Reminder--Ancestry Library Edition Home Access Ends December 31 #announcements #records #canada #usa

Jan Meisels Allen

This is a reminder that the ProQuest-Ancestry Library Edition that was made available remotely for almost two years ends on December 31, 2021. During the pandemic, Ancestry permitted ProQuest to offer the Ancestry Library Edition remotely in North America  for those libraries that have Ancestry subscriptions. I have been advised that Ancestry notified ProQuest that the remote access ends on December 31, 2021 as more public libraries have reopened.


You need to check with your local library if they have a ProQuest Ancestry subscription that you can access remotely until December 31st.  A library card for that library or library system will be required to access the remote Ancestry access until December 31st. After that date access will only be in the library on their computers.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee



Re: Finding New Jersey County of Marriage #usa #records

Robert Avner

I appreciate the responses. However, many years of the New Jersey Marriage Index in Reclaim the Records & which are copied from Reclaim the Records do not have any information in code or name on the location either county or municipality of marriage.
Robert Avner

Re: Finding New Jersey County of Marriage #usa #records

Sarah L Meyer

If you know the town, I suggest ( go to search city/state).  An alternative is to google city name, state and the word county.
Sarah L Meyer
Georgetown TX
BIRGARDOVSKY, EDELBERG, HITE (CHAIT), PERCHIK Russia (southern Ukraine) and some Latvia or Lithuania

Re: Was Max GORDON (1913-1971) really married? #usa #general

David Harrison <djh_119@...>

Just an idea, maybe the American Army had some rules that were similar to those of British services.   If you did not send the person any money from your pay, they had no pension if you died on service.   At an early stage after enlistment, you completed a simple Will in your documents usually saying I leave everything to Mother, Mrs XYZ. and witnessed by the next bloke sitting beside you.
These were both spelt out to me in 1951 on British National Service.  About a year later I was in a fighting area, for which I later received a Campaign Medal,
David Harrison
Birmingham, England

From: main@... <main@...> on behalf of Shelley Mitchell <Shelley.Mitchell@...>
Sent: 09 December 2021 14:35
To: main@... <main@...>
Subject: Re: [] Was Max GORDON (1913-1971) really married? #usa #general

Is it possible that he listed Rose so that she could, for whatever, receive his benefits in case of death while in the service?  Just a thought. 

Shelley Mitchell, NYC 

Call for Volunteers - Romania Projects #romania #announcements #JewishGenUpdates

Michael Moritz

We are looking for volunteers to help us with the scores of record collections we have acquired that need indexing! Below is a list of towns where we have acquired records that need indexing. If you are interested in helping with these Romanian, German, Hebrew or Yiddish handwritten records from the 19th and 20th centuries, then please fill out our volunteer form here:

Towns with Newly Acquired Records in Need of Transcription -- By Language:

Romanian: Braila, Bucharest, Constanta, Craiova, Dorohoi, Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Galati, Iasi, Odobesti, Ploiesti, Pungesti, Rimnicu Sarat

Hebrew: Braila burial register, Bucharest burial register

German: Suceava BMD, Vatra Dornei BMD, Bucharest landsmanshaft list from NY from 1900-1925 

Yiddish: First Roumanian American Congregation (NY) membership lists from the 1910s

Don't see your town? Or if you are not able to help transcribe but would like to contribute to any of our projects, you can donate here: All help is of course appreciated!

Many thanks!

Michael Moritz

Director, Romania Research Division


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Join us on Facebook:

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

tony hausner

Jay, many thanks for all your great work on this project and to Racheli Kreisberg of our Skala Research Group for her work on the Skala Podolskaya map.  

Tony Hausner
Silver Spring, MD 

Additional USA Alien Case files available via NARA, Kansas City #announcements #usa

Emily Garber

In checking Ancestry's inventory of Alien Case files available via the U.S. National Archives (NARA) branch at Kansas City  I noticed a new listing that may be my great grandmother. Ancestry lists this database as updated. I checked NARA, KC and, sure enough, they indicate that they added more than 1,700,000 records on 9 December 2021. I will soon be placing my order.

