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

Sherri Bobish


It is a reference to naturalization that was written in on the manifest years later.

Good luck in your search,

Sherri Bobish

Searching: RATOWSKY / CHAIMSON (Ariogala / Ragola, Lith.)
WALTZMAN / WALZMAN (Ustrzyki Dolne / Istryker, Pol.)
LEVY (Tyrawa Woloska, Pol.)
LEFFENFELD / LEFENFELD / FINK, KALTER (Daliowa/ Posada Jasliska, Pol.)
BOJDA / BERGER (Tarnobrzeg, Pol.)
SOKALSKY / SOLON / SOLAN / FINGER(MAN) (Grodek, Bialystok, Pol.)
BOBISH / APPEL (Odessa?)

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


Hi Susan,

You are so right about not judging others when one hasn't been in their situation, and not knowing the "complete picture" of such events.  That's part of our undertaking with genealogy, I feel, being able to accept/deal with whatever one might uncover.  Records, or not, I don't think it's appropriate to judge past events by today's standards (which seem pretty fuzzy anyway).  Hindsight is quite clear compared to living something in the moment.  I am often wondering and asking myself how I might have dealt with living through many past events.

Thanks for your input.
Leah Heilpern Snider
Silverdale, Washington/ USA

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

Sherri Bobish


The same situation is seen in my husband's family from Gorodek near Bialystok.

He used his wife's surname for several years after arrival, and then changed the surname.  His brother used their father's surname.  They both arrived in The U.S. in the mid-1880's.

In my family from Ustrzyki Dolne there is one person who used his mother's maiden surname, and that branch retains that name to this day.  His siblings all used their father's surname. 

So, why one sibling using the mother's maiden name, and the other siblings using the father's?  They all arrived in The U.S. within a few years of each other circa 1910's.

Does anyone have an explanation why this occurred with some immigrants?


Sherri Bobish

Searching: RATOWSKY / CHAIMSON (Ariogala / Ragola, Lith.)
WALTZMAN / WALZMAN (Ustrzyki Dolne / Istryker, Pol.)
LEVY (Tyrawa Woloska, Pol.)
LEFFENFELD / LEFENFELD / FINK, KALTER (Daliowa/ Posada Jasliska, Pol.)
BOJDA / BERGER (Tarnobrzeg, Pol.)
SOKALSKY / SOLON / SOLAN / FINGER(MAN) (Grodek, Bialystok, Pol.)
BOBISH / APPEL (Odessa?)

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

Nancy Siegel

Norman - What you refer to as Bischoff might be Bykhov, Belarus, which has many different spellings. It is in the Mogilev Region.  My grandmother, Sarah ERLIN, was born in Bykhov — Staryy (Old) Bykhov is how she referred to it. Her brother Aaron married Chana Reiza PLOTKIN. They immigrated to America and settled in Buffalo, NY. Other PLOTKIN family members settled in Canada.

See JewishGen’s Communities Database and Gazetteer and search for Bykhov:

See also:

Nancy Siegel
San Francisco, CA

Re: Polish Archives Loan Document #translation #poland

Steven Granek


First, thanks to David for the advice and kind offer.

II am wondering if anyone can point me to someone who knows a bit about the building history of Kalisz between the wars that might help me make sense of this (or even knows who in Kalisz I might write to to ask).  
I now have the reasonably well translated document referenced below (loan document for a construction project in Kalisz) . It has no additional information about my great Aunt and Uncle Temer and Chaim Adler (only that they borrowed just over 100,000 zlotys for the construction of a residential building at this address with gory details about each phase and the allocated amounts per phase).  Strangely, it has nothing about the terms (length or interest rate) or the address of the borrowers.
And there are some things about the dates that don’t make sense to me.  Specifically my conundrum is this:  They apparently acquired the “property” (quotes deliberate) in 1931 per the document.  The drawings/plans for construction were approved by what seems to be the planning council in 1938. It seems the loan was recorded n May of 1939 (timing!) - at least my relatives seem to have been optimists!
BUT -1) the description of the construction project seems to indicate that this is new construction 2) This is an attached - in row - building. 3) I have discovered in a book written by Mira Kimmelman that she talks about visiting (after the war with her son) this exact address (even down to the change of street names since then) and remembering that she’d have Passover there with her maternal grandparents in their modern apartment.  Which means that a relatively new apartment building was already there before the war. And since she describes it as modern, and it is my understanding that much of old Kalisz was destroyed in WW1 - it's hard to believe that my great aunt and uncle would be tearing down a 10-15 year old building with modern apartments in it and rebuild something very similar from scratch.  And needless to say - if they got the loan in May 1939 to build something from dirt - it did not get built by Sept 1, 1939 when the German Army crossed the border.
Possibilities 1) there is something that I am misunderstanding about the document 2) The addresses are confused (though her son says she had an incredible memory and went right to the place at that address).
I might add that Google maps street view has a clear picture at that address (the modern street name) of a building that looks materially the same as the one in the elevation drawings in the loan document.
Any insights appreciated.  I’ve been asked so I’ll make the point that my inquiries are not about any theoretical claim.   I could care less about that. I am trying to understand the life of my relatives - nothing more.
Steve Granek
Columbia, MD USA

Re: 1897 All Empire Russian Census #russia

Gary Pokrassa

Alex Krakovsky has scanned and posted over 2,800 files for the 1897 census comprising well over 400,000 pages of data from present day Ukraine - the link isАрхів:ДАКО/384

Gary Pokrassa
Data Acquisition Director
Ukraine Research Division

JGSColorado presents "Donating your Family Papers? How, When, Where and Why"  and "New Strategies in German Jewish Research" with Karen S. Franklin #events #germany #education #records

Ellen Beller

JGSCO presents

Donating your Family Papers? How, When, Where and Why 


New Strategies in German Jewish Research

Speaker:  Karen S. Franklin


Sunday December 19 2021 10 AM  to 12 PM Mountain Standard Time

On Zoom

9:30 AM to 10:00 AM Schmear, Schmooze, and Share

Program starts promptly at 10 AM


Donating your Family Papers? How, When, Where and Why 

How do you select an appropriate home for your family papers? The session provides an introduction to the Center for Jewish History and Leo Baeck Institute, a description of LBI collections, and gives suggestions for the process of donation. The Center recently reopened its doors to researchers in person and began accepting donations. Like many other institutions, it is inundated with new collections. Learn how to prepare your papers, work with archivists, and take advantage of the new research material.



New Strategies in German Jewish Research 

In this talk, Karen not only takes a closer look into the LBI collections--including methodologies for exploring women's stories--but also identifies other resources available to family historians, including the GermanJewish DNA group, Facebook groups, the International German Genealogy Partnership (IGGP), databases on JewishGen, the Obermayer Awards, and new web sites.



Karen S. Franklin is Director of Family Research at the Leo Baeck Institute in New York and a consultant to the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.  She has served as President of the International Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS), and Co-Chair of the Board of Governors of  She is a past Chair of the Council of American Jewish Museums and the Memorial Museums Committee of the International Council of Museums. She currently serves on the boards of the Southern Jewish Historical Society and National Association of Retired Reform Rabbis. A Co-founder of the Obermayer German Jewish History Award, Karen is the recipient of the IAJGS 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award.  


Free for members of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Colorado/ a link will be mailed to you

$5 cost for guests/ go to and click on program events 

Ellen Beller
JGSCO President 


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

3461 - 3480 of 665613