Re: Hungarian Secular Names Soma and Antal #hungary #names




Names were not fixed but there are some regularities, common pairs and discrepancies as well.

The secular name Soma is a diminutive of the full name Sámuel (just like Samu). So his Hebrew name may have been Shmuel or a combo of Shmuel and something.

As for Antal (=Anthony, Tony, Anton, etc), this would be harder. Antal may have been Asher, Avraham and others or something totally different.



Karesz Vandor
genealogist/historian/private tour guide

Hungarian Roots
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Identify military uniform and medals #photographs #general #germany

Fig, Lorraine

This photograph was found in my great-grandmother's collection without any identifying information or date.  I would appreciate any help you can provide about the type of uniform and medals and date of photograph that might give a clue as to the identity of the subject.  The family originally lived in Suwalki Gubernia (Poland) but moved to East Prussia and had relatives in Germany.
Thank you.

Lorraine Fig Shapiro,
Ann Arbor, MI

Researching: SLADOWSKY (Suwalki and East Prussia), LUDWINOWSKI (Suwalki and East Prussia), FIG (Lithuania), CHAPMAN (UK)

President's Presentation At Gesher Galicia Membership Meeting - With Links #galicia #announcements #events

Steven Turner

Dear Friends.
We thank all those who attended our membership meeting. We had a great turnout. Unfortunately I had a technical hiccup with my laptop and my headset although in the rehearsal a few minutes earlier all was fine. At the start of the meeting it was not functioning and I therefore had to use my computer microphone which unfortunately garbled my voice during the President's presentation. It was very upsetting but I could not do anything about it at the time.
I was asked if I could post my remarks. You can find them here
Some links
Twitter @GesherGalicia
YouTube Subscribe -
Amazon Smile -
Info line - info@...
We will upload the recording of this meeting to our YouTube channel and will announce when that is ready.
Thank you for attending and thank you for your support.
Dr. Steven S. Turner
President, Gesher Galicia

Re: Seeking feedback re: conflicting surnames (GORDON, COHEN, SEBULSKY) and (JAFFE, SINGER, STRAUSE) #names

Jocelyn Keene

On Fri, Nov 6, 2020 at 11:17 PM, Tracy Fish wrote:
The second conflicting name group JAFFE, SINGER, STRAUSE:
My other 3xGG also has conflicting names on records: Bloome STRAUSE and Rivka SINGER. The same Mary GORDON mentioned above married Issac (Israil) JAFFE in 1893.
1. According to NY Marriage Records for Mary GORDON and spouse Issac (Israil) JAFFE in 1893, Issac's mother's name is listed as Bloome STRAUSE.
2. According to NY municipal death record for Issac (Israil) JAFFE in 1907, Issac's mother's name is listed as Rivka SINGER.

I'd just like to add my two cents for what it's worth.  I never believe a death record over another record.  After all, when Isaac's death record was filled out, Isaac was dead and couldn't provide the information.  Probably the person who filled it out had no real reason to know Isaac's mother's name.  Whereas the marriage record was presumably filled out, or the information was given, by Isaac himself. 

Jocelyn Keene
Pasadena, California, USA

Hungarian Secular Names Soma and Antal #hungary #names

Aaron Slotnik

Hello Hungarian Researchers,

I would be interested in hearing from people who have firsthand knowledge of the Hungarian secular names Soma or Antal and their corresponding Hebrew names, preferably from documented sources.  Searches of the JewishGen Given Names Database have come up empty.

As you have likely experienced, one of the many difficulties of Hungarian Jewish genealogy is that our families used secular names that often bore no resemblance to their Hebrew/Yiddish names, therefore making it extremely difficult to confirm whether someone was the same person in different types of records.  It seems to be especially problematic when trying to trace people across the 1848 Census and later records when the trend seems to have been to adopt more Hungarian secular names and less Jewish ones.  One recent confirmed discovery is an individual in the 1848 Census as 'Mozes', in later rabbinic and civil records as 'Ignatz', and his Hebrew name on his child's matzeva as 'Ephraim Menashe'.  Not to mention the surname changed from a patronymic in the 1848 Census to a fixed surname.

Thanks in advance for your insight.

