Re: Subject: Did individuals ever use names other than their own in Lithuania #lithuania #names

R Jaffer

My husband's g grandfather, c1857 - 1938, took the name of another living man to avoid the draft. He married in Cekiske in 1880 as Shlomo Levin b Movsha from Sirvintos. Shlomo's father had died in Sirvintos in 1867 at the age of 50 of typhus. Presumably, Shlomo or his family needed the money, so he sold his identity. Below is the list of children born to Shlomo Levin, and at the bottom is my husband's grandmother born to the man who was really Yeheskel Gordon, son of Mordecai and Chaya Riva. We inherited a tree with those names and my husband, his cousins, and his father all had the middle name Gordon to keep the surname alive.

Shlomo Levin used the name Samuel Levin when he moved to New York. We don't know if he was really Yecheskel Shmuel, or if he assumed the name of his grandfather who had died in 1868.  However, he didn't want to be buried under the name of Samuel Levin. While the surname Levin is on the headstone instead of his birth surname Gordon, his given name was changed to Charles S., and his Hebrew name is Yechetskl son of Mordecai.

We were never able to find Mordecai and Chaya Rive Gordon and son Yecheskel in any records, in part, because we didn't know where the family had lived. It wasn't until my husband had a very strong DNA match to two Gordon siblings whose g grandfather had emigrated from Odessa that I was eventually able to find their death records in Odessa. Both death records said Mordecai and Chaya Riva were registered in Moletai. Knowing that, I am pretty certain that I have found Mordecai and Chaya in two revision lists, but no sons were listed, only a daughter Ester who was three years old in both 1851 and 1858. I suspect that in both lists the daughter was a son dressed as girl. I don't know how they hid their sons when they were too old to pass as a girl. The first Ester was probably Solomon born c.1849 who emigrated from Odessa, and the second Esther was either another brother, possibly a Yusel I saw in Odessa records, or Yecheskel supposedly born 1857.  Unfortunately, Solomon, his mother Chaya Riva, and possible brother Yusel are not in the extant 1897 Odessa Census.

So yes, stories about men avoiding the draft via false papers are true, and in the case above, for three or more years both men were living in Lithuania, but not the same area.

Roberta Jaffer

Re: Searching for Lewis STEIN, husband of the late Marie Lena STEIN #general #usa

Deborah Winograd

Hi Joyaa,

Try this link to Lewis Stein, it's looks like the person you are looking for.

Deborah Winograd
Wast Falmouth, MA

Re: This week's JewishGen Webinar (DNA Part 2): The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We Are #JewishGenUpdates

Lin Mor

I read The Lost Family by Libby Copeland, it was fascinating, I highly recommend it. Linda Cohen Morzillo

On Mon, Dec 13, 2021 at 11:39 AM Avraham Groll <agroll@...> wrote:
The entire JewishGen community is invited to join us for our next free JewishGen Talks webinar:

Topic: The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We Are
Speakers: Libby Copeland and Jennifer Mendelsohn 
Date: This Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Time: 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

In the book The Lost Family, journalist Libby Copeland investigates what happens when we embark on a vast social experiment with little understanding of the ramifications. She is an award-winning journalist and author, who writes about culture, science, and human behavior and whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, Slate, Smithsonian, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Fast Company. In this talk, Copeland will be joined by well-known journalist and genealogist Jennifer Mendelsohn for a discussion about the book and the significance of DNA testing within Jewish communities and beyond.
Registration is free with a suggested donation. Please click here to register nowAfter registering, you will receive a confirmation email about how to join the webinar.

Re: Please help me identify this lady. Taken in 1876 in New Orleans, I cannot understand her name and I'd appreciate any suggestions #photographs

Shelley Mitchell

Bliow?  Cliow?

Shelley Mitchell, NYC

Re: Subject: Did individuals ever use names other than their own in Lithuania #lithuania #names

Michele Lock

In a case like this, where there is conflicting or unexpected information in the Jewishgen records, it would be helpful to get copies of the original images, especially the 1922 internal passport application and for the 1922 marriage in Lithuania. Both might have more information than in the transcribed Jewishgen records; it is possible that the passport application may have a photo, that would be useful for you to see, especially if you have a photo of your grandfather as a young man.

