Re: Morris and Matilda Lyons #germany #unitedkingdom


About surnames in Hamburg changing from patronym to official familyname:

Maybe Yechiels father was Levi/Leib/Leonard/Lion. And he officially adopted that name as his surname. (in Glasgow anglicized to Lyons, maybe just because the immigration officer heard something like son of Leib, or Leib's sohn as Lion(s).
A name change like that could also has happened generations earlier. For business reasons many merchants took on a civic name way before that. In Jewish records usually just find name and patronym.
So you may have to search for surnames that start with Levi/Leib/Lion/Leon (maybe other variants. Mind pronunciation in German and imagine how a Brit would understand it.

Loes Buisman, Amsterdam

Re: Itzkovitz/Leon #lithuania #southafrica

Max Heffler

My wife’s great-grandmother was Kende Isakowitz Golden from Lithuania, whose descendants went to South Africa, a common path for Lithuanians.


Max Heffler

Houston, TX


From: main@... [mailto:main@...] On Behalf Of Richard Gross via
Sent: Friday, September 3, 2021 8:18 PM
To: main@...
Subject: Re: [] Itzkovitz/Leon #lithuania #southafrica


My husband went to medical school in Johannesburg with a Harry Isakowitz. I wonder if this could be the same family. We don't know much about Harry other than he was very tall (6 foot 6 inches) and had been a pharmacist before going to medical school. Hope this helps a little. Good hunting. Beulah Gross


Max Heffler
Houston, TX

Re: Itzkovitz/Leon #lithuania #southafrica

Richard Gross

My husband went to medical school in Johannesburg with a Harry Isakowitz. I wonder if this could be the same family. We don't know much about Harry other than he was very tall (6 foot 6 inches) and had been a pharmacist before going to medical school. Hope this helps a little. Good hunting. Beulah Gross

Re: Framing Family Trees #general

David Harrison <djh_119@...>

Take care with your wishes.  About 7 years ago my wife won the masthead flag  (about 1 metre by 2 metres)of a ship that took us from Grande Canaria to Argentina.  It cost £100 from the local picture framer and we had difficulty finding a place for it.  But it is a fab "Talking Point".  Picture framers are not rare in this country and surely must exist in any reasonable town of three or four thousand people as is our suburb of Birmingham.
David Harrison, Birmingham, England

From: main@... <main@...> on behalf of dan.efrat@... <dan.efrat@...>
Sent: 03 September 2021 15:31
To: main@... <main@...>
Subject: Re: [] Framing Family Trees #general
I had mine framed years ago (25+ years ago) in a special framing store back in Israel. My tree is pretty big, almost 3X4 feet and they used aluminum frame to save weight. I don’t recall how much I paid but I’m very pleased with the frame.

Dan Efrat
Cherry Hill, NJ, USA
Researching: Israelit/Israelite from Novogrudok and Dyatlovo (Belarus) and from Latvia, Rabinowitz from Dyatlovo, Pruss and Koifman/Kaufman from Ukraine and Goldblat from the Grodno area

ViewMate translation request - Polish #translation

Dror Bereznitsky

I've posted a birth record in Polish 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.
Dror Bereznitsky

Re: Framing Family Trees #general


Is your question about framing a tree or about printing it out in preparation for framing?

If your question is about framing, any frame store near you should be able to help.  Just be sure that the any backboard or mat is acid free.

If your question is about printing, I would suggest downloading a gedcom and then using one of the online services that specialize in this.  You can find out more about the options to do so at:
Miriam Alexander Baker

Re: Framing Family Trees #general


I had mine framed years ago (25+ years ago) in a special framing store back in Israel. My tree is pretty big, almost 3X4 feet and they used aluminum frame to save weight. I don’t recall how much I paid but I’m very pleased with the frame.

Dan Efrat
Cherry Hill, NJ, USA
Researching: Israelit/Israelite from Novogrudok and Dyatlovo (Belarus) and from Latvia, Rabinowitz from Dyatlovo, Pruss and Koifman/Kaufman from Ukraine and Goldblat from the Grodno area

Re: Morris and Matilda Lyons #germany #unitedkingdom


Hello Shosh,
Unfortunately, the marriage record of Morris and Matilda Lyons does not survive in the records from Glasgow and likewise the birth records of all their 6 Glasgow-born children (2  boys and 4 girls). I have the marriage records of the two sons, Isidore and Gustavus, but their mother's family name is not recorded. The four daughters never married. All the death certificates, obituaries and gravestone information I have, so far, do not show Matilda's name. 

