Searching for Descendants of Izrail Illich Ratner born 1830 and Bogdana Aronova from Mogilev and St Petersburg. #belarus #russia

Trish Lane

Izrail and Bogdana had 3 sons, Aron, Pavel born 1859, and Ilya born 1875. There were 6 daughters, Gena, Alexandra, Anna, Ekaterina,Rosa, Aksiniya and Cecilia. ages unknown.
I am connected to Pavel Izrailovic Ratner who married my Great Aunt Ita Julia. I also believe that my Great Grandmother, Julia's mother belonged to the Ratner family as Ratner was her maiden name. Was Pavel her nephew or cousin?
I would be very grateful to find the connection. I know that Pavel and Julia died in Paris where they lived since leaving St Petersburg in ? 1917.
Joel Ratner has edited this information on Genealogical Indexer. Could we be connected?
Kind Regards,
Patricia Lane
MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately

Re: reconciling difference between family lore and Arolsen Archive information #france #holocaust


Hi Aline

As far as I know Mittelbau-Dora was a subcamp of Buchenwald not of Auschwitz. There is a website about Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora.

At the end of the war many prisoners from Auschwitz were sent to other camps like Mauthausen, some with trains, but many on the so-called "death march".

The Arolsen Archives have some records of Mauthausen online, but there is also a website about Mauthausen camp.

The deceased of the Mauthausen Concentration Camp

Did you seearch with different spellings of the surname on the Arolsen Archives? Sometimes I found one and the same person with different spellings there.


Corinne Iten

Re: How To Find A Date Of Death In NYC Prior To 1935/SSDI? #records #usa

The Becker's Email

Check out as they battle both NY state and NY city for release of records.  See if they have records from this time period.

Johanna Becker
Newport, RI

Jewish-Uzbek Historical Archives Open to the Public #announcements #records

Jan Meisels Allen



Uzbekistan is a central Asian nation and former part of the Soviet Republic. As reported by the Jerusalem Post, it is now officially researching and documenting its Jewish community. Jews have there since the region was crushed by the hooves Genghis Khan’s horses.  “This also includes hundreds of thousands of Jews who managed to escape the chains of Germany’s Panzer tanks.”

When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan opened its doors to Jews and other fleeing the Germans.

As reported, “The Central State Archive of the Republic of Uzbekistan has been instructed to make information about the lives of Jews during World War II and before available to the public. The archive is also currently in the process of signing an agreement with the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People in Jerusalem, and soon afterward also with Yad Vashem.”


Almost “every family in Uzbekistan was affected by World War II, as the country was still part of the Soviet Union at the time. More than 580,000 Uzbek nationals lost their lives, including tens of thousands of Jews. Some 100,000 Soviet factories in areas conquered by the Wehrmacht were relocated to Uzbekistan. These factories produced arms and ammunition, which were then shipped to the front. Most importantly, Uzbekistan became a sanctuary for refugees fleeing from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland and Serbia.” It was the Uzbek tradition of hospitality that saved 1.5 million people, including over 200,000 Jews.


The Uzbekistan archives website is located at:


If you use Chrome as your browser it will provide English translation to some of the material. If not use a translation service such as google translate

or DeepL


More information on the Archives, not Jewish-specific may be seen at:

To read more see:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee



Translation of Archive Letter in Ukraninian #ukraine #russia #translation

Harry Moatz

Following an inquiry to the State Archivs of Poltava Oblast about records it contains, I received the attached reply. I would appreciate a translation.  I believe it is in Ukraninian, but someone familiar with Russian also may be able to translate its contents.
Thank you in advance for your assistance.
Harry Moatz
Potomac, MD, USA

SCHWARTZ/SCHWARZ/SZWARZ - Monasterzyska and Stanislawow
TEITELBAUM - Yazloweic
KESSLER - Pruzhany
KLAUBER - Sambor
MEYER - Dembitz

MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately

Re: Godparents? #galicia

David Harrison

The question of denomination is very important, as is a name of the country in a particular period.  I have heard, more than once that there are more than 40 different distinct world-wide denominations of Jews,  I would also suggest that Reform in Great Britain is different to in the USA. On my side of the Atlantic Reform and Liberal share the same Rabbinic training and these people will often change from congregations of one to the other and maybe back again.  Likewise, if a person moves to a different town and there is no congregation of their preferred variety within (what is deemed) a reasonable travel distance, there may only be one congregation to join.  However our pandemic with services on Zoom is making it easier to join in services of the flavour that you prefer.  A pretty face may also result in a change of allegiance.

