Presentation: 20th Century Immigration and Naturalization Records #announcements #jgs-iajgs

Linda Kelley

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon invites you to a free Zoom meeting:
You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Jun 13, 2021 10:30 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
[If you already registered, there is no need to re-register.]

Sunday, June 13, 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time:

20th Century Immigration and Naturalization Records

Marisa Louie Lee, independent archival researcher

The National Archives maintains a wealth of records relating to immigration and naturalization in the 20th century.  This includes more than one million Alien Case Files ("A-Files") at its facilities in San Francisco, California, and Kansas City, Missouri.  Created beginning in 1944, these files relate to noncitizen alien residents of the United States and are a potential wealth of genealogical information.  We'll discuss what's in the A-Files, who is documented in them, how to find them at the National Archives, and how to access records that remain with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

Marisa Louie Lee is an archival researcher specializing in federal records.  While an archivist at the National Archives at San Francisco, she co-authored the article "The A-Files: Finding Your Immigrant Ancestors", published in the Spring 2013 issue of Prologue magazine.  A fifth-generation Chinese American, Marisa first worked with federal records as a college student researching her own family's history in the United States.  She has presented talks at the California Genealogical Society, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), the Japanese American National Museum (in conjunction with the Nikkei Genealogical Society), and the Chinese Historical Society of America.

Linda Wolfe Kelley, Secretary
Portland, Oregon, USA

JGSLI Virtual meeting on Wednesday June 16 at 7:00 PM Eastern #events #announcements #education

Bonnie Birns

Hello all! The Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island is delighted to invite you to our bonus monthly meeting given by our Past President, Debbie Wang.


JGSLI is extending the invitation to the broader genealogy community. We ask that you register in advance (see below). Please share with your friends!

Wednesday, June 16th, 7:00 PM, via Zoom

Speaker: Debbie Wang
Topic: Inspire and Transform Your Family by Creating a Family Legacy

Debbie Wang will describe tools to make our valued genealogical research into treasured family legacies for future generations. She will provide examples of media with which to tell a family’s story, including memoirs, documentaries, cookbooks, reunions, newsletters, and more. For over 40 years, Debbie has researched her family history, organized family reunions and written family newsletters. She has served as JGSLI’s President and Programming Vice President and is currently Immediate Past President. She has lectured about the importance of genealogy and its effects on family bonds. Debbie is the President of Family Ties Forever Inc., a company that produces family history documentaries and researches clients’ genealogy.


There are two ways to join our meeting:

Register for our Zoom meeting: This will allow you to join in so you can chat with others before and after the meeting.  (This will be limited to the first 100 people to join)


When: June 16, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.



Our meeting will be livestreamed on our YouTube channel. Please visit at the meeting start time and the meeting's video should be listed. No YouTube or other login is required, but if you are signed in you can ask questions in writing via the comment section under the video.


This webinar is free and open to the public.


I look forward to "seeing" you all then!


Bonnie Birns


President, Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island
Jericho, Long Island, NY researcher #59766

Re: Visits to concentration camps #holocaust


We learned about the holocaust in Sunday school in the 1960s.   We were shown some really dramatic footage of bodies piled up.  It made quite an impression on me as a pre-teen boy.  I visited Dachau in 1974 as a college student backpacking through Europe.  I felt that they had cleaned it up a little too much.  It looked like a park.  However, one could still view the ovens.  There were many other people visiting the site as well.
David Schaffer

Update on Galician records available from JRI-Poland #poland #records #galicia

Stanley Diamond

Dear friends: 

In a recent announcement, our Gesher Galicia colleagues announced the availability of newly 
found index books for a massive number of towns in both current day Poland and Ukraine.
JRI-Poland is pleased to advise Galician researchers that we have extracts (not just indices) 
of records - not yet online - for the following towns located in Poland. 

