Re: Natan Noteh equivalent to one name? #names


Just to clarify the name Nissan (ניסן) is pronounced like the car company "Nee-sahn" whether Ashkenazi or Sephardi, while the closest pronunciation of Natan (נתן) I can imagine might be "Ni-sin" where the sound is like the beginning of the word nickel.
Binyamin Kerman
Baltimore MD

Re: Restoration of German Citizenship #germany

David Seldner

Honorary consulates are not really that informed. There is a lot of info on the Internet, you only have to tell them "Grundgesetz Artikel 116, Abs. 2"

Unfortunately, this page is onyl in German but I remember to have seen similar information in English, too.
David Seldner, Karlsruhe, Germany

Re: Natan Noteh equivalent to one name? #names


There is an entirely separate name Nissan (ניסן) which is not as common (it might be slightly more common in certain Chassidik or Sephardic circles). But, like Adam said, depending on the accent the name Natan (נתן) could possibly end up sounding similar, I just don't know of the area that would pronounce it that way.
Binyamin Kerman
Baltimore MD

Re: Natan Noteh equivalent to one name? #names

Billie Stein

Nissan, Nissim and Natan are 3 different names.
Nissan ניסן is usually someone who was born during that month (or named for someone who was born in Nissan).
Natan נתן - in English transliterated as Nathan - pronounced in Ashkenazic pronunciation as Nossen or Noosen.
Nissim ניסים or נסים which translates as miracles.
There are no rules, but Nissan is more likely to be of Ashkenazic descent, and Nissim - Sephardic.

Billie Stein
Givatayim, Israel

Family and DNA

'beekeeper' in Yiddish?

background - My father's grandfather & GGF were born in Czernigov/Chernihiv, moved for some reason to Romny (Poltava), then to Chicago. GGF Abraham (son of Pinkus) arrived in 1882 as BENJAN -- although he returned when his wife and at least 1 daughter were killed in a pogrom apparently while trying to follow him (some time between 1887-1897, no info ever found on that story). Abe remarried in Romny (as BENIN), had some more kids, & returned to Chicago in 1908. He was a big proponent of the Hebrew language, and felt that it should be used on a daily basis for secular stuff, and was apparently quite religious (& felt that folks in Chicago lacked that).

Everyone we know about arrived in Chicago between 1904-1910 as BENIN (kids were Yitchak/Isaac, Zelik Mordechai/Jacob Max, Berl/Benjamin, Sore/Sarah, Pinchas/Phillip; then Mera/Mary, Shia Refael/Jacob John, Riwl/Rose Leah, Zalmen/Sam).

Afterwards, all of them went by BERLAND. A 2nd cousin has said that "the first sibling that arrived [Ike] decided to change the name and everybody followed"... However, he just found an old tape of Rose where she says that it was actually Phil who chose the name (not the 1st to arrive), & that the original name BENIN has something to do with beekeeping in Yiddish. Does this sound correct?

(Apparently 'Berland' was chosen because of 'berlyant', the Yiddish word for diamond, & I think this works with Beider's name info in re the surname 'Berland')

They were almost all painters or sold paint. I've found other BENINs on the 1923 Romny census who were "tradesmen from Czernigow" --- I'm wondering how painting & being "tradesmen" could connect to bees, if at all. I had suspected that when it came time to chose a name, 'Benin' was a form of the given name 'Benjamin' -- but maybe not, & it had to do with bees instead? Or could it be tied to something in Hebrew, since Abe was so connected to that language? I do not speak/read Hebrew, Yiddish, or Russian, so I hope you can offer some advice... Any thoughts on this surname 'Benin'?