US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has had a project to transfer these records from their archives to NARA. The project languished over the last few years. I do not know if these records are newly received from USCIS or ones that had been in a NARA backlog. To read more about Alien Case Files, go to

Information on ordering Alien Case Files via NARA-KC may be seen here:

Good luck with your research!

Emily Garber
Phoenix, AZ

- Looking for great grandfather, Shimshon ZERSHTEIN from Grodno #belarus

Shirley Portnoy


I would appreciate any help in finding ancestral  information about my great-grandfather, Shimshon ZERSHTEIN. He married Sara RIFKIND and they lived in Grodno. She was the daughter of Rav Yeshayahu ha-sofer Rifkind (?-1915) and Leah, from Grodno.


The children of Shimshon and Sara were Feige-Tzirl ZERSHTEIN (died 1925), Hillel ZERSHTEIN, Tzvi ZERSHTEIN, Aryeh Leib ZERSHTEIN, and my grandmother, Zlata ZERSHTEIN HARKAVY(c. 1890-1959). Hillel, Tzvi, and Aryeh Leib unfortunately perished in the Holocaust.


Shimshon was a learned man and a wood carver by trade. He lost both his  legs to diabetes and ended up living in the Jewish home for the elderly in Grodno, not far from Zlata’s home at 26 Mostove St. He was still alive in 1930.


I have tried various spellings and formulations for the name ZERSHTEIN, but to no avail.

I would appreciate any help.


Thank you.

Shirley Amcis Portnoy

MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately



Sent from Mail for Windows


Re: Jews fleeing Austria in 1939 #austria-czech

Bernard Flam

Hi from Paris,
After 1933 from Germany and 1938 from Austria, a lot of Jews but also of nazi's opponents could arrive in France.
When WWII started on 1939 September 1st, they had to register and were sent to interment camps as citizens of an enemy country.
Jews could be released if they agreed to enroll French Army in Foreign Legion regiments : men of my family were Austrian Galizianers and did it.
Mostly after the large French round-ups of Jews during July and August 1942, a lot of Jews found a refuge by being smuggled through the Swiss border.
"Being smuggled" because exactly in August 1942, Swiss government decided that being a Jew trying to save his life was not enough a reason to enter legally Swiss.
In Geneva state by itself, nevertheless ca 9.000 did it.
In this area of Geneva lake, relief isn't mountainous but only fields in a valley : I attach some pictures of the place where my mother (13's) crossed the border, as did ca. 200 Bundists of France (families or children alone).
Today, just a border stone in middle of a field...
But, but, but, in middle of this field, you had to cross two barbed wire lines and French / German patrols which shoot on sight.
And when refugees were caught by Swiss border police, they could be returned immediately to French side, sometimes voluntarily in front of these patrols... 

Concerning refugees crossing to Geneva state, state archives still detain a file for each person (even small children, I have copied 200 of them) as do Bern Federal archives.
Most of other Swiss states (cantons) have destroyed these files after WWII...
A lot of books and thesis (the last from Ruth Fivaz) analyze what has been Swiss policy concerning Jewish refugees during WWII.
You have also a Swiss documentary "Memories of the border".
Bernard Flam
Archives & history of Medem Center - Arbeter Ring of France (Bund / Worker Circle)

Researching my GGPs - Jacob Meyer Levine/ Leavitt - #russia #unitedkingdom #lithuania

john nevulis

     I am researching my maternal great great grandparents. In 1887 they emigrated to the US from England where my great grandfather was born in 1886. Before they arrived in the US the last name appears to have been Leavitt, possibly an English translation of their real name. It is possible that Lithuania was their origin. GGF was Jacob Meyer Levine b. 1868 (circa) and GGF was Leah Waterman Levine. My grandfather had a tenuous relationship with his father (Jacob's son Samuel Saul) and never spoke of his side of the family. Jacob's parents were Abraham and unknown Buni? Leah's father was Israel Tvi Waterman. I have exhausted Geni, familysearch, ancestry, and myheritage. Myheritage DNA has never found Levine relationships past my Grandfather and his siblings. 