   Biała Podlaska, Biecz, Bobowa, Bochnia, Jarosław, Klasno, Kopyczyńce, Korczyna, 
   Kraków, Leżajsk, Lublin, Muszyna, Nowy Sącz, Nowy Wiśnicz, Podgórze, Pruchnik,
   Rzeszów, Sieniawa, Sokołów Małopolski, Stary Sącz, Tyczyn, Żołynia. 
JRI-Poland also has extended indices for the following Galician towns now in Ukraine with data 
not yet online:

   Czortkow, Drohobycz, Gliniany, Grodek Jagiellonski, Halicz, Jagielnica, Jaryczow Nowy,
   Kamionka Strumilowa, Kolomyja, Lwow, Mikulince, Mosty Wielkie, Nadworna, Przemyslany, 
   Rawa Ruska, Sambor, Sokolowka, Solotwina, Stanislawow, Stary Sambor, Strusow, Stryj, 
   Tarnopol, Tartakow, Trembowla, Uhnow, Zablotow, Zloczow.
We are also delighted to mention that records for most of these towns include marriages 
and deaths as late as 1940 - years no longer covered by Polish laws protecting personal data,
For information on records of interest for your town, please write to [townname]
We expect there will be a flood of interest in this news so we ask researchers to be patient as
they await a reply to their queries.
Stanley Diamond
Executive Director, Jewish Records Indexing - Poland

Re: Can two brothers--alive at the same time--be named Abram and Abraham? #names

Dan Nussbaum

In my family data base I have two brothers with the same English name. One is the oldest in the sibship who was already married when he arrived in the states with his wife's family. He was Sam in English and Simcha in Hebrew.

The other was the youngest and he was a baby when he arrived with his parents. He was Zalman in whatever and Sam in English. There was at least eighteen years difference in age between them.

Daniel Nussbaum II, M.D., FAAP
Retired Developmental Pediatrician
Rochester, New York
Tone can be misinterpreted in email. Please read my words with warmth, kindness, and good intentions.

Searching for;
Nussbaum, Katzenstein, Mannheimer and Goldschmidt; Rhina, Raboldshausen and Bad Hersfeld, Germany
Teplitzky, Bendersky and Kaszkiet; Uman, Ukraine
Rosenthal and S(c)henk(el)man; Zinkov, Ukraine
Bild and Kashlevsky; anywhere

Re: Can two brothers--alive at the same time--be named Abram and Abraham? #names


Actually, it's not so strange or rare, and certainly NOT impossible.  My GGF Leizer Wolf Rosenberg in Tirgu Frumos, Romania, had two wives in succession, both named Leah and two sons named Izaak.  
With Leah (1) Bercovici, he had Izaak, Avram, and Hanna.  Leah 1 died in childbirth with Hannah.  After observing Shloshim, 30 days later, Leizer married Leah (2) Schlaicher.  They had two children, my GM Brahnia, and the second Izaak, although they pronounced it a little differently: Itzik or Aizic, according to different relatiives.
So, two Leahs, two Itzaaks.
Marc Cohen
Los Gatos, California

Marc M. Cohen, Los Gatos, California, USA

BARAK/CANTORCZY: Khotin, Bessarabia; Strorozhinets, Bukovina, Ukraine
CHOMITZ/HAMETZ: Ionina (Janina), Greece; Ignatovka, Ukraine; Kiev Gubernia, Ukraine
COHEN: Dinovitsi (Dunayevtsy) Ukraine; Roman/Tirgu Frumos, Romania
KORNITZKY: Kiev Gubernia, Stepnitz/Stepantsy, Ukraine
RÎBNER: Storozhinetz, Costesti (Costyntsi), Drachinets, Cabesti, Bukovina, Ukraine
ROSENBERG: Tirgu Frumos, Roman, Romania; ISRAEL
WEININGER: Cabesti, Costesti, Drachinets, Czernowitz, Bukovina, Ukraine

Thank you, all! #general #holocaust


I just want to express my gratitude to all those (and there were a lot) who responded to my query about where I might safely donate my father's WWII Nazi artifacts. Thanks to you, I've found a good home for them.  What an amazing resource this discussion list is, and what an amazing and kind group of people!
Erika Gottfried
Teaneck, New Jersey

