People using maternal surname instead of father's name #names

Molly Staub

[Sorry, I can't locate the question sent about why people would use a maternal surname instead of father's surname (vision problems):]

During my three decades of researching family history, I discovered two separate branches where this occurred. I asked why, and was told the recorder hated his/her father and wouldn't use his name. They instead chose to use a maternal grandmother's surname.
Hope this helps,

Molly Arost Staub
Boca Raton, FL

in Ukraine and London

in Bessarabia, Moldova

Re: Need help in Locating Manifest for Aron Gordon #records

Raina Accardi

If you browse the passenger lists by date the St. Louis did arrive in NY on 19 Feb 1905. However, it sailed from Southhampton, not Liverpool. There is an Arie Zackin age 30 carpenter from Minsk. A few people above him are Scolnik, which is the surname of one of the witnesses on his NA papers. He was going to his brother Moische Zackin 329 Jackman st. Brooklyn.
Others of interest were Joseph Gordonovitz 19 painter from Vilna and sister Bashe going to brother Philip/Wolf 95 Christie st. NYC, and Aron Abramovitz 21 and brother Sam going to brother Mendel at 283 E 4th st NYC, but their last residence was Manchester, and were confectioners.
There could be others that fit the bill. You need to look page by page. It helps to know his family and friends, and where they lived, to confirm if you have the right person. The ship that arrived on the same day that was from Liverpool was the Campania. You could look through that one as well. 
Raina Accardi 
Saugerties, NY
Poland: GEVIRTZMAN in Kobylin; JESINOWITZ/YESNOWITZ in Mszczonów; FELSENSTEIN in Parysów.
Belarus: GUTTWOCH/GOODMAN and ZISSERMAN in Volchin; BUSHMITZ in Vysokaye.
Ukraine: TRAUB and JANOVSKY in Kolki, Sofievka, Radomysl, and Zhytomyr; WEISMAN or ROSENBERG.

Judy Silverman

I've posted a photograph with a Polish inscription for which I'd like a translation. It's on ViewMate at the following address:

Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.

Thank you very much.

Judy Zimmerman Silverman
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Re: Louisiana Jews in the American Civil War; looking for specific source or general info #usa

Tina Isaacs

I went to Google Scholar and there were a few interesting possibilities:

Rosen, Robert N. The Jewish Confederates. Univ of South Carolina Press, 2021.
Rockoff, Stuart. "Carpetbaggers, jacklegs, and bolting republicans: Jews in Reconstruction politics in ascension parish, Louisiana." American Jewish History 97.1 (2013): 39-64.
Dinnerstein, Leonard. "The Business of Jews in Louisiana, 1840–1875. By Elliott Ashkenazi. University: University of Alabama Press, 1988. 

Tina Isaacs
London, England

Re: Louisiana Jews in the American Civil War; looking for specific source or general info #usa

R Jaffer

While researching my husband's family from Richmond, VA, I used Fold3 to obtain Confederate records such as lists of materials one ancestor sold for uniforms to various states as well as thread for hospitals. I also found letters requesting such things as time off to go home for Passover and payment for a horse that was shot from under the cavalry soldier. I can't remember if I searched for records for distant cousins who lived in Louisiana. I searched Fold3 using computers at the National Archive branch in Massachusetts.

Roberta Jaffer

Re: Need help in Locating Manifest for Aron Gordon #records

Feige Stern

Hi Ann,

I did a little hunting for you on ancestry and found an Aron Gorsman who was detained, arriving on 1/24/05 on the St. Louis to NY.  I'm not sure if it is him and you might want to go back and see if you can find him in the earlier pages of the manifest.  I ran out of time.

I also checked the 3/20/05 arrival of the St. Louis into NY.

I recommend using the card catalogue on ancestry to pull up the ship records and paging through to see if you can find him.  The naturalization record you posted gives a date but the St. Louis did not come to NY on that date.  So I looked at the Morton Allan directory to find out what dates the St. Louis did arrive into NY.
In 1905 those are listed as:
When you enter the dates, sometimes you have to adjust them a day or two later.  

It's a tedious process but sometimes that's what you need to do.

Good luck,

Feige Kauvar Stern
Cleveland, OH

ViewMate translation needed - Yiddish - family GOLD #translation

David Buford

I would love a translation - the most important is all names (relationships if known), places, births, marriages, deaths
and any other interesting facts. Thanking you in advance.
Linda Gold Buford

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

Ivano Frankivsk #records

Hannah Sperber

Are there any marriage records for this city, Previously Standards.
Hannah Sperber 

Re: Abramovich's Sephardic genealogy #sephardic

David Mendoza

So, the purpose of the report was to stand up for genealogical standards and to protect the Jewish reputation in Portugal. Before the Sephardic Genealogical Society intervened, there was no voice in the Portuguese media saying that Jews believe in ethical behaviour. The impression given in much of the Portuguese media was that Jews were abusing the offer of nationality for financial gain. This feeds into the worst type of antisemitic stereotype.


The scandal in Portugal is about genealogy, but those involved are not genealogists. It is worth commenting that for years the overwhelmingly Ashkenazi world of Jewish genealogy has been fed narratives about Sephardim that are – politely stated - not always genealogically proven.


