Re: Curious question on name change #records


As others who've responded to this question have noted, there are at least two sources of surname discrepancies:

1.  Transcription errors:  these can originate in original documents (e.g. metrical records, ship manifests, declarations of intent and censuses, to name a few) where the official writing the surname applied their own spelling "conventions" to a foreign name, and in genealogical indices in sources such as Ancestry, Ellis Island and FamilySearch, where the problem can arise when the transcriber is trying to decipher a poorly imaged document, or one where the original handwriting is sloppy or simply idiosyncratic.

2.  Immigrants changed their surnames informally (without going through the legal process, either at time of naturalization or independently), often quite soon after arrival and sometimes to a form unrecognizable from the original.  One of my great-aunts and her children arrived in New York in December, 1909 as members of the Zhizmar family (her husband having arrived the previous June);  by the time they were recorded in the 1910 US Census the following April, their surname was Sussman.

Joel Novis
Longmeadow, MA
Researching NOVITSKIY (Ukraine), OLSZTAJN (Poland), GEYMAN/HYMAN (Belorus), POTASHNIK/LEVY (who knows?)

Re: Poland - Can someone please help me solve the mystery? #poland

dprice dprice

Beider reference: GLOWINSKI means from the village of Glowina or Glowinsk or Glowno, see GLOWIANSKI. The closest surname to GLOBINSKI is GLOBEN (Chelm) A: GLAUBEN (German) meaning 'faith' (see GLAUBER) and GLOBUS meaning 'globe'.

David Price

Re: Help understanding ship manifest #records


Those numbers and date are related to his naturalization information.  It is hard to read the date; it looks like 3/20/19 to me.  If you have his naturalization document, you can see if the date matches.

Marlise Gross
Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Researching Romanian/Moldovan or Belarus towns #belarus #romania #general

Angie Elfassi



A relative in Israel has given me, in Hebrew, the names of two towns where various relatives were born.


One of the towns I believe I have found but it is in Belarus, although in 1941 it might have been considered Romania.

This following relative was born in 1941

משה נולד מוגלוב, שזה היה רומניה

This following extract I found on a site called wikiaray and I don’t know if it’s a very safe site.

“In its Third Establishment Treaty, the following territories for the republic were claimed: Moglov (district) as well as Belarusian parts of Minsk region, Grodno region (including Bialystok), Vilnius district, Vitebsk region, Smolensk region and parts of the population of Belarus. Border regions, rejecting the division of Belarusian land between Germany and Russia at that time. The territories were claimed by a Belarusian majority or a large minority (as in the Grodno region of Vilnius), although there were a number of Lithuanians, Poles, people who spoke mixed varieties of Belarusian, Lithuanian and Polish, as well as many Jews, mostly in cities and towns (they were majority in some towns). Some Jews spoke Russian as their mother tongue; Others spoke Yiddish (or Yiddish)”

This following relative Ella was born c. 1908 and Grandma Tsiporra (also known as Fanny, surname unknown) was born c. 1886
אלה נולדה גם במיאטראמים ,וגם הסבתא ציפורה. לאחר מכן עברו לרומניה

I’d appreciate any input about the names of the towns.

Thank you.



Angie Elfassi


RAYKH-ZELIGMAN/RICHMAN, Stakliskes, Lithuania/Leeds;
COHEN, Sakiai, Lithuania/Leeds

MAGIDOVICH, Jurbarkas, Lithuania/Leeds; KASSIMOFF, Rezekne, Latvia/Leeds; MULVIDSON, Rezekne, Latvia/Sweden; GREENSTONE, Rezekne, Latvia/Leeds

ITMAN, Stakliskes, Lithuania/USA; SOKOLOV, Latvia

KANTOR, Sakiai, Lithuania; GOLDBERG, Sakiai, Lithuania; GELBERG, Kamianka-stromilava, Lvov, Poland; ELFASSI, Settat, Morocco


Re: was my great-grandmother Jewish? #general


It seems we all beg to differ, and many Orthodox Jews still consider Reform and Liberals not to be Jewish
It reminds me of the old joke about two Jews wrecked on a desert island who built three shuls, one for each of them to go to and the third that neither would be seen dead in. 

