Re: DNA privacy dilemma #dna

Jeffrey Herrmann

You describe him as a young man, so perhaps his parents are alive?  He appears to be 1/4 European Jewish, which means either his mother or his father is 1/2 European Jewish.  Perhaps his half-Jewish parent knows the family history? Most probably, one of your relatives was his biological paternal or maternal grandparent.  Why not present your analysis to him in full and invite him once more to respond? It might be provocative enough to get a response, and what have you got to lose?

Re: DNA privacy dilemma #dna

I am in a similar situation where I found a match with over 500 cMs and none of the names match. I have been at this for almost a year and also constructed a separate tree to do my research. Thankfully most people are picking up the phone when I call. A group of these cousins have agreed to take a DNA test. I am fairly certain my 83 year old dad is not related to the man who raised him. I am too stubborn to just let it go. 

Rhonda Post
Silver Spring, MD

Re: Lazarus Finkelstein #lithuania #records

Jill Whitehead

A lot of Finkelsteins from Suwalki gubernia (of which Mariampole is part) went to Sheffield, UK, and elsewhere in N.England in the 1860s/1870s. Some changed their name to Stone. My Guttenberg (later Graham) family from Sheffield's family lawyer was Harris Finkelstein later Stone.

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK

Re: Wedding between Sadie /SarahZiff and Charlie Abrams in Manchester? #unitedkingdom

Jill Whitehead

The obvious solution is the ScotlandsPeople website which has the Scottish BMD and census records. The marriages go up to the 1930's I think. 

I have Edinburgh ancestors and Manchester Abrams ancestors but they are not the same Abrams ones. I think there was a showbiz journalist for the British newspapers in the 1960's whose surname was Ziff, and he may have written for something like the Daily Mail.  

Jill Whitehead, Surrey

New Article on the IGRA website- “The Jews of Lebanon: History and Records” #announcements #education

Elena Bazes


IGRA (Israel Genealogy Research Association) has posted a new article on its website, - “The Jews of Lebanon: History and Records”  by Alain Farhi


In this article, Alain Farhi discusses the history and geography of Lebanon from ancient times through the 20th century, Lebanese records of Jewish residents, Jewish surnames, censuses, the size of the Jewish population, chief rabbis and more.


Alain Farhi started tracking the Farhi families in the early 1980s. His Les Fleurs de l’Orient” website currently numbers over 145,000 families and 320,000 names, the majority of these families are Sephardim. Farhi has been a speaker at IAJGS conferences and has published articles on various genealogy subjects. He is one of the founders of the International Institute for Jewish Genealogy, administrator of the Sephardic Heritage DNA Project at Family Tree DNA and a member of the Palm Beach, Florida, Jewish Genealogy Society.


Before viewing the article, please register for free on the IGRA website

To view the article go to:


Please note, the article is available for free for one month to non-members, after which time it can be accessed by IGRA members only.

Elena Biegel Bazes

IGRA Publicity Chair

Re: trying to find: Saletea / Saleteca, Poland - #lithuania #poland #belarus


Hi Neil,
I believe it is Wola Solecka, a colony in the gmina of Lipsko. There are Rozenblatts in Lipsko (JRI Polnd).


Max Polonovski,
Cercle de généalogie juive, Paris

Intermediate Genetic Genealogy Course Offered Online #dna #education

Lawrence Fagan

JewishGen Education presents a course in Intermediate Genetic Genealogy:

This course will walk you through the steps to analyze the test results that you have already obtained from DNA testing. We will use several methods to sort and organize the many DNA matches typical in the Ashkenazi community.


Students will concentrate on the basic autosomal test that shows relative matches going back 4-5 generations. We will also discuss the Y chromosome and mitochondrial testing that examines the paternal and maternal lines, respectively.  The course will consist of four online lectures, homework assignments, and online office hours to go over the steps for using the various programs.


Requirements: You must have already taken a DNA test and have your results returned. You must be familiar with using teleconference software, like Zoom.

Cost is $150. Class dates:  August 16-September 1.
TO register go to:

Please address your questions to Larry Fagan, Instructor

Brick wall of family named Gavrin, Gavrinovich, Gavrinowski #ukraine

Sheryl Prenzlau

Hi- one of my solid brick walls is the sister of my great grandfather, Moshe Eliezer Gavrin , (Lazer)born in Zetl.,Grodno.the name has been listed as Gavrinovich, Gavrinowski in various records I have an article listing a   biography about him, Which was published in his lifetime . He was born 1849, Jan.1. He is named for his father, who died before he was born. His mother’s name was Malka, which I discovered by obtaining his death certificate .in the article, he mentions how he and his sister went to live with their grandfather in Slonim. I have discovered several relatives through dna matches and comparing trees, but they are connected through siblings of his father! I have had no luck finding who his older sister might be , or her descendants. Can anyone help here
Sheryl Prenzlau

Re: What's a Cutter? #usa #general

Alva Noonan

My grandfather came from Mogilev, Russia to NY 1905. He was initially listed as a cutter. He apparently was a glove maker. Anything listing occupation he always said glove maker. Eventually having his own shop in NYC. 

Burial Society at Mount Hebron Flushing, Queens, NY #usa

Alva Noonan

On my father's side my grandparents, Sigmund & Rose SINDER BALTER. Rose's parents, Abraham & Dora MENDELSON SINDER. Dora's sister, Rose/Rachel MENDELSON SALASNICK & husband Max. Are all buried in Eliohu Meisels Society section.
That society/lodge is years out of existence. I have never found anything with even a clue of who or where this was and why they are buried there. It had to be a choice to bury in that section since they did it over years, 1918-1968.
One thing I have located was an Eliyahu Hayim  Meisel (1821-1912) who was The Rabbi of Lodz. Listed in YIVO encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe. I don't know for sure their origins before NY in 1905. Is this a clue? Should I be searching in Lodz? If love to hear some opinions. Thanks!

