Re: WWI deportees returning from Russia - What info in original record #lithuania #records

Russ Maurer


I am replying to the group as the reply may be of interest to others.

The record group you are asking about was translated for LitvakSIG about eight or nine years ago, by a translator who did the work at the archive. LitvakSIG does not have copies of the documents that we can check, but it is unlikely such important information would have been omitted by the translator. I assume it was not in the document.

However, there is another way to find the information you are looking for. Almost all WWI evacuees who returned to Lithuania passed through the border quarantine station in Obeliai, where they filled out a questionnaire with personal information. These questionnaires were preserved, and LitvakSIG has been translating the Jewish ones. There are about 20,000 records for Jews, and we are about two-thirds done at this point. In the data posted so far, there are two Sheina Kleins from Zagare, corresponding to the two who show up in the unified database search. Not sure which one is yours, but both records show where they had been in Russia.

You can access the Obeliai questionnaires data by logging in at the LitvakSIG website and then selecting "Collective Data" from your dashboard. Eventually, this data will migrate to the All-Lithuania database (around 18 months after it is posted to the Collective Data site).

Russ Maurer
Records Acquisition & Translation coordinator, LitvakSIG

Re: The meaning of Memeh Fryme #yiddish #galicia

Henry Carrey Boston,MA . Carey/Kirzhner/Berestyaner , Belous , Isenberg - Lutsk ; Postolov/Herman/Kolovsky-Zhitomir

Good news! I just looked up Mime and Feter in Michael Wex's book "Just say ,Nu" Yiddish for every occasion . He is a Yiddish scholar and comedian as well as someone who comes from a very frum Yiddish speaking family in Toronto . 

On page 26 , he confirms that Feter and Mime can be used as terms of respect  for an older person , like Uncle in Chinese. 
You can say " Excuse me , uncle " ( Zayt moykhl, feter")  or " Thank you,  auntie " ( a dank aykh , mime ")   to an older stranger .  

Henekh Hersh 
Henry H. Carrey

Re: The meaning of Memeh Fryme #yiddish #galicia


My Bessarabian  (Orgiev, Kishinev) Grandmother referred to an aunt who helped raise her after her mother died as the Meemah.
I always thought it referred to a treasured aunt.
I've asked Yiddish speakers before but none knew this word. So happy to hear that what I always knew has been validated.
Georgina Friedberg Glazer

Re: The meaning of Memeh Fryme #yiddish #galicia

Henry Carrey Boston,MA . Carey/Kirzhner/Berestyaner , Belous , Isenberg - Lutsk ; Postolov/Herman/Kolovsky-Zhitomir

My guess is that great-aunts would be called Mime/Tante within the family  depending on who you heard it from , even though the actual term is elder-mime , maybe just used in terms of genealogy . For example , my mother's aunts were always Tante and I referred to them as such . I never occurred to me to call them anything else . I guess you would have to ask a person who grew up in a totally Yiddish speaking household whether they ever made a distinction between aunts and great aunts . Although "onkle" is an acceptable yiddish word for uncle . I have rarely come across it . only feter. 
Henry H. Carrey

Re: Berens family. Manchester UK #unitedkingdom


There are still some Berens in North Manchester !!
Peter Berens his father was called Lionel Berens.
peter is on Facebook

Lionel Levy

Re: The meaning of Memeh Fryme #yiddish #galicia

Henry Carrey Boston,MA . Carey/Kirzhner/Berestyaner , Belous , Isenberg - Lutsk ; Postolov/Herman/Kolovsky-Zhitomir

Good points . That may be why my grandmother was called " di shvartse mime " rather than "Mime Hinde" . It may have been a generic way for people to refer to her in Trochenbrod or Lutsk whether or not she was actually their aunt.  Perhaps , she was one of the few Middle Eastern looking Jews in the town . According to the dictionary mume could sometimes be a way to refer to a woman , maybe respectfully in the way that in Chinese  people use the word Uncle as a term of respect for older males. On other hand , it could be just a descriptive term used with the family . 

