Re: How many "first names" did people have? #names

Adam Cherson

This may not apply to your fact pattern, but I have sometimes seen the patronymic style of naming, A ben B, turned into the name A B. In other words the father's given name becomes the surname of the son. In this instance, perhaps Yeruchim is Yeruchim Elkhanan (or just Chanan)  ben Tsvi Girsh, which then becomes Yeruchim Tsvi or Yeruchim GIrsh on various records, while to his family he remains known as Chona.
Adam Cherson

Re: Photo of headstone in Portsmouth needed, please #unitedkingdom

Martyn Woolf

There are a few photos of headstones in the Fawcett Road Cemetery in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. The cemetery is actually in Southsea which is adjacent to Portsmouth but the community was one.
If you go to the following website it might help.

Best regards for 2021
Martyn Woolf

Help with photo style, trend, oil painting portraits years needed #belarus #galicia #hungary


I have some old family photos - coloured - one oil painting with a Chinese outfit on and a photo that appears caricature type. I just wondered if anyone knew of these? What year? One of mine will have been for sure before 1912. I have just got a smart match from Israel with some of the same style photos on, but were these type of photos around everywhere?
Thanks in advance
Mandy Molava
Researching Belarus, Brest, Galacia, Hungary

Re: Vinitsky/Winitsky from Detroit, Mich. #usa


Re VINITSKY/WINITSKY.  Do you have any first names, or where they were from?
We have traced VITENSKY/WITENSKY that arrived in England and the the beginning of the 20th century.

Maxine Goldsmith
San Diego

December 2020 Summary of IAJGS Records Access Alert #general #jgs-iajgs #records

Jan Meisels Allen

As mentioned previously, every month I post a listing of the IAJGS Records Access Alert topics from the previous month for you to see the variety of issues…some were posted on this discussion group but most were not—   all postings are included below.   all postings are included below.   All postings are included below. The following are the summaries for the month of December, 2020.  In order not to miss out on important information it is worthwhile for you to be subscribed to the Records Access Alert.

Without records, genealogists cannot do genealogy –making certain that we retain access and gain access where it is impaired is every genealogists' responsibility.


  • Ancestry CEO to Step Down; Blackstone Completes Acquisition of Ancestry for $4.7 Billion
  • Ancestry Hit With Litigation Over Yearbooks in California


  • (Australia) Government Says ABC Can Keep Google and Facebook News Payments
  • (Canada) Consumer Privacy Protection Act Introduced
  • (Europe-Russia) Court of Human Rights Finds Russia Wrong to Revoke Nationality for Lack of Disclosure
  • (European Union) Privacy and Monitoring of People on Social Media Websites Come to Head
  • (European Union-France) France to Seek EU Riposte if US Punishes France for Digital Tax
  • (European Union, United Kingdom) Digital Markets Act Draft Released- Warning of Breaking Up Big Technology Firms
  • Facebook News-- Agreements To Pay Publishers In Select Countries
  • Facebook Criticizes Apple Over Privacy
  • Facebook Sued by 48 Attorneys General and the FTC Regarding Antitrust
  • (France) French Data Regulator Fines Google, Amazon For Breaching Cookies Rules
  • (India) Orissa High Court Reaffirms Person's Right to be Forgotten
  • (Ireland) Twitter Received First EU Fine in Cross-Border Case
  • (Israel) Open Call for Amendments to Privacy Protection Law
  • (Russia) Russia Declassified Archives in 22 regions to Investigate WWll Nazi War Crimes
  • (Russia, Ukraine) KGB Archives
  • (United Kingdom) Facebook Says it Has to Move UK User Data to USA and Away from GDPR
  • (UK) GRO Adds Index of Births to 1934