Re: Online trees #general

Stephen Katz

Based on personal experience, I advise anyone who asks not to put a tree on
To put it simply, you lose control of the tree. I've had several instances of requesting others who've added clearly, almost laughably, wrong information to the tree, to correct or remove it, who have refused to do so. I once tried to delete the tree, only to find that once someone else has latched onto it, it can't be deleted. One's only option is to close one's account, but that doesn't delete the tree -- it remains. I decided not to close my account, just so I could see who was doing what to it.
My negative opinion of geni is not a matter of "religious belief," as one commenter has suggested; it's based on objective fact and experience. And as for the idea of a "one world tree" of all humanity, well, ....
Stephen Katz

Name Change Document in NYC #names


Paperwork for name changes in the naturalization process is first authorized in 1906, so don't expect to find any for naturalizations before then.
Yale Zussman

Re: Additional 19th C. Vilna City record sources – Archival Records of the Merchant class #lithuania

Joel Ratner

To those who contacted me regarding merchantslisted in the 1914 edition of Vsia Vilna,
I have attached an Excel file with my findings.


Ostarbeiters (forced laborers of Germany) in Klintsy, Bryansk Region - Russian Translation #translation


 If anyone has time, would it be possible to translate from Russian to English the Kravtsov or similar names and heading information from the attached Klintsy Ostarbeiters (forced laborers of Germany) document?  The links are also below:

Thanks so much,
Karen Kravcov Malcolm

tombstone inscription #galicia #poland #rabbinic

Tzvi Schnee

I am making an attempt to determine a few specifics on the tombstone of Azriel, one of my great grandfather's brothers from the Bolechov cemetery. Primarily, the honorific used before his father's name is v'harabeinu, as in "v'harabeinu minh Yaakov." I am almost certain that this is more than an honorific; and, that in all likelihood, the word, "rabeinu" on the tombstone indicates that my great great grandfather Yaakov Schnee was a rabbi. Any confirmation by someone who is familiar with tombstone inscriptions would be very helpful. I have attached two documents, one of the text of the inscription, the other is a photograph of the tombstone.

Additionally, the word directly preceding his son's name (Azriel), whose tombstone this is, having died in his early twenties, is hei-aleph-veis-resh-final kof. I.e., ha'avrech (?) min Azriel. I thought that this might indicate that he himself was a father; because, I know that he did have an infant son at the time he passed away. A clarification on this would also be helpful.

I would further appreciate any detailed information that could be given to me, regarding the word "rabeinu;" I am particularly interested in knowing whether the phrase "harabeinu minh Yaakov" might indicate whether or not he was a rabbi with a congregation. I know that he was chassidic, because I have testimony that he wore peyos (side curls). 

Thank you very much for any information that can be provided to shed light on these questions of mine.
Shalom. - Tzvi Fievel Schnee

Re: Moshe NATANSON-camp Achva 1937 #photographs

There were and are many Jewish camps in the US.  I don't know if this is the one you are referencing:

  1. Camp Achva at the Pozez JCC of Northern Virginia provides fun and formative summer experiences for school-age children from grades K–12. Entering its 51st summer, Camp Achva is the premier Jewish day camp in Northern Virginia. 

  2. Your request, however, reminded me that there is a source of information about the Catskill Mountains in New York State that might provide some helpful information for other researchers. The Catskill Institute, is an organization to promote research and education on the significance of the Catskill mountains for Jewish American life, located at Brown University.   This web site might be a  good source for uncovering information in connection with hotels, bungalow colonies, resorts, and camps in New York State.  The email is 


Avivah Pinski

near Pniladelphia


Avivah R. Z. Pinski ,  near Philadelphia, USA

Re: Chernigov Gubernia BOF meeting at IAJGS Conference Tuesday, August 11 #ukraine #russia


All I could open was the discussion list and it was full of people asking why they could not access the webinar. Finally I found a spot among all their confusing pages that said to use Chrome. When I tried to open the webinar with Chrome I got a warning from Malware. Do you know if a recording of this webinar will be available?

Re: Name Change Document in NYC #names

See question below.

Names can be changed when applying for naturalization.  The naturalization application would be the first place to look.  Otherwise, the name change is done in a court procedure, which may be harder to find.  Also, be aware that in Russian, there is no "H" sound  - it is pronounced like "G".(or possibly a "k" sound)  "Sz"     is pronounced as "sh",  so this seems to be a spelling change rather than a name change. 

10a.  Name Change Document in NYC #names
From: Wendy Packer
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2020 11:35:30 EDT
I'm looking for an official name change document for an ancestor who arrived in NYC from Poland in 1923. His Polish name (Herszman) is listed on the ship manifest, and all subsequent documents list his American name (Kirshman).


Avivah R. Z. Pinski ,  near Philadelphia, USA

Mexico City Jewish cemeteries to get a picture #photographs

Neil Rosenstein

Looking for help to contact Mexico City cemeteries and a volunteer to
take an epitaph picture
Neil Rosenstein

Re: Wedding between Sadie /SarahZiff and Charlie Abrams in Manchester? #unitedkingdom

Sherri Bobish


Try searching British newspapers from that time, especially local papers from where Charlie Abrams lived.  There may have been an article about the wedding.

Many old newspapers are digitized and searchable on-line.


Sherri Bobish
Princeton, NJ