Could the expression they used be " Di mime un der Feter " . It would be instructive to learn whether that was a sign of affection or respect or something else . I have not been able to find another meaning for the words . In my family , when words were used liked that it referred to the oldest members of the family - patriarch and matriarch and everyone in the family knew who "di mime un di feter" referred to rather than "Mime Feyge un Feter Elye " . Is that possible in your case?  
Henry H. Carrey

Re: DNA test #dna

Sarah L Meyer

I have a non-Jewish friend who had a "second" cousin at Ancestry - whom he did not recognize.  Both were from England.  Both had very well done paper trails. He did recognize 4 surnames in his match's surname list.  They emailed.  They learned that they were 8th cousins in 4 distinct ways.  No computer can distinguish between the situation of 8th cousin in 4 ways, 4th cousin in two different ways or second cousin in one way - based on total DNA.   You may well be fourth cousins in two different ways. - say on your mother's side and on your father's side.  I doubt that most of us have trees far enough back to be able to determine 8th cousins, but fourth cousins in two ways - that might be possible.

Sarah L Meyer
Georgetown TX
BIRGARDOVSKY, EDELBERG, HITE (CHAIT), PERCHIK Russia (southern Ukraine) and some Latvia or Lithuania

Re: DNA test #dna


Here are a few more tips:

  1. Ancestry DNA now gives you the number of centimorgans (cMs) in the largest segment you share with a DNA match.  Unfortunately, it does not appear right in your list of matches, but you'll see it when you click on the person's name.  I've been entering the info on the largest segment in the "notes" field for each person right on the list of DNA matches.  Focus on individuals for whom the largest segment is >20... or even better, >30 cM.  
  2. One disadvantage of Ancestry DNA is that they don't show you the number of cM for each segment like MyHeritage and FTDNA do.  Upload your Ancestry DNA to those sites to find more DNA matches; in the process, you'll be able to "fish in all ponds" and find more matches.  It's worth it to pay the one-time fee of $20-$30 to access DNA tools on MyHeritage and FTDNA, like a Chromosome Browser.
  3. Join the Facebook group Jewish DNA for Genetic Genealogy and Family Research.  You'll learn a lot there.  Be sure to check out the files section!
Good luck!

Ellen Morosoff Pemrick

Re: Looking for Yiddish Translation #translation

Henry Carrey Boston,MA . Carey/Kirzhner/Berestyaner , Belous , Isenberg - Lutsk ; Postolov/Herman/Kolovsky-Zhitomir

I couldn't find the place on the ViewMate page to reply . In any case, it would take me a long time to decipher even parts of  it. You will need a paid professional to do it for you . It appears to be a 5 verse  love poem . Almost every line contains the word " libe" love and "freyd" joy"  The first line is something like " funklen di likhtike shtern" . The bright stars are shining . The bottom is signed "Sam Regensberg". Good luck with this !

Henry H. Carrey

Re: The meaning of Memeh Fryme #yiddish #galicia


It means "aunt"; my parents called their parents' sisters "meemeh".

Carolyn Swadron

Re: GERSZONOWICZ or GIERSZONOWICZ families from the city of PIOTRKOW (Poland) between 1780 and 1880, from the city of Osjakow (Poland) between 1880 and 1905, from Lodz (Poland) after 1905 #poland #russia #lodz

Dominique MERLET

On Wed, Sep 9, 2020 at 12:35 PM, <karendesign@...> wrote:
Shari (Zacharyasz) Gierszonowicz
Hello Karen,
One of my ancestors is named Boruch GIERSZONOWICZ/GERSZONOWICZ. He was born between 1832 and 1834 in Piotrkow Trybunalski. His father's name was Abram GERSZONOWICZ and his mother Rywka (maiden name unknown). 
I don't know the composition of Boruch's siblings. Perhaps Sura Gitla and Riwka Ruchla were cousins of Boruch? Do you know the composition of the siblings of Shari (Zacharyasz) Gierszonowicz, his year and place of birth? Thank you for your answer.
Dom Merlet

