Re: How do I find out why my great-grandfather emigrated from Lithuania under an assumed name? #lithuania

JoAnne Goldberg

Thanks for bringing this up, Perry. I have wondered the same for years,
and still don't have a good explanation for the name changes.

In my case, multiple family members traveled from Lithuania to the US in
the 1880s after apparently buying papers that allowed them to change
their surnames. So my questions:

* What kind of documents did someone need to leave Lithuania in the late
* Who was able to get these documents? And why was it apparently so hard
for people to procure documents in their own  name?
*What happened to the sellers of these documents? Without papers, were
they stuck in their home towns for the rest of their lives?

JoAnne Goldberg - Menlo Park, California; GEDmatch M131535


Help requested with Polish document below #translation #poland

Jeffrey Knisbacher


Explanation follows:

Three years ago, someone in this group graciously sent me the attached Polish document, possibly a census record or a military conscription record for a Chaim Ber KNISBACHER of Kolomyja. At the time, I could not connect to it and simply filed it away. But just the other day some of my family "stumbled upon" this Stolperstein for a Chaim KNISBACHER in Bremen, Germany:

Stolperstein HB - Chaim Knisbacher 1896.jpg


I subsequently found a second Stolperstein from Bremen for what was likely his wife, Donja KNISBACHER, b. 1898.



In the above Polish document what I can read is as follows and need help with what I can't read as indicated:


1. Birth date: 15 January, 1896.

2. Parents: Ettie Knisbacher

3. Profession: Merchant

4. Religion: Jewish

5. Parents' residence or location of profession? (Is that correct?): Can't read the handwriting

6. Notes at bottom: can't read

On the right hand side

7. Education: 1907 [when Chaim Ber was 11 years old] but can't read more than that

8. Date: 31 May 1939  [significantly, still before the Nazi invasion on Sept 1, 1939]

9. Height: 163 cm. [64 inches=5 feet 4 inches]

10. Chest girth?  85/78 cm. Not sure what that means

11. Weight: 54 kg = 119 pounds

12. Doctors' evaluation?   Can't read

13. Conscription committee?  Can't read


Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated! This man Chaim Ber, from Kolomyja, is apparently connected to both the "Vienna branch" of my family and to Saul ben Meir, b. 1881 Kolomea KNISBACHER, the husband and cousin of my father's aunt Frieda, both of whom came to the US from Austria-Hungary in 1907. [We still do not know the exact nature of the cousinship.]

Jeffrey Knisbacher,  Bradenton Florida 


Re: How do I find out why my great-grandfather emigrated from Lithuania under an assumed name? #lithuania


I had an uncle who came under a different name. I was told that he bought the
papers of someone who had already gone through the process, and that this was known to happen.                                                 Frayda  Zelman NY

JGS Toronto. Free Virtual Meeting. Sharing Data on Genealogical Websites: Uses and Abuses. Henry Blumberg. Wednesday, 26 May 2021, 7:30 p.m.. ET. #announcements #jgs-iajgs

Jerry Scherer



Sharing Data on Genealogical Websites: Uses and Abuses


Speaker: Henry Blumberg

VIRTUAL MEETING: View from home

Wednesday, 26 May 2021, 7:30 p.m. ET.


In an age of burgeoning technology, genealogists have concerns that relate to genealogy websites, their uses and possible abuses. These include issues of privacy, user agreements, facial recognition, data mining, ownership of data, sharing DNA information with testing companies, surveillance capitalism, and genealogical manipulation and fraud.
Henry Blumberg is a barrister in Toronto. He is on the Board of JGS Toronto, has served three terms as convener of the Latvia SIG, and two terms on the Board of Governors of JewishGen. He has presented at twelve IAJGS conferences and was a speaker in Riga at the “Names and Fates Project” in June 2008, as well as at International Conferences on “Jews in a Changing World” in 2011 and in 2014.

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.)


info@...              Tel:  647-247-6414

twitter: jgsoftoronto        facebook: Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto



Jerry Scherer

Vice President, Communications






Help deciphering a town name on passenger Manifest #records #belarus

David Levine


Can anyone decipher this town name in Russia? 

The traveler and her son are in rows 1 and 2
Esther married in Slutsk, Belarus and was living there when first her husband (who is confirmed to have been born in Slutsk) left
I had thought it was Slutsk but Yuri DOrn of JHRG did not find the family there (they did find her husband)

It is likely that the place here is somewhere in Belarus, in Minsk G.
Possibilities are Minsk itself, G/Hlusk, Babruysk
The full page is attached

Many thanks

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 

Translation from German (maybe Polish?) #poland #names

Jeffrey Grossman

Asking for a friend (really!). He got this from JRI Poland. He believes the middle entry (name= Eisig) may be his maternal grandfather. Neither of us can translate the column headings and certainly not the cursive writing. Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks! 