Morris and Matilda became British Subjects between 1861 and 1871 and there should be a record of this available which might show more information. This is my next pursuit! Of course, it is possible that Morris and Matilda were married in Hamburg before they set out for Glasgow and so a records search there is needed.
Thanks for your interest,


David Pelling

National Museum of American Jewish History Comes Out of Bankruptcy #announcements #usa

Jan Meisels Allen



The National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, PA will come out of bankruptcy in the coming weeks after a former trustee stepped in to buy the museum building and lease it back for a nominal monthly rent of $1,000.  Mitchell Morgan, a local real estate CEO,  will pay the museum about $10 million for its downtown property as part of a plan approved by a federal judge on Wednesday. The plan also settles a debt with bondholders, including Morgan, who agreed to accept $14 million less than what they were owed.


It was reported that the deal allows the museum to buy its building back after 42 months for the $10.1 million sale price plus 4%.


The Museum filed for bankruptcy protection in March 2020 because it could not afford the debt from the construction of its new building, which opened on Independence Mall in 2010. Then the pandemic hit, and with filing for bankruptcy it became ineligible for federal relief under the Paycheck Protection Plan.





Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee



AVOTAYNU article: Ukraine RD project to Preserve Archival Records Scanned by Alex Krakovsky #ukraine

Gary Pokrassa

Sallyann Sack of AVOTAYNU has kindly given me permission to post my article published in AVOTAYNU Summer 2020 edition on the JewishGen Ukraine research Division website - here is the link:

Gary Pokrassa
Data Acquisition Director
Ukraine Research Division

Re: Morris and Matilda Lyons #germany #unitedkingdom

Reuven Mohr

I would agree that LYONS is probably (not necessarily, but if there are no records found with such this name, then yes) an anglicised name. Usually there is some resemblance between old and new name: LOEB, LOEWENSTEIN, LOEWENTHAL, LOEWENBERG, LEVI, LEVY, LEVINSON, LEVINGER are a few suggestions.

Yechiel can be replaced by Michel/Michael

Reuven Mohr

Re: prenuptial agreement #poland

Valentin Lupu

Mostly, a marriage arrangement between the parents of the bride and the groom was concluded by a dowry agreement. The dowry was given by the bride's parents to the new couple, either money, goods or both.
Valentin Lupu

This week's Yizkor book excerpt(s) on the JewishGen Facebook page (Rosh Hashanah) #lithuania #yizkorbooks #poland #belarus

Bruce Drake

Rosh Hashanah arrives Monday evening, marking the Jewish New Year and the beginning of the Days of Awe that end with Yom Kippur. Or, as captured by the traditional saying quoted in one of these Yizkor book excerpts, “On Rosh Hashanah it will be written, and on Yom Kippur it will be sealed.”
I’ve gathered remembrances of the holiday from the books of Piotrkow Trybunalski (Poland), Ritavas (Lithuania), Dokshytsy (Belarus), Nesvizh (Belarus), and Kurenets (Belarus). Some tell similar stories: the magic moment when the shofar is blown, the food prepared for the holiday, the joy of the day as well as the solemnity and even trepidation as the Day of Atonement drew nearer. Other excerpts strike more serious notes. A sermon that stirred emotion and tears as the Magid raised his “splitting voice” and intoned, “The day of judgement is coming fast.” The final excerpt is a grimmer one, recalling the arrival of the Germans as Rosh Hashanah began.

Bruce Drake
Silver Spring, MD

Towns: Wojnilow, Kovel

Did Rabbi Yitzhak Elchanan Spektor (1817-1896) have an 18th century ancestor named Rabbi Yitzhak Elchanan living in Vilnius #lithuania #rabbinic

Hallie Metzger

My grandfather David Yalofsky Freedland (1885-1988) claimed that when his 2nd or 3rd Great Grandfather got married, an illustrious Rabbi named Yitzchak Elchanan came from Vilnius to attend the wedding. The closest match I can find is Rabbi Yitzhak Elchanan Spektor whose father Israel Issar was also a rabbi. Can anyone help me follow the family any further back?

