Re: Question on DNA and Cohenim #dna

Adam Cherson

Dear Leonard,

In 2004 some geneticists wrote a paper in which they described Cohanic haplogroups. According to this work, the most prevalent haplogroup tree among Sephardic and Ashkenazic Cohanm is the J-P58 tree (31.8% and 51.6%, respectively). The next highest rates were 27.9% in the J-M172 tree and then 5.6% in the R-M269 tree. The G-M201 group represents about 3-4% of the Cohanim sampled in the study. There were about seven other haplogroups reported as having Cohanic members.

According to Biblical history, only the direct male heirs of Aharon the Priest are Cohanim (here is an article about the current state of y-chromosome research: As you know, not every generation in every place produces male heirs and hence the emergence of other chromosomal Cohanic lines, as needed.

Adam Cherson


DOI 10.1007/s00439-009-0727-5

Re: Nowe Miasto to Ulanow to Vienna #austria-czech


Thank you for this reply. I have tried the town finder, but haven't made any progress yet (will keep trying).
Best regards,
Maggie Jacobs

Re: Nowe Miasto to Ulanow to Vienna #austria-czech


Yes. The family name was Werner. Lea Werner married Tobias Eisenhandler but all five children used the name Werner.
Best regards,
Maggie Jacobs

ViewMate translation request - Russian #translation

Laufer, Shmuel

I have posted a vital records in Russian for wich I need a translation.
A death certificate of Meir Zelazo at the following link:

I need names, places and dates.

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)



moderated ViewMate translation request - Russian #translation

Laufer, Shmuel

I have posted two vital records in Russian for wich I need a translation.
A marriage certificate of Moshe Zelazo and Chai Kepler at the following link:

A birth certificate of Mordechai Zelazo at the following link:

I need names, places and dates.

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)



ViewMate translation request - Polish #translation

Yariv Timna


I request a translation of the Polish text on a birth certificate. It is short!

:It is on ViewMate at the following address

Please respond using the online ViewMate form.

Thank you so much,


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

Mashiach L. Bjorklund

Sorry if someone might have alluded to this answer earlier. This is a long thread and towards the end I just skimmed the posts. As many have said, names did not change at Castle Garden, Ellis Island, or any of the many other ports of entry. The name on the manifest is the name they used - period. So where did the name changes occur? Answer: When they bought their ticket. Tickets were purchased at ticket offices across the continent and in the UK. Steamship lines had ticket offices located in most major cities. At the point they bought their ticket their name had to be translated/transliterated into the language of the country of their destination. For the USA that was English. For people from the UK, Italy, Germany, etc. that translation was minimal if any at all and was often very similar to their original name. For people from Russia, Poland, AKA the Pale that meant Cyrillic or Hebrew/Yiddish to English. A much more difficult translation. To compound the problem many people were illiterate, so their name was given verbally to the ticket agent. So how did the ticket agent choose the name they got? Many had postal directories from New York City, as well as a few other major US cities. They thumbed through the directories until they found a name they thought fit the bill. This is often why people like brothers, or other close family members, ended up in the US with different surnames. They bought their tickets at different times or different offices or from different ticket agents. The bottom line is they got their name and then that name on their ticket had to match the name on the ships manifest in order for them to board for passage. The manifest was then turned over to the port of entry (unaltered) on arrival and their name had to match the manifest in order for them to legally enter the country. Any discrepancy and back they went, at the steamship companies expense. Now after they entered the country and became residents they were free to change their name again if they so desired. Many did to Americanize it. For instance Pinkowitz became Pincourt, Kvint became Quint, etc.. Many changed their name upon becoming US citizens. Find their citizenship documents and you will often find two names. The one they immigrated with and the one they now choose to be called by which from the point of citizenship became their legal name. I hope this clears up some of the confusion.

Re: Question on DNA and Cohenim #dna

Stephen Weinstein

I have been reminded that my previous answer was wrong because I neglected to consider the restrictions on whom a Kohen can marry.

First, that means that even if a Kohen and a Jewish woman have a son, the son won't necessarily be a Kohen under certain circumstances, but Y-DNA testing won't indicate that the child isn't a Kohen.

