Re: Steerage Experience #general

Harry Boonin

 AVOTAYNU: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy,” Volume XXIV, No. 1, Spring issue 2008, 
carried an article entitled, “Coming to America through Hamburg and Liverpool Part II: CROSSING THE ATLANTIC, pp. 28-30.

The entire article is about Crossing the Atlantic. There you will find many of your questions answered and others not. The story is told from the steerage deck, the dining room and the sleeping quarters on the S.S. Dominion in 1911. Earlier crossings, of course, might tell a wholly different story. This is the story of my family’s crossing.
Harry D. Boonin
Warrington, PA

Re: Help in transcribing illegible documents #general

David Shapiro

If you have the original document, and the problem is that it is faded, UV light could bring out the faded ink. In any case, you might try look at it letter by letter though a microscope, or at least a stong magnifing glass. I have worked with antigue manscripts and have had success with these methods.

David Shapiro

Re: Searching for 1936 marriage record Bobrka, Lwow, Poland #poland

Mark Halpern

Hi Rose:

Unfortunately, no Bobrka marriage records past 1875 have survived. Here are the Jewish vital records that have survived:

Births: 1863,1865,1872-1876,1878-1940 - births up through 1915 are included in the JRI-Poland online database.

Marriages: 1866-1867,1871-1873,1875 - all are included in the JRI-Poland online database

Deaths: 1904,1912,1914-1917,1927-1940 - deaths up through 1928 are included in the JRI-Poland online database. 

Mark Halpern
JRI-Poland Lwow Area Coordinator 


On 2021-08-01 7:57 pm, Rose wrote:

Dear Group

I'm currently searching for a 1936 marriage record for Naftali KLINGS and Chaya (Klara) MERKUR, who married in Bobrka, Lwow, Poland.

I would appreciate any assistance with this enquiry.

Best wishes,

Rose Raymen

Perth, Western Australia

Re: Steerage Experience #general

J Antrich

Dear Marc, - by searching "travelling steerage" you will find some answers to your questions, including contemporary accounts and pictures. Not very nice, as you can guess!
Jeremy Antrich
Surbiton, England

Re: Steerage Experience #general


This link gives a fairly detailed account of the experience. 
David Belton

Re: Steerage Experience #general


I have entertained the same questions. You can find a lot of answers among the pages linked to the following Web page:
This page in particular:
Miles Rind
Cambridge, Mass.

German Jews who served the Third Reich #germany #general


For those who are interested in tracing their German ancestry, there is a fascinating, and sobering book, Hitler's Jewish Soldiers, written by Dr. Bryan Mark Rigg, University Press of Kansas, 2002. It documents the history of half-Jews, and quarter-Jews, called Mischlings (mongrels),  who served in WWII - and there were thousands. Existing records in the German archives document this. While those of full Jewish heritage were rejected from the service, unfortunately, due to the fact, and history of assimilation, many of these "acceptable" Jews proudly served the government, and even regarded their ancient faith as undesirable. Attempts to alter records of their family's genealogy, so that they would appear as "true Aryans" could also lead to severe repercussions. This is a book well worth reading.

Neilan Stern       neilan1@...
researching:  Stern, Pistrong, Brand - Radomysl Wielki, Poland;   Black, Schwarz  - Nesvizh,  Belarus; Aronov/wsky, Cohn - vilijampole, Kaunas, Lithuania

Baltimore Cemeteries #usa

Adam Turner

I recently ordered the attached death certificate for John Myerson from 1917 from the Maryland State Archives, and would like to locate the grave of this person so I can eventually get a photo of the stone.

The death certificate gives the cemetery name as "Hebrew Washington Rd."

1. Is my guess that this refers to United Hebrew Cemetery (whose current address is 3901 Washington Boulevard) likely to be correct? (This person's wife was apparently buried in that cemetery in 1926, so it would make sense if he, too, is indeed buried there.) I'm not familiar with the Baltimore area, so I wasn't sure if there are any other candidates for a Jewish cemetery on "Washington Road."

2. Does anyone have recent experiences with contacting this cemetery? Do they tend to be forthcoming with inquiries about plot locations and such?