Also times change. In my youth in the early 1950s a local boy whose father was Jewish but whose mother was not was refused entry to our Jewish youth club on the grounds he was not Jewish. I believe that many years later he married a Jewish girl in the local shul.

Perhaps we should leave it there having pretty thoroughly chewed over the subject.

Alan Cohen

Re: Need to research name change in UK records #unitedkingdom #names #general

SoundFlyer <458batty@...>

Thanks Joyaa - I've also been told that Salmon is already an anglicization so to try closely phonetic Jewish names such as Solomon. Found some  good websites with lists of such names, e.g. 
Stephen Batty (918406)
Gtr. Manchester, UK.

Re: Schapsel name equivalents #general

David Ziants

On a Google search, I noticed on a reply to a posting I made more than two decades ago, that I signed off:-

<<< ZENETSKI became ZIANTS and ISHMA became DAVIDSON all from Narewka. >>>

A few years after then, I found out concerning my own family (who lived in London, England, UK) that;-

1) ISHMA  that my grandmother told me was the original family name of her paternal family, was really ISMACH (and my great-grandfather, Alter, changed this to DAVIDSON for himself and possibly for his father). His brother (i.e. my second great uncle), Abraham, changed his family name to OSMAN and married and raised his family in Glasgow, Scotland, UK

2) Of course my great-grandmother, Alka (Alice) changed her maiden name to that of her husband. What was not told to me was that Alka's brothers changed the name from ZENETSKY to SCHLOSBERG and I only found this out on receiving a condolence call from a distant cousin after the last of my grandparents left this world.

I am sure I have many other places to correct this statement on my replies and postings from the  earlier days of this forum.

David Ziants

Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel

Re: was my great-grandmother Jewish? #general

David Lewin

At 18:57 23/11/2021, David Harrison wrote:
Surely it does not really matter. She is still your grandmother and
always will be. If it is that important to you, why did you not ask
her when you were alive and met her? On the other hand, if your
mother did not ask her (or care) why should it bother you unless and
only unless some very frum (demonstratedly strict on his or her
observances) relation of your potential partner is kicking up a fuss
to prevent your marriage, or have you met Humpty Dumpty or the Red Queen.
David Harrison
Birninghan, England
What an unfair message!!!!

I wonder how many of us "genealogists" were that when we were young?

I am reminded of a sign hanging in my Landlady's entrance hall about
60 years ago: It was one of those wood rectangles into which the
words had been "burnt" so that the surface had singed:

There is so much good in the worst of us
and so much bad in the best of us
that it ill behoves any of us
to talk about the rest of us

David Lewin

Re: ViewMate translation request - RUSSIAN #russia #poland #belarus #translation

Frank Szmulowicz

The two sides - the groom and the bride - did not conclude a prenuptial agreement, that is, there is no pre-nuptial agreement between them. It does not mean that they did not succeed; they did not even try.
Frank Szmulowicz

Re: ViewMate translation request - RUSSIAN #russia #poland #belarus #translation


Why do all these marriage records refer to a " prenuptial agreement that was not concluded." What does this mean?
Geoff Ackerman

Lazarus Denenberg from Bialystok, Poland. Can you Solve his Life's Mysteries #poland


We believe Lazarus Denenberg was born in Bialystok, Poland in about 1860.  He died on May 28, 1902/  We know very little about his life. Except to say what you'll find in the Attached Image / PDF.  His Dad might have been named Wolf.

Lazarus Denenberg was buried in Bialystok, Poland:

Can you help us solve the mystery of his Parents? Siblings? and Life in Poland before his death at age 42!