Re: Can two brothers--alive at the same time--be named Abram and Abraham? #names

R Jaffer

In the 1910 US census and in the birth records for his first four children, my grandfather, whose Yiddish name was Boruch, was recorded as Benjamin. The only problem was that he had an older brother living in the same small city whose given name at birth was Benjamin. Two Benjamin Weinberg brothers lived less than a mile from each other. At some point he was probably told to pick a new name or had learned enough English to do so, and started calling himself Barnet which also began with the letter "B". I couldn't find him in the 1910 census until I searched for his wife. When I found the birth records for my mother's siblings, I realized he had been a Yiddish-speaking man struggling to find an English name for himself when he fist immigrated.

Roberta Jaffer

Trying to find the connection and solve a mystery #belarus

Dror Bereznitsky


As part of researching my father's side of the family - Bereznitsky - I learned about Chaim Zelig Kantorowich my 3rd-great grandparent who lived in Grodno province during the 19th century (Seltz, Bereza).
I barely had any information about him until I made aware of a book he wrote. In this book I found out the names of his children, including Luba Bereznitsky my great-great-grandmother from Ruzhany.
Besides Lube I had no information about any other descendants until I got information about a possible descendant called Chaim Zelig Shkolnik, son of Mordechai and Miriam, born 1899 in Ruzhany and emigrated to Israel around 1923.
I have been trying to find the connection, assuming that Miriam was Chaim Zelig Kantorowich daughter (he mentioned a daughter named Mirel in his book).

Recently I found two birth certificates of Lejb (1901) and Chaim Shkolnik (1899) who were born in Pavlovo Ruzhany (Jewish agricultural colony, 2 miles SE of Ruzhany) to Shmuel son of Froim Shkolnik, wife Mirlya, daughter of Chaim Kantorovich.
It could be a match, only the father name does not fit what I know. Looking for more information I found out about Froim Shkolnik who is one of the 11 settlers who emigrated from Pavolovo to Israel to found Ekron (Mazkeret Batya).

Froim did have a son named Shmuel but his wife name was Sura and he had no son named Chaim.
Now, I might be trying to force things to connect but what are the odds that in a small village like Pavolovo there are 2 Froim Shkolniks that have a son name Shmuel?

Any help you can offer with solving this question will be blessed.

Dror Bereznitsky

Seeking survivors from the MIR YESHIVA IN SHANGHAI #holocaust

Jaocb Bagley

Seeking survivors of the MIR YESHIVA IN SHANGHAI  who can provide me information about my father  who was there during 1939 - 1945.  Urgently need information about him
 Please respond  if you might have been there  His name was Shmuel Dovid Balgley... later known as Cantor David Bagley, a renowned Chazzan. Please respond if you might have known  him. My cell number is (856) 261 2661     email is 
Any information is GREATLY appreciated

 Thank you 

 Jacob ( Yaakov ) Bagley  

FamilySearch Family History Library Re-opening #announcements #records

Jan Meisels Allen


The FamilySearch  History Library in Salt Lake City announced a phased in reopening starting 6 July 2021. Initially, hours will be from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, with plans to extend to additional days and hours soon. 


FamilySearch family history centers and libraries will open based on the direction of their local ecclesiastical leaders and government guidelines. If you plan to visit a FamilySearch center soon, please call ahead to ensure it is open and its hours of operation.  During the pandemic closure the library took advantage to make needed renovations to the facility. New features include state-of-the-art patron workstations with multiple monitors and adjustable height desks to accommodate sitting or standing preferences, enhanced workflow throughout, and nearly 40,000 books from new acquisition and long-term storage.


