Re: I Want My Trees To Outlive Me #general

Jocelyn Keene

I also want my tree to survive me.  I have been putting copies of it at different places.  My main and up-to-date tree is at Ancestry, because that is where I find most of my documentation.  I also have copies at MyHeritage and FindMyPast and other places as well.  I currently have memberships at those companies but even if I stop paying, I believe the data will be kept for others to use. Is there a particular reason you rejected Ancestry as an option?  I have avoided putting anything at Family Search because of the baptism issue. I have also avoided collaborative family trees because at one time (decades ago) the Ancestry tree was like that and it was horrible.  People continually messed up my tree.
Jocelyn Keene
Pasadena, California

ViewMate Translation Request - Russian #poland #translation

Jacob Heisler

Hi everyone,

I posted three Russian birth records for the ROZENOWICZ family of
Zambrow, Poland on ViewMate. I would really appreciate it if someone
could translate the birth records for me, especially any information
it has on the parents. The records can be found at:

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide!

Jacob Heisler
Norwalk, CT

Obituaries in Paris newspapers #france


I am looking for an obituary for an Israeli artist Hannah BEN DOV, who died ca. 4 March 2009 in Paris. Which newspaper(s) would most likely publish it and is it possible to search them online, similar to NYT?


Thank you!



Boris Feldblyum
FAST Genealogy Service

Re: legal name change in New York. #general



A little bit of follow-up:

1) Thanks to Sherri Bobish for mentioning my find of a published notice of my grandfather's court-approved name change in a newspaper from 1940

(I clicked on that link and searched for "Jay Joseph Kent" -- and got nothing) ;

2) I'm still not clear what happened years later (legally or otherwise) to cause the New York City Department of Health to amend the birth certificate quite a few years later : I don't know if he (or a lawyer) communicated that he was only now using his new name.

(Manhattan telephone books from earlier in the 1940s -- during US involvement in World War II -- accessed via -- indicate that he was still publicly known as "Joseph Kantor" -- until he decided not to be known by that name any more.

And I do not know if his first wife -- my grandmother -- ever used "Kent" in her name.)

Ethan W. Kent in New York City.

PS: It was only after he died (in 1992) that I learned (possibly my father had not known either) that my grandfather's changed "first" name was "Jay": he was known to me and my brother and sister as "Grandpa Joe", and while his return-address (postal, of course) mailing labels read "J. Joseph Kent", they said nothing about "Jay" -- and I got the impression (I think from my father) that "J." was just an affectation -- and referred to the "J." in "Joseph".

It is my guess (especially after learning from censuses from his childhood that census-takers were told his name was "Jacob") that perhaps "Jay" alluded to a Hebrew name of Yaakov Yosef.

E. W. K.

Re: legal name change in New York. #general


Birth certificates are routinely amended when a name is changed legally.  This can happen with adoptions, petitions for name changes, etc. 

However, it's important to understand that a person can use any name he or she wishes as long as it is not for fraudulent purposes.  My father's birth certificate lists him as Louis Slominsky (misspelled, should have been Slonimsky) in 1917.  The 1920 census lists him as Lawrence Slonimsky.  Sometime around 1940 he and his brothers changed their last names to Sloan.  My father enlisted in the Army with the name Sloan though one brother used the name Slonimsky.  
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC

Re: legal name change in New York. #general

Ittai Hershman

On the question of whether antisemitism could reasonably be a factor in name changes in the 1940s, especially for those running professional offices in their names, note this passage from James Loeffler's award winning book, "Rooted Cosmopolitans" (Yale, 2018), p. 97:

"Blaustein’s researchers reported to him that antisemitism had dramatically increased in American society during the war years. Most Americans viewed Jews as a greater threat than German Americans or Japanese Americans; one-third of respondents indicated that they would 'join or sympathize with an antisemitic political campaign.' That number soon rose to a whopping 57 percent of the public. Yet at the same time, 59 percent of Americans favored the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. Even a majority of self-professed antisemites supported such a state. This presented a confounding situation for Jewish leaders: Americans liked the Zionist idea of a Jewish state even as they feared Jewish influence in domestic politics.”

Ittai Hershman
New York City

Re: legal name change in New York. #general

Sherri Bobish

There is this book:

Petitions for name changes in New York City, 1848-1899

Kenneth Scott
National Genealogical Society
, 1984

I thought this book was full searchable on GoogleBooks, but now it does not seem to be.


