Re: How Weird Are We? #general


I have FIRST cousins who  have absolutely no interest in genealogy and think that I'm the nut that fell from the tree!
I always get excited and respond to someone who tries to connect. Stay positive! Weird or not, we are still out there building the trees!
Maryellen Tobiasiewicz
family from: Bielsko-Biala powiat Poland
Gorlice powiat Poland
Lviv Oblast Ukraine

How Weird Are We? #general


The probability of a response depends on how likely the recipient is to believe your message has utility for them.  That's why people researching rare surnames are more likely to get a response than those researching common ones.  For example, if I received a message from someone who was trying to find descendants of a Jacob Cohen, I might not even open it because the odds that his Jacob Cohen and mine were the same person are fairly low.
By contrast, I have the good fortune to be researching fairly rare surnames; I'll list them here in case a reader is looking for them as well: AINGOR(E)N, AKABAS, CRISS, EISENDORFF, FIZYK, KARDONSKY, SWIG, and ZUSSELMAN/ZISSELMAN.  Finding these people takes work, but when I find someone who has one of them, they are usually aware that these names are rare and recognize the odds of a breakthrough for them are fairly high, and thus get replies.
To avoid the "Geni" problem of concatenating unconnected trees, I usually leave out something that I know and would likely be known by someone who actually was a relative.  Early on, I wrote to a potential CRISS cousin and included a sequence of fathers and sons.  I got an answer, that the sequence agreed with her father-in-law's family, but back in Ukraine, the family had been known as ZISSELMAN.  My reply to her began, "Dear Cousin."  In response, she sent a photo of her husband's father with his employer; the employer was my grandfather.  Case closed.
Yale Zussman
Framingham, MA

Seeking translation Yiddish to English--paying a fee is okay #yiddish #translation


I am looking for a service or person who, for a fee, can translate a 4-page letter written in Yiddish in 1919 by my great-grandfather Jacob Josef (Yaakov Yosef) COLLE.  This probably has no bearing on the issue at hand, but just in case, he was a Kohen who immigrated with wife Rebecca nee Schecter and several children to Montreal in 1900 from (probably) Romania but possibly Russia.  
Anne Lobel Armel

Ancestry Library Edition Available Remotely Extended to June 30, 2021 #announcements #general

Jan Meisels Allen



Ancestry Library Edition, through its distributor ProQuest, has announced that Ancestry Library edition availability  has been extended remotely with libraries with Ancestry subscriptions through June 30, 2021.  Remote access will continue to be evaluated. This is for both Canada and the United States.  I have no knowledge at this time if other libraries in other countries also have this access.


Individuals need to have a library card and check with their local library to determine if they have an Ancestry subscription.  If your local library does not have an Ancestry subscription seek other libraries near to you.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


March 17: Historical Maps in Genealogy Research webinar from Center for Jewish History #events

Moriah Amit

Family History Today:  Location, Location, Location - Historical Maps in Genealogy Research

Wednesday, March 17 at 4 PM Eastern Time

Presented by the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute at the Center for Jewish History


Answering the question "where do my ancestors come from?" is key to understanding their history and traditions. However, identifying and locating the places where they lived, particularly in Eastern Europe, is often a tricky task. In this lecture, Ed Mitukiewicz, map consultant for the documentary film Raise the Roof, will demonstrate how you can use historical map websites and geographic information databases to overcome these challenges.

Ticket Info: Pay what you wish; register at to receive a link to the Zoom program.



This program is funded, in part, by a Humanities New York CARES Grant, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the federal CARES Act, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Moriah Amit
Senior Genealogy Librarian, Center for Jewish History
New York, NY

Re: How Weird Are We? #general

Diane Jacobs

Yes I would agree with you about reach people. But this person was the closest to my family and his other relatives knew about my interest,
heard from him and had met me and still he would not respond.

