Re: Wrong people on family trees on genealogy sites #general

E. Randol Schoenberg

There is so much misinformation about Geni from people who don’t really use it.  The critic Alan Ehrlich, for example, has added just 34 profiles on Geni.  Geni is as good as we all make it.  For those of us who build our trees there, it has been a tremendously valuable experience.  Collaboration is the key to making real advances in genealogy, and at the moment, Geni is the best tool we have.
My blog from 2016 describes many of the advantages of Geni.
And this blog from 2014 answers pretty much all of the unwarranted criticism. 
I’ll make one request.  If you don’t use Geni, that’s fine.  But just please stop talking about it and telling people not to use it. 
Randy Schoenberg
Los Angeles, CA

Re: marriage record for Heinrich GOLDNER from Militärseelsorge, Vienna, Austria #austria-czech #general

E. Randol Schoenberg

I added the marriage record to his Geni profile.
Randy Schoenberg
Los Angeles, CA

I am sharing my DNA success story #dna

Moishe Miller

Good morning from Brooklyn,

I am sharing my DNA success story from this weekend, notwithstanding both endogamy and pedigree collapse in my family ancestry. I tested family members a few years ago on FTDNA and also uploaded their results to MyHeritage. Last month, I re-tested my maternal aunt, but with Ancestry. The results came back this past Friday. One of her highest matches was to someone with a surname of SWIMM and the match was 3% shared DNA | 232 cM across 14 segments, Unweighted shared DNA: 232 cM, Longest segment: 34 cM. There was a tree with only 3 people, but SWIMM's father was SWIMMER. I had Schwimmer's in my tree and wondered if this was a match. Using Blaine T. Bettinger's quick-n-dirty tree methodology, I was able to bring this family back two more generations, and tentatively back to Munkacz (a town now in the Ukraine) to connect this tree to my g-gm (using the unindexed Hebrew name on a tombstone in Pennsylvania). My g-gm's parents were both married before; both had spouses that passed away after starting a family. I have found birth records for many of her half-siblings, but was never successful in finding a paper trail to trace any of them forward. Now, with this DNA test, I found a family that immigrated to the USA in 1895. I never found them because of the changed surname. Looking up the match on the Shared cM Tool, it indicates a 33% chance for Half 2c, which is what I believe my aunt is with this match. And then serendipitously, a day later, I had activity show on my tree at FamilySearch, with someone linked to another of my g-gm's half-siblings; a full sibling to this SWIMM. This was through a much larger match to my maternal great-aunt, and this one was via MyHeritage, with a family now residing in Hungary. This match had Shared DNA of 280 cM, 10 Shared segments, Largest segment 51.5‎ cM. I believe the match to be a half 1c2r. The Shared cM Tool shows 17% for this, but notes: † this relationship has a positive probability for 280cM in thednageek's table of probabilities, but falls outside the bounds of the recorded cM range (99th percentile). My paper trail is not yet conclusive enough, but if they test on Ancestry, while I do more paper genealogy in Hungary and Ukraine, I hope to prove all three families link the way it seems to me. I hope my experience encourages others.
Stay safe.

Moishe Miller
Brooklyn, NY
JGFF #3391

Re: Wrong people on family trees on genealogy sites #general

Naomi Finkelstein

I have had someone do the same thing. He has my great-great grandfather from the paternal Finkelstein side of my family in his tree as well as my great-grandparents, all of their children and the documentation I had attached to all. Clearly those two generations are all deceased. He stopped there although my father's generation is also all deceased, thankfully, he did not add them nor, the succeeding generations.

I have messaged him three times requesting proof of the relationships and he has not responded though I know he has read my message. I even sent emails to some people in his tree but they have not responded. 