Sherri Bobish

Re: Staraya Ushitsa, Ukraine, records #ukraine

Harvey Kabaker

Sad. Was hoping you'd say Alex Krakovsky had scanned them. I have potential Weinhouse/Weingus cousins in a well-sourced tree in a faraway section of the geni forest, with DNA hints that need verification by genealogy. History of Staraya Ushitsa (briefly within Bessarabia's borders) says mostly Sephardic Jews of  Germanic and Austrian origins came in the late Middle Ages; my line kept moving east through Bessarabia (Briceni and Edinet), I think, until about 1900. I'd love to confirm this connection so I can reliably posit that my great grandmother's carved wooden cookie cutters of the mid/late-1800s were a Jewish folk-craft adaptation of the German Springerle tradition.
Harvey Kabaker

Re: I Want My Trees To Outlive Me #general

Peter Cohen

I am a firm believer in written records. I do not expect any online company to exist 20 or 30 years from now. And even while they exits, the odds are that they would purge data that had not been changed after some number of years. Creating a CD, DVD or USB drive to store the data won't help if the devices that read them are replaced by something else later on.  But, if you have a book that details the work you have done, when your heirs clean out your house (hopefully years from now), they will know it is that they have in their hands.  This is not to say that you should not also keep your work online or in some digital format. But, as someone who has spent 30 years in technology, I am warning that digital storage changes frequently. Floppy disks and various forms of tape are very hard to read today and there is no reason to think today's storage methods are any more enduring.

Peter Cohen

Re: legal name change in New York. #general

Sherri Bobish

Ethan mentioned finding a newspaper notice of a name change in NYC.

A good (and free) site to search NY newspapers (and some other states now also) is:


Sherri Bobish

September 9: #sephardic genealogy webinar from the Center for Jewish History #events #announcements #sephardic

Moriah Amit

Family History Today: Portuguese Citizenship - Reconnecting with your Sephardic Iberian Ancestors

Wednesday, September 9, 3 PM ET

While Spain has ended its Law of Return for descendants of Sephardic Jews, Portugal continues to be an option for those wishing to reclaim their ancestors' citizenship. Rita Mayer Jardim, a Lisbon-based lawyer specializing in this path to Portuguese citizenship, will address the most common questions she receives from prospective applicants. Learn what is required to prove your Sephardic heritage, how long it takes, and other practical details that will help you navigate the process.

This program is sponsored by the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute. It is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Ticket Info: Pay what you wish; register at /tickets/family-history-today-2020-09-09 to receive a link to the Zoom program.

Moriah Amit
Senior Genealogy Librarian at the Center for Jewish History
New York, NY

Re: Staraya Ushitsa, Ukraine, records #ukraine

Gary Pokrassa

Harvey - all I can add to Chuck's comment is a photo of what is left from the fire now sitting in the Khmelnitski Archives....its not pretty

Gary Pokrassa
Data Acquisition Director
Ukraine Research Division

Re: List of Victims of Belzec #poland

Zev Cohen

Thank you Rainer.
During the holiday of Sukkoth (Feast of Tabernacles), September 1942, my paternal grandmother Frieda Kohn and my paternal aunt Rivka Kohn, were transported, with many others (possibly other relatives too), from the town of Borszczow, Poland to Belzec extermination camp. I would like to find out if the Germans kept any records of Jews transported to Belzec, especially in September 1942, and, if so, to see if they include the details of my relatives.

