Help with translation of letter written in Gothic German #translation

Jo Ann Goldwater

I would appreciate it if someone could translate this letter that is written in a Gothic German script that very few people are able to read today.The family was from Riga, and educated there in German. It is only one page that is from a letter written by my great uncle, Dr. Boris L Kagan (Abraham), a prominent physician in Russia, to his sisters. I already have had two letters translated, and since I can’t understand it, I am not sure where this page fits in, but it must belong with one of the letters. They contain very interesting information about social conditions and turmoil in Russia in 1904 and 5. 
Thanks in advance for your help.
Jo Ann Goldwater

Re: 2 pictures for you Ireland #usa

Lee Hover

My great uncle and aunt were two of those 3000 Jews in 1900, and at least one of their two sons was born there.  They did emigrate to the US, and that son's brogue returned when he'd been celebrating too much.

Lacey, WA

Re: Wolk family #lithuania

David Wolk

Sorry, all I got was some sites wanting me to subscribe.  Not something I am prepared to do so Vivienne Wolk (whoever she was/is) will remain unknown.  Thanks.
David Wolk

Re: Which is best free gedcom program online #general

Sarah L Meyer

Where would you be downloading the Gedcom from?  

Sarah L Meyer
Georgetown TX
BIRGARDOVSKY, EDELBERG, HITE (CHAIT), PERCHIK Russia (southern Ukraine) and some Latvia or Lithuania

Re: Subj: birth certificate on ViewMate with strange/suspicious date in Norfolk, Virginia #usa

Diane Jacobs

In many places there is Late Registration 
Of Birth whereby it is a parent who gives the details of the birth.  I have some over the years and they can be as much as 30 years after the actual birth.

Diane Jacobs

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: kosfiszer8@...
Date: 12/16/20 6:06 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@...
Subject: [] Subj: birth certificate on ViewMate with strange/suspicious date in Norfolk, Virginia #usa

I have posted a birth certificate from Norfolk, Virginia that shows the birth being in 1902, but the filing seems to be in 1918 (5/9/18). Did it take 16 years for the paperwork to be processed?. Also, the one signing in place of the doctor or midwife is the father. Anybody came across any similar situation? It is on ViewMate at the following address ...
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much.

Angel Kosfiszer

Richardson, Texas

Diane Jacobs, Somerset, New Jersey

'HALASA' 'WEXLER' connections to rule out a birth cert found #hungary #russia


I'm looking for any HALASA - WEXLER connections, to rule out a birth certificate I have found in Slovakia.

Thank you in advance

Re: Life in Lodz #lodz

Bernard Flam

Hi from Paris,
Dear Sharon,
My maternal family was from Lodz and I have been there some years ago.
What I can say :
  • Lodz hadn't been destroyed during Shoah and WWII, so all vital records are available from 1850 (ca. establishment of this city) to 1939.
  • about early years of this industrial city :
  • a book :
  • a movie from Andreas Wajda, filmed in real places of Lodz, as Poznanski manufacture (Manufactura now)
  • local genealogist, specialized with Jewish genealogy, can help you. I have been very satisfied with a lady.
  • If you want to more details on life in Lodz during interwar period, you can get this book : . With this book, you get a map of Lodz in 1939 and a dvd with a commercial movie, a love romance, filmed in Lodz just before 1939.
  • During Shoah (Holocaust), you know Lodz had been transformed in a large ghetto, from early 1940 to June 1944, where ca. 240.000 of our Lost survived and died (in Chelmno and elsewhere)
  • During ghetto period, its Judenrat (Jewish administration under nazi rules) had ca. 14.000 clercs : they filed ca. 800.000 pages of archives which hadn't been destroyed and are available at USHMM : thanks again Ms. Megan Lewis, Library Referee who helped me to discover and understand structure of these huge archives. USHMM "Finding Aid" is 165 page thick, enough to present ca. 800 rolls of 1000 microfilms.
  • Now, a large part of these archives are available on Polish State archives at . These archives are same microfilms as USHMM, but aren't already fully on line.
  • With these archives, you can follow fate of almost all our Losts, from their early entrance in ghetto to their last day...
  • "Residents" lists have been indexed by Yad Vashem and ORFLI : they are available in JewishGen, as are ID card of ghetto workers. But you have much more to find in these archives.
  • In Israel, OFRLI, Organization of former Lodz Inhabitants, display ca. 10.000 pictures taken in Lodz ghetto and a lot of informations :
        For me who is lucky to have tens of pictures of my Lodzer family, I can't look at these pictures without trying to recognize my Losts...
Sharon, I am very pleased to share with you my best references concerning Lodz history !