     I am hoping to find some connections that lead me to their village and other possible family. 

John Nevulis
MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately with family information

Re: Jews fleeing Austria in 1939 #austria-czech


With the assistance of  Jewish agencies, both my parents left Vienna in 1939, but not together.  My father (one of the last Jews to finish University of Vienna Medical School in 1937) left for England and Kitcherner Camp in Richborough, UK in August, 1939.  My mother traveled alone to UK, and worked at a domestic in Colwyn Bay, Wales.  They kept in touch and in January, 1940 both sailed for the US on the US Georgic, landing in NY February 11, 1940. 
I've been unsuccessful in obtaining their Austrian exit visas or discovering the details of their travel.  Both my parents were able to carry personal papers and some items with them.  How was this possible?  Alas, these were discussions and questions I should have asked prior to their deaths in 2001.
Michael Diamant

Book about Hella Packter during the war, and her family #holocaust


Dear all,

(I understand that a one time book promotion is allowed, please correct me if I am mistaken)

Douwe de Vries from Friesland, whose family helped Hella Pakter, a distant cousin of my mother, go into hiding during the war, has been researching Hella for several years now, and by extension, also Hella's relatives, including our branch. The book is almost finished.
I copy the promotion text of the author below and, attached you'll be able to find the table of contents, both in English, however, the book itself is in Dutch.
According to the author, it will cost about 20-25 EUR. Please refer to me for more details.
Best wishes!
Gershon Lehrer
The promotional text :
(Please note, the book will currently be published in Dutch):
We have resumed our research in 2018 and it has now expanded to 336 pages, including 103 illustrations. In addition to the life story of Hella Pakter (1924 - 2014), we have also been able to include a large number of shorter life stories of her relatives when discussing the family genealogy. In December, work will be done on the lay out of the text and illustrations of our research. To give you some idea about the content, we have included the table of contents here as an attachment. Thanks in part to the contacts with members of the Pakter family, including Mrs. Naomi Papo - Pakter, Simon and Naptali Pakter and many other relatives and experts, the content has increased in quality. During the many years that we have been engaged in the investigation, we have developed an extraordinary amount of respect for Hella Doman - Pakter. Her spirit and her courage to build a new future on her own has made a deep and lasting impression on us. At a certain point it felt as if, following your mother’s footsteps, we got closely acquainted with the horrors of the war years and the years after. One of the important sources was the interview she gave in 1993.

Gershon S. Lehrer
E-mail: Gershon.Lehrer@...

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This email message and any accompanying data are confidential, and intended only for the named recipient(s). If you are not the intended recipient(s), you are hereby notified that the dissemination, distribution, and or copying of this message is strictly prohibited. If you receive this message in error, or are not the named recipient(s), please notify the sender at the email address above, delete this email from your computer, and destroy any copies in any form immediately.
Gershon S. Lehrer
Antwerp, Belgium

Rabbi Mordechai ZACKHEIM-Pinsk (Karlin) mid 19th cent. d. 1853 #rabbinic

Yonatan Ben-Ari

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Yonatan Ben-Ari <yonibenari@...>
Date: Sun, Dec 12, 2021 at 1:31 PM
Subject: Rabbi Mordechai ZACKHEIM-Pinsk (Karlin) mid 19th cent. d.
1853 #rabbinic
To: main@... Notification <main+owner@...>

In a short autobiographical note, my great greatuncle, Chaim Dov
KANTOR, (Pinsk and Zichron Yacov, Israel), writes that the Rabbi of
Karlin, a certain Mordechai Leib of Ruzhin was a relative of his.
According to my research, I presume that this Mordechai Leib was a
ZACKHEIM. Chaim Dov's parents were Yosef and Sarah Hinde KANTOR .
There is an assumption that Sarah Hinde was a descendant of R' Chaim
of Volozhin, but we haven't found the exact connection. Yosef was a
chazan (Cantor) in Karlin.

