Re: Seeking Romanian Birth Certificate / Researcher #romania


I assume you have tried with the Iasi  National Archives. The reason it may not have worked is that that Archive  (for the largest - except Bucuresti --  Jewish community in the Old KIngdom) is not set up to do research — there are no index files and in my experience even when some office has an index Jews may have been entered using first names, and not the surname (which may not have even existed). So unless the exact DOB and the “real” surname (or patronymic) was used in the post emigration records, the Archive may not find any trace. A researcher may have to go over thousands of records with no guarantee anything will be found (as sometimes people indicate Iasi but the actual place may be a nearby place like Podu Iloaei or Targu Frumos). One suggestion is to ask the JG Romania admins — they do have the pictures of the civil records of  Iasi for the 1890s and possibly could help…

Luc Radu
Great Neck, NY

Re: How far back can one go? #general

Jeremy Lichtman

In some parts of Poland and Lithuania, the 1764/5 poll tax records still exist as well. In one case I was able to find an ancestor who was mentioned in both the 1785 and 1764 lists, and his father was mentioned as a patronymic - i.e. late 1600s.

There's a very large number of documents (tens or hundreds of millions of pages) in the Polish archives that have Jewish names in them. Things like court cases, property records and the like. People are just starting to look at these records from a genealogical perspective. If you fast-forward 20 years, my guess is that there will be indices of many of this sort of record as well, and they go very far back. 

Jeremy Lichtman
Toronto, Canada

Re: Kreplach and regions, etc. #general

Bruce Drake

You might enjoy this week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page which is all about food, and written in such detail that the descriptions often amount to recipes:

Bruce Drake
Silver Spring MD

Stephen Weinstein

On Sat, Nov 14, 2020 at 05:26 PM, <mattianlevine@...> wrote:
conflicting places in my research. The census data for the birthplace of one of my ancestors varies tremendously. The following places are listed as birthplaces of the same ancestor on various census': Russia, Poland-Russia, Germany, Lithuania (Russia-Kovna).
This is not really as conflicting as it sounds.

I encountered one case of a census taker who listed "Russian" as the native language of Jews from Poland who would not have spoken Russian as their first language.  It seems most likely that the census taker heard Jews from Russia speaking Yiddish, assumed it was Russian because the speakers were from Russia, and later heard Jews from Poland speaking it, and recognized it as the language as the language spoken by Jews from Russia, and continued assuming it was Russian.  Things happen.

The same physical location on the earth would be variously referenced by different country's names at different times.

Depending on how a question was phrased, it could have been interpreted as "When you lived there, in what country was the place where you lived" or "What country is it now" or "Of what country where you a citizen or subject" -- and if the question was "What country is it now", the average person might not know the answer.

Americans often use the word "Russia" to mean anywhere governed from Moscow (including the entire Soviet Union when it existed), even if not officially part of Russia.

Lithuania was part of Russia (ruled by the Czars) for a long time, was briefly independent, then became part of the Soviet Union (although not part of the Russian SSR), and finally became independent again.

Parts of what is now Poland were ruled at various times by Russia, Prussia (northeastern Germany) and even Austria.

And Galicia was eventually split up, with part of it become part of Poland and part becoming part of Ukraine.

But someone might know only that they were from Galicia and not which side of a border that wasn't established until after they left.

Or they might answer "Poland" when asked for the name of the country now ruling the place but "Emperor of Austria" when asked "who ruled you before you came to America".
Stephen Weinstein
Camarillo, California, USA

Re: Migration from Galicia to Vienna and Germany #austria-czech #germany #general

Veronica Zundel

I'm interested too, as my mother's birth parents fled from Drohobych in the early months of the First World War, when the Cossacks invaded the city. They got separated on the journey, and my grandmother arrived in Vienna alone with four children and pregnant with my mother. As she had no means of subsistence without her husband, the older children were put in the Jewish orphanage and my mother, born in Vienna, was fostered and later adopted. My biological grandparents were Etie Horoschowska and Benzion Weber; it is possible that their eldest son Josef Jakob emigrated to Palestine in 1927 along with one of his sisters (probably Chaje Sara) so there may be descendants in Israel, who would be my first cousins - would be interested to know how I would find out about this.

