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Some of the most poignant and heart-breaking stories to be found in Yizkor books are those of people who had to flee their native towns and spent years in exile or hiding, dreaming of the day they would return to the places they loved. Those dreams usually ended with the discovery that what they had hoped to find was irrevocably lost.
One of those accounts is “My Return Home” by Ethel Keitelgisser from the Yizkor book of Radzyn, Poland. Ethel said good-bye to her parents in 1939, a few days before war broke out. “Fate drove me and my family to Russia,” she wrote. “Like abandoned dogs we wandered to all the corners of that great land.” In 1946, she was able to return home. This is the story of what she found.
Silver Spring, MD
Researching: DRACH, EBERT, KIMMEL, ZLOTNICK
Towns: Wojnilow, Kovel
Looking to find a complete family tree for Chaim Herzog to see how I am related to the family. I want to go back to the early 1800's.
Thank you, Aaron Roetenberg
Debbie Garfunkel Popper
I am trying to find the grave of my great grandfather's first wife who died in the 1860s at a very young age. She was Miriam Ash Garfunkel (the daughter of Rabbi Abraham Joseph Ash) and the wife of Benjamin Marcus Garfunkel. She had a daughter Hannah in 1861. I know that they lived in St. Louis and Kentucky for a while and I think she died during that time. I contacted the cemetery and they could only confirm that they have a "Mary Garfinkel" who died on October 18, 1863 who was 23 years old and from Russia. The cemetery told me that there is a Michael Garfinkel buried in the same plot DOD January 4, 1864 who was 7 months old. The plot is in Section C-P1. I never heard about another child (which makes me think it may not be the right grave). I know that Rabbi Ash came from Semyavitch, Horodno Province, Polish Russia and his daughter Miriam was born there as well. If someone could take a picture of the grave and it provides her hebrew name, then I would know if it is the right grave. Thanks for any help.
Debbie Garfunkel Popper
Re: 1 wife, 2 husbands, children from both marriages, same years #usa
On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 12:41 PM, Trudy Barch wrote:
I have a wife, Adelaide Ruth Rittenberg (maiden name) with 2 husbandsIf your wife has 2 husbands, you should divorce her. And are you including yourself as one of the two, or is it two in addition to you? This was my first joke of the year.
My real answers are:
1. Ages are often misreported, so the year of birth that you calculate from someone's age is often not right. Seeing that two individual's reported ages theoretically correspond to the same year of birth does not mean anything. The actual years may not overlap. For example, a person reported to be 30 years old in 1940 could have been born after a person reported to be 30 years old in 1950.
2. Are you sure it is just one wife? Could it be two different women with similar (or identical) names?
3. If you have exact dates of birth, how many months apart are they? It is possible for a woman to get pregnant in April, her husband to die later that year, the baby to be born in January, the woman to remarry and get pregnant again in March (especially if the baby is exclusively bottle-fed, less likely if breastfed because ovulation takes longer to restart), and give birth that December, so there really are 2 babies born in the same calendar year to the same woman with different fathers (without any adultery or bigamy).
Camarillo, California, USA
David P. is correct the annotations relate to applications for naturalization, but the numbers are NOT the petition numbers (they are application for a certificate of arrival numbers). These annotations have three pieces of information, two of which can help you. The three data points are the prefix number, the application number, and the date.
The first (prefix) number indicates the US naturalization district where the application was filed. Above, David Rosen posted the link to a site where one can find a table where you can translate the number into a geographic district (as of the date in the annotation).
The date annotated is the date the manifest record was checked, telling you (approximately) when their application was processed. The actual date of naturalization can be weeks, months, or even years later.
Thus annotations such as you describe and are seen on the example you shared can help one reach conclusions like "this immigrant was living in the St Louis District and trying to naturalize in 1935" or "that immigrant lived in the Boston District and was trying to naturalize in 1941."
If you do later find the naturalization petition, it should include a blank for "Certificate of Arrival No. ____ filed" and that certificate of arrival (c/a) number should match the application number annotated on the manifest. Matching those numbers tells you the US Gov't believed the person listed on the manifest and the person named on the naturalization petition were one and the same person.
