Re: How can I research famliy members from the Volyn area (Ratno, Kovel, etc). that emigrated in the late 19th and early 20th Century to the US? #ukraine


I was able to ascertain the names of great grandparents born in the "old country" in the mid-1850s by looking at USA marriage certificates for my grandparents.  I found one grandmother's "maiden" name on my father's and uncles' birth certificates in 1907-1917. 

Naturalization papers helped me find the origins of both sides of the family.  
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC

Re: "Ligia" - which town in Minsk Gubernia #names #belarus

Michele Lock

To all,

Thanks for all the replies.

I will look over a 'Minsgyberna' map, and hope that the names of places are in Roman letters, and not Cyrillic. I have looked over Google Maps, for towns that begin with 'L' and are roughly within 150 km of Minsk, and which might be about the same length as 'Ligia' and came up with the following - 

I'll consult more maps, and take another look at US documents for the other sons of the father Simon Lavine, and hopefully be able to narrow things down. The only thing I'm certain of right now is that this particular Lavine family came from the Minsk gubernia, probably from a town that begins with the letter 'L'.

As for all the other Levin, Lavine, Levy families in Trenton NJ - I am not particularly convinced that all these families are related, even the ones that took the name 'Lavine'. Simon Lavine is listed as 'Levy' on the 1900 US census, and that may be just as accurate as Lavine. I have no idea what the original family surname was before they came to the US. On the Belarus database on Jewishgen, I've found Levin, Levitan, Levinsky, Levko, Lev, Levi, and so on. Way too many variations of Levin, and way too common a name. 

Michele Lock

Re: Donations to JewishGen through Amazon Smile #general

Avraham Groll

Thank you so much Beth and Phil for pointing out these valuable ways to support JewishGen's important work.
Amazon Smile is a wonderful program whereby JewishGen benefits from your regular shopping. Here is a direct link to associate JewishGen with your Amazon account:
During this time, more than ever before, your support (no matter the channel) will be greatly appreciated!

Avraham Groll
Executive Director

Re: Looking for a Lower East Side photo. #photographs

Kathy Lorber

Also try Click on Digital Collections. You can put in the address in the search bar and any photographs of that location will come up. Good Luck.

Kathy Lorber
Montville, NJ

LORBER: Poughkeepsie, Bardejev, Slovakia
FELDMAN: Varjufalu/Stulany, Slovakia
LIVINGSTON/LEVENSTEIN: Chicago, Davenport Iowa, Lithuania
GOLDMAN/SZEYP: Davenport, Iowa, Mariampol, Lithuania
DAVIS: Chicago, Wales, UK
HERTZBERG: Chicago, Courland, Lithuania
GOLDBERG: Odessa, Ukraine

Belgium's Kazerne Dossin Online Exhibit #announcements #holocaust #photographs #records

Jan Meisels Allen



Due to the pandemic opportunities to travel and visit the museum have been reduced, and Kazerne Dossin has opened up more of their collection online.


The most visited temporary exhibit at Kazerne Dossin is their Auschwitz camp exhibit. It may be viewed at: .       In addition to English, the exhibit is available in French and Dutch. In Kazerne Dossin (Mechelen, Belgium) the exhibit was presented from 24 October 2019 to 6 September 2020. If you click on any of the icons they will open with a photograph and more information about that part of the site.


Kazerne Dossin is a memorial, museum and research center on Holocaust and Human Rights. On the site of the museum between 1942 and 1944. the Nazis used the Dossin barracks in Mechelen as a transit camp from where 26,000 Jews, Roma and Sinti were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau by means of 28 train-transports. Only about 5 % of the deported survived.  The Memorial website offers the opportunity to view portraits of deportees and publishes stories on those deported.


To visit the website go to:


The online exhibit is made possible by a generous support from the Claims Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Chmelnik, Ukraine #ukraine #records


How can I get records about my mother and grandparents who were from Chmelnik?  Bernstein, Rabinowitz

Polish translation - Spiwak #poland #translation

Margalit Ashira Ir

Please translate this Marriage Registration for Chaja Perla Spiwak in Koden, 1856.
You will find it on ViewMate # 86754

Warm Regards,
Margalit Ashira Ir
I am: An Israeli! An Immigrant! An American!


