Re: Looking for information/documents on Abuliak and Ber families #records #bessarabia #ukraine #romania

Yefim Kogan

Hello Alberto,  thanks for your post.

Do you know who was Yitsik Ber in Khotin?  was he a carpenter?  We have a record from Bessarabia Business Directory of 1924 where BER, Itsko from Khotin is listed as a carpenter.
I would suggest for you to do a search for all Surname "BER" in Bessarabia, and look into every record.
There are also many records for surname BER or similar, but for some other towns in Bessarabia. I would suggest to check them out.
For example two Birth records from town of Novoselitsa, which is in Khotin uezd, not far from Khotin... also there are number of Revision list records too.

There are also several other researchers looking for family name BER, BEER, BEHR (these are likely the same family name).  Maybe you could connect with them using Family Finder.

Have a question to you... how do you know that the surname was BER ?  do you have it written down somewhere?

All the best,
Shabbat Shalom
Yefim Kogan
JewishGen Bessarabia Group Leader and Coordinator

Hungary Jewish records #hungary

Dubin, David M. MD

Hi all,
would anyone have access to 

Magyar-Zsidó Oklevéltár XVI, 1974? An ancestor is mentioned on page 318, and I’d appreciate a copy. 

thank you. 

David Dubin
Teaneck, NJ

Re: DNA matches with descendants of enslaved African Americans. #usa #general


Hello Brad,

Thank you for your important letter. My maternal family also came to the US  before the Civil War from small cities of southwestern Germany. Some went to Kingston, North Carolina and were merchants. Some went to Wheeling, West Virginia. Some were known as pioneers of the Jewish community of Cleveland, Ohio. Three of the Cleveland relatives fought in the Civil War for the Union. I was contacted by a descendant of a slave  because our DNA matched. He was already a good genealogist and had a name for the father of his slave ancestor from a death certificate, but the name was butchered. Using good old fashioned genealogy methods we followed the paper trail. It took us three years to discover that the name of our common Jewish ancestor was Joseph Sondheimer. He was not a slave owner but a peddler in Kentucky. He arrived in this country from Sennfeld, Baden in 1850 at 18 years of age. The story is a different narrative than one you describe. The paths of this Jewish peddler named Joseph Sondheimer crossed with a woman named Caroline, enslaved on a farm in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. When peddlers had to find a place to sleep, they were not invited into the house with the farmer and probably had to choose between the barn and  slave houses.  Identical twin boys were born to Joseph Sondheimer and the enslaved Caroline Chambers in 1856.  The boys were born into slavery on the Chambers farm. The African American descendants of Joseph and Caroline assumed that the farmer, Mr. Chambers was their white ancestor until DNA revealed a different truth.  We think that Joseph acknowledged his fatherhood and was involved in the children's lives in some manner because of family stories passed down in the black family.  The peddler, Joseph, also fathered another boy in 1859 with a free woman of color. After freedom, these children went on to became known as some of the most successful blacks in Montgomery County, Kentucky!

Joseph went on to marry a Jewish woman named Caroline Goodman and had a legal family of nine children! When Joseph died, he and his wife, were buried in Willet Cemetery, the first  Jewish cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio. I presented a talk about this story at the  IAJGS conference in Cleveland two summers ago. Feel free to contact me for more details.

Linda Levine
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Kitchener Camps Sandwich #unitedkingdom


I am researching my wife's family background.  Her father, together with his brother were part of the 4000 or so young men sent to a Kitchener Camp in Sandwich, Kent, UK in 1939 as part of an agreement between the UK Government and the Nazi regime (AFAIK).
The rest of her father's family, mother, father, younger brother were all murdered in a concentration camp near Minsk in 1942.

What I am trying to do is find out the brother's pathway from arrest (presumably) and onward journey to the UK.   I have searched every database that I can find and there's no sign of:

Franz Oscar Mandl, born 19th May 1913,
Wilhelm Mandl, born 28 April 1908,  

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Kind Regards
Richard Holder

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

Marcel Apsel

Hi Laurie,


I completely agree with you, when putting trees on internet (geni, myheritage etc …) there are plenty of people who think they are smart in adding anything in order to get a huge, but mostly fabricated, tree.  I have my family tree privately build and once a cousin asked me to forward him my gedcom file; I send it to him with the explicit demand not to put it on internet.  This ‘idiot’ did it without my permission (I had to respect privacy matters with some family members) and at the long run my tree became a mess with shulent, kigel and kishke mixed.  I was really furious on that cousin and decided that I never again will give a gedcom format to any one, only a PDF descendant format tree to family members.  It does not mean that geni and myheritage have not positive effects in researching.  I do researching through this channels, but try to be very careful with the information on it.  Most of the information is more or less correct, but with experience you might find mistakes and completely invented pieces, like a son who is born 30 years after the death of his mother, as well as putting wrong information through different trees and mixing them together.

