Chasing a Mystery in Philly, and Looking for Puzzle Pieces: Abraham Louis Snader #usa

Eric Ellman


My wife's family has only recently learned that my wife's grandfather (Abraham Louis Snader) was briefly married before his marriage to my wife's grandmother.  This is a surprise.  The first marriage did NOT end in the death of the first wife.

What I know:
* Abraham Louis Snader sometimes went by A. Louis Snader or Louis Snader or Louie Snader.
* 1928.  First marriage; marriage certificate index.  Abraham L. Snader married Lea H. Fleysher in Philadelphia in 1928.  The marriage license number is 563815.  This marriage has only recently come to our attention.
* 1930.  The 1930 census, Abraham Louis Snader not found; Lea found; they are not together.  I cannot find Abraham Louis Snader in the census for Pennsylvania.  Yet Lea is there and is enumerated elsewhere.  In 1930, Lea was twenty-six years old (b. 1904) and was living with her parents, Hamsey Fleysher (b. 1874) and Sophie Fleysher (b. 1878).  The family lived at 2946 Columbia Ave. in Philly.  Lea, born in Russia, was listed as single.  She immigrated in 1906, was naturalized, and was working as a stenographer in an office.  That she was employed in 1930 is interesting.  
* 1931.  Second marriage.  Abraham L. Snader married Celia Baseman in Philadelphia in 1931.
* 1935.  Death of first wife, Lea Fleysher.  According to an index of obits in the Jewish Exponent, Lea H. Fleysher died Feb. 17, 1935.
* 1935.  Burial of first wife, Lea Fleysher.  According to findagrave, Lea H. Fleysher is buried in Montefiore Cemetery in Jenkintown (Mont. Co.), Sec. 8, Lot 5, Grave 3.  Phila. Lodge Society.  Lea is buried with Hansley Fleysher (DOD April 9, 1934) and Sophie Fleysher (DOD Dec. 5, 1947).  Hansley and Sophie are likely Lea’s parents.  
* 1935.  Lea is buried as Fleysher, so she did not take the Snader name, at least after 1931 and it is likely she did not remarry in the four years from Abraham Louis Snader's second marriage to Lea's death.

What I need:
* Marriage certificate index. I sent a letter to the Philadelphia 
Marriage License Bureau requesting a copy of the marriage record.
* I am still looking for Abraham Louis Snader in the 1930 census.

What I need and where I can use help (I am in DC and not local to Philly)
* Does anyone know how/where to request a death certificate for Lea Fleysher (Feb. 17, 1935)?  In obtaining the certificate, does it matter that she is the first wife of my wife's grandfather and is not directly related to my wife or my wife's parents?
* Does anyone know how/where I can obtain a copy of the obituary for Lea Fleysher (Feb. 17, 1935) from the Jewish Exponent?
* Divorce was quite rare in 1928-1931, of course.  Does anyone know how/where I can learn if there was a divorce and obtain that divorce record for Abraham Louis Snader and Lea Fleysher?  The divorce would have been in or between 1928-1931.
* It is possible that the Depression might somehow be connected to the dissolution of marriage, but I would not likely know that unless there was a divorce proceeding.

Eric J. Ellman
North Bethesda, Maryland

Mother Instead of Father on Gravestone #general #germany

Ralph Baer

The gravestone of my great-grandfather Moritz Gunzenhäuser in Memmelsdorf in Unterfranken in Bavaria designates him as the son of his mother instead of the son of his father as is usual. See line 7 of the Hebrew here or the picture of the stone linked near the bottom of that page. This is mentioned in the comments there also.
There is no indication on Moritz’s birth, marriage, or death records that he was illegitimate, and I have not been told he was by any of his other descendants. Has anyone seen this before? I have seen many which mention both parents, but none for a legitimate child which only mentions the mother. Can anyone give an explanation? The best I could come up with is that Yitle rhymed with the previous two lines, and that isn’t too good an explanation.
I do not need an English translation.
Ralph N. Baer        RalphNBaer@...       Washington, DC

Re: Warsaw pre-1939 districts: Orla str. and Kr #holocaust #warsaw

Michael Turnbull

I have just found two commercial directories of 1916 that locate Adolf Tarnower at Orla 5, so that must be where his son Olek was born in 1915! Thanks very much for your help!