Aaron Slotnik
Chicago, IL

Re: Seeking Information on Rabbi Amram b. Yitzchak Yakov BLUM #rabbinic

Aaron Slotnik


I'm revisiting this line of research and am seeking assistance in determining whether this Rabbi BLUM was a Kohen.  Please see the full thread for additional information from my original message in 2016 as well as the specific quote below.  I believe the best source would be to find pictures of Rabbi BLUM's matzeva from his ohel in Berettyoujfalu, Hungary or of his descendants who spread throughout Hungary, Israel and elsewhere.  I've been unable to find any pictures online.  For example, his grandson Rabbi Amram BLUM who died in Cleveland, Ohio in 1970 and is apparently buried somewhere in Israel (source Cleveland Jewish News).

Additionally, I would greatly appreciate if anyone has access to the sources below and could look up his entries there for additional detail on his life and ancestry.

Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide!

Aaron Slotnik
Chicago, IL

On Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 09:16 AM, Aaron Slotnik wrote:
hoping that some subscribers will have access to other sources (e.g.
Hakhme Hungaryah and Hakhme Transilvanyah by Yitshak Yosef Kohen,
Toledot Geonei Hagar and Shem ha-Gedolim me-Erets Hagar by Schwartz, or
Rabbi Blum's own works) that may have more information on them.

The Berthold Rosenthal Collection and communities in the Pfalz #germany

Michael Rubin

The Rosenthal collection is best known for its documentation of communities in Baden and it seems fairly clear that Rosenthal had access to official name change documentation from the 1809-15 timeframe as he made his notes. But Rosenthal also made notes on a fair number of communities in the Pfalz. There, name changes resulted from the French occupation and it does not seem that his notes resulted from access to those documents.  I'm seeing much earlier dates in those notes, such as from the mid 1700s. I’m posing the question to this forum around your understanding/conclusions/guesses as to the original documents he used.  The simple answer is that he used Jewish communal records which have been lost.  But it’s tricky to interpret his notes without understanding what he was looking at. Your input based on experience with Pfalz research is appreciated.  Thank you.

Michael Rubin
Boston, USA

Re: Gesher Galicia Zoom Membership Meeting Today #announcements #galicia #events


It would be helpful when you post this type of message, to include the date. I presume it is Sunday November 8, except Australia where it would be November 9. 

Remember there can be a delay between when you post a message and it is seen/read. 

John Hirschmann
Washington DC


Important genealogical information in old Jewish newspapers #belarus #russia

Shlomo Gurevich

Important genealogical information can be found in old Jewish newspapers published in Russia in the end of 19th – and beginning of 20th century in Hebrew, Yiddish and Russian, which are available on-line at the website of National Library of Israel recently updated at

There are lists of donations for poor, victims of fire, pogroms, and, especially, for Eretz Israel, collected by the representatives of the “Society for support of Jewish farmers and artisans in Syria and Palestine” was established in 1890 with its Vaad (Committee) based in Odessa. Local branches of the Society were founded all over the Russian Empire.

The donations were collected on regular basis as well as on various occasions like weddings, births, bar mitzvas, Torah readings on Holidays, In Memoriam, etc. Eretz-Israel donation bowls put in synagogues and beith-hamidrashim were full on Yom Kippur Eve. The names of the donors and other important information were published mostly in Ha-Melitz.

Here is one of such publications:   

Ha-Melitz, 21.08.1898

I am sending my Mazal-Tov blessings to my friend Moshe Meir Leites from Mstislavl for the wedding of his brother Yakov Leites with Anna Gurevich. In the memory of this event, I donated 2 times “chai” (18) kopecks for the benefit of the workers in the Holy Land.  

B. Pines from Chislavichi.

Recently, the lists of such donations for 1892-1903 in alphabetical order for Chislavichi, Monastyrshchina and Mstislavl of Mstislavl uyezd and for Lyady of Gorki uyezd, all of Mogilev gubernia, were added to my website, as well as lists of donations collected for special purposes, such as for the poor in the South of Russia (1881, Lyady), the hungry in Bessarabia (1900. Chislavichi), victims of Kishinev pogrom (1903, Chislavichi), etc, and the articles on Chislavichi, Monastyrshchina and Lyady, extracted from the Jewish newspapers.  Lists of conscripts and deserters in Mstislavl, Gorki  and Gomel uyezds, extracted from 1875 Mogilevskie Gubernskie Vedomosti were also added. They can be found at ernia/Mogilevgub.htm and further under Uyezd towns.

Shlomo Gurevich
Hoshaya, Israel

Re: Keller family in Rus, Belarus #usa #belarus

Moishe Miller

My own KELLER research is for:
Feivel Kaler / Keller (Jan 15, 1890 - Jun 17, 1961), who lived in
Providence, RI.
He was the son of Hersh Kaler of Ros, Belarus,
the son of Shmuel Kaler.

