Need suggestions for how to search for misspelled family names #records

N. Summers

I've had trouble finding records because names are mispelled or othewise mangled. What kinds of searches have you used to overcome this problem? I'm guessing every site has different tools...
thanks so much,

Nancy Summers

Maryland, USA


FINKELSTEIN, BOOKSTEIN, KOENIG/SUKOENIG, LUSMAN, GOLDINER, SAGORODER/ZAGORODER (Radziwillow, Belarus/Ukraine; Ostrog, Poland/Belarus; Warsaw, Poland; Wolinsky, Russia/Ukraine)

LISS / ALPER  (Motol, Vileyka, Minsk, Russia/Belarus)

LEAF / LIFSCHITZ ( Rechitsa, Belarus)

trying to make contact with Dan Avi Aaron Gordon formerly of Montreal #israel

Neil Rosenstein

Dan is son of Shoshana Raizi of Montreal and he made aliya some years
ago. Married to Osnat. He descends from the Stern-Horowitz rabbinical
family and lives in Jerusalem.

Neil Rosenstein

Re: Printing records I find on JRI-Poland #records #poland #translation

N. Summers

Another option is to use an online service which improves image quality. RetroReveal is relatively easy to use and is free. I've used it and i'm certainly no computerphile.  The site is:
Also, MyHeritage has a service to improve images. It is free for up to 5 images, even if you're not a Premium member.

Nancy Summers

Maryland, USA


FINKELSTEIN, BOOKSTEIN, KOENIG/SUKOENIG, LUSMAN, GOLDINER, SAGORODER/ZAGORODER (Radziwillow, Belarus/Ukraine; Ostrog, Poland/Belarus; Warsaw, Poland; Wolinsky, Russia/Ukraine)

LISS / ALPER  (Motol, Russia/Belarus)

LEAF / LIFSCHITZ ( Rechitsa, Belarus)

Re: Decipher handwritten text re citizenship status #records

Diane Jacobs

You never know when a person decides to naturalize. My grandfather arrived in 1888
as a 3 year old with his family. In the 1920 US Census it says born New York.  In 1929 he became a citizen.

Diane Jacobs

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: "N. Summers via" <>
Date: 9/26/20 12:53 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@...
Subject: [] Decipher handwritten text re citizenship status #records

I'm trying to decipther the handwritten entry for "Citizenship" on a 1925 NY census. In the column "If Naturalized, when and where" there are entries for my ggf Morris, ggm Clara and gu Sam. The first entry, for Morris, presumably means "naturalized in 1916 in New York".  The second entry, his wife Clara, I think says "Hus. Pap." which probably means she gained citizenship under her husband's naturalization papers. (on this census page, most of the wives have this notation)

But the third line, for their son Sam, is a mystery.  It doesn't look like "first papers"; and since he arrived in 1906 it is unlikely that he would have waited so long to file a Declaration. Can anyone figure out what this entry says?

Finally, if Clara became a citizen under her Husbands papers, how would she be able to prove her citizenship if needed later?

thanks so much,


Nancy Summers

Maryland, USA


FINKELSTEIN, BOOKSTEIN, KOENIG/SUKOENIG, LUSMAN, GOLDINER, SAGORODER/ZAGORODER (Radziwillow, Belarus/Ukraine; Ostrog, Poland/Belarus; Warsaw, Poland; Wolinsky, Russia/Ukraine)

LISS / ALPER  (Motol, Russia/Belarus)

LEAF / LIFSCHITZ ( Rechitsa, Belarus)

Diane Jacobs, Somerset, New Jersey

Re: issues of DNA privacy #dna

Judy Petersen

Thank you all for your responses.  They are much appreciated!  They will definitely help me frame a response to my reluctant cousins!

Referencing Randy's talk--I saw his presentation on privacy and genealogy at the last conference in Israel, so I don't know if he's updated it or not.  But my takeaway at the time was that "dead people don't have an expectation of privacy".  At the time, much of the discussion in the Q & A had to do with exposing family secrets and based on "dead people don't have an expectation of privacy" you could, but whether you should or not is another issue.  :-)  I don't recall anything specific about DNA, but at the time I wasn't as interested in the topic, so I might have missed it.