It is important to keep track of correct records; for example I found yesterday somebody who stated that her grandfather was born in London, what was absolutely impossible; but she did not know and supposed that what she decided was correct … and this information will on the long run be kept as correct.

My conclusion is : you can research all kind of records anywhere, but keep it in mind that any record where ever you find it can be right or wrong, not only geni/myheritage, but also civil records anywhere.  Use common sense and then you will be able to detect most mistakes.


Marcel Apsel

Antwerpen, Belgium


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

Marcel Apsel

Luckily there are some people like you; if not we will have to ‘accept’ that each rabbi would have between 50 children or more ……!!!!!


Marcel Apsel

Antwerpen, Belgium


Re: Needing help in deciphering the name of a place #poland #lodz

Krzysztof Witaszek

The place is Brześć Kujawski located 8 km west of  Włocławek 

Krzysztof Witaszek

Re: Requesting translations from German #germany #translation

Dr. Ruth Leiserowitz

Most of the texts are in Dutch, only small parts in German.

Ruth Leiserowitz

Berlin / Warsaw

This week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page #yizkorbooks #poland

Bruce Drake

One topic common to many Yizkor books is a description of the town’s market day. Market days were a vital part of the economy on which people depended for the earnings that would carry them through the week and beyond. They were also raucous affairs where people socialized and drank, Jews mixed with gentile traders and customers, and the shouts of goods being hawked and haggling over prices filled the jammed marketplace.
In one sense, you can say if you’ve seen or read about one market day, you’ve seen and read them all. But what is always appealing about these accounts, however similar, is that each has its own unique cast of characters who are vividly described. Each has different ways of recounting the “art of the deal.” Descriptions of the foods are delights. But more than all of that, market day was a microcosm of Jewish life in the shtetls, and chapters like these seem to capture all of it.
“At the Market: A Jewish Town's Struggle for Bread” is from the Yizkor book of Kolbuszowa, Poland, although this particular translation comes from a well-known anthology of Yizkor book chapters titled "From a Ruined Garden."
I think I can give you a little taste of this chapter without spoiling it, just so you know what I mean. Here’s a favorite passage of mine:
“The first rays of God's sun meet with signs of preparation for a busy day. Shutters open. Jews with their tefilin bags under their arms hurry home from early services. The Biale vegetable growers, who had arrived the previous night in order to secure their accustomed spots, creep out from underneath the wagons where they've spent the night, and begin to sort out their produce. The ‘Bialer goyim’ are well-acquainted with the things Jews need for their Sabbath table. Onions for fish, parsley for soup, little cucumbers with dill for pickling, and carrots for tsimes. A growing human stream, together with containers and merchandise, pours forth from all of the back streets, Jews bearing crates, poles, and boards get ready to build their ‘pavilions’ at the Great Weekly Exhibition.”

Bruce Drake
Silver Spring, MD

Towns: Wojnilow, Kovel

Re: Needing help in deciphering the name of a place #poland #lodz

Dr. Ruth Leiserowitz

I think, this is Brześć Kujawski 
Coordinates: 52°36′18″N 18°53′53″E

Ruth Leiserowitz
Berlin / Warsaw

JewishGen Virtual Conversations #announcements #education #general

Marjorie Geiser

Hi JewishGeners,

Ready for some new tips, strategies or resources to help break through to the next level with your family research?

No matter what level researcher you are, there are times we can all benefit from talking with others about our biggest brick walls. It’s not uncommon to have that ONE question you just can’t resolve.

Do any of these sound like you?

·         * You’ve searched on JewishGen, Ancestry and FamilySearch, etc., over and over and over again, but STILL can’t find your great-grandmother in the old country.

·         * You’ve found yourself, more often than you care to admit, researching naturalization papers for your grand-uncle, only to realize you ALREADY searched those same records last week. AGAIN!

·         * You just got started, but wonder how to navigate the wealth of resources that are out there. It all feels SO overwhelming!

JewishGen Virtual Conversations provide helpful suggestion, strategies, resources and support with your research goal. These private sessions are designed to empower you to find the answers you’re looking for.

Just $36 for a 45-minute Zoom session. To learn more, or to complete the questionnaire to get started, click this link;

Margie Geiser

JewishGen Virtual Conversation


What’s New at JewishGen? JewishGen News! #JewishGenUpdates

Nancy Siegel

What’s new at JewishGen? Don’t miss the April issue of JewishGen News

Stay informed via the program announcements, reports, and project updates. Read about the Orphans of Meisjeshuis, the Vogel family, the Fonds de Moscou, Life on Cheetwood Street, and more.

