Re: Divorce records #usa

Sherri Bobish

Hi Janice,

As Diane stated, divorce records index can be searched at 31 Chambers St., 7th floor.  This site has detailed info, including the phone number for the Old Records on the 7th floor:

I do not know if they are currently allowing researchers in person due to Covid.  Also, I believe Old Records is only open two days per week.  Best to call, and ask if they can look up the name in their index.

Years ago I found a 1913 divorce in the index.  Since it was just short of 100 years I could not see the actual file at that time.  After the 100 year mark had passed than I did see the file.  There is a whole process to order the file and then weeks later to go to a different building to see it.

As Lee and Barbara mentioned, since no-fault divorce did not exist at that time, it is hard to know how true or invented were the accusations in the divorce.

Hope this helps,

Sherri Bobish

Re: NYC Death Records #usa #records

Sherri Bobish


Is the name of her father on your ggm's tombstone?

Did your ggm come to The U.S. at a young age?  You may find her on a census with her parents.  You can look for her on U.S. and NY State census' at:

Depending on what decade she arrived in The U.S. (questions asked on the manifests changed over time), you may find a parent's name listed as nearest relative she left behind, or the name of a parent she was bound for in The U.S.

Did she marry in NYC?  A percentage of NYC marriage records are transcribed at:

Did she have a Social Security number?  Ancestry has a database of Social Security Applications, some of which provide parent's names.

Hope this helps,

Sherri Bobish

Re: New Find Raises Questions about Family Name: #poland #names

Lee Jaffe

In answer to one of your questions, I'd guess (yes, it's a guess) that they adopted the name Grossman in the US as part of the general trend towards assimilation.  I've heard repeatedly from the librarians at CJH that German-sounding names were preferred because they were deemed higher status, as well as easier to pronounce and spell.  (My version only makes sense, however, until you discover your family was indeed named Grossman before emigrating.)

Also, as well as looking at UK Outward Passenger lists, you might want to see if your family appears on records of departing Hamburg passengers, which may have more information.  That is possibly the first leg of their journey and you know about when they got to Glasgow, which may help narrow your search. They may also be traveling under the same names -- approximately -- as found on the Glasgow to NY leg.

Your question raises another that has intrigued me: What paperwork did US Immigration issue to arriving passengers?  I've never seen -- or heard of -- a copy of any documents carried away by new immigrants.  The myth of name changes at Ellis Island presumes that people walked away with a piece of official paper with their new name assignment: otherwise, what compelled people to adopt the new name?  And it is hard to imagine in our day that someone could cross a border, much less immigrate to a new country without receiving paperwork to prove to arrived and took up residence legally.  Yet, for all the naturalization records I've reviewed -- many with arrival information left blank -- and all of the discussions about passenger records, I've never come across any indication of papers issued to new immigrants.   Can anyone on the list clarify what paperwork was produced during the arrival?  Thanks.

Lee Jaffe
whose ggf Mendel SZTEJNSAPIR travelled Hamburg to Hull and Liverpool to NYC as Mendel SAPIER and became an upstanding US citizen named Mendel STEIN.  My ggm Ella followed with 2 children, listed on the manifest as STEINSAPPER.

Re: Are children named for living or dead relatives if one parent is Ashkenazi and one is Sephardic? #names

Schelly Talalay Dardashti

There is no halakhah (jewish law) governing this. The parents need to come to a mutually accepted decision! This is rather common in LA and elsewhere. The Ashkenazi side is shocked that the GF is offered the honor of having the baby named in his honor because of the Ashk custom of only naming after the deceased. Once the Ashk side (in my experience) understand the honor and why, they feel much better about it, and there is less "recoiling in horror" - LOL! 

Schelly Talalay Dardashti
New Mexico

Announcing Publication of the translation of the KobrinYizkor Book #belarus #yizkorbooks

Joel Alpert

Yizkor-Books-in-Print is proud to announce the Publication of the
translation of the Kobrin Yizkor Book.

Book of Kobrin – The Scroll of Life and Destruction

Original Yizkor Book Edited by: Betzalel Shwartz, Israel Chaim Bil(e)tzki
Published in Tel Aviv 1951
Editors of the original Yizkor Book: Betzalel Shwartz and Israel Chaim
Layout and Name Indexing: Jonathan Wind
Cover Design: Rachel Kolokoff Hopper
Hard Cover, 8.5” by 11”, 446 pages with original photographs.