I think some of the issue for my family members was also about being denied health coverage if insurance companies got your DNA.  But I would assume that a) you would have to test with a company that provides health testing in the first place, b) that insurance companies couldn't do anything with raw data anyway and c) there's a law prohibiting insurance companies charging higher premiums based on DNA results, so it shouldn't matter.

The other issue was providing DNA to law enforcement.  But I also assume the hows and whys of that would be covered by an testing company's privacy policy, in which case it would behoove the purchaser of a kit to read the policy.

But generally, I agree with Bob.  Our privacy is so compromised already and there are so many other easier ways to gather information that could lead to identity theft, that DNA testing should not be a major worry for people in that regard.

Many thanks!

Judy Petersen

Re: issues of DNA privacy #dna

Jeffrey Herrmann

In the UK, where I live, the 100,000 Genomes project has sequenced the full genomes of 100,000 members of the population.  Researchers are given access to those full sequences, which have been anonymized, for legitimate scientific or medical purposes.  The EU is planning to complete the sequencing of a million genomes by 2022.  An unscrupulous researcher, or anyone who hacked the data downloaded by a scrupulous researcher, could use Erlich‘s methods from 2013 (I incorrectly dated it to 2011 in my original  post) and any newer methods dreamed up in the last seven years to “de-anonymize” those sequenced individuals, using data from genetic genealogy websites.  I am not opining that this is likely to occur, but in my opinion it cannot be ruled out.

Jeffrey Herrmann

Re: Poland/Russia town help #poland



Ferok Chaymann
Arrival Date3 May 1904
Birth Date1882
Ethnicity/ NationalityHebrew
Port of DepartureAntwerp, Belgium
Port of ArrivalNew York, New York, USA
Ship NameVaderland

Actually, I wonder if this is not him. The date is more consistent as is the surname  

As to the wife, she would have been traveling with her infant daughter Bessie born 1904

I will keep looking 
Vivs Laliberte


Vivs Laliberte

Re: Volochysk/Podvolochisk #records

Mark Halpern

For Podwoloczyska/Podvolochisk, formerly in Galicia

Search both the JRI-Poland and Gesher Galicia databases for your Podwoloczyska surnames.

Mark Halpern

Re: Yiddush to English from Holocaust Survivors #yiddish #galicia #holocaust #photographs

Yitschok Margareten

Left side card (2 messages):

For memory to our dear uncle and family
Our picture 
Chava Yaakov Rachel'le

This is Shlomo Strenger Chava's son


Right side card:

For memory to our uncle Benny our daughter 3 months old in the hand of her father

Yitschok Margareten 

Re: Hebrew Translation of Gravestone - ROSENBERG, NATHAN (NISEL) #translation

Yitschok Margareten

Note the title "holy" which is used either for an actual holy person like a holy Rabbi etc., or for a martyr who was killed for being a Jew.

As it clearly states that he was killed, I assume the latter is the reason for the title.

However, in the case of a martyr, the name is usually followed by "may God revenge his blood", which does not appear on this tombstone. 

Yitschok Margareten 

Re: Help with translation of birth record #translation


I am trying to decipher this birth record that appears in my computer with low 
The titles above the columns are in German and Polish, indicating that the document is from Galicia.
Most of the document is filled in German, with Hebrew signatures and a later in Polish. addition 

Date of the birth July 7 1890 in Batiaticze (Galicia  today Ukraine ) 
Birth declaration Idem
Name of the child Golde Pesie
Sex of the child female 
Type of birth: out of wedlock
Father Markus Wilder, bachelor xxx in Batiaticze 
Mother Beile Altir unmarried xxx in Batiaticze 
Name of her parents Joseph and Ester Laje Altir xx in Krystynopol (also Galicia  today Ukraine  ) 
Witness xxmarkus Pfenig. Signs in Hebrew Mordekhay Pfenig
Another name appears here and I could not understand as what function Michael Hellman

I am not sure of the rest. The later addition is dated 17/5/1922. It may referenced a later wedding of the parents and legitimation of the birth. There is a date in 1915 and 20/4/1919.