Second, if a Kohen and the daughter of a convert (I've changed this from a Kohen and a convert) have a son, he's a Kohen (and so is his son, if born Jewish), but if a Kohen and a gentile do, the child is not (even if he converts) and neither is his son (even if born Jewish).  DNA testing can't tell the difference because conversion doesn't change a person's DNA.

So while I got some of the details wrong, my point is still valid: DNA can't prove that someone is a Kohen.

Re: Genealogical research in Argentina #latinamerica

Rolando Gail

I want to clarify at least one point of Mr. Chester letter. He stated that AGJA is not working anymore.
I think that this should be expressed otherway. I'm the last secretary of AGJA's board. All the mandates are overdue, and some of the members (including me, of course) decided to continue with AGJA's activities, researches and help. We discontinued the memberships, in order to avoid all the paperwork and complications. So, we refused to manage money. The immediate consequence was that some people preferred not to continue on these conditions, so, a few members are actually involved on supporting AGJA and our friends.
Under this limited way of doing things, we did the following: 
a) We signed a couple of agreements with the IWO foundation at Buenos Aires. They enabled a place for our meetings, and they keep safe our library, enabling public searches on it.
b) We preserved our web site, at although actually only a few people use it. Most preferred Facebook, so
c) We created a page at Facebook for AGJA. 
d) And we also created a Facebook group, in order to have better interaction with and between all friends.
e) We make a new e-mail address available for the requests from public from all around the world: consultas.agja@... 
f) during all these years, we continue with the agreement with Jewishgen project JOWBR, updating the databases of Argentine jewish cemeteries.
g) We began a new project: taking the matzevoth photos of our oldest cemeteries and adding it (and it's information) to the Jewishgen database. Till now, more than 4000 burials were incorporated to the gallery. It's a work in progress.
h) We began another project using Google Earth, a large map with the places of interest of our friends, like old cemeteries, old Colonies borders, historic train stations, etc. Also a work in progress.
i) And we helped, with our poor, only human resources to reunify dozens of families, our favorite activity.
If you still think that AGJA is no more active, just take a tour over all of these, and let Us talk about it
Warmes regards from Argentina
Rolando D. Gail

Re: How to make sense of two death records that don't make sense to me #germany

Andreas Schwab

The Israel was imposed in 1938, and always as a middle name. So the dancing-master Levi Lichtenstein and the dance-teacher Israel Levi Lichtenstein were most probably different people. 

Re: ViewMate translation request - Hebrew #translation



Hello Sharon,


Interesting document.


This is a conversion certificate

To be evidence in the hand of the man by the name of

Tony Allen Pacelli

From the city of Toledo, Ohio U.S. North America

That came to be protected under the wings of the G_d of Israel

That studied the laws that he has to keep and in front of us the signed below

Accepted the burden of ‘mitzvahs’ and we saw that the ‘mohel’

Let out fromhim blood of the ‘brit for the purpose of conversion and immersed

In a kosher ‘mikveg’ according to the law

Therefore he is, with G_d’s help, a righteous convert

And from this day on he is Israel and

His name in Israel :

David son of Avraham our father

And for evoidence/prof to the above we come to sign 11th day of Iyar in the year 5750

Here in the synagogue “Etz Haim” (Tree of Life)

In Toledo, Ohio U.S. north America


Rabbi Yehuda Zvi son of rabbi Itzhak Garchik

Cantor Yona Arieh son of Mordechai Katzir (Ksirer)

Ya’akov Itzhak son of David Ben-Zion


Shalom, Malka Chosnek

Re: Does anyone know any survivors from Krinki/krinik #poland


My family (Pruzanski) in particular my father Tewel, was a very close friend of Lola Resnick (Wolf). My parents visited her very often and she also made a trip to see our family in Australia in 1973. I have emailed some of the names in this group who provided their emails and would appreciate anyone making a group to discuss our Krynki ancestry. Those of our family who emigrated mainly to Australia in the late 1940's, had survived the Holocaust by having been deported to Siberia by the Russians who entered Krynki prior to the Nazis. Any of our family who were not deported, perished at the hands of the Nazis. Today we have many families descended from the 18 odd first cousins who survived, and in March, 2020 we had an incredible weekend reunion of all of those descendants. Love to hear from fellow Krinkers.

