Download the Cowan Report #records


I downloaded the Cowen Report.
I clicked on Export, then selected PDF
I navigated down lower on the screen a bit and could see the PDF file. 
Clicking on the file opened it to a black screen with a menu bar at the
top where I clicked on the download icon.

David Rosen
Boston, MA

On 5/26/2021 8:23 PM, Michele Lock wrote:
The other day, a person posted about the Cowen report, written by a US
immigration judge who traveled to Russia in 1906 to investigate
various matters pertaining to the Jewish immigration from there. The
National Archives has the images of each page of the report available
for viewing at:

Great Genealogy Resources #israel #records #holocaust #hungary


Hello all!

I came across these two websites which contain 40-50 million (!) scanned documents of jewish interest, including vital records, marriage certificates etc.

Hungary - Könyvtár:

Israel - Israel State Archives:

I hope this will be helpful.

Shia Rabinowitz

Ancestry's Fold3 Free Access for Memorial Day #announcements #records #usa

Jan Meisels Allen




Fold3 is part of the Ancestry family of companies is offering free access for Memorial Day through May 31, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET to its 550+ million military records extending back to the Revolutionary War.  After the free access period ends, you will only be able to view the records in the featured collections using a paid Ancestry® All-Access or Fold3® membership.


Go to

Click on the blue and white circle in the middle of the page that says Free Access to Fold3. No credit card information is requested.For the free access for Memorial Day do not click on the start a 7-day free day trial as that requires your sharing your credit card information. Registration is required with your name and email address.


Once you sign in type the name of the military person you are researching in the red search name, topic or keyword box where it says “search”. A new window opens with the records that Fold3 has for the name, key word etc you placed in the search field.

Depending on the type of  record you can save to your computer, print or share.


Scroll down the page below the “cards” with different conflicts/wars to the Memorial Day Salute.  Click on the #ISaluteFor and share a story, photo or record of military hero in your famiy using hashtag#ISaluteFor. There are also videos on Facebook to watch inclued. You must be a Facebook member to access the videos.


I have no affiliation with Ancestry or Fold3 and am posting this solely for the information of the reader.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


More than 2000 new records added to the All Odessa Database #ukraine #JewishGenUpdates

Ariel Parkansky

Hi all,

Birth indexes for 1876 and marriage indexes for 1854 (about 2300 records) were added to the All Odessa database on the Odessa Kehilalinks (

Ariel Parkansky
Ukraine SIG
Odessa Town Leader

Re: Travel from Shtetll to Sea Port #ukraine

Jx. Gx.

Thank you Michele for sharing the link to the Cowen Report.  My grandfather came over in 1906 so this report is like finding a gold mine.

Did anyone else have problems trying to download the report or is it made not to be downloaded?

Jeffrey Gee

Re: Travel from Shtetll to Sea Port #ukraine

Ada Glustein

Thank you all, so much, for the informative and helpful responses.  I've been making my way through the Cowen report and am so impressed with all the stories and persons that Cowen engaged with.  It really does give a good picture of the hows and whys of emigration and the extreme difficulties in leaving a shtetl until boarding a ship -- not to mention those difficulties, too. He is talking about 1906, in particular, and I imagine there would be some changes by 1910 - 1913.  I appreciate that there is some mention of people leaving for Canada, as well.  I will try to find out more about prepaid tickets, banks, etc. here.  

Again, many thanks!

Ada Glustein

GLUSTEIN, GLUZSHTEYN, Podolia Gubernia; Uman, Kiev Gubernia
PLETSEL, PLETZEL, Ternovka, Podolia

ViewMate translation request - Yiddish #yiddish #translation


I've posted a handwritten letter in Yiddish 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.

Terry Sklair Taylor

Re: finding record of name changes #names #records


The spelling of my mother's surname changed after she was born, as did that of her first name.  The new spelling was standardized, one might say, when my grandfather was naturalized in the 1930s and is used to this day.

My father and his brothers changed their last name without going through the courts in the 1940s.  Because Dad did not report the change to Social Security, he had to get an affidavit from someone who knew him with both names before he could draw on his Social Security retirement, a minor issue.  But his new name was used in all his US Army documents dating back to 1941. 

There is no requirement to have a name "legally" changed as long as it is not used to defraud.  
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC

Re: finding record of name changes #names #records

Sherri Bobish

Hi Sheryl,

Most people just started using a different name, whether it be first name and/or surname, and there is no legal paperwork.

Some people did use the naturalization process to change their name, and that would be noted on their nat papers, if they did so.

Some people did go to court and get their name legally changed.

It seems you are saying that you believe the surname the family used in The U.S. is not the surname they used before coming here? 

Are you trying to figure out the original surname?  If so, there are methods to attempt to do this, even if they didn't legally change the name.

Do you know what town they came from originally?