Sophia Sherman

Did my maternal grandmother convert to Judaism? #general

Joan Jacobson

I was born and raised in Chicago, as was my mother and grandother, Barbara Baltes, who was married to my Grandfather, David Rosenfeld, who was Jewish. It is significant, for if Barbara Baltes never converted, then my mother, Evelyn Rosenfeld Schiller and my sister and I are not considered Jewish. Barbara Baltes, who died in her 20’s, is buried in St. Marys Catholic cemetery in Chicago. I do not know if her parents did not know of her conversion (if it occurred), or if my grandfather did not object. Everyone in my family who might know is dead. Is there any way to find this information out. Thank you.
Joan Jacobson

Help understanding ship manifest #records


Please help deciphering Ellis Island ship manifest. Line 27 is my grandfather. But there is something stamped over his name. What does this mean?


Thank you so much for your help,
Barbara Gilmore Silver
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
Goldstein, Schultz, Brodetsky

Krakow Poland Provincial Court Rules in Favor of Genealogist for Access to Vital Records #poland #records

Jan Meisels Allen


Originally posted to the IAJGS Records Access Alert as it addresses records access, but since many readers of this forum are also interested in Polish records it is being reprinted here.


The Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita reported on November 22, 2021, that the Provincial Administrative Court in Kraków in a case bearing Docket No. III SA/Kr 706/21 ruled in favor of a genealogist who had sued the mayor for access to the vital records file of his deceased great-uncle. 


The Provincial Administrative Court (WSA) in Kraków decided that a  man's claim against the city mayor, who refused to allow him to inspect the in the identity card of his great-grandmother's brother, was justified. Such a folder is created for every citizen when applying for an identity  card. The authority argued that the applicant did not belong to the circle of the deceased's relatives. Initially, the interested party appealed to the provincial governor, but he supported the mayor’s position, referring to Civil Code Article 23 which is the basis for providing access to the deceased’s  immediate family, that is ascendants and descendants of the deceased to the documentation from the evidence envelope as personal property . In the context of the memory of the  deceased person, when assessing proximity, one must take into account the factual circumstances that accompanied specific family relationships. Moreover, personal contacts should be distinguished from psychological bonds between persons.


There is always a subjective element connected with the assessment of proximity, i.e. the feeling of closeness," justified Judge Hanna Knysiak-Sudyka and added: “From such generally defined subjective right it is possible to derive two basic rights: the right to good memory of the deceased and the right to true memory, i.e. not falsified and not distorted. The first of these rights corresponds to the duty of third parties to respect the good name of the deceased, the second to the duty to provide truthful information about the deceased.


The final comment in the article, said,” The decision is particularly important for people who are scientifically or amateurish in creating family trees of their family and researching its fate. Undoubtedly, it will allow them to see more freely the documents of relatives of the deceased.”


Translated with (free version) , therefore there is room for interpretation with other translation sites.


To read the original article in Polish see:


To read it translated by Google translate using Chrome as my browser:


Thank you to Yale Reisner for sharing the article with us.


To register with the IAJGS Records Access Alert go to:  and follow the instructions to enter your email address, full name and which genealogical  organization with whom you are affiliated.

To go to the archives of the IAJGS Records Access Alert at: You must be registered to access the archives.    You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee



Poland - Can someone please help me solve the mystery? #poland


My paternal grandparents immigrated to Israel in the 1950s. 
Grandmother was born in Brzeziny (near Lodz) in 1912 her name was Sura Leja Mordkowicz (not 100% sure about the spelling) parents names: Jakel Wolf Mordkowicz/Rajle Lipsman 
Grandfather was born in 1911-1912 (we assume he was born in the same area) Josek (Jozef, Yosef)-Szmul Parents: Avraham Glowinski\Tauba (Tova, Toba) unknown last name. 
During the war, they left for Uzbekistan, I think they got married there when they came back to Poland they changed their name to Grynbaum. 
I cannot find any record of my grandfather! I searched everywhere! I am not sure why! 
I was told the name was Globinski but I know the Polish language doesn't really have a B sound? maybe there is another name like Globinski like a name that is not Glowinski? 
Thank you! 

