Re: 1897 All Empire Russian Census #russia


You did not specify which part of the former Russian Empire is of interest;  I'd recommend checking the appropriate JewishGen collections as a starting point. has some limited information on specific districts (insofar as I could find from a broad catalog search on "Russia" and "Census - 1897".

For example, for certain districts (uyezdy) in Belarus, please see

For the city of Kyiv, scans are available online of the original documents in part of the Krakovskiy collection;  please seeАрхів:ДАКО/384/2 -- note that the index is in Ukrainian, while the original source material is in Russian.

This is an incomplete list, I'm certain that other researchers have additional sources.

Joel Novis
Longmeadow, MA
(NOVITSKIY:  Kyiv, Vasil'kiv;  OLSZTAJN:  Łódź/Łowicz/Stryków/Zgierz;  GEYMAN/HYMAN:  Ashmyany; POTASNIK/LEVY:  unknown)

Re: Using Wife's Surname For Immigration #general #names


I had a similar situation. My great grandfather Abraham Greenberg immigrated with his fiancé Minnie Markowitz and her family. According to his papers that is the name he used. They immigrated in may of 1907 and were married in December of that same year. Maybe it was easier and less questions were asked from authorities. Bear in mind it was not safe there before and after the war.

Sarah Greenberg(USA)

Re: 1897 All Empire Russian Census #russia

Arlene Beare

Jewishgen Latvia Database has a large number of entries for the 1897 Census. Some of the Towns have an incomplete census. Go to   and see what Towns have been indexed.
Read the Introduction carefully and you will know what the Database contains. The largest collection is Dvinsk now Daugavpils with over 18000 entries.Riga is incomplete with 1912 entries.
Arlene Beare
Co-director Jewishgen Estonia and Latvia Research Division

Re: Jews and Hot Air Balooning #general


Hi Jonathan,

Albert Samama-Chikly introduced air balloons and aerial photography in Tunisia in 1908. He was also the first fiction cinematographer in Tunisia and a friend of the Lumière brothers, one of the first war photographers in the French army during WWI, experimented with X-ray imaging, underwater photography and all sorts of new and exciting technologies of the day.


Thierry Samama

Re: PLOTKIN: Bischoff (Biechof), Moliger: Ukraine or Belarus? #russia


Hi Norman, 
Gostomliu is Hostomel

Giannis Daropoulos 


Re: Jewish War Veteran Research #general #events

Ellen Shindelman Kowitt

Save the Date!
Wednesday, Nov. 10th 2 -3pm EST
JewishGen Talks "Researching Jews in America" Webinar Series presents a panel:
Researching Jews in the U.S. Military with experts from The Shapell Foundation, Project Benjamin, and the National Museum of American Jewish Military History

More information at
Ellen Shindelman Kowitt
Director, USA Research Division

PLOTKIN: Bischoff (Biechof), Moliger: Ukraine or Belarus? #russia

Norman Plotkin

Hi All:
I am new to JewishGen and haven't been able to find these answers on my own. My grandparents came to the US in the early 1900s: Jankiel "Jake" Plotkin and his spouse Rachel Lavisky (Levitsky). I am trying to find out if any of the following places still exist and if so are they in current day Ukraine OR current day Belarus. I first thought it was Belarus because I think there is a Moliger in Belarus but I also think there may be or was a Moliger in the Ukraine.
-Jankiel said his residence when he declared for US citizenship was in Kijon, Russia
-1904: they got married in Gostomliu. I cannot locate this place.
-1904 and 1906: they had two kids born in Kiev (they had two more kids that were born in New Orleans)
-Jankiel was aided by a Jewish group because of either the pogroms and/or to avoid the draft. He took the Merion from Liverpool to Philadelphia and arrived in 1911. His wife and kids arrived in the US later.  They ended up in New Orleans.
I grew up in New Orleans but moved to CA many years ago. I currently live in Lafayette, CA. My phone is 925/324-0839 if anyone wants to contact me.  I would appreciate it if anyone can answer any of my questions and/or give me any leads so that i can research this further. Thank you
Norman C. Plotkin

JewishGen Talks Panel Oct. 6th - Researching the Jews of New England #announcements

Ellen Shindelman Kowitt

Co-sponsored by the New England Jewish History Collaborative ( and the JewishGen USA Research Division, pleaser join us for “Researching Jewish Families in America,” a special series of JewishGen Talks highlighting archives, museums, and historical society collections of interest to family historians in the United States.