My family DeFratis/Defrates/De\Freytes made there way through France via Costal Ports and Towns during this period fleeing eventually to Holland, until my Paternal Grandfather settled in Rochester Kent England. If you have any luck getting copies of these records I would very happy to also receive copies to aid my search in tracing my ancestors.
Does this help a little with the second?Mike Coleman, U.K.
Re: Need help reading 1874 Belarus (Nesvizh) census #belarus
I supervised the transcription process for this section of film 1792210 many years ago, so I still have the spreadsheets used for the upload as well as the image you see on FamilySearch. The first entry on the female side is for Brokha, age 40, only, for your PASEMANIK family. The second grouping is for the KAERELEVAVNA family, for Fruma (30), Czerna (10), Sora (6), Khienka (4), and Golda (2). The male and female sides match by the registration number in the second column.
Highland Park, NJ
On Thu, Dec 31, 2020 at 09:32 AM, Bob Roudman wrote:
where in Russia that he came from this the only documented hint that his language was German
Possibly Kaliningrad, an area along the Baltic Sea, today between Poland and Lithuania, which which used to be ruled by Germany and is today part of Russia, although it is not physically connected to the rest of the Russia (sort of like Alaska and the rest of the U.S.).
Possibly one of the parts of Poland that were ruled by Prussia (which was German-speaking) or Austria (also German-speaking) at some times in history and by Russia at other times in history.
Possibly Lithuania or Latvia, which were part of Russia until World War One.
Or really anywhere, since he could have lived in a Germany-speaking place as a child and moved to Russia as an adult.
Camarillo, California, USA
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Jewish Genealogy SIG - Naples FL
Jan Meisels Allen
Ancestor Hunt recently updated their website with their bi-monthly newsletter dated December 31, 2020.
While browsing see the list of articles published since their last issue which includes Historical Jewish Americn Newspapers Online
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee
I'm having trouble making out the second stone.
A wholesome and upstanding man (?)
Mr Ephraim (?) son of David
Died with a good name the 22nd of Shevat
May his soul be bound in the bonds of life.
The date as I read it corresponds to February 5th after sunset or 6th 1907, however the secular date looks like it says January 31st 1927 which would be the 28th or 29th if after sunset of Shevat 5687.
Also the bottom of the stone gives his middle name as Leib, I can't quite make out the Hebrew portion of the middle name but I don't see it as saying Leib (לייב).
I'm not good with these things but maybe someone who can clean up the image will be able to read it better. Good luck!
Need help reading 1874 Belarus (Nesvizh) census #belarus
I am pretty sure that I found the 1874 Nesvizh census record for my Pasamanick family on FamilySearch.
(The reason that I am not sure is that it is not in English.)
It can be found at Revision lists; ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9TK-6H12?i=222 (familysearch.org)
The record is on page 223 (left side)
This record comes from NHABMinsk/333/9/906 (Minsk Archives)
FHL 1792210/item 1
JewishGen gives the following information:
name father position age
Leyba Girsh head 42
Abram Yankel Leyba son 15
Binyamin Mikhel Leyba son 12
Vulf Leyba son 9
Girsh Leyba son 6
Zelik Leyba son 3
Brokha wife 40
As far as I can tell, Brokha seems to be listed in the next grouping with a young girl.
I would like to know if the record on Family Search gives any extra information that is not in Jewish Gen.
I'd appreciate any help that you can offer.
New Jersey, USA
Researching PASAMANICK (Belarus), LEYT/ LEIT (Nesvizh, Belarus), LUKIN/ KOZLIN/ GOODSITE (Slutsk, Belarus),
JACOBSOHN/ LEVENSOHN/ LEVENTHAL, NEVATZEN, FINESHREIBER (Jelgava, Latvia), ROTH (Neibylec, Poland),
ADER (Blazowa, Poland), LANGER/ PETERFREUND (Nowy Sacz, Poland - then Austria), PLATZER (Gorlice, Poland),
HOLLANDER (Poland), GOLDSAND (Tarnow, Poland).