Diane Jacobs

On Mar 2, 2021, at 10:50 AM, rroth@... wrote:

I imagine rich people receive solicitations from would-be "friends" or "family" more often than the rest of us do, and famous ones have people to keep that sort of nonsense from reaching them. Anything you sent would probably have been caught in that net.

Robert Roth
Kingston NY

Diane Jacobs, Somerset, New Jersey

Re: How Weird Are We? #general


Dear Joe and Namrita and Kenneth,

You've perfectly articulated my own "weirdness." Like you, I come from large families scattered around the world. My Ancestry "shared DNA" has bajillion distant relatives with trace amounts in common. Unfortunately, the four people with supposedly second and third cousin connection have not replied to my (twice) repeated requests for information. Ditto on this site and J-Roots and Facebook Messenger posts. However, I did make two major scores with people who responded. One gave access to his extensive research about my great-grandfather's family, but our personal communication went nowhere. Another connection was made with a tentative Facebook private message that was almost instantaneously acknowledged. Although this very distant cousin in St. Peterburg couldn't provide any information about his grandfather, he and I formed a bond with frequent email correspondence. I write in English and he responds in Russian -- sometimes relying on Google Translate to decipher my expressions.

Like Joe wrote, in spite of the maudlin and 23andMe commercials, I don't think most people are interested in ancient family history. Certainly no one in my immediate family. Plus Soviet families carry a lot of trauma and secrets. But interestingly, the Russian-language J-Roots has A LOT of researchers looking for their families. It's also a goldmine of Jewish wedding, birth, and some death registries, where I can make my way through the gorgeous calligraphy with my third-grade Soviet education. One of the most fascinating and rewarding discoveries were Kiev city directories from the early 1900s. If reading the proverbial phone is your idea of excitement, you'll find a snapshot of a city in a superbly organized publication.

Be well,

Mikhailina Karina



Re: How Weird Are We? #general

David Ziants

I have often tried contacting relatives or potential relatives, and each case is different.

One reason could be language, and I have a story to tell concerning this.

Possibly, my most disappointing case was when, a few decades ago before the days of Google translate, someone tried contacting my through MyHeritage in German and although I responded in English saying that I did not understand his message he never replied to this. Eventually, I revisited this message (with Google translate), and it was from the son of the husband (will call this husband "great-uncle" although am not biologically related to him) of my great-aunt, through his first marriage. Actually, after my great-aunt passed away, I and also my parents z"l (who lived in England) became relatively close to this great-uncle and when I visited England, he would often treat my brother and I for a meal at Blooms (kosher restaurant in NW London). He had asked me to try and search out any relatives of his, but he wasn't specific.

So, it was approx. half a year after this great-uncle passed away that this message was received, but I only understood what it was about many years later when it was too late.

It is true that most people are not interested in their roots, and in general, they do not want to be bothered if it is not family they know. I did manage to find a third cousin who is happy to stay in contact with me socially but has a hard time with accepting we are cousins because all the evidence comes from the "paper trail", and he trusts this less than I do. Neither of our families on the mutual ancestry talked about their family.

David Ziants

Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel

Re: How Weird Are We? #general


I imagine rich people receive solicitations from would-be "friends" or "family" more often than the rest of us do, and famous ones have people to keep that sort of nonsense from reaching them. Anything you sent would probably have been caught in that net.

Robert Roth
Kingston NY

Re: How Weird Are We? #general



I usually find there is one "Genealogy Nerd" in every branch of the tree. You just have to luck into the correct person. I always approach it by outlining the direct connection if I now it. i.e. draw a line from me to this person exactly how we're related. To the muggles who aren't into genealogy, I imagine it comes off kind of "stalkerish". I do find that it is usually worth taking the chance as I have connected with some very interesting people along the way. The more it is personalized, the less you sound like the Nigerian Prince who has left you millions of dollars. 

I would do one email address at a time, maybe trying a second one if there is no response from the first. I've never gone the snail mail route. 

