Re: Sailing up and down the river from Raseiniai to Königberg(Kaliningrad) #russia

Dr. Ruth Leiserowitz

Yes, this was quite a common trade way in this times: Raseiniai via DubysaSeredžius via Neman Tilsit (Russian: Sovetsk)-Weynothen (Russian: Istok) via Gilge, Russian: Matrossovka  until 4,5 km before Gilge (Russian: Matrossovo) via Großer Friedrichsgraben (Russian: Polesski kanal- Labiau (Russian: Polessk) via Deime (Russian: Dejma) - Tapiau (Russian: Gvardejsk) via Pregel (russian: Pregolja) - Königsberg (Russian: Kaliningrad)
Sounds difficult, but was easy shipping, also used for wooden rafts. I think, the trip took three days. The waterways of this route were for the most part on Prussian territory. They were kept in good order by the Prussian state.
On the river Gilge rafts were allowed, which were up to 100 m long and up to 10 m wide.

Ruth Leiserowitz



I match you on DNA, now what #dna

Moishe Miller

Dear Group, 

I am thankful for all the educational opportunities offered by this forum. It has helped me quite a bit. I took the JewishGen DNA course in August. I attended two DNA lectures via Zoom yesterday; one by the JGS of Colorado and one by the JGS of LI. Remote learning is a positive outcome of the quarantine all over the USA. Please do continue to post lectures, session, meetings, etc, that are open to members and non-members of the hosting entity.

Since I have my tests on Ancestry, MyHeritage, 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA, GedMatch, GENI, etc, and also manage other people's tests, I get DNA inquiries every day. With what I have learned, I wanted to share how I now approach those DNA inquiries. My response now addresses the two general issues I face with DNA inquiries.
  1. DNA does not replace actual genealogical research
  2. A genetic tree is not as robust as a genealogical tree. This is because, beyond second cousins, it becomes possible to be related but not match with DNA (your small 6.5%, 3.25%, etc  might be different "pieces" for each descendant). In other words, beyond g-gp's, you do not necessarily inherit DNA from every ancestor you ever had.
My new method of dealing with "I match you on DNA" inquiries is to determine first, what is needed to figure out that match. Someone that does not know the names, places and dates for all four of their grandparents will likely not be able to determine if/how we are 2nd, 3rd, 4th or even more distant cousins.

Using a real example, with permission from one of the targeted persons, I have just received this inquiry for a test that I manage (I will call the inquirerer Harry):
  • Hi, I have DNA matches to two person's you manage on MyHeritage: Esther Bleier (born Steif). Estimated relationships: 1st cousin twice removed - 4th cousin?; DNA Match quality: 1.3% (92.5‎ cM); Shared DNA: 10 Shared segments; Largest segment: 20.6‎ cM. Also with Frederika [detail redacted to protect her privacy] 
(As an aside, these two people, Esther and Frederika, do potentially share common ancestry; this is why I had them both tested. When my grandmother was a young teenager, she left home and lived by Esther's parents, the Steif family, who married her off. My grandmother had told us she was related to them. I have not yet determined how.)

Harry and I had some basic dialog where I asked where Harry's ancestry was from, and some surnames. Nothing seemed to match Esther's known ancestry.

So I suggested to Harry:
  • Go to
  • For your match with Esther Bleier, put in your total cM matching, which is 92.5.
  • The combined top two results indicate it is 63% likely that you match Esther as some form of 2c or 3c.
  • To match as a 2c, you need to know all of your 8 g-gp's and compare each one to her 8 g-gp's for surname, time-period lived, and location compatibility.
  • To match as a 3c, you need to do the same thing, only with your 16 g-g-gp's.
  • For "Once-Removed" relationships, you would move up or down a generation, to match the predicted relationship (such as 2c1r)
  • I gave Harry the pedigree for Esther Bleier at
  • It does have Esther's 8 g-gp's listed.
  • It does not have enough of her g-g-gp's listed, in case it is a 3c match,
  • Unless Harry is lucky, or either of us does more paper-trail research on both his tree and Esther's tree, we may not figure it out.
  • You can repeat the same process for determining other matches.
  • Since Frederika's match does not triangulate with Esther's, we don't know if the ancestry between the Harry, Esther and Frederika is shared.
Anyone can help to make it simpler to find the genealogical connection of a DNA match, on most platforms. Create a tree of at least 15 people, comprised of you, your parents, GP's and g-GP's (if you know them of course). And, on FamilyTreeDNA, add the detail described in the article at

I hope that by combining DNA Research with Genealogical Research, we can all help to expand what we know of our ancestry and history.

