Re: Translation of document help #germany #translation

Rodney Eisfelder

You are right about it being a date, but there are no words. Everything is an abreviation or acronym, which makes the interpretation a little uncertain. The first "word" stands for "Erev Shabbat Kodesh" (Friday evening). The second "word" means 21. The third word should be the month, and this has me confused. The year is (5)521 which is 1761. The final symbol (not even a letter, but a tri-graph), indicates that the year is in the short form, omitting the thousands. If the month abbreviation stands for Adar, then there were two months of Adar in that year, and they should be distinguished by either an Alef or Bet. But they are not.

The second image appears to a page from a burial register. Most of the names are of the form "x son of y", or "x daughter of y". A few are of the form "x wife of y". Only a couple appear to be preceded by a surname. A few are followed by an occupation (which could also be a surname). So, is Itzig a surname or a patronym?
This page has people whose Hebrew name begins with a Yod - names like Jona, Joseph, Israel, Jacob, Yenta etc. One can only guess what Hebrew name Henriette would have had, and hence which page of the register you should be looking at.

I hope this helps a little,
Rodney EIsfelder
Melbourne, Australia

Re: Strategies For Researching Non-Direct Ancestry U.S. Relatives Who We Lost Touch With #records

Sally Bruckheimer <sallybruc@...>

"what are the best strategies for researching all the cousins and relatives who also came over but where I don't know names for sure or who their children are."

You do this the same way you find your ancestors. You find documents for people with the hopefully not too common surname. With a common surname, like my Löwenstein ggrandmother, you keep track of the people with the same name - like another of the same surname living next door on a census. When you find where your ancestors came from, hopefully you will find brothers and sisters names which will match. Just keep working.

It took me 35 years to find the right little town in Nassau where my ggrandmother was born, but when I found it, I found she was one of 20 children of the correct parents who had moved from another little town. That town has a book of history, including records of the Jewish families that lived there: there were 3 families that were related before surnames existed. I have about a million cousins now, descendants of the 3 related families.

Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ

Re: Why Various Spellings of A Family Name #names

John Byng

My Grandfather changed his name by Deed Poll (a legal instrument) in 1925 from Bing to Byng.  It may have been to hide his Jewish parentage or to avoid association with the German Bings after WW1.  His father emigrated to London England from Hungary (perhaps Arad now Romania) and married in a Jewish ceremony in London but at some stage they seem to have abandoned their religious affiliation and it is only recently that I have discovered that my Christian father had Jewish grandparents.  Other descendants of my Great Grandfather are still using the Bing spelling.  
John Byng, Crawley UK
Researching great grandfather Louis Bing born about 1831 in Hungary (perhaps Arad now in Romania), died 1893 in Portsea, Hampshire England.

Re: Gritzman and Zakusaya families of Bialystok #names #poland


My great-grandfather was Morris Gratz from Bialystok. We were always told he had changed his name. Do you think there might be a Gritzman connection?
Irene Plotzker 
Wilmington, Delaware 

Re: Why Various Spellings of A Family Name #names

Ittai Hershman

With all these anecdotes about historical change, I'll just relate a contemporary example: my own given name.  I am named after a biblical hero character in 2 Samuel.  My parents gave me the spelling in Hebrew as it appears in the Masoretic text (אתי) and in English as it appears in the King James Version (Ittai).  Decades later, this became a very popular name in Israel.  

As a contemporary name in Israel, it is spelled with an added written Yud (איתי) to disambiguate it from the name Etty; and, in English, there are many permutations (e.g. Itay, Itai, Ittay) that one can see on Facebook.  For official purposes in Israel, using the Masoretic Hebrew spelling of my name would be swimming uphill, so fI use the Israeli convention for identification purposes there.  But, I use the Masoretic Hebrew spelling for myself.

Likewise, of course, there are various spelling permutations of each of my family surnames.  Borders and languages were crossed, sometimes written alphabets were crossed, and cultural conventions applied.  So, contractions, translations, and spelling changes; not to mention sometimes the invention of new names altogether, are part of what makes our immigration stories interesting, it seems to me.