  • (US) American Religious Ecologies Digitizes 1926 Census of Religious Bodies
  • (US) Archivist of US Announces Grants to Make Historical Records Happen
  • (US) Census Bureau Publishes Notice of 2022 Census of Governments; Economic Census
  • (US) Census Bureau To Miss Year-End Deadline
  • (US) Federal Judiciary Trying to Block Free Access to Court Records
  • (US) FTC Issues Orders to Social Media and Video Streaming Services
  • (US) Google Hit by Anti-Trust Law Suit from 38 States Attorney General
  • (US) Groups Sue Trump and White House to Stop Destruction of Administration Records
  • (US) HR 8235 Open Court Act of 2020 Passes House is in Senate (PACER)
  • (US) Library of Congress and GPO release10 Years of Legislative Data on Gov Information
  • (US) Library of Congress and GPO release10 Years of Legislative Data on Gov Information
  • (US) N-644 Application for Posthumous Citizenship
  • (US) NARA Proposed Rule on Amending Records Management and Standardization of Disposal of Records
  • (US) NARA Proposed Rule on Collection Information Published in Federal Register
  • (US) President Trump Signs Stimulus Package Including Provision of Section 230 of Communications Act
  • (US) President Trump Vetoes National Defense Authorization Act As It Doesn't Remove Section 230 Communications Decency Act
  • (US) Representative Maloney Wants to Make Certain Trump Administration Preserves Records
  • (US) Secret Service Launches New Website
  • (US) Section 230 of the of the Communications Decency Act Center of Fight Between President and Congress
  • (US) Senator Thom Tillis Releases Discussion Draft of Reform of Digital Millennium Copyright Act
  • (US) Supreme Court Took No Action on President's Plan to Exclude Undocumented Immigrants from 2020 Census
  • (US) Supreme Court Won't Block Trump Plan to Exclude Unauthorized Immigrants from Census
  • (US) USCIS Loses FOIA Litigation - Government Required to Give People Access to Their Immigration Files
  • (US) USCIS Proposed Rule on Collection Information Published in Federal Register
  • (US-CA) California Attorney General Proposed 4th Set of Modifications to California Consumer Privacy Act Regulations
  • (US-CT) Oldest US Newspaper to Close Its Newsroom and Offices Operating Out of Since Mid-1940s
  • (US- MA) Update on Governor's Budget That Proposed Imposing Embargo Periods for Vital Records
  • (US-NY) Governor Signs Legislation Giving Deceased Rights for 40 Years
  • (US-NYC) Update New York Police Department to Remove DNA Profiles of Non-Criminals from Database
  • (US-Ohio) Expands Right to be Forgiven
  • (US-OH) Policy on Ohio Birth Records Found Illegal
  • (US-WA) Washington State Official to Fight Trump Plan to Sell Seattle National Archives Building


The IAJGS Board of Directors approved opening the Records Access Alert to anyone who is interested in records access. This was announced previously.  We now have subscribers from many genealogical organizations not

previously able to subscribe. To be on top of what is happening I encourage you to register for the Records Access Alerts to receive the information in a timely manner.  If you are interested in any of the above items, please

register for the IAJGS Records Access Alert and look at them in the archives.  To register for the IAJGS Records Access Alert go to: and follow the instructions to enter

your email address, full name and which genealogical organization you belong to-a society, SIG  or a subscriber of JewishGen, Avotaynu, Legal Genealogist  etc. You will receive an email response that you have to reply to,

or the subscription will not be finalized. The alerts are archived and once you register you may access the archives at:


The IAJGS Records Access Alert is not a daily announcement list. Depending on what happens worldwide, there may be no postings for several days and other times there may be several in one day.


These are listed alphabetically not chronologically.  Each month the locales covered differ.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Re: 1910 Census lists German as language, but country of origin is "Russia. #russia #ukraine


Also note that Russia encouraged not only ethnic Germans to establish colonies in Russia (Ukraine), but also Jews were allowed to do the same. See previous JGen Discussion List messages by Mel Comisarow.



Re: Photo of headstone in Portsmouth needed, please #unitedkingdom

Sally Bruckheimer <sallybruc@...>

"who is buried in the Portsmouth Jewish Cemetery". Portsmouth, England; a US Portsmouth; or maybe an Australian one?
Even London has this problem, as I always think first of London, Ontario, then realize that probably isn't it.
Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ

Re: Questions about rendering of surname #belarus #poland #russia

Sally Bruckheimer <sallybruc@...>

"My other question is about the American rendering of the initial Узд as Usd rather than Uzd. I have come across at least three Usdansky lines in the United States"

Us- is less 'foreign' than Uz- in America, so it doesn't actually matter. 

My second rule of genealogy, when I taught it, was "spelling doesn't count"

Clerks in the US and Poland / Russia and elsewhere spelled what they heard. My grandmother's birth record in NYC says her mother's maiden name was Livingston - it was Löwenstein, but say it with a German accent and listen with an English ear, and that explains it.

Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ

Announcing the publication of the translation of the Yizkor Book: Devenishki Book: Memorial for a Village #yizkorbooks

Joel Alpert

The Yizkor-Books-In-Print Project of JewishGen is proud to announce
the publication of its105th title, Devenishki Book: Memorial for a
Translation of Sefer Divenishok; yad vashem le-ayara yehudit
(Dieveniskes, Lithuania)

Translation of Sefer Divenishok; yad vashem le-ayara yehudit
Original Yizkor Book Published by
Divenishok Societies of Israel and the United States: 1977 Israel
Original Yizkor Book Editor: David Shtokfish
Translation Coordinator and Editor: Adam Cherson
Translation Layout, Cover Design, and Indexing: Adam Cherson
Hard Cover, 11” by 8.5”, 660 pages with all original illustrations and

List Price: $65.95, available from JewishGen for $37

To order go to the bottom of:
and click on the blue JewishGen to go to the order form.


Around 1650, Jews fleeing Podolian and Ukrainian pogroms began
populating the Vilna area, including Divenishok. After the Russian
Empire assumed control of the region in 1795, Jews were prohibited
from living in small villages, forcing more Jews to move into
Divenishok. By the time the Germans arrived in 1941, there were about
1,200 Jews living in the town, but by mid-1942, after a presence of
300 years, the Jews of Divenishok were gone, many having been murdered
in mass graves or gas chambers. How did this happen?

One descendant of the town explains things this way:

…we must attempt to explain and answer the question plaguing every Jew
who was not in the valley of death; “How was an entire nation led as
lambs to the slaughter?

” Well, it must be said once and for all in a loud voice to our
brethren, the People of Zion, and the Sons of Ishmael should hear and
listen: our loved ones did not go as lambs to slaughter!
The heroic acts by individuals, uprisings in the ghettos and death
camps, the thousands of Jewish partisans who served the resistance
movement across occupied Europe, 1.5 million volunteers, soldiers and
officers on all fronts serving the Allied Forces are the answer to the
big and terrible lie!
Our nation had a significant role in ending the Third Reich.
We have sinned an unforgivable sin against ourselves by
overemphasizing the events of the Holocaust over the bravery in WWII.
(MY Itskovitsh, p. 207)
This Divenishok Memorial Book is a passionately written multi-author
testament to the courage and suffering of a people out-numbered,
out-gunned, and out-supplied, who put up a fierce fight, and continued
fighting until eventually finding homes in Israel, the Americas, South
Africa, and Australia.

Nearby Jewish Communities:
Byenyakoni, Belarus 11 miles WNW
Salcininkai 12 miles NW
Voranava, Belarus 12 miles WSW
Traby, Belarus 13 miles ESE
Lipnishki, Belarus 14 miles S
Halshany, Belarus 17 miles ENE
Iwye, Belarus 19 miles SSE
Ashmyany, Belarus 20 miles NE
Laibiskes 20 miles N
Jasiunai 21 miles NW
Gav'ya, Belarus 24 miles S
Eisiskes 25 miles W
Vishneva, Belarus 25 miles E
Lida, Belarus 25 miles SSW
Zhuprany, Belarus 26 miles NE
Radun, Belarus 27 miles WSW
Krevo, Belarus 28 miles ENE
Rudamina 29 miles NNW
Bakshty, Belarus 29 miles SE

Packed with history; this book opens a unique window to life in this
shtetl. A must-read! Certainly a welcome gift to the relative who
would appreciate this unique history of their shtetl. A perfect Purim
gift for family.

Joel Alpert, Coordinator of the Yizkor-Books-In-Print Project

JGS of Greater Orlando. Free Virtual Meeting. Finding your Eastern European Jewish Family on Tuesday, January 12 at 7:00 p.m. ET. Speaker: Robinn Magid. #announcements


January 12, 2021, 7:00 PM

Finding your Eastern European Jewish Family on

Speaker:  Robinn Magid

Join us for a presentation of some truly memorable stories from the case file that highlight what this incredible database and website might do for your own research. For 25 years, JRI-Poland has served as the preferred finding aid for the Jewish records that survive in the archives of Poland today. This vast collection of 6.2 million records includes information about towns and families from Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Germany and the former territories of Galicia and Prussia. Through understanding the contents of the database and how to improve your search results to exploring preserved Holocaust-related records, this lecture will focus on the good things that can come out of a genealogical search. Come listen to stories of the people we’ve helped in the hope that you’ll get a useful new idea from our more surprising experiences.


