Re: Jewish community in Salem Conn #usa


Shaeffers (Chaim and  Dovid Aryeh ) can be found attending the former and nearby synagogue in Chesterfield, CT-Possibly these are family. See link below.

Salem was and still is tiny and very rural. A classic New England village. We drive thru the town on a regular basis and patronize farms in the area. Much-but not all- of the town has very rocky soil which would not have been very arable, but may have supported grazing, dairy farming, etc.

Colchester,  the town just to the north of Salem,  had a large Jewish population around the turn of the century, many of whom were poultry farmers. 

Richard B. Brown
Glastonbury CT

Re: Translation of Hebrew Inscriptions #translation

Relly coleman

This is the Matzevah of a woman with honor at home and in public
who stretched her palm out to the poor and her hand to the pauper
the modest woman Rachel bat reb Asher
who left with good name 27 Elul
and was taken to her people on the day 5631 (1871) 'lamed'

Not sure about the last line.  The words may be:
ביום - on the day
ערה - awake
תרלא - 5631
ל - not sure of the meaning, coresponds to the number 30 

Relly Coleman

Re: Jews fleeing Austria in 1939 #austria-czech

Veronica Zundel

My parents were also medical students in Vienna, and after Jews were excluded, my mother fled in March 39 via Switzerland by train, but continued on to the UK where she had a domestic service visa. My father(they were already engaged) followed in July - he wasn't Jewish, so was able to finish his studies and come to London where they were married. I remember my mother saying the passengers all applauded as the train crossed the frontier into Switzerland.

Veronica Zundel, London
Searching descendants of Josef Jakob Horoschowski b. 1905 Drohobych

Translation of Hebrew Inscriptions #translation


Hello to you all,

I would greatly appreciate some assistance in translating into English the Hebrew inscriptions on the gravestones in the two attached images.

Due to an unresolved issue with my registration data, I am unable to upload these images to ViewMate. However, both images are available in the JOWBR database, and I have provided the links below.

I can read the name of the deceased (Rekhel bat Asher), but I am eager to know what the rest of the epitaph means.

This next image is two slightly different views of the gravestone of Elizabeth, wife of Jacob Wolfe, i.e. the daughter of Rachael Dombein.

In this instance, I read the first line as "ha-almanah Beyla bat r' zlg". Am I right with the last word? Is zlg an abbreviated version of Zelig?

Many thanks in advance for any help.


Justin Levy

Re: Jews fleeing Austria in 1939 #austria-czech

Odeda Zlotnick

It depends on when they did so.
A Viennese uncle of my maternal GM fled Vienna "on the last train" in March 1938 because  and crossed the border to Switzerland safely. "Last" according to his letter, because someone told him Jews' Passports were being confiscated.

I have reason to know that by 1942, Jews from the areas of France had to cross to border illegally, in the area of Geneve - 

If you type "Switzerland" in the USHMM search form, you'll find quite a number of databses, including: Holocaust Survivors and Victims Database -- [Jewish Arrivals in Switzerland] (

Odeda Zlotnick
Jerusalem, Israel.

Re: Jewish community in Salem Conn #usa

Deborah Winograd

About 35 yrs ago I attended a dedication of the site of the mikvah in Chesterfield.  It appears that there is renewed interest in the site & it is being preserved.  I found a couple of articles about its history:

Deborah Winograd
East Falmouth, MA

Are we cousins? #dna #ukraine

Lee Jaffe

I'm appealing to the collective wisdom of the group to help determine whether I'm reading the evidence correctly about a potential relation.  If I am on the right path, I hope to get advice about next steps to pursue.

About a year ago, I discovered a DNA match at FTDNA to someone sharing my maternal ancestral surname Koskkin.  (Let's call him "K".)   While not a significant match (70cM), the common surname prompted me to write to him.  We had an interesting but inconclusive exchange. 

K's great-grandparents were Moshe and Chaya Koshkin.  His grandfather Mark Koshkin was born in Snovsk Ukraine in 1910 but moved to Moscow, where he married, had a son, and died during WWII.  The son eventually married and had a family in the USSR, but managed to emigrate during the 1970s, bringing his son – K – to the US.  Because of the move from Snovsk to Moscow, the early death of the grandfather and other considerations, K knows very little about his family origins.  However, with the information supplied, I was able to track down a 1908 Ukraine marriage record for Moshe Koshkin and Khaya Yofe.  Moshe was 34  (i.e., born 1874) and his father's name is recorded as Leib.  