Scott P. Dann

Re: This week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page #yizkorbooks #ukraine #JewishGenUpdates

Susan J. Gordon

Lucy Baras survived the Nazis in Skalat, and wrote a memoir that is housed in the Archives Dept of Library of UWisconsin - Milwaukee. She called her story "Twentieth Century Cavemen." It's 300+ pages long, detailed and excellent. Her birth name was Lusia Rothstein. She was born in Skalat in 1911 and died in Wisconsin 2002.  Perhaps there is some way this work could be added to info in the new edition of the Skalat Yizkor book.
Baras, Lucy [WorldCat Identities]

Excerpts appear in Because of Eva: A Jewish Genealogical Journey. 

Susan J Gordon
Also Lvov, Chernivitsi

“Finding Your Ancestors: How to Get Started and Where to Go.” #education #records #announcements #jgs-iajgs

Marilyn Golden

Date:  Sunday, March 7, 2021

Time:  1:00-1:30 EST check in, chat, and schmooze.  
Official program starts promptly at 1:30 EST

Guest Speaker:  Joel Spector

Joel is a Past President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia, where he has also been chairperson of its Russian Special Interest Group. Joel has given presentations and workshops on the Russian language, both contemporary and pre-Revolutionary, and has provided translations of documents to individuals and groups. Currently Joel is a member of the Ukraine Research Group and serves as its Director of Metric Record Projects. Joel has been actively engaged in genealogy for over 30 years and has been conducting research in several historic Russian language encyclopedias. He has produced a unique English language Index to the Russian language Evreiskaya Entsiklopedia.



 Topic: “Finding Your Ancestors: How to Get Started and Where to Go.”  The presentation will focus on how to find information about your ancestors, both those you know and those you didn’t even know you had. We will explore what data is immediately available and review what information can be derived from the many types of resources - local, national, and international - and from on-line resources. Throughout, we will focus on the excitement in discovering information about your little-known ancestors and on the various types of information that make the search in Jewish genealogy fun

* This is a special lecture open to the public. We will not have a general meeting first. The link for this program will be sent to members. Please feel free to invite your friends and send them to our website for the link. The link will be posted at noon. Everyone will enter through the WAITING ROOM and remain silent during Joel’s presentation. There will be a Q and A through the chat after the presentation.

Marilyn Mazer Golden VP 
Jewish Genealogical and Archival Society of Greater Philadelphia

Re: How Weird Are We? #general

Diane Jacobs

I think it depends on what info you have and what they know of their own family.

I have had a lot of success meeting distant relatives in person or by telephone after tracing them.  I have been to Sydney, London, Halifax, and Tel Aviv to meet family.

I just found descendants thru Yad Vashem
testimony who welcomed me with open arms after I left phone messages.  These people are distantly related to me thru the siblings of my great grandfather who left Vilna in 1888 for

Basically the only person who never got in touch with me but who I am very closely related to was someone very wealthy, well known and has been in the news. I actually know a tremendous amount about his family
and the other very wealthy and famous people
he is related to.

C’est la vie!

Diane Jacobs

On Mar 2, 2021, at 5:50 AM, Kenneth Ryesky <kenneth.ryesky@...> wrote:

My batting average is well below .500 for people who do not have any sort of presence on genealogy websites.  And even of those on the genealogy websites there still are some non-responses.

There are exceptions both ways, of course.  But the fact is that while genealogy is a very popular thing, a majority of the population simply is not interested.

-- KHR
Ken Ryesky,  Petach Tikva, Israel     kenneth.ryesky@... 

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

Diane Jacobs, Somerset, New Jersey

JGS of Greater Orlando. Virtual meeting (free). Never Give Up – Strategies for Taking Your Genealogy Research to the Next Level #announcements



March 9, 2021, 7:00 PM Eastern Time

Never Give Up –

Strategies for Taking Your Genealogy Research to the Next Level

Speaker:  Marion Wehrle


Are you facing another brick wall? Or have your research efforts plateaued out with nothing new on the horizon?