Shira Harrison
Los Angeles, CA, USA

Welsh Jewish History #education #names #unitedkingdom


I am the Oral History Officer for the Jewish History Association of South Wales.  We are currently undertaking a project to record the oral history of 70 individuals who have stories to tell about South Wales. We are looking for any memories, and you do not have to have been born in Wales. All interviews will be conducted on Zoom, so you can be involved from anywhere in the world. The Welsh Jewish population is currently less than 0.5% of the UK Jewish population, and is declining.  We hope to preserve the rich history of the community that once lived here. 
Please email me directly at: Laura.henley.harrison@...

Thank you, 
Laura Harrison. South Wales, United Kingdom.

Shalom Uganda #announcements #jgs-iajgs

Jgsgm President

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Miami


From the desk of Yoram Millman

JGSGM VP Programming


Press Release

Sunday December 5 presentation via Zoom at Temple Beth Am Sunday Salon



The Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Miami in collaboration with Temple Beth Am Sunday Salon & The Sousa Mendes Foundation to introduce Janice Masur- Author of Shalom Uganda.

Masur tells her story of living in Kampala, Uganda, under British imperial rule in this little-known Ashkenazi Jewish community upholding their Jewish identity.

The program is moderated by Robert Jacobvitz, who serves on the Advisory Board of the Sousa Mendez foundation.

Paulette Bronstein


Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Miami

1897 Odessa Census Name Index #records #ukraine

R Jaffer

I would like to locate Gordon relatives in the huge 1897 Odessa Census. A 2007 Avotaynu article indicated a Jewish surname index had been created:

"Every year material on Jewish history is presented at exhibits in cooperation with Jewish, literary and historical museums. A documentary presentation was organized in May 2007 for the 160 participants of the Klezmer Festival Tour (Unger Travel, Toronto, Canada) at the Odessa Historical Museum. Some special databases were created, for example, name indexes of the Odessa’s Jews in the 1897 All-Russian Census; the Odessa Board for Small Business, 1894–1918; a family register. Name and thematic catalogues on Jews also were updated [CD in Russian]."


If you know how to purchase a copy of the name index on CD, please reply publicly. If you have a copy of this CD and would be willing to find the street names/page numbers for me, please reply privately and I will give you the given names.  I have the 1907 Odessa death certificate for the matriarch. She was registered in Moletai (Lithuania). At least one son and multiple adult grandchildren were living there in 1897 but later emigrated.

The Odessa Historical Museum said it does not have a copy of this name index. Avotaynu has not replied to my query. I don't know how to reach anyone who organized or was part of the Klezmer Festival Tour of 2007.

Thank you for any help you could give me,

Roberta Jaffer


Seeking pogrom victim lists from Byerazino or Pahost in Igumen district of Belarus #belarus


My late father told me that my great grandparents, Shmuel Krevoshay (sounds like) and Anna Volman were killed in pogroms following WWI. Their daughter (maiden name Scheina Krevoshay) came to the U.S. in 1914; according to her ship's manifest she came from "Berezin." I have been trying to find any records of their deaths in the pogroms near there, after WWI. I have looked in (and contributed to) the historical records of the Berezino KehilahLinks website (, and have found eyewitness accounts listing the victims of several of these pogroms, but, thus far, have not found any records which mention my great-grandparents. If anyone knows anything about these pogroms, or about my great-grandparents, or about the Krevoshay/Volman families in Berezino, please let me know. I'd be extremely grateful.


Dan Chernin


Re: was my great-grandmother Jewish? #general

Renee Steinig

Dorann Cafaro <dorann.cafaro@...> wrote in part:

... First I found my great grandmother buried in a Jewish cemetery and was told she had to be Jewish to be buried there even though I had no knowledge of any Jewish roots. Next I found I had 25% Ashkenazi DNA so it helped confirm that I had Jewish roots. Then working on my tree I found that my gg grandfather was a Rabbi....

Dorann's story reminds me of the discoveries made several years ago by the family of New York's late Cardinal John Joseph O'Connor. Their discoveries (and the part I played in taking them a step further) were reported in this New York Times article:


Renee Stern Steinig
Dix Hills NY USA

6101 - 6120 of 669737