Re: DNA mtDNA - Newly found Jewish Cousins - Research advice needed #dna

Bob Silverstein

Hi Agne,

Regarding the genetic data, I would create these priorities.
  1. Try to get everyone in your mother's generation and older to test.  This may be a challenge since your mother seems to be hiding something.  Hiding or denying Jewish roots did occur although you do not know for sure this is the case here.
  2. Upload your DNA to FamilyTreeDNA, MyHeritage and GEDmatch.  All are free and GEDmatch has the best tools.
  3. Contact everyone closer than and including third cousins.  If you are lucky, one in four will respond.
Good luck and keep us posted.

Bob Silverstein

Re: Is there such a place as Palestine, Russia??? #russia #galicia


Zhankoya refers to the town of Dzhankoj in Northern Crimea. There were many Jewish agricultural colonies there in the 1930's. Nothing to do with Birobijan and the Jewish Autonomous Region.


Boris Feldblyum
FAST Genealogy Service

Re: The meaning of Memeh Fryme #yiddish #galicia

Deanna Levinsky <DEANNASMAC@...>

My tante Belkey was Russian as was the rest of the family. Tante was my Mom’s aunt and my great aunt. My Mom, born here in 1908 also used meema and mumma to describe her other aunts. Fuhta was an uncle. 
Confusing but they were all well loved
Deanna Mandel Levinsky 
Long Island New York 
Deanna Mandel Levinsky

Deanna M. Levinsky, Long Island, NY

Re: The meaning of Memeh Fryme #yiddish #galicia

Henry Carrey Boston,MA . Carey/Kirzhner/Berestyaner , Belous , Isenberg - Lutsk ; Postolov/Herman/Kolovsky-Zhitomir

Mume is the Yiddish word for Aunt . in "standard"  Yiddish and in Northeastern dialect ( Baltic States, Belarussia,parts of Northern Poland ) . A person speaking this dialect is called a Litvak . In Southeastern Yiddish ( Ukraine , southeastern Poland etc. ) and in Central Yiddish ( most of  Poland, Galicia and other areas nearby ) the " U" becomes " ee" in most words . Thus , "mume" is pronounced "MEE-meh" .  My grandmother from Lutsk was called " Di shvartse mime" because of her dark complexion and very curly black hair . My aunt cousins  look very Middle Eastern.

In my Yiddish dictionary, "mume/mime" can also mean a madame of a brothel ! Also, it was sometimes used when calling out for a woman you didn't know as in "Oh, miss , lady ". An aunt by marriage is a  " kalte mume " (cold aunt ) and a great-aunt is an " elter-mume" .  

On the other hand , all my aunts but one on my mother's side from Zhitomir are called "tante" : TAN-te Feyge , Tante Leye etc.
Just like the respondent below , my mother's more Americanized aunt preferred " Auntie Annie " . The dictionary says it is a "daytchmerism" or a Germanic addition popular at the end of the 19th century  when Germany was considered the most enlightened of nations . Modern German words were used almost in the way English speakers throw in French words sometimes to sound more sophisticated. I don't know if " tante" fits this pattern or if it was an older usage . 

If Mendele Yiddish blog still existed , we could ask for more details about where and why "tante" was used and when "mume" was used . Also, were all aunts referred to as "mume/tante" whether or not they were great-aunts or not ? 

By the way , "feter" was used in the same way for "uncle" as in " Der Feter Elye" . When you are speaking about someone i Yiddish rather than English  , you use the definite article " di bobe Mindl" , der zeyde Shloyme " but in adressing someone , the article is omitted . So, my aunt was Tante Feyge when we were speaking English , but if you sing Yiddish songs or read Yiddish books you will see the definite article used ( as well as possessive pronouns ) when speaking about someone. 