The bridegroom may possibly have been a Sephardic Jew studying in Vilnius who took the surname of his father-in-law, a wealthy merchant named Goldstein.

Hallie Metzger, hallie.metzger@...

Yizkor Book Report for August 2021 #yizkorbooks #JewishGenUpdates


Yizkor Book Project 

Summary for August 2021


by Lance Ackerfeld

Director of Special Projects - Yizkor Books




I’m not sure that I believe myself the incredible progress we have made in our project over the past month but the new and updated listings below in black and white definitely confirm this. 


Apart from the updates, I am extremely excited and honored to inform you that Jack Berger (Jacob Solomon Berger) has graciously donated his complete book on Zelva, Belarus - the “Zelva Memorial Book” to the Yizkor Book Project. I’m sure many others will join me in thanking Jack for his generosity in making this extensive translation available. I am also pleased to note that he has offered to donate other books of his to our project which is really wonderful news. Please continue to check the coming monthly reports to learn more about these.

The next piece of good news from the past month was the completion of an additional Yizkor book. The translation project of this book on Braslaw, Belarus - “Darkness and desolation” was originally initiated by Eilat Gordin Levitan and in relatively recent times, it was taken on by Jeff Deitch. Jeff  financially supported translations and took great care into providing translations that are as accurate and informative as possible. For all this, I salute Jeff for his diligence and thank him for bringing this project to its successful completion.

There are now quite a few other projects that are very close to completion and, hopefully, I will be able to share happy news about them in coming reports. There are other projects that are “yearning” for financial support to get them moving and if you have a community book that is close to your heart and is listed amongst our
Yizkor Book Translation Funds, please help us by donating towards the professional translation of these books. Thank you in advance!


Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very Happy New Year that, we all hope, will ultimately be far happier and healthier than the last few.

And now for details of what was carried out in August:


New entries

·  Derevna, Belarus (Memorial volume of Steibtz-Swerznie and the neighboring villages Rubezhevitz, Derevna, Nalibok)

·  Rubiazhevichy, Belarus (Memorial volume of Steibtz-Swerznie and the neighboring villages Rubezhevitz, Derevna, Nalibok)



New book

The following is a new book placed online:


Zelva, Belarus (Zelva Memorial Book)


Yizkor Book updates

This month, 34 existing projects were updated and they were:

·  Augustów, Poland (Memorial Book of the Community of Augustow and Region)

·  Babi Yaar, Ukraine (Memory Book: Babi Yar)

·  Będzin, Poland (A Memorial to the Jewish Community of Bendin)

·  Braslaw, Belarus (Darkness and desolation)

·  Brzesko, Poland (Memorial book of Briegel-Brzesko and vicinity)

·  Edineţ, Moldova (Yad l'Yedinitz; memorial book for the Jewish community of Yedintzi, Bessarabia)

·  Hrubieszów, Poland (Memorial Book of Hrubieshov)

·  Jaroslaw, Poland (Jaroslaw Book: a Memorial to Our Town)

·  Kamyanyets, Belarus (Memorial Book of Kamenets Litovsk, Zastavye, and Colonies)

·  Kolomyya, Ukraine (Memorial Book of Kolomey)

·  Kurów, Poland (Yiskor book in memoriam of our hometown Kurow)

·  Lakhva, Belarus (First ghetto to revolt, Lachwa)

·  Lviv, Ukraine (A memorial library of countries and communities, Poland Series: Lwow Volume)

·  Mizoch, Ukraine (Memorial Book of Mizocz) 

·  Mlyniv, Ukraine (Mlynov-Muravica Memorial Book)

·  Mahilyow, Belarus (25th Anniversary Book of the Moghileff Brotherhood) 

·  Nyasvizh, Belarus (The Nesvizh Yizkor Book) 

·  Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, Poland (Ostrowiec; a monument on the ruins of an annihilated Jewish community)

·  Radekhov, Ukraine (Memorial Book of Radikhov)

·  Radom, Poland (The book of Radom)

·  Radomsko, Poland (Memorial book of the community of Radomsk and vicinity)

·  Sălaj, Romania (Memorial book of Salaj-Szilagy Jewry)

·  Sarny, Ukraine (Memorial Book of the Community of Sarny)

·  Siedlce, Poland (On the ruins of my home; the destruction of Siedlce)

·  Siedlce, Poland (Memorial Book of the Community of Siedlce)

