Levitic Status in 19th Century Polish Vital Records #records #poland


Do people with expertise in Jewish vital records in 19th century Poland know if Levite status was typically referenced in those records?  Would the Levite status of a groom or his father typically have been noted in a marriage record in the Lomza province in the 1840s?  Would the Levite status of a father have been documented in a birth record in the Lomza province in the 1860s?

I'm tracing the Levite status of a line of my family and wondering if the absence of any mention of Levitic affiliation on records like these indicates the family were not Levites.

Thank you for any expert guidance.

Bob Levy
Los Angeles

tens of thousands members "family trees" in Ancestry #announcements #general #education


Have you come across "family trees" in Ancestry with tens of thousands of members that are not a tree but what looks a collection of disjointed small family trees? They seem to be related to DNA investigations. Any idea why anybody would do this?

Angel Kosfiszer
Richardson, TX

Re: Kogan/Kagan #ukraine

Yefim Kogan

Well, first of all it was in the middle of XIX century, sometime in 1860s or so.

The main reason for changing surnames is that Jews did not want to go to Tzar army, and by changing names, that may helped.
If it is a large family, like 8 children with 5 boys, it is likely that someone would be going to the Army,  but if there are small families of 2-3 children, and 1 boy in each, that may not occur.  If it is only ONE boy in the family, that boy will not be recruited to the Army.

I also heard a rumor, but did not proof it that in some regions, not everwhere, Jews Kohanim were not recruited to the Army... not sure if this is true though.

All the best,
Yefim Kogan

JGSGM: A History of the Jews in Tampa #announcements #events

Paulette Bronstein

Dear Friends,
You are invited to join The Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Miami and Temple Beth Am Sunday Salon by Zoom on Sunday, December 13th at 10:30 a.m. ET. 
The topic is Seders and Cigars: A History of the Jews in Tampa.  Filmmaker Barbara Rosenthal and historian Sylvia Gurinsky are the speakers.
Please register by contacting Yoram Millman, JGSGM VP of Programming at jgsgm.vpprogramming@....
Paulette Bronstein
Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Miami

Re: Using geneanet #france

Susan Lubow

I used it and found it very helpful in learning about a member of my family who moved to France in the 19th century.  None of the information I found on Geneanet was available on Ancestry or any other site I use (including familysearch). I was also able to find and contact current a family members who was totally new to me.  Most helpful for French records.

Susan Lubow
Morristown, NJ


Mandselshteyn - Starokonstantinov #ukraine #names #records


Kind of hit a dead end. My great-great grandfathers last name, translated more accurately than what they used in the United States, was MANDELSHTEYN. In the United States the spelling was Mandelstein, and after WW2 the men starting with my grandfather and his brothers changed it to Manders. The MANDELSHTEYN's were from Starokonstantinov.

Anyway, MANDELSHTEYN does not seem to be very common, and my cousin unearthed some new records on Jewish Gen from Starokonstantinov, one would assume they are related somehow. However, we really can't figure out how. Some are in the same age range as my Great Great grandfather Philip/Pinkhas (first name in first image), while others are in the same age range as my Great Grandfather Morris. Each record lists the person born, their name, DOB, parents AND grandparents names. In only 1 case are 2 of the records obviously related. I put some of the names on my tree, as the brother of my great great great grandfather; just to see if I got any leaf hints on the names and dates, but nothing yet.

Any suggestions? Anyone have these names on their tree from 1800's-early 1900's?

Srul/Yisrael Mandselshteyn
Shlyoma Mandselshteyn
Etia Leya Mandselshteyn
Pinkhos Khaim Mandselshteyn

Courtney Manders

Re: Trouble finding relatives in Ellis Island Passenger Lists #records #names

Deborah Blinder

This may not apply in your case, but a lot depends on how you know they arrived at Ellis Island. I "knew" that my paternal grandfather, who died long before I was born, immigrated from France to Ellis Island. I don't know if I had ever actually been told this, or if I had just always assumed it because my grandparents lived in Paris before coming to this country, and my father was born in New York. I could never find my grandfather at Ellis island, though, no matter what search techniques I tried. Eventually, with the help of someone much more experienced than I was, I learned that the reason I couldn't find him was that he sailed from Liverpool, not Le Havre, and landed in Philadelphia, not New York. 

So, unless you have other documents, such as naturalization papers, that indicate a New York arrival, try expanding your search to other ports of entry. Good luck!
Deborah Blankenberg (JewishGen ID #613395)
Lodi, CA
Researching BLOCH/BLOCK (Germany to New York, Colombia and Missouri), BLINDER (Kishinev to New York via Poland? and Paris), KUSHER/KUSZER (Lodz vicinity to New York via Paris), GOLDSCHMIDT (Germany)



According to Bieder's Dictionary of Jewish Surnames in the Russian Empire:

Turkovich and phonetic variants derive from the village of Turkovichi.

Turchanovskiy is listed as a variant of Turchinskiy and Turchanskiy, derived from the village of Turchino or Turchiny.