Zev Cohen

Re: Russian Translation Requests #holocaust #russia #translation


1944, October 30
From the act of the Rezekne district commission on the atrocities of the GERMAN-Fascist invaders and their accomplices in the town of Rezekne and the surrounding area.
The German fascist invaders introduced a regime of bloody violence and terror in the town of Rezekne.
They destroyed everyone who, for the most trifling reasons, was displeasing to them. First of all, advanced Soviet people and people of Jewish nationality were subjected to senior repression. Fascist monsters cruelly tortured Soviet citizens, brutally mocked and mocked them. Thus, a resident of the city of Rezekne Izrailit H. Ya. tells:
“Three Germans approached one Jewish house, noticing a 16-year-old girl, attacked her, raped her, and then killed her. German monsters walked around the houses, forced the girls to undress, mocked and shot them, and robbed the apartments. All Jews were obliged to wear yellow stars: one on the chest, and the other on the back, to walk around the city only on the pavement without hats. "
With the arrival of the Germans on the territory of the Latvian SSR, all the prisons and police basements were overcrowded with Soviet citizens, where they were also subjected to terrible torture and humiliation.
“In the prison, the guards scoffed terribly, beat them with a rifle butt, knocked out teeth and eyes, pulled out gold teeth with ticks from their mouths,” reports a resident of Rezekne, Izrailit H. Ya.
During interrogations, the fascist monsters subjected the prisoners to the most terrible tortures. So a citizen of the village of Suniny, Prelskaya volost, says: "My brother Artemiy was killed during interrogations."
A citizen of the city of Preili Trifonova, who was imprisoned in Rezeknaya prison from 18.2.1943 to 15.10 of the same year, reports the following: “Whoever was held in the prison, they were brought in for interrogations, tortured, they put an electric car and put iron rings on their hands and turned on current. The whole person was shaking, the electricity was not turned off until the person fell unconscious. "
By order of the fascist authorities, the Germans and their accomplices were placed at the head of the prisons and camps, who were ordered to mercilessly exterminate the Soviet people.
 Esak, Osip Isidorovich, a former senior warden of Rezekne prison during the occupation, gives the following testimony:
“With the arrival of the Germans, the prison administration consisted almost entirely of members of the German army. The dispatch of large quantities of prisoners for shooting began immediately. Policemen were taken out of the prison and escorted to the place, but the Germans themselves shot them. Small parties were sometimes shot by the police, and the big ones were always shot by the Germans. For this, a special detachment "SS" was always allocated. Shooting and torture began right from the very first days of the German occupation.
On July 15, there were mass shootings in the Leszczynski garden in the center of Rezekne. The grave-pit is located in the north-western part of the garden, on the right bank of the Rezekne River, measuring 21x2.5 m. The execution took place early in the morning. 120 Jewish citizens were shot here.
At the beginning of August 1941, there were mass shootings at the Jewish cemetery in the city of Rezekne. Most of the shot were citizens of Jewish nationality. "An eyewitness of the shot, a citizen of deravnaya Pleshni-Pustyakova, says:" In August 1941, for two weeks, shots were heard every morning at the Jewish cemetery. They shot the Jews. "
Similar testimony is given by a resident of the town of Rezekne, Matsan. At the Jewish cemetery, 3 graves were found with dimensions: 1 / 14x2.5; 2 / 16x2.5; 3 / 20x2.5. One grave is located in the southeast, and two in the southwestern part of the cemetery. About 2,500 civilians were killed and tortured in the Jewish cemetery.
On August 23, 1941, mass shootings began in the Anchupan mountains. The Anchupan Mountains are located 6 kilometers from the town of Rezekne, in a northwest direction along the Dritsanskoe highway. The place of execution of the Soviet people took place on the former dash of the Aizsargs. For 3 years, people who were doomed to die were systematically brought to these mountains in cars and driven on foot. Those who were shot were put on the edge of a dug hole, along the foot of the mountain, where their corpses were dumped. Here, in this terrible place, more than 8,000 civilians of various nationalities were shot.
Before the execution, the fascist monsters committed monstrous atrocities. So a resident of Rezekne says:
"I saw how the guys were dragged out of the house of detention, their arms were pulled out and thrown into trucks."
Fedotova T.P., a resident of the village of Lyady Makashan volost, says:
"They were shooting adults, and children were thrown alive into the pit."
Fascist bloodsuckers knew no bounds for their refined, wild sadism.
A resident of the village of Makarovka, Makashan volost, Vassanova P.O. reports: “I saw how one Jewish woman, an ambulance together with everyone else, was being taken to execution in the Anchupan Mountains, in despair she tore her hair and screamed, and the policeman put a rubber stick in her mouth. Citizen ZS Greywuls, who lives in the village of Greyvuli , Makashensky volost, says: “When they began to get out of the car doomed to death, everyone was beaten with rubber truncheons. I watched all this through the fence. "
Before the execution, the fascist sadists stripped their victims naked. "When Jews were brought to the Anchupan Mountains, they were driven into a house that stood there, by the mountain, stripped to the bone, then driven out and put in a pit," says Anton Andreyevich Massan, a resident of the village of Makarovka, Makashan Volost. For the slightest support that the inhabitants provided to the prisoners of war dying of hunger, the Germans cruelly dealt with the population. This is evidenced by the order of the commander of the German State Security Police of Latvia Strauch. According to his order, the village of Audrini, Makashan parish was swept off the face of the earth, and the inhabitants in the number of 194 people were arrested and imprisoned in the Rezekne prison. Of these, 30 males were publicly shot in the market square of Rezekne, including a 12-year-old boy. Rastrell was made on Sunday, January 12, 1942. The shot were thrown into a truck and taken to the Anchupan Mountains. A citizen of the village of Makarovka says about this: "In January 1942, I saw how a full car of civilians from the village of Audrini, shot in the town of Rezekne, was being taken to the Anchupan Mountains. You could see how the bloody heads of the shot were hanging from the side of the car, blood oozing from the body."
