Re: finding PELZEL in Montevideo #general

Karen Lukeman

Hi Paul, 

We visited Montevideo a few years ago, and had an amazing Jewish tour with Fanny Margolis who might be able to help because she has many contacts. Part of the tour included visiting a synagogue/Jewish community. You can learn more about her at

Good luck on your journey!
Karen Calmon Lukeman
KALMANOWITZ (Lyubcha and towns near Grodno, Vilna and Minsk)
GOLDSMITH (Bakshty and Ivje)
NASSER (Damascus)
BENBAJI (Damascus)
BALLAS (Damascus)

Re: Opole Lubelskie Ghetto #holocaust

Lewis, Megan

Dear Moshe,

I did a search for Opole and Vienna in the USHMM Collections Search catalog,  There are digitized archival collections, oral histories and photographs you can access from home that may be of interest to you.

Best wishes,

Megan Lewis, USHMM reference librarian

Dieveniskes (Divenishok), Vilna: Photo Identification of Town’s Youth: 1925-1935 #photographs #lithuania #belarus

Adam Cherson

A group of high-definition photos of the youth of Dieveniskes (Divenishok) has been posted to the Photo Gallery ( Persons with Divenishok ancestry are requested to please make an effort to identify anyone in these photos, and send your findings to the email address on the photos.

Some of the persons in these photos include: Tsvi Hersh ROGOL, Basyeh RUDNIK, Yakov BENYAKONSKI, Breyneh RUDNIK, Sholem ROSENBLUM, Avraham KARCHMER, Shlomo LEVINE, Bilkhe CHERSON, Khayeh Rivke KRIZOVSKI, Tsvi KRIZOVSKI, Moshe ZUSSMAN, Avraham ALONI, Liba LEVINE, Reyzl MOVSHOVICH, Blumeh MOVSHOVICH, Moshe Yakov ROGOL.

The places associated with the persons or their descendants in these photos include Dieveniskes, Divenishok, Dziewieniszki, Jevenishok, Devenishki, Dzievianiski, Konvalishki, Kallelishok, Smarhon, Smorgon, Smorgonie, Svir, Lida, Voranava, Voronova, Voronove, Varanova, Binakoni, Benakoni, Benyakon, Byenyakoni, Yashun,  Jiasiunai, Jiasiuny, Rudnia, Volozhin, Bielica, Vilna Province,  Oshmyany (Ashmyany) Province, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Nebraska (Lincoln), New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Australia, Belarus, Cuba, England, France (Grenoble), Ireland, Israel, Poland, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, Venezuela.

Adam Cherson

Re: Lithuanian Telephone Books #lithuania

Logan Kleinwaks

Todd Brody asked about Lithuanian directories before 1930, writing that "The earliest directory on the Genealogy Indexer seems to be 1930." Genealogy Indexer actually includes many Lithuanian directories from before 1930, see:
However, many are Russian Empire-era "Commemorative Books" (e.g., for Kovno Gubernia, Памятная книжка Ковенской губернии) that are far from comprehensive. The most comprehensive are the Russian Empire Business Directories, Vsia Rosiia (1902, 1900, 1899, 1895, part of 1897, Вся Россия). (Note that due to the way those are printed and scanned, OCR accuracy is not super high, so some matches might be missed by searching.) Less comprehensive is the 1924 Baltic States + U.S.S.R. Business Directory (Rudl's Adressbuch der Baltischen Staaten und der U.d.S.S.R).

Todd mentioned a 1923 all-Lithuania telephone directory at the Library of Congress -- as far as I know, they have not digitized it and it is not otherwise online (on reputable websites).

Logan Kleinwaks
near Washington, D.C.

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

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