Ittai Hershman
New York City

Re: Handwriting Help #records

Diane Jacobs

C/O M. Filmopfsky. 238 Metroolitan av
Brooklyn NY

On Mar 19, 2021, at 4:30 PM, pathetiq1@... wrote:

Hi Jay, 

I am afraid that this is the manifest for a certain Scheine Alienikowa going to her aunt Hinde Laurie at 238 metropolitan Ave Brooklyn. I see no mother's name in this document. 
Giannis Daropoulos 


Diane Jacobs, Somerset, New Jersey

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


You must read 'The Orpheus Clock' by Simon Goodman.  He is the master of this topic, and he is also around on social media.

Sadly, my widowed German grandmother had everything stolen from her (or forced sale, undoubtedly, at pennies on the dollar), and there was no list of family assets for me to begin to trace.  The only thing I know of was her Bosendorfer concert grand piano, but the factory (Austrian) won't even lift a finger to help me trace it.  I was told that someone contacted my aunt in London in the 50s and offered to SELL it to her, but she couldn't afford to buy it back.

Best of luck!
Marc Stevens

Strategies For Researching Non-Direct Ancestry U.S. Relatives Who We Lost Touch With #records

David Levine

Hi everyone,

I have just spent months researching my direct ancestry which included immigration, manifests, naturalization documents, etc for people whose stories I mostly knew.
My question is, what are the best strategies for researching all the cousins and relatives who also came over but where I don't know names for sure or who their children are.
Some of them have come up as DNA matches however they often have as little information as I have
These are all people who came to/lived in the US so records should be out there.
It is getting started where I am stumped
For example, my GGF had a sister who I have as "unknown" Lefkowitz. Didn't come over at same time.
And I have a few children -  Rose  "UNKNOWN"
Knowing little, its hard to start a search.

Best Regards,
David Levine
San Francisco, CA, USA
Weinstein -> Solotwina, Galicia | Frisch, Hilman, Jungerman, Schindler -> Rozniatow, Galicia | Golanski, Kramerofsky/Kromerovsky -> Kiev | Lefkowitz -> Petrikov, Belarus | Shub, Rosen Hlusk, Belarus | Levine, Weiner, Zamoshkin -> Slutsk, Belarus 

Re: Why Various Spellings of A Family Name #names

Peter Straus

My own theory is that, especially when literacy in German was not universal, one must remember that the original function of written language was to record spoken language, and as such, the modern concept of a “right” and a “wrong” spelling doesn’t have much basis, so long as it sounded right—and don’t forget regional dialects.  This concept appears to underlie variations in given names like “Sophie” and “Sophia,” “Joseph” and “Josef,” but in surnames as well, particularly in the early years of their use (the early 1800s in the lands west of the Rhine).   Thus my paternal line’s family has consistently spelled its name “Straus” in most records from the 1800s, but there is lack of consistency between “Straus” and “Strauss” in the earlier records.


--peter straus

  San Francisco, California, USA

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

Moishe Miller

You raise a great question: "We believe we are related, but DNA doesn't show connection". I will try to give three non-technical answers:
1. Your genetic (DNA) tree will be different than your "real" (genealogical) tree. You will always get DNA from parents, grandparents and even all 8 great-grandparents. Further back in time, you will likely get DNA from all 16 gg-gp's, but sometimes maybe only from 15 or 14. Each generation further back in time results in less "pieces" (cM's) of DNA being from all ancestors.
2. The DNA segments (cM) you receive will always be large enough so that you will share some DNA with a 2nd cousin. But, you could have a legitimate 3rd cousin that does not match any of your DNA. It could be that the segments you have from the common gg-gp's do not overlap. 
3. When your DNA is created, there is something at the chromosome level known as crossover. The "non-sciencey" meaning is that chromosomes tend to recombine at specific break points. So a given chromosome will only have so many pieces and not more. For instance, if a chromosome only has 15 crossover sections, you will not get a segment from at least one of your 16 gg-gp's. It is sort of like musical chairs. In this example, 16 gg-gp's and only 15 crossovers, leaves at least one off. If two segments come from the same one gg-gp, than you will only have 14 gg-gp's represented in that chromosome. If you want to learn more about crossover, and how it differs by gender, see this blog posts by Roberta Estes: from 2017 and from 2019.

