 in Kispatak, is registered on March 16, 1922.  Mozes had moved to the United States in 1904.  We have no reason whatsoever to think he made a trip back to Europe.  Mozes’s parents, Hers and Chaya both passed away in 1920 and 1918 respectively.

Who would have any need to register this birth of a man who left the country 20 years before, never to return. 

It has been suggested to me that perhaps there was a need to do this in order to claim some type of estate inheritance.  Could that be?  Are there any records for this?  Does anyone have a family story or can prove that a relative needed to register a late birth for this or any other reason

Also who would have the ability to register the person.  Could anybody just register somebody’s birth.  In the case of Mozes Zoldan’s birth record there is not even a signatory.

I also recently encountered a Neuman whose 1877 death in Hukliva was registered in 1922 in Volocz.  Again, what would anyone gain from registering this death 45 years after the fact.

So this has come up a lot.  I have also heard suggestions that due to the new world order after WWI many people who were not registered wanted to register then.  But this does not explain the need for Mozes Zoldan to have his birth registered.

I would be happy to hear from anyone else who has encountered this or from anyone with a suggestion.


David Zoldan

Researcher 382214

Searching in the Carpathians – Shleifer, Mayer, Zoldan, Steinberg, Weissberger, Shlezinger, Cverling, Mermelstein, others…

Re: 1933 marriage Friedmann/Weiss at Schiffschule synagogue, Vienna #austria-czech

Johann Hammer

I suspect that this marriage might be found here:
Heiraten (2.-21. Bezirk) 1933-1936 - Film 1409565 - DGS 5274208
Unfortunately these books are not available online.

Kind regards,

Re: "His name was changed at Ellis Island" #names

Jules Levin

Similarly in my family.  My dad.s mother's maiden name was Book, and I searched Buch in the records.  Finally I learned that 'Buk' was a Jewish family name in Lithuania.  Go figure

-----Original Message-----
From: Michele Lock
Sent: Jun 28, 2020 12:53 PM
To: main@...
Subject: Re: [] "His name was changed at Ellis Island" #names

I have a somewhat unusual take on the 'the name got changed at Ellis Island' story. Mysimple last name "Lock" has puzzled myself and cousins for a long time, and we've individually wondered what the original surname back in Lithuania must have been. But - we've never heard an older relative talk about a name change. 

My one cousin, when he first met his future mother-in-law, was asked quite forcefully by the said woman to reveal what our original surname must have been, because everyone knows that 'Lock' is not a Jewish name. 

Well, low and behold, thanks to the JewishGen Lithuanian records, I've found numerous records on the Lak, Lack, and Lok family of Zagare/Gruzd/Joniskis. This has long been our family name, likely from the time in the 1830s when the Russian forced Jews to take surnames. On all the ship passenger lists I've found, the name is always spelled Lak or Lack. Here in the US, it became Lock or Locke (for the fancier cousins in Boston). On my grandfather's gravestone, it is spelled 'Lamed Aleph Koph', and I assume it has always been pronounced as the word 'lock' in English.

I told my cousin to go back to his mother-in-law and explain the good news.

Michele Lock
Alexandria, Va

Searching for
Lock/Lak/Lack and Kalon/Kolon/Colon in Zagare/Gruzd/Joniskis, Lithuania
Lippman/Leapman/Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Lithuania/Poland
Lavine/Levin in Minsk Gubernia

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