There are new free patron services with at research specialist that are listed on the new website:


You can also sign up for free, online one on one virtual consultations with a research specialist at:

For those who are unable to come to Salt Lake City a staff member can retrieve a book from its shelves and help you find what you are seeking at:


To read more see:


Thankyou to David Oseas, JGSCV webmaster, for informing us about the reopening and services.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


This week's featured collections in Miriam Weiner's new Surname Database at the Routes to Roots Foundation website ( include documents from the towns of: Chernovtsy, Ukraine and Hrubieszow, Poland. #poland #ukraine

Miriam Weiner

The Routes to Roots Foundation is offering Weekly Featured Collections from the new Surname Databases on its website at


This week, we are highlighting the following: 


1.     Chernovtsy (aka Cernauti, Chernovitsy, Czernowitz), Ukraine

·         1941-1944   "Nazi Gold" in Ukraine (confiscated valuables, indexed by surname)

·         1860/1940   Birth records    

·         1901/1971   Cemetery records

·         1858/1942   Death Records

·         1871/1939   Marriage records


2.     Hrubieszow, Poland

·         1898/1936   Birth Records

·         1898/1942   Death Records

·         1898/1939   Marriage Records


Also check the Image Database for:

            10 images of Hrubieszow, Poland

            25 images of Chernovtsy, Ukraine



Miriam Weiner

Secaucus, NJ

Re: Ancient Ashkenazic DNA Admixture #announcements #israel #dna

Adam Cherson

A follow-up on the matrilineal discussion for those with an interest in the scientific literature on the subject: there are two classic studies on the mtDNA groupings of Ashekanizic and non-Ashkenazic Jews: 1): 'The Matrilineal Ancestry of Ashkenazi Jewry: Portrait of a Recent Founder Event' (2005):   and 2) 'Counting the Founders: The Matrilineal Genetic Ancestry of the Jewish Diaspora' (2008):       

The second of these papers concludes as follows:

"The phylogenetic approach taken in the current study of most non-Ashkenazi Jewish communities, coupled with a previous study on Ashkenazi Jews, reveals the mechanisms involved in the formation of the various extant patterns of mtDNA haplotype variation of the Jewish Diasporas, and taken together provides a nearly comprehensive picture of the maternal genetic landscape of the entire Jewish population. Some of the communities reveal strong founder effects, while in others an abundance of maternal lineages is evident. Mechanisms, such as recruitment of maternal lineages from host populations, including their occasional historic long-distance transfer to new settlements, have been likely operative. Taken together, these studies show that while the founding event for each community may have had an important role in shaping their current genetic structure, other factors related to migration and survival of founding lineages, are responsible for the assembled list of remnant lineages, stressing once again the importance of an interdisciplinary approach in the reconstruction of demographic histories of extant populations." p13 [Emphasis added]

Another more recent paper takes a contrary view, suggesting a European origin for the predominant Ashkenazim matrilneal lines: 'A Substantial Prehistoric European Ancestry Amongst Ashkenazi Maternal Lineages' (2014): DOI: stating: "Overall, we estimate that most (>80%) Ashkenazi mtDNAs were assimilated within Europe. Few derive from a Near Eastern source, and despite the recent revival of the ‘Khazar hypothesis’, virtually none are likely to have ancestry in the North Caucasus. Therefore, whereas on the male side there may have been a significant Near Eastern (and possibly east European/ Caucasian) component in Ashkenazi ancestry, the maternal lineages mainly trace back to prehistoric Western Europe. These results emphasize the importance of recruitment of local women and conversion in the formation of Ashkenazi communities, and represent a significant step in the detailed reconstruction of Ashkenazi genealogical history." p.2. [Emphasis added]

The earlier paper from 2005 had concluded that these Ashkenazic maternal lineages were Near Eastern in origin. How should we in the lay, general public interpret this apparent conflict as to the origins of these maternal lineages?

I believe there is a substantial risk in using modern samples to imply pre-historic origins. In my view it is not possible to look at modern populations and infer their geographic origins from 10-20 thousand years ago: to do so convincingly requires in my view DNA samples from 10-20 thousand years ago. Furthermore, our contemporary bias is to draw a solid line between the Near East and Europe, whereas in Mesolothc times, this entire region seems to have been more of a cline, both genetically and culturally. For these reasons I choose to hold my conclusions in abeyance regarding the ancient origins of the Ashkenazic matrilineages, until such time as more ancient DNA can shed light on the subject. As to the other finding, that there has been a significant amount of 'recruitment' of local women in the formation of the Ashkenazic population, there is no disagreement between the papers, and I believe the modern dna evidence can and does support this finding.