·  Sokołów Podlaski, Poland (Memorial Book Sokolow-Podlask)

·  Stowbtsy, Belarus (Memorial volume of Steibtz-Swerznie and the neighboring villages Rubezhevitz, Derevna, Nalibok)

·  Shums'k, Ukraine (Szumsk, memorial book of the martyrs of Szumsk)

·  Tarnogród, Poland (Book of Tarnogrod; in memory of the destroyed Jewish community)

·  Tarnow, Poland (Tarnow; The Life and Destruction of a Jewish City)

·  Ustilug, Ukraine (The growth and destruction of the community of Uscilug)

·  Valozhyn, Belarus (Wolozin; the book of the city and of the Etz Hayyim Yeshiva)

·  Wołomin, Poland (Volomin; a memorial to the Jewish community of Volomin)

·  Zolochiv, Ukraine   (The City of Zloczow)


Important links

Before ending this report, here are some important links to note:

Shana Tova U’Metuka (A Good and Sweet New Year) 

Lance Ackerfeld

Director of Special Projects - Yizkor Books



Re: Who was Chaye Rechel Lev Lishe? #general #galicia #poland


This family tree probably resulted from earlier versions of family search trees or documentation that was submitted.  Or I have noticed that there seems to be family search volunteers that go through record databases and add to the global family tree (I've seen this from census records).  

In this case this is documented by an actual marriage that you can request a copy of the original through the Family search request service.  You might find that whoever transcribed it struggled with the names.   Note that this is a second marriage for both.  I would look for a census record (1900 maybe) where you find Mr. Guerfein  and see what his wife's name is listed as.  

Katherine Block
Canton, GA

translation needed from Polish #poland

Frank Szmulowicz

I want to assure myself of the correctness of my reading of this marriage transcript, in particular, the birth places of the bride and groom, their professions, the maiden names, etc. For completeness, please provide all the vital statistics regarding the record. 

P. S. Why would the name be spelled one way in the text (Szmulowicz) and have the groom sign the name as Szmulewicz?

Frank Szmulowicz

Re: Who was Chaye Rechel Lev Lishe? #general #galicia #poland


I also found this marriage record for Myer Gurfein's daughter which possibly lists her mother as Yetta Rabner.   So that seems like a like 1st spouse for Meyer. 

You are going to have to be very liberal with your spelling variations of the name Gurfein.  As there are many possibilities.

Katherine Block
Canton, GA

The relationship between Pashtuns and Jews #general

David Harrison <djh_119@...>

I know that this in not relating to family history research, but I think that it is within the Jewish human family definition.   It was within the AJEX (Jewish Ex-Serice Persons Organisation) Newsletter which I received today..
By SSgt (Res) Dan Fox, Deputy National Chairman 

Pashtun people speak of how their forebears referred to themselves as “Bani Yisrael” - the People of Israel. It is a self-reference that fits with the proposition that the Pashtun are one of the Lost Tribes, exiled (according to the Second Book of Kings) by the Assyrians to the banks of the ancient River Gozan in what is now Afghanistan. Whatever the tangle of biblical myth and anthropological fact here, it is worth noting the following Pashtun traditions: lighting candles on Friday night, separating meat and milk, and covering graves with stones.

All this has made the historical resonance of recent scenes from Afghanistan even clearer. Families with barely a suitcase each, forced into hiding or crowding onto transport out of their country as it it taken over by violence and persecution.

AJEX has thrown itself fully behind the Jewish community’s response to the evacuation crisis. We have connected our membership and others to schemes across the country taking donations of food, clothes, toiletries, toys, books and money. The response in the UK has been magnificent and the problem now is one of logistics: storage space for everything donated and transport to get it to hotels and other locations. If you or anyone you know is able to help with this, please let us know on AJEX4Afghans@... 

I am also proud to say that AJEX has been able to exploit its contacts in the military and NGO communities to help get people out as Kabul fell to the Taliban. We have worked with other organisations to help at least five families to safety so far and we continue to support others still seeking safe passage.