Now, the following is conjecture on my part - perhaps the father Tsalel decided that once the original Isaak Leib left Lithuania with a maternal relative, that a son from the second marriage could now take this name, especially if 'Isaak Leib' was given in memory of a paternal relative. The other son may have taken on the birth year of the original Isaak Leib as well. 

There is one other possibility, for the Isaak Leib in the passport application giving his father's name as Leib - this may be a paternal first cousin of the original Isaak Leib, who was also named Isaak Leib, both boys in honor of a recently deceased grandfather. In my own family, I have a great granduncle named Charles Louis Lavine, who had two first cousins also named Charles Louis Lavine, and all of them living in the early 1900s in Trenton NJ. They were each named for their paternal grandfather Betzalel Eliezer Levin. No one then thought anything of this, though to us this is truly odd (and maddening for doing genealogy research).
Michele Lock

Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock in Plunge/Telsiai in Lithuania
Rabinowitz in Papile, Lithuania and Riga, Latvia
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lev/Lew in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus

Re: Marriage document date doesn't match other records #records #poland


Thanks for replying!
Good idea but the first one was definitely a religious one.

Shoshanah Glickman
Gateshead, UK

Re: Marriage document date doesn't match other records #records #poland


Thanks Marcie

I know my husband's grandmother thought her birthday was 25 December as she was born on Xmas. But she was born in Russia so it was really on 6th January :)
This is a much bigger difference but I hear what you're saying. 
Sounds like if the name details makes sense, a difference in dates is not a reason to think the document is wrong.

Shoshanah Glickman
Gateshead, UK

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


Please understand that I am referencing the "converses" of New Mexico, people whom you east coast people know nothing about. I never stated that they were Jewish and had a cross on their grave. These families are practicing Christians, but they know and understand that they are descended from Jews who were forced to convert. They acknowledge their ancestry in very different ways. They light candles on Friday nights. They put six sided flowers on their gravestones, and around their homes. I never said they were practicing Jews now, but they honor the practices of their ancestors. The inquisition followed them here and then onto South America. So judging by that standard, the same could be true for this gentleman's family, except in Germany. Please open your minds to the vast experience of Jewish migration around the world, and the varying customs that they all absorbed. I was born in New York City, and have migrated from there to the midwest, and west coast. You would be amazed at the differences among Jews in all areas of even this country.


Ted Epand
Las Vegas

Re: Zvenigorodka #ukraine

Dr. Teodoro S. Kaufman

Hi, I am looking for the Divinsky family in Zvenigorodka. Saul was born in 1855. Could you please give me directions to search the Familysearch files? Thanks in advance, Teodoro Kaufman

Re: A Window into our Past: 10th of Tevet #holocaust #JewishGenUpdates

Penny Rubinoff

Too bad just Jews are reading this.  We know about the horrors and the cruelty.  Many others don’t.

Penny Rubinoff


From: main@... <main@...> On Behalf Of Avraham Groll
Sent: December 14, 2021 8:39 AM
To: main@...
Subject: [Special] [] A Window into our Past: 10th of Tevet #holocaust #JewishGenUpdates


Dear Friends,

Today is the 10th day of Tevet on the Jewish calendar, which marks the beginning of the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem (portending the destruction of the First Temple). After the Holocaust, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel declared this day to serve as a memorial for those who died in the Shoah, and for Kaddish to be recited in memory of those whose date of death is unknown. 

Within this context, we share with you this excerpt from the Yizkor Book devoted to remembering the Jewish community of Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski, Poland. JewishGen is in the process of translating this book (originally published in 1971), which tells the history of a Jewish community that existed for hundreds of years, and of whom only a small percentage of its Jewish population would survive the Holocaust. 

The following chapter was written by Aron Tsaytlin, and describes the martyrdom of Rav Yehezkel Halstock, the last Grand Rabbi of the town, who was murdered on this very day - the 10th day of Tevet - 79 years ago.