Adam Cherson

Finding descendants of relatives who died in the Holocaust #holocaust

Avi Lichtenstein

Recently, I found on the Yad Vashem testimonial site the names of relatives who died in the Holocaust (Shapiro family from Starokonstantinov, Ukraine).  The submitter’s relationship to the individuals indicated that he too is a relative.  I contacted Yad Vashem who told me that they had no more information on the submitter other than his address (in Israel) in 2014.  Yad Vashem suggested I use JewishGen, Magen David Adom’s tracing service, or the State of Israel’s Ministry of the Interior.  Because I do not live in Israel, I am not sure if I am able to use the Israel-based agencies.  Has anyone had similar experiences?

Kindest regards, 

Avi Lichtenstein

R' Aryeh Dov Friedman #belarus


Continuing to look for my relatives who lived in Minsk, Belarus in the early 1900s and immigrated to Philadelphia, PA in 1907.  Researching my great great grandfather, Samuel Friedman (, it says he was the son of a R' Aryeh Dov.  Does anyone recognize that name or have any information about an Aryeh Dov Friedman living in Minsk in the 1880s? 

Holly Koppel
Researching Samuel and Rose Friedman (lived in Philadelphia and Camden, NJ)
Schwartz family (David and Mollie Kimmelheim)

Can two brothers--alive at the same time--be named Abram and Abraham? #names

JoAnne Goldberg

The possibilities range from a name change/borrowing a name to
half-brothers or cousins to just a regular mistake.

One of my relatives had five sons, two of whom used variations of their
names (Israel/Isadore, Jack/Jake) during their lifetimes. I have seen
versions of the tree that show seven sons --  unrelated men with those
duplicate names have been grafted on to the tree. I was initially kind
of confused, but because the brothers were born in Chicago around 1900,
I could find actual census records and sort it out.

JoAnne Goldberg - Menlo Park, California; GEDmatch M131535


Re: Return address on postcard #romania

jack nathanson


It looks like the address is: Strada  Noiembrie  No. 4, Cernauti, Romania.

"Noiembrie" is the Romanian word for the month of "November".

Jack Nathanson,

Re: Index of Holocaust testimonies #holocaust

tzipporah batami

I can testify to the kindness and of the ushmm in making these sites as accessible as possible. Some of the smaller sites of local museums are missing the big view and not allowing their testimonies to be seen by those who inquire, even to living survivors of same hometown or for researchers. So the USHMM has extended itself to complete the gap and I definitely recommend it. Feigie Teichman

Re: Index of Holocaust testimonies #holocaust

tzipporah batami

Having an index like this at JewishGen is a great idea. Let me add one major source of testimony that has been left out here: book testimony. Many survivors have decided to put their first person accounts into books. A source would be the Azrieli Foundation for Canadian survivor books, the Israel National Library for Israeli survivor books, Scholastic for some American survivors targeted to young audiences for a start. Also there are brand new testimonies I dont recall exact names of begun in pandemic for fear of death from covid. One of these was done in London a few months ago and one was done in Boro Park and is geared to having survivors lead the interviews more and is much gentler. I would also suggest using the freedom of information act to obtain cia interview records of survivors in DP camps for their testimony. Thank you. Feigie Teichman

Re: Can two brothers--alive at the same time--be named Abram and Abraham? #names


@Israel P
Your examples reflect what I think may have happened--travel under another's papers.  Makes me wonder/worry what happened to "Abraham" and where (back in Poland?) because the family's relocation to England happened in response to pogroms.

I knew they were same name and highly unlikely for brothers alive at same time, which is why I posed this dilemma here.

Yes, thought of cousins, but the survivors who knew relevant folks say they weren't cousins, but their childen were.

Definitely two people, and I agree, some story to be told, if only . . .

Thank you for your ideas.  Yes, gravestone has "Abram Moishe" (because only placed recently, by descendants who've heard same details).

Thank you all for your thghtful feedback.
Carolynn Duffy

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