LEMBERG/WIELKE OCZY geographically close? #galicia

Eileen Kessner

Found a possible Passenger Manifest for my Galitzianer GM... lists she came from "Lemberg", citizen of "Austria".  Her Petition for Citizenhip however lists place of origin as "Wieke-Oche, Aust.".  I referenced JewishGen Shtetl Seeker as I understand borders changed periodically.  Are these two places the same?  Thanks. 
-Eileen G. Kessner
Plano, TX USA

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

Bob Bloomberg

Peter Cohen--excellent analysis.  I especially found your comment "We have yet to see anyone come forward and say something along the lines of an uncle telling their niece or nephew "I know your father told you that they changed his name, but I was there and he made that decision himself."   especially telling.  As I've been trying to point out, no immigration official intentionally changed a name.  But there are too many independent "stories" for there not to be truth somewhere behind the "myths".

Memorial Plaques Database Grows to More Than 205,000 Records. Please help us grow! #announcements

Nolan Altman

JewishGen is proud to announce its 2020 pre-Virtual Conference update for the Memorial Plaques Database (MPD). The MPD database can be accessed at   The MPD database includes the data from plaques and Yizkor lists from synagogue and other organizations.  Many of these sources include patronymic information.


This update added approximately 15,500 records and 10,300 photos from 30 organizations and war memorials worldwide. This update brings the Memorial Plaques holdings to 205700 records and 145,600 photos from 386 synagogues, institutions and memorials representing 38 countries. 


            Some of the largest additions to the database are the following:


  • Montreal, Canada – 2,500 names from various memorials in the Baron de Hirsch Cemetery.
  • Richmond, Virginia – 1,750 names from Temple Beth-El
  • North Bellmore, New York – 1,550 names from Temple Beth-el of Bellmore
  • Iowa –1,450 names from memorial plaques from congregations in Ames, Fort Dodge, Des Moines, and Oskaloosa, all courtesy of the Iowa Jewish Historical Society.
  • Burlington, Vermont – 1,350 names from Ohavi Zedek
  • Queens, New York – 900 names from the Sunnyside Jewish Center
  • New Orleans – 850 names from the Touro Synagogue
  • Metairie, Louisiana – 850 names from Gates of Prayer
  • Skokie, Illinois – 830 names from Congregations Beth Hamrdrosh Hagodol Kesser Maariv Anshe Luknik
  • Chicago, Illinois – 830 names from KAM Isaiah Israel


Other collections come from Dubrovnik (Croatia), Slavkov u Brna (Czech Republic), El Alamein (Egypt), Brookwood (England), Athens (Greece), and Ramle (Israel).


We believe that the MPD is a good example of how users of JewishGen’s databases can “give back”.  If you are a member of a synagogue or other organization with memorial plaques or Yizkor lists, please consider helping us to grow this database.  You can find more information on submitting data at   If you have additional questions, please contact me directly.


For a complete listing of the institutions currently in the database, please see



Nolan Altman


JewishGen VP for Data Acquisition

July, 2020


Re: Does anyone have a premium account in gw.geneanet for a one time only search? #france

David Choukroun

my apologies for the multiple answers

probably some relatives :  Jean Paul Dufour (1830) + brothers here :

Still to be consolidated with the names of the Parents and the official acts to be 100% sure they are connected to yours


Re: Does anyone have a premium account in gw.geneanet for a one time only search? #france

David Choukroun

I have forgotten to add the wiki link for the location :


Re: Does anyone have a premium account in gw.geneanet for a one time only search? #france

David Choukroun

Hello Alberto,

the record matching your research is this one :
Number/Source : 2 E IM 1277
Day : 23
Month : 4
Year : 1852
Husband Name : DUFOUR
Husband First Name : Gerard
Wife First Name : Jeanne Marie
Place : Sauveterre-de-Comminges
Subdivision : 31
Note : vue 250/267
Table : registre 1843-1852

Sauveterre-de-comminges is a city from the South Ouest of France (Haute Garonne, Midi Pyrennée)

Index of the record Sauveterre-de-Comminges - Marriage (1793 - 1902) - 1 309 Records (Updated on November 26, 2016)

I will search for the original record if this is important for you

Best ,

Re: Portuguese Legislators Step Back from Attempt to Severely Limit Applications for Citizenship From Sephardic Jews Descendants #sephardic

Mark Strauss

I'm very interested in exploring the opportunity to gain Portuguese Citizenship, especially since the new law does not require residency or the ability to speak the language. . My wife and I honeymooned in Portugal 30 years ago, and last year we celebrated our 30th anniversary, there
I have a family tree that shows that my 19th Great-Grandfather was Don Abraham of Toledo (Abraham el Alfaquin = al-Ḥakīm), who was physician to King Alfonso X (el Sabio - the Learned) of Castile, and to his son Sancho IV. He was active between 1260 and 1277 and translated books from Arabic into Castilian under the patronage of the king in Toledo and Burgos.
Since the law only requires proof of ancestry on the Iberian Peninsula, I would think that I would be eligible. Has anyone had experience gaining Portuguese Citizenship; and/or can recommend someone in Portugal who could help facilitate the paper work? If so, please email me, personally.