"Frume/Frime" ( FREE-meh) is indeed a common name and it literally means ''devout" . However , "Frume-Sore "  Tevye's grandmother was not necessarily pious . In this case, it is just a name . Probably, if they wanted distinguish between different "Sore's " in a village , they would refer to an especially pious woman as "Sore/Sure/Surke , di frume " or  if she were sanctimonious " Sore, di frum-AH- keh" !  

Henry H. Carrey

Re: The meaning of Memeh Fryme #yiddish #galicia

Ellen Slotoroff Zyroff

Thanks for the link to the discussion on this topic on "Tracing the Tribe" Facebook page. There I saw a posting of a variation, "THE Meema," a variation I heard my paternal grandparents use in referring to the woman of a quite diminutive elderly couple,  I'm wondering whether the usage, "The Meema," had a connotation, perhaps of respect or status by virtue of age or status. I don't know whether this couple were indeed an aunt and uncle / great aunt and great uncle of relatives in Philadelphia, where they lived.. Likely so. In English, I've never heard an aunt or a great aunt or an elderly cousin, old or young, referred to as "THE Aunt," without the use of a first name. I can't remember what her husband was called, other than his designation was a matching epithet, "THE Meema and THE????" I'm not sure I ever actually met them, but I remember a photo of them. Both very, very short people, perhaps midgets. Until the current discussion, it seemed to me as a kid, hearing them always referred to together as "The Meema and The.....," and never hearing those designations used for anyone else, that their twin epithets were somehow a form of respect due to their elderliness and even due to a perceived vulnerability. These relatives would most likely have been from the Ukraine area, perhaps from near a village, Michalovka, near Chernobyl; perhaps from Chernigov or Kiev or elsewhere in the region close to the Dnieper River.  

Ellen Slotoroff Zyroff

PISTERMAN  (Otaki/Atiki/Utik, Soroki, Bessarabia/Northern Moldova); 
ROTH  (Otaki/Atiki, Bessarabia/Northern Moldova); 
ZOLOTOROV/SLOTOROFF  (Chernigov / Kiev, Ukraine); 
LEVINE (Michalovka (near Chernobyl), Ukraine; Minsk); 
BLAUSTEIN (Ukraine); 
RIBNICK (Sharashova (Sherishow), Grodno gubernia, Belarus); 
SHEINISS (Sharashova, Grodno,Belarus); 
ROGOWITZ (Sharashova, Grodno Gubernia, Belarus); 
ZYRO (Zabolotiv, Sniatyn, Galicia; Szczebreszyn, Lublin gubernia, Poland); 
TESLER (Horokhiv, Wolyn,Western Ukraine);
LIMON (Berestechko, Horochiv, Wolyn, Western Ukraine); 
TAU (Zabolotiv, Ukraine);TAL (Kibbutz Gat, Israel); 
KRANTZ (Ukraine); 
GLUSKIN (Ukraine), 

On Thursday, September 10, 2020, 01:41:42 AM PDT, Adam Turner <adam.d.turner@...> wrote:

There's at least one recent thread on a Facebook genealogy forum about this topic, in which the consensus seems to be that "Mima" is also acceptable Yiddish for "aunt": 

I'd be curious if anyone can chime in on some of the regional lexical distinctions that might exist here, as well as whether it's typical for Yiddish speakers to use different familiar Yiddish terms for an aunt vs. a great-aunt and an uncle vs. a great-uncle. My maternal grandfather, whose mother was from Tulchin in Podolia gubernia, referred to his maternal great-aunt as "Mima Sura". (As far as I know, his aunts were referred to with the English "Aunt" - not sure why, but I'd guess it was that they were likely more Americanized than his great-aunt, since they'd come to the US as children.) My maternal grandmother's family was from Minkovitz, also in Podolia about 80 miles to the west of Tulchin, and yet either she, or her mother, referred to her great-aunts as "Tante Masha" and "Tante Rose." 