Juliana Berland (currently in Rennes, France)


Re: Help with Address - Pinsk #belarus #poland

Alan Shuchat

There is a map of the Pinsk ghetto showing that street at
Alan Shuchat
Newton, MA

SHUKHAT (Talnoe, Simferopol, Sevastopol, Odessa, Balta (Abazovka), Pogrebishche)
VINOKUR (Talnoe), KURIS (Mogilev-Podolskiy, Ataki, Berdichev)
ZILBERMAN (Soroki, Kremenets), BIRNBAUM (Kamenets-Podolskiy)
KITAIGORODSKI (Zvenigorodka)

Re: family of Abraham and Judes (Yehudith) Grunberg #holocaust

Myra Fournier <mjfourn@...>

Hi, Milton:
I have Gruenbergs on my family tree too.
My maternal great-grandmother was Jenny Pelz (nee Gruenberg). She died in Auschwitz.
As Gruenberg is a fairly common name, not sure if there's a connection.
Would be happy to discuss further if you contact me at mjfourn@....
I could send you a screenshot of the Gruenbergs in my family tree.
Good luck with your search.
Myra Fournier
Bedford, MA

Re: Natan Noteh equivalent to one name? #names

Adam Turner

If "Nissan" is not equivalent to "Natan", it's news to me. As I understand it, "Nissan", "Nussen," etc. are just various Ashkenazi pronounciations of Natan (נתן). Typical standard Hebrew pronunciation is generally based on Sephardic pronunciation: the letter ת is generally pronounced as "t": "shabbat". But Eastern Europeans generally pronounce the same letter, ת, as "s": "shabbos".  So the standard Hebrew Natan is the same name as the Ashkenazi Nussen; "Nissan" is also the same, just with the vowels shifted because different Yiddish dialects pronounce vowels differently. (I think "Nissan" is more of a southeastern Yiddish pronunciation while "Nussen" is closer to Litvish, but perhaps someone more familiar with the various dialect differences can clarify this.)

For the same reason, the Hebrew name Yehudit (יְהוּדִית) also has the variations Yehudis, Hodes, Hudes, etc.

Adam Turner

Re: Wolk family of Lithuania #lithuania

Carol Hoffman

David try searching the LitvakSIG All Lithuania Database ALD. you would find a number of WOLK family information from Petkunai. 
Also if you search family name WOLK on the JewishGen Family Finder and add Lithuania as the country, you will find 50+ entires.
Good luck with your quest.
Carol Hoffman
Tel Aviv

Re: Why Various Spellings of A Family Name #names

Diane Jacobs

I had the same problem. My family was Singman in NYC and Washington DC . They arrived in 1888 from Vilna as Schimkov but with the help of a native Russian who suggested the name Sinko I was able to find the many extended family using The All Lithuania Database from Gelvonai, Sirvintos and Jonava. I am now finding the living descendants of those who came to the US and now live in NYC, Memphis, Baltimore, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and more.
Unfortunately, even Yad Vashem produced results.

Diane Jacobs

On Mar 18, 2021, at 4:20 PM, Adelle Gloger via <agloger=AOL.COM@...> wrote:

This discussion has centered around variant spellings of surnames. It isn't just spellings, it could also be pronunciation of that name.
 My late mother-in-law who arrived in NYC in 1906 (8 years old) showed up on the 1910 US Census, and on her naturalization documents in the early 1940s indicating the name with which she entered  the country was HAMSHANSKY.  For years I searched that name, and came up empty handed.
Years ago on one of the JewishGen digests someone, in general, suggested repeating the name with, in this case, a Russian/Yiddish accent. I did just that and found, not only my mother-in-law and her brothers, but two older sisters who had arrived here several years earlier. The name was -- CHRAMZENKE. When I found the passenger list, that was the name listed. Incidentally, somewhere the family name became ORCHEN.  Go figure!!
Adelle Weintraub Gloger
Cleveland, Ohio

Diane Jacobs, Somerset, New Jersey

Triangulating matches #dna


Does anyone use anything in particular for triangulating to determine family lines?
I'm forever trying to find easier ways, a spreadsheet is working for me personally at the moment, as you can see the gaps or not, but wondered if there are any other options? I like tools on some of the sites, but can take a lot of time up studying, some have worked and some not.

Thanks in advance

Mandy Molava
Research Brest Russia Galacia and much more

Re: We believe we are related, but DNA doesn't show connection... ??? KLEPFISZ #poland #warsaw #dna


I actually find some of DNA so infuriating, but sometimes you can get very lucky. Are you both on any other DNA site? I've had some success doing that, Ancestry has taken away very small cm matches to one of my family's accounts I found out, but not to mine for some reason? So I've been able to find a couple that are matched with a direct line, the more sites you're on IMHO the more matches you have/wider search. 