Mt Sinai Hospital Section in Cypress Hills Cemetery, NY #usa


An ancestor of mine died in 1895 and was buried in the Mt Sinai section of Cypress Hills Cemetery in Queens. 

According to the Mount Sinai Archives: "Initially plots to bury indigent patients were donated to the Hospital by Jewish congregations and benevolent societies. In June 1878, land was acquired in Cypress Hills Cemetery for Mount Sinai through the efforts of Samuel M. Schafer, Esq. There were 110 lots, measuring 20 x 20. Most of the 20th century correspondence relates to the management and upkeep of the cemetery plots."

The hospital placed simple gravestones at the head of each plot stating only the grave number and name. It seems that later (some) families, when they could afford one, came back and placed fuller horizontal tombstones on top of the graves.

Most of the hospital's stones are illegible after years of weather beating against the slate engravings and only a few of the fuller tombstones are uncovered enough to be read. Many of them have sunk leaving only a few words or letters visible and presumably there are many more completely covered by dirt and grass.

The cemetery office does not have a plot map with names or records detailing who was interred in which grave. Mount Sinai's archive provided me with a society map, but this too has no names on it.



I have visited the section numerous times trying to spot a name or some words indicating which plot is my ancestors but have been unsuccessful.   

Wondering what can be done here, if anything. I suspect there is a tombstone for her somewhere in this section which has just sunk below the the grass. It is sad that neither the hospital or cemetery cared to maintain actual plot records. 

Re: Looking for any information on family name Zaubler/Zobler/Ziegler/Seidler moved to NY before WWII originally from Poland / Vienna #galicia #austria-czech #poland

Shelley Mitchell

My 3rd ggreat grandmother, Reisie ZIEGLER, was born in Zurawno, L’vivs’ka. Her daughter, Etie GOLDSCHEIN, was born in Skala-Podilskaya, Ternopil. If this helps.
Shelley Mitchell, NYC    shemit@...
Searching for TERNER, GOLDSCHEIN, KONIGSBERG, SCHONFELD, in Kolomyya; PLATZ, in Delaytn; and TOPF, in Radautz and Kolomea.

Re: Which website has records of money transfer requests from Russian/Ukranian jews to American relatives? #poland #general #russia

Linda Cantor

JDC - American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee - See  There are 329 results for Finkelstein.  And as a JDC volunteer, I can tell you that we have indexed many Remittance Lists - lists of funds that went people, mostly in Eastern Europe.

Good luck.

Baby birth/death records from 1910’s and 20’s New York — Doctor scandal — #general

Stuart Ungar

Is there a way to get birth records from New York from about the 1920s? My grandparents (Eisenberg) had two children prior to having my mom and my uncle. Both supposedly died shortly after birth. I heard from family members that the delivering doctor was later found out to be selling babies. If that is true, I could have some cousins out there that I don’t know but would love to find. If there were birth records for these “deceased” babies would it even have the delivering doctor’s name? Unfortunately it is a real puzzle w/o many clues right now.

Appreciate any thoughts!
- Stuart UNGAR

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


This fascinates me. My great-grandfather's last name in Russia was Bershadsky (I know this because of family stories and a calling card from Russia that I have). After Ellis Island, it was Berg! My grandmother said that her father was always annoyed because he liked his original name. He didn't know that he could have reassumed it until many years later, when he decided that it would be too much of a hassle. I don't remember that an official was specifically blamed, but the name was changed somehow, and he didn't just acquiesce. 
So, what happened??
--Polly Goldberg

Travel from Buchach to USA transmigrating via United Kingdom #unitedkingdom

Murray Sperber

I am trying to figure a time line on my father and his family's travel
to the US via Ellis Island, arriving February 22, 1921. His passport has
a stamp  "American Consulate General at Warsaw, Poland Jan 10 1921".

