Re: Sharing family tree information #general

Lee Jaffe

If you don't mind hearing a perspective from the other side of the fence, I'm having problems getting information from relatives that would help fill in branches of our family tree.  I've recently made connections with cousins scattered around the country and have asked for their help with gaps in the record since some family connections have lapsed once earlier generations have passed away.  As a sign of my goodwill and valid connection I've shared an outline of my branch, with an offer to answer their questions, and hoped they would reciprocate. 

So far I've received very little help.  Initially they are excited at making the connection and seem eager to share family information.  In some cases, we've talked on the phone and exchanged some photos and documents, but those exchanges dry up quickly.  And I've yet to get any information that would actually help me fill in the tree.  In one case it took 3 tries to get a cousin to identify which of my great-grandfather's siblings he's descended from.  And I still don't know his parents' names or his siblings, partner, or children.  Ironically, I get the most help when people on one branch name names in another branch – e.g., "I'm not in touch with Hal but we talk to his sister Susan once in a while."  Bingo!  I now know Hal has a sister named Susan.  This is how I found out that a HS classmate was a second cousin, when another second cousin reported on the other branch, but nothing about her own family.

Maybe I need to be more explicit about protecting their privacy.  I hadn't considered that this might be an issue until reading this thread.  I've been so excited and encouraged by making these connections it never occurred to me that long-lost family – who seemed equally excited by the connection – would be so reticent to share.  No one has said that they don't want to be included in the tree or that they had privacy concerns.  But perhaps if I take that issue off the table right up front, that would be one less hurdle to sharing.  

Lee Jaffe
JAFFE > Suchowola, Poland
STEIN > Grodno, Bialystok, Poland
LUDWINOWSKA and BRAUN > Wizajny, Poland
JOROFF and KOSHKIN > Snovsk, Ukraine
SCHWARTZ > Perth Amboy, NJ

Belarus SIG Request for Volunteers #belarus #translation

Steven Rosenberg <stvnrsnbrg@...>

Dear JewishGeners,
Belarus SIG is continuing with the translations of the Grodnenskie Gubernskie  1912 Duma Lists and we are looking for volunteers. 
If you have some experience transliterating names from Russian Cyrillic or a background in using OCR Software please feel free to contact me for this important project.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
With Best Regards.
Steven Rosenberg.
Slonim Uyezd Project Leader.

Re: MARANTZ - Odessa, Ukraine, Russia 1872 #ukraine #russia #austria-czech #unitedkingdom

Alan Klein

Thanks.  Not sure what to do with this info, but I'll work on it.  Do you have any history of Nathaniel?
Alan Klein

Re: Genealogy research leads to discovery of cousins thought to have died in the Holocaust #holocaust


Michael, very interesting!  I am wondering about the Moritz side of yout family.  My 2nd great grandmother Margaretha Schiff (born Metzger) had a sister, Regine, who married Hermann Moritz in or around the Mainz area.  I have a DNA match in Ancestry with a predicted relationship of 4th cousin 1X removed with the same name as yours.  Is it the same family?

Diane Jacobs

Re: surname Morpurgo #names

Karol Swanson

I understand that Morpurgo was the surname of Michael Morpurgo's stepfather.
If anyone is searching that name they should check out the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam. That name appears on some of the wall plaques there.
Kind regards,
Karol Schlosser

Re: Help: Hebrew use of Gis brother law in the 18th century Germany #translation #germany

Dr.Josef ASH

In the dictionary there are four meanings of "gis"
the same as for "b-i-l"
May be in Germany they had some other ???

Josef Ash

Re: Genealogy research leads to discovery of cousins thought to have died in the Holocaust #holocaust

JoAnne Goldberg

My mother's maternal grandfather apparently didn't have much to do with
his birth family -- he moved to the Rhineland from the Hesse region--
but via DNA, I found that his sister had married and had children, so my
mother had two unknown second cousins in Israel. I was way more excited
about this than she was!

It's worth noting that the match (granddaughter of a second cousin) was
way down on my FTDNA list -- she's my third cousin 1r -- and I wouldn't
have spotted her if her mother hadn't written me. When I saw segments of
50cM and 25cM, I knew there must be a close relationship.
JoAnne Goldberg - Menlo Park, California; GEDmatch M131535


Re: Kagan family in Zvenigorodka, Kiev Gubernia and Philadelphia #ukraine

David Mason

The link is much appreciated!  I studied Russian rather than Ukrainian, but I'm finding the website pretty understandable.