Beider is not always right, but his work is right more often than wrong.  The point being, the dictionary lists both surnames, and shows them as being different, not variants of each other.

Ken Domeshek
Damesek (Nesvizh), Braverman (Nesvizh), Kartorzynski (Nowogrudek, Korelitz, Negnewicze), Sinienski (Negnewicze, Lyubcha) 

Re: Headstone Translation #translation


The name Yom Tov Lipa is not so uncommon to find among chassidim. It's likely that many of them do trace back to the Rabbi the "Tosfos Yom Tov" because the major chassidim families are very interelated but I don't think it's a given at this point that the name indicates a family tie to the Tosfos Yom Tov.

Binyamin Kerman
Baltimore MD

Help finding my maternal great great grandfather, Avram Grinberg and or my great grandmother Gitl Vigderovici #names #romania

Aline Petzold

Hello All:

  The marriage certificate of one of my grandmother's sisters (dated 1903) states that their mother, "Gitl, born of Avram Grinberg".  I tried to look up Avram Grinberg on JewishGen and on, but there are so many Avram Grinbergs and I have no way of knowing if any  of them is my great grandmother's father. Gitl may have been married before as some records have her as being Gitl Osias ( or Hosios).  I would love to know more about my great great grandfather Avram and my great grandmother Gitl.  They were from Stefanesti in Northeastern Romania. Any Suggestions?

Aline Petzold
St. Paul MN

Re: place in Teleneshty Yizkor book #yizkorbooks


From loctown on JewishGen, it would seem to be: Suhuluceni (or Sukhulucheni, Sukuluchen', Sukhulucheny all given as alternative spellings)
With map coordinates:

Jerrold Landau


Re: bubbie born in Sweden of Russian parents #scandinavia



If your grandmother was born in Sweden in 1869, it is not sure that she came from Russia, as the later immigration of Jews to Sweden from the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century.

A lot of the immigration of Jews in the first half of the 19th century came from Germany. The later Freedman spelling of the surname, is typically anglicized, and I would trust Friedman more. There are still tens of Jews in Sweden called Friedman, or the more Swedish "Fridman". You would probably have to employ a local genealogist to find exact information, unless you know the names of the  relatives in the generations of your grandmother's siblings' descendants, i.e. of those who stayed in Sweden. If you have that, there is a slight chance that some in my generation may have known some of them.

Seth Jacobson

Re: ViewMate translation request - Russian #translation


In Russian:


Состоялось в городе Петроков 9-го августа 1874 года в 8 часов утра.  Явился лично равин Петроковского религиозного округа Борух-Герш Росенблум и в присутствии свидетелей: учителя Данилы Вигдоровича, 70-и лет и Ицика Минкевича, рабочего, 67-и лет, жителей города Петроков и объявили вместе со свидетелями, что сегодня, в 7 часов вечера, был заключен религиозный брачный союз между Мордкой Ваговским, холостым, 18-и лет, сыном Айзека и Фейги-Михли, урожденной Блументаль, супругов Зильберман, родившимся и городе Лодзи живущим с родителями, и Фримой Либерман, девицей, 18-и лет, дочерью умершего Фишеля и живущей Малки, урожденной Штейнберг, родившейся и живущей с матерью в городе Петроков.  Браку этому предшествовали троекратные оглашения в синагоге города Петроков - 13-го, 20-го и 27-го июля сего года, а также в Пултуской синагоге, 24-го ноября, 1-го и 7-го декабря сего года, как об этом удостоверяют приложенные свидетельства.  Новобрачные заявили, что предбрачный договор между ними заключен не был.  Обряд бракосочетания совершил равин Петроковского религиозного округа Борух-Герш Росенблум.  Акт сей по прочтении равином новобрачным и свидетелям, ими и нами подписан, кроме новобрачных , которые неграмотны.

Равин Борух-Герш Росенблум

Данила Вигдорович

Ицик Минкевич

Чиновник гражданского состояния города Петроков        Подпись


Translated into English:



It took place in the city of Petrokov on August 9, 1874 at 8 am. The rabbi of the Petrokov religious district Borukh-Gersh Rosenblum personally appeared and in the presence of witnesses: teacher Danila Vigdorovich, 70 years old and Itsik Minkevich, a worker, 67 years old, residents of the city of Petrokov and announced together with witnesses that today, at 7 pm , a religious marriage union was concluded between Mordka Wagowsky, single, 18 years old, the son of Isaac and Feiga-Michlya, nee Blumenthal, the spouses Wagovsky, who was born in the city of Lodz and living with his parents, and Freema Lieberman, a maiden, 18 years old, daughter the deceased Fishel and living Malka, née Steinberg, who was born and lives with her mother in the city of Petrokov. This marriage was preceded by three readings in the synagogue of the city of Petrokov - on July 13, 20 and 27 this year.  The newlyweds stated that the prenuptial agreement was not concluded between them. The wedding ceremony was performed by the rabbi of the Petrokov religious district Boruch-Gersh Rosenblum. This act upon reading by the rabbi to newlyweds and witnesses, they and we signed, except for newlyweds who are illiterate.


