Research Hint #general

sharon yampell


I am not sure if this has been brought up but if it has, please forgive me.  Before I even read any message that enters my inbox, I always look to the signature of the person who sent it.  Why?? Because I might find someone researching a last name that I am also researching.


Just this morning, although it was not a name I am looking for, I noticed someone was commenting on a particular last name in their family, a few emails later, there was someone who had that last name AND location in their signature as a name they are too researching…


My point is, you never know where you might find family you never knew you had!


Sharon F. Yampell

Marlton, New Jersey

Re: Defining "townsmen" + explaining surname longevity #ukraine

EdrieAnne Broughton

Feudalism persisted in Russia long after the system had died out elsewhere.  Most serfs were tied to an estate, often as agricultural labor.  You became a 'townsman' when you developed a trade or a skill that was valued above your 'station' and were allowed to escape agricultural work...mainly because the local landowner also valued your 'skill'.  Change happened in degrees and not evenly across a community. 
EdrieAnne Broughton, California

Re: Defining "townsmen" + explaining surname longevity #ukraine

Doug Cohen

In Russia, everybody was a member of a "class."  Your assigned class determined where you could live, what occupations you could have, and subjected you to certain kinds of taxes.

There had been no Jews in Russia prior to 1772 -- Jews were not allowed in.  But there were plenty of Jews in neighboring Poland.  At the first partition of Poland, Catherine the Great inherited lots of Jews in the territory she took from Poland.  She created a line along the old Russo-Polish border and announced that Jews could live west of the line (in what had been Poland, where they had always lived) but not east of the line.  This became the Pale of Settlement.  She also decided that Jews would be classified as Townsmen or Merchants of the Third Rank (unless they were wealthier and could meet the qualifications of second or first rank).  But most Jews became Townsmen, even though many individuals didn't meet the description of Townsmen.

Doug Cohen
Sarasota, Florida
Lexington, MA

Seeking LIthuanian GLAZERS with a Worcester, MA line #lithuania #usa #general

Writing Racketeer

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone has Glazer relatives who immigrated to Worcester, MA. I was also wondering if anyone had any tips for tracing a family member from LIthuania with an exceedingly common surname both there and here.

Researching the ancestry of early 20th c. immigrants to Worcester, MA
🇺🇦 ZABARSKY | MAZER → Belaya Tserkva, Kiev Gubernia
🇱🇹 GLAZER | PESKIN → Somewhere, Lithuania


Lydia Zabarsky
New York

New York City, NY Public Digitized Vital Records Online for Free #records #usa #announcements

Jan Meisels Allen



The New York Municipal Archives, part of the NYC Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS) has published millions of birth, marriage and death records online—for free access!  

 They have been working to digitize the millions of birth, marriage and death records it holds since 2013--the project is only 70% complete-amounting to 9,318,625 digitized records from the late 1800s to 1909. See:


To see the complete listing of records available online go to:

This page will also tell you the years by borough that are available for birth, deaths, and marriages.


To search the indexes you can access them at for free (you will need to register- again that is free)


You can also search the indexes at which is a paid subscription service, which many public libraries have access to the library edition on their in-house computers. Ancestry also has a marriage index containing

many more records than are publicly available from the New York City Historical Vital Records site: New York (, New York,

U.S. Marriage Licenses Indexed, 1907-2018 (


To read the NY Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) release go to:


To start using the records view it by certificate number and year. Searching by name is also available if you know the EXACT name and year. Spelling variations are not currently useable.


To purchase a certified copy of a vital record not available on the aforementioned website, they fill out the vital records form at:

It is advised to read the release to know about downloading the records and the difference between certificates and licenses.


The genealogical community, NYG&B, APG, Reclaim the Records, Records Preservation and Access Coalition and many others are owed for this success.


To access past IAJGS Records Access Alert postings about NYC Municipal Archives, vital records, Reclaim the Records go to the archives located at:

You must be registered to access the archives. To register for the IAJGS Public Records Access Alert go to:

You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized. It is required to include your organization affiliation (genealogy organization, etc.)


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee




Nancy Siegel z'l

jeremy frankel

On behalf of the Board and entire membership of the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society — of which Nancy was a long-time, and valued member, we join with Avraham Groll, and the worldwide Jewish genealogical community, to express our deepest sorrow for the loss of Nancy to her family and friends.

Jeremy Frankel

San Francisco Bay Area
Jewish Genealogical Society

Re: Help translating Hebrew for GOULD #translation

David Lewin

At 19:39 16/03/2022, davidlinda@... wrote:

Please help translate, thanks.