Robinn Magid is the Assistant Director of and a recent recipient of the IAJGS Lifetime Achievement Award. She recently became the project manager of the JRI-Poland “NextGen Project” to redesign the JRI-Poland website, search engine and database. She a frequent speaker and writer on Jewish genealogy topics.
Robinn’s genealogical work resulted in her being recognized by the City of Lublin, Poland – her grandmother’s hometown – with a medal from the mayor for inspiring the future and cultural identity of that city of 340,000 people on Lublin’s 700th birthday in 2017. 
Robinn has spoken at many IAJGS conferences on behalf of JRI-Poland and has served as the chair of two groundbreaking conferences: IAJGS 2018 Warsaw, Poland conference, and the IAJGS 2020 Virtual Conference on Jewish Genealogy. She is a member of the San Francisco - Bay Area JGS and has spoken to her group and to other societies. Robinn is sheltering-at-home in Berkeley, California with her husband, four children and new daughter-in-law!



Registration is required for this meeting.  Send an email to jgsgo.blogger@.... You will receive an acknowledgement of registration. A link to access the Zoom meeting will be sent to you a few days before the meeting.

Diane M. Jacobs
Winter Park, Florida

Re: 1910 Census lists German as language, but country of origin is "Russia. #russia #ukraine


"Germans from Russia" are ethnic Germans, not Jewish.

The Latvia theory, suggested by some in this thread, is the likely scenario.
Königsberg should not be considered here, as it was never part of the Russian empire.  They held it for only a couple of years in mid-1700's, before turning it back to Prussia.  It became part of the Soviet Union only after WWII with all ethnic Germans deported and people from Soviet the Union were moved there to repopulate the city (possibly only ethnic Russians).

Mike Vayser

Re: Need help reading 1874 Belarus (Nesvizh) census #belarus


There are numbers to the left of the family information, indicating family ID in the "Census #10", which took place in 1858 and this being a supplemental update in 1874 to the new or missed members of the Nesvizh community.  In most of these revisions (1815-1816, 1818, 1834, 1850, 1858) males were placed on left side of the book, while females were placed on the right side.  In this family, there are multiple males and only one female, so the information in the JG transcription is accurate, except that "Binyamin Mikhel" is not correct.  It says "Bendet Mikhel" (or possibly Bendyat) there.   According to Alexander Beider's list, Bendet corresponds to the following Yiddish names - Beynash, Beynes, Beynesh, Beynish, Beynus, Beynyash, Bender, Bendit, Benedict, Benesh, Beniash, Benis, Benyash.

Steve S.,
The 2nd family last name is Yavna, not KAERELEVAVNA.  It appears that someone confused the patronymic on the first line and the actual last name of the following line and combined them into something incorrect. The first name of the head of the family head is Govsey-Zelman, patronymic (father's name) - Kasrelev (son of Kasrel).  In this census on the female side of the page they reference relationship to the husband as "wife of <Given name> <Family name> <wife's given name>", so in the case of the first family, where husband's full name is Leyba ben Girsh Pasemanik (Russian: Leyba Girshov Pasemanik), wife's record is "wife of Leyba Pasemanik Brokha" (Russian: zhena Leyby Pasemanika Brokha).  In the 2nd case the head of the family is Govsey Zelman Kasrelev Yavna and the wife's entry - wife of Govsey Zelman Yavna Fruma (Russian: zhena Govseya Zelmana Yavny Fruma).
Perhaps, you are in a position to request JG to update this record.

Steven U.,
This is just how JG chose to write down these names due to males and females being written down separately.  It's a just a preference.  In my own transcription of this information, I merge the 2 based on relationships and age, while keeping the overall order the same as the original. It's easier for me to consume the information about families in the order of husband-wife-<children in descending order>, instead of husband-<sons in descending order>-wife-<daughters in descending order>.

Mike Vayser

Photo of headstone in Portsmouth needed, please #unitedkingdom

Denise Fletcher

I'd be very grateful if someone could locate and photograph the headstone of Samuel FLETCHER, possibly buried as Samuel Lazarus Fletcher, who died we think in around 1950, and who is buried in the Portsmouth Jewish Cemetery.  He was born in around 1868, and was survived by his wife Leah and 2 sons, Jack and John, as well as at least one daughter-in-law (Ethel, known as Sunny) and a grandson, Michael. He also had a deceased son, Maurice, who might be mentioned on the headstone.
Many thanks for any assistance!  I can be reached at dfletcheroz@...
Denise Fletcher, Sydney Australia

Re: Romanian translation #translation #announcements


To what Mr Radu said I would add that Mr Preschel Isac was given this exemption on 19 September (19/9) 1942 and the medical examiner  signed alongside the Secretary..

Rafael Manory, PhD
Researching the families Alterson, Margulies, Wisner, Emanuel

How many "first names" did people have? #names

Peter Cohen

I am trying to determine if someone is who I think he is...

