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


OK, I’ve just gotta do this: :-)

My father’s oldest brother’s (FOB) completely hand-written 1890 Romanian birth-cert, showed the surname as BERCOVICI.

4 children and 15 years later, my father’s own printed-form, hand-filled 1905 birth-cert. from the same town as above also showed the surname as BERCOVICI.

My GF’s and my FOB and 2 other sibs on their ship’s Passenger List (PL) of June 1907 showed the surname as BERKOWICZ.

5 MONTHS LATER (Nov. 1907), on 2008 version of “”, my GM & 4 children were shown _leaving the UK_ on a different ship, landing at a different PoE and showed the name BERCOVITCH.

Same month (Nov., 1907) the above ship’s PL showed the surname of my GM & 4 children as BERCOWITCH.

Oct., 1910, my father’s older (NOT oldest) brother shown on N.Am. death cert. (written by a local Official) as BERCOVITCH; Signed by his father as BERCOVICH.

Later, Census A – Family name written as BERKOVITCH.

Census B – Family name written as BERCOVITCH.

Census C – Family name written as BERCOVICH.

Census D – Family name written as BEREOVITCH (and was _that_ tough to find!!).

1930s my father marries with name BERCOVICH, which has held for all family members since then! (with a couple of exceptions!).

All of the above fall into place with Peter COHEN's "Fri, 17 Jul 2020 14:41:41 EDT" message, but there _are_ a lot of spelling changes!

Cousin’s GF lands Ellis Island early 20th c. named on PL as GOLDSTEIN

Cousin’s GF & family listed on 1920 U.S. Census as GOLDSTEN

At a later date, the cousin’s father’s name was changed from GOLDSTEIN to GONSALVES

At an even later date, the cousin’s father’s name was changed from GONSALVES to GORDON

The last 2 changes were consciously made!

Note: ITEM 2 names have been changed to protect the innocent.


Stay well, all!


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


Thank you so much Sherri Bobish. The is a fantastic site. Will try to search using it.

Re: Finding Bernhard Stahl #germany

Sherri Bobish

Hi Sheryl,

Could this be him?

Bernard STAHL

in the Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935
Name: Bernard Stahl
Gender: Male
Arrival Age: 22
Birth Year: abt 1878
Departure Port: Liverpool, England
Arrival Date: 20 Jul 1900
Arrival Port: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Vessel: Lake Ontario

Sherri Bobish
Princeton, NJ

Skole, Ukraine Archive? #ukraine


My ancestral cousin, Baron Herman Groedel, owned a villa (and large sawmill and property) in Skole (Demnia), purchased in 1886 from Count Eugeniuz Kinski. Baron Groedel then enlarged the property significantly. I would like to find any records of ownership, transfer, bill of sale, architectural documents, or any other official document related to the villa. Over the years I have come across several stories about the purchase of the property; including that it was purchased by Hermann's brother, Albert, and a business partner, Adam Schmidt, and later transferred to their business (Groedel Brothers). Can anyone advise as to where I might find the official documents for the villa? 

Thank you!

Jerry Zeisler
Portland, Oregon USA

Re: Finding Bernhard Stahl/Ship Manifest #germany

Joel Weintraub

Bernhard Stahl came on the Lutterworth out of Hamburg departed May 5, 1900


Joel Weintraub
Dana Point, CA

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

Hi Peter,
Thank you for your input, but I think this discussion needs to come to an end.  Part of genealogy research is finding out the truth about your ancestors.  This search inevitably reveals information that was withheld from the descendants of the original immigrants.  My great grandparents and grandparents came between 1900 and 1905 and were very secretive.  I won't go into everything that I found out, but will assure you that both my parents, first generation Americans, were astounded by what they didn't know.
As for name changes, let the experience of my family serve as an example against making assumptions.  My maternal grandparents came in 1903-1905 under the name Pochinke and Poczinker and changed their name to Pachilkin and later to Pochilky.  They never told their children the original name and no it was not changed at Ellis Island.  I have found records confirming the original name on  When my eldest uncle married in 1934, his wife objected to the name Pochilky.  She chose the name Perrin and everyone's name was legally changed in 1937.  Over the years I heard that the name came from Lee & Perrin's Worcestershire sauce.  It seemed logical since my uncle's wife's name was Lee.  Other people believed the name came from Perrineville, NJ where a relative lived.  The truth according to my Aunt Lee was neither.  She just liked the name.  I had the opportunity to ask Aunt Lee; most people today don't.  And because of that we must be careful not to over-generalize or make assumptions.

Re: LEMBERG/WIELKE OCZY geographically close? #galicia

Alexander Sharon

Wielkie Oczy (literally: Big Eyes) are located in Poland on the Ukrainian border. Distance from Wielkie Oczy to Lviv in Ukraine is about 60 miles.
Alexander Sharon

Re: Research individuals in France #france

Bernard Flam

From Paris, to Judi Missel,

Hi Judi,
Hirschfeld isn't a so common name in France.
So I check for living descendants in France with our official white pages :
I get 12 persons named "Hirschfeld", including one living in Strasbourg and a company, also in Strasbourg.
Other results are persons living in a "Hirschfeld street" in a town not far from Strasbourg.

These results include their phone & home address : I never try to call because it's impossible to explain within a few seconds why we contact, and these unknown persons will hang up immediately...

So I did it often, I send as many letters as I got addresses, a nice letter with copies of some family documents to explain my search.
Once, 17 letters to homonyms of a person in Zurich who had filled a page of testimony in Yad Vashem, 20 years ago.
Believe it or not, three days later, a lady call me with these simple words : "for 60 years, we were asking ourselves if your branch had any survivors ?"...


Good luck

Bernard Flam

Archives & history of Medem Center - Arbeter Ring (Bund) of France

Re: SSDI claim dates #general


I think there is a confusion between Social Security Death Index (SSDI) which provides the date of death and the State/City where Social Security benefits were first claimed, and Social Security Disability (SSD, or sometimes refers to as SSDI) which are Social Security benefits granted based on the individual's disability. The application date for this benefit provides demographic information and health information about the applicant. 

Dan Efrat
Cherry Hill, NJ US
Researching Israelit (from Novogrudok, Belarus and Riga area, Latvia), Rabinowitz (Dyatlovo/Zhetl in Belarus( Pruss, in the Ukraine) and Koifman (in the Ukraine)

Re: Which is the town? #ukraine #general

Alexander Sharon

Town is Ivan'ky (Ivan'ka in 1900), Postal Box in Buki (7 miles distance), Uman Uyezd (district), Kiev Guberniya (Province).

Alexander Sharon
Calgary, AB

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

Moishe Miller

You can find an article about "Methodology for Locating Residents of a Specific Address in the 1930 US Census," with step-by-step instructions, including images and an example, at:
Moishe Miller
Brooklyn, NY

Re: No More Genealogical Info on Lithuiana Family #lithuania

Debby Myers

Hi William
Please contact me
My great grandfather was Abraham Levine from Bagasliviskis. Died in NY in 1918. He married Deverah Beila Jaffe in Kupiskis Lithuania. He visited South Africa in late 1890s, returned to Kupiskis, then in 1914 went to NY and died there in 1918. He had relations also ( brothers) in Chelsea, Mass. I have info on these relations.
Sure we have a connection.
Debby Myers

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,


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