The Family Tree of the Jewish People #JewishGenUpdates

Eva Lawrence

I have just looked at the conditions for submitting a tree to the
JewishGen website..

One of the conditions is that the tree must be all the result of one's
own research, or only published with the permission of the originator.
This requirement is surely quite impossible to meet. Almost every tree
is the result of collaboration. Some of the people whose copies of
original records have enhanced my tree first sent these to another
relative; some are dead. My tree, like many other peoples's was started
by a deceased forebear; some of my BMD data was published in a book
whose authors are now unreachable.. Many records were not in English so
I've translated them - does that entitle me to call them my own
research, even though someone else dug the copies out of an archive,
which is of course always the case for online research.

Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK
Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK.

Re: Descendants of Benjamin Isaac of Niederzissen #germany

Ralph Baer

I made a mistake in my previous post. Hermann and Elisabeth probably did not marry in 1788 when Elisabeth (Leids) was 12. That was when Hermann (Heymann) received the right to marry. Their first child was born in 1794.This does not affect my question asking if anyone is familiar with any other descendants of Elisabeth's father Benjamin Isaac of Niederzissen.
Ralph N. Baer        RalphNBaer@...       Washington, DC

Update to the Family Tree of the Jewish People #JewishGenUpdates

Avraham Groll

JewishGen is pleased to announce a significant upgrade to the Family Tree of the Jewish People (FTJP), enabling the addition of 555 new family trees, representing 454,416 individuals. In total, the Family Tree of the Jewish People now includes 7,684 trees which represent approximately 8,642,345 individuals. 

While small in comparison to Family Tree collections at major commercial sites, the JewishGen Family Tree of the Jewish People provides researchers with unique access to vital Jewish family history information that is available in no other facility. We encourage everyone to utilize this valuable resource that we hope will continue to grow on an ongoing basis.

Improving the FTJP was labor intensive and required the navigation of many complex systems and processes. In this regard, please join me in expressing our gratitude to volunteers Gary Sandler (Director of Systems Administration) and Iris Folkson (FTJP, Support and IT Coordinator) for the dozens of hours they spent analyzing and upgrading our system, adding trees for the first time since in 2018, and ensuring that the FTJP can be updated on a monthly basis going forward.

The FTJP can be searched by visiting:

To submit a Family Tree, please visit:

Shabbat Shalom & Chag Sameach.

Avraham Groll

Executive Director


Discovered possible (probable?) Jewish roots in Colonial USA #unitedkingdom #usa #sephardic

Albert Stern

I am looking for someone with insight into Jewish migration to Britain's American colonies in the 1700s. I was adopted as an infant by a Jewish family, and have known all my life that I was not of Jewish lineage. Ten years ago, I had my DNA tested, which confirmed I was primarily of British stock - I was disappointed then that I hadn't even a trace of DNA that connected me with Jews. Through two years ago, however, I discovered my birth families and have since discovered many fascinating things about my ancestors. This fall, my birth sister was doing our father's family tree, and discovered a David Levy, who was born in London in 1741 and who died in Frederick, Maryland in 1804. He married Maria Barbara Weis, who was born in 1741 in Germany, but who must have come to America with her parents (named Weissen) to Maryland as a child. Levy seems to have been a colorful character - the family historian of that line says he might have been brought over as a convict forced into indentured servitude (he was likely in the colonies by 1756 and for certain in Frederick by 1766), and that he served as a quartermaster sergeant with the German Battalion with Washington's army at Valley Forge. Apparently, a building in which he operated a tavern and hardware store still stands in Frederick. It seems that church records show baptismal and other records for his children and wife, but nothing (neither baptism nor confirmation) for David, though he is mentioned in church records but only as a husband to Maria - also, he never sponsored a baptism (i.e., he never served as a child's godfather) although his wife and some children did. My ancestor is David and Maria's child Sarah, who was wed in a Lutheran church to a Gessinger (parents Gessinger and Weissman, who may have been of Jewish heritage but who were married themselves in a Lutheran church). And this is where my Jewish line effectively ends.
I have many questions that I hope someone in this group can answer. Coming from England, David Levy was likely to have been Sephardic - I think. Could he have lived unconverted with a Christian wife in that era? It seems hard to believe, even in religiously tolerant Maryland. His 10 children had a mix of biblical and English names, which suggests some Jewish consciousness. All of this is very confusing and intriguing to me, and I would very much welcome corresponding with someone who knows more about this era. Thanking you in advance.

