Re: Yiddish Question #yiddish



Hello Genners,


As I recall from my childhood and just double checked with my mother in Israel, the word שוואנץ 

meant  a tail and was not a compliment (he/she is such a schwantz).

Shabbat shalom,

Malka Chosnek, Texas

Re: Did Barney Barnato and Sir David Harris walk together? #southafrica


Hi Paul,

Thanks very much. Where in my previous message I mention 'gold rush' I think it should have been 'diamond rush'. My special interest goes out to the peddlers that at that time made their rounds through Namibia and visited the miners camps, boerejoden and hottentots. My ggf was one of them, there are indications that his mother Clara LEVIN had ties with the Schür family at Bowesborp. Would your family annals contain anything also might point that way?
Ron Peeters

Re: Finding death of my great uncle Otto Seelig #germany #records


Dear Susan,
Otto Selig married Berta Annis 31 Jul 1928 in Berlin. He died already 26 Nov 1928 in Charlottenberg, Berlin. The informer on the death record was Ludwig Latz. I get the impression that his wife Berta died earlier in Nov 1928. 

Gunnar Leman, Stockholm, Sweden

Re: Yiddish Question #yiddish


On Thu, Oct 22, 2020 at 05:36 PM, loren greenberg wrote:
It is a word in Yiddish "vantsun" - plural, mean bed bugs and "vontsun" - plural, mean mustache.

Michael Ryabinky

MEISELS family name from Hungary #hungary

David Grosz

I have recently done a DNA test on Ancestry and whilst it added a lot of confusion to my research by highlighting more than 160,000 connections, it identified one person who is close to me but a rather distant cousin and it has identified a name in common between us and some other DNA connections we have in common.  The family’s name MEISELS is the name that seems to be the name in common.  One person in common is Szeren MEISELS born in 1888 and her father was Marton MEISELS.  The other part of puzzle is Edith MEISELS born in 1892 and her father was William MEISELS born in 1861.  If anyone has some clues or other pieces to the jigsaw, your assistance would be most appreciated.

Thank you.
David Grosz

Re: Kaplan Family from Svislach, Grodno, Russia (Now Belarus) #russia #usa

Hazel Finn

Hi All
My grandmother Minnie Kaplin came from Minsk.  The information I have about her is as follows:
Minnie Kaplan, born in 1879,  and her husband Lazarus Kirshner settled in London, UK..  She had 5 children, one of whom was my father Alec
Minnie married in  1901 in Minsk.  
Her father was Aaron Jacob Kaplan.  Her brother was Isaac Kaplan who lived in New York and was hoping to arrange for his sister to come over to the US, but this never happened.  There was a nephew Irving who also lived in New York.  Believe she had two sisters, Rose and Sarah.
If anyone has mention of the above on their family tree I would be very happy to hear.
Hazel Finn

Re: Tombstone #translation

Dan Oren

This is an excellent discussion. Could someone type out in Hebrew (or spell out in English transliteration) the last word in the first line that Leya Aronson writes as "Nechmad." I am not reading the Hebrew letters of נחמד. But I'm not really sure...

Thank you. (If it works, I'm attaching an enlargement of that line from the photo submitted.)

Dan Oren
Woodbridge, Connecticut USA


International use of familysearch #ukraine #russia

David Mason

I've posted before about helping a Ukrainian and Russian Kagan/Cohen family who lost track of their American cousins in the 1930s, after falling into conversation on a train with the grandson of the brother who stayed behind.

At long last we have succeeded at finding them, special thanks to Georgeann Moore at Temple University.  She found the son who went to medical school and provided the link to his informative obituary..  So now we have dozens of cousins on this side and a still unknown number in Russia, hopefully more in Ukraine if there were survivors of all misfortunes of the 1930s and 40s.

So thinking of an online platform for documenting this, in a multi-lingual way, the familysearch website comes to mind, since the website can be navigated in Russian as well as English, and material can be entered and viewed in both languages.

So I'm curious if others have tried this, and how it worked out for them?  Was it actually used and updated over there as well as here?

-David Mason, Los Angeles

Re: Yiddish Question #yiddish

Philip Heilbrunn

A "vonce" also pronounced "Vantz" is a bed bug!
Not complimentary
Philip Heilbrunn

Re: My grandparents JONUSS and MAZUS from Ezere, Latvia #latvia #lithuania

Sherri Bobish


Have you tried looking for your family in these databases of Latvian & Lithuanian records?
Try a soundex search if you don't get hits on the exact spelling of the surname.


Sherri Bobish

Re: Opole Lubelskie Ghetto #holocaust


I'm sorry, but I do not have any pictures or letters. Everything was taken away from my parents when they crossed into Russia to escape from the approaching Germans. There is a memorial book from Opole Lubelskie that is written all in Hebrew & Yiddish. Maybe that would have some info for you if you read either language. I am a fluent speaker of Yiddish, but my reading capabilities are not wonderful. I wish I could be of more help.


Perla Goldschmidt 
Doylestown, PA

finding PELZEL in Montevideo #general

Paul Silverstone

In 1947 my cousins name GARBATY flew to Montevideo from New York to see
Hedwig PELZEL, 1483 Calle Largo, Montevideo

They had spent the war in Shanghai, and perhaps this person was a
relative who could give me some information on the family,

Is it possible to find this family today?
Paul Silverstone
West Vancouver, BC


Witunski/Witenski family from Lutomiersk #poland


I am looking for information about my grandmother’s family. Her maiden name was Vetensky.  We believe before she emigrated to London it was probably Witunski or Witenski, probably from Lutomiersk in Poland. She had a sister who married a baker and moved to Colorado (no names). Her brother, Morris, emigrated to New York.  We do not know their parent’s names. If anyone has information on this family please let me know.

MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately with family information

Kaplan Family from Svislach, Grodno, Russia (Now Belarus) #russia #usa


Hi All, 
Someone has my Great grandfather Louis Kaplan and wife Esther Wallach and other family in a Kaplan Tree on with lots of wrong information.  He's listed as Louis Svisloch Kaplan when Svislach is where he was from.  Lot of other wrong information.  My Great grandfather only had 1 child (my Grandpa Simon) and Simon only had 2 children.  I am the only one doing genealogy on the family so I am not sure who these people are.  I no longer have full access to Ancestry .com where the tree is located and there was no button to contact the person. 
Louis Kaplan born 1872 had a sister named Pearl/Paula Kaplan Rosen and a brother named Sam who died a bachelor between 1920-1930 in NYC.  There may have been other siblings which we don't know about.  
There parents were Asny Watnick and Samuel Movshe Kaplan. 
Esther and Louis Kaplan lived in Danbury, CT.
I am hoping to find the person with the family tree on Ancestry or more family. 
Thanks in advance, 
Elissa Haden
Palm Springs, CA

Re: Yiddish Question #yiddish

JoAnne Goldberg

In the house where I grew up, we had an annual invasion of flying ants that my parents referred to as "voncen" -- same word I guess. Bedbug in German is Wanze.

JoAnne Goldberg - Menlo Park, California; GEDmatch M131535


Re: Yiddish Question #yiddish

Laurie Sosna

Anyone else remember the episode of M*A*S*H ("38 Across")?
Hawkeye couldn't finish a crossword puzzle because he didn't know the five letter Yiddish word for bedbug that begins with V.

Laurie Sosna
San Francisco, CA

Invitation to Zoom meeting: "Woman in Gold" with Randy Shoenberg

Ben Kempner

The Jewish Genealogy Society of Southern Nevada invites you to a Zoom meeting at 1:00 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time) on Sunday, November 8:  “Woman in Gold” with Randy Shoenberg.

To request a Zoom link, please complete this formZoom Link Request

There are a limited number of seats available. 

Session Description:

The remarkable true story of one woman’s journey to reclaim her heritage and seek justice for what happened to her family. Sixty years after she fled Vienna during World War II, an elderly Jewish woman, Maria Altmann, starts her journey to retrieve family possessions seized by the Nazis, among them Klimt’s famous painting Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer. Together with her inexperienced but plucky young lawyer Randy Schoenberg, she embarks upon a major battle which takes them all the way to the heart of the Austrian establishment and the U.S. Supreme Court, and forces her to confront difficult truths about the past along the way. 

About E. Randol Shoenberg:

E. Randol Schoenberg is an American lawyer specializing in complex litigation matters, and notably in cases involving looted art and the recovery of property stolen by the Nazi authorities during the Holocaust. He won the return of five famous Klimt paintings for his client, Maria Altmann. In 2007, Mr. Schoenberg received the California Lawyer Attorney of the Year award for outstanding achievement in the field of litigation. He also received the 2006 Jurisprudence Award from the Anti-Defamation League and the Justice Louis D. Brandeis Award from the American Jewish Congress.
Mr. Schoenberg served as President of Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust from 2005-2015, during which time the museum constructed its new building in Pan Pacific Park. Mr. Schoenberg led the redesign of the permanent exhibit for the new museum. In 2013, he served as acting executive director while the Museum conducted a search for its new executive director.
He serves on the board of JewishGen, and the L.A. Jewish Symphony. He has been an avid genealogist since he was 8 years old, maintains a huge family tree both on JewishGen and Geni, and is the Co-Founder, Coordinator and Moderator for the JewishGen Austria-Czech Special Interest Group. He is the author of the Beginner's Guide to Austrian-Jewish Genealogy and the co-author of Getting Started with Czech-Jewish Genealogy.

Ben Kempner
JGSSN Programs

Havana, Cuba: Group Photo, Club Juvenil Hebreo de Cuba, June 1942 #photographs

Martin Fischer

The recent post by Adam Cherson of class photos from Havana's Centro Israelita reminded me that I had this photo, which was taken in June 1942 of the going-away party for my mother, Chana Anita Levik, held by the Club Juvenil Hebreo de Cuba (Jewish Youth Club of Cuba) shortly before she immigrated to St. Louis, Missouri, USA.  My mom is the one seated near the center with the flowery dress.

If you are interested in learning about my mother's life in Cuba, read her memoir at:

Martin Fischer
Vice President-Publicity
Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

JGSI website:

Name of Moss, Mosse #unitedkingdom


My Grandfather's side of the family has the name of Moss or going back to the 1600's Mosse.
I was told that my grandfathers family came to England "on the boats" whatever that means.
I checked the name and it goes back to the family living in Essex.
The family seemed to have been baptised so I thought they could not be Jewish.
I have researched the name and think they were but cant trace the family.
Any suggestions?
Many thanks

Sabolorvitz, from Kalwaria, Russia #names #russia

Marcia Segal


This may be outside the scope of the group, but I wondered if there are thoughts as to what name Sabolor might be (if "vitz" is "son of")? It's possible it was misheard and written down as Sabolor and should have been something else. However, if could be a name specific to Russia that doesn't translate directly. Many thanks in advance.
This may be outside the scope of the group, but I wondered if there are thoughts as to what name Sabolor might be (if "vitz" is "son of")? It's possible it was misheard and written down as Sabolor and should have been something else. However, if could be a name specific to Russia that doesn't translate directly. Many thanks in advance.
Marcia Segal

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