If you would like to learn more about this book, please visit: To search our collection of translated Yizkor Books, please visit:

 - The JewishGen Team


The Martyrdom of the Last Ostrovtser Rebbe
by Aron Tsaytlin
JewishGen Translation by Tina Lunson

The tenth of Tevet is the yahrzeit for a Rebbi who on that day was killed al Kidush Hashem in Hitler's Poland. It is the Rebbe Rov Yekhezkel may God avenge his blood, the son and heir of the old Ostrovtser Rebbe.

The yortsayt of the Rebbe falls on the tenth of Tevet and also of another twenty of his khasidim, who were murdered on the same day. I know this from a document, from a letter, that I have in my possession and which I publish here. The letter was sent to me some time ago by a Jew from Tsoyzmir (Sandomiezsh) who saved himself and has lived the last years in Canada – Mr. Yeshaye Zoberman.

Here is his shocking letter, which depicts the martyrdom of the Rebbe and of a Jewish witness:

“After the slaughter in Ostrovtse there were only about fifteen hundred Jews left, who worked in a factory six kilometers from town, in Bodzshekhov. The Ostrovtser Rebbe, Rov Yekhezkel, was hidden among those remaining. The Gestapo suddenly raided the whole work site, searched for the Rebbe but did not find him. It was decided to take the Rebbe to Tsoyzmir. 

At that time there was a second ghetto in Tsoyzmir – the first had already been eradicated. The German authorities published a so-called ironclad decree to all the Jews hiding in forests and fields, in attics and cellars, that if they returned voluntarily to Tsoyzmir nothing would happen to them and they would get work, bread and an apartment. The Germans spread the rumor that those who returned would survive the war. Thousands of Jews who had been in hiding were drawn to Tsoyzmir from all directions. Had they believed the Nazi persecutors? No. But there was no alternative. They were weary to death, terribly tortured by hunger. The winter had been a frightfully cold one – there was no more strength for suffering.

But the Tsoyzmir ghetto was then ruled by the Nazi murderer Lesher. He made the ghetto assemble twice a day for him to “give attention” and he recounted to see whether all the ghetto-folk were there. When someone was sick, pregnant and so on, they went to their home and shot them on the spot. A hope nonetheless glimmered in Jewish hearts that they might somehow outlive the murderers.

It was under such circumstances that they brought the Rebbe to Tsoyzmir. His entire head was bandaged up so that his beard was not visible. The Rebbe was smuggled into the ghetto for a hefty fee, set up in a closed house where the entrance was walled up, and they served him and brought in food through a hole in the floor.

This was in the second half of Kislev.

Two weeks later the Gestapo chief Braun came to the ghetto. Tsoyzmir ghetto was under his command. He went into the Jewish community office and demanded that they present the Ostrovtser Rebbe within one hour. When they told him that the Rebbe was not in the ghetto he let it be known that if they did not present the Rebbe to him within the hour, he would order that two hundred Jews with their wives and children be burned alive in the shul.

The leaders communicated with the Rebbe. The Rebbe told them to take him to the Gestapo chief. The Rebbe did not answer the murderer's questions. The Gestapo chief photographed him several times in various positions. After that he ordered that the community leaders take the Rebbe under their responsibility until tomorrow at nine in the morning when he, Braun, would come for him. Should it happen that the Rebbe fled he would carry out his “coercion”: he would burn two hundred Jews.

In the community office where the Rebbe was sitting, they began gathering Jews and reciting psalms. The Rebbe immersed himself in the mikve that was in the ghetto. He chopped through the ice and immersed himself.

No Jew in the Tsoyzmir ghetto slept the entire night. All were reciting psalms.

Since it was almost day (it was the tenth of Tevet) the Rebbe dressed in a white kitel, prayed, recited slikhes and al kheyt – the whole ghetto wept together.

At exactly nine o'clock the Gestapo murderer showed up, accompanied by Nazi gendarmes. Twenty Jews appealed to the persecutor with a request: they would volunteer to give their lives for the Rebbe's. Braun laughed; very well, he would carry out their request. He would shoot all of them, but along with the Rebbe. And he ordered the gendarmes to arrest the twenty Jews. Then they told them to position the Rebbe in the shul courtyard against the wall. When he pointed his revolver at the Rebbe the Rebbe called out loud and fast, “Shema Yisroel, d'alkeynu, d'akhod”. Six bullets the Nazi bandit shot into the holy man. A peasant wagon had already been prepared. They laid the martyr in the wagon and ordered it be driven to the cemetery. The twenty arrested Jews had to dig a large common grave for themselves in barely an hour. They were shot soon after.