This live panel will focus on New England Jewish resources and feature repositories with collections about the Jews of New England featuring:

Rachel C. King, Executive Director, The Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society

Lindsay S. Murphy, Senior Archivist, The Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at New England Historic Genealogical Society

Kate-Lynn Laroche, Executive Director, Rhode Island Historical Association

Harris Gleckman, Director, Documenting Maine Jewry Project

Elizabeth Rose, Executive Director, Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford

Ellen Kowitt, Director, JewishGen USA Research Division


Registration is open at

Wednesday, October 6th
2-3 pm EDT
This webinar will be recorded and made available on the JewishGen YouTube channel in the future.
Ellen Shindelman Kowitt
Director, USA Research Division

Re: What's this number on a passenger list? #records


For an explanaition ---  On click on Get Started >  Info Files
Navigate down to, and click on Manifest Markings > In The Occupation Column

David Rosen
Boston, MA

On 9/27/2021 3:38 PM, erikagottfried53@... wrote:
What does a this number: "3-239679-2-26-43-NO C/A" on a passenger list for May 21,1914 mean?
It does look as if it was entered retrospectively.
Perhaps a reference to naturalization?  And if it is, how do I follow up to investigate?

Thanks for any answers or suggestions.
Erika Gottfried
Teaneck, New Jersey

Invitation to JGSSN Zoom meeting: "Routes to Roots Foundation: New Surnames Databases, Maps, Town Images and More!” with Miriam Weiner #ukraine #events #romania #belarus #galicia

Ben Kempner

The Jewish Genealogy Society of Southern Nevada (JGSSN) invites you to a Zoom meeting at 11:00 a.m. (Pacific Daylight Time) on Sunday, October 10: "Routes to Roots Foundation: New Surnames Databases, Maps, Town Images and More!” with Miriam Weiner


To request a Zoom link, please complete this short form: which can also be found on our Meetings webpage.

Members of JGSSN can attend for free.  Non-members can pay $5.00 on the Donate webpage and complete the short form.

Session Description:

From 30+ years of working in the archives of Eastern Europe (Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Lithuania), Miriam has acquired hundreds of various document collections yielding millions of surnames. She formed a close working relationship with archivists on all levels many of which continue to this day. 

During the past two years, she has created a surname database containing over 2,000,000 names (with continuing updates regularly). At the website, a surname search can produce entries from Holocaust name lists, vital records, census lists, school records, property lists, various telephone and business directories, applications for Communist Party membership and much more, most of which do not appear elsewhere online. A surname search can produce document results with that surname and links to a street map and town images. All in a single search!  A town name search can yield archive data for that town, as well as town images and a link to a street map of the town.  Another valuable website resource is the Maps database.  Miriam has acquired many maps from various localities. A map search will bring up very detailed maps that, when you zoom in, may reveal even the smallest shtetl.

In 1989, Miriam Weiner accepted an invitation from the Polish National Tourist Office to visit the Polish Archives in preparation for arranging genealogy tours to Poland. That visit led to a 30+ year career working in the archives of Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and Lithuania. 

In 1991, The Jewish Week in New York, referred to Miriam as “The Genealogist who Lifted the Archival Iron Curtain”. 
In 1998, The Forward referred to her as “The Indiana Jones of Pre-war Polish Jewry.” 
In 2019, The Jewish Exponent in Philadelphia referred to Miriam in a lecture review as "Genealogy Rock Star Discusses Digging up Jewish Roots."