Sorry that I couldn't help more. 

Best regards, 
Laurent Kassel 
Moreshet  Israel 

Re: Need a translation of a yiddish letter #translation

Yitschok Margareten

Dear uncle Zelik and aunt Mina and your dear family!
On the day of my dear brother's wedding we celebrated in my house, I'm standing behind my husband's uncle the short one with the ??? behind me is my husband his brothers and sisters-in-law, next to me lower is my husband's sister, the rest cousins and also my husband's aunt and her husband.
For memory to my dear and beloved from your unforgetting niece Tauba and Beinish
Dated Montreal April 10 1949 
The day of the wedding

Yitschok Margareten 

Trying to contact family Stern of Montreal. #canada

Neil Rosenstein

Trying to make contact with the family of Shoshana Raizi Stern who
lived in Montreal and posted a Page of Testimony to Yad Vashem for her
uncle Moshe Menchel Stern in 2004. They descend from the
Stern-Horowitz rabbinical family.

Neil Rosenstein

Yiddush to English from Holocaust Survivors #yiddish #galicia #holocaust #photographs


My maternal grandfather, Louis S. Weil (Leizer Wahl), was from in or around Tarnobryzn Galicia. I have never been able to find any records from this shtetl.

When I was a child some of my grandfather's family would visit. They had numbers on their forearms which at that time I did not understand. I believe that the man in the glasses was my grandfather's nephew possibly from a sister, whose married name I do not know. I believe that post war they had been placed in a camp in Italy before coming to the U.S. settling in NJ where I am from. I believe they had two children.

Their photos and the words on the photos are attached. I would appreciate any help in translating these.

Over the years, I have always thought of trying to find their children/grandchildren but have not had any success. Many years ago, I reached out to organizations representing first-second generation of children of Holocaust survivors but the group did not seem to be active. Is there some sort of survivor website where relatives can try to locate the children, grandchildren of survivors?

Thank you beforehand for your help. I recently had a gravestone translated, and everyone who responded was so very kind.

L'Shana Tova. Please have an easy fast.

Deborah Miller, Annandale, VA

Thank you.

Volochysk/Podvolochisk #records


How about marriage and birth records for Volochysk and Podvolochisk.  Also census data for these cities from 1850-1900
Karen Goldsmith Adelman

HURWITZ Rokiskis, Lithuania to Moscow #lithuania #russia

Jules Feldman

My great-great grandfather Mordechai Dov HURWITZ of Rokiskis, Lithuania had
a brother Shmuel Yehuda HURWITZ who moved to St Petersburg c1900. While some
of Shmuel Yehuda's children managed to leave the Soviet Union after WW1, one
son Yisrael Noach HURWITZ born about 1885 remained in the Soviet Union and
was a museum director in Moscow.
In the 1950's someone who had known Yisrael Noach HURWITZ in Rokiskis met
him in Moscow and reported to his brother Arye Leib HURWITZ (1876-1976) in
Tel Aviv that Yisrael Noach had told him that he had changed his name and
that he had a family and that he would contact the family in Tel Aviv when
it was safe to do so.
He never did. While this is a long shot , if anyone can help find his family
we will be grateful.
Jules Feldman
Kibbutz Yizreel

Re: towns with researchers as listed on JGFF-correction #belarus


Hi Les ,
Just wondering if you are related to either Sheldon Evans or Ron Evans they are both on Ancestry .My father is from Koidenov ,he shares a high DNA Cm with both Sheldon and Ron.
My Dad was born around 1933 and as a 6 yo boy was part of the holocaust, he lost his immediate family but he survived. As a 6 yo he was taken in by a Latvian battalion and given a new name  he blocked his past identity for the most part of his life but remembers the names Panok and that he was from a small village outside of Minsk (Dzyarzhynsk).