Kevin’s critique rather misses the point, but let’s address it anyway. As genealogists we work to standards and rely on evidence. The standards supported were stated at the beginning of the report. Kevin names a handful of individuals and implies: (a) they are the tip of an iceberg; (b) we can take unevidenced claims about Sephardim in eastern Europe on trust; and (c) an individual being somewhere a few hundred years ago suggests they remained and had progeny.


(a) We have literally millions of pages of evidence. Sephardic genealogy faces the opposite problem to Ashkenazi in that we are overwhelmed with information. Why do Dotar (dowry), Despachos (emigration) and other communal records reference Sephardim all over the world, but not eastern Europe? The obvious assumption is because there weren’t community members there. We can see Dutch trade with eastern Europe, but where are the Sephardim? We have a few referenced individuals at various times, especially in the German Hanse port of Danzig, but that’s it. Just did a quick search of the early modern Amsterdam notarial archives: zero mentions of Poznan under different spellings, 11 of Danzig under different spellings, 263 of Angola and 120 of Barbados under single spellings. Sephardic trade was largely through family networks. If Western Sephardim went to eastern Europe it would presumably be for trade, so why weren’t they trading? It is the dog that didn’t bark.


(b) There is a wall of unevidenced claims including virtually every Western Sephardic Jew believed or reported to have been active in eastern Europe. It is a short list. The key family with respect to Chabad is PORTUGAL/PORTUGALER. Small problem: there never was a Sephardic PORTUGAL family of which I am aware!!! So who are they? Maybe they were Sephardim who abandoned their name for some reason. Fine. What is the evidence? In fairness to Kevin, Beider who is the authority, hypothesises the family were Sephardic. A hypothesis is not evidence. 


(c) If there is ONE properly referenced genealogy connecting a Sephardic Jew from 17th Century Hamburg to an Ashkenazi family in 20th Century eastern Europe, then I would be fascinated to see it. People are free to take unevidenced assertions on trust, but that is not genealogy.


I did not trouble to read as I assumed it to be antisemitic and/or barking mad.


I am not a geneticist. Obviously members of Sephardic genealogy groups knows the game: “I have 2% Iberian/Mediterranean/North African/etc DNA THEREFORE my family fled the Inquisition”. No. If you are making genealogical claims then you need to provide proof. Saying that members of two populations share genes does not allow extrapolation to a preferred explanation. We need reasoned evidence. Also “Sephardic DNA” is a bit of myth. My own Y-DNA, for example, is bog-standard Iberian. The Avotaynu DNA Project are doing excellent work on this.


Kevin discusses his connections with the Jewish Federation of New Mexico and the Porto community. One has now ended its Sephardic involvement, is being sued in the United States and possibly investigated by the police in Spain. The Rabbi of the other was arrested while trying to leave the country. These are perhaps not the best points of reference.


If Kevin’s beliefs are correct, they would re-write Jewish history. Alternatively, they may be nuts. I suggest he tries to get published in peer-reviewed academic publications. Am happy to discuss properly evidenced family trees compliant with genealogical standards, but not special pleading. Obviously my main concern is that people who have made legitimate applications for Portuguese citizenship should not suffer due to the actions of others, and that there should not be an antisemitic backlash in Portugal.


Best wishes,


David Mendoza

Re: Louisiana Jews in the American Civil War; looking for specific source or general info #usa

Eva Lawrence

Carol Mills-Nichol's book
Louisiana's Jewish Immigrants from the Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France l
Janaway Publishing,  California, 2014
gives lists by family name and forename  with details of the immigrants' origin, and also of their later lives. Just dipping in, I found several Civil war veterans.
Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK.

Re: Kovany, Russia #russia

Denise Fletcher

Hi John

Maybe it’s Kovary?  n and r in handwriting could look very similar:

Good luck with the research.

Denise Fletcher, Sydney Australia 

Re: Need help in Locating Manifest for Aron Gordon #records

Odeda Zlotnick

Please check the file you uploaded as it appears here in your message, after you uploaded it.
It looks totally illegible to me -- can you read it when you click on the image in your message?
Petitions contain birth information, and travel information - about the ship on which the person arrived.  Minsk it totally inland in Belarus, no oceangoing ship would travel from there to the US. 
Odeda Zlotnick
Jerusalem, Israel.

The JGS of Pittsburgh Presents: Kirsten Fermaglich - “A Rosenberg By Any Other Name” #announcements #events #jgs-iajgs

Steve Jaron

Please join the Jewish Genealogy Society of Pittsburgh on April 24th at 1130am (US Eastern) for our upcoming program with Kirsten Fermaglich - “A Rosenberg By Any Other Name”

Our thinking about Jewish name changing tends to focus on clichés: ambitious movie stars who adopted glamorous new names or insensitive Ellis Island officials who changed immigrants’ names for them. But as Kirsten Fermaglich will describe, the real story is much more profound.

For more information and to register please visit

The cost for this program is $5 for the general public.

All programs are free for members of the JGS of Pittsburgh.