Miriam's work in the genealogy field has produced a slew of awards beginning more than 30 years ago; among them are: 

In 1988, a writing award from the Council of Genealogy Columnists for her syndicated genealogy column

  • In 1999, 2000, and 2003, three major awards from IAJGS (one for each of her two books and the Lifetime Achievement Award)
  • In 2000, Reference Book of the Year award from the Association of Jewish Libraries
  • In 2019, The National Genealogical Society presented Miriam with the prestigious "President's Citation" at its annual conference in St. Louis
  • In 2020; The Federation of Genealogical Societies awarded her the Rabbi Malcolm H Stern Humanitarian Award 

The new version of the RTRF website has produced many comments from noted members of the genealogical community, See


Ben Kempner

Vice President,

Jewish Genealogy Society of Southern Nevada

Using Wife's Surname For Immigration #general #names

Carl Kaplan

One of my ancestor's cousins was Reisel (Rose) Hoffert. She married a man by the name of Benjamin Kaner in Kolbuszowa. They came over separately. On his naturalization form he said he came over as Benjamin Hoffert (not Kaner). I thought it was a mistake, but found him on the 1908 manifest as Benjamin Kaner. All records after immigration show them as Benjamin and Rose Kaner, and their kids were named Kaner. Any idea why he would use his wife's maiden name for immigration, and only that time?
Carl Kaplan

KAPLAN Minsk, Belarus
EDELSON, EDINBURG Kovno, Lithuania

Corrected Link for next OCJGS Meeting #announcements #jgs-iajgs

Michelle Sandler

Here is the corrected link for the next OCJGS meeting on October 24th
at 10:00 am Pacific Time with Arthur Kurzweil.

If the link still does not work go to to register for
the presentation.

Michelle Sandler MLS
President, Vice President of Programming, Librarian

Next Year Jewish Genealogical Conference #bessarabia

Yefim Kogan

Hello Bessarabian researchers,  Hello everybody,

You may think that it is only September, and why to talk about next year conference, probably in July or August of 2022?

The reason is simple.  I would like to know what topics you might be interested in.
Please reply to this message to the group of one or more things/topics you would like to hear at the conference.

I also encourage you to think of what topic you might present to our group.  It might be a full presentation on History of Jews in Bessarabia/Moldova or History of Jews in a district (uezd) in Bessarabia.
That I think might be of an interest to many, like History, Genealogy of Jews in Khotin uezd for example or Akkerman uezd.  The only time we heard such presentation was for Transnistria region several years ago/

Maybe you could be part of two or more people presenting on personal research finding - such session might bring people to be educated in some techniques.
It is also possible that you know a lot about a particular town and want to share with our group.

I remember that a number of years ago we had a great session about Jewish music in Bessarabia, and also about Jewish writers, etc...  that is probably a great topics for our conference too.

I hope to hear from you soon.  If you are not sure, please email me with your questions, and I will help you.

All the best,
Yefim Kogan
Bessarabia Group Leader and Coordinator

Re: Judenrats --- friend or foe? #holocaust

Susan J. Gordon

When I was researching Skalat - one of my ancestral towns - I read about "Moni Lempert" in the Skalat Yizkor book of testimony. My great-grandparents were Lemperts, as were their children, who all emigrated from Skalat in the late 1890's. But what about others in their extended family? I do not know.

In August, 1942, soon after the Judenrat had filled the Nazis' recent quota of Jewish victims, "It is reported that council-member M. Lempert received a cash prize from the Judenrat for being the first to bring in all the people on his list: 100% complete!.... Liquor and food was distributed lavishly among the 'rejoicing' members, who naively believed that 'they had rescued the town.'"

According to Abraham Weissbrod, Judenrat members including "Zimmer, Lempert, Schoenberg, Dr. Brif, etc gained infamy by their evil acts. They took charge of the work details and... lorded over everyone."

Ever since the 1948 publication of the Skalat Yizkor book, written in the intense heat of immediacy and grief, it's been cites in scholarly works, history books, and articles about Skalat as the source for validation. The book is an everlasting tribute to survivors' determination to write down every last story and recollection.

Moni and his family escaped death during the "Sobbing Graves Action" in Skalat in April, 1943.  After that, his name vanishes from the records. But... relative of mine or not, I find it difficult to judge Moni because I have never been in his excruciating situation.

Susan Gordon
New York
LEMPERT - Lvov, Skalat

What's this number on a passenger list? #records

Erika Gottfried

What does a this number: "3-239679-2-26-43-NO C/A" on a passenger list for May 21,1914 mean?
It does look as if it was entered retrospectively.
Perhaps a reference to naturalization?  And if it is, how do I follow up to investigate?