Gesher Galcia 5780/2020 Highlights and a Look Ahead #galicia #announcements

Steven Turner

Dear Friends,
As 5780 and 2020 come to a close, we at Gesher Galicia thank all of our members for their support during what has been a uniquely challenging year. Despite the hurdles, we were able to accomplish quite a bit:
  • While the coronavirus pandemic interrupted our onsite work in many archives in Austria, Poland and Ukraine, we were able to continue work across a wide range of research projects, including our Przemysl Identification Project that was launched at the end of 2019.
  • We produced several educational webinars featuring experts on a variety of Galician topics including:
    • A two-part interview with historian Omer Bartov;
    • A look behind the scenes at the Galician Jewish Museum in Krakow;
    • A photographic journey through Chuck Fishman’s lens on modern-day Poland;
    • Genealogy tips from Jennifer Mendelsohn;
  • We published quarterly issues of the Galizianer, our long-running journal covering a variety of topics, past and present, on Galicia;
  • We held our first-ever virtual session for attendees of the 40th IAJGS international Conference on Jewish Genealogy.
We are pleased to report that our membership reached an all-time high this year, likely due in large part to the appeal of our exclusive offerings for members.
As we enter 5781 and 2021, we look forward to continuing our work to add significantly to our databases and provide even more exclusive content for our members including:
  • A line-up of thought-provoking presenters for our popular webinars;
  • In-depth educational presentations run by our own Dr. Andrew Zalewski;
  • An overhaul of our membership platform for seamless and automated new membership applications and renewals
  • Membership zoom meeting where members can directly question the board.
  • A database imaging system to enable direct linkage to a scan of an original record;
  • An interactive cadastral map system that will facilitate the immediate on-screen display of vital records associated with a particular address.
To be sure, all of these programs and enhancements cost money. Once again, Gesher Galicia will not be raising annual membership dues in 2021. We have kept dues at $36 for many years now. As we approach Yom Kippur, we would  appreciate for those looking to partake in the mitzvah of giving tzedakah, to donate to Gesher Galicia to help us cover our costs, bring our IT systems up to date, provide our members with exclusive content, and keep our dues structure low. To contribute, please go to our donate page at You can allocate your donation to operations, general research, vital records or any of the other projects listed on the page.
With warm regards for a safe, healthy and joyous new year. Gmar Chatimah Tovah.

The Board of Directors,
Gesher Galicia

Re: Poland/Russia town help #poland


 WOW I am duly impressed.  I was trying to find Glusk to no good luck.  And kudos on the Aisik Helfman , I would never have found that! =] Much appreciated

1910 and 1920 censuses both say 1906, 1930 says 1905.  Yitty or Etta or Itke, surname possibly Ruthstein 

Vivs Laliberte


Babi Yar The Names Project #ukraine #holocaust #names

Jan Meisels Allen








Babi Yar (Babyn Yar) is a ravine outside the Ukrainian city of Kyiv (Kiev) where Einsatzgruppen mobile squads killed at least 34,000 Jews over a one week period in September 1941. Jews were marched in small groups to the Babi Yar ravine to the north of the city, ordered to strip naked, and then machine-gunned into the ravine. The massacre ended on September 30, and the dead and wounded alike were covered over with dirt and rock.


Between 1941 and 1943, between 70, 000 and 100,000 at Babi Yar (Babyn Yar) were shot by the Nazis ,including the entire Jewish population of Kiev, thousands more Jews, Soviet officials, and Russian prisoners of war were executed. As the German armies retreated from the USSR, the Nazis attempted to hide evidence of the massacres by exhuming the bodies and burning them in large pyres. Numerous eyewitnesses and other evidence, however, attest to the atrocities at Babi Yar, which became a symbol of Jewish suffering in the Holocaust. (


An international foundation was established to support the creation of the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center. It has a museum, research institutes, a library and an archive.  Included in the online museum are a list of names of Babyn Yar victims which anyone can help by adding a name. Currently, there are over 18, 300 names. See: and a link for people to add names


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


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