I like GEDmatch (free) for a comparison, which I believe is more 'scientific', it goes a bit deeper, shows clearer generations and has tools for searches to use to look at matches also, so I try and encourage as many as possible to go on that one.

Mandy Molava
Researching Brest Russia Galacia and much more.

Re: Help with Address - Pinsk #belarus #poland

Gerald and Margaret

There is a Pinsk in Belarus, so I suggest you contact The Together Plan, which is a charity based in London and Minsk which aims to help Jews still living in Belarus become self-sufficient.  One of their projects is genealogical research.  They have the advantage of speaking the relevant languages, plus know how to navigate the local bureaucracy ..

Happy hunting,

Margaret Levin
London N3, UK

Re: Why Various Spellings of A Family Name #names

M Thatcher

My ancestors family name has so far been found to be spelt wrong De Fratis, Defrytis and so on this has made it very difficult to trace the family back to their origins in Europe.




Re: Why Various Spellings of A Family Name #names


Ditto Sally.... "spelling doesn't count".... and people "spelled what they heard"....

There's lots of possible scenarios where your multiplicity of variants might arise -- but here's a common one....

Very often, your perfectly literate-in-Yiddish ancestors were in the situation of being interviewed by an English-speaking clerk -- at the marriage license office, when registering a birth or a death at the hospital, by a census taker, .... -- and the clerk wrote as well as they could what they heard, but your ancestor couldn't read English so even if they could have looked over the document it wouldn't have made a difference.

You mention that in your family each sibling had a different rendition of the name, but often you'll see these kinds of variant spellings for the same individual in different contexts -- for example, in subsequent census tabulations, or different transliterations of the same name on each new child's birth certificate.... Often it's just a simple substitution for a vowel -- as in your case -- or a single consonant substitution, Hotash for Hodash, for example.

As Sally points out, you also get the artifacts of a Yiddish accent heard by an English ear -- often that will account for spellings that substitute one vowel for another -- or as in Sally's example of "w" going to "v"....

But often, again like Sally's example, there are apparently mysterious transformations that are actually quite accountable, just as Sally shows. I see these all the time with my clients -- it's one of the things that makes my work interesting, given that I have an academic background in Linguistics.

Yale mentions his example of a Boston-accented clerk adding that "Boston r" in Akabas > Arkabes -- I found my husband's great-grandfather in the 1910 census in Boston as Salyer -- same "Boston r" added to his name Selya.... along with the very typical vowel transformation from a spoken Yiddish "e" to an English-heard "a".....

In trying to suss out these changes, as Sally says, it helps to say the name with the relevant German, Russian, or Yiddish accent -- when I'm trying to think about what a Yiddish name might sound like, I can evoke my Grandma Pauline's Russian Yiddish pronunciation and it often does the trick....

By the way, this mantra of "spelling doesn't count" isn't just applicable to our eastern European ancestors, or other immigrant populations.... My American genealogy colleagues have the same issues with American names, especially prior to the early 20th century, because most people before then, especially in rural populations, were illiterate even in English, so their names were also subject to being spelled the way the clerk or the census taker heard them, and multiple variants are just as common for them, and pose the same kinds of problems in sorting out who was who....

Meredith Hoffman
Professional Genealogy Research & Training
GenerationsWeb / Plymouth, MA

Re: Natan Noteh equivalent to one name? #names

Matthew Klionsky

My family also has a person with this set of names - and more.  We've seen references to Natan, Nota, Note, Noteh,...and also Nissan.  All with wife Mina, so we think it must all be one person.  But, I've also researched that Nissan and Natan are NOT likely the same name.  I'd welcome informed opinion about this. 