Moishe Miller
Brooklyn, NY
JGFF# 3391

Moishe Miller
Brooklyn, NY
JGFF #3391

Hancz/Hantz #usa


I am trying to find family and keep hitting roadblocks. My GG came to the US in 1901 and his wife came in 1904. His name was Bennie Hantz and his wife was Rose. I was always told that Rose's maiden name was Moscowitz. They settled in the Bronx, NY. His naturalization papers state that they were married at Barak Silvas Hungary. It says my Great Grandpa was born in Bochava Hungary which then became Czechoslovakia. I believe these cities are spelled incorrectly because I do not find them at all during my research.
I did find a Hungarian birth record for a baby named Markusz born June 7, 1897 and the parents were Beni Hancz from Bacsava Chabanivka and the mother was Roza Markovics from Bereg-Szilvas Kuzmyno. I am wondering if this record could be my Great Grandparents. There were always stories that they had a child in Hungary and the child did not come to the US. I think this may be the child.
Any thoughts or comments? I would love to find more info on this side of my family.

Cheryl Hantz-Tanenbaum

Re: Ancestral Town in the Russian Empire? #russia #france

Richard Cooper

Dear Friends,
Many thanks for your wise and helpful answers to my question!
Taking them all together, I think the balance of probability is that my great-great-grandfather Ephraim MATELEVITCH (or MORDCHELEWICZ) was born in 1804 in Grodno Guberniya in the Russian Empire.
Thank you all very much!
Ric Cooper
Midhurst, UK

"The People of Ferramonti: Then and Now" #JewishGenUpdates


Hello and greetings from England. I am collating stories from former internees of Ferramonti di Tarsia and/or their descendants. If you (or anyone you know) were an internee in Ferramonti di Tarsia camp, Calabria, Italy please contact me so I can explain the next steps. Essentially I hope to publish at least one volume of stories and photographs (black and white and colour) of former internees. I am sure from over 3,500 internees there must be many second and third generation family members with a story to tell of their relative. 
My father David Henryk ROPSCHITZ  (born in Galicia 1913) was a internee. His autobiographical novel was published earlier this year. Now it is time for others to tell their stories. Please contact me at
Thank you in advance. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Yolanda Ropschitz-Bentham

Tracing the descendants of Betzalel (Zalel) Stern of Barsan, Rumania. #usa #israel

Neil Rosenstein

Trying to make contact with the Israel and USA descendants of Zalel
Stern who survived the Holocaust. A daughter Elisheva Cimet lived in
Ramat Gan,another Ileana Roth lived in Flushing, NY and a brother
Shmuel Stern died in Tel Aviv in 1982 (father of Menachem Stern of
Ayer, MA).
Neil Rosenstein

Re: Seeking feedback re: conflicting surnames (GORDON, COHEN, SEBULSKY) and (JAFFE, SINGER, STRAUSE) #names

Tracy Fish

Hi Michele,
Thanks for your suggestions.

Re: your first question: What other evidence to you have from records that Mary Gordon and Jennie Gordon are sisters? Do their ages closely match what you have from census records, etc? 
I know for fact Mary Gordon and Jennie Gordon are sisters. Mary Jaffe nee. Gordon had 6 children and Jennie had 4 children. One of Mary's daughter's married one of Jennie's sons. My grandmother was very close to this family and I have photos of most of them. Unfortunately, the family dwindled and there aren't really any descendants left/people I can ask.

Re: your second question: Marriage and death records for Isaac Jaffe - is there evidence that these are the same Isaac Jaffe? Do their ages in the records match up? Do their addresses (obtained from the record images) match up?
Yes these records/ages/addresses all match up. Also in all instances for these records, the father's names are all consistent and match the names on the headstones. The addresses are also consistent with the census records, the jobs and the cemetery that's mentioned on the death certificate. Which growing up I would often visit the cemetery where many of them are buried.

Abridged summary of records:

Records I currently have for my 2XGG Israel/Issac JAFFE, son of Bloome STRAUSE/Rivka SINGER :
-Marriage certificate
-Death certificate
-Census Records
-Will and Probate
-Index to Petitions for Naturalization
-Israel Jaffe arrived in the U.S. ~1890 at ~13-15 years old. I haven't been able to find his passenger list record.

