Re: Are the C-Files from the USCIS worth getting? #general

JoAnne Goldberg

I'm curious: has anyone successfully gotten records for ancestors who
immigrated in the 1880s (pre-Ellis)? According to what I see online, the
first US Office of Immigration was founded after that. I'm wondering how
much effort I should invest in trying to obtain records if there would
have been no records!
JoAnne Goldberg - Menlo Park, California; GEDmatch M131535


Re: Where did "Katya" come from? #ukraine #yiddish #russia #names

David Mason

In Russian, Катя (“Katya”) is the most common diminutive of Екатерина (“Catherine”). 


Being subject to pogroms as well as official discrimination, Jews apparently assumed conventional Russian names as disguise.  For example the family I’m trying to reconnect were branded “class enemies” in the time of Stalin, so they moved from Kiev region in Ukraine to Omsk, Siberia and changed the surname from Kagan (Cohen).  I heard this chapter of family history from “Aleksandr Mikhailovich Suvorov” which is about as Russian a name as one could possibly invent!


Emigrants to America apparently have felt freer to be more openly Jewish.


David Mason


Re: What port when leaving Europe #hungary


My family all came, many separately different years, through Rotterdam.

Susie Krumholz

Re: Are the C-Files from the USCIS worth getting? #general

Marjorie Geiser

I couldn't find my grandfather's sister's naturalization papers at all, which were from 1945. As a result, I requested an index search, then ordered both records the USCIS found. I did this last year. Because they had just announced calls for comments prior to their rate increase, it took about 3 months, and when they were complete, I did get a CD with the records. Two bits of information I did get as a result was a picture of her and exactly where she was born, which I couldn't find anywhere else.

Would I do it now? No. Back then, the total cost was $195, which I thought was excessive. Now that the rates have increased, I would go without.

Margie Geiser
Arizona USA


Looking for Israeli relatives #israel

Robin Klainbard

I am somewhat baffled on how to proceed with my search for my Israeli relatives. Many years ago I met my cousin Zev Altbaum(Altboim) when he was here in the US (after being injured in '67 war)for some treatment. After my paternal Grandmother died I didn't know how to reach out as she was the contact person. I have through research and recently found photos figured out that his Mother(Rachel Gal Altbaum) was my Great Grandmothers sisters daughter. I have some pictures of Rachel and I believe her Mother. I know there is a family tree on My Heritage for the Gal family in Israel that I think has her info but I can't access it unless I join. I already have annual membership in another genealogical site and really don't wish to pay for another. I see that the owner of the tree is Avi Gal. But I am stuck. Is there any way to get information about Avi Gal so I could email him. I believe the family lived in Petach Tikva. Any suggestions are very appreciated.

Robin Klainbard

Re: Fannie Leibovitz, Goldstein,Kaufer, Stengel, Maiman #subcarpathia


Try contacting Baruch Huber from Ungvar, not far from Kiralyhaza.
You can also find him on the JewishGen researchers list. 
His email huberbelay@...

All the best 

Mark Friedman

Re: Researching my great-grandparents Goldenzweig #romania

Sherri Bobish


Have you seen this?  It is on Ancestry.  There is no link to view on-line any info beyond this.

Sergiu Godeanu
in the Romania, Jewish Names from the Central Zionist Archives

Name: Sergiu Godeanu
Internment: Targu Jiu / Romania
Source: O.11/55
List Code: YO-04
Source Information

Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. Romania, Jewish Names from the Central Zionist Archives [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008.

Original data: All the material came from two major sources: JM documents were part of the Romanian Ministry of Defense collection, while the M39 documents came from the Odessa Oblast Archives. Both of these collections are also available at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). This data is provided in partnership with


Sherri Bobish

Re: My uncle Mendel Wolf BLAU & Mordka BLAU from Kolbuszowa #galicia

Sherri Bobish


There is a database that may help you in your search.  It is called something like "coming here"  and it has a lot of documents about people who immigrated to England, including the time frame you seek.

I was able to find the database again a few weeks ago by using The Way Back Search Machine (the database is no longer maintained.)  However, I cannot find it now.

Can someone find it for Peretz?  I know lots of other 'Genners have used it.

Thank you,

Sherri Bobish

Re: Where did "Katya" come from? #ukraine #yiddish #russia #names

Sally Bruckheimer <sallybruc@...>

"I knew my mother's maternal grandmother's American name was Gussie Squire. The name on some of her immigration documents is Gitel Scvirsci.