Veronica Zundel
London, UK

Jill Whitehead

Hi Matthew,

You may have a name change, or name anglicisation (from migration) as Caplan and Wolf are not particularly Suwalki type names. Wolf is a common first name. 

You can try Litvak SIG or JRI Poland, but the best place to start is your ancestors' naturalization record, as the is the place most likely to give the name of the town or shtetl your ancestor came from, or sometimes you can get these from census records. Also any name change may be on these records. 

All my ancestors came from the Suwalki Lomza or Kovno gubernias, and I used a combination of naturalisation records,  the census, Litvak SIG, JRI Poland and the records for the former Suwalki Lomza Interest Group (now defunct) which were presented in their magazine Landsmen. I got all their birth places this way. 

You do need to beware of name changes, which can happen multiple times, and also note that many reverted to their patronymic name on migration in preference to the name they were given by authorities in the old country. My great aunt Leah Servian (Serwianski from Sejny in Suwalki Gubernia) was buried as Leah Max in 1894 in North Wales, after her patronymic (Mordecai was her grandfather). Her widower Max Goldblat (whom she had married in Liverpool in 1887) remarried and changed his name in Britain to Morris Max and then Morris Marks.He emigrated to Chicago in 1905 with his 2nd wife Sarah Klein of Bradford, and changed his name to Aaron Marks.His descendants assumed his name had always been Marks, and so could not find him  when they came to Britain to search for his family. They did not know about the name Goldblat (he came from Kovno). 

The answer is that you need to think laterally.

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK

Re: Volunteer cememtery project from home #records

Sharon E Siegel

I'm not able to read or translate other languages, but this would be a great project for anyone who can.  

I've been taking photos for requests on FindAGrave, and only recently found out how much this might mean to someone. I put in a request myself for photos of headstones in Lodz (Poland) Cemetery. It is not possible for me to take this as I Iive in the USA. It would mean SO much to me if anyone does accept that request and send photos of our family that were murdered during the invasion of their hometown and resulting tragedies.

Please support these types of request. They may seem small in need, but they are so important in research and family answers about ancestry. 

Sharon Siegel, Port Jervis, NY USA

Malvine Weiss transferred to MAUTHAUSEN 14 April 1945, then where? #hungary #holocaust


Malvine Weiss listed as having transferred to Mauthausen from Ravensbruck on 14 April 1945 may be the wife of my 2nd cousin, with a matching Hungary birth date of 23rd Jan 1913. They had a son I am also trying to trace who went to Israel in the 1950s but returned to Hungary in about 1960. How can I find out what happened to Malvine if she made it to liberation. Her husband died in Mauthausen days before liberation. Very many thanks.

Emma Cole

Re: Seeking Romanian Birth Certificate / Researcher #romania

Theo Rafael


You or your cousin may want to join the "Jewish Genealogy in Romanian Moldova" group 

Particularly, Sorin Goldenberg, one of the admins, has gathered a large database and is versed in this kind of work. He should be able to either help you  or point you in the right direction. I assume that an official certificate may need to be obtained from local authorities.

Best of luck,
Theo Rafael
Bucharest, Romania

Re: Migration Eastward from Germanic countries #germany #lithuania

Kenneth Ryesky

1.  Tzarina Catherine the Great was in born to a German noble family, had French tutors for her formal education, and during her reign she brought over many German and French individuals into Russia.

2.  On a few occasions I heard my grandfather speculate that his family had come over to Belarus from Germany.

For whatever that may be worth.
Ken Ryesky,  Petach Tikva, Israel     kenneth.ryesky@... 

GERTZIG, BRODSKY; Yelizavetgrad, Ukraine
IZRAELSON, ARSHENOV; Yevpatoriya, Ukraine (Crimea)

Re: Meaning of surname “Moshchennik” #translation #names #lithuania #russia


Thank you all.  One google result is “cobbler.”  I think this is a misunderstanding for “one who cobbles roads.”  Mike Vayser I think would agree.  I am inclined to thinking the word refers to one who cobbles things together - quick-fixing.  This would explain how a current meaning would be “fixer” in the illegal sense.  It also relates to cobbling roads- throwing rocks in the potholes. 
Thanks again.
How do you put Cyrillic characters in these posts?