Train travel Ukraine 19th-20th Century/ #ukraine

Sheryl Stahl

My ggps lived in Kolomea, moved to Chernowitz for a few years and then moved back to Kolomea before coming to the US.
I know there was a train between the 2 cities, but does anyone know about travel between the 2 cities at the turn of the last century? Was it common? Was there anything pushing or pulling them?


Sheryl Stahl (Los Angeles)

Suwalki (RAKOVSKI, OKRAGLINSKI,) Wizajni (RAKOVSKI) Kalvarja
Odessa (STESSEL) Pervomaysk (STESSEL)  Grzymalow (LANDAU) Kolomyya (STAHL,


Which is the town? #ukraine #general


Hi all, In a Blitzstein Bank Steamship Purchase Ledger, my relatives' address in Ukraine is listed as:
M Ivanke Pocsta Buki
us Uman
Gub Kiev
Which of these is the actual town where they live?
Thanks for your help.
New York

Re: Looking for information on Moshe Oshman from Wilna, Lithuania or Belarus, married to Myriam Goldzycher in Warsaw Poland #poland #lithuania #belarus

Sherri Bobish

Hi Angel,

You write 'We have stories that the Oshmans had a fruit store and they were 3 brothers and one sister."

Have you tried searching old digitized Eastern European city directories at:
It is a free database.

Often occupations are listed.  You can do a regular or soundex search.

Sometimes people are listed in the directories with first and last name, but often with just first initial and last name.


Sherri Bobish
Princeton, NJ

Finding ship manifest #general

Sheryl Stahl

I have been tearing my hair out. Some time ago, I found the ship manifest for my gf Bernard/Bernhard Stahl. I snipped it and saved the image but did not make a note of the date and ship (I've been yelling at my younger self and changed my evil ways) It should be from ~1900.

I have spent hours on LibertyEllisIsland, Ancestry, and Stevemorse, but I can't find it again. 
Does anyone have any suggestions? TIA



Sheryl Stahl (Los Angeles)

Suwalki (RAKOVSKI, OKRAGLINSKI,) Wizajni (RAKOVSKI) Kalvarja
Odessa (STESSEL) Pervomaysk (STESSEL)  Grzymalow (LANDAU) Kolomyya (STAHL,


Re: Records of Home of Old Israel, New York City and 1930 US Census search possible by address? #courland #usa

Sherri Bobish

Hi Susan,

1930 U.S. census, and other census years, can be searched by address via Steve Morse's amazing search tool:

Be sure to choose the census year you want to search from the drop box, as ED's (enumeration districts) changed between census years.

When prompted, put in the cross streets to help pinpoint the ED.


Sherri Bobish
Princeton, NJ

Re: Seeking info on ZAICSEK/ZAITCHIK/ZEIDMAN Traveling Circus near Uman, Ukraine, 1880-1900 #ukraine

Sherri Bobish

Hi Dale,

I recently saw an on-line presentation from The Leo Baeck Inst. given by Stav Meishar.

She is an expert on the subject of Jewish circus performers in pre-WW11 Europe.
Here is a link to the info about her talk:

I can't find a recording on-line of her talk, but if you Google Stav Meishar you will find lots of info about her work, and she has her own website:

You can probably get in touch with Ms. Meishar through her website, or perhaps the Leo Baeck Inst. can help put you in touch with her.

Hope this helps,

Sherri Bobish
Princeton, NJ

Re: Please translate German to English #translation


i Kathhy,
Did you receive any translations? If not, I will gladly have a go at them. Let me know.
Ron Peeters
Ulvenhout (NL)

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

Peter Cohen

Thanks to Yale Zusman for an excellent analysis.  This has been an interesting discussion. It breaks down into certain groups:
Those who can only discuss name changes in terms of "the immigration officers at Ellis Island never changed anyone's name. Therefore all involuntary name change stories are false."
Those who equate spelling changes with name changes even though the names are essentially the same.
Those who would like to discuss it.

I agree that the preponderance of the evidence is that no official of the US government changed anyone's name. I do not agree that no immigrants ever underwent an involuntary name change. I just do not know the circumstances under which it happened.  As I understand it, many immigrants referred to the entire immigration experience as "Ellis Island", even things that did not happen there. New immigrants were referred to as "greenhorns" or "greeners", implying that they did not understand what was going on around them.  In such circumstances there could well of have been interactions with people that the immigrants mistakenly believed had some kind of authority.

