Re: Searching for Riuva/Rivka/Sonia Levine or Levine #russia #belarus


Thanks very much for flagging this Sherri. After a fair bit of trial and error I’ve managed to find her death certificate.

Seems her legal name was Sarah Rubimova Levin (married to a McQuaid) when she died (but has Sonia on her headstone?). They weren’t married in NI it seems so need to keep hunting for a marriage certificate.
AC Calvert

Re: Using given names to find populations of common descent #names

David Oseas

The Social Security Administration's website has a list of popular given names by decade.  However, it only starts in 1880:

David Oseas

Re: Searching for Riuva/Rivka/Sonia Levine or Levine #russia #belarus

Sherri Bobish


Have you seen this site regarding Northern Ireland civil registration records?

If you haven't yet, try searching for her marriage & death certs.

Best regards,

Sherri Bobish

Re: question regarding records #records

Sherri Bobish


I assume you are looking at this on-line scan of the marriage cert?

Looking at his mom's maiden (with a magnifying glass), to me it looks something like KOSOWITZ.  Even when names are easier to read on vital records I have seen names written with much more variation from the actual name.

Benjamin's 1922 marriage cert does not give mom's name.  Gives father as Samuel.

Another document that should have his mom's maiden name (although not 100% guaranteed) is Joseph's original SS5 (Social Security application.)  Joseph would have filled this out in the mid-1930's.  Some are transcribed on-line in this Ancestry database:
U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index

I don't see Joseph's name, but you can try searching the database yourself.  You can also request his SS5 (it is not free), instructions here:

You can also search for the SS5 of Benjamin.

On Joseph's WW11 card he lists his brother Benjamin at 623 Avenue S in Brooklyn. 
On the 1940 census Benjamin is at 619 Avenue S.
Benjamin COOK, born about 1894.  
wife - Sarah, born about 1900.
Seymour, born NY, about 1926.
Melvin, born NY, about 1930.

Benjamin's WW11 card gives his name as Benjamin KUCK, address 623 Avenue S, born Melnick (probably a mispelling of Chmielnik.)

Joseph's nat papers give his birthplace as Keltz (Kielce.)

Chmielnik, Sobkow & Kielce are all very close.  I'm sure there was a lot of back & forth between these towns.

I see that Joseph and Benjamin served in The U.S. military.  You might try obtaining their service records.  I do not know if parents names will be there, but you never know what clues you may find.

Death certificates should have mom's maiden name, but remember that is second hand information.

Good luck in your search,

Sherri Bobish

RATOWSKY / CHAIMSON (Ariogala, Lith.); LEFFENFELD / FINK / KALTER (Daliowa & Jasliska, Pol.)
BOJDA / BLEIWEISS (Tarnow & Tarnobrzeg, Pol.); WALTZMAN / WALZMAN (Ustrzyki Dolne, Pol.)
LEVY (Tyrawa Woloska, Pol.); SOLON / SOLAN / SOKOLSKY (Grodek, Bialystok, Pol.)
BOBISH / BLUMENKRANZ / APPEL / WEINER / ROSENBERG (Vysoko-Litovsk, Brest, Biala Podlaska)

Re: DP Camps in Cyrpus #holocaust


Hi Rose,

I have searched the IGEA collection (and I am a member).  It sent me to Bintivey Ha'apala. I am having trouble navigating that website. If you have any tips or tricks that would be great. I speak, read, and write Hebrew which might help.  I also need tips and tricks for the JDC collection. There is a possibility that my greataunt never went to a DP camp. It is not documented in her records from Arolsen Archive- any thoughts on that theory?


I am also wondering if there is a way to get her marriage and death certificates from Israel.

Elef Hodot- Shabbat Shalom
Deborah Barany
Deborah Barany

Re: question regarding records #records

Shelley Mitchell

I find the first helpful documents for immigrants is their Naturalization Petition. It includes name changes. Another is the burial records of Joseph’s parents. It might also help to get the death certificate. 

Shelley Mitchell, NYC

Sending payment to Zhytomyr State Archives #ukraine

Lina Goldberg

Hi there,

I've need to make a small payment to the Zhytomyr State Archives in Ukrainian currency (UAH). For some reason Wise/Transferwise will not let me make the transfer through them (they seem to be only allowing payment to personal cards in Ukraine), and none of my banks offer payments in UAH. The archives say they cannot accept payment in another currency.

Does anyone have any experience making payments to the Zhytomyr State Archives? If so, how did you do it? 


Lina Goldberg

Re: Using given names to find populations of common descent #names

Peggy Mosinger Freedman

There is an interesting graduate student thesis on a similar topic - how Ashkenazi names were Americanized - that includes a statistical analysis of immigration records (for the Yiddish name) and censuses and city directories for the American name.  It is very dense, and I haven't read it all.  You can find it yourself at:
From Rochel to Rose and Mendel to Max: First Name Americanization Patterns Among Twentieth-Century Jewish Immigrants to the United States (

I have the same question as Robert about names in Austria Hungary.  The given names Herman and Jacob and David appear frequently in the SPIELBERGER family.  But I cannot tell if it is one Spielberger family or several families that took the same surname.  Some of the families "daughtered out" so the DNA is inconclusive.