If you aren’t subscribed to receive a copy of the newsletter by email, you can access it by following this link:


Nancy Siegel
Director of Communications
(San Francisco, California)

Re: Immigration via Hoboken? #usa

Janette Silverman

The Friederich der grosse landed in the Port of New York on 23 August. It took about 10 days for the sailing. It is unlikely that it returned to Europe and made it back to the U.S. by 12 Sep 1898. If a passenger was traveling steerage, they would have gone through Ellis Island, whether their ship docked at New York or Hoboken. After clearing the various check-ups on Ellis Island, they would have taken the ferry back to either New York or Hoboken. There's a great article from 2014  at
Janette Silverman
Phoenix, AZ and Salt Lake City, UT


Re: Immigration via Hoboken? #usa

Judy Floam

I took a Holland-America student ship from Hoboken when I went to Europe in my ‘20s.   The year would have been 1962.


Judy Floam

Baltimore, MD


Requesting translations from German #germany #translation


I have a stack of letters between my grandparents in the 30s that I'm trying to get translated. I've attached a few here - any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, 
Edith Goldman

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

Odeda Zlotnick

 this is why you never copy from someone else! Often these people just seem to want to brag about how many people are in their tree. One person posts unverified data in their tree and 100 others copy these mistakes into their trees and the mistake snowballs. Don't be one of those people.

We should all try to distinguish between:
  1. "My tree" - the tree which I trust, edit and share  with people whom I choose to share with.
  2. "Public Tree": A tree out there on an internet site.
  3. "Collaborated tree" A tree on which I collaborate only with people trust and those who trust me

We should also realize the the sites offering "Smart Matches" and "Links" are dangling baits for users to cough up and pay subscripion money.  One should never ever accept them blindly. Sometime, they add great info. Sometimes they don't - buyer beware.

I have had even Geni curators merge profiles and mess up the tree I consider my public tree - and I have had them correct the mess when I sent them documentation.

I have had "merge" requests on Geni, that I simply ignore - and I have had disagreements with collaborators, which we agreed to leave as documented comments concerning that person or name.

As noted by Pieter Hoekstra: Some people honestly think and feel that the larger their tree, the better things are. Others value validity.  Those of us who value validity can't fight / or try convince those who believe in "this is a public party and the more the merrier". We can and should tend our garden to the best of our ability - 

And always remember the following comic:
xkcd: Duty Calls
Duty Calls

Odeda Zlotnick 
Jerusalem, Israel.

passports for non-naturalized residents london, canada and the usa? #records

arnold friedman

i have a morris/maurice/maures/max jacobs/jackson who was born in
poland abt 1851, he was living as a boarder in london in 1871,
married in 1877, went to canada around 1907 and came to the US in
1924, died in 1929.

Do non-citizens residents get something like a government passport
prior to traveling to a new country, and if so, is it called a
passport or some other document, and where might i find it for England
or Canada.

Based on my research so far, i believe that it was unlikely that he
ever became a naturalized citizen of uk, canada or usa

i am trying to figure out what city in poland he came from and/or both
his parents names. I have wedding record from uk gov and the great
synagogue, us boarder crossing, death record, lots of census records
for morris, but nothing that provides fuller information like
naturalization records or possibly passport application (a passport
photo of him would be nice)

So appreciate advice on non citizen resident gov records like might be
available in that timeframe especially in london or toronto canada.

thank you

arnold friedman
redwood city, ca usa

with Wife Marianna Green and Father Israel.
I have not identified any siblings for Morris.

Looking for information/documents on Abuliak and Ber families #records #bessarabia #ukraine #romania

Alberto K.

Dear friends.
I'm looking for any information, birth, marriage, death or other certificate, record or cemetery information on the following ancestors.
Searched by name and cemetery records on Jewishgen with no success.
Any information on how to find information or documents on them will be deeply appreciated:

Isaac(Yitschak) Ber and Lea Ber who lived in Khotin/Hotin c. 1870 to 1930, then Romania, now Ukraine.
Their sons Wolf Ber b. 16 Sept. 1906 and Ionda(Jonda) b. 15 June 1903, both migrated to Brazil 1929/30.

Moricis Abuliac (Abulhk, Abuliak) e Rifca(Rivca) Abuliac.who lived in Briceni c. 1870 to 1930, then Romania, now Moldova.
Their daughter Perl b. 01 Feb. 1918, migrated to Brazil and got married to Wolf Ber.
Thank you.
Alberto Kremnitzer  ID#: 38830

Re: Free Webinars with Dr Janette Silverman, Eastern European Genealogy expert 5/1 #events


People seem to be having trouble with understanding the facebook event for some reason, is an alternative way to register for the event
Vivs Laliberte

Orange County, Calfiornia

Re: NYC Police Reports #records

Sherri Bobish


If they married in NYC you can use this free search to find her husband's full name:
NYC Marriage License Index 1950-1995

If they married in NYC before 1950 you can try this database on Ancestry, or if you have access to Ancestry just try this one since it covers more years:
NYC Marriage Licenses 1907-1995

You can also use these databases to see if her husband re-married.

Good luck in your search,

Sherri Bobish

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