Wishing everyone stays safe and healthy,

Moishe Miller
Brooklyn, NY
JGFF #3391

Re: POLISH CERTIFICATE OF NATIONALITY #poland #general #austria-czech


That is very interesting, although we don't have a folder or any certificates, I was hoping for something like this to go on in case ours did get their paperwork and got lost over the years; ours came between 1902-1907. Hope you manage to find something and I'll keep on eye on this thread!

Mandy Molava
Researching Brest Belarus Russia Galacia and much more

Re: DRUCKERs of Kyiv, Ukraine (Kiev) to rabbinic line. #rabbinic

Molly Staub

I went to school with a girl named Doris Drucker (the only time I heard that name). This was in Philadelphia in the 1940s-1950s. The family lived on Christian Street, either the 5800 or 5900 block. I was born in 1937 and she was in my grade. Check the 1940 Census or the upcoming 1950 Census (which my mother worked on).

Good luck,
Molly Arost Staub
Boca Raton, FL

Researching AROST, BERENSON, SOIFERMAN, SHTOFMAN in Philadelphia

Re: Need copy of record located at LDS library - KLEPFISZ #poland #records



I was given the name of Brynne Gallup who works at the LDS library.  For a minimal fee, I think $5, she was able to get me copies of two NY death certificates from the 1920s.  You can try contacting her at  fhlrequests.brynnegallup@....  i  paid her via Paypal.

I hope she can help you.

Judy Gertler

REMINDER: Free webinar Sunday, March 21, 2021, from JGS of Illinois on researching common names #names #jgs-iajgs

Martin Fischer

“Finding Your Kaplans,” a free Jewish genealogy webinar about researching common Jewish names, will be presented Sunday, March 21, 2021, for the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois monthly virtual meeting. Mindie Kaplan’s live streaming presentation will begin at 2 p.m. Central Time, and will be preceded at 1 p.m. by a members-only genealogy question-and-answer discussion time. For more information, see  

Martin Fischer
Vice President-Publicity
Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

JGSI website:

Handwriting Help #records


Hi All:

Can anyone decipher the handwriting on this passenger manifest from the screenshot  attachment below.  This is from the passenger manifest for Hinde Lurie.  I am trying to decipher her mother's name and address.

I am also including the passenger manifest for Hinde Lurie:

Thanks for your help

Jay Filan

Family of Haim And Ides BRAUNSTEIN / COJOCARU of Saveni Romania #romania #usa #israel #holocaust


We are trying to learn more about my great grandfather, Haim BRAUNSTEIN, and his family. 
Haim and his wife, Ides, had four boys: Abraham, Kopel, Moise ( my grandfather), and Shimshon. At some point, probably after 1934, the family had to change their surname to COJOCARU. They lived in Saveni, Romania, before the Holocaust. Haim's father was Coepl. Haim passed away in Saveni in 1934. Ides ( the daughter of Yeshaayahoo HaKohen) and the sons survived the holocaust, though lost family members. They immigrated to Israel after its establishment.

Based on stories, we believe Haim's two brothers immigrated to the USA in the 20s, but it might have been later. We know they kept in touch with Ides for several years while she lived in Even-Yehuda, Israel, but the connection is lost for many decades now. 

We will be grateful for any advice that might lead us to our extended family members. 

Thank you! 
Sharon Cop

Zoom Meeting JGSWS "The Alex Krakovsky Project: Navigating the Wiki to Locate Town Records and Find Hidden Data" presented by Gary Pokrassa, #announcements #jgs-iajgs

Phil Goldfarb

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State invites you to a second/repeat free Zoom presentation Monday evening, 3/8/2021, at 7 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time:


"The Alex Krakovsky Project: Navigating the Wiki to Locate Town Records and Find Hidden Data" presented by Gary Pokrassa, Data Acquisition Director of JewishGen's Ukraine Research Division


DATE/TIME:  Monday evening, March 22, 2021, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time) via Zoom


This free online meeting will open at 6:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time for time for people to chat with each other.  The actual presentation will start at 7 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.


Registration is required:


To register for this Zoom meeting, click on this link or copy this link into your web browser:


You will be prompted to enter your name and email address and when you hit enter, you will automatically be sent an email with the Zoom meeting link.


After you register, the handout for this presentation and one slide from Gary's previous/identical presentation from 3/8/21 will be emailed to you so you have it for this Monday evening's presentation.