If anyone knows of an article about "Most Common Given Names" in the 19th Century, please share it!

Peggy Mosinger Freedman
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Joseph Maneson town in Hungary #hungary

Marilyn Levinson

I am trying to read, with no luck the town in which my ancestor was born.  I have attached a copy of his declaration of intention, and wonder if any one can decipher the name of this place.  Thank you for your help.
Marilyn Levinson
Spring Lake NC

Major new Andrzejewo records extraction project launched #poland #records


Long-time Andrzejewo and area researchers will be pleased to learn that Jewish Records Indexing - Poland has undertaken a huge new “Phase 3” project to fully extract all Andrzejewo birth, marriage, and death records from 1826 to 1935 (births up to 1921). To carry out this major initiative, we also have acquired scans (digital images) of currently available Andrzejewo records in the Łomża branch of the Polish State Archives (up to 1910).


As Town Leader, it would be my pleasure to send you a full description of the project and explain how you will be able to obtain the extracts of your family records as they become available and before they go online.


I look forward to hearing from you.


Steven Zedeck

Town Leader, Andrzejewo Phase 3 extraction project

Re: DNA help #dna

Theo Rafael

Facebook is THE place for DNA discussions. There are quite a few groups on the subject and some very knowledgeable people. I haven't found any other forum which such breadth and depth. Even browsing existing discussions can be very helpful, and one can also pose new questions and get people's input.
As someone already mentioned, it's up to you to divulge (or not) any info about yourself on FB and you could use such an account strictly for genealogy research for instance and ignore other aspects of FB if you're so inclined. To really be in control though you need to learn the intricacies of privacy, notifications etc, it's quite a lot of detail if you start from scratch.
Good luck!

Theo Rafael

Re: DP Camps in Cyrpus #holocaust

Rose Feldman

Have you tried the IGRA collection? We don't have everything but we do have somethings.  Also try the JDC collection.  Remember the same name can appear with different spellings, so do to typographical errors or not understanding the pronunciation.
Rose Feldman
Israel Genealogy Research Association
Winner of 2017 IAJGS Award for Volunteer of the Year

Re: Triangulated DNA matches and Pile-up Areas #dna

Phil Karlin

Given the length shorter than 7 cM, I agree it's probably not worth pursuing. I don't disagree with anything Adam or Ellen already wrote. 

That said, I don't think I've ever seen in my results a 5-way triangulation. If you drop #2 (orange) does the triangulation with the others lengthen? How about if you drop #4 (green) as well? 
I think a long shared segment in a pile-up region is still a long shared segment. It just may be from a common ancestor further back than the same size segment in a non-pile-up region, and so less predictive. 

Final thought: whether researching something is "a waste of time" depends on how much time you have and what else could you be spending it on. If the prize is big enough, the investment may be worth it, even if it's a long shot.

Phil Karlin
Hartford, CT USA

This week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page #yizkorbooks #belarus

Bruce Drake

There is much to enjoy in “Only Memories Are Left” from the Yizkor book of Dokshytsy, Belarus. I can only compare its words to a vivid painting in its descriptions of the town and its environs.
“Sprinkled with beech trees, the road traverses the forests and the villages… There is silence and only the herdsman's flute dares interrupt the bliss… Not only the flute shatters the tranquility - A great sound suddenly is heard: " Ku ku-ku ku-ku ku-ku ku" - among the tree tops - the mockingbird… A flock of snow-white doves flying among the trees. An eye-full of blossom and new life! A new spring has conquered the land…Autumn - sheafs of standing corn - like wigwams. The smell of dry hay... And, in winter, whiteness and frost. Trees tops and house roofs covered with snow. At home - plated windows. A blazing stoked fire-place, and the windows full of blossomed frost lilies.”
The same eloquence touches stories of Disha leaving for America, the bonding of the people over the making of matzoh as Passover approaches, the joy of the children at the advent of Hannukah, young people sitting on the hay in a barn singing, "with feelings of nostalgia, warmth and love all around."
And the lament that ends the chapter after all these things have been wiped out by the Holocaust:
“In the town: streets, alleys, squares, markets, synagogues and schools. Children, boys, women, grown-ups, elderly - everything is gone to dust. Only stories are left, memories, nostalgia and a heart torn in infinite grief.”

Bruce Drake
Silver Spring, MD

Towns: Wojnilow, Kovel

Using given names to find populations of common descent #names

Robert Weinberg <weinberg@...>

Over the past 50+ years as I've pursued research on my Westphalian family I have noticed strikingly variable  patterns of first name usage in various regions within the province of Westphalia.  Since the practice of naming a newborn after a deceased relative was followed, it seems rigidly, these clusters seem to form large kindreds that are descended from common founding ancestors and may (in parallel with genetic/DNA studies) indicate relatively recent settlement and expansion of founding families 3 or 4 centuries ago.  As examples, among the men's names, the area of the Münsterland had many Leffmanns which were virtually absent in neighboring areas to the south and east, Cosmann localized in the area closer to the Rhine including the Ruhr area, Nachmann was virtually absent in most areas of Westphalia but common to the southeast, Sussmann was used almost exclusively in the northern parts of neighboring Hesse (and possibly further south)., Bendix was common in most areas of Westphalia but relatively uncommon further south, Feibes in eastern Westphalia incl. the Münsterland.  I could extend this list and have not studied women's given names because they often appear as diminutives.  I'm wondering whether any of us have ever undertaken such survey to complement the results of DNA sequencing analyses since his approach is able to associate common descent in populations of long-deceased member of these often-large kindreds.