Jeffrey Grossman
Redmond WA

Re: Plagai, Lithuania - I'm lookin' for it, You got it? #lithuania #poland

Sherri Bobish


Now that you've found the town, you can search for records at:

Good luck in your search,

Sherri Bobish

Re: Charlotte (Lotte) Friedmann from Breslau #germany

Sherri Bobish

Hi Harvey,

There may be more than one Lotte Friedmann from Breslau.  In 1938 Hans Friedmann (age 25) and his wife Hildegarde, arrived in NY, and he left behind his mother in Breslau named Lotte Friedmann.

Hans was going to his Uncle Eugene Friedmann in Chicago.

Hans had also been in The U.S. in 1937.

I assume this is not your Lotte Friedmann, since she was in Scotland by 1937, as you said.  This info may be helpful in sorting out the ladies with this name from Breslau.

Best regards,

Sherri Bobish

How do I find out why my great-grandfather emigrated from Lithuania under an assumed name? #lithuania

Perry Shorris

My great-grandfather, born Mordkhel Eliash Shores, emigrated from Kovno to America in 1898 under the name “Jossel Flink” (the name on the ship’s manifest and referenced in his naturalization records).  There are several theories as to why he might have sailed under this name: (1) he used another person’s passport to leave Lithuania; (2) he used a ticket for the ship that was issued under the name Jossel Flink; (3) he was escaping some kind of danger; etc.  On the ship’s manifest, he indicated that he would be joining his “cousin” Sam Shores in Chicago, but Sam was actually his brother.  In March, I sent in an application to the United States Citzenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) on the offhand chance that his file includes a letter or affidavit explaining the name discrepancy (the Declaration of Intention and Petition do not contain any explanation).  I have not received a response yet, and based on the posts of many people who have gone through this process, do not expect to get a response anytime soon.  Does anyone have any other suggestions as to how I might find some evidence as to why he used an assume name, which he had never used in Lithuania and immediately ditched when he arrived in America?
Perry M. Shorris

Identify photo from Cape Town #southafrica

Yehoshua Sivan

This was taken at the Wolpe studio (name embossed bottom right), probably around 1920.  It was in the collection of Minnie Burns (Bernstein), one of the Swirsky/Swersky sisters.  Minnie lived in London, but her sisters were Jane Rabie, Esther Sheina (Sophie) Singer, Rivka (Becky) Pogrund, daughters of BenZion and Rocha Zippa Swirsky, all of whom lived in South Africa.
Can anyone suggest who Rose might be ?

Yehoshua Sivan

Re: Need Assistance with Genealogy Databases - Not finding names #names #ukraine


Coopersmith could also have been spelled as Kupferschmidt. I have cousins by that last name and also several of its variations.

Adela Weinstein 
Peoria, Arizona

Help Linking a 1915 New York Death Index to the Actual Record #records

David Levine


I have the Death Certificate number from the Index for a 1915 Death Record in Manhattan, NY

Is the place to find it this source only available in a LDS Facility?:
Is it anywhere else online accessible?

Record of deaths, 1912-1916
Format: Manuscript/Manuscript on Film
Language: English
Publication  Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1981
Physical: on 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm.


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 

Ancestry Library Edition Available Remotely Extended to September 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 September 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.


To continue to keep updated you can look at:



Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Re: Where can I find Lodz Court records for 1949 #lodz

Dr. Ruth Leiserowitz

The files should be in the following archive:  Archiwum Państwowe w Łodzi


Please contact: kancelaria@...

Ruth Leiserowitz
Berlin / Warsaw

Re: Family from Roman Romania #romania


There are SARAGA families in Roman before 1900 (Smil/Rifca, Iosub/Sura, Avram/Maria). That surname may fit the one listed which is likely misspelled.

Luc Radu
Great Neck, NY

Re: Maybe I’m a member already? #ukraine


Hi Marlene, 

Since you know that your grandfather arrived in 1913, I assume that you have already reviewed his passenger manifest and have noticed that, although his birth place and last residence was Cherson, his father ( Isaac) was living in a place which I read as Ponkrawkewce.

Perhaps  he meant Pokrowske

Giannis Daropoulos 


Online Jewish genealogy resources to be focus of Jewish Genealogical Society talk on 23 May 2021 #announcements #jgs-iajgs

Eli Rabinowitz

Online Jewish Genealogical Society Talk


Online Jewish genealogy resources to be focus of Jewish Genealogical Society talk on 23 May 2021

Eli Rabinowitz, a board member of the IAJGS who lives in Australia and is from South Africa, will speak on “Journeys from Shtetl to Shtetl” for the Sunday, 23 May 2021, virtual meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. His live streaming presentation will begin at a special time: 7:30 pm CST.