Wishing everyone a Shana Tova,
Moishe Miller
Brooklyn, NY
JGFF #3391

September 15: Genealogy Coffee Break #events #announcements #usa

Moriah Amit

Tomorrow at 3:30 pm ET, tune into the Center for Jewish History's Facebook page for the next episode of Genealogy Coffee Break. Looking to move beyond vital and census records in your U.S. research? Learn how to find local history resources from the U.S. communities in which your ancestors lived. To join the live webinar, click "Follow" on the top of the Center's Facebook page and a notification will pop up on your screen when the webinar goes live. Note: If the notification doesn't appear, you can also find the webinar on our Facebook videos page once it goes live. Catch up on the entire series here

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

Russian Translation Request #russia #poland #warsaw

Nomi Waksberg

Hoping all readers and families are all safe and healthy.
This document names my 3 gm Ester Bijak Fiszenfeld.
What type of document is it please.
There are a few other names included - please translate and if noted,
please include ages and relationship, occupation of all those mentioned and town if listed.
My apologies for the quality of the's a photo of the original.
Thank you in advance for your help.
It is posted on VIEWMATE:
Please respond via the form provided in the ViewMate.
Thank you in advance for your assistance and time in reviewing
records which may be challenging to read.
שנה טובה
Nomi Fiszenfeld Waksberg
(including variations in spelling)

Re: USCIS information #records


Hi Robert,

You asked Might I find other papers?  I'm guessing you mean might there be additional records in the C-files for the 1921 or earlier naturalizations, for which you already have the court records?  It is possible, but unknown.  The best way to hedge that bet would be to search a name index to Bureau of Naturalization Correspondence at the National Archives, NARA microfilm publication A3388.  Unfortunately it is only available on microfilm at NARA, which remains closed.  If you found your grandparents' name in there, and it pointed to a C-file number, it would mean additional records were placed in that C-file.  Yes, it is very frustrating.

You say you do want to request one of the C-files.  If you already have the petition from the court records, look on the back or bottom of that petition for the certificate number.  It should say something like "Certificate of Naturalization # _____ issued this day . . .".  You can then use that number to request the C-file directly without having to pay for the index search.

I hope that helps,

Marian Smith

Re: PLUST family #general

Valentin Lupu

Shalom Ida,
Plust is indeed a relatively rare name. Here are my web  search results. Moshe Frust donated in 1942 a huge amount of money (2000 pounds) for buying a nursing home for aged needy people in Petah-Tikvah. He also donated money for a synagogue at the second floor of the building. in 1941 he was elected as a member of Mizrachi Religious Party Council in Petah-Tikvah. It is specified that he was of  Lithuanian origin. The Mechtinger Building, 42 Geula st. Tel Aviv , was declared as an architectural heritage building. The building was erased in 1931 on a plot of land owned by Moshe Plust. Moshe ben Yehuda Leib Plust is buried in Mount of Olives Cemetery, Jerusalem. He passed away on March 1945. There is a person named Prust, living in Jerusalem. If you are interested in contacting him, let me know your private email address and I'll send a phone number.

Valentin Lupu

Re: Matching names #names

Chana Bonn

Do you have tombstones for the relatives whose names you're trying to match?  The tombstones may give you the answers you need, since both Hebrew and English names are often engraved.
Good luck with your search!
Chana Bonn, Philadelphia

Re: Suggestions for Simple Genealogy Software for Mac #general

Sarah L Meyer

Roots Magic also has a Mac version.  (I am a PC person married to a Mac person).  Roots Magic also has a free version that you can start with, and then if you like it you can upgrade to the paid version without losing any data.  I have evaluated their PC Roots Magic Essentials - and can tell you that some things like descendants charts are only in the paid version - but you can certainly start with the free version.  Family Tree Maker also has a Mac version but it is not free.  

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

Re: Translation request--GERMAN or POLISH--Viewmate 86449 #translation


I translated the German text. The hand-written parts I could not really get sharp enough but I hope (and assume) that you may be able to get it better from the original.
Ron Peeters

Re: Naturalization record #usa #records

Robert Hanna

Hi Toby,

You don't say where you are located.  I went directly to the Bronx County Courthouse for my maternal grandfather's naturalization papers.  If you are in NYC, the courthouse is located at 161st Street and the Grand Concourse (near Yankee Stadium).  It is reachable via the D train or the Number 4 train to 161st Street.  If you are not in NYC, I suppose you could call or write.

You also want to find the Petition of Naturalization.  That may or may not be in the Bronx.  My paternal grandfather's Declaration of Intention was filed in Brooklyn, but his Petition of Naturalization was filed in Manhattan.

Good luck searching,
Robert Hanna

Re: Accessing 1842 Hungarian Bereg Census records #hungary

Ludwig Mauskopf

Hi Cheryl

There is a Sub-Carpatian region (that Bereg megye was part of it) genealogy site. This is probably the most complete Sub-Carpatian Jewish data base and they have good search tools too:

There is also a Hungarian-Jewish family search group on Facebook called: 
Zsidó Múlt -> Családkutatás
 You can post your question on that group.