On the "Transmigrants" roster for the Cunard line the family departed
Southampton on February 15, 1921.  I am trying to construct a time line
from January 10, 1921 to February 15, 1921. According to Google Maps
today the trip from Buchach to Warsaw would take about 8 hours.  I have
no idea what it would have been, most likely by train, in 1921.

According to the transmigrants roster the family arrived in the UK at
the Port of Hull on the steamship line "Wilsons", no arrival date for Hull.

According to some research I'v done there were agents who took care of
the passport, or was it necessary for the immigrant to physically go to
the Consulate?  Is it possible that the family would travel to Warsaw,
then back to Buchach to leave a few weeks later for the departure port?

The Wilson line traveled primarily between Scandinavian ports and the
UK.  I have been unable to find any passenger lists for the Wilson
line.  Another question I have is what was the most likely port of

Murray S. Sperber

Los Angeles, CA

Researching SPERBER, Yazlovitz

US Supreme Court to Hear Case involving German Jewish Art Dealers Whose Ancestors Forced to Sell religious Art to Nazis; French Court Rules Painting Looted During Holocaust Belongs to Jewish Collector #holocaust #france #germany #hungary #usa

Jan Meisels Allen




On July 2 the US Supreme Court agreed to hear a case during the 2020-2021 session regarding descendants of a group of Jewish art dealers from Germany who say their ancestors were forced to sell a collection of religious art to the Nazi Government in 1935.  The justices will decide whether the dispute involving foreign citizens suing a foreign government belongs in US courts.  A lower court allowed the case to go forward, but Germany asked the US Supreme Court to weigh in.


The justices also took a case involving Hungarian nationals suing Hungary over property taken from them during World War II.


The German case stems from 1935, when Nazi leader Hermann Göring allegedly forced a consortium of Jewish art dealers in Frankfurt to sell a trove of Prussian religious artifacts for a fraction of its value. Most of the art dealers fled Germany; one who remained soon died. In November 1935, Göring presented the collection, known as the Welfenschatz or Guelph Treasure, to Hitler as a gift. Heirs of the art dealers, including several U.S. citizens, sued to recover the property, currently held by a museum in Berlin.


According to a story in the Wall Street Journal,” The heirs applied for restitution in Germany, but a panel set up to review such claims said it found no evidence the sale was forced. “The lack of demand and the lower purchase price in comparison with earlier estimates can be attributed to the world economic crisis and not to the repression of Jewish art dealers by the National Socialist government,” the panel said. The heirs then filed suit in federal court. “The Nazis viewed the Welfenschatz as an Aryan treasure, and they were disgusted that it was held by Jews,” the plaintiffs’ brief says.


Generally, foreign governments can’t be sued in US courts but Congress has made several exceptions including for state sponsors of terrorism and acts of expropriation that violate international law.  Germany argues that international law doesn’t prohibit foreign governments from expropriating property of their own nationals. Since the Jewish victims lived in Germany—although Jews were stripped of German citizenship by the 1935 Nuremberg laws—it argues that it cannot be sued in the U.S.


In the Hungarian suit, 14 Hungarian Jews who survived the Holocaust, including four who now are American citizens, sued Hungary and its state-owned railway, MAV, to recover property confiscated from Jews who were shipped to death camps.  US Judge Patricia Millett said,  “In 1944 alone, a concentrated   campaign by the Hungarian government marched nearly half a million Jews into Hungarian railroad stations, stripped them of all their personal property and possessions, forced them onto trains, and transported them to death camps like Auschwitz, where 90% of them were murdered upon arrival,.”


To read more see:


The Wall Street Journal is a subscription newspaper. Other news media have also reported on the case but not with the same detail. If you are not able to access the Wall Street Journal try:


     The 1887 painting “La Cueillette des Pois” (“Picking Peas”) by Camille Pissarro. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.