8:30 pm ES 5:30 pm WST

Monday 24 May 2021: 10:30 am Sydney, 8:30 am Perth, 3:30 am Israel, 2:30 am South Africa, 1:30 am UK


After you register, you will be sent a link to join the meeting. This webinar will be recorded so that JGSI’s paid members who are unable to view it live will be able to view the recording later.

For more information, see or phone 312-666-0100.

In his presentation, Rabinowitz will explain how to trace our past and plot our future, using 88 KehilaLinks, over 800 WordPress blog entries, Facebook posts, and other social media. He will also discuss heritage travels in the actual and virtual worlds.

In his talk, Eli will describe special events including commemorations and reunions of descendants. “An important activity is to visit a local school—either physically or online, to engage with students, especially in towns where a few buildings with Jewish symbols, or cemeteries that often contain illegible matsevot, are the only tangible memories of a once thriving community,” he said.

It is also important that family histories should be documented and shared at the same time as the special events, Eli said.

Examples of such recent ceremonies were the Bielski partisans’ descendants’ reunion in Naliboki and Navahrudak, Belarus; the new memorial for victims of the massacre that took place near Birzai, Lithuania; and the groundbreaking ceremony for the Lost Shtetl Museum in Šeduva, Lithuania.

Eli Rabinowitz was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and has lived in Perth, Australia, since 1986. He has researched his family’s genealogy and associated Jewish cultural history for over 30 years. Eli has travelled extensively, writing about Jewish life, travel, and education on his website, Tangential Travel and Jewish Life ( He writes and manages dozens of JewishGen KehilaLinks and more than 750 WordPress blog posts. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy. Eli has lectured internationally at educational institutions, commemorative events, at IAJGS and other conferences, and online.

He is a board member of the IAJGS—The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, an independent non-profit umbrella organization that coordinates an annual conference of 84 Jewish genealogical societies worldwide.

Eli also advises on Litvak and Polish heritage tours.

He writes and manages 88 KehilaLinks—Jewish websites for, the world’s largest Jewish genealogical organization, with a database of 500,000 followers. His KehilaLinks include sites in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Germany, Russia, China, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa and Australia.

The Jewish Genealogical Societyof Illinois is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping members collect, preserve, and perpetuate the records and history of their ancestors. JGSI is a resource for the worldwide Jewish community to research their Chicago-area roots. The JGSI motto is “Members Helping Members Since 1981.” The group has more than 300 members and is affiliated with the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

JGSI members have access to useful and informative online family history research resources, including a members’ forum, more than 65 video recordings of past speakers’ presentations, monthly JGSI E-News, quarterly Morasha JGSI newsletter, and much more. Members as well as non-members can look for their ancestors on the free searchable JGSI Jewish Chicago Database.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

New Memorial Orla Poland 2021


Morgen Zhournal #yiddish #usa

Fred Millner

The first five years (1901-1905) of the New York Yiddish newspaper Morgen Zhournal are apparently lost.  The Library of Congress and the NY Public Library and other libraries have microfilm copies of 1906-1970(?).  My great-uncle, who died young in 1905, wrote articles and poems for Morgen Zhournal per his obituary.  I periodically ask if anyone has any sources for the early years.  I keep hoping they turn up in someone's attic.  Or in the archives of an old synagogue.  Since they weren't holy documents, they probably got thrown out.
Fred Millner

Re: Need Assistance with Genealogy Databases - Not finding names #names #ukraine


On Fri, May 21, 2021 at 12:28 PM, Michele Lock wrote:
Greenfield was most likely originally Grunfeld or Gruenfeld.

I think Greenfield might be correct as well, although I see your point as the notes say the father is from Austria.  I would look for Grinfeld in the manifests.
This might actually simplify things.  Born in Austria, which really means Austria-Hungary at that time (prior to birth of Julius in NYC in 1892).  According to the notes, there was travel to Poland in 1939, presumably to the area that was formerly Austria-Hungary.  You would have to do some research on the pre-WWI vs pre-WWII borders to determine possible origin.  Also, wouldn't the ship manifests from NYC to Europe for Jan 1-Sep 1 1939 be easily available?

Mike Vayser

Re: Why Would Patronyms be Used Well After Formal Last Names Were Required?: Michalowicz vs. Leurie #names

Frank Schulaner

Russians of all persuasions came up with a great compromise: Given name + patronymic + family name.

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