ל�ה גיטל �ודלסמן born גולד

Linda Gold Buford

                      Kobryn, Belarus Belarus - KAMENETZKI - KAMIENKA
                      Russia - SALIMAN, SCHREIBER, SEGAL, WALDMANN
                      Israel - PALTER

Leah  Gittel Udelsmann (or Odelsmann) born GOLD

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

Defining "townsmen" + explaining surname longevity #ukraine

Writing Racketeer

I have two questions for you all:
  • A genealogist I've been working with commented that my ancestors appeared to have had a little money given their inclusion in a census of merchants and burghers. I also just logged 70 ancestral names into a database, and I found that about 10 of them were "townsmen."  I haven't seen any good explanations of "townsmen." Can anyone here explain what that meant in imperial Russia?
  • On a possible related note, I've repeatedly read that most Jews were forced to take surnames in the mid-1800s, so I was expecting that to be the case with my surname. Instead, I have traced Zabarsky back to 1740 in Belaya Tserkva in the Kiev Gubernia region, and I have no reason to believe it's not even older. Why would they have taken a surname so early?

I'd appreciate any insight you might have.

Lydia Zabarsky
New York

Re: Lithuanian internal passport card interpretation #lithuania

Adam Turner

After I posted my earlier message, I noticed something that I hadn't caught before: Chana Karnovsky Mer and Moze Mer have adjacent passport numbers (17568 and 17569), Moze's passport card: 

This Moshe also has a second passport card dated 1924. So it looks like my prior guess was likely incorrect: Chana Mer was very unlikely to have been a widow in 1920, and thus she and Moshe-Hersch probably had no child named Hersch, as Moshe-Hersch was still very much alive when his wife applied for her passport in 1920; rather, the mention of "Girsas" on Chana's passport card is more likely to be some sort of a reference, added in a later update, to her husband's death (this is also consistent with how "married" was crossed out and "widowed" written above it at the top of the card's second page). And that means that Moshe-Hersch Mer could well be the one who died in Kaunas in 1926!

Can anyone confirm that this is indeed how the authorities handled the passport cards - that is, that they sometimes wrote updated information on them years after the applicant originally applied for a passport? I watched Russ Maurer's recent presentation on internal passports, but I don't think this question was specifically covered on the slides that discuss passport cards.

Adam Turner

Looking for Cousins From Lithuania Gerbers/Garber #southafrica #lithuania


My great-great grandparents were Hyman Ludwig, born in Riga Latvia & Dora Gerber, Posvil Lithuania where they lived and had a bakery.  Hyman's family went to America, but Dora's brothers went to Johannesburg & Pretoria, South Africa. If you have any information about the Gerbers (or Garber) brothers in South Africa, I'd be very interested to know. I heard one brother was an irrigation engineer & worked  for the British gov't in Namibia with the Water Dept. This was around early 1900's. Outjo & Outjowirongo are places he may have been.  Other family names: Schlesinger.

Deborah Stone
San Diego, CA
MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately

1840 tax and voters list-Keidainai Lithuania #lithuania

Micki Potchinsky

I have referred to this list in my genealogy notes for family name ZARETSKY but cannot find it to back up assumption.

Can anyone help?

Thank you

Micki Potchinsky
MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately

Researching ZALTSBERG Josvainaini Lithuania

                       MERLING  Itaska Bokovina

                       KLEIN   Maramosa Transylvania Romania

                       ZARESKY   Maladyzna Belarus

                       POTCHiNSKY- Kreslawka Ukraina




Maxine Potchinsky

Brick Wall Zaretsky #belarus

Micki Potchinsky



Sent from Mail for Windows

Peysakh Zeliig Zaretsky b 1822 and wife Perla Genia had 3 children in some Ancestry family trees and 6 in some.

Their 3 oldest children is what I am concentrating on:

Joseph is the patriarch of my Philadelpia Zaretsky family and his sister Rachel is the matriarch of my Binghamton

NY Zaretsky family.  Aside from her birth I cannot find anything else on their third child Chasia.

I need to connect Peysakh to my NY family.  The oldest member of my NY family is Gertsyk I am guessing b about

1810 and his son Leib b about 1830.  One might be an uncle and one a cousin.  Peysakh’s father’s name was


Peysakh is listed as living in Saskevechi Belarus and my family is from Maladyzna, & Vieleika Belarus…but

Jewishgen says Maladyzna and Saskevechi are the same town, different years…..

Can someone please give me some ideas on how to r research  this further??? Thank you.

Maxine Potchinsky
MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately



ViewMate translation request - Cyrillic Russian cursive #translation

Joel Hayflick

I've posted a vital record in Cyrillic cursive script for which I need a translation. It’s from the Birth records in 1870 from Bila Tserkva. Column headings are present to assist. It is on ViewMate at the following address.

Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much.
Joel Hayflick

Re: Help translating Hebrew for GOULD #translation


Golda born Leah Gitel Odlesman  (if you switched two letters it would be Oldsman)
Leah Gitel would be the Hebrew  name givens to a child in memory of two deceased ancestors.  The name Golda would be the civil name. Not unusual to select the civil name using the initial letter to agree with one of the Hebrew names, here Gitel.