However, while the envelopes they came in are addressed to Gussie, the letters themselves address her as "Katya". "

My ggrandmother was one of 20 children born to a couple in a tiny town. On the 20 records, the mother's name was different on each one. She was Rachel, Regina, Reis, every R name imaginable - except Rivka - and Teresa. Gussie, in English was Gitel in Yiddish, Katya in Russian, perhaps. 

Women didn't have a legal name in Europe, and not in the US until Social Security made one name 'right'. Women had no rights unless their husbands died,and they were 'rich'; women were the property of their fathers until, literally, given to their husbands.

Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ

Re: Are the C-Files from the USCIS worth getting? #general

Michael McTeer <mcteer@...>

Another possible source is the National Archives. It took repeated requests and about ten years, but I received about two inches of material regarding my great grandmother’s immigration including interviews and statement regarding her 1932 return to the US from Poland when she was detailed and ordered deported. Every piece of paper I received, I would check for other file/reference number and use that to make another request to the Archives. The Archives also had a 1939 letter from my half grand aunt living in St. Louis to the State Department regarding her father in Poland.
Regards, Michael McTeer, Crowley, TX USA 13488

Re: Are the C-Files from the USCIS worth getting? #general


I figured they would eventually change the rules, but I didn't think it
had happened yet.

It's obvious that they just don't want to be bothered with genealogy
requests, and charging exorbitant fees is the best way to discourage
people. I, personally, don't know anyone who can afford the current
fees, let alone the new ones, including me. It's a real shame.

Jeri Friedman

On 9/5/2020 8:41 AM, Jacob Heisler wrote:

I tried ordering an A-File via a FOIA request, but I was told I was
only allowed to request the file through their Genealogy Program, the
one that is about to cost a lot of money.
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.

Re: Gravestone translation needed from Hebrew for Nathan Fisher (1868-1912) #russia #translation

Diane Jacobs

Natan Nama Or Not a son of Abraham

Hope this helps 

Diane Jacobs

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: Gary Fisher <garystuff24@...>
Date: 9/5/20 9:57 AM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@...
Subject: [] Gravestone translation needed from Hebrew for Nathan Fisher (1868-1912) #russia #translation

Hello Group,

I am enrolled in a JewishGen research class and would like to research the Fisher family in Russia before they emigrated to Philadelphia in the late 1890's.

I have attached a photo of my great-grand father Nathan Fisher's head stone. Could someone send me a translation. I am especially interested in his Hebrew name and that of his father's. 

Thank you.
Gary Fisher
Ambler, PA


Diane Jacobs, Somerset, New Jersey

Re: What does "Hebr Jarg" mean when written on a passenger manifest? #general #records #yiddish

Doug Cohen

 Hebrew Jargon = Yiddish

Doug Cohen
Sarasota, Florida
Lexington, MA

Where did "Katya" come from? #ukraine #yiddish #russia #names


Going through the letters my mother had translated (plus the couple a few folks here helped with), I now have a mystery. I knew my mother's maternal grandmother's American name was Gussie Squire. The name on some of her immigration documents is Gitel Scvirsci.

However, while the envelopes they came in are addressed to Gussie, the letters themselves address her as "Katya". So now I'm wondering where that came from. Just a nickname? Or is Katya her actual given Russian name and Gitel her given Yiddish (or Hebrew) name, and she just decided to use the latter as her legal name?

That wouldn't necessarily surprise me given I know Gussie, her husband Nathan (Nissen) and my grandmother Tina (Tuva) were chased out of Zhivotov by a pogrom, fled to Kiev, then crossed to Romania and came to the US. So I could see she might want to leave her given Russian name behind. Is that something people commonly did?

Gary Ehrlich
Rockville, MD

Re: Naturalizations France #france


Hi Bernard
What actually happened to the naturalization processes during the war? I know there was an edict to "de-naturalize" Jews who had been naturalized after 1927.  I can only assume that no new naturalizations were approved. Even if, as you wrote, the original request files were not archived, is there a record some place that a denial had occurred?  Was there any organized activity after the war to formally close (deny) files of Jews who had been killed?