Bernard Flam
Archives & history of Medem Center - Arbeter Ring (Bund / Workmen Circle of France)

Re: Wolk family #lithuania

David Wolk

Sherri Bobish,

Many thanks for your enlightening reply.  I can't imagine how you found that information.  I have now seen the passenger manifest but could not see any reference to Lena's son in Worcester or the daughter left behind.  The "son" was almost certainly Hyman Wolk who moved, after arriving by ship in New York, to Worcester.  I'm assuming that 'Lena' was his mother - her age would have been right for that assumption.  By 1908 Hyman and his wife had three children - Charles, Ida and Louis - and more would follow.  I have never known whether there were other Wolk relatives in Wrcester at the time or whether Hyman went there because jobs were plentiful. 

By 1920 Hyman, wife and children had moved to Toledo  so suspect that Lena had died before then.  I did a review of grave information in the three or four Jewish cemeteries in/near Worcester but found nothing.  Unfortunately neither my father(Louis) nor any of his siblings ever mentioned having known their grandmother so some of my assumptions may not be correct.  If you unearth additional details, or can direct me in extending this search, it will be greatly appreciated.  It has long been my belief that no member of this Wolk family remained anywhere in the Pale of Settlement by the time of WWII.  That a daughter remained when Lena left is very troubling.  I could not identify or locate the town you mentioned.

David Wolk

Re: Simcha RUBINSTEIN, Viseul de Sus to Jabotinsky Street #hungary #romania

Evelyn and Christopher Wilcock

I am trying to trace a Rubinstein family with a descendant whose DNA matches include people with the place Viseul de Sus, Maramures, Romania in their tree. Jacob Rubinstein born 1861 in Russia.

Most Rubinsteins in UK records seem to come from Rumania. There is at least one UK naturalisation for a Rubenstein from Rumania in the catalogue of the UK National Archives at Kew, plus entries on the censuses. I dont think this was our family who gave their birthplace as Russia. Border changes make these nationalities problematic.. 
But there is also a post war 1947 naturalisation possibility of a Rubenstein man living in Salford. I have not been able to examine the certificate due to Covid and my age preventing me coming out of lock down.
Unfortunately a copy naturalisation certificate costs £30 or so because it is a legal proof of nationality (although not in this case obviously as the subject is long dead).
I have had great difficulty replying to you as I cant see your email. But I think my email will appear with this post, if you would like to co-operate with me in taking this further..
 Evelyn Wilcock

Sephardic World Sunday: Who Owns the Synagogue? NY and RI #announcements

David Mendoza

Shearith Israel in New York and Jeshuat Israel (the Touro synagogue) in
Newport are two of the oldest congregations in North America. The Touro
ceased functioning as a Sephardic community. In the 1880s Shearith Israel
secured deeds from the descendants of the original members of the Touro.

Zachary Edinger will discuss the history of both congregations, and will
provide an introduction to their archives and genealogical records. Zachary
serves as Assistant Hazzan and Ritual Director at Congregation Shearith
Israel in New York City, and is a well-known figure within the Western
Sephardic world.

Time: Sunday Dec 20, 2020. 2pm NYC, 7pm London, 8pm Amsterdam/Paris, 9pm

For an invitation to our free meetings, please join the Sephardic World
mailing list at:

Best wishes,

Ton Tielen and David Mendoza
Sephardic World

Re: First time researcher looking for help with Dutch Jewish ancestry #records

Molly Staub

Just Google "Dutch Jewish records" and you will find several  sources to help you. I located some relatives there.

Molly Arost Staub

Re: 1899 Psychiatric Diagnosis #records #usa

Paul Chirlin

Ifyou use google scholar and set the date range to end at 1900 then use your search term "terminal dementia" you will get several hits. The best description is in this article which reports on a patient who had been institutionalized for 50 knowledge of his surroundings, not knowing his name, unable to answer questions, ... good natured an docile..    I wouldn't begin to guess what diagnosis he would receive now and I suspect that a wider group of behaviors would have been all lumped into "terminal dementia" in 1899. 

An article from 1891 in American Journal of Psychology discusses the motor behavior of various types of insanity 

The general motor impairment that attends early all cases of permanent mental enfeeblement, and is wit-nessed in the slouchiness, feeble gait, and general helplessness of patients afflicted with terminal dementia

I think you get a general feeling for the condition of the patient in whom the diagnosis would have been used

Paul Chirlin

Address of Bursa Zydowskich Wojennych #general


My father's address in Krakow before moving to Belgium was Bursa Zydowskich Wojennych.

Does anyone knows what was it?