My maternal great-grandmother Dora Koshkin Joroff was born in Snovsk about 1878.  She was one of 7 children of Leib Koshkin and Stische (Chila) Rappaport.  Four of the children emigrated to the US and brought over their parents between 1905-6.  The 3 siblings who we believe remained in Europe were Hannah, Mayna and Munya.

The alignment of our family narratives, of the town Snovsk, the 2x great-grandfather Leib, the birth years in the following generation, and the possible identification of the missing Munya with Moshe were certainly suggestive.  But the DNA match was significantly weaker that what I'd expect for 3rd cousins and there were no shared matches with other known Koshkin descendants at FTDNA to test that connection.  

Then a couple of things happened last fall.  For one, I was able to upload my mother's DNA test results to FTDNA, where she was matched to K at 181cM, about double K's match to me.  This was consistent with what I'd expect with a relation on my maternal line.  (Right?)   I also tested at 23ndme where I found myself matched with K again, only this time it reported overlap of 125cM (9 segments/largest 55.26cM), more consistent with a 3rd cousin relationship.  Further, 23andme found a shared match between me, K, and another known Koshkin cousin (2c1r).  To my untrained eye, the 3-way match shown in the attachment looks significant (K is shown in purple)  Is this triangulation?

I think the scattered pieces of the puzzle come together sufficiently to establish we share common ancestors.  I feel that the circumstantial evidence suggests there is a better than 0% chance that those common ancestors are Leib and Stiche.   And that my great-grandmother's missing brother Munya is K's great-grandfather Moshe.  Without additional records from Snovsk – my understanding is that they were destroyed – the historical record appears to be a dead end.  One potentially useful avenue for DNA research would be to look for Rappaport DNA matches, but these have been rarer than Koshkins.  

Since what I've outlined may be all I will ever find, I'd like to know whether it is sufficient.  Would you add K to your family tree as the great-grandson of Moshe/Munya?  If not, what more – if anything – do I need to do?

Thank you for any insights you can share,

Lee David Jaffe


Surnames / Towns:  Jaffe / Suchowola, Poland ; Stein (Sztejnsapir) / Bialystok and Rajgrod, Poland ; Joroff (Jaroff, Zarov) / Chernigov, Ukraine ; Schwartz (Schwarzman?, Schwarzstein?) / ? ;  Koshkin / Snovsk, Ukraine ; Rappoport / ? ; Braun / Wizajny, Suwalki, Poland,  Ludwinowski / Wizajny, Suwalki, Poland


Re: ViewMate: Group of soldiers 1922, 42 regiment #hungary


Dear Margarita,


Two of the people in the full regimental photo have epaulettes.  In the armies following the British army system this would indicate that they are officers, as would the peaked caps.  One of the many puzzles in the regimental photo is why do some people that appear to be officers have epaulettes and peaked hats, whereas some do not.


Military service for 18 year old was absolutely compulsory in Europe in those days. If the newly established Czech army was to call up people from newly acquired territories who did not speak Czech then I assume they did so by having Hungarian speaking regiments; German speaking regiments, etc.

If this is indeed a Czech army photo then the Hungarian Museum of Military History will probably not be able to assist.

Best wishes

Tom Beer

1930 Czechoslovak Census #hungary #slovakia #announcements #records

Peter Absolon

1930 Czechoslovak Census

The second Czechoslovak population census was conducted on 1 December 1930 (the first Czechoslovak census was in 1921). The statistical results of the 1930 Census were published in eight volumes, with a separate volume for housing data. This Census enumerated 136,737 Jews in Slovakia, out of a total Jewish population of 356,830 in all of Czechoslovakia. Slovakia’s Jewish population represented 4.11 percent of the total population of Slovakia.

Last year the 100 years protection period has passed for the 1930 Census. The sheets (originals held by the Slovak National Archive in Bratislava) are now being made free for public. As per Slovakiana website (the site that hosts census images) all the sheets should be published until end of 2021. Unfortunately, up to date only 1/3rd of about 800.000 sheets have been made available - and, having the experience with the Slovak state IT sector, I'm afraid it won't happen very soon.

Nevertheless, for those town that have their census sheets already published, we should be able to start the indexing and publishing work. It won't be an easy task - one can't search the sheets by person's name, only by town name and perhaps the street address or house number. And to be able to search for a town, you need to know its historical name that was used in 1930 (so for example, if someone was born in town with Hungarian name Nádasd, now called Trstené pri Hornáde, you wouldn't be able to find anything by searching that name. You have to use Nádošť, with all accents and punctuations). And if you manage to find the sheets for a town, you have to open image by image, to get to the actual record you're looking for. But - do not repeat the search because you'll get the results sorted randomly, not by any given key. And if you finally find what you need - you can't download the image by one click. You have to find the image URL by inspecting the page HTML source. And the downloaded image is in JP2 format, that not every image software can open :-)

Therefore (after consulting the issue with Vivian Kahn and Eric Bloch) we have decided to set up a new project "1930 Czechoslovak Census". I have volunteered to be the project coordinator, responsible for downloading and distributing the images in batches.