His gravestone says his Hebrew name was Yitzchak ben Chona and that he died in 1954 at age 84.  The Lithuanian birth record that I think is his says he was born 8 Feb 1873, son of Yeruchim. From other records, I know that this Yeruchim was Yeruchim Girsh or Yeruchim Tsvi. Is it possible that Yeruchim had 3 first names (i.e. Yeruchim Tsvi Elchanon)?

While there are several other Yitzchaks who born around 1865 - 1875 who shared the same last name (Gershater), the reason I think that Yeruchim's son is the right one is that the Isaac (Yitzchak) who died in 1954 was married to Rebecca Rotkowitz  and Yeruchim's mother was a Rotkowitz.

I have seen many instances where a NYC death certificate lists a father's name that is completely different than the Hebrew name on the gravestone, but I attribute that to first name vs middle name. But in this case is Yeruchim Tsvi a first & middle name? Or are they kinnuim? (Sadly 1954 NYC death certificates are not available to non direct descendants, so I can't see who is listed as his father.)
Peter Cohen

Questions about rendering of surname #belarus #poland #russia

Steven Usdansky

The male form of my surname seems to be more or less consistently rendered in Russian as Узданский, but for the Polish equivalent, I've seen both Uzdanski and Uzdański. Is the difference between the two Polish forms significant?

My other question is about the American rendering of the initial Узд as Usd rather than Uzd. I have come across at least three Usdansky lines in the United States other than my own, and in all cases, the surname spelling is (or was, before it was changed to Usdan or Usdane or something else entirely) Usdansky.

Steven Usdansky
researching Usdansky, Turetzky, Sinienski, Sigler, Namenwirth

Re: Need help reading 1874 Belarus (Nesvizh) census #belarus

Steven Usdansky

One thing I've noticed when looking at Revision List translations as given on jewishgen is that the basic order seems to be male head of household, sons, wife of head of household, daughters. 
Steven Usdansky
researching Usdansky, Turetzky, Sinienski, Sigler, Namenwirth

Re: 1 wife, 2 husbands, children from both marriages, same years #usa

M Tobiasiewicz

I think there might be 2 Adelaide Rittenbergs. I found listings for Ada Rittenberg with different birth dates:

Name: Ada Rittenbag Samson

Gender: Female

Age: 34

Birth Date: 24 Jul 1890

Birth Place: Springfield, Massachusetts

Residence Place: New York City, New York

Passport Issue Date: 17 Mar 1925

Spouse: Henry Samson

Has Photo: Yes



Name: Ada Bry

Social Security Number: 150-36-2293

Birth Date: 19 Nov 1894

Issue Year: 1962

Issue State: New Jersey

Last Residence: 10021, New York, New York, New York, USA

Death Date: 17 Dec 1990



Maryellen Tobiasiewicz
family from: Bielsko-Biala powiat Poland
Gorlice powiat Poland
Lviv Oblast Ukraine

Re: 1 wife, 2 husbands, children from both marriages, same years #usa

Sherri Bobish

Hi Trudy,

It seems that there were two Adelaide RITTENBERGs, both born in Massachusetts and lived later in NYC (one in Manhattan & the other in The Bronx.)

Adelaide R. Rittenberg born 1891 (parents Louis & Lillie.)  The Bronx family.

Adelaide G. Rittenberg born 1894 (parents Isaac &  Annie Marks.  Later census give mother as Belle.)  The Manhattan family.

Adelaide G. Rittenberg married Henry Samson in NYC 26 Jan 1915.

I believe it was Adelaide R. Rittenberg who married Martin Edwin BRY in NYC 2 Jun 1919.
A January 2, 1918 notice in the NY Herald announced the engagement of MIss Adelaide Rittenberg (dau. of Mr. & Mrs. Isaac Rittenberg) to Lt. M. Edwin BRY.  No mention of any previous marriage.

Hope this helps, and Happy New Year,

Sherri Bobish

Re: 1910 Census lists German as language, but country of origin is "Russia. #russia #ukraine

M Tobiasiewicz

Yiddish sounds a lot like German. Maybe the census taker just wrong it down as German. I do not know Yiddish. But many decades ago when I was a student, we met with the Rabbi at a synagogue in Moscow. He spoke Yiddish and I understood a lot of what he was saying. (He only let us in when we told him we were Americans!)
Maryellen Tobiasiewicz
family from: Bielsko-Biala powiat Poland
Gorlice powiat Poland
Lviv Oblast Ukraine