Gary Pokrassa, Data Acquisition Director of JewishGen's Ukraine Research Division, will present on Alex Krakovsky's Wiki and records digitization projects. Alex is a Ukrainian, who, using freedom of information laws in Ukraine, forced virtually every archive to permit him to scan their records and post them to an online wiki page, yielding a massive amount of raw data for the Ukraine researcher. Gary will go through Alex's postings and describe how to navigate the Wiki to locate town records and how to find hidden data not obvious on the home page. Gary will also describe the Ukraine Research    Group's project to capture Alex's scanned files on the JewishGen server, which includes Index files for several of the larger cities including Kiev, Zhitomir Nikolaev and Odessa, and how the Ukraine Research Group is using these files in translation projects. He will speak on changes that have taken place since last August. A robust question and answer will be included in this evening's presentation, as well as an overview of JewishGen's Ukraine Research Division.



Gary Pokrassa retired five years ago from a 46-year career, the last 11 as CFO of Lakeland Industries Inc. He is the Data Acquisition Director for the Ukraine Research Division of JewishGen, Treasurer and Director of JRI-Poland, and town leader for 4 shtetls. He is a member of the JGS of Long Island. At the 2020 IAJGS Conference, he presented on Alex Krakovsky and his Wiki and was a panelist on the Ukraine Research Division Meeting. Gary has authored an article on the Alex Krakovsky project published in AVOTAYNU Summer 2020 and also lectures on other topics, including an Intro to Jewish Genealogy.



If you have any problems registering (or logging into the meeting on 3/22/2021), please contact Treasurer@....  Please note that if one uses Safari or potentially other browsers, there might be problems with using the link for registration, so you are encouraged to use a different browser.  There will be no capacity problems for this Monday's meetings attendance, as Zoom fixed its problem that occurred at the 3/8/21 meeting - our apologies if you were one of the registrants for the 3/8 meeting who were unable to log into the meeting.  Gary is generously repeating his presentation to help remedy that.


All questions regarding the presentation can be answered in the Chat function prior to the meeting start at 7 p.m. or in the speaker's Q&A session at the end of the meeting.


The JGSWS looks forward to seeing you Monday evening and please feel free to share this invitation with those you think might be interested.


Submitted by:

Karen vanHaagen Campbell

Bellevue, WA

JGSWS President/Publicity/Programs



Translation of document help #germany #translation


Dear all,

I just recently found out that I have jews ancestry in Germany (in the city of Dessau) about 1800. About what I really excited. Some sources I found are in Hebrew, however.

If there is anyone, knowing Hebrew, it would you be so kind to help me with my two questions. Thank you very much in advance. :)

1) Can please somebody translate the following words from Hebrew to English? I guess this is a date. The source is from 1869.


2) Can please someone look at the following page (a kind of register from the same source as the image above) and see if there is any person with the surname "Itzig". I am looking for a woman called "Henriette (Elisabeth) Itzig". Maybe the name was spelled differently in Hebrew back then. However, if the are other persons with the same surname, I would like to know how on which line they are written and how the whole name translates from Hebrew to Englisch.

Best wishes,


Sebastian Neumann
Dresden, Germany

Towns: Dessau, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany

Re: Why Various Spellings of A Family Name #names

Sheldon Clare

My name is Sheldon Clare. My father's name in Lithuania was Abraham Klioraitas. He arrived in the US. His family that went to Argentina were named either Klor or Klior.

Re: Why Various Spellings of A Family Name #names


Add to the transliteration problem the fact that names were listed on ship manifests in Germany, England and other countries.  My maternal side apparently started as Zlates, which is on my grandfather's first naturalization papers in 1905 and my mother's birth certificate in the 1920s. By the 1930s, the name was spelled Slatas, making my family the only one in the USA with this last name, one reason I never use "mother's maiden name" as a security question.  Literally every person with this name in the United States is a cousin or the spouse of a cousin.  

Misspelling was common on my father's side. Thus his birth certificate is spelled Slominsky rather than Slonimsky.  Other variations showed up for other family members on ship manifests, such Slomimsky. 

As Sally said, using wild cards is almost mandatory when reviewing old records for these reasons, as well as the fact that spelling was not standardized.

Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC

16761 - 16780 of 673669