Good luck in your search,

Sherri Bobish

Re: finding record of name changes #names #records

Robert Hanna

It may never have been changed through the courts.  My grandfather's name changed almost every time he (or someone for him) filled out a new document.  I changed my name in 1979 without going through the court system.  I have two social security cards with different names but the same SS number.  My passport and driver's license are under my new name.  It may be a bit harder to do that with all the current security issues, but it was not that difficult in the 20th century or earlier.

Robert Hanna

Chanan/Hanan/Hanne/Gane (Warsaw); Blumenblat (Sarnaki); Karasik, Thomashow, Cohen (Babruysk); Rubinstein, Bunderoff, Pastilnik, Nemoyten, Diskin (Minsk).

finding record of name changes #names #records

Paul Silverstone

My grandfather changed his name in 1908.   When he applied for a passport in 1927 he had to show a
court order changing his name, and that shows on his application.   This was in New York but his next
child born in 1909 showed the new name on his birth certificate.
Paul Silverstone
West Vancouver, BC

Re: Questions about DNA Sephardic vs Ashkenazi #dna #sephardic

Adam Cherson

Admixture reports cannot do this because of the many genetic recombinations over 8 generations (one cannot determine which ancestor(s) are producing the Sephardic signal). The only possible DNA strategy would be to obtain the yDNA (SNP) fingerprint of the 8th ancestor's line and then attempt to evaluate whether that particular terminal yDNA SNP fingerprint matches any other proven, modern Portuguese-Sephardic lines. While this is a theoretically possible strategy it is difficult to achieve in practice because you must first identify a modern yDNA descendant of the 8th ancestor, and then be lucky enough so that the ancestor's yDNA SNP fingerprint matches one of the known modern Portuguese-Sephardic ydna lineages. To successfully implement this strategy you must be working with terminal SNPs (i.e. the results from the Big Y 700 test at FTDNA) because anything less would provide an indeterminate answer. For example from experience I can say that the AB-022 line on the list contains both Sephardic and Ashkenazic lineages--- so just knowing that much information would not be enough. One needs to know which tiny sub-branch of AB-022 is the terminal 'twig'.
Adam Cherson

Re: Looking for “enfants cachés” (hidden children) in the South of France #france #holocaust

Bernard Flam

Hi from Paris,
Dear Yael,
Michael gives the best answer if you wish to find names of children who had been hidden in homes located in South of France.
But if you which to contact those who are still alive now or their descendants, I can transfer your message, with some more details, to the 50 organizations who manage the "Forum des générations Shoah" at Memorial de la Shoah in Paris.
Our next meeting (by Zoom) is on June 8th.
Bernard Flam
Archives & history of Medem Center - Arbeter Ring

Re: Hello (introduction) #france #general

Bernard Flam

Hi from Paris,
Dear Julie, 
I reply in English to give a general answer, then we will switch to French for further private discussion.
  • French Revolution had given full citizenship to Jews living in France and religious ou racial census was forbidden, from 1789 till today.
  • After July 1940 and Nazi occupation of northern France, when Petain's collaborationist french state replaced Republic,  one of the first antisemitic target was to fill a Jewish census to prepare further discriminations (...till deportation).
  • Danneker, directly under Eichmann's orders for France, tried to find lists of Jews by searching in Jewish religious and non-religious organizations.
  • So Jews quickly destroyed their own archives and lists : you have in your husband's family memory of what happened in this synagogue.
  • In October 1940, Petain made a law, called as "1st statut of Jews" which among plenty of antisemitic rules, made obligation for Jews to go to police station and make themselves their own declaration of being Jew.
  • Almost 90% of them obeyed , as they wished not to be outlaws...
Concerning Jewish genealogy and family history in France and "old countries" of Yiddishland, Medem Center is one of the few associations where we / I manage a weekly workshop of Jewish genealogy : you are welcome !
Bernard Flam
Archives & history of Medem Center - Arbeter Ring ( Workmen Circle / Bund of France)

JGSIG - June Meeting - Find a Grave - Tues June 8, 2021 10-11:30 am EDT via Zoom - RSVP #announcements #education #events #jgs-iajgs

Arthur Sissman

Jewish Genealogy SIG June Meeting Tues June 8, 2021  10-11:30 am EDT via Zoom - RSVP.



Meeting open to the first 100 people who RSVP and come on the call - Zoom “room” will be available at 9:30 am - Suggest you come early to insure your spot!




Visit your Deceased Relatives Via Find-a-Grave 

Join the Jewish Genealogy SIG June Meeting Tues June 8, 2021  10-11:30 am EDT via Zoom.



Visit your Deceased Relatives Via Find-a-Grave 

The presentation will try to answer the following questions:

  • What is Find-a-Grave?
  • How Much Does Find-a-Grave Cost?
  • Where is Find-a-Grave?
  • Why Should I Use/Visit Find-a-Grave?
  • How Do I Use Find-a-Grave in Genealogical Research?
  • Is Find-a-Grave, the Virtual Cemetery of my Descendants?
  • What About Billion Graves and JOWBR (

Start exploring Find-a-Grave today - register here!