In the French case a French appeals  court ruled a painting looted during the Holocaust belongs to a Jewish collector and should be returned to the family of the collector, Simon Bauer.  The 1887 painting called La Cueillette des Pois (“Picking Peas”) by Camille Pissarro that was looted from a Jewish collector during World War II and the Holocaust.


During World War ll the Vichy Regime collaborated with the Nazis and stole 93 paintings from Bauer. Some paintings  but not all were returned to Bauer not including La Cueillette des Pois.


The two Americans who purchased the painting claimed they did not know the painting was stolen when they bought it in New York for $800,000 in 1995. The Tolls, who purchased the painting, is the chairman of the holding company which own the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News newspapers.

To read more see:

Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Need help to locate family in Mukachevo-Munkacs #ukraine


I am trying to get some information on Abraham Friedman he lived in Mukachevo and died there in 1983 He is buried in the new Jewish cemetery 
how can I find more info on him?
i would like to find out if he had kids?
Thanks in Advance.
Toivy Kahan

Looking for descendants of Mordke And Sarah Weiss from Lodz or Klwow Poland #poland

stephen cohen

A branch of my kolatnik family from Lodz and Klwow, Poland came to NYC in 1910. Two siblings Sarah Kolatnik (born 1890) and Lejbus Kolatnik (born 1894).

Sarah Kolatnik married Mordke Weiss in Klwow, Poland in 1910. According to their ship manifest in 1910 to NYC they from left Brzeziny Poland and were going to 88 E 3rd St in Manhattan to stay with a cousin, Nathan Weiss. Two weeks later Lejbus Kolatnik came to NYC and was going to stay with his brother in law Mordke Weiss at the same address 88 E 3 rd St.

Any thoughts on how to trace this family in the US. Having difficulty finding them in census records. Difficulty is that Lejbus Kolatnik likely changed his name to something like Louis or leonard or Larry Cohen. (Other branches of my Kolatnik family changed the surname to Cohen) and not sure what name Mordke Weiss would have gone by in NYC as well. Maybe Morris or max?

Stephen Cohen

parents as "cousins" on #dna

Alexander Press

Hello all. Has anyone else had the experience of finding their parents identified as "cousins" on Mine are on the threshold between 4th-6th and 5th-8th at 20 cm shared over 5 segments. The shared matches cover multiple branches of their families. Perhaps if you take any two people of Eastern European Jewish ancestry there is a non-trivial likelihood that they will show up as "cousins." On the other hand, I have found that in every case of a documentable third cousin or third cousin once removed, Ancestry correctly identifies the relationship if it does not understate it.

How to obtain documents in France? #france

Ilya Zeldes

Searching on Filae site, I found some information about Pepa Lokacher. The information shows that Pepa participated in the Resistance and show the file number (see below). The link repeats the file number, but no more info.
How to obtain the documents in this file?


Service Facts: Services rendered for resistance, Betw. 1940 and 1945

Birth: The 10th of March 1895, at Russie (Russie)

Other information

Document number:  Service historique de la Défense, Vincennes GR 16 P 375394
URL of the document:


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

Bruce Drake

Two very different things loomed large in Zalman Wendroff’s memories of growing up — his hard-to-approach but awe-inspiring mother and the centrality of the family’s large samovar. (Wendroff went on to become a well-known Yiddish writer).

In “On the Threshold of Life,” a chapter from the Yizkor book of Slutsk (Belarus), he recalls being told how proud his father was on the day of his circumcision “but my mother did not demonstrate much joy. She knew – another child, another worry on her head.” His mother, who almost single-handedly ran a soap factory, was a “stately woman, proud, authoritative, always calm and controlled” who, when she did not like something, tersely pronounced “This is not good.”