Not as many as some but I have spent over 10 years working on my trees and I really resent someone doing this. This also  happened with someone else's tree and when I contacted him he said it was too bad I hadn't made my tree private. He also didn't have any paper trail. Needless to say, both of these people have over 10,000 people in their trees. Somehow, for people who take their trees seriously, this is not an appropriate method of building trees.
Naomi Finkelstein
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

Re: Wrong people on family trees on genealogy sites #general

Sarah L Meyer

  First this is a common problem with Ancestry or MyHeritage, if you have a public tree.  Secondly, unless your family was ultra-wealthy or famous, any genealogical information that is out there is NOT the cause of identity theft.  Someone would have had to target your family and researched them to get this data to use for identity theft.  Identity theft is based on big breaches of information from hacking online records.  Those records contain Current Addresses, phone numbers, names, credit card numbers and social security numbers.  It is much easier to buy this information from the dark web at pennies per person than to spend hours chasing down the descendants and ancestors of your family or mine.
Sarah L Meyer
Georgetown TX
BIRGARDOVSKY, EDELBERG, HITE (CHAIT), PERCHIK Russia (southern Ukraine) and some Latvia or Lithuania

Use of the term "Color" in late 19th century and Early 20th century NYC Birth Records #records


I have noticed the term "Color" used in Late 19th century and Early 20th Century birth records of New York City. Since I have only seen two such records up close for my relatives, I can't make general conclusions. For one of my cousins, George Schaffran, it gives "Color" as "White ." For another relative, William Bloom/Blum, who by dna tests I know was of Eastern European Jewish extraction, it says he was "Colored."  

In such records, is this term referring to what we commonly think of as "race" today?  If so, is "Colored" categorizing a person into what we would commonly think of as a "Person of Color" today, such as Black/African American. Afro-European, etc., Asian, Hispanic and others, or is the term meant to be more general?  Some of my relatives now are saying that since many people didn't consider Jews of that time  to be really White, they would have no problem calling them "Colored" on a birth record. I have my doubts about that.

I'd appreciate opinions on this, no to much on that last matter, but on whether NYC records of that time tended to call Jews "White", "Colored" or something else. 

Thank you for your insights,

Steve Bloom
Central Virginia, USA

Re: Wrong people on family trees on genealogy sites #general

Stephen Katz

Yes, this is a problem. Early in my genealogy journey, I posted my family tree on That turned out to be a big mistake. It was latched onto (hijacked) by other people who added individuals to whom I am very clearly not related. The numbers of wrong additions to my tree has grown and grown. When I contacted to Geni I was informed that, since other people had latched onto my tree, I could not remove the wrong entries. There was also no way I could delete my tree. My only option would have been to cancel my Geni account, which, however, would not have removed my tree.

Stephen Katz 

Baden Germany 1687-1730 R. Seligmann of Hüffenhardt Mohel Book Transcription #germany

Alex Calzareth

Those with ancestors from the Kraichgau region of Baden may be interested in a Mohel book that I recently came across on the website of the National Library of Israel at also try$FL135781875
This is not the original Mohel book, but instead is a German transcription prepared in the mid-1930s, by Sigmund Jeselsohn of Neckarbischofsheim. The original book recorded the circumcisions performed by Rabbi Seligmann from Hüffenhardt during the years 1687 to 1730.  An article from Jeseloshn wrote about the book in "Der Israelit" is reproduced at
There are about 1,200 entries in the book. The towns with the most entries are  Neckarbischofsheim - 68 entries, Odenheim - 42 entries, Neidenstein - 33, Heinsheim - 38, Ittlingen - 34, Eichtersheim - 34, Flehingen - 33, Weiler - 33,Steinsberg - 33, Stein am Kocher - 29, Mosbach - 31, Wimpfen am Neckar - 28, Rappenau -27, Michelfeld - 27, and Hirschhorn am Neckar - 24 .
I have started to extract some of the towns and you can see those entries on a spreadsheet at . This is sorted by town and then by father's name. Although the Mohel was active in a particular town that does not mean that he was the only Mohel who families there would have used.
The second part of the book is a similar transcription of 636 entries from the Mohel book of Aron Kaufmann Baer of Neckarbischofsheim (and later Frankfurt) for 1836 to 1875.