As young marrieds with a child we alternated festival celebrations with another couple and could not devise an alternative to "Godparents" to our mutual agreements (in our wills) that if one couple died then the other would take on the care of the other's children who were already very used to them.   Nearly 55 years later, I am the only parent of the four still alive, but with that same relationship to the other children, it may not be rare.

David Harrison
Birmingham, England.

From: main@... <main@...> on behalf of jbonline1111@... <jbonline1111@...>
Sent: 15 July 2021 19:22
To: main@... <main@...>
Subject: Re: [] Godparents? #galicia
No one has mentioned what denomination of Judaism their family was part of. I wonder if Reform Judaism had a period in which it used godparents, maybe around the time when worship was moved to Sundays and there were no Bar/Bat Mitzvot.
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC

Re: How To Find A Date Of Death In NYC Prior To 1935/SSDI? #records #usa

Barbara Hemmendinger

It would be helpful to know the place of death.  Perhaps in a neighboring state, in which case NYC death records would be nonexistent?

Barbara (Elk) Hemmendinger 
Williamsport, PA

BAHSSIN, BASIN, BASSIN, Starodub, Russia
LOWENSOHN, LOWENBERG, Jelgava (Mitau), Bauska, and Riga, Latvia
EHRLICH, Kobrin, Belarus
ZIBULSKY, SHEFKOWITZ, Pereyaslav, Ukraine 

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

Bruce Drake

I’ve posted many excerpts here about weddings and marriage customs but I found this one to be charming. “A Wedding in Mlynov,” from the that Ukrainian town’s Yizkor book recounts the memories of a young girl visiting her grandparents and getting swept up by the celebration. “Silkele,” says a neighbor, “dance for me like you do at home.” He tells the klezmerim to play a cheerful tune and she dances while the crowd claps enthusiastically. She hears someone saying: “Here is a worldly child.” Her description of the wedding has all the wonder of something seen through a child’s eyes.

Bruce Drake
Silver Spring, MD

Towns: Wojnilow, Kovel

Re: How To Find A Date Of Death In NYC Prior To 1935/SSDI? #records #usa

Martin Kaminer

I'd like to express my gratitude to all the wonderful people on JewishGen for their kindness and generosity in sharing their knowledge. Renee in particular, whose powers are absolutely oracular, as well as everyone else.  You've helped shed light on a mystery that has hung over my family, particularly my father's generation, for nearly a century and caused many to suffer. The answers you provided have raised new questions but there is a welcome feeling of unburdening as some long-held myths fall away. Y'all did a major mitzvah. Thanks so much to all of you and Shabbat Shalom.
Martin Kaminer

Re: How To Find A Date Of Death In NYC Prior To 1935/SSDI? #records #usa

Sarah L Meyer in the NYC vital records section - you can use Italiangen or Familysearch and other sites as part of his one step pages.  That said, I went looking on both of these via for a marriage that I had found before as part of a presentation and it did not show up.  You might also check Reclaim the records (you will have to search for the link.
Sarah L Meyer
Georgetown TX
BIRGARDOVSKY, EDELBERG, HITE (CHAIT), PERCHIK Russia (southern Ukraine) and some Latvia or Lithuania

Re: Godparents? #galicia

Gail H. Marcus

In my case, my parents still belonged to an Orthodox congregation at that time.  (But that may have been the only convenient option where we lived.)  We eventually joined a Conservative congregation.  Probably when I was about 12.  My great-aunt and -uncle had died by then, so whenever they were designated "godparents" must have been well before that time.

Gail Marcus

Re: Frieda Silverman Khotin Bessarabia born circa 1850 died in Khotin circa 1938 #bessarabia

Yefim Kogan


I do see two Freida Zilberman in Khotin uezd, born one in 1856 and a second in 1855. They seems lived not in Khotin,  but in towns in that same uezd (county), one family in town of Brichany and second in town of Lipkany.  Sometimes our ancestors, when asking where they are from, will give a name of a large town or a center of county or province.
If you know the names of Freida parents, that might help here.

Thanks,  Yefim Kogan
Bessarabia group Leader and Coordinator

Re: Translation of my grandfather's brother wedding details #poland #translation

Frank Szmulowicz

I would be interested in corrections to the translation below, as I am still learning to read Polish script.

Leib Horn, properly Hoffer, born and residing in Wiźnica, the son of Alter and Jenta Hoffer, residents of Wiźnica.

Marim Goldschmidt?, also Wieselman, known? in Kosowo, a daughter from a ritual marriage between Fajwel Wieselman and Hania? Goldschmidt? in Kosowo.

August 19, 1902

Official (perhaps the rabbi) Pinkas Hor...?
Witness Eisig Friedlander

Comments column (hard to decipher)
According to the birth certificate dated Wiźnica, August 9, 1902, the groom was born February 7, 1877, and according to the birth certificate volume IV, page 16, 
(she) was born .... July  15, 1877
Proof of ? of the groom dated Wiźnica,  August 15, 1901. 