Reserve you Zoom spot by RSVP.  A Handout will be available for those who sign up.  Zoom link will be sent out 2-3 days before event. You will receive an acknowledgement that you signed up.


Send your RSVP to Arthur Sissman  genresearch13@... 



Arthur Sissman
Jewish Genealogy SIG of Naples/Collier Co FL



Join our FB page at Jewish Genealogy SIG:

Genealogy Wise page:

Hello (introduction) #france #general


Hello to everyone.  My name is Julie and I'm about to help my husband with his family tree.  This will take me a while, because I am visually impaired and can't spend too much time looking at a computer monitor.

I am from Canada, but my husband is French and we live in France.  I spent some time here in France trying to experience the side of things that could not be experienced in America.  I have gone to the deportation and resistance museum quite a few times since I've been here to try to better understand what happened here during the war.  It's not something I can do for long periods of time, so I have tried to get as much as I could from it over short periods.

My husband has warned me that, at the beginning of the war, someone from the family went to the synagogue and ripped all of the records with their family name on it out of the books.  I am not sure what I have in store for me on this journey, but I have a feeling it will not be easy.  I hope that some of you will be willing to help me, and I of course will be willing to help you the best that I can.

Thank you for having me in this group.  I really appreciate it.

Have a great day,
Julie Colangelo

Re: Travel from Shtetll to Sea Port #ukraine

Lee Jaffe

Thank you so much for the link to the Cowen report.  I have only skimmed it, esp. the section on travel you highlighted, and it is very informative and fascinating. It is great to read a contemporary account, so clearly and engagingly written.   I've been trying to learn more about the journey out of the Pale, the mechanics of crossing frontiers, arrangement for the different stages of travel, documents required, etc., to help supplement my understanding of my family's story.   I have the original Russian passports for 2 of my maternal great-grandparents and wondered how someone came by such documents.  This was esp. interesting since my paternal grandfather told me he was smuggled across the Russian border into Germany.  I've read several first-hand accounts of the journey, including a spare rendering in Sholem Aleichem's Motl, the cantor's son, in which he describes the family being smuggled across the border with their household goods, housed at a nearby inn until they can be put on a train to the port when they will embark.   

Until this recent finding, I've been able to find only anecdotal accounts, sometime fictional, or bits and pieces about critical points of the journey.  Someone has already mentioned the immigrant banks in Philadelphia: there is some information about the payment scheme and the system for delivering tickets via local agents to the travelers attached to those collections, I believe.  Perhaps more relevant to the original question, I've also read (sorry, but I can't put my finger on the source) that the immigrant trade was very lucrative and there was sometimes fierce competition for business.  This included not only the steamship lines but also the countries where the ports were located. Thus, travelers passing through Germany on their way to Antwerp were often harassed by officials along the way.  My grandfather said his train was delayed by officials, causing him to miss his ship, forcing him to wait until the next available passage.  This was documented in the Cowen report.  Perhaps choosing different routes depended on such factors, affecting the relative difficulty or ease of reaching one port or the other.  Or those with more money or easier access to official papers would take one route and those with few means had to take another.

Just a heads up to those of you who plan programming for a JGS or research institution, that a presentation on this topic would be very welcome.  


Lee David Jaffe

Surnames / Towns:  Jaffe / Suchowola, Poland ; Stein (Sztejnsapir) / Bialystok and Rajgrod, Poland ; Joroff (Jaroff, Zarov) / Chernigov, Ukraine ; Schwartz (Schwarzman?, Schwarzstein?) / ? ;  Koshkin / Snovsk, Ukraine ; Rappoport / ? ; Braun / Wizajny, Suwalki, Poland,  Ludwinowski / Wizajny, Suwalki, Poland


Re: MyHeritage Free Access May 26- June 1 #announcements #records

Dahn Cukier

I entered my grandfathers name and his US draft card and
a separate box for his UK service with a link to UK Archive.
It seems to work fine at least for US and UK records.
Dahn Zukrowicz

Re: MyHeritage Free Access May 26- June 1 #announcements #records

Jan Meisels Allen

I tried this before I posted about it and after Madeleine's posting "I tried this link out, but it appears to be restricted to just records for those who served in the USA.  If otherwise, perhaps someone will let us know.".  

I put in the surname "Goldberg"  no first name- place Great Britain and came up with a number of selections. I use a non-subscription sign-in to try these offers and not my paid subscription sign-in to make certain those without a subscription can enter the site and there is no required credit card information. During MyHeritage's Memorial Day free access one can view the record and save or print it.  

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

New JewishGen USA Research Division Website Launched #usa

Ellen Shindelman Kowitt

The JewishGen USA Research Division (USA-RD) is a group of volunteer genealogists exploring the lives of Jews in America from 1654 to the present. With goals to educate, and to identify, index, and share Jewish historical records that have genealogical value, please check out our new website at and signup to volunteer on a project at


Ellen Shindelman Kowitt
Director, USA Research Division
Erie, Colorado

4821 - 4840 of 663955