Re: 1899 Psychiatric Diagnosis #records #usa


I think you are asking an unanswerable question. In 1889 (and for many decades after that) people might have ended up in institutions because they had untreated hypothyroidism, or a brain bleed, or hydrocephalus or a host of other things. There would have been no way to distinguish the cause most of the time (albeit not all of the time). Some where institutionalized because they were awkward women, had different sexual preferences. Perhaps if you can get medical records with detailed descriptions  those could be reinterpreted with the insights of 2020 (which are often also wrong -- Bi-Polar disease, or Schizophrenia are not easily categorised diagnoses especially at the margins where they might not be diagnoses at all). "Terminal Dementia" would have meant nothing essentially apart from a lack of normal mental abilities which might be associated with a shortening of life. 

Dr Aubrey Blumsohn

Sheffield, UK

First time researcher looking for help with Dutch Jewish ancestry #records

Alex Hall


Firstly, thanks for taking time to read this.

I'm looking for some help/direction in finding any information on my Jewish ancestors.  The limited information i have is:

My Great great grandfather was Moss Benjamin (later changed his name to Alfred Taylor ) who was married to Catherine Amy Grubb.
I have found his father through census records and marriage banns named Abraham Benjamin b.1815 in Amsterdam Netherlands and who was a feather maker & latterly agent. I believe he was married to Louisa Cohen b.1819 Middlesex, London.

I would really love to find anything about Abrahams' own family who came from Amsterdam,Holland and how to research records in Holland.

I've also struggled to find much information on his wife Louisa Cohen but I am pretty new to this so forgive my ignorance!

Appreciate any help or direction you could give me.

Kind regards
Alex Hall

ViewMate translation request Russian #translation


Subj: ViewMate translation request - Russian

I've posted 4 vital records in Russian for which I need a translation. They are on ViewMate at the following addresses:

This is a lot to ask so any information would be great.

Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much.
Carol Cambers

Re: Subj: birth certificate on ViewMate with strange/suspicious date in Norfolk, Virginia #usa


I notice that the ages of the parents correspond to the year 1918 and not when the baby was born in 1902. I see now that this document is a certificate and not a record when the baby was born. I will be more careful from now on.

Angel Kosfiszer

Richardson, Texas

Re: Wolk family #lithuania

Isme Bennie

Just google Vivienne Wolk rather than try Geni, for marriage details .

Isme Bennie, Toronto

1899 Psychiatric Diagnosis #records #usa


I recently found records for a man who was committed to the Essex County Hospital for the Insane in Newark, NJ in 1889. He was 25 at the time, and his father signed the committal papers. The young man remained in the institution until his death in 1933 at age 68. When his father died in 1899, court papers were filed to transfer the patient's guardianship to his older brother, in lieu of his mother or other siblings. I have found the court file for the guardianship change, but not for his original institutionalization.
The 1899 file contained two certifications from a physicians at  the hospital. One reads that the patient "suffers from a chronic disease of the brain known as Terminal Dementia." The second physician termed it "suffering from a form of chronic mental disease known as Terminal Dementia," essentially the same as the first.

Two questions:

1) I have researched the diagnosis "Terminal Dementia" and found nothing more helpful than the explanation that it was a form of demential that was not curable and would last for life -- not very helpful. Because the patient was so young at the time of institutionalization I have more or less ruled out early onset Alzheimer's Disease. The more probable conditions for a person of that age I think would be a form of Bi-Polar Disease or Schizophrenia. This is my own non-professional guess. I wonder if someone with more psychiatric experience could shed some light on this archaic term and it's usual meaning at that time (1899).

2) The Essex County Hospital for the Insane has moved and changed it's name several times, and today is part of a larger medical complex in NJ. Can anyone shed some light on if and where copies of the records from the 1889 committal be obtained? I found the second Guardianship file on Ancestry under "New Jersey, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, Essex, Unrecorded estate papers", but nothing for the first committal.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
Judith Lipmanson
Smyrna, Delaware USA

How they traveled #romania #russia #usa

Marcia Segal

Hello there,

I'd be interested in learning how people in the late 1800s would have traveled to get to the steamships that would take them (sometimes indirectly, via other ports) to the US. There are two journeys in particular:

1888 - from Harlau, Romania, to Hamburg, Germany
1890 from Gorodische, about 100 miles from Kiev, to Hamburg, Germany

I would imagine by train but it seems the cost would be prohibitive. But it must have been cheaper (and more accessible) than a horse-drawn carriage. The same question applies to travel between other points. If there are books on this subject I'd appreciate learning about them. Thank you.

Marcia Segal

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