Kahan is yet another variant I'm trying.  Pronunciation of Cyrillic Г varies between hard "G" (or sometimes "V") in Russian, and "H" in Ukrainian (hence Zvenigorodka/Zvenihorodka).  I'm hoping the surname's American spelling hasn't departed too far from these, but who knows? 

Even before translation, it would be hugely useful if handwritten records in Russian and Ukrainian could just be transcribed into computer text.  Cursive from a century ago differs considerably from what I was taught. Somewhat like trying to read German in gothic font!  I suspect difficulties with archaic cursive are a tighter bottleneck than translation, or simply reading the Russian and Ukrainian.

David Mason

Searching missing LEVIN/E family #unitedkingdom


Hi Apologies for a long post - I'm trying to search for my great aunt daughters descendants and have hit a brick wall so hoping this group can help. Here's what I know... my great aunt was Sarah Levine and to the best of my knowledge that was both her single and married name. The story started in a book my ggf Rabbi Lewis Levin/e wrote published in 1910 (Hikre lev: ... heker ve-daat. (Examination of the Heart) Published: London: Naroditski, 1910) In this he pays tribute to his nephew saying My soul mourns and my eyes shed tears for the death of my nephew, the great scholar Avram Leib. He left the Beth-Midrash and emigrated to the landof England, and after some years in Liverpool married a woman from a good home from the city of Llanelli, near Swansea, he was married just for a year and became a father after his death. He died on Sarurday night the 8thof Tammuz 5669 (=June 26th 1909) aged 24 and was buried in Swansea. I have solved this actual branch but from Abraham's marriage authorisation found that his father was named Vigdor (Victor) a teacher. In a later book Ha-Teva veha-nes, kolel shene derushim, (Nature and Miracles)Published :London: Tshernitski, 1920. Alongside other family members he says he wishes to congratulate his modest 'Ayshet Chayil' sister Sarah Levine and blessings for her daughter, son in law and grand children. I have now found a 1911 English census record for Liverpool for Sarah and a Flora Levine. This makes complete sense as my other family are in Liverpool and more importantly on the census they have actually written that they came from Zabbelin (Izabelin, Belarus) which we know was their place of origin. I have my ggf family in Liverpool in 1901 and also in 1901 I have found a possible census record for Sarah and Abraham but no mention of Flora. The ages are about right as are the occupations. What I can't find is any mention of Victor but on both census Sarah says she is married not widowed. I'm also struggling to find a marriage for Flora. I have found one in Bradford which I have ordered a certificate for. If anyone can help with this that would be great. Book titles given as if anyone reads Hebrew some of the books are available on and I'm working from very kind translations I have received over the years
Rachel Poole

Searching: LEVIN/E- Belarus, UK, SILVER - UK, Russia/Poland, COHEN- - Latvia, UK, LYPSYZC/LIFSHITS/LYONS - Belarus, UK, USA

Re: Kagan family in Zvenigorodka, Kiev Gubernia and Philadelphia #ukraine

Chuck Weinstein

Kagan is a common surname.  It is the Russian version of Cohen.  As far as Zvenigorodka is concerned, Alex Krakovski has posted a number of records scans on his wiki site at   The site is in Ukrainian, but Google Chrome will give you a passable translation.  Scroll down to Kyiv Province and you will find all records he has scanned so far for Zvenigorodka.   Ukraine Research Division has downloaded all of these records, and eventually, we will have them translated and indexed on line.  It may take some time to do that, as we have several hundred record sets from Ukraine that all need to go through the same process.  All of the records, of course, are in handwritten Russian.  

Chuck Weinstein
Bellport, NY

Re: Kagan family in Zvenigorodka, Kiev Gubernia and Philadelphia #ukraine

Alan Shuchat

The voter database is on JewishGen. I worked on the translation a number of years ago. For example, if you search for Zvenigorodka on JewishGen, you'll see that there are 1925 listings in the Kiev Gubernia Duma Voters List.
Alan Shuchat
Newton, MA

Re: Rabbi Uri David Ben Yosef Aperion (Apiryon?) of Zagare Lithuania, late 19th centrury #lithuania #rabbinic


Thank you, that is fascinating.  I'm trying to understand the purpose - would the intentional twisting of the author's name for the title have been done to reflect some honorific title? I cant imagine that it was just for some kind of grammatical humor...
Unfortunately I cant seem to find any reference to him or his relatives under the name Efron anywhere at all so far, but its another lead to follow, thanks again! 