We however need to understand we're talking about more than 3000 towns and 136000+ names. I already commenced to work on that, starting with Kosice (Kassa) and Moldava (Szepsi) districts and now I can offer first 3000+ names transcribed (and in majority also verified). But since this project can't be one-man-show, I'd like to ask the skilled transcribers and validators to join the team. Anyone who is at least little bit familiar with Slovak and Czech personal names and town names is welcomed.

I also prepared the project website, where you can find the actual status of the transcription and verification process:
(the visual interpretations on the map and pie charts under "Status Report" are updated in hourly intervals)

I trust that new component database will go live soon and you all will benefit from it.

Should you have any questions - please ask. I'll try to explain all the details either here or in private conversations.

Peter Absolon
Kosice, Slovakia

a new Gesher Galicia project: interactive historical data maps #galicia

Jay Osborn

During the past several years we've been working on a way to attach
indexed genealogical data to a few of our historical cadastral maps of
towns in former Galicia. Today we posted the results of that effort in
a new section of the Gesher Galicia Map Room:

Four towns (Chyrów, Nadwórna, Rohatyn, and Skała) were chosen for the
development. For each, Gesher Galicia and energetic town research
leaders were able to gather a suitable Habsburg-era cadastral map,
plus substantial and well-organized indexed family history records,
and key property records which tie other records to numbers on the

A key feature of the maps is that the historical map image is aligned
and layered over a modern satellite image of the town; a slider allows
the user to adjust the opacity of the historical map to reveal how the
town has evolved from Galician times to today. In the new application,
for each of these towns it is now possible to search the linked data
for names or years by category, or to get a listing of all attached
data matching certain category criteria. From a listing of search
results, clicking a house number link centers the map on that house
and launches a pop-up window which lists all of the record data
associated with the house.

A user can also simply browse the map and click on house markers which
launch the records data. In this way, anyone can explore how houses
changed owners and residents, who lived near whom or near other town
features such as market squares and synagogues. The tool is thus
multi-dimensional, providing glimpses not only at the lives of
families as they moved about the town, but also at the lives of
individual houses across time. The web page listed above provides
links to the four maps, plus instructions for using the tool, and
background information on the project.

This project was partly funded by the Pamela Weisberger Memorial Fund,
in tribute to Gesher Galicia's late President. Pamela championed the
use of historical cadastral maps and property records from the
Habsburg Empire as a valuable tool for spatial analysis of
genealogical data, and inspired many of us to seek our ancestors'
place (in all of its senses) in history. A significant amount of the
work on this new project was done by volunteers, especially for
coordination and in town-specific research and data management; we
thank all of the people who contributed their ideas and efforts.

Jay Osborn
Gesher Galicia Digital Maps Manager
Lviv, Ukraine

Ordering new record scans directly from the Polish State Archives: a how-to guide #poland


Frank asked in a previous post about making wire transfers to the
Polish State Archives to buy copies of records. It's now so much
easier than it used to be to get copies of records "ordered off the
menu" from many of the small Polish State Archives branches. You no
longer have to wait and hope that they will eventually scan an obscure
record or book or microfilm that you want, from the tiny little town
or region that you're researching. And you don't necessarily have to
hire a genealogist to go in person for you, either. You can just
research and pick the record(s) you want from their catalog, e-mail
the archives branch directly and ask for a price quote, pay the
archives branch directly, and have the new files on your laptop a week

I've done this for three different archives branches in Poland just in
the past few month, for the branches in Poznan (formerly Posen),
Gorzow Wielkopolski (formerly Landsberg an der Warthe), and Bydgoszcz
(formerly Bromberg). And I have been happily surprised by the new ease
and relatively low cost in getting files. Some archives branches may
be busier or less responsive to e-mails or more expensive, but at
least in the western part of the country, I have only nice things to

One of the archives couldn't scan the particular file I wanted (a
population list for the late 19th century) because it was too fragile
to be handled without having conservation work done first, but the
archivists did offer to do research and do name look-ups for me in the
file instead, and they did so...for only 75 PLN, which was only $18.37

But assuming the records you want are in decent condition, the rate
I've been quoted by the various archives lately is only 2 PLN per
scan, which is $0.24-0.25 per page, very reasonable! The scans are in
color and gorgeous quality, not just digitizations of the old black
and white microfilms.