This virtual program will be presented via Zoom and recorded. After the program, the recording will be made available to JGS of Pittsburgh members who are current with their dues.

For information on membership and future programs please visit our website at

Steven Jaron

JGS of Pittsburgh President


Call for IAJGS Board Nominations #announcements #jgs-iajgs

Jay Sage

Call for IAJGS Board Applications (please share)

The Call for Applications from candidates interested in serving on the IAJGS Board of Directors is now open. Since this is an even-numbered year, we will be electing six Directors-at-Large to serve two-year terms.

IAJGS Director candidates must be members in good standing of at least one IAJGS member society at the time of their nomination for election and must continuously maintain such membership during their term of office. We are seeking candidates who will contribute to advancing the objectives of the IAJGS as listed below.

We invite all candidates who are interested in serving as a Director on the IAJGS Board to submit a completed Board Application Form online at

Information about the election and nomination process is at The deadline for receipt of Board Application Forms by the Nominating Committee is April 25, 2022, at 7:00 pm EDT.

The term of those Directors elected begins at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting on August 24, 2022, and ends at the conclusion of the Annual Meeting two years later. Candidates should be aware that serving on the board requires a commitment of time and travel expenses.

Elections will be held through electronic voting procedures, which will be completed by August 3, 2022.

Objectives of the IAJGS

The objectives of the Association shall be:

  • To collect, preserve, and disseminate knowledge and information with reference to Jewish genealogy
  • To assist and promote the research of Jewish family history
  • To provide opportunities for the sharing of Jewish genealogical information
  • To aim toward the publication of worthy material in the field of Jewish genealogy
  • To promote membership in member Jewish genealogical societies
  • To act as spokesperson for Jewish genealogical societies in areas of mutual interest
  • To provide member societies with services to help them become more effective organizations
  • To elevate Jewish Genealogy among Jewish people and in the academic community
  • To promote public access to genealogically relevant records
  • To foster creation of Jewish genealogical organizations in new geographical areas

Jay Sage (Newton, Massachusetts, USA
2022 IAJGS Nominating Committee Chair

Birth record in Korosciatyn #ukraine

Vincent Hoffmann-Martinot



How could I get a copy of the birth record of my grandfather, Simon/ Szymon Hoffmann, born on September 20, 1875 in Korosciatyn (Ukraine)?


Many thanks in advance for any help!


Vincent Hoffmann-Martinot

Re: Riverside Cemetery - Saddle Brook, NJ #usa #general

Ina Getzoff

The one question I can answer for you from previous experience is that if you call Riverside Cemetery and ask them how much it might cost to take a picture they might tell you to send a "throw away camera" and they will take the picture and mail the entire thing back to you. You have to also pay the postage for it. 
I have a cousin buried there that I never knew and that is what I did when I discovered that information.
Good luck and glad you are doing well with finding your answers.
Ina Getzoff
Delray Beach, Florida

Obtaining birth certificate from Lask, Lodz, Poland #lodz #poland


I am looking to get a certified copy of the birth certificate for Jacob Aaron Korn,  born in Lask, Lodz, Poland on December 14, 1892.  Any help as to where to obtain it would be of tremendous help.

Thank you in advance for any and all tips/guidance/advice
Lia Sragovicz

Unique Aspects of Jewish Genealogy #announcements #education #jgs-iajgs

Marguerite Kealey

Sunday April 10 2022

1-3 pm PT

Zoom Meeting

Unique Aspects of Jewish Genealogy    by                                                                                                            Debbie Kroopkin

Learning  how to navigate Jewish  genealogy research can be very challenging.   Debbie Kroopkin will present a basic understanding of the steps needed to undertake this research; including: Jewish forenames and surnames, Jewish community migration patterns, reading Hebrew tombstones, and where to begin to search for family, including Israelis, and survivors and victims of the Holocaust


Debbie Kroopkin is a genealogist and Co-President of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. She has a master’s degree in social work administration She has explored her family history for over two decades and now conducts research for others. She has discovered her family origins in Ukraine, Poland and Belarus. Debbie has traced her clients’ families to towns in these countries, as well as Lithuania, Moldova, Romania and more..  Debbie enjoys teaching about the unique aspects of Jewish genealogy research.


In order to register for the presentations, go to our website Welcome to the San Diego Jewish Genealogy Website ( and follow the registration directions. This is a free event for members Non-members: We ask for a small donation ($5) –    

Marguerite Kealey
San Diego Jewish Genealogical Society, Publicity Chair
San Diego County, CA

German translation #germany #translation

Albert Braunstein

I have a few pages from a book in German about the biography of an ancestor.
Willing to pay for a translation by someone who is fluent in German.
Albert Braunstein
Melbourne, Australia

MODERATOR NOTE:  Please reply privately to Albert.  If you do not know how to reply directly to an individual, please see:




Re: What given name is it? German #translation


Thanks Fredel and thanks to other researchers that replied. 
It seems that the name is "Meier" and the confusion is indeed with mixing older and modern German scripts in the same document, even in the same name.
Most of the Jewish records from Wiznitz from the early 1920s are like this. At least we have them.
Melbourne, Australia

Researching (main surnames):

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