Re: legal name change in New York. #general


I can't speak to all cases of amended birth certificates in New York City (and I've never been a lawyer), but I know the case of my paternal grandfather (even though I forget some of the details of what I saw).

He officially changed his name in the 1940s; I was told (when I was growing up -- probably in the 1960s) that the change was done to make life (specifically college admissions) easier for his sons (born in the early 1930s) -- so perhaps "antisemitism" was a factor; on the other hand, I don't think that he (who was a prosperous accountant when he got his legal name change) was in any more danger (in New York City -- or in the United States in general) in the 1940s than his 2 older brothers (both of whom had immigrated to the US as children; 1 older brother had already died, and his younger siblings were all women who changed their family name upon marriage) who were also still alive in 1940 -- and who kept their family name.

His original birth certificate (he was born in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn in early 1906 -- the first member of his household born in the US) had his name as "Joseph Kantor" -- with his date and place of birth (I think also the names of his parents as they were reported at the time) -- as it was written in 1906 ; when I saw the certificate on microfilm at the New York City Municipal Archives (a few years ago), I was pleased (but a bit surprised (and I think more than 1 Archives worker was surprised) to see (I believe) stamped notations indicating that his name was legally changed to "Jay Joseph Kantor" (early censuses give his name as "Jacob"; perhaps his "Hebrew name" was Yaakov Yosef (?) ) in 1940 -- but that the NY City Health Department amended his name as of a much later date (after World War II; I think about 1949 (my father has an record concerning his Social Security Administration records stating that he was still named "Kantor" in June of 1948).

(I have confirmed -- via -- that an official legal notice concerning the name change (by a court in Brooklyn, as I recall) to "Jay Joseph Kent" was published in the Brooklyn Eagle in July of 1940; I'm not totally sure why my grandfather seemingly didn't (seemingly) make public use of the name change for years -- although I believe that he became estranged from and then divorced from my grandmother before he publicly used his new name (and definitely was still married to her in 1940).

(By 1949, 1 of his sons -- I think -- was already at college; his other 2 sons (my father and his twin brother) were still in high school; I don't think that danger from "antisemitism" in either New York City or the US in general (he may have already traveled and bought property in New Hampshire) had *increased* from 1940.) )

So: I can say with confidence that legal name changes could result in New York City government amending birth certificates (not changing what was originally written, but including a statement concerning the changed name) to reflect the name change selected.


Ethan W. Kent in New York City
(researching my Grandpa Joe's Kantors (I pretty-much know the identifies of all the few Kents who resulted from the name change) -- as well as the 3 other main branches of my family tree (immigrant heads of household with last names of Paat/Pat/Patt/Pate (and possibly a non-permanent arrival record for the father in 1888 as "Pott"), Gelperin/Halperin, and Kornhauser.)

Viewmate: Polish translation of writing #translation

Terry Ashton

Good afternoon


I've posted 2 vital records in Polish for which I need a full and detailed English translation of the Polish words and Roman numerals.

They are on ViewMate at and


Please respond via the forms provided in the ViewMate application.

Thank you very much.

Ms Terry Ashton






Town name, Ukraine #ukraine #records


Last week, I asked about the town name for the family in lines 11-14 of the attached ship manifest.  The image last week was the original and not good quality.  Attached is the enhanced version courtesy of My Heritage.  Also, including a blow up of the town name.

In their naturalization documents, they said they were from Ekaterinoslav, so No ???? might be a suburb, a transit town on their journey, or someplace else they lived before coming to the US.  All ideas appreciated.  Thanks,

Ralph Willing

Stacey Jacobs - Family Lumiarski #yiddish #translation


Good evening.  I have a number of postcards to my grandfather that are handwritten in Yiddish.  I would greatly appreciate translation of all of the Yiddish text (including dates, and postmarks) on these postcards.  I am currently enrolled in the Research in Belarus class, hoping to get a better understanding of my grandfather's life in Poland/Belarus.  I have had these for decades, and excited to uncover any nuggets they may hold. 

I hope it is okay to post them all here, as they are fairly short - they each have a unique "untitled" number in the label so you can reference the one(s) you are able to translate.  Thanks in advance.

Stacey Jacobs

Re: legal name change in New York. #general

Sherri Bobish

How did one get a birth certificate amended?


Good question.  Perhaps some of the lawyers out there can answer that.