Better yet, the new scans are then eventually uploaded to the main
Polish State Archives catalog website, "Szukaj w Archiwach" ("Search
in Archives") at and are attached to
the specific "items" (books) in the catalog, so that everyone
everywhere can now see and use those new scans, going forwards.

In this way, one could hypothetically sponsor the digitization of many
books or records from your particular town of interest. And if you're
lucky, someone or some group will eventually notice the new image
files are now online there, transcribe them, and add the text data to
the many genealogy databases we all know and use. For example, these
particular towns I am researching were all once in Prussia, and the
records were civil records (not specific to any particular religion)
and written in German, so it's likely eventually they could end up
transcribed by volunteers and made searchable on a genealogy website
like BaSIA (, which specifically covers
Prussian records. Of course, JewishGen or JRI-Poland or anyone else
could certainly put together a transcription project, too. But having
the image files be made so easily available is the crucial first step.

Here's a real world example of how this works, start to finish. I
recently wanted to get the 1874-1876 birth and death records, six
books in total, for a certain Prussian town. I found out that the
records existed in the first place by using the sometimes unwieldy
"Szukaj w Archiwach" website, and searching for the town name, plus
every variation of the town name I could think of (since Polish adds
suffixes to nouns). The site said the books did exist and were kept in
the Poznan branch of the Polish State Archives. The archives had
already scanned or microfilmed many of the vital records for later
years for this town, and those scans are mostly online already on the
"Szukaj w Archiwach" site, but they had oddly missed these three
years. And no, FamilySearch doesn't have any microfilms for those
years in this town either.

I then found the Poznan branch's official e-mail address, wrote up a
request for a price quote to scan the books, translated it into Polish
with Google Translate, and e-mailed them my request. They responded in
a few days. The total cost for scanning the six books, based on their
exact page count, was quoted to me as 1320 PLN, which is about $323.25
in USD, which is a very good price for over a thousand birth and death
records. (For comparison, ordering a single New York State death
certificate copy will currently cost you $45, plus an $8 vendor
handling charge, if you want a certified copy, or $22 for an
uncertified "genealogy" copy, yikes.)

So I added the Polish State Archives' Poznan branch bank account
information (i.e. the name and the IBAN number) in my Wise account,
saving it to my list of recipient accounts -- so I won't have to
re-add it if I want to order some more records some day. ;-)

I then added funds to my USD "bucket" within Wise, which you can do by
moving money from your own linked bank account using ACH, or even
adding funds from a credit card or from Apple Pay if you want the
funds faster (but with a bigger fee in those cases). And then I moved
the funds over to the PLN "bucket" still within my Wise account. And
then I sent the funds in PLN from there to the archive's account, all
for the low low fee of 2.03 PLN -- which is *fifty cents* in USD! Much
better than a $75 bank wire fee from a typical US bank account, and so
much easier, too.

The funds arrived in Poland in two days. The archives immediately made
and sent me the scans (via the file-sharing website WeTransfer) as a file. And then they also uploaded them all to the "Szukaj w
Archiwach" catalog a day or two later.

Easy peasy! And now I have 1200+ birth and death records to go through
on my laptop.

So, to sum up:

- Use the "Szukaj w Archiwach" ("Search in Archives") at to see what kinds of files are held at
various little Polish State Archives branches. There's tons of amazing
stuff in there that has never been cataloged before, all kinds of
population lists and tax lists and even vital records (both Jewish and
civil) and Jewish cemetery lists that have never appeared in any
databases. It's mostly in Polish (and sometimes German, for Prussian
areas) so you'll need to translate with Google Translate or Google
Chrome. The site is slow, but if you create a login, you can save
items to your "favorites" list and come back to them later.

- Find specific items in that catalog that look interesting and note
their full exact item numbers, such as "53/1965/0/1/4", which is the
finding aid number.

- Note which archive branch holds that particular item/book/microfilm
and e-mail them, in Polish, asking politely for a price quote.

- Use the app "Wise" to convert between various currencies at a very
low rate, and also to send that money to overseas archives for
incredibly low rates.

- Enjoy lots of new genealogy records. :-)

- Brooke Schreier Ganz
Mill Valley, CA

Re: Are those gravestones proof my ancestors were jewish? #germany

Andreas Schwab

To add to my previous answer: in German-speaking countries it is customary to put an asterisk in front of a birth date and a cross in front of a death date.