This happened on the tenth of Tevet sav-shin-giml (13 December 1942).” 


The dedication of the memorial at the grave of Rov Yekhezkel may God avenge his blood

Ostrowiec Jews performing a memorial service for their town's victims on the memorial day specially fixed for them

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

Renée K. Carl

I have some clarifications to add to this post, and I have reconfirmed them with a friend who works on the A-files at NARA-KC. is a big driver of the need for this clarification. A number of years ago, it obtained the original index from NARA and put online, and had not updated it in more than 3 years. However, the data they have added to their catalog was not received from NARA directly, but created by programming a bot scrape of the data from the NARA catalog.
Ancestry has further confused the matter by keeping the old data, and adding in the newer NARA catalog additions. There exist thousands of duplicates! They have also scraped some field codes that will certainly confuse people. It was confirmed to me today that NARA has, at the most, 1.5 million A files in its holdings right now, and 1.2 million accessible in the  NARA catalog.
The most accurate place for a person to check for Afiles is the NARA catalog. The entry for A files held at NARA-KC is, and people should use the "Search Within" button in the middle of the page. The search for San Francisco/San Bruno is  Note that the best way to search is with the A number, but if that is not available, search by name, but only within the catalog entry for Afiles.

To order an A-file, the correct form to use is at this link:, though you can also simply email KC or SF/SB at the address in the link, along with all the data for the Afile. The form link posted in Emily's message is an old one, which will hopefully be pulled from the NARA site this week.
Prior to ordering, people should be aware that KC has been hit very hard by Covid and was closed for many months, and I do not believe is taking new orders. The status of both KC ( and San Bruno ( can be checked online.
There is a system in place for USCIS to transfer the Afiles for individuals born 100 years ago over to NARA. Unfortunately at the moment Afiles are the only USCIS documents regularly being accessioned by NARA.  For more on USCIS records, you can check the USCIS Genealogy Program, or read about the records at

I hope this helps to clarify for people and causes less frustration. Good luck!
Renee Carl
Washington DC

Irish Jewish Roots in JGSGB UK Database on JewishGen #unitedkingdom #records

Peggy Mosinger Freedman

I am mentoring someone who is researching his uncle, Joseph David BLAUFOX.

We know that Joseph David was born in London in July 1892, emigrated to the USA in 1900, and fought with the RAF (probably via joining in Canada) during World War I and stayed in Great Britain for a few years after the war.
We found this record of David BLAUFUKS in the JGSGB UK Database.  

We know that Joseph David used the name "David" some of the time, so it could be a simple membership listing, or it could be the record of the man that Joseph David was named after!

Most JewishGen records link to a page that describes the source.  This record links to a very general information page about Irish Roots.
Does anyone know how to determine when and where this record is from?

Thank you!
Peggy Mosinger Freedman

Leah Kushner

Santa Cruz Jewish Genealogy Society  invites you to  

Finding Your Jewish Documents in the Ukrainian Archives

Speaker: Alex Krakovsky

Sunday, January 9th- 1 pm Pacific Time Zone/4 pm Eastern


Free to Members, $5.00 to Guests

If you have Ukrainian ancestry, this presentation and explanation of obtaining documents is a must.  Alex Krakovsky will share his database as a research tool and a method to finding and understanding scanned archival images.  He will discuss his work in the Ukrainian archives. 

Alex was born in  Kyiv in 1982. He graduated from Kyiv Polytechnic Institute in 2005. Alex Krakovsky is one of the most influential figures in modern Jewish genealogy. Most notable is his goal to digitize and publish online all of the Jewish records in Ukraine. He has spent years in Ukrainian archives finding previously unknown Jewish list made available by taking the government to court using the Freedom information act.  He has won many lawsuits with Ukrainian archives to make records open and available to everyone. 

Zoom link will be sent to your email the week of the event, please check your Spam folder. For more information or membership information membership.scjgs@...