Thanks for any answers or suggestions.
Erika Gottfried
Teaneck, New Jersey

Re: Jews and Hot Air Balooning #general

Kenneth Cutler

"The Airship A History" By Basil Collier,(ISBN O 246 10575 5) Showing one of the first successful British airships, "The Willows 2. (City Of Cardiff) of 1910. Also mentions the process "Gold Beater's Skin," a process invented by Aloys Casamir Frederick Weinling (C1807) and patented by him. This process was used to form an airtight seal on the skins used to make the covering of British airships.The process at the time was a closely guarded secret, handed down, and known only to members of the Weinling family. All members of the Weinling family at this time,worked on the process at Farnborough and other locations,travelling to where they were needed. Census documents, and other vital certification, e.g. Marriage Certificates, lists the occupation of various members of the Weinling family, as Balloon manufacturers.
There are multiple articles in 1888 concerning the Court martial of an officer associated with this family in Britain. There are trees with more info on

Kenneth A. Cutler, Esq.
561-703-6272 (c)

Re: Recent Discovery Sheds New Light on Messianic yDNA #general #dna

Adam Cherson

Dr. Fishman,

Thanks for the commentary.

As you state, the information presented in the article forms the basis for a working hypothesis and I share your hope that additional evidence may be pursued which could shed light on the fascinating subject of the early origins of the Judaean Nation.

One thing I wish to emphasize: the adjective 'superior' is not used in the paper and I do not intend nor imply any such ethnic or cultural hierarchy. From my perspective, each ethnic component making up the early Judaean Nation has brought important cultural, technical, and religious qualities into the mix. This paper doesn't delve into Natufian, Anatolian, Transcaucasian, Egyptian, or Babylonian contributions, but I believe there are essential aspects of Judaism stemming from each of these earlier cultures. My aim in this paper is to present some new evidence and suggest a reasonable working interpretation.

I look forward to what future researchers may discover.

Adam Cherson MPA-JD

Looking for gr-grandfather Shimshon ZERSHTEIN from Grodno #belarus

Shirley Portnoy

My great-grandfather, Shimshon ZERSHTEIN (or ZERENSHTEIN) was a wood carver. He married my great-grandmother, Sara RIFKIND, daughter of Yeshayahu Ha-Sofer RIFKIND (1839-1915) from Grodno. The children of Shimshon and Sara were Zlata Zershtein Harkavy (c.1892-1959)- my grandmother; Feigl-Tzirl Zershtein; Hillel Zershtein; Tzvi (or Gershon) Zershtein; and Aryeh Leib Zershtein.


Shimshon, a double-amputee, lived in the Jewish home for the aged in Grodno. He was still alive in the early 1930’s.


For some reason I have been unable to locate any data about Shimshon ZERSHTEIN. It’s possible the records from Grodno were destroyed for those years.


Does anyone have any recommendations?


Thank you.

Shirley Amcis Portnoy

Little Neck, NY



Re: Tuberculosis Sanitoria #usa #general


My great-grand uncle Emanuel Singer was a founder and Chief Medical Officer at the Workmen's Circle Sanitorium (1920), just outside of Liberty (Sullivan County). He had TB himself and found the mountain air helped him recover. Sadly, his 7 year old son Chester died of TB in 1925.

Also just outside of Liberty in White Sulphur Springs, was the famous Loomis Sanitorium (1896).

I don't know if there are available records for either. You can probably contact the Workers Circle to see what they have.

BTW: Manny Singer's mother (my 2GGM) was born Esther GLUCK in Saros megye, Hungary (now Presovsky kraj, Slovakia). Daughter of Moses Gluck.
Jeff Goldner
Researching Goldner, Singer, Neuman, Braun, Schwartz, Gluck, Reichfeld (Hungary/Slovakia); Adler, Roth, Ader (Galicia); Soltz/Shultz/Zuckerman/Zicherman (Vitebsk, maybe Lithuania), Wald and Grunfeld (Secovce, Slovakia fka Galszecs)

1897 All Empire Russian Census #russia

June Genis

Do copies of this exist anywhere? Has it been transcribed or
translated or indexed?

June Genis
June Genis, 650--851-5224
Hemet, CA
Researching: GENIS, OKUN, SUSMAN, ETTINGER, KESSLER/CHESLER (Russian/Polish Empires)

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