“I loved my father very much, but did not fear him in the least,” Wendroff writes. “My love for my mother was more like awe of G–d, mixed with real fear. This G–d–fearing sense was like a stone wall between us…”

As for the samovar, it “was ‘large’ not only in size, but in the role it played in the house.” The large samovar was only used on festive nights and on Shabbath. The Shabbath nights “re the only evenings when Wendroff’s mother feels that she is still alive on this earth.” Worried about money, she saw the Friday night large samovar as “one of the means of maintaining the reputation of an ‘open house’” at which neighbors, acquaintances, important people, scholars, and maskilim [“enlightened” people”] could gather together.


Bruce Drake

Silver Spring MD

Re: Florence MARMOR burial records of the New York Mokkom Sholom, Bayside and Acacia cemeteries #usa


Yes thank you! I was in contact with Florence many years ago when Bayside was being “cleaned up” by a Mormon group during the litigation. My great-Uncle was buried there & is on the list (Isak Blumenthal age 1yr 10m. As far as I know they never found his grave or bones (I was in touch w/the man working on the area he was buried in). But he was a baby so...On the spreadsheet there are some ?? under cause of death as they listed several. He died of TB. The rest were just a result of the TB. His mother -listed on the spreadsheet as Emilie/Mollie Gryngras died 6 yrs later as she also had TB. She died soon after giving birth to another child who miraculously survived until her late 90’s. And she also had TB. I would not be here if that had not happened as my great grandmother Rebecca Schoenberg was sent for from Kuz’myn Ukraine to marry David Blumenthal & take care of his children & she would have 4 more girls including my grandmother Mollie (named after his 1st wife). Strange world. So thank you & thank you Florence (I know she is gone) for your amazing work. I’m glad that things are a bit better at Bayside. 

Does anyone know any survivors from Krinki/krinik #poland


Survivors from Krinki/Krynki, Poland near Lithuanian border c. 1914?

Belchatow Poland Book of Residents Additions on JRI-Poland #poland #announcements


When JRI-Poland added the Belchatow Book of Residents to the database over 13 years ago, we were limited to adding people that were born in the 19th Century.   Now that the Polish State Archives had made all of the images live, we were able to add all of the Jewish residents born in the 20th Century births and link all the entries!  Let me say that again.  ALL of the entries are linked to the scanned images from the Belchatow Book of Residents and are live on the JRI-Poland database -

Book of Residents are known in Polish as Księgi/Spis Ludności and in Congress Poland each community was required to maintain an ongoing census-like record of all legal residents of the community. The information was recorded in huge volumes and organized by house number.  More information can be found on Book of Residents at    Not all town Book of Residents survived but Belchatowers are happy that their town did.

Belchatow is located 26 miles south of Lodz and 13 miles west of Piotrkow Trybunalski and by 1939, fifty percent of the population was Jewish.

Many thanks go to Andrzej Selerowicz who lovingly worked on this project for his birth town.  The JRI-Poland would also like to thank Roni Seibel Liebowitz,  the original Belchatow leader, who worked on many projects to remember her ancestral town. 

Hadassah Lipsius

Dickler family genealogy #bessarabia


Dear All,

We are researching the Dickler family who emigrated from Otaci/Ataky and Mohyliv-Podilsky to the USA, Brazil and Argentina in the early 20th century. We have already developed a tree until our last known ancestor, Meer Dickler, who was born in about 1790, but there are still some branchs to be developed.

Please, write me if you can collaborate or want more information.


Best regards,


Re: "adoption" to avoid the czar's army #general #lithuania

Jeremy Lichtman

I've heard some similar stories in my family as well, but wanted to add that there were other reasons as well why siblings might have wound up with different surnames.

Surname adoption in Eastern Europe tended to happen between 1808 and 1826 (i.e. after the Napoleonic Wars), and generally speaking people didn't have surnames prior. There were various taxation policies around that time that may have made it advantageous for two siblings living in separate homes to adopt different names. I don't recall my source for this, or the details, unfortunately. Might have been an article on Avotaynu.