For Jews, a Magen David would be put in front of the death date, not the birth date:

Andreas Schwab, Montreal, Canada

Re: Jewish Cemetery at Former Psychiatric Hospital on New York's Long Island #general #usa

Rita Geister Liegner

My grandmother's sister was a patient at Pilgrim State from about 1935 to 1973 when she died.  I assume, but don't know for sure, that she is buried on the grounds of this Jewish Cemetery as I have not been able to locate any other grave site for her.   I am very interested in trying to find out if there is a record of her burial but don't see a particular contact person who can help me.  As I am not a direct descendant, I have not been able to get her death certificate which could provide burial information, nor have I been successful due to very strict NYS privacy laws in getting any information from Pilgrim State.  Who can I contact for assistance?  Thanks.

Rita Liegner
Ardsley, New York


Re: Are those gravestones proof my ancestors were jewish? #germany


Totally disagree with the above statements. It is very common for the families of "Conversos" in New Mexico to have a six sided flower on their graves. This is a designation that the family was originally Jewish, and probably converted to save their lives during the inquisition. Also, the problems in post WW1 Germany made it possible for many Jews to hide their identity, and the same for those who fled the nazis to other European countries. With the actual intertwined Star of David on the second gravestone, there should be no different conclusion that both are Jewish since the name "Blunck" is common to both.

Ted Epand
Las Vegas, NV.

Jews fleeing Austria in 1939 #austria-czech

Andrea Tzadik

My Grandfather's first cousin was a medical student in Vienna in 1939.
Once the Nazi's decreed that Jews could not study in any learning institutions,
he fled to Switzerland.I wanted to know if anyone know how people got to Switzerland?
Did they hike over the mountains, or take a train ?
Andrea Tzadik
Santa  Monica,Ca

Re: Jewish community in Salem Conn #usa

Merrie Blocker

Thank you so much for recommending the website.  it is a fantastic historical resource.  My step grandfather grew up on a farm in Salem.  His father was Judah Heilweil.  I have a blog, which includes a post on Connecticut Jewish farmers.   I will now include a reference to the nerf website.  Merrie Blocker. Maryland

Re: Jewish community in Salem Conn #usa

Rivka Horowitz

Jerry Fischer, former head of the Jewish Federation of Southeastern CT (JFEC), produced a documentary a few years ago about Jewish Farmers in CT which is well worth seeing. You can probably contact Jerry through JFEC in New London CT for more info.  See link below.
Rivka Horowitz

Re: Jewish community in Salem Conn #usa

David Lewin

At 14:08 10/12/2021, beckyanderson53@... wrote:
Salem also borders East Haddam, CT, which also had a cluster of Jewish families that were farmers, as well as families who ran small resorts in the area.  Congregation Rofde Zedek, which later merged with Congregation Beth Shalom in Deep River, was founded in East Haddam in 1915.   See:
There were a sizable number of Jewish families who settled in this region of CT.
There is also information about the resorts in that area.  
If you contact Congregation Beth Shalom/Rofde Zedek, they may be able to put you in touch with a member who has more information about the history of Rofde Zedek, and whether families from Salem were also part of that congregation.
Also, there was at least one "fresh air" camp in the area (in Moodus) associated in with a settlement house in the Bronx.   My mother attended this camp as a child in the 1930s.
Hope this helps.
Becky Fogel Anderson
Durham, CT

I think you have the Hebrew lettering back-to-front

Rofde   is a meaningless word.  It  sholld most likely be the Hebrew Rodfei  = pusueres of Shalom

I am sending this to the general discussion list because I do not know who needed your answer

David Lewin

David Lewin

Search & Unite attempt to help locate people who, despite the passage of so many years since World War II, may still exist "out there".
We also assist in the process of re-possession of property in the Czech Republic and Israel.
See our Web pages at

Re: foreign wire transfer for record copying #poland

Bob Silverstein

Go with  Also, see if they have something like PayPal.  I have use the equivalent in Belarus.  You may have to look or ask for the direct payment option.
Bob Silverstein
Elk Grove Village, IL

Researching Kaplan (Krynki, Poland) Tzipershteyn (Logishin, Pinsk, Belarus), Friedson/Fridzon (Pinsk, Cuba, Massachusetts), Israel and Goodman (Mishnitz, Warsaw, Manchester).

Re: Kishinev Revision Lists 1910 #bessarabia

Yefim Kogan

No need,  we already translated the set.  Also it is not easy to get anything from that archive.

Yefim Kogan
Bessarabia Group Leader and Coordinator

7921 - 7940 of 672000