- - - - - - - -
see document # 80
All other inhabitants of the village of Audrini were also taken from the Rezeksnaya prison to the Anchupan mountains and shot there.
In the Anchupan mountains, 2 huge pits-graves were discovered in size: 1 / 123x3 and 2 / 83x3 meters.
After the brutal murders, the fascist executioners arranged drinking bouts at the place of execution and, with songs, returned to the city in cars.
"Cars with drunken policemen who sang songs were going back," says MI Mashnikova, a citizen of the village of Makarovka, Makashenskaya volost.
In December 1942, Hitler's executioners began to shoot people in the Vypinsky forest. Mainly peasants were shot here. The Vypinsky forest is located approximately 2 kilometers from the town of Rezekne, eastward along the Stolyarovsky highway. In the direction of Rezekne-Stolyarovka, 2.5 kilometers from the town of Rezekne, on the right side of a 250-meter high road, 6 graves were found in size: 1 / 2.5x5.5; 2 / 2x4; 3 / 2x4; 4 / 2.5x4.5; 5 / 3x6.5; 6 / 3x2.5; on the left side, 500 meters from the road, 2 graves: 1 / 6x3; 2 / 5x3. Approximately 300 civilians were killed and tortured in the Vypinsky forest.
In March 1943, Nazi executioners shot political prisoners from the Rezekne prison in the Grishkan forest of the Rezekne parish. Grishansky forest is located 8 kilometers from the town of Rezekne, along the main road to Ludza. During the executions, the execution site was cordoned off by the police and aisargs, who made sure that outsiders did not approach the place of execution.
Shooting Soviet citizens, the killers sang songs and raised whistles, trying to drown out the screams and groans of dying people with noise. Describing the executions of civilians, citizen Novatskaya, a resident of the village of Grishkany, Rezekne volost, testifies: "In the spring of 1943, I saw 4 trucks passing by on their way to the Grishkansky forest. It was at 5-6 am. There was a forest around a dense ring of the German gendarmerie. In the forest there were shouts and groans of people condemned to death, and the gendarmerie, trying to drown all this, raised a shout and whistle. That day 50 people were shot. " Feeling the hour of reckoning for the atrocities committed, the German executioners tried to hide the traces of their crimes by burning corpses. In April 1944, pits were opened at the places of execution, corpses were removed and burned. Moreover, the burning of corpses took place by pouring some flammable liquid. In this way, the corpses of Soviet citizens were removed and burned in the Leshchinsky Garden, at the Jewish cemetery, in the Anchupan mountains, in the Vypinsky and Grishansky leases.
On October 17, 1944, a medical expert commission went to the places of mass extermination of Soviet people. The commission examined the site of rastrels in the Anchupan forests, at the Jewish cemetery and in the Leshchinsky garden.
The following was discovered: the graves-pits, in which, after the brutal execution, the bodies of the dead were buried, in the Anchupan mountains, are scattered in various directions. Around the graves there are a lot of bottles of alcoholic beverages, which were apparently consumed by the participants in the brutal murders. The sand on the hillside near the graves is strewn with bullets. On the slope, fragments of the cranial bones of people of different ages were found, from senile to the bones of babies. Moreover, when examining individual bones, it was established that the executions were carried out with explosive bullets from weapons of different caliber. On the surface near the graves, several tufts of hair were found, up to 60 centimeters long, of a chestnut color with individual pieces of leather. At a distance of 2 meters from the graves, there are places of burning corpses, with an area of ​​250 square meters. Charred human bones of various parts of the body, metal frame of glasses, the sole of men's shoes, the heel of women's shoes, children's burnt shoes, a strap from women's watches, a buckle from ladies' shoes, metal buttons, a strap from a children's bag, a tooth with a gold crown ...
Similar material evidence was also found at the Jewish cemetery and in the Leshchinsky garden.
In conclusion, the medical expert commission came to the following conclusion: German-fascist bandits carried out mass executions of civilians of different ages and covering the traces of their crimes, subjecting the corpses to burning not only with fire, but even with some kind of liquid resembling oil in color and smell, which remained on until now on the surface of the earth.
In total, during the period of the Nazi occupation, the fascist bandits and their accomplices in the territory of the city of Rezekne and the surrounding area killed and tortured about 11,000 civilians, 1,000 of them children.
The main places of detention before the execution of civilians are the Rezekne prison and the detention house on Zamkovaya street, where the ghetto was also found.
For all the atrocities committed by the German fascist invaders and their accomplices, the German government and the military command, as well as the following organizers and direct perpetrators of the atrocities, are responsible: the commander of the Latvian State Security Police, the German Strauch;
Eikhelis, head of Rezekne county;
Chief of the Political Police, Major of the SS Troops - Albert;
Head of Rezekne Prison - Kramins;
Secret police officers Rush, Kargashin, Geger, Strautmanis
Ilyin, Gedush, Laysan
Archpriest of the Rezhitskaya St. Nokolskaya Church E. Rushanov
Kan, Loginov