Does anyone knowledgeable in the extended ZACKHEIM family know how we
may be related. I've seen George S.'s book "The Scattered Seeds" and
have not found the answer there.

Does anyone know of another Mordechai Leib who was the Rabbi in Pinsk
and/or Karlin during the mid 19th cent. ?

Yoni Ben-Ari, Jerusalem

Re: Finding New Jersey County of Marriage #usa #records


Robert, The actual record can be viewed in person at the New Jersey State Archives. They have marriages up to 1948 available on microfilm. Perhaps someone who may be going up there can copy it for you.
Sheryl Levin

Re: Repost of Yiddish writing requiring help with translation #translation #yiddish

Yitschok Margareten

A photo when Nioma was in wartime with peasants in a village and with this I saved his life. 

Yitschok Margareten

Re: Translation from Russian script on back of photo #translation #russia


As a keepsake, I give this card to my loved ones: dad, aunt and brother.
Your daughter and sister.

Translated by Michael Ryabinky
Boynton Beach, FL

Re: Translation of Hebrew Inscriptions #translation


I should have pondered on the matter a bit longer before posting.

The eve of Rosh Hashanah 5631 was still in the year 5630. 

Justin Levy

Re: Help in deciphering a town in Belarus #belarus


Maybe Vitebsk or some other spelling of that like Witepsk. Since Nevel was in Vitebsk Gubernia, that seems likely. 

Susan Slusky

Re: Translation of Hebrew Inscriptions #translation


Thank you all very much for your informative replies. 

It's ironic that David Dubin speculates about a desire for accuracy given that an error or anomaly his crept into the inscription on the older gravestone.

Modern online date converters indicate that 27th Elul 5631 was 13th September 1871, whereas  27th Elul 5630 equates to 3rd January 1870 (the English date on the stone).

Was this a mistake by the person who drafted the inscription or do online converters miscalculate dates in close proximity to the Jewish New Year? 

For the younger gravestone, the same online converters convert 4 Tevet 5663 to 3rd January 1903, i.e. the inscribed dates match.

Justin Levy

Re: Repost of Yiddish writing requiring help with translation #translation #yiddish

David Lewin

At 02:53 12/12/2021, Nate wrote:
Dear Jewish Genealogy Community Members,
Dr. David Dubin was kind enough to state that the writing on the back of this photo was in Yiddish! 
Unlike my father (Noach SZEJNIUK) who passed in 1999 who was multilingual I was not sure what language this was in.  He suggested I repost the writing as shown below to ask if someone in the forum could help translate it for me into English. Here is the picture and the writing in two orientations as I am not use which orientation is correct.  If anyone on this forum also happens to recognize anyone in this photograph and has information on them, please share.
Possible Hiding Family w writing.JPG
Again, Dr. Dubin, thank you again for your guidance!
Thank all of you in advance in these groups for all the assistance you might be able to offer!
Warm regards,

Nate Szejniuk (pronounced: Shen' yook)
Troy, Virginia 22974
 Email: nszejniuk@... 
Andrew Carnegie – “You must capture and keep the heart of the original and supremely able man (person) before his (their) brain can do its best!”

Your photo is typical of the Hebrew term Hach'sha'ra = Preparation training = to make capable = agricultural training of young people before they emigrated to Palestine.  There was a great drive to create Jewish self-sufficiency in Palestine, and it started with food for the people.  It was the stark contrast to people who went to the "Holy Land " for religious reasons.

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

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