Rabbi Boruch-Gersh Rosenblum


Danila Vigdorovich


Itzik Minkevich


Official of the civil status of the city of Petrokov Signature

Translated by Michael Ryabinky
Columbus, OH

Reliable researcher for NY #usa


Can anyone suggest a reliable researcher for NY public records 1880 to 1920?


Anthony Rabin
London, England

Re: Kogan/Kagan #ukraine

Shlomo Katz

One reason people changed names was to avoid the draft. I have a friend named Katz, which is usually a Kohen-name (as it is in my case), but he is not a Kohen. Their tradition is that an ancestor was "adopted" by a childless woman so that as an "only son" he would not be drafted. I have no idea if this is true, but it is their family lore.

Shlomo Katz
Silver Spring MD




Please, can you help me to find informations about my grandoncle Aron GELFAND born in Minsk or Bobruisk around 1880.
He was doctor in Saint Petersbourg before Shoah.
His father was Efroïm GELFAND born 1851 (Bobruisk) and died 13.9.1935 in Lodz (Poland) and mother Szula SYRKIN born in 1857 (Minsk) and died in 1.9.1918 in Lodz (Poland).
I think he was married and had 4 daughters but not sure.

does someone know if is a business register or census in Saint Petersbourg ?

Thank you for helping me.

Best regards. 


USHMM Launches Online Program on Iran's Connection of Jews Who Escaped the Holocaust #usa #announcements #holocaust #poland #russia

Jan Meisels Allen


Starting Tuesday December 8, 2020 the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) , in partnership with the Chautauqua Institution will present an online program on Iran’s connection to Jews who escaped the Holocaust.  This is a two-part online event entitled, “The Tehran Children: Iran’s Unexpected & Suppressed Connection to the Holocaust”. This was inspired by the 2019 memoir  Tehran Children:  A Holocaust refugee by Mikhal Dekal.


The memoir tells the story of over a million Polish Jews who fled the Nazis during the Holocaust into the Soviet Union – specifically focusing on the nearly 1,000 children who were sent to Iran. The author's father, Hannan Teitel, was one of these children.


The event is part of The Sardari Project: Iran and the Holocaust, the result of a collaboration between the USHMM and the Persian-language website: This website is also in Farsi.


The series will feature 13 articles and nine videos. In addition to the IranWire’ Facebook ( and Twitter ( channels it is available at the


At  There is also a 7 minute video about the program


To read more see:


The USHMM release may be accessed at:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee



Female name MIZREKHTSCH #hungary #names #slovakia

Hilary Osofsky

Despite having conferred conventional Hebrew names upon three of his daughters - Chava (Chawa?), Hendel, and Yehidis -  my great-grandfather's brother named one of his daughters what I'm told is a highly unusual, unfamiliar name: MIZREKHTSCH or MIZRAKHETSH, apparently meaning "daughter or the East." Please see photo, attached.

Although we do not know my great-great-grandparents' place of origin, my g-grandfather and his siblings were born in Vychodna, in the Zilina Region of Northern Slovakia, where the family principally lived. My great-granduncle's wife was born in Szent Marton, Martin District of Zilina; however, they principally settled in Turany, also in the Martin District. The daughter in question was born in Turany in 1881. 

I was unable to locate the name  Mizrekhtsch (or its variation) either in the JewishGen Given Names Database or on Google and am wondering whether anyone has ever encountered this name before or might have any explanation, or better translation, for the name.

Thank you for any input you might provide.

Hilary Stein Osofsky
Orinda, CA

SLOVAKIA: STEIN - Vychodna, Turany, Kral'ova Lehota, Liptovsky Hradok; NUERNBERGER - Zalesie, Hagy, Vysne Ruzbachy, Podolinec, WOLF - Moravia, Huncovce, Jelsava, Revuca, Nizne Ruzbachy, Vysne Ruzbachy, Sulin, Kral'ova Lehota, and environs
POLAND: GUTTMAN - Grywałd, Nowy Targ County, Lesser Poland Voivodeship 
LITHUANIA > ENGLAND: IDELS / IDELOVICH / EDELSON - Zemaiciu Naumiestis, Kvedarna, Manchester


Marvin Turkanis

My TURKANIS family emigrated from Zvhil, and in the Zvhil Novograd-Volynskiy Yizkor book a student named TURKANOVSKI in nearby Zshitomir headed up an armed troop.


Marvin Turkanis

Looking for Peter Robinson in Israel #israel


My high school class reunion committee is trying to find contact information on our high school classmate Peter Robinson.  I don’t have much to go on other than his name and that he graduated from Liberty High School, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1965.  He also received a scholarship in 1965 from the Young Judea Study Program in Israel.  I believe he studied in Israel and then remained there until the present time.  According to the Class Reunion list, he was living in Israel in 2019.

Any assistance you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

      Andre Dominguez (andre@prolog,net)


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