Research advice for ACKERMAN in Hungary or Subcarpathia #hungary #subcarpathia

Carole Bass

I have hit a brick wall in researching my ACKERMAN ancestors and am looking for advice.

In a breakthrough early this year, I found the birth record of my great-grandfather Bernath/Bernhard Ackerman in Benk, Hungary, DOB 21 Sep 1874. The birth is recorded twice, in the Jewish registries for Mandok — presumably the closest town with a registry — and for Kisvarda. In each case, the father is listed as H. Ackerman and the mother as Debora Spira. The sandek is Elias Moses Spira.

With this information, I was able to locate some distant Spira cousins who generously shared their research. I believe that Debora Spira, my gggrandmother, was born around 1841 in Gemzse, Hungary, near Benk. But I am stumped on the Ackerman line. I can find no other births to this couple (siblings of my great-grandfather), and no marriage or death records or even a full first name for my gggrandfather. In addition to the JewishGen search engine, I have paged through metric books for many nearby towns. I've also looked through many records from Munkacs (now Mukacheve, Ukraine), home to numerous Ackerman families. I've found nothing that our terrific JewishGen volunteers hadn't already recorded.

My hunch is that H. Ackerman came from outside the Szabolcs-Szatmar-Bereg area that remained in Hungary — perhaps originating in Subcarpathian Ukraine or Slovakia. I further speculate that the family didn't stay long in Benk, but returned to H. Ackerman's home area. But that's speculation, and I haven't found any promising leads on JewishGen, FamilySearch, or the Sub-Carpathia Genealogy page.

I've pursued the DNA route as well. There are no close matches, because my great-grandfather is my most recent Jewish ancestor. He left his Jewish identity behind, married a Catholic woman from now-Slovakia (in Germany), and immigrated to the U.S. in 1903, settling near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I was thrilled when my DNA test revealed a bit of Jewish ancestry; my great-grandfather kept it a total secret, and nobody in the family had any inkling. 

Would be grateful for any suggestions of where else I might look. Having spent years hunting down the source of my Jewish DNA, I'm both eager and determined to continue tracing my heritage in that direction.

Carole Bass

Re: Hungary Act of Emancipation #hungary


The Act of Emancipation was initiated under the rulership of Joseph II in the
second half of the 18th century.

By the way, my brother-in-law is the late Shlomo Bien (born as Andor Bien) from
Nagykanizsa Hungary. 

Miryam Gordon

Re: Looking for a Lower East Side photo. #photographs

Sherri Bobish


Try contacting AJHS

Ask about the JB Lightman collection of photos of The Lower East Side.


Sherri Bobish

Re: How can I research famliy members from the Volyn area (Ratno, Kovel, etc). that emigrated in the late 19th and early 20th Century to the US? #ukraine

Bruce Drake

As another researcher mentioned, records are sparse for Kovel. A reesearcher named Alex Dunai (aidunai@...) did find records for my ancesters from there here:
List of the documents studied in the state archive of Zhytomyr oblast :
1.Revision list 1858 for the town of Kovel ( fond 118, opys 14, file 122) 
2.Supplementary revision list 1862 for the town of Kovel ( fond 118, opys 14, file 319
3. Supplementary revision list 1865 for the town of Kovel ( fond 118, opys 14, file 79) 
4.Payment book of  volatile taxes* arrears for Kovel county 1904-1915 ( fond 118, opys 21, file 402) 
(Source: state archive of Zhytomyr oblast.Fond 118, opys 21, file 402, page 61 ) 
You also might see if my Kovel Kehilalinks page is any help:

Bruce Drake
Silver Spring MD

Re: How can I research famliy members from the Volyn area (Ratno, Kovel, etc). that emigrated in the late 19th and early 20th Century to the US? #ukraine


Steve - 

As far as I am aware there are virtually no surviving Jewish vital records from Kovel and Ratno.

You can use Miriam Weiner's website Routes to Roots to search for records about the towns you are interested in: Make sure to use the Daitch-Molotkoff Soundex matching for best results.