Frank Szmulowicz

Re: View Mate Mystery Booklet - Identification & Translation #translation


Thanks for the links. I posted somewhere on Viewmate that my thought is the language is Sanskrit or something similar, I see others here have named Hindi and Nepali so I think we are all on the same page. As for the subject, Kabbala maybe?

Robert Roth
Kingston, NY

Re: How To Find A Date Of Death In NYC Prior To 1935/SSDI? #records #usa



Two suggestions which are free to search:
If you locate the record in the FamilySearch database, you can view a digital image of the certificate for no charge at any Family History Center.

David Passman
Dallas, Texas

Re: How To Find A Date Of Death In NYC Prior To 1935/SSDI? #records #usa

Fred Kolbrener

Have you searched on  Most of the death certificates from NYC are indexed AND partly extracted on family search.  You can get a free account on it.  If you are successful in finding the record of her death, you can download a copy of the record  once the LDS Family History Centers are again open to the public.  With regard to your father whose name you did not list, there were two or more Kaminer male births in NYC according to Familysearch.  

Another place to search is via which is available at many public libraries.  Ancestry will allow access free at libraries until the end of 2021.  However, you can’t download a copy of the death certificate there.  

You did not provide the name of the person whose data you are seeking, but since it was a sister to your mother, the name probably was not Kaminer.  You implied that this may have been an event that occurred outside of marriage, so you would be searching for someone with your mother’s maiden name.

Suggest you start your searches via Ancestry and  The latter you can do from your home computer.

Good luck.
Fred Kolbrener
Woodbridge, VA

Researching: KOLBRENER (LezaJsk); SCHWARTZ (Glogow Malapolski); ZINDEBAND (Minsk); LIFSHITZ (St Petersburg); JABELOW (Minsk); BOHRER (Lezajsk); POLLACK (Minsk); BLUMSTEIN/BLUMSZTEJN (Goworowo); FRETER/FRATER (Czyzewo)

Re: Searching for Information on Rabbi Samuel Miller of Scranton, Pennsylvania #usa #records


Hi Nancy, 

In your post you write that  you found some records indicating that  Samuel Miller was living in Scranton,  from about 1883 to 1903. I don’t know what  these records were but obviously they were inaccurate and misled you.

-The truth is that Samuel Miller arrived in the US in 1891 and he was joined by his family in the following year or (most probably) in 1893.

-According to her death certificate (attached) Fannie Miller was born in Austria  and  had lived in Pennsylvania for 3 years. Before  that,  in NY for 7 years. 

-From what it appears Samuel's wife's  name was Rose Stern. 

-Here is the 1900 census for the Miller family living in Westchester, NY

-By 1910 Samuel Miller was a widower and living with the family of one of his daughters

Giannis Daropoulos 


Re: How To Find A Date Of Death In NYC Prior To 1935/SSDI? #records #usa


Another place to look is cemetery burial records. Even if the family were keeping her death a secret, they would likely have buried her in one of the New York area Jewish cemeteries. In my family I have a great aunt who died in childbirth in 1919 and was buried in Old Montefiore in Queens. The record in the cemetery database indicates she was buried with her stillborn infant. JGSNY has a database of landsmanshaften cemetery plots within NY cemeteries, so if you think she might have been buried in a plot corresponding to the family’s shtetl you can see which cemetery to check. 

Susan Slusky
Highland Park, NJ

Aukstoji Panemune, Lithuania
Borisov & Smolyevichi, Belarus
Janow Lubelski & Frampol, Poland
Skala Podolskaya & Berezhanka, Ukraine

Re: 1809 Baden and Palatinate Name Adoption Lists #names #germany

Michael Moritz

FamilySearch actually has a huge amount of name adoption lists from western Germany but they often have the wrong name. For instance there is a slew of collections saying “Matrikel 1808” but they’re actually name adoption lists. Also, for many of the record sets that are identified as adoption lists, they often include many more towns than mentioned (eg a whole region instead of just a town). See here for example of different sets:*%20%2Bkeywords%3Anamen*%20%2Bavailability%3AOnline  
Michael Moritz
Director, Romania Research Division

Horodok, Belarus research #belarus #general


I'm researching a friend's roots in Horodok but need guidance to find relevant records.  Is there a seasoned Horodok researcher in JewishGen land who could advise me?  Thanks.
Evan Fishman

Evan Fishman
New Jersey
FISHMAN--Terespol, Poland
FINKEL-- Brest Litovsk, Belarus

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