Final Request & List of Recent Tribute Gifts #JewishGenUpdates
Dear Friends --
I never realized how many volunteers were involved in making this site so good.
I wish to thank each and every volunteer for his or her efforts on behalf on all of us.
May the coming year bring you all health, safety and much "nachas"
Fair Lawn, NJ
other area in Central Russia. I think she thought her fellow Germans
would teach the Russian peasants better farming methods. They retained
their language; I knew a fellow student in the UCLA Slavic Department in
the 60's whose family came from that area. They had settled in a similar
sectarian community in the US, I believe in the Dakotas somewhere, and
still retained a slight German accent, like some Amish or that one-time
famous band leader from Yankton (name escapes me). Those people did not
fare well in Russia in WW II.
On 12/31/2020 11:26 AM, Herbert Lazerow wrote:
Three areas governed by Russia where the dominant language might
have been German:
Northern Poland, adjacent to what was then East Prussia.
Parts of present-day Latvia, then ruled by Russia, had a Germanic
After WW1, western Ukraine was transferred from the
Austro-Hungarian Empire, where the ambient language must have been
German, to Russia. That would not have applied in 1910.
Professor of Law, University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park, San Diego CA 92110 U.S.A.
(619)260-4597 office, (858)453-2388 cell, lazer@...
Author: Mastering Art Law (2d ed. Carolina Academic Press 2020)
Professor of Law, University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park, San Diego CA 92110
Author: /Mastering Art Law/ (Carolina Academic Press, 2d ed. 2020)
There is a Leo KAIDAN arriving in 1907, and he's going to his brother.
Lots more details on the manifest.
Also, have you seen Leo's WW1 draft card? Also provides interesting clues to his place of birth:
You can search the databases on JewishGen at:
You can search for info on specific towns, info for names in specific regions, and more. Keep in mind that spelling of names was not precise, so consider doing soundex searches on surnames.
Hope this helps,
The National Library of France has documents about them which I would like to get copies of:
32905, f.82: "The ennobles of the provinces of Brittany from 1400 until 1688." Collection composed by d'Hozier
NAF 22356, f.125: "the annoblis of the province of Brittany since 1400."
I believe that the Leroy line is not Jewish but became Calvinist in the 1500's.
Olive LeJuiff married Jehan Leroy, Sieur de la Mettrye, in the 1540s. I am trying to trace her family back to find out if and when they converted to Christianity and where they came from.
Olive's parents were Jean LeJuiff, 1500-1555, and Guyonne Derrien (Derien?) (Derian?), 1503-1558.
Any assistance you could provide in copying pages of these works containing information about Leroy or LeJuiff or Derien would be appreciated.
Sue King Nusbaum
Longboat Key, FL, US
One of my brick walls has been to find the birth records of my father's mother and seven of her siblings who were born in Hungary or Slovakia between 1889 and 1900.
The two great-aunts I was able to interview said they were all born in Szirak, Nograd, Hungary. The last place they lived before coming to the U.S. was Balassagyarmat, also in Nograd. Their mother, Mary GELB, was born in Rimavska Sobota, Gomor, Slovakia. Their father, Jozef KOHN, claimed to have been born in Budapest, but I think he might just have said that because he thought no one would know the place he was actually born.
I have searched for birth records for my grandmother and her siblings by visually scanning un-indexed online civil records on FamilySearch. These included records from Szirak and from Balassagyarmat during relevant years. When that was unsuccessful I tried Ipolysag, Sahy, and Rimavska Sobota, Slovakia. Based on suggestions I had received previously I also searched Salgotarjan.
As you can imagine, I found plenty of births for people with the surname KOHN, and even some with a mother's maiden name of GELB. But in no case did I find the correct series of children being born to these parents.
Does anyone have a suggestion for other likely places in the same general area where I might find their birth records?
Thanks for any help you can give.
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The January Meeting of the Jewish Genealogy SIG will take place on Zoom on Tues 1/12/2021 10-11:30 am ET.
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Jewish Genealogy SIG in Naples FL