This suggests that the most significant surviving 19th century collections for both Kovel and Ratno might be census type records dating from the early 1860s - probably Books of Residents. These are housed at the State Archives of Zhitomir Oblast. I would recommend hiring an experienced genealogist or researcher who can read Polish/Russian. Alex DENISENKO is one recommendation - he is based in Lviv. 

You might also find this site useful:

Hope this helps.

Best wishes,

Naomi Leon
Brighton, UK

LEWKOWICZ, RYWAN, LASKY, BERGER, WRON, FAJBISIEWICZ (Rawa Mazowiecka, Aleksandrow Lodzki, Lodz)

Re: Looking for a Lower East Side photo. #photographs


If you use this URL And search for 10 Delancy Street You will get a 1940’s photo.
I hope it is useful to you.

I tried to attach the photo I found but can’t seem to find it.

Good luck,
Betsy Becker


Opole Lubelskie Ghetto #holocaust

Moshe Berman

I’m trying to track down the fate of my great grandfather, Josef Bermann false Lehrhaupt. He was deported from Vienna on February 15, 1941 and the last letter was from almost a year later - February 12, 1942.

I’m looking for descendants of other Viennese Jews who went through the same ghetto, in hopes of comparing notes or learning new information.

I’ve read much of the literature online at Yad Vashem, USHMM, and elsewhere. I have contacted Arolsen Archives, too. 

What out of the box places might one look for ghetto records?

Moshe Berman

Re: Locating microfilm images (was Re: Bessarabia Revision List and corresponding microfilm image #bessarabia #general

Paul Chirlin

Thank you for this "how to".  I would hope that JewishGen will see how often this issue of how to use the file notation arises as an indication that it would be very helpful for step by step instructions to be available on JewishGen.  And that a link to those instructions would be prominently displayed on the page with the search results. 

Paul Chirlin

Re: Tombstone #translation


Hi Maria  
In your question you asked if there is anything special regarding this tombstone. 

The abbreviation ש"א that generated some debate, that means Shem Imo, appears to my understanding as something belonging to Hungarian Jewish culture. 

Is this grave found in Hungary, or in  former Hungarian provinces like Slovakia or in the US but coming from a Hungarian family? 

Best regards  
Laurent Kassel  
Moreshet  Israel 

Re: Finding My Grandfather's Siblings From Minsk #belarus



Minsk was both a city and a Province in the Russian Empire. When you say your relative left Minsk, which were you referring to?

Igumen was both a city and a district. It might help if you told us the actual locations in the Igumen district. 


Aaron Ginsburg

Re: Contact Burial Society Chevra Chesed Shel Emeth of Brownsville #usa

Alan Reische

One other thought - there was a WPA project to survey the number of religious institutions during the 1930s. As part of the survey, the society representative (or in my case, its successor) filled out a background data sheet that contained some additional information. Those data sheets, which have not been digitized, are in the Municipal Archives. Their volunteers have been enormously helpful in retrieving the data sheets I was looking for, and steered me to the ultimate recipient of the original records. Unfortunately in my case I couldn’t find anything helpful, but you may find it more productive. Amazingly, there was no charge for this helpful support, but if course I did make a contribution in their honor with the appropriate nonprofit.

Alan Reische

Re: Suggestions in determining home shtetl #belarus #lithuania #poland


Hi Todd, 

looking on ancestry he appears to have had a brother, Joseph. On Joseph's WWII draft card, lupts russia is given as the birth place. Using a sounds like search on the jewish communities database, the first match is Lyubcha, Belarus which was in the Novogrudok district, Minsk province during the Russian Empire   
I suggest doing a sounds like for the last name in Belarus and seeeing if you can find the name in the navagrudok area.

Aaron Ginsburg aaron.ginsburg@...

Re: Suggestions in determining home shtetl #belarus #lithuania #poland

Carol Hoffman

A possibility is that you're looking for current day spelling Zemaiciu Naumiestis that was at one time called Neishtot-Tavrig. You can find more information and links by using the interactive map of LitvakSIG .
When searching the LitvakSIG ALD All Lithuanian Database you will find some birth records for the surname Levitsky/Lewicki.
Good hunting.
Carol Hoffman
Tel Aviv

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