David Rosen
Boston, MA

On 3/16/2022 3:39 PM, davidlinda@... wrote:

Please help translate, thanks.

לאה גיטל אודלסמן born גולד

Linda Gold Buford

                      Kobryn, Belarus Belarus - KAMENETZKI - KAMIENKA
                      Russia - SALIMAN, SCHREIBER, SEGAL, WALDMANN
                      Israel - PALTER

Re: California State University at Northridge (CSUN) Library Acquires the USC Shoah Foundation Institute Visual History Archive #announcements #holocaust #photographs #records

Marion Werle

Based on an announcement by the Jewish Studies and History Librarian on the CSUN website, it would seem that they have acquired "access," not the collection itself:

“I am so pleased that our University Library was able to acquire access to the USC Shoah Foundation Institute Visual History Archive (VHA),” Lynn Lampert, Jewish Studies and History Librarian at CSUN. “Now CSUN students from across our disciplines of study will be able to access its powerful collection of testimonies that provide firsthand accountings of the Holocaust, Armenian Genocide, and other atrocities that have occurred in history.” 

Marion Werle

Cohen/Feldmans in Washington, D.C. #lithuania #usa


Hello, I am researching the Cohen and Feldman families from Washington, D.C. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  I am hoping to clarify cousin relationships among immigrants from Kovno.  Thanks
Lynn Dumenil

Re: Help translating Hebrew for GOULD #translation



Gold born Lea Gitel Odelsman ( possibly Udelsman)

Happy Purim,

Malka Chosnek



March 30: Russian Basics for Genealogy webinar from the Center for Jewish History #events

Moriah Amit

Family History Today: Learn Just Enough Russian for Genealogy

Wednesday, March 30, 7 pm Eastern Time / 4 pm Pacific Time (U.S.)

Start by learning the Russian (or Cyrillic) alphabet, both printed and handwritten, and graduate to stringing letters together to form words and names with the guidance of Jane Neff Rollins, a professional genealogist and Russian translator for genealogy databases. With this overview and a bit of practice, attendees will be able to identify family names and basic genealogical terms in handwritten vital record registers and printed business directories. 

Tickets: Pay what you wish; register here for a Zoom link

This program is sponsored by the Ackman & Ziff Family Genealogy Institute at the Center for Jewish History. It is funded, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Live closed captioning has been made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Moriah Amit
Senior Genealogy Librarian, Center for Jewish History
New York, NY

Re: Help with understanding Jewish links and English ancestry #usa #unitedkingdom

Brian Kerr

It indeed can be very challenging, but it can also be rewarding as well. :-))

I've always personally viewed the (valuable) resources that JewishGen provides (like this forum/group) as a "Resource for Regions" that may be geared to families of the Jewish Faith, but I've found that there's also families located within those regions that may not be of the Jewish Faith.

What I meant is, for example, regions that may be predominantly Jewish, but don't practice this specific faith.

-- ~Brian D. Kerr, Esq | SSG, U.S. Army (Retired) | SSA, Brigade G1, U.S. Army (Retired) |>>Known Family Surnames (Researching): Dessler, Walk(Valk), Mahler (Maler), Paradisgarten (Paradisegarten), Tomasy (Thomashy), Gluck, Preisz (Priess), Steinhardt (Steinhart), Grossman (Grosman), Sholtz (Shultz), Kaplan, Bloom, Fischer (Fisher), Levy, Baum, Duwidewic, Meisal (Maisel)<<|>>Known Family Locations/Regions (of Surnames): Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Hungary, Lithuania<<|

Re: Grosv, Rosowick or Rossvie #galicia


A unified search for phonetic match "Kranberg" at Jewishgen gives an entry on the 1906/07 Belarus Duma Voters List for a Movsha Kreinberg, son of Nachman from Grozov, Slutsk district.  A search on Town Finder gives this as Grozovo (now Hrozava), Belarus. This is 25 km by road  NNW of Slutsk.   So your grandfather in law was, probably, from the shtetl "Grozv"  in the "Slutch" district. 

"Rossvie" may be someone's idea of spelling for  "Grosv" said aloud (say Rossvie with rough R sound at the front).  "Rosowyck"  may result from an even lazier transliteration by a draft board clerk.

There is an 1850 Revision List for Grozovo on the Jgen database that has a Nachman Kringaburg, aged 33, missing.  As this seems to be the only record of this name, one might be able to infer that "Kringaburg" is a brave attempt to read an illegible "Kreinberg"  .  

Further steps one might want to consider - what name is given for you gf-i-l's father on his stone?  or maybe on a marriage record?  Does the ship manifest give a home contact name? 

Paul Hattori
London UK

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