Available from JewishGen for $32

For more information and ordering, go to:

order at: at bottom of above link

Joel Alpert, Coordinator of the Yizkor-Books-in-Print

Re: How to research Bialystok archives #records #poland

Mark Halpern

Hi Catherine:

The birth index found on the Routes to Roots Foundation website is a great new addition of data to the available resources for Jewish Genealogy. This database of over 2 million records is the result of Miriam Weiner's over 30 years of research in eastern Europe. In addition to the birth index you identified, she has an 1847 tax list which showed my great great and 3 times great grandfathers owning property. I never knew where my maternal family lived before mid 1860s. Now I know they were in Bialystok from before 1847. 

JRI-Poland has indexed all the available birth records at the Bialystok Archive covering years 1835 through 1916. All the indices are online except for 1906-1916. Not all the years have survived, so the index on Miriam Weiner's website is an important addition. However, JRI-Poland has indexed the 1863 births, but you did not find that entry. Why? Because the transliteration standards of the person who created the index register and the person creating the 1863 JRI-Poland index were different. The JRI-Poland index is for Gitel SZARYSZOWSKI, where the index from Miriam Weiner's database is for Gitla SZERESZEWSKA. If you search the JRI-Poland database using search type of Phonetically Like you will not find this 1863 birth, but if your use search type of Sounds Like (Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex) you find Gitel's 1863 birth record index entry. The moral of this story is, if you do not find the index entry you are looking for using one of these search methods, then try the other. There are many examples where once catches a spelling alternative and the other does not. 

The JRI-Poland online database includes index entries for the following years of births: 1860-1866, 1869, 1971-1872, 1874-1875, 1877-1884. You can see that Miriam Weiner's birth index database covers the missing years. The bad news for those missing years is the the original birth record has not survived. But and index is better than nothing.

I will find that birth record for you Catherine and email the images directly to you.

Mark Halpern
JRI-Poland Bialystok Area Coordinator 


On 2021-02-17 10:29 am, JUROVSKY,Catherine wrote:

I found  a reference to a birth index  which could be the one of my great grand mother on data base. How does one get about with Byalistok archives to obtain the actual birth certificate? 
Thank you for any help

Catherine Jurovsky


If you missed the presentation on the Yizkor Books Project, here is the link #JewishGenUpdates #yizkorbooks

Joel Alpert

The presentation by JewishGen called "Yizkor Books as Collective
Memory of a Lost World", was a Zoom on Feb 16th. There were nearly
1000 people watching.

Here is the link:

Joel Alpert, Coordinator of the Yizkor-Books-in-Print Project

Feb 21, 2020 3PM, Minnesota JGS Zoom Program #events #announcements #dna



MNJGS is hosting a Zoom event: A Detective Story Across Continents: Finding a 95-Year-Old Adoptee’s Birth Father on Feb 21, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM CST. Join us for a detective story using DNA and genealogy research to solve a 95 year mystery. The story will be told by presenters from New Zealand, Australia and the US.
Registration is required. Free for members, $5 for non-members. For more information and registration:

Liba Casson-Nudell

Re: help readng arrival document #records

Peter Cohen

Griffins Corner. NY is now known as Fleischmanns, NY. It is 40 miles west of Kingston on Highway 28.  In the first half of the 20th century, the area was a popular summer getaway for residents of New York City.  There is a Jewish Cemetery located in Clovesville, NY (about 2 miles away) that I photographed and posted to about 6 years ago.
Peter Cohen

Re: Jewish Refugee Admissions to the U.S. in 1940 #usa #holocaust


Melanie Godschmid was issued  QIV 14778  i.e,  Quota Immigrant Visa, probably  under the German quota. She was eligible under Section 5 of the Immigration Act of 1924 which defines a Quota Immigrant.  In  March 1940 Germany was not at war with the United States and she would not have been considered an enemy alien.   Admission for refugees who had no visa was not an issue in her case.

David Rosen
Boston, MA

On 2/15/2021 8:38 PM, Scott.leo@... wrote:
Through images of ship records, I've come across my great-grandmother's aunt, Melanie Goldschmid, who arrived on the SS Lancastria in New York on March 21, 1940. The ship is listed as having departed Liverpool, UK (with a stop, I believe, in Halifax).

I know (from the 1940 U.S. census, where she is listed) that Melanie was living in Vienna in 1935 (her family's roots were indeed there for decades prior). On December 14, 1939, she was issued by the UK government a "Female Enemy - Exemption from Internment - Refugee" card. She is listed in that card as having a UK address.

The Lancastria manifest for her arrival in New York lists her as being issued a visa or passport (it's not clear, and I assume this is a U.S. visa...) in London on December 11, 1939.