Albert Stern

Looking for the origins of my family #general


I have hit a brick wall looking for the origins of my family and would appreciate some suggestions.
My paternal great grandparents are Joseph and Kate Slootsky. According to the census, they arrived here in 1892, as a married couple. All nine of their children were born in the USA. The oldest two in New Haven, Connecticut the rest in Bayonne, Jersey City and Passaic, New Jersey. Some documents I’ve located have my great grandmother’s first name as Kate, others as Gussie. Her maiden name on birth records and marriage records of her children appears as variations of the same name, Valodarsky, Wollokosky, Valador, Volodarska, Vlador, and Valudet, which of course confuses the issue.
I have tried using various spellings of the name Slootsky (but have been unsuccessful) in finding them entering any port in the USA. I understand the records from Castle Gardens for that year were lost in a fire, therefore, they may have entered there. Unfortunately, I don't know where the family originated from.
After settling here in the USA, most of Joseph Slootsky’s cousins changed the spelling of their name to Slutsky or they changed their name to Slade. In later years, some of Joseph’s own sons changed their name to Slade. Joseph died in 1927 and is buried in Baron Hirsch Cemetery in Staten Island. Kate committed suicide in 1933 but I don’t know where she is buried.
Oddly, my branch of the Slootsky family plus 2 other Slootsky families all lived down the street from one another in Bayonne, New Jersey at the same time. The 3rd Slootsky family left Bayonne and moved to Cape May, New Jersey but I’ve never been able to figure out how these other families are connected to our family. 
I also discovered a second Joseph Slootsky. He left the East coast moved to Utah then to the state of Washington, however, I have never found a connection with him and my Slootsky family.
The only clue I have to where Joseph and Kate may have immigrated from is that a cousin, Louis Slootsky, (and I’m still not exactly sure how they are our cousins) came from Elizabetgrad, Kiev, Russia. Louis’s wife, Sahre Archangelouskaya came from Archangel, Arctic Circle, Russia. I understand that Louis and Sahre were uncle and niece as well as husband and wife.
If anyone has any suggestions for me I’d appreciate hearing them.
Davya (née Slootsky) Cohen

Re: Origin of girl's name "Seiva" #names #romania #yiddish

David Lewin

At 17:09 09/10/2020, nevet@... wrote:

I haven't seen "Seiva," but here's a person in
my tree (Galicia, 1800s) named "Schewa" whose Hebrew name was Batsheva.
--Nevet Basker (Bellevue, WA)Researching:
Zolkiew, Brody, Uhnow, Rawa Ruska, and
vicinityNames (spellings vary): Basechis, Laubfeld, Klughaupt, Lieberman
Or Elisheva ?

David Lewin

Re: Nathan and Anna COHEN from New York Image Looking for Family #usa


Wondering if your Nathan & Ann lived in Stl Mo, if so. They are related to Bertha Brody Schneider

Barbara Schneider

Re: Origin of girl's name "Seiva" #names #romania #yiddish

Mark Halpern

Given names in all areas of Eastern Europe were the same or similar. I searched the JRI-Poland database for Seiva and similar spellings and the results were: 

Seiva 4
Siva 1
Seiwe 14    (in Polish the "w" is pronounced like our "v")
Siewa  93
Siwa 117

I think your Sieva is a real, but not common given name.

Mark Halpern

Re: Origin of girl's name "Seiva" #names #romania #yiddish

Yitschok Margareten

Just to add a note. 

The following Hebrew names would be nicknamed Sheva and Shevy (apparently Seiva and Sheiva too):
1) Sheva 
2) Bas-shehva/Batsheva
3) Elisheva

Yitschok Margareten 

Descendants of Benjamin Isaac of Niederzissen #germany

Ralph Baer

My 4th-great-grandmother, Elisabeth BECKER (called Leids, Leitz, or Leize Benjamin before 1808), was born on 6 April 1776 in Niederzissen (Landkreis Ahrweiler, Rheinland-Pfalz) and died there on 10 June 1852, She married in 1788 Hermann FEIT (Heymann Faist before 1808). He was born on 26 April 1765 in Niederzissen and died there on 21 May 1845.
I am fairly certain that Elisabeth’s father was Benjamin Isaac who died in 1788 in Niederzissen. Niederzissen had a very small Jewish population, and there was no other Benjamin, and since Hermann and Elisabeth married the same year that Benjamin Isaac died, Hermann likely replaced his father-in-law as a legal community member. Furthermore Hermann and Elisabeth had sons with both of the names Benjamin and Isaac. I know very little else about Benjamin Isaac and am interested in finding out if perhaps he had children who lived elsewhere. He did have two children who died, apparently young, in 1781 and 1786 in Niederzissen. Other children would not necessarily have used the name BECKER. The first mention of Benjamin Isaac which I have seen is from 1771 when he was sued.
Does anyone know of any children or possible children of Benjamin Isaac of Niederzissen elsewhere? Also, I am interested in determining Elisabeth's mother's name.
Ralph N. Baer        RalphNBaer@...       Washington, DC

searching for information on two holocaust survivors who lost of most their families during war #holocaust

Sharon E Siegel

I have documents and specific names I would like to post in message board for my husband's parents, seeking information from anyone who might know them from wartime or after.  What would be the best way to get this out there? I searched and have not found anything on these names.  Thanks,Sharon Siegel

Sharon Siegel

Re: Origin of girl's name "Seiva" #names #romania #yiddish

Zev Cohen

My maternal grandmother from Czernowitz was called 'Sheiva' or 'Sheive', a Yiddish diminutive of the biblical Hebrew name 'Batsheva'. 'Seiva' might be an alternative spelling.