The long term work for Afghan refugees begins now. As well as material support, they will need advice on jobs, finances, legal matters, training and education. Again, if you are able to help with such things, please let us know at AJEX4Afghans@...
From David Harrison, once a Corporal in the British Army

The Jewish Genealogy Society of Pittsburgh Presents: Ask The Experts #events #announcements #education #general #jgs-iajgs

Steve Jaron


In honor of Family History Month (October) and International Jewish Genealogy Month (the Hebrew month of Cheshvan), the Jewish Genealogy Society of Pittsburgh is hosting “Ask The Experts.” A panel of Jewish genealogists from a variety of backgrounds, interests, and areas of expertise will be available to help break through those brick walls.

This program is made possible by support from the William M. Lowenstein Genealogical Research Endowment Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation.

Date: October 31, 2021
Time: 1pm Eastern (US)
Place: Online (Zoom)

Cost for is $10 USD.
All programs are free for members of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Pittsburgh.

For just $18/yr you can become a member of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Pittsburgh. Membership include free admission to all programs, subscription to our newsletter, access to our members only portal and access to our private Facebook Group.

For information on membership and future programs please visit our website.

Click Here To Register

Our Experts:

Tammy Hepps is a local historian who focuses on topics within American Jewish history, especially small towns and synagogues. Her projects combine research techniques from genealogy and history and draw heavily upon her technology expertise to break new ground in data gathering and interpretation. She is best known for her community reconstitution project focusing on the Jewish community of Homestead, PA, available online at Tammy earned her AB in computer science from Harvard.

Areas of expertise: American Jewish roots, Western PA/Pgh Jewish community research, underused American records, technology for genealogy, family history writing

Caitlin Hollander is a New York-based genealogist, specializing in Ashkenazi Jewish genealogy in both the United States and Europe, Holocaust records and documentation, as well as forensic genealogy for high- value estates and assisting clients in citizenship reclamation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology with a minor in history from Florida International University, as well as academic certificates in Jewish studies and Holocaust and genocide studies, the latter of which she intends to pursue a master’s degree in beginning Spring 2022. With her business partner, Michael Waas, she co-founded Hollander-Waas Jewish Heritage services, a full-service genealogy and family history firm. Hollander-Waas specializes in Jewish genealogy and provides a customized full-service heritage preservation and genealogy service. Her citizenship reclamation work has been featured in Family Tree Magazine, The Times of Israel, and the South Florida Sun Sentinel, among other publications.

Jarrett Ross began researching his own family history in 2009 while finishing his undergraduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh. Since then he has built his own personal tree with over 7000 people, successfully connected with thousands of relatives all over the world and has helped build hundreds of trees for people of varying ancestral backgrounds. Jarrett has found multiple specialties including Genetic Genealogy, Sephardic Jewish research with an emphasis on the Portuguese Jewish Community of Amsterdam, the Jewish Agricultural Societies of Southern New Jersey, Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry in Ukraine, and American Jewish history. Jarrett writes a blog called “Sephardic Genealogy” and he also has a vlog called “GeneaVlogger” where he talks about his research, gives genealogy tips, interviews other genealogists and shows different aspects of working in genealogy. Jarrett currently works as the lead forensic genealogist at DNA Labs International where he helps solve cold cases. He also volunteers as a Search Angel where he helps people find their biological family, and he volunteers as a curator on, home of the World Family Tree. Jarrett currently serves as the vice president of the Triangle JGS in North Carolina and as an IAJGS Board Member.

Michael Waas is a heritage professional, specializing in site research and evaluation, and archival research. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology with a specialization in Historical Archaeology from New College of Florida, and the subject of his Senior Thesis was “The Archaeology of Ethnogenesis of the Seminole People of Florida.” He then received his Master’s Degree from the Department of Jewish History at the University of Haifa and the subject of his MA thesis was “Istorya i oy: A comparative study on the Development of Jewish Heritage of the former Ottoman Empire.” He received the Gaon Prize for Outstanding M.A. Thesis research for the academic year 2017-2018 of the Moshe David Gaon Center for Judeo- Spanish (Ladino) Culture as well as the Prize for Research into the Heritage of Sephardi and Mizrahi Jewry, awarded by the Ben Zvi Institute and the Israeli Ministry of Education, for the year 2017-2018. He has presented papers at multiple international conferences on Sephardic Studies, including most recently, the Terras de Sefarad conference in Bragança. Portugal, and the annual Society for Sephardic Studies conference in Lisbon, Portugal, both in June 2019. He also volunteers his time as the anthropologist and historian of the Avotaynu Genetic Census of the Jewish People Project.

Steve Jaron

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