Records I have for my 2XGG Mary Jaffe nee. GORDON:
-Marriage Record
-Census Records
-Death/Death Index
-I have not been able to find her passenger list record

Records I have for my 3XGAunt Jennie Fleischer nee. GORDON
-Census Records
-Buried at Mt. Judah Cemetery *I have not seen her headstone and curious what her hebrew name is written as
-Marriage Index
-Death Index
-I have not been able to find her passenger list record

Records I have for my 3XG Aunt Esther Tucker nee. GORDON
-Census Records
-JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry
-She is mentioned on her husband Jacob TUCKER's State and Federal Naturalization Records. On his draft records it says he is from Ekaterinoslav. I have not been able to find their passenger list records, however I believe they were married prior to the U.S.

Mary, Jennie, and Esther's father Aaron GORDON immigrated to the U.S. His census records all say Widowed, so I believe Esther Cohen/Sebulsky did not come to the U.S. I also have Aaron's death certificate. He was never naturalized and I could not find his passenger list record.

I have all this in my tree on Ancestry. Wish I could just fill in the gaps to make sense of these conflicting names.

Tracy Fish

Re: SSDI opinions #general

Sarah L Meyer

I consider it a reliable primary source for Deaths and secondary for births.  If there is nothing else (no census records, no birth records etc) I will take it.  I also consider the month and day more reliable than the year.
Sarah L Meyer
Georgetown TX
BIRGARDOVSKY, EDELBERG, HITE (CHAIT), PERCHIK Russia (southern Ukraine) and some Latvia or Lithuania

Gesher Galicia Zoom Membership Meeting Today #announcements #galicia #events

Steven Turner

Dear Friends,
If you haven't signed up yet it's not too late. Sign up here:
The meeting is at 12-1 p.m. EST US/Canada (9-10 a.m. PST US/Canada; 5-6 p.m. GMT, UK; 6-7 p.m. CET; 7-8 p.m. Israel; 4-5 a.m. next day NSW/Victoria, Australia).
We look forward to seeing you there.
Dr. Steven S. Turner
President, Gesher Galicia

Re: Help with tracing marriages of Great and Great great grandparents #romania #russia



The is no Grunberg - whatever spelling variation - in Stefanesti 1865 to 1900.  The first child recorded for Herscu and Ghitla was born in 1878. Judging from the age of wife, a marriage may  have taken place NOT before 1870. Such civil marriage was not recorded. On the marriage of the prior generation, judging from ages of Herscu and Ghitla, it took place BEFORE civil records started in Romanian Moldova, thus unknowable.

Luc Radu
Great Neck, NY

Re: 1930 census - invented people #general #records #usa

Moishe Miller


The 1925 does show David's 3 oldest children only; Sylvia, Edith &
Phillip. The 1940 census (under "Herstkowitz" at Ancestry) shows Edith &
Phillip, still listing David as a printer (like the 1930 census) and
still at the 685 East 52nd Street Brooklyn address.

(BTW, did you see David's Michigan marriage record, under "David Hush

I think it is possible to determine if Samuel, Harry & David (Jr?) were
David & Rebecca's children, by requesting the detail behind more

For instance, there is a birth record for a
David Hershkowitz, dob: 14 Feb 1929 in Brooklyn, NY, with Certificate
Number: 7195
Samuel Hershkowitz, dob: 19 Nov 1928, in Brooklyn, NY, with Certificate
Number: 46042

I checked ItalianGen, which lists death records for two of the three
possible children
Hershkowitz Stanley 6 y Mar 28 1933 7254 Kings (BUT, the FamilySearch
detail disproves this:
Hershkowitz Harold 5 y Feb 19 1930 4398 Kings (BUT, the FamilySearch
detail disproves this:

I tried Ancestry's New York, New York, Birth Index, 1910-1965 at:
1927 +/1 2 years
New York
There are 118 results
Changing it to just Brooklyn, there are the same results, but the first
41 are Brooklyn. Not sure why the results were returned like this, so,
back to the NY list of 118.

You can try playing with different combinations and wild cards to see if
you can narrow it down. It is possible they went to the Catskills in the
summertime, and those 3 children were not born in NYC.

Another possible explanation is that these were his nephews. In most of
the census records, his wife's siblings appear. Perhaps these are the
children of one of the Borofsky family.

Good luck,

Moishe Miller
Brooklyn, NY
JGFF # 3391

Moishe Miller
Brooklyn, NY
JGFF #3391

Re: Searching for marriage of my grandparents, Max and Anna Slonimsky, c. 1905 #records


Thank you SO much to the several people who took the time to research for me and to make suggestions for further research.  I have a bit more information than before and more ideas on how to proceed.  I love JewishGen!
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC

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