Hopefully it helps.

Best regards

Ludwig Mauskopf.

Re: USCIS information #records

Robert Hanna

Thanks very much to Jan, David, and Beth.  After reading what is available, it looks like I don't have to spend money to find my grandfathers' naturalization papers as I have their Declarations and Petitions already.  The only other thing there seems to be is a certificate.  The only thing that might be on the certificate is a picture.  I have enough pictures of them. 

Correct me if I'm wrong.  Might I find other papers? 

I would, however, like to get my great grandfather's C file.  I understand that I have to request a search first for the file number.  Is there a specific form I have to use to request a search?

Thanks again,
Robert Hanna

Re: German WWII reparations records online? #germany #holocaust #records

Reuven Mohr

this link does not seem to cover files that are not kept in Berlin state archives;

Reuven Mohr

Re: Shoshana and Theresia #israel

Reuven Mohr

no doubt that Shoshana can be a Hebrew version of Theresia, as Theresia was often the 'official' name of a girl named Reizl/Rosa etc. and Roses are often translated to Hebrew as Shoshana. 
I have no idea how to find marriage records here, and if there was such a thing in the British mandate.

Reuven Mohr

Re: German WWII reparations records online? #germany #holocaust #records

Corinna Woehrl (nee Goslar)

Hello David,

there are often two types of reparation files:
- the personal ones - reparation for "damage on life", for not being able to have finished school or studies, prosecution, etc.
- and those concearning assets/property.

As they mostly include very personal documents and information it would be problematic to put them online from the data-protection-aspect. They are open for reviewing publically 30 years after the death of the applicant, sometimes also younger family-members are mentioned who's rights also have to be protected.

All these files are mostly situated at the regional State Archives. So you will have to know the city in which the family member lived before emigration, flight or deportation. These files are named "Wiedergutmachungsakte". Most of the State Archives have a system to research the files online, yet the files themselves will have to be reviewed locally or you request scans.

The helpful link Judith sent is just for the "Landesarchiv Berlin" and includes the files for Berlin and people from former Eastern Provinces.

If you mailed the name and last known living place, we could perhaps help locating the documents.

Regards from Germany
Corinna Wöhrl, Hoisdorf (near Hamburg and Luebeck)

Re: Yiddish/Hebrew name Shirley and Libby #names

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

I have a different point of view .Many Jewish women in the Pale of Settlement were never given Hebrew names , just Yiddish ones  e.g. Sheyndl , Frume, Blume , Freydl and sometimes the Yiddish ones had Loshn Koydesh roots e.g. Sore, Chane , Khaye , Rokhl.
Most people in Jewish Gen are asking about their relatives from the Pale from 1850 - 1924 when this would be true . Were there people in the Pale  who gave their children purely Hebrew derived  names before Herzl ? Of course . However , given how Jewish Americans chose  Shirley, Jennie , Fannie , Zelda , Sydney, Melvin, Irving etc.  , it is highly unlikely that it occurred to many of them to see if they could look for an American name that meant something in Hebrew. What they wanted to do was to find " Yankee" names. So, if Sore , for example was  Shirley's birth name , there was no need to find an American name that derived from Hebrew like Shir-li.   Of course that all changed with the creation of the State of Israel. Nowadays , people look for Modern Hebrew derivations  all the time . 
Again , I am not saying that any theory is definitely impossible , only that certain theories  are much more common and likely than others . 
Henry H. Carrey

Sailing up and down the river from Raseiniai to Königberg(Kaliningrad) #russia


I would like to find out if there was regular sailing up and down the rivers (from Dubysa via Neman) from Raseiniai to Königsberg in the early nineteen hundreds.
Ron Peeters

AA File for Grandfather #romania #usa #records


My grandfather - Janos>Jon Moscu was born in Romania in 1900. He was born on a trip his family took to Romania. Jon's parents were naturalized US Citizens. Would a AA File exist for Jon Moscu, completed when he returned to the US at 10 months of age, and if so - where can I find it? 
Thanks so much.
Deborah Annex
Miami Beach, FL

Re: USCIS information #records

Beth Erez

You are having problems finding your grandmothers' naturalization papers from that time period because they did not exist.  Read this rather long explanation summed up by "Congress was at work and on September 22, 1922, passed the Married Women's Act, also known as the Cable Act. This 1922 law finally gave each woman a nationality of her own."

I learned this from a JewishGen zoom lecture!

Beth Erez
Hod Hasharon, Israel

Re: Suggestions for Simple Genealogy Software for Mac #general


I have been using "iFamily for Mac" for several years.  Excellent program.

Cal Weil

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