Tsuri Bernstein

Re: Finding siblings of Harry Schwartz in Brooklyn?? #bessarabia #usa


Thanks to Renee Steinig for helping me find one of the Schwartz siblings and her family.  Clara SCHWARTZ ROITER had a son Isidor ROITER.  He changed his name to IRVING ROIDER after WWII and we found his wife Arlene, son Robert and daughter Beth KOVEN.  Beth is the only one still alive and lives in Palm Beach Gardens.  She has a daughter Christina MOENS.  Today my search continues to get her phone number and contact her.  AMAZING.  It took 20 years to finally find some link.  Hoping she'll remember her aunts and uncles on her dad's side of the family.  Pays never to give up.  Thank you to Renee and everyone at is the great jigsaw puzzle solver of family history!!!!!!

Avon CT

SCHWARTZ (Mogilev Podolski, Bessarabia, Brooklyn)
TRACHTENBROIT (Dinovitz, Ukraine)
SPINNER (Tovste, Ukraine)
SIEBENBERG (Tovste, Buchuch, Ukraine)
SESSLER (Tovste, Ukraine)

Help translating Yiddish in a letter to my grandmother #yiddish #romania #translation

Aline Petzold

Can someone help me translate the Yiddish portion of a letter written to my grandmother in 1938, shortly after they immigrated to Canada? It is on Viewmate" from David to Pearl 1838?
Thanks for your help.
Aline Petzold St.Paul Mn

Re: Upcoming US & Jewish Genealogy Online Classes #education

Michael Moritz

All upcoming classes are at 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time, thanks.


Hello, I will be conducting interactive one-hour online genealogy classes this Fall on a wide array of topics.  I will be commencing with two different three-part Basics Series, one introducing Jewish genealogical research and another introducing United States research more broadly.  The upcoming classes are:

  • United States Research Basics 1 - Databases and Federal Records (Sept. 16)
  • United States Research Basics 2 - State Resources (Sept. 30)
  • United States Research Basics 3 - Local Research (Oct. 14)
  • Jewish Research Basics 1 - Where to Look (Sept. 23)
  • Jewish Research Basics 2 - What's in a Name? (Oct. 7)
  • Jewish Research Basics 3 - The Old Country (Oct. 21)

Click here for full descriptions of the upcoming classes and registration information.  Looking forward to seeing some of you in class!

Note that while I am the Co-Director of the JewishGen Romania Division, these classes are not affiliated with JewishGen.

Michael Moritz (info@...)
New York

Re: Are the C-Files from the USCIS worth getting? #general


Hi Nancy,

First, it is US Citizenship and Immigration Services (not Customs).

Second, are C-files likely to have anything interesting in them?  The problem is, as always, it depends on the date and the individual case.  You may hear from one person they got a C-file with a wealth of information, and from another that the file they received had only duplicate copies of the same documents found in court records (except the certificate, more on that below).  Both are telling you the truth.

C-Files for naturalizations after WW II and to 1956 are usually complete, containing all the records maintained by INS about that subject.  Earlier C-files, from 1906 to the end of WW II, should only contain the naturalization records and any additional documents related to that naturalization.  If the process went smoothly for the immigrant in this earlier period the file likely contains only the duplicate declaration, duplicate petition, and certificate of naturalization.  But if there was any issue (about fees, qualifications, problems getting a certificate of arrival, etc., etc.,) there could be additional documentation, including forms and correspondence.  Also, if the naturalized citizen later applied for a replacement certificate, or if a wife or child derived US citizenship through their naturalization and later applied for a derivative certificate, there would be additional records.  Those additional records, if such exist, can likely be found no where else.

Unless you have reason to believe there are additional records in an immigrant's C-file, there is only one good way to predict if the C-file has more records.  You can search the Name Index to Bureau of Naturalization Correspondence, 1906-1946 (National Archives microfilm publication A3388).  If correspondence was placed in the C-file, it should be indexed there and reference the C-file (certificate) number.  Not finding a name in this index does not prove there are no extra records in the C-file, but finding the name in the index does indicate there is something more.

Third, the only document in every C-file that is not found in court records is the duplicate certificate of naturalization.  There are many post-1906 court naturalization records online somehow classified or tagged as "certificates."  I often see naturalization index cards identified on Ancestry as "certificates" but of course they are not.  They are index cards.

Marian Smith

Gravestone translation needed from Hebrew for Nathan Fisher (1868-1912) #russia #translation

Gary Fisher

Hello Group,

I am enrolled in a JewishGen research class and would like to research the Fisher family in Russia before they emigrated to Philadelphia in the late 1890's.

I have attached a photo of my great-grand father Nathan Fisher's head stone. Could someone send me a translation. I am especially interested in his Hebrew name and that of his father's. 

Thank you.
Gary Fisher
Ambler, PA

19041 - 19060 of 668676