Marion Wehrle has a cure for that with suggestions for new avenues to explore and new strategies for finding information. Join us at our next Zoom meeting and learn how to dig deeper into resources to advance your family history.

Marion Werle began family history research over 25 years ago, researching family from Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus, who settled in the US, Canada, UK, and Israel. She has been on the boards of the Jewish Genealogical Societies of both Los Angeles and Conejo Valley, is a past president of the Latvia SIG (Special Interest Group) and a co-director of the JewishGen Latvia Research Division. She has spoken at several IAJGS conferences, as well as genealogical societies in the Southern California area, and is scheduled to give multiple virtual presentations in the coming year. She was a member of the Southern California Genealogical Society Writers Group for several years, which gave her the opportunity to hone her family history writing skills. She teaches a writing class for JewishGen education.

Registration is required for this meeting.  Send an email to jgsgo.blogger@... asking to be registered.  You will receive an acknowledgement of registration.  A link to access the Zoom meeting will be sent to you a few days before the meeting.

Diane M. Jacobs
Winter Park, Florida

Re: Deutsch from Carei (Nagykaroly), Romania [not Nagy Kalo] #romania

Moishe Miller

My mistake, my family and my inquiry are about 
Carei (Nagykaroly), Romania
and not Nagy Kalo

Moishe Miller
Brooklyn, NY
JGFF #3391

Translation from Hungarian to English #translation

Alex Magocsi

The attached snippet was taken from an 1869 Hungarian Census page and concerns the employment relationship of one of the household residents.
I cannot decipher all the words but see "munka" (work) and "utánil" (after) but I am unable to figure out the letters of the first word.
Can someone tell me what the first word is and then tell me the meaning of the phrase?

Thank you
Alex Magocsi
Currently working on GREIF, Hungary / Slovakia

Re: Washington Heights by LBI #usa

David Cherson

Hi Ralph,
Yes I had heard about the Jackson Heights store but was never there.  There was also one in Inwood but that closed up as well.  Where to get aufschnitt these days?  Well there is the "competition", i.e., Abeles & Hyman, and maybe one or two others claiming to have cervelatwurst but none of them can touch my father-in-law's product.  I know people still lament it to this day.

David Cherson

German Translation #germany #translation


Descendants of Josef Jakob Horoschowska or his sister, in Israel #israel #general

Veronica Zundel

I am looking for descendants os my mother’s birth family who fled from Drohobych, Galicia in 1914 (my mother was born in Vienna, fostered and later adopted). Her eldest brother Josef Jakob Horoschowski, b. 1905, came to see her in 1927 to say he was trying to get to what was then Palestine, with one of his sisters (probably Chaje Sarah born 1910). Are there records of immigrants to Palestine from this period? I would be looking for 1927 onwards.
Veronica Zundel, London, UK

72 Wilton Rd
London N10 1LT


Veronica Zundel, London
Searching descendants of Josef Jakob Horoschowski b. 1905 Drohobych

Re: looking for any relatives. Listed on my birth certificate is George White and Irene Arrow from San Francisco, California. I was adopted #usa


Dear Cole                                                                           2nd March 2021

First of all, I wish you success, to be able to discover your biological parents and connect with  them,  their descendants , if any.

Sadly you are not alone, who have no alternative but to navigate this extremely sensitive journey.

I wonder, may I  politely suggest to research not only the family name  White, but Weisz/Weiss as well.

I am aware many Weisz/Weiss  families changed their surname to White.  

Also, I came across often Iren--the Jewish name is Rifka 

As for Estelle,( La May)  I wonder, it might be Esther--I call my grand-daughter, Esty--Estelle etc.

Please try to allocate time and check not only secular but Jewish Synagogue--birth marriage death--cemetery records

Best wishes and good luck
Veronika Pachtinger
London UK

8961 - 8980 of 665248