I would assume that if he did get his birth cert amended than he must have had a legal name change done, otherwise I would think NYC would not have changed the birth cert.


Sherri Bobish

Staraya Ushitsa, Ukraine, records #ukraine

Harvey Kabaker

Shifting my focus now to my Weinhouse/Vaynguz and possibly Muller ancestors in late 1800s back as far as possible in Staraya Ushitsa, in the old Podolia gubernia. Are BDM, census or revision list records available? Today the town is Stara Ushytsya, Khmelnytskyi Oblast, Ukraine. Thanks.

Harvey Kabaker
Silver Spring, Md.

Family of Jacob Burling and Jennie Schner in Kovno before about 1870 #lithuania


I am looking for birth records for my great grandmother, Sarah Dora Burling.  Her parents were Jacob and Jennie and her younger brother was Samuel.  Her death certificate says she was born in Kovno, Lithuania in June of 1854. Her younger brother would have been born about 1866. I have no clue how to look for birth records from that era in Kovno. They immigrated to Chicago in roughly 1870.


Re: legal name change in New York. #general

Richard Gross

Thank you for this, Sherri. I hadn't found it so it's very useful. I would think he had his birth certificate amended, maybe between 1927 and 1930 as my father in law was met when he arrived in NY by a cousin, Abram Epstein on the Leviathan, 9 August 1927. On the 1930 US Census he's listed as A Lincoln Epworth. Actually, the cousin was his wife, Sylvia aka Cissy whose father was a brother to my husband's maternal grandmother. She was Lena/Lily Jacobs and he was Hyman D Jacobs. How did one get a birth certificate amended?
Beulah Gross. Researching Gross, Jacobs, Sloman in the UK, USA and South Africa.

Richard Gross

ViewMate - Hebrew handwriting interpretation request #belarus #yizkorbooks #holocaust

Steve Stein

I've posted an image of a handwritten note included in the Nesvizh Yizkor Book. It is a list of names of ghetto fighters. I have also included a candidate list of potential names that might be included in the list. The  MyHeritage-enhanced version was too large to upload, feel free to use that tool once you download the image. Feel free to try it yourself. It is on ViewMate at the following address.

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

Thank you very much.

Steve Stein
Highland Park, NJ USA

Re: Shlomo Boruch Tennenbaum #slovakia #austria-czech #rabbinic


Following are 2 links (Yiddish and Hebrew) with some information on R' Shlomo Boruch Tennenbaum. 

Re: Help needed to decipher handwriting of the name of vessel on attached Petition for Naturalization #usa

Keren Weiner

On Mon, Aug 24, 2020 at 08:25 PM, Sherri Bobish wrote:

Sherri, I did not find Abraham Horowitz at the link you provided, BUT, I did find a cousin who came in a few years later and got some clues that I can track to another branch of the family.  Thank you so much!  And I'll bookmark that link.

Re: Help needed to decipher handwriting of the name of vessel on attached Petition for Naturalization #usa

Keren Weiner

David, this is a great resource with lists and images, and I feel sure with some digging I will find him here.  Another great website to bookmark.

Ancestry Promises Holocaust Records Will Be Free #announcements #holocaust

Jan Meisels Allen

Ancestry partnered with the USC Shoah Foundation to release 50,000 Holocaust records, to be placed in a searchable database,  but some survivor families do not want their histories public.  The Ancestry records with the USC Shoah Foundation are an index to survivor video interviews. One would still have to go via a link to the USC Shoah Foundation to access the actual interview. They are free on the USC Shoah Foundation website ( Ancestry also added nine million records from the Arolsen Archives that Ancestry digitized this year.  Much of the Arolsen Archives records are free to search on the Arolsen Archives website ( However, as reported by the New York Times, during a soft launch trial run, some survivors and their family members already concerned about such sensitive information made public, are wondering what is free and what is not.


The formal announcement of the partnership and media rollout that was set for August 26  has been postponed to September 2nd.


Evidently, during the soft launch some individuals had an experience that led to the impression that materials were not free. There was a glitch and that is being fixed.  Ancestry said “they are working to ‘simplify’ the experience so that there is no possible confusion about the free availability of these two collections”—the Arolsen records and the index to the USC Shoah Foundation testimonies.


Meanwhile some survivors feel betrayed by Shoah’s move to add their family histories to a public website without consulting them given the psychology of victimhood and trauma of the Holocaust’s legacy.