I keep returning to the occurrence of the same two phrases in family stories: "He asked me my name" and "He wrote down".  That kind of interaction would not have happened at the Great Hall, but nothing precludes it from having happened somewhere else while the immigrant was still overwhelmed with the new experience. This line of thinking get attacked with "there is no evidence that anything like this happened". But, there is something else for which there is no evidence:  In order for this story to be a complete fabrication in every case, there would need to be a conspiracy of silence. That in itself seems unlikely.  We have yet to see anyone come forward and say something along the lines of an uncle telling their niece or nephew "I know your father told you that they changed his name, but I was there and he made that decision himself."   I do not think there is enough information to know what actually went on, and probably never will be.

Don’t Miss This JewishGen Webinar - July 22 #education #JewishGenUpdates

Nancy Siegel

We invite you to attend another free presentation in our series of JewishGen Talks webinars, with our speaker, Dr. Sallyann Sack.

What the Genealogist Needs to Know

About Jewish Family Names

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

3:00 pm Eastern Time (New York)

From the genealogical perspective, Jewish family names are anything but simple. In this talk, we will consider how, why and when Jews acquired family names; what kinds of names they adopted; some special aspects of rabbinical names; techniques devised to avoid being identified; spelling considerations; soundex; the variable effects of emigration; expert sources; and a few words about how to locate maiden names and married names of women.

Dr. Sallyann Sack is the founding chair of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy; past president of IAJGS and recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award; editor and co-owner of AVOTAYNU, the International Review of Jewish Genealogy; founder of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington; author or co-author of seven genealogy books; and chair or co-chair of seven IAJGS conferences.


Advance Registration Required!

Please click here:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about how to join the webinar.

Questions? Go to:

Nancy Siegel (San Francisco, CA)

Director of Communications

Kabaker family in Burlington, Iowa #general #lithuania #poland #usa

Harvey Kabaker

Hoping to find anyone with close knowledge of the family headed by Jacob and Ida Kabaker, who were married in Burlington, Iowa, in  September 1890. They moved to Clintonia, Illinois, before 1900.Their sons were Nathan, Samuel (Kobaker) and David; daughters were Esther (Morris) Strelzer, Jeanette, Sally or Sarah (Joseph) Handleman and Birdie. Most of the children were born in Illinois between 1892 and 1905. They moved to Detroit, where Birdie was born in 1909.

Harvey Kabaker
Silver Spring, Md.

Woroncov / Varansoff Family - #usa #names #russia


Trying for the last two years to find a thread tip
Rose Varansoff, born 3.15.1871, immigrated to the US in 1906 and her husband Joseph Varansoff died in 1932.
Last residential address in 1930 at 261 Madison St Ny. I have all the details about her husband but we're looking for Rose (Rosie).
The original name may have been • Rasche waranzow
I did not find her in the 1940 Census.
I would appreciate any information or idea! Thanks

Re: Found after 76 years descendants of the family who hid my mother and grandmother in Budapest in 1944 during the German Occupation and the Arrow Cross terror #hungary #holocaust


What an uplifting post.  Thank you for sharing.  With so much negativism these days, it is good to be reminded of the "unheard of " people who help their fellow man, without wanting/expecting something in return, or to be featured in the nightly news.  How fortunate for your family. Good for you, too, for those who reached out to help make the re-connection between the family descendants.

Leah H. Snider

Re: Courland Was It Within the Russian Empire but not in the Pale of Settlement #russia

Arlene Beare

Marilyn asks about the life of Jews living in Courland at the time of the Pale of Settlement.

The Pale of Settlement was from 1794-1804. Even though Courland was not in the Pale they were still part of the Russian Empire and subject to all the laws and regulations pertaining to Jews. However they escaped the worst oppression suffered by the Jews of the Pale. Courland was made up of Kurzeme in the North west and Zemgale in the South West. Kurzeme Jews according to the Book -History  of Latvian Jews by Steimanis - made gains during the reign of Paul 1(1796-1801)A decree of the Senate of Russia legalised the State of Jews in Kurzeme. The decree of 1799 entitled all Jews who lived permanently in Kurzeme to register legally in towns provided they joined the merchants or crafts Guilds for twice the normal fee. They obtained civil rights.These right were later curtailed and from 1829 only those Jews who already had been permanent residents of Kurzeme at the end of the 18th C could live there.
Courland was a German speaking Province(Gubernia)with its Capital Mitau now Jelgava.
Arlene Beare
Co-Director of Latvian Research Group.

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