Alex Calzareth
JewishGen Director of Research for Germany
New York, NY

Re: marriage record for Heinrich GOLDNER from Militärseelsorge, Vienna, Austria #austria-czech #general

Stephen Katz

The Militärseelsorge is the military chaplain. It would appear from Andreas Schwab's post that they were married by a Jewish military chaplain.

Stephen Katz

Researching: KATZ (Novograd-Volinskiy, Ukraine); TEPPER (Rovno, Ukraine); KAPLAN (Stakliskes, Lithuania); VITKIN (Kaunas, Lihuania) 

Re: NYC Police Reports #records


You may want to try the cemetery and funeral home. Jewish ones don't always keep more records but the non Jewish cemeteries and funeral homes usually do have information. I am guessing you hare checked death notices.  Why not try to locate their home address and if it is important to you it is possible a neighbour may still be there who would give you a clue.  

Sue Diamond, Canada

ViewMate translation request - Russian #translation

Corey Brand


I've posted a vital record in Russian for which I need a translation. I would like to know the bride and groom’s ages and the names of their parents. It is on ViewMate at the following address ...

Thank you very much,
Corey Brand
South Florida, USA
MARKOWSKI in Kalisz & Kolo (MARKEL in NYC)
WALTER in Kalisz, Kolo, & Konin
NELKEN in Kalisz
SZTAJER in Kalisz & Stawiszyn 
BRENER in Kalisz
ENGELMAN in Wieruszow & Kalisz

Re: Wrong people on family trees on genealogy sites #general

Alan Ehrlich

Peter wrote: "Geni  has the big advantage over Ancestry or MyHeritage  for Jewish families, in being accessible  to anyone, and potentially being corrected and added to by any other user, and certainly by a Curator."

Sadly, it's absolutely not my experience (not at all) that errors or misinformation on Geni are 'accessible to anyone for corrections'. And, as for the curators, I'm happy to accept that Peter stands as the exception amongst them; however, years-long (yes, "years-long") reiterated messages to many Geni curators concerning the same errors when they replied at all were limited to apologies for not having gotten around yet to making the appropriate corrections, plus each time a new cry of 'personal circumstances' as to why not. In fact, never, ever have I seen a correction made (not one!) following a notification which I submitted to the curators.

This problem is compounded by the fact that - at least as concerns Geni's overlap with my own family research - 70% of what's to be found enshrined on Geni at best is outdated and at worst represents pure fantasy, which then proliferates endlessly across the internet.... Notably being gobbled up into trees on MyHeritage and Ancestry when those users don't carry out their own due diligence regarding sources (or the lack there of).

Kind regards,
Alan Ehrlich
Geneva, Switzerland

Re: Wrong people on family trees on genealogy sites #general


I have one who has taken part of my tree and made their own version of events afterwards. I also of my relatives are my HALF relative on throughlines on Ancestry, because somebody has popped the wrong Father on their tree. I wrote to Ancestry, they said there is nothing they can do, but I 'should reach out to them and let them know' when it falls on deaf ears there is nothing you can do. I think personally I feel more frustrated, because others may skip OUR trees thinking ours our wrong and then important links or people may then be added to the wrong trees. 

Love Marcel's answer!
Mandy Molava 
Researching Brest Belarus Russia Galcia

Re: Wrong people on family trees on genealogy sites #general


Thanks to everyone who replied to my question. 
It seems that ultimately there is little that can be done to make corrections if the tree creator doesn't want to.

Jessica Schein

Re: Wrong people on family trees on genealogy sites #general


USA.  Ancestry basically says it won't show living people, but I didn't see anything about people who died recently let alone 30 years ago.

Jessica Schein 

Stephen P. Morse - Free Virtual Programs #announcements #jgs-iajgs


The Northeast Indiana Jewish Genealogy Society is excited to welcome genealogist, Stephen P. Morse, for two free virtual programs on Sunday, May 2nd, beginning at 1:00 p.m.   At 1:00 p.m. he will present “One-Step Website – a Potpourri of Genealogical Search Tools,” and at 2:30 p.m. he will cover “Searching the 1950 Census with and without a Name Index.”