Adam Turner

ZOLOTOROV (Chernigov, Ukraine; Kiev, Ukraine);
SLOTOROFF (Kiev, Ukraine)
LEVINE (Ukraine and Minsk, Belarus);
GLUSKIN (Ukraine)
LIMON (Berestechko, Volynia, Ukraine)
TESLER (Horochiv, Volynia, Ukraine)
ZYRO (Zabolativ, Ukraine) 
TAU (Zalolativ, Ukraine)
ROTH / ROT (Ataki, Bessarabia, Moldova)
BLAUSTEIN (Chernigov, Ukraine or Minsk, Belarus)

Re: Viewmate Translation Request - Russian #translation #russia #poland


In Russian:

Состоялось в городе Лублин 14-го (26-го) февраля 1875 года в час по полудни явились еврей Файвель Брайтбрик, бакалейщик, житель города Люблин, 26-и лет.  В присутствии свидетелей Тобеяша Либерман, рабочего, 43-х лет и Якова Дизекман, рабочего, 56-и лет, оба жители города Люблин и предъявили нам младенца женского пола, которая родиась в городе Люблин 1-го (13-го) февраля в 2 часа дня, в доме под номером 226, от законной жены Эстеры, урожденной Гольдберг, 23-х лет.  Младенцу этому дано имя Фрайда.  Причины позднего объявления ни чем не объяснили.  Акт сей присутствующим прочитан и кроме объявляющего неграмотного, ими подписан.

Подпись Подпись Подпись Подпись

Translate into English:

It took place in the city of Lublin on February 14 (26), 1875 at one o'clock in the afternoon, the Jew Faivel Brightbrik, a grocer, a resident of the city of Lublin, 26 years old, appeared. In the presence of witnesses Tobejas Lieberman, a worker, 43 years old, and Jacov Dizekman, a worker, 56 years old, both residents of the city of Lublin presented us with a female baby who was born in the city of Lublin on February 1 (13) at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, in the house at number 226, from Estera's legal wife, née Goldberg, 23 years old. This baby is given the name of Freida. The reasons for the late announcement were not explained. This act was read to those present and, apart from the declaring illiterate, they signed.


Signature Signature Signature Signature


Translated by Michael Ryabinky

Re: Berens family. Manchester UK #unitedkingdom

Jill Whitehead

Suggest you try the 1901 English census on FindmyPast.

Manchester had a big Jewish community and still does (including some members of my family).

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK 

Re: DNA test #dna

Jill Whitehead

Most testing companies are optimistic in their assessment of cousinship, and they usually give a range e.g. 2nd to 5th cousin . In reality the 3rd cousin is likely a 4th or 5th cousin or more. You can can have very many 3rd, 4th and 5th cousins, and probably very few of them are close relations to you that could be traced.  As so many Jews are interrelated, this makes cousinships seems closer than they really are e.g. so many 1st cousin, uncle-niece etc relationships in closed communities over time - this is called endogamy. Most people of Jewish origin share at least one chromosome segment, but this could go way back into the depth of time to your deep ancestry, and will have no meaning for tracing recent relations.  

The 2019 issue of Shemot, the journal of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain, is a DNA special that explains all these matters. Most of the companies also have information about these matters. Ancestry is the weakest, as it does not give the same full information as FTDNA, 23andMe and MyHeritage, which are all much better on Jewish genetics than Ancestry.

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK

Re: The meaning of Memeh Fryme #yiddish #galicia

Yitschok Margareten

The following are all translations for "aunt" that were used by Jewish immigrants.
Meema/Miami (Yiddish)
Tanta (German/Dutch) 
Néni (Hungarian) 

These were probably used according to the origin of the aunt or the family. 

Although you would add a word for great-aunt  like elter-meema in Yiddish or Großtante in German etc., they were called by the single word of aunt, like you would say aunty/auntie even for a great-aunt.

Yitschok Margareten  

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