Adam Turner

Help in transcribing illegible documents #general

Sara Manobla

I have inherited a fascinating family archive (in French) of letters, diaries, press cuttings and more, from Paris of the 1940s, including the German occupation. When I have sorted the documents they will be sent to the library of l'Alliance Israelite Universelle in Paris. Currently I am transcribing handwritten letters and diaries that are of personal interest to our family. While I can read most of the material without difficulty there are some letters and diaries that are practically illegible, even for a native French speaker. Are there any tools that can help - scan, enlarge, transcribe a difficult handwritten text? Any ideas? Suggestions welcome.
Sara Manobla (Jerusalem)

Re: Searching for 1936 marriage record Bobrka, Lwow, Poland #poland


Hello Rose, my family was also from Bobrka.  I understand that the City Hall burned down during either the first or second world war.  I doubt the marriage record exists.  If you find out otherwise. I'd love to know.  George Frankel

SCJGS invites you to " Never Give Up – Strategies .... Finding the Previously Unfindable" with Marion Werle #events #announcements

Leah Kushner

Santa Cruz Jewish Genealogy Society  invites you to our next Zoom program on Sunday, August 22, 2021, 

1 pm Pacific Zone Time

Never Give Up – Strategies for Taking Your Genealogy Research to the Next Level and Finding the Previously Unfindable"

with Marion Werle


Program:  This talk is a collection of tips to maximize your genealogical research. The speaker presents a number of research problems that required a creative approach to locate elusive people and their documents. She discusses online search strategies and indexing, names and name variations, the importance of geography, getting the most out of each record, revisiting old research, and the importance of persistence in achieving success.

SpeakerMarion Werle, a professional genealogist, began family history research 25 years ago, researching family from Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus, who settled in the US, Canada, UK, and Israel. She has been on the boards of JGSLA and JGSCV (Conejo Valley/Ventura County) and is a past president and founding member of the Latvia SIG (Special Interest Group). She is currently on the board of the revitalized JewishGen Latvia Research Division.   She has an ongoing interest in applying general genealogical methodology standards to Jewish research. Marion has also spoken at several IAJGS conferences and local genealogical societies in the Southern California area. 


RSVP:  -Register Here to receive a Zoom link. This event is free for SCJGS members, $5 for non-members. 

To become a member of Santa Cruz Jewish Genealogy Society, go to  for more information.


Contact: Leah Kushner

 President, SCJGS
Santa Cruz, California


Re: Family Background Jewish or Not? Solf, Nagler, and Rucktäschel from Würzburg and Bamberg, Bavaria #germany #hungary #holocaust #israel

Evelyn and Christopher Wilcock

Families of mixed Jewish/nonJewish descent in Germany will often be connected to  non Jewish men who served in the German Army (conscripted) or who volunteered in 1938-1939 in the mistaken belief it might save their Jewish relatives. Men with one Jewish parent were also conscripted and served till 1942. Men with one Jewish grandparent may well have remained in the army after 1942 and have served until the end of the war. Or been killed in action.

Jewish refugees  did escape to Argentina. The 1939 census database on line lists 1077 people who emigrated to Argentina (not all of them will be Jews).
Evelyn Wilcock
London SW15

MyHeritage Signed Agreements to Acquire 90.1% of Filae #announcements #france #records

Jan Meisels Allen


Earlier this year the I reported on the JewishGen Discussion Group that MyHeritage had purchased a French genealogy company. They have now announced that they signed agreements to acquire 90.91% of the share capital and 89.11% of the voting rights of Filae.


This marks the 12th acquisition by MyHeritage.  Filae’s existing team will be maintained and strengthened, based in its current Paris office, and the company will continue to work independently.


Following the acquisition, the exclusive historical record collections housed on Filae, comprising more than one billion records, will be loaded into MyHeritage and made accessible to MyHeritage users, creating new genealogical discovery opportunities for individuals around the world with French roots.


Filae will remain a French company based in Paris and will continue to operate autonomously. Filae’s founder, Toussaint Roze, will continue to manage the company and its operations will continue uninterrupted. The scope of services available to current subscribers on Filae will remain unchanged.


To read more see:


I have no affiliation with either MyHeritage or Filae and am reporting solely for the information of the reader.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee





Looking for help to locate manifest for Ralph Sevinor (Raphail Zweilok) #records #usa


Ralph Sevinor was born in Gedraiciai, Lithuania on about October 15, 1886.  I have located his Naturalization Record which says he was born in Vilno, Russia and emigrated to the US from Liverpool England on the Baltic.  It says he arrived in NY on October 5, 1903. However, I am unable to find a manifest to confirm this information.  He changed his name legally to Ralph Sevinor on 6/2/1913. Initially, he signed his name Raphail Zweilok.  He was also called Rafuel Schweiloch by family members.