The SS Lancastria manifest if full of German/Austrian Jews, such as Melanie. My understanding was that the U.S. no longer granted admission to refugees at this time. Does anyone have further background on this particular issue in this time? I cannot seem to reconstruct the series of events that allowed her to sail from the UK to New York and be admitted to the United States in this period.

So appreciative for any thoughts.

Thank you!

Scott Leo
Washington, DC

Re: Divorce records #usa

Lee Hover

My parents were divorced in Brooklyn in the late 1940s.  At that time, and earlier, the only legitimate reason for divorce was  adultery.  As a result, many couples arranged a scenario in a hotel, so as to be caught in flagrante delicto with a willing accomplice.

Lacey, WA

Re: Divorce records #usa


Based on my experience in family court in another state, initial filings before no-fault divorce became common would include the basis of the divorce, such as mental illness, desertion, or alcoholism, the three reasons most typically allowed.  
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC

Re: Divorce records #usa

Gail H. Marcus

I have a related question that might possibly be relevant for the questioner or for others.  Are all the papers associated with a divorce sealed for 100 years from the actual divorce date, or do papers become available 100 years from when they were filed?

My grandmother first filed for divorce in 1916 in New York (the Bronx).  However, they apparently must have reconciled and the divorce wasn't finalized until 1931.  If the first filing is available 100 years from the date of the filing, I could get it now.  If I have to wait until the divorce was finalized, I have to wait another 10 years.  My thought is that the preliminary filing might contain some useful information.

A related question is whether initial filings have any details, such as reasons for filing for divorce.  (I.e., whether such records really do contain anything useful.)

This may be a longer interval than for most divorces, but if there is any useful information in earlier records, it might help some people.

Gail Marcus

Re: Otto Oppenheimer of San Francisco #usa #general #germany

The Becker's Email

Otto Oppenheimer b. 8 July 1884 Camberg, Hesse, Germany per his naturalization papers (and his German birth record)..  He was a merchant.  He and his wife Irma arrived in the US in 1934 from Mexico.  His parents were Lazarus Oppenheimer and Bettchen Mayer.  Information on him is available on both and Ancestry.  He died June 1958 and his death notice provides no details.  No children. 

Johanna Becker
Newport, Rhode Island

How to research Bialystok archives #records #poland


I found  a reference to a birth index  which could be the one of my great grand mother on data base. How does one get about with Byalistok archives to obtain the actual birth certificate? 
Thank you for any help

Catherine Jurovsky


Jews from Jaslo #galicia #names #poland


My friend Jerzy Michal Rucinski is a collector of vintage photographs and postcards from Jaslo.
He is interested in connecting with descendants of Jewish families from Jaslo.
I will put interested parties in touch with him through me.

Nina Talbot
Brooklyn, NY

NEGER, SPINRAD (Dynow, Poland)
TOLPEN (Suchostaw, Poland/Sukhostav, Ukraine)
DISTENFELD, ADLER, WILDER (Kamionka Strumilowa, Poland/Kamianka-Buzka, Ukraine)

Searching for Ritevsky/Rits origins in Lithuania #belarus #lithuania


I am searching for the origins of the Ritevsky/Rits genealogical line in Lithuania. I have information indicating that it may have started in the village/town of Vilkaviskis, in south-east Suwalki Gubernia in the 1700's. Later, Ritevskys are found in Minsk in the 1870's and 1880's owning a chain of shops that specialized in selling collars, cuffs, etc. They immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1890's and changed their surname to Rits. I would welcome any help in learning more about their origins/early ancestors or their businesses in the Minsk region.
Thank You,
George Mason

Researching MOZESON in Lithuania, Poland, and Latvia,
NATHANSON in Lithuania and Latvia, and ORABENA/ARABENA in Spain.

Re: Are children named for living or dead relatives if one parent is Ashkenazi and one is Sephardic? #names


My children's Jewish/Hebrew are named after one deceased relative (I'm Ashkenazim) and one living relative (husband is Sephardi) though we definitely had quite a conversation during the first pregnancy.
Barbara Cohen
Glenview IL

Re: Yale Hungarian Collections #hungary


  There are several items I would like searched. They are in Hungarian and/or Hebrew or Yiddish. Does anyone know how this could be arranged? Is there someone of you who are willing to go there and search? I would be willing to pay. (For this I am interested in Albert-Irsa and Szeged.) I imagine there are other siggers who would want searches done too.
Larry Bassist

Re: Are children named for living or dead relatives if one parent is Ashkenazi and one is Sephardic? #names


For "mixed" families, there is no hard and fast rule, but most likely if the naming is for a Sephardic relative, it may be of a live one, whereas if naming for an Ashkenazi relative, it would be for someone no longer living.

Billie Stein
Givatayim, Israel

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