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Morse received degrees in electrical engineering from the City College of New York, the Polytechnic institute of Brooklyn, and New York University.  In later life, he turned his attention to genealogy, creating his “One Step Website” with dozens of search tools used by genealogists around the world.   In 2006, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) and his website has been acknowledged for years by leading genealogy magazines.  

Registration is required to attend this free virtual program.  The link can be found at the NEIJGS website at  Additional information about the NEIJGS can be found on our website at, or our Facebook Page,   Contact Betsy Gephart at vp@... for more information.


Betsy Thal Gephart


Re: Viewmate Translation Request - Russian #translation


In Russian:



Выдан из Ракишской Мещанской Управы


Left side:

1. Вероисповедание:  Иудейского

2. Время рождения и возвраст: Родился 19 сентября 1887 года

3. Род занятий:

4. Состоит или состоял в браке: Холост

5. Находятся при нем:

6. Отношение к отбыванию воинской повинности:

Подлежит призыву к (не ясно) в 1907 году.

Подпись (владельца паспорта): Неграмотный

При неграмотности предъявителя обозначаются его приметы:

Рост: Ниже среднего

Цвет волос: Темнорусый

Особые приметы: Нет


In the middle:



On the right side:

сп #434

На гербе с двухглавым орлом:


На срок не более одного года


Предъявитель сего Александровского уезда, Ракишский мещанин Янкель-Мордух Мовшев Орум

Уволен в разные города и селения Российской Империи от нижезапосанного числа по 31 августа 1906 года.

Дан с приложением печати 1905 года, 31 августа

Лично Староста  Подпись  Печать


Translated into English:



Issued from the Rakish Meshchansky Board


Left side:

1. Religion: Jewish

2. Time of birth and age: Born on September 19, 1887

3. Occupation:

4. Is or was married: Single

5. Are with him:

6. Attitude towards serving military service:

To be called for (not clear) in 1907.

Signature (passport holder): Illiterate

If the bearer is illiterate, his signs are indicated:

Height: Below average

Hair color: Dark brown

Special Features: No


In the middle:

# 376


On the right side:

bn # 434

On the coat of arms with a two-headed eagle:


For a period not exceeding one year


Bearer of this Alexandrovsky district, Rakish tradesman Yankel-Mordukh Movshev Orum

Dismissed to different cities and villages of the Russian Empire from the date below to August 31, 1906.

Dan with enclosed print 1905, August 31

Personally Headman   Signature   Stamp

Translated by Michael Ryabinky
Boynton Beach, FL

Re: NYC Police Reports #records

Avrohom Krauss

I have obtained police reports by first getting the death certificate. In unusual circumstances, there is a Medical Examiner report. The death certificate will have "M.E." and a number. Order the Medical Examiner Report from Dept. of Health with this number. In that report, you should find a copy of the police report.
Best of luck!
Avrohom Krauss
Kiryat Yearim (Telz-Stone) ISRAEL
Researching: KRAUS, GOTTFRIED, MONAT from PRZEMYSL (Galicia) Poland/ KINSTLICH, GREENBERG, SCHMIDT from Tarnobrzeg, Rozwadow, Ulanow (Galicia) Poland
KLOTZ from Telsiai, Lithuania/ ROGOZIN, KAPLOWITZ, from Vyazyn, Ilya, Vilyayka, Belarus /LAPIDUS, SOKOLSKY, ROGOZIN, Maladzyechna, Belarus

Re: Wrong people on family trees on genealogy sites #general

Shlomo Katz

At one point, I received a "Smart Match" suggestion from Geni suggesting that my great-great-aunt, who was born in 1897, was married to someone who had died in 1571. The name was correct, but obviously the wrong person. Some people may be accepting those suggestions without understanding what they are.

Shlomo Katz
Silver Spring, MD

Vieemate translation request - Romanian #translation


I've posted a Birth record in Romanian for which I need a translation. It is on ViewMate at the following address:
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.

Thank you very much.

Asaf Feig

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