Thank you,
Ann Neumann

Re: a question on Jewish Cemetery of Worms #germany


Good evening,
Direction of tombstones in european Jewish cemeteries is often east, but not allways. It can be south, direction of the mediterranean see which was the normal  route to go to Israël. It is north in the main cimeteries in Strasbourg (Cronenbourg and Königshoffen) for a reason I do'nt remember; In Fegersheim, graves were oriented in the direction of the access door... to avoid climbing the walls for the resurrected people! And as the access road changed 3 times, so does the door and the graves! Even the synagogues in the middle ages were not allways oriented to Jerusalem direction. As God is present everywhere, orienting synagogue to the west direction was seen for some rabbis as a proof of trust in God (see Krautheimer, 1928)!
Jean-Pierre Lambert, past président of the historical society of the Jews in alsace-Lorraine  geo_lamb@...

Re: a question on Jewish Cemetery of Worms #germany


They are also cemeteries facing north! (Strasbourg Cronenbourg and Koenigshoffen,) I do not remember why. Another funny situation: In Fegersheim, they used to bury people in the direction of the access door of the cemetery! In order that at revival the dead can go out fast without having to climb over the wall. But the access door changed 3 times, so we have tombstones in 3 different directions in the same cemetery.
JP Lambert, past président, Historical society for Jews in Alsace-Lorraine

Re: Searching for Records on Isaac Gottlieb and His Wife Minni Feldt #poland #records #galicia


A few records about Isaac Gottlieb and his family that perhaps might interest you, 

Marriage record (March 1892)

Death record (Nov 1945) - mother's name is probably wrong

Birth record of daughter Jennie (1894)

Birth record of son Benjamin (1896)

I am almost certain that this is his Declaration of intention (1907) - according to the 1910 census he had filed first papers although,  apparently, he did not complete  the procedure -  Isaac Gottlieb, born in 1867 in Austria, arrival in 1890, occupation tailor, residence Brooklyn very close to the address they were living per the 1905 census. (attached)

According to this document he sailed from Hamburg 

Name: Itzig Gottlieb
Gender: männlich (Male)
Departure Age: 26
Birth Date: abt 1864
Residence Place: Kollenszaw, Österreich
Departure Date: 26 Apr 1890
Departure Place: Hamburg, Deutschland (Germany)
Arrival Place: New York; Baltimore
Occupation: Händler
Ship Name: Russia
Captain: Reuter
Shipping Clerk: Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft
Shipping Line: Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft
Ship Type: Dampfschiff
Ship Flag: Deutschland
Accommodation: Zwischendeck
Arrival in NYC 

Name: Iszig Gottlieb
Gender: Male
Ethnicity/ Nationality: Austrian
Age: 26
Birth Date: abt 1864
Place of Origin: Austria
Departure Port: Hamburg, Germany
Destination: USA
Arrival Date: 9 May 1890
Arrival Port: New York, New York, USA
Ship Name: Russia
If this is the correct Isaac Gottlieb  (as I believe) then he was born in  Kolbishov,  Galicia (present-day  Poland)

Hope that helped. 

Giannis Daropoulos 


Re: Removing Picture From a Find A Grave Page. #general

Peter Cohen

This appears to be a passport photo. As such, it is public record information. It would not be subject to copyright.
Peter Cohen

Re: New "Search by Face" App #announcements #holocaust #photographs

Moshe Berman

Hey Daniel,

This looks really neat!

What match accuracy would be the threshold for a realistic match? I’m seeing a match score of .60-.70 for non-matches. When I worked at a face-matching startup, the threshold we relied on was mid-upper .90. 

Can your ML engine can be harnessed to also enhance text OCR? Do you have plans to add training buttons to the UI? 

Would it be possible to surface names and locations from USHMM? 

Moshe Berman
Boca Raton, Florida

Steerage Experience #general

Marc Hodies

Apart from the movies and some singular experiences, for the majority of immigrants from 1906 to 1924, I wondered what it was like to be in steerage for up to 3 weeks.


1.  How often could they come up to the deck to get fresh air? How long could they stay on the deck?
2. Did they sleep in hammocks or beds? How crowded was it?
3. Steerage temperatures for both summer or winter? 
4. How did they eat?  Was food supplied? Supplied on the top deck or in steerage?  3 meals a day?
5. Did most get sea sickness and eventually recover a few days to a week later while still at sea?
6. Bathroom facilities? Did they change clothes over the course of the voyage?
7.  Was the baggage always near them?


Mark Hodies

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