Translated by Michael Ryabinky

Re: Family Tree Recommendations #general


I have not had a good experience with MyHeritage.

Main problems:

- Places. It wants modern names of places instead of the genealogically-correct name at the time of the event, and there are many, many, many places that it simply Will Not Take under any label that I've been able to come up with.

- Names. It insists that a married woman's surname is the same as her husband's, which is just Totally WRONG for my ancestors. I can turn this behavior off for myself, but that does not help with hints and other external material.

- Data presentation. It calls everything a "historical record" -- actual historical records, phone book compilations, user-contributed trees, miscellaneous online dreck: all of it is a historical record with default confidence "primary source".

- Paywalls. It tries to charge me money to access data from FamilySearch. This includes tree matches (a "primary source", donchaknow, see above) with profiles that I put on FS in the first place. I really don't know why nobody has sued them over this: how is it not blatant fraud to charge me money for freely-available material (which happens to be my own work)?

Offline, I use a glorified text editor to work directly with a GEDCOM file. This suits my brain, but is not what most people are looking for. There are lots of options, though, and many of them are free or have free versions ( (One important detail: last I checked, Legacy still hadn't implemented Unicode, so if you have ancestors from any place further east than England, you'll have trouble entering their names correctly in that program.)

The online free trees I have experience with are all collaborative: FamilySearch Family Tree, WikiTree, Geni. They are generally good places to work, as long as you're clear that it's not "your tree", and your work there should be supplemented with an offline file, as backup and as a repository for information about living relatives (which doesn't belong anywhere online, no matter how privatized).

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Re: Town name, Ukraine #ukraine #records

David Mason

The town name in Russian would be Kirovgrad.  In cursive script, lower case д looks exactly like our cursive g.

Dave Mason

Re: I Want My Trees To Outlive Me #general


Beit HaTfutsot in Tel Aviv is another option
They collect digital genealogies in their Goldman genealogy section.
Louise Goldstein


Re: How to correct information in Jewishgen Databases #records

Chana Bonn

In the case of Prefseizen versus Presseizen, the transcriber may not have realized that a double "s" can be written so that the first "s" looks like an "f".  Take a look at something like a reproduction of an older English document, for example, and the "s" is often written in a way that it looks like a modern letter "f".  Perhaps that is where the problem lies, and the name has always been Presseizen.

Chana Bonn

Re: Ancestry Promises Holocaust Records Will Be Free #announcements #holocaust

Josh Freeling

My personal opinion, regarding the USC Shoah testimony. I think it's great. My grandfather and his brother both recorded testimony, as did other family member's. I don't feel betrayed at all. Honestly all they have done was take what USC Shoah Foundation has on their site (indexed names, locations, etc) and transferred at no charge so they could be found Ancestry. It actually helped me find info I didn't find previously. I don't know if it's because of Ancestry, or perhaps I never searched previously on the USC Shoah Foundation site. As long as both parties are clear about what is going on and everything remains free, I personally do not have issue.

Josh Freeling

Re: I Want My Trees To Outlive Me #general


Michael McTeer: FS has multiple parts. You're talking about the collaborative tree. I'm talking about the Genealogies section, which is an archive that anyone can look through but nobody can change, except that the original contributor can delete an uploaded file at any time (and/or upload a different one).

Geni and WikiTree are the other major players in the collaborative tree concept. They're no more suited to unchangeable archiving than FamilySearch's tree.

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