Re: Rabbi Uri David Ben Yosef Aperion (Apiryon?) of Zagare Lithuania, late 19th centrury #lithuania #rabbinic


Thank you for clarifying that.  It is confusing because in addition to seeing it used as this Rabbi's surname in multiple sources, I do see it used as a surname in a lot of other records on JewishGen, like the example below.  I thought I was on the right track since a number of these records with this name are from the same region and timeframe as where this Rabbi lived and worked, so I assumed they might be relatives, but I guess based on what you say they are all likely errors.  Thank you again.   

Re: Genealogy research leads to discovery of cousins thought to have died in the Holocaust #holocaust

Annette Weiss

I took a DNA test several years ago with MY Heritage and found a 2C1R ... and she was the great granddaugther of my grandmother.  I never knew about my grandmother's much younger sister, who was left in Poland to care for her father, while her older siblings (my grandmother and her older brother) immigrated to NYC.  She was murdered in a synagogue, but not before she married and had several children, only one of whom survived.  I finally met this girl in the fall of 2018 and we exchanged info about our families, and each discovered many cousins we never knew about ... a wonderful find!

Annette Weiss

Re: Genealogy research leads to discovery of cousins thought to have died in the Holocaust #holocaust


SO fascinating!

I hope that you will post here again when you've added the rest of the story.
Fredel Fruhman
Brooklyn, New York, USA

Re: Russian Website Jewish Roots #russia #general

Stephen Weinstein

about 80% of the world Jewish population lived within the Pale in Russian Empire in the 19th century, and almost every one of you had roots in the Russian Empire, it is surprising that no one  visits Russian-language forums
Elena, the percentage with roots anywhere that Russia is still the official language would be much lower.  Most of the Pale was farther west than modern-day Russia.  The "Russian Empire" included not only modern-day Russia, but also most of the rest of the former Soviet Union, and a substantial part of Poland.

Very few of the Jews who emigrated to the United States (or other western countries) 100-140 years ago had roots in what is now Russia.  Most of them were from what is now Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, or Latvia.

There was a small population of elite Jews who were allowed to live east of the Pale, but since they were in an extremely privileged (and somewhat protected) position (and they frequently had substantial wealth that they would not have been permitted to bring with them), they had less incentive to emigrate than poorer Jews in the Pale.

During the Holocaust, many Jews fled from the former Pale into the Russian SSR, but many Jews were not allowed to leave the Soviet Union until its collapse, so Jews over 40 years old who were not born there are relatively unlikely to have roots in the Russian SSR. 

Stephen Weinstein
Camarillo, CA, USA

Re: Seeking descendants of Samuel Kivivitz and Goldie Bass #belarus

Gerald and Margaret

I suggest you contact the "Together Plan", a British based charity helping the remaining Jewish communities in Belarus learn to help themselves.  One of the Directors, fluent in English, Russian and Belarussian, is based in Minsk. One of their projects is to carry out genealogical research for descendents of Belarussian Jews.  That seems just wast you are looking for.
Contact london@...

Good hunting,

Margaret (London N3)

Re: Seeking descendants of Samuel Kivivitz and Goldie Bass #belarus


Goldie was from Derevna, also known as Derewna, was in the Minsk region in the county of Stolpce.  She might, therefore, be related to your line.  One of the problems lies in the use of different names--given as well as surnames.  On, Goldie appears on the Kweitzer/Bass family tree owned by Bdebrose.  Do those names sound familiar?

Linda Comac

surname Morpurgo #names

Roberta Sheps

I have been reading Primo Levi's collection of stories The Periodic Table
and looked up some biography on him. He married a woman named Lucia
Morpurgo and I wonder if her family had any connection with the English
childrens' writer Michael Morpurgo. Does anyone know?

Roberta Sheps
Colchester, England

Shore family Passage Jaffa, Palestine to Le Havre, France #france

Roberta Lipitz <rlipitz@...>

Looking for any information how my Great Grandfather Hersche Shore, Grandmother Fannie Shore and her younger sister traveled in July 1903 from Jaffa to board the La Loraine in Le Havre, France.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Roberta Lipitz
Cherry Hill, NJ

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