Zev Cohen

Re: File of Berdychev surnames 1897 census #ukraine


The headers are explained on the Wikipedia page:

Mike Vayser

Re: Origin of girl's name "Seiva" #names #romania #yiddish

Nevet Basker

I haven't seen "Seiva," but here's a person in my tree (Galicia, 1800s) named "Schewa" whose Hebrew name was Batsheva.

--Nevet Basker (Bellevue, WA)
Researching: Zolkiew, Brody, Uhnow, Rawa Ruska, and vicinity
Names (spellings vary): Basechis, Laubfeld, Klughaupt, Lieberman

This week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page #ukraine

Bruce Drake

Almost every Jewish community had a mikveh, where Jews went for the ritual bath to cleanse themselves of deeds from the past. Unmarried women went to the mikveh prior to their wedding, and married ones did so after their monthly cycle. The function of immersion in the mikveh was also required for conversion to Judaism.
This week’s excerpt about the rituals of the mikveh —from the Yizkor book of Mikulince (Mikulintsy)in Ukraine — is part of a longer piece titled “Yosha the Sexton.” It is Yosha who takes the author there when he was a young boy. “Naked bodies of grown men shocked me at first,” he recalls, providing a vivid description of the experience. For a bride going to the mikveh, “an appointment had to be made in advance with the female bathhouse attendant and the matter was kept secret.”
Bruce Drake
Silver Spring MD
Towns: Kovel, Wojnilow

75th Anniversary of the Repatriation of Far East Prisoners of War #announcements #records #unitedkingdom

Jan Meisels Allen

During World War ll over 190,000 British and Commonwealth troops were taken prisoner by the Imperial Japanese Army. Many were held captive in the Far East and conditions were brutally harsh, including carrying out slave labor.

They suffered from malnutrition,  and diseases such as cholera, dysentery and malaria.


The75th anniversary of the return of first prisoners of war was October 7th, when the SS Corfu docked in Southampton, England. This marked the first of the return of 40,000 former Far East prisoners. 

There is a new website, commemorating the return of these first prisoners of war.


Between 1942 and 1945 over 60,000 British, Commonwealth and Dutch prisoners were forced to work on the Thailand Burma “death railway” railway, enduring the most brutal and harsh conditions imaginable,

including long hours of intense heavy labor with minimal food and water, which led to over 16,000 of them perishing.


FEPOW 75 includes interviews with survivors, artwork created in the camps by POWs, stories, and links to resources. It is not a website where researchers can enter a person's name to find out if they were held prisoner.


If you enjoy bagpipes there is a two minute video on the site, where “Flowers O the Forest” is performed by Corporal Christopher Watt of The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland


Thank you to Gail Dever and her blog, Genealogy à la carte for informing us about this website.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee







Re: Explanation/translation of name recorded in Polish #poland #translation

Harry Auerbach

Vel is the polish equivalent of "aka", or "also known as."
Harry Auerbach

Tsarist Russian internal passports #russia #ukraine

Michael Sharp

Does anyone know of any databases of internal passports and travel permits for Tsarist Russia? Birth records prove that my grandfather's family came from the Chernigov oblast in what is now northern Ukraine, but my father said that they came from Odessa. Ideally I would like to trace the family's journey out of Russia - maybe they first travelled south to the port of Odessa, but I don't know

Michael Sharp, Manchester, England

Re: Ukraine and Belarus births and marriages - what is best approach to find records? #ukraine #belarus

Beverly Bienstock Margolies

Years ago I ordered Pryluki records to find my grandfather, David Binstock, POLTAVA 1898 birth record.    I ordered from Utah LDS,  to a nearby Family History Center. There is one in Emerson, NJ.   They are probably still closed due to Covid, but the online search and research is available on their site.

Unfortunately, I did not find his record, but I kept the images in case anyone else could use Poltava records for 1898

Good Luck,
Beverly Bienstock Margolies
New Jersey

Re: Find immigration manifest and naturalization papers? #records #usa


I am working on a reply to this original post, since I have several unresolved questions about these El Paso cards.  For the moment, I'm not convinced all these cards are indexing the El Paso manifest cards or sheets.  Many of those listed in said index have easily-found passenger lists and manifests, but not always for the dates or places shown on the El Paso index.  Others cannot be found on any manifest online (like Jacob Brostoff).  These cards index something somewhere, just have to figure out what.

Marian Smith

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