Fred Millner
Trenton, NJ

Re: Migration from Galicia to Vienna and Germany #austria-czech #germany #general

Daniella Alyagon

I know for a fact that Vienna has books in which it recorded people entering and exiting the city. 
These books are available in the city archive.

Daniella Alyagon

Researching: ALYAGON (Israel), SHOCHETMAN (Kishinev / Letychev / Derazhnya), AGINSKY (Kishinev / Minsk), FAJNZYLBER (Siennica, Poland / Warsaw, Poland), JELEN (Minsk Mazowiecki, Poland), KIEJZMAN (Garwolin, Poland),  SLIWKA (Garwolin, Poland), MANDELBAUM (Janowiec, Poland / Zwolen, Poland / Kozienice, Poland), CUKIER (Janowiec, Poland), RECHTANT (Kozienice, Poland), FALENBOGEN (Lublin, Poland), ROTENSTREICH (Galicia), SELINGER (Galicia), BITTER (Galicia / Bukowina), HISLER (Galicia / Bukowina ), EIFERMAN (Galicia / Bukowina), FROSTIG (Zolkiew, Galicia / Lviv, Galicia), GRANZBAUER (Zolkiew, Galicia), HERMAN (Zolkiew, Galicia), MESSER (Lviv, Galicia / Vienna, Austria), PROJEKT (Lviv, Galicia), STIERER (Lviv, Galicia), ALTMAN (Lviv, Galicia), FRIEDELS (Lviv, Galicia)

Re: Help finding out the given name of my aunt's brother in Argentina #names #latinamerica #austria-czech

Rolando Gail

I'm writing in behalf of AGJA (, the Argentine Jewish Genealogical Association.
At our files, we can find, at Tablada cemetery, the burial of Jose Busgang Willig, from Oct 2nd, 1957, and at the same plot, Dora Guberg de Willig, born Aug 11, 1912 who passed Sep 9th, 2001. At the same cemetery, other burial corresponds to Meier Willig, who passed Jul 20th, 1974, sharing the plot with Luba Lancman de Willig, who passed March 29th, 1979. Again at Tablada we can find a women named Lana Willig de Einstoss, who passed April 25th, 1986. And finally, at Berazategui cemetery, there is a burial for Aaron Willig, born april 9th, 1926, and dead by sep 25th, 2001. You can join our Facebook group to ask for more help, or write directly to consultas.agja@...
Rolando Gail

Re: Hungary Ancestor location Help needed #hungary


Herman Fabian seems unsure of his birth date.  He may be equally unsure of where he was born.  
I think that Gross Gevitz translates as Big Joke.

Tom Beer
Melbourne, Australia.

Re: How far back can one go? #general

Ilya Zeldes

For those who are researching Ostropol'e, a 1795 Revision List of Jews in Ostropol'e starts at Frame 641 between many other revision lists for Polish Nobility and Christians in the 
ДАКО 280-203-4а. 1795 рік. Ревізька казка всіх станів Волинської губернії
In the same file, at Frame 1095, there is a table listing number of Jews in every village of Volyn guberniya.
Ilya Zeldes
North Fort Myers, FL

Ilya Zeldes
North Fort Myers, FL

Re: Google to Restrict Unlimited Storage #announcements #photographs

Sarah L Meyer

No what has been shown is that nothing is FREE forever.  We enjoy and take advantage of those things.  However it is important to retain offsite backups of not just your photos but of your genealogy and other important items.  I suggest an off site back up service that would include your photos but also other items.
Sarah L Meyer
Georgetown TX
BIRGARDOVSKY, EDELBERG, HITE (CHAIT), PERCHIK Russia (southern Ukraine) and some Latvia or Lithuania

Re: Offering photos Mt Judah Cemetery, Queens NY #usa


Here is the information from the website:
Samuel Zimmer, 2-4-12-LO8
Edel Thomashefsky 2-4-12-LO1
Sarah Kaplan 2-4-12-R09

I believe my great grandmother, Leah Thomashefsky, is next to her husband. They may share a headstone. If not, could you get hers too?
I'm happy to contribute to expenses. Thanks -- Sherry Robinson, robinson@...