USC Shoah Foundation executive director, Stephen Smith,  said when the survivors agreed to record testimonies with the Shoah Foundation, they effectively transferred the rights to them.


No money exchanged hands between the USC Foundation and Ancestry per Mr. Smith.


Ancestry has made its entire Holocaust collection free since 2008. The Holocaust collection has over 25 million records. Ancestry digitized the records at their own expense.   However, older records Ancestry obtained from the National Archives shows lists and registers of German Concentration camp inmates were visible only with a paid Ancestry membership. Ancestry said they have corrected an earlier oversight when the free designation for those records were missed.

To search the Ancestry Holocaust collection go to:


The collection is divided into three categories: Passenger Lists 1946-1971 -lists of displaced persons, in most cases traveling from a resettlement camp to a final destination, often the US.; Lists of Those Persecuted 1939-1947 registers of people living in Germany who were persecuted by public institutions and corporations. Some of these records include details on those who died, including burial information; and USC Foundation Holocaust Jewish Survivor Interviews. These are records relating to information from Holocaust survivor audiovisual interviews collected and preserved within the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive ©


To read the New York Times article see:


At the time of writing this post there was no Ancestry blog post or information on their corporate site posted. The USC Shoah Foundation does have an announcement on their website which may be read at:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Russian Translation Requests #holocaust #russia #translation



Shalom friends, 

I am writing to request a Russian translation, in whole or in part, of the attached document. It is a report of the Soviet Extraordinary investigation commission, on atrocities that took place in Rezekne. My family were victims. In particular, I am looking for a mention of 'the town square', where it is believed my great great grandfather was murdered. 

I look forward to receiving a translation, and I really appreciate any help.

Yours truly,

ViewMate Translation Request - Hebrew #galicia #yizkorbooks #translation

Barbara Krasner

I've posted a small portion of a Yizkor book (about the Baron Hirsch School) in Hebrew for which I need a translation. It is on ViewMate at the following addresses:
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much.
Barbara Krasner

STEELE FAMILY from KVIV.. #ukraine


My MGM, Beneta, was born 1879. Looking for any info of this family name in KVIV vicinity.
Alan Klein

Re: I Want My Trees To Outlive Me #general


I would suggest, if any of your relatives perished in the Holocaust, that your family tree would be welcomed by Yad VaShem in Jerusalem, Israel.  I have visited there over the past many years; they are intent on gathering all possible data on the Jews who lost their lives so tragically during the Nazis' heydays in Europe.

It's a beautiful place and you will find it a most appropriate site for your family's tragic data.


Henny Moëd Roth
JewishGen researcher #19122

Re: legal name change in New York. #general

David Oseas


Once the Family History Centers re-open, you should be able to view the original birth certificate linked to this record:

David Oseas

KLEIN: Satoraljaujhely (Ujhely), Hungary > New York > Los Angeles
Hungary > New York
OSEAS/OSIAS/OSIASI/OZIAS: Iasi, Romania > Chicago > Milwaukee > Los Angeles
SCHECHTER/SHEKTER: Kishinev, Bessarabia > New York  
SHERMAN: Iasi, Romania > New York > Los Angeles
STRUL:  Iasi, Romania > Haifa, Israel
WICHMAN: Syczkowo (Bobruisk), Belarus > Milwaukee > Los Angeles

Re: I Want My Trees To Outlive Me #general

Max Heffler

Wikitree would be another option

Max Heffler


From: main@... [mailto:main@...] On Behalf Of Michael McTeer via
Sent: Wednesday, August 26, 2020 12:09 PM
To: main@...
Subject: Re: [] I Want My Trees To Outlive Me #general


Sorry, I do not have an option to offer, BUT I do not believe is  NOT a choice option. Once posted you really lose control even to delete. Believe the basic rule is that if another user makes a change or post a records link that record becomes not eligible for deletion. is great for seeking records though and should be used for research though they had added so-called "public records" (USA) which needless adds too many 'records' to a search. Michael McTeer, Crowley, Texas



Web sites I manage - Personal home page, Greater Houston Jewish Genealogical Society, Woodside Civic Club, Skala, Ukraine KehilalLink, Joniskelis, Lithuania KehilaLink, and pet volunteer project - Yizkor book project:

Re: How to correct information in Jewishgen Databases #records

Dalya Dektor

I have asked on FB and send a message to support on how to infom them of a deceased researcher in JGFF.  Any idea where to send this, to whom?

Dalya Dektor

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