Matthew Klionsky

Re: We believe we are related, but DNA doesn't show connection... ??? KLEPFISZ #poland #warsaw #dna


While the previous answers may help some of the time, one should seek the origin of the name. I Googled the surname Klepfish and learned: 
Klepfish Surname Definition: (from an ancestor's occupation) A Yiddish version of Klippfisch (“stockfish”), cod or haddock, salted or dried. The bearer of this name was a merchant of this commodity. So there's no reason for all Klepfish families to be related. Baker and Cooper families often aren't related. My surname is based on a town name (Noerdlingen in Bavaria), so Nordlingers are people whose ancestors left that town over centuries. They are Jewish, Catholic and Protestant. Some of them are related to each other, but many are not.
Stephanie Nordlinger
Los Angeles California

Re: We believe we are related, but DNA doesn't show connection... ??? KLEPFISZ #poland #warsaw #dna

Stephen Weinstein

If they are still alive, DNA test your parents or grandparents.  A closer relationship is more likely to give a positive DNA match.

However, you also need to realize that when all with a surname are "related", it means, at most, only that everyone with the surname has the same mother's husband's mother's husband's mother's husband, etc., if you go back enough generations (even this isn't always true).  It does not mean that they are all biological relatives or share DNA.  It just takes one person in one generation whose mother was impregnated by someone other than her husband.

You can't "research this farther" unless you are willing to research this father.

On Wed, Mar 17, 2021 at 04:58 AM, Elizabeth Jackson wrote:
it was a small family.  All are related".  ...

research this farther? 

Stephen Weinstein
Camarillo, California, USA

Re: Searching for art stolen from German Jewish family. #germany

Jan Meisels Allen

I would like to know if anyone has searched for art objects stolen or confiscated by the Nazis during the Third Reich. Especially helpful would be specific web sites that can locate art that might be in museums or private collections or even archived waiting for descendants of Holocaust victims or survivors to claim them.
Roger P. Kingsley

I posted about this last December and here is the posting again:




The Jewish Digital Cultural Recovery Project (JDCRP) plans to provide a comprehensive registry of all Jewish collections looted by the Nazi.  They are beginning with a pilot project on Old Masters seized by the Nazis, which was owned by Adolphe Schloss.  Schloss had a collection of Old Dutch Masters seized by the Gestapo from a French chateau- but one-third of the collection is still missing.


The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and the Commission for Art Recovery initiated the Jewish Digital Cultural Recovery Project. They received   €490,000 from the European Union’s Creative Europe program. In addition to listing both missing and recovered art, it will explore the looting networks and the trade and digitize thousands of documents and photographs from archives.


While there are other databases on looted art, the JDCRP is different as it takes Jewish collections as its starting-point and using an event-based approach to trace the route the objects took.


The project plans to have an initial mock-up online at the end of June 2021.

To see more go to:


The website is in English, French and German


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


JGS Toronto. Free Virtual Meeting. Hungarian Jewry: History, Holocaust, and Genealogy. Karesz Vandor. Sunday, 21 March 2021 at 10:30 a.m. ET. #jgs-iajgs #hungary #holocaust #announcements

Jerry Scherer


Hungarian Jewry: History, Holocaust, and Genealogy

Speaker: Karesz Vandor 

VIRTUAL MEETING: View from home 

Sunday, 21 March 2021
at 10:30 am. ET.

 Karesz Vandor’s presentation will include:

  • A short history of Hungary including maps, border changes, and the Holocaust timeline.
  • How to do genealogy research in Hungarian-related areas such as current day Slovakia, the Transylvanian part of Romania, Northern Serbia, Subcarpathian Ukraine, Burgenland Austria, and Hungary proper.

Karesz Vandor is a professional Jewish Hungarian historian and genealogist. Karesz lives in Budapest where he has been researching and running Jewish Heritage tours for nearly 20 years. His work often includes threading clients’ genealogical research into their tours; guiding them through historical landmarks related to their families; and, for some, taking them to the site of their family’s roots including relevant towns and cemeteries. As a genealogist he has been commissioned to research family origins for the descendants of Hungarians whose ancestors migrated around the world. 

To register, please go to

Please keep the acknowledgement email when you receive it as it contains your personalized link to join the Zoom meeting.


To our guests, consider joining our membership for only $40.00 per year by Clicking Here or consider a donation by Clicking Here to assist us in continuing our mission providing a forum for the exchange of genealogical knowledge and information. (Canadians receive a CRA tax receipt.)

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Jerry Scherer

Vice President, Communications