Contact: Leah Kushner

President, SCJGS
Santa Cruz, California


For more information or membership information membership.scjgs@...
co-sponsor- Chadeish Yameinu
Leah Kushner, SCJGS

Seeking emigration information FROM the U.S. #israel #poland #usa


After arriving in the U.S. from Milelec Poland in 1880, My gr. gr
Grandparents, Leib and Chuma HONIG emigrated to Palestine roughly
1900. I believe they may have taken 1 or 2 of their grandchildren
with them

They left their 9 children in the U.S and all of their grandchildren
to live out their lives in Jerusalem.

I would love to find any documents, passenger lists etc leaving the U.S.
I have yet to see that type of information on Ancestry...ever...

thank you

Michael Salzbank
MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately with family information

Help with translating response from Bucuresti town hall #romania

Sarit Klein

Hello. I'm hoping someone can help me understand the gist of the attached letter from the Bucuresti town hall. I wrote in an effort to obtain my grandmother's birth record from 1916 and I believe the response states that such records can only be provided to a legal representative. However, my understanding was that records older than 100 years are available to the public -- is that not the case?  Does the letter state that the record exists in their archives? Thanks in advance for any guidance/advice.

Sarit Klein
MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately

German Translation and Purpose of Documetn #germany #translation

Allan Karan

I've posted a vital record in German for which I need a translation. It is on ViewMate at the following address ...

Thank you very much.

Allan Karan
MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately

Re: Subject: Did individuals ever use names other than their own in Lithuania #lithuania #names

Cathy Miller

Thank you

Interesting to know that the practice using deceased peoples names is true (in the case of your cousins) - in this case my grandfather was not deceased but perhaps because he was on the other side of the world it was safe to use his name in Lithuania
Cathy Miller, New Zealand

Re: Marriage document date doesn't match other records #records #poland


From my experience and some things I have read mentions that :People in Europe were not so invested in proper dates. Also peoples memories differed at different times.  My grandmother's birthday was "unknown" by my family.  Then found another document -my great grandfather' naturalization papers, that showed one date and then I found her actual birth certificate in Poland. I would "trust" the earliest record until another more credible record comes to light.. In my uneducated, humble opinion
Marcie Murray
Minneapolis MN

Re: Marriage document date doesn't match other records #records #poland

Diane Jacobs

The only thing that comes to mind is that the first marriage was civil and the second was
Religious ie. performed by a Rabbi.

Diane Jacobs

On Dec 14, 2021, at 11:48 AM, srg100@... wrote:

Does anyone know why the date on a Polish marriage record would be in January 1897, while the marriage date recorded on the couple's children's birth certificates is in March 1897?
My great grandparents marriage record says they were married in Szrensk, Plock Gubernia on 22 January 1897.It's definitely the right record, the place and all the names  match.
My grandfather was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1901 and his birth certificate has his parents' marriage as being on 8 March 1897. His brother's birth certificate has the same marriage date on it. The informant was my great grandfather in both cases.

Many thanks.
Shoshanah Glickman
Gateshead, UK

Diane Jacobs, Somerset, New Jersey

Re: Seeking any descendants of Herscu Grinberg/Aprivei #romania #general

Diane Katz. SURNAMES/TOWNS: Laske/Ladyzhin;,Steinberg Kiev; Grunberg Rheinhorn/Iasi; Milston/Slutzk; Bicz/Mogilev; Glas/Varniai; Moskowitz/Nagy-Saros Klein/Eperjes; Hefliech/Hungary; Marks/Machester/Suwalki; Shedrofski/Suwalki

My great great grandfather Chaim Grunberg I believe born 1832  but may have been later (not sure where I got the date) lived in Iasi, Romania.  He has a sister Judes born 1845.  I have their parents as Baruch and Etla - but that could be wrong.  I use so many sites but don't always transfer sources to my main updated tree which I keep on ancestry.  I definitely know this:  Chaim was married to Miriam/Marianne  Rheinhorn b. 1849.  The only two children I know of are Sophia and Yetty Grunberg.  Yetty was my great grandmother.  I'm always trying to find other siblings of my ancestors from Europe.  Do you have your DNA uploading anywhere so we could try to make comparisons?  Please contact me. Diane
Diane Katz

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