Re: grave stone translation requested #translation


To be precise:

Here lies

RIVKAH, daughter of Reb Chayim.

The abbreviation in front of her father's name is read as "Reb", not as "Rabbi".  And, as indicated, Reb is an honorific.

Had he been a rabbi, there would have been one of several different abbreviations preceding his name.
Fredel Fruhman
Brooklyn, New York, USA


I have been doing some research to come up with the area/place one of my ancestors is from but I seem to be getting conflicting places in my research. The census data for the birthplace of one of my ancestors varies tremendously. The following places are listed as birthplaces of the same ancestor on various census': Russia, Poland-Russia, Germany, Lithuania (Russia-Kovna). I know a bit of history about western Russia and that the Kovno Gubernia bordered Prussia/Germany, Poland (Suwalki), and other, various gubernias. Prussia/Germany and Suwalki (Congress Poland) are particularly of interest to me because Germany, Poland, Russia, Kovna, and Lithuania were all stated on various documents and census' pertaining to my ancestor. My ancestor's name is Moses Caplan and his only known sibling is Catherine/Kate Caplan Wolf(e). Parents unknown and immigration documents found.

Any information, thoughts, or suggestions as to what I should make of this information would be greatly appreciated!

Matthew Levine
New Jersey

Re: Meaning of surname “Moshchennik” #translation #names #lithuania #russia


First to address the name in question.  The name in the subject line is spelled with "shch", which is frequently used as latinization of a Russian letter "Щ", which looks similar to letter "Ш" (SH). The Russian sound, represented by "щ", sounds like sh and ch blended together. With this spelling - Мощенник - the root of the word implies that it's a person who paves roads, but I don't know if pavers were ever known by this word.  Мощеная дорога (paved road) or мощенная булыжником дорога (cobblestone road).  All searches for this word online return the context equal to moshennik - swindler.
Fred, would you be able to post a photo of the original page with this name?

Moshennik is not an anti-Semitic word and is not used as such, Russian language has far worse words for Jews.  Its root comes from the word moshna (leather money pouch with ties).  Russian - moshna, Polish - moshnya.  Moshennik - someone who steals a moshna.  Moshonnik - maker of these type of money purses.  These words, with the exception of "moshennik", have been out of use for a long time, as no one keeps their money in leather pouches or makes these pouches for a living.
Also, "son of Moses" is not a thing either.  Orthodox Christians (Ukrainians, Russians, etc) very frequently had Biblical names, unlike Jews, who had Yiddish names.  In late 19th-early 20th century Jews frequently used Russian-sounding equivalent names, until these names became known as "Jewish" names in Soviet Union.  At the same time these names fell out of use with non-Jews:

Jews - non-Jews
Movsha/Moshka - Moisey (Moses)
Avrum/Avram - Abram
Ios/Iosel - Iosif
Sura/Sora - Sara
Duvid/Dovid - David
Yankel - Yakov
cursive ' ш ' can look like the cursive ' ж ' (as in the 's' of  'usual').  On that basis the word wouldn't be мошенник but rather it would refer to someone of the Mosaic faith ie Moses which i take to mean Jewish.

I'm not sure what you mean by this - are you saying that Moshennik spelled with Ж (Моженник) means someone of Jewish faith?  Not sure how that's the case, there is no such word.  Moses in Russian is Moisey (МОИСЕЙ), there is no Ж there.  The word for Jews in the census/metrical records was universally iудей/иудей (iudey), related to Iuda/Judah (as in a Jew).  In Russian language iudey refers to someone practicing Judaism, evrey - someone of Jewish ethnicity.  Ethnicity was not much of a thing in Russian empire, people were tracked by their religion and they belonged to their locality's religious society - as in "registered to Minsk Jewish society".  In Russian empire once a Jew converted to Christian Orthodox faith, they gained all benefits of society, unavailable to Jews. There are references to Jewish ethnicity in some WWI records, but mostly all references are to faith, not ethnicity.  In Soviet Union the emphasis was on ethnicity, rather than faith, as religion was nearly outlawed.  Documents (internal passports, job personnel records, classroom rosters, etc) had a entry field for ethnicity (also known as the infamous 5th entry field, used as a clear marker for discrimination).

Mike Vayser

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