ViewMate translation request - Russian #belarus #yizkorbooks #translation

David Brostoff

I have posted a Russian travel document on ViewMate and would be very grateful for a translation of the Russian text and handwriting:

Please respond via ViewMate.

Thank you,


Re: Does anyone know any survivors from Krinki/krinik #poland


I will reply privately but I just wanted to say here how this could be a match as I have a Wolfwich from Krinky. Don't let emails like this pass you by!

Grodno and Sokolka: TIKOTZINSKI---> EPSTEIN
Minsk: SPUND

ViewMate translation request - Swedish #scandinavia #translation

David Brostoff

I have posted two different scans of a Swedish citizenship document on ViewMate and would be very grateful for a translation of the text:

Please respond via ViewMate.

Thank you,


Re: parents as "cousins" on #dna

Nicole Heymans

There are two issues in this thread: a) endogamy and b) DNA bias.
a) Endogamy is not peculiar to Ashkenazi Jews. In the past, most folks married within their own village, and marrying a cousin was not uncommon. In my mother's (Jewish) ancestry, one of her maternal aunts married a first cousin; and her father CL had a "double second cousin" CDL: their fathers were first cousins and their mothers also. And CDL had two daughters who married two brothers. One way of marrying "in the family" while avoiding inbreeding.
On my father's side (not Jewish) I also find a brother and a sister of Granny W marrying two McI siblings.
And I remember a friend who was working on a thesis about intermarriages in "local isolates" - I envisioned distant places far from civilisation, but he was working on communes of Brussels which were villages 5, 10, 15 km distant in the 19th century.
b) Bias. In the past there was an interesting helpfile on FTDNA explaining some essentials of statistics: what a cm means, how the amount of shared DNA decreases, the spread of this amount increases with distance to shared ancestor; and there was a table of likelihood of detection according to distance of relationship. From memory, 50 % for 4th cousins. Some will be detected as "5th-distant", some not at all, others as closer than reality. As the true relationship becomes more distant, likelihood of detection decreases, and only the leading end remains. A tiny percentage of an enormous pool, a vast majority of our matches.
If it's any consolation to patrons of this discussion group, the situation is no better on my non-Jewish side.

Nicole Heymans, near Brussels, Belgium

Re: Looking for a descendant of Rabbi Binyomin Beinush Atlas initially from Lithuania #lithuania


My grandfather was Benjamin Benesch. His parents Israel and Jennie/Scheine Benesch immigrated to the US (Baltimore) from Lithuania around 1890. My Benesch great grand parents lived their lives out in Baltimore and my grandfather and his siblings grew up in Baltimore. I believe that there is a connection to a Kaplan family. Could this be part of the same family? I can give more details if it would be helpful. I've tried to get more information about my Grandfather Benjamin Benesch's family but it's been difficult. (the ship manifest on Jennie Benesch indicates she came from "Sidlowa" if that helps any. Thanks Allison Benesch

ViewMate translation request - Russian #belarus #yizkorbooks #translation

Steve Stein

I've posted a 4-sheet handwritten document in Russian, exceprted from the Yizkor Book from Nesvizh, Belarus, for which I need a translation. It is on ViewMate at the following address ...

It is a list of names of individuals.

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

Thank you very much.
Steve Stein, Highland Park, NJ USA

Translations, Please: 2-page letter in Hungarian and 1 page in German #translation

Madeleine Isenberg

Hi All,

Once in a while I also need help.
I have posted 3 images on ViewMate.  Two are for the two pages of a letter my grandfather, Leopold GOLDSTEIN, who was later killed in the Holocaust, wrote in 1932 to his two brothers, Isidor and Geza, who had emigrated to New York.
This image is an old one from 1839, for people who seem to have had to pay certain taxes or fees, in Poland.  Several are my family names so I'd like to know the context and confirmation of the places they lived at.
Please respond via the ViewMate capability. 
Thanks in advance!

Madeleine Isenberg  Beverly Hills, CA

ViewMate translation request - Hebrew #translation

sharon yampell

I have just uploaded my best friend’s conversion document  and it can be found at


It is very curious that his is completely in Hebrew whereas his father’s, who also converted and  had gone through his conversion with the same Rabbi, has a document that is in both English and Hebrew.


Thank you for taking the time to translate for us!


Sharon F. Yampell

Voorhees, NJ USA



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