Bob Weinberg, Brookline MA

Re: Triangulated DNA matches and Pile-up Areas #dna



I believe that I attended the same DNA workshop that you did.  I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but the instructor suggested using DNA Painter.  My understanding was that DNA Painter will automatically identify the pile-up regions so you can exclude them.    

I agree with Adam.  Even though MyHeritage is showing triangulation, if the shared segment is less than 7 cM, I would disregard it.  

Ellen Morosoff Pemrick 
Saratoga County, NY


Radymno 1849 cadastral map now on Gesher Galicia's Map Room #galicia #poland

Jay Osborn

We've just posted a new map on the Gesher Galicia Map Room: a full-color 1849 cadastral map of the Galician town of Radymno:

Radymno today is a small town in southeastern Poland, halfway between Jarosław and the border with Ukraine, but the historical map shows that already by 1849 it had a mature town square and built features reflecting growing economic status. Redline revisions made on this copy of the map at an unknown later date (before WWI) indicate changes to building and land parcels including splits, merges, and the straightening and widening of roads. A major change hinted at in the redlines is the taming of the river which once passed just east of the town square, reduced to a narrow channel while the great San River still passes by farther to the east. To the north of the town center at the end of a narrow road, a small Jewish cemetery is seen to be evolving and growing.

This stitched digital composite map was assembled and presented in interactive format by Gesher Galicia. The original paper map is preserved by the Polish State Archive in Przemyśl. To see many more cadastral maps of Galician cities, towns, and villages, visit the Gesher Galicia Map Room:

Jay Osborn
Gesher Galicia Digital Maps Manager
Lviv, Ukraine

Origins of the Sephardic Mendoza family - Sunday Meeting #sephardic


The Mendoza family of London is believed to be the largest in the Western
Sephardic diaspora, with members scattered around the world. In many
respects, it is a typical example of a poor Western Sephardic family. What
are the origins? What do we know and what do we not know? Using DNA and
archival records from Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and England, David
Mendoza will present a speculative history of the family from pre-history to
1750s London.

David Mendoza has a background in business-to-business market research and
developing statistical models of markets. He was (then) the youngest person
elected to a committee of the UK's Market Research Society and is a Fellow
of the Royal Geographical Society. For the last few years he has worked as a
professional genealogist. With Ton Tielen he hosts the weekly Sephardic
World talks.

The meeting is on Sunday 3 July 2022 at 11am in LA, 2pm NYC, 7pm London, 8pm
Paris/Amsterdam and 9pm Jerusalem. Patrons can join us on Zoom. The link is
shared at our Patreon page at: Everyone is
welcome to join us on YouTube at: PLEASE subscribe to the
YouTube channel. It helps us a lot and costs you nothing.

Watch our last speaker, Carol Castiel, discuss The Moroccan Jews of Cabo
Verde - Preservation of Memory.

Over the last two years Sephardic World has become the leading forum for
learning about Sephardic history and genealogy. We have no commercial
sponsorship or public funding. There is no charge to attend our meetings or
to view our content. If you are not a patron and can afford it, please
consider supporting our work.

Best wishes,

David Mendoza and Ton Tielen
Sephardic Genealogical Society

Re: Alternates for first name Blimah #names

Marcel Apsel

Blima can be translated as Flower in English, Fleur in French, Perach, Pericha and Pircha in Hebrew.  Another yiddish variant is Bluma.


Marcel Apsel

Antwerpen, Belgium  


Holocaust Exhibit at Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City #announcements #holocaust #usa

Jan Meisels Allen



The Museum of Jewish Heritage- A Living Memorial to the Holocaust opens a new exhibit: The Holocaust: What Hate Can Do on July 1. The exhibit aims to bring the horrific history to life through hundreds of objects and survivor testimonies including many on display for the first time ever. JewishGen is an affiliate of the Museum.


The exhibit uses 750 original objects, photos, film, and personal stories donated by survivors and their families who settled in New York and nearby to "tell a global story through a local lens," a spokesperson from the museum said in a statement. The artifacts speak to times before, during, and after the Holocaust, including Jewish life and experiences of "legalized racism and fascism, pogroms, ghettos, mass murder, and concentration camps."


The exhibit also includes an audio tour narrated by several speakers, including actress Julianna Margulies. The audio tour is available to download through the free Bloomberg Connects app.

of which the Museum is a partner.


For information on the cost of tickets and more see:


You are required to sign to register in advance with your name, address and email address.


There is a curator talk, The Holocaust: What Hate Can Do on July 7, 2022 which is virtual. While free there is a suggested donation of $10.00.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


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