Ancestry Delays DNA Matches if Small Segments Until Late August; Updated Communities #dna

Jan Meisels Allen

Recently Ancestry announced they were going to eliminate those “small” DNA matches, less than 6 cM. This caused quite a stir in the broader genealogical community.  As a result, Ancestry announced that they will delay removing the “small” DNA matches until late August.  If you want to save them, you can by adding notes,  sending messages or adding them to a group. Remember those with such small amounts of cM  may be “noise” or endogamy and not worth the time- the reason Ancestry plans to eliminate those matches.


Additional updates from Ancestry DNA include:

  • More accurate number of shared segments- available in early August
  • See the length of your longest shared segment—available mid-August
  • Distant DNA matches must share 8.0 cM or higher- available late August


For those researching Asia Polynesia, South Africa and Australia, Ancestry has updated their Ancestry DNA communities.  They now have, 20 Southeast Asian, 9 East Asian, 14 South Asian, 31 Oceanian, 2 African and 1 Central Asian & Russian community.

To read more about their update see:


I normally would not report on the updated communities but since I was reporting on the change of plan for small DNA matches I included this information.


I have no affiliation with Ancestry and am reporting this solely for the information of the reader.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee



MyHeritage Facebook Live Session

Jan Meisels Allen




My Heritage announced their Facebook Live Session. No advance registration is required. Simply visit the page when the session is scheduled to start and look out for the live video broadcast at the top of the feed. You’ll be able to ask questions in the comments, and the speakers will respond to them live.


The events are listed in their blog which can be reached at:


Please note the different times for each session. The times are all listed in Eastern Daylight Time. Use the time zone converter for finding your corresponding local time at:


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


USCIS Final Rule on Fee Increases #usa #announcements

Jan Meisels Allen






Last November, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced through the Federal Register that they intend to increase the request fees charged by them, including for genealogy services.  Currently, the G-1041 Index Search Request is $65 and form G-1041A Genealogy Records Request is $65. The USCIS proposed to raise the fees to $240 and $385 respectively.  These were a 269 percent and 492 percent change respectively.


The USCIS published the final rule on July 31 which will become effective on October 2, 2020. These fee increases range from 146 to  308 percent—still quite substantial.

See: The final rule covers more than genealogy and is quite long –over 570 pages. I did a word search for the term “genealogy: and the following have information of interest for genealogist. The fees portion are included on pages 16-17. Other items of interest are included on pages: 179, 187-203; 415, 419, 428-429; 433-434, 436, 438, 446-448, 461-463, 475, 511-513, 530, 532.


The USCIS comments in response to genealogical concerns about the proposed fee increase includes:” The proposed increase reflected changes in USCIS’ methodology for estimating the costs of the genealogy program to improve the accuracy of its estimates. In response to public comments on the proposed genealogy fee increases, USCIS further refined the methodology used to estimate genealogy program costs. Based on the refined methodology, this final rule establishes a fee for Form G-1041, Genealogy Index Search Request, when filed online as $160 and $170 when filed on paper. Using the same methodology refinement, DHS establishes a fee for Form G-1041A, Genealogy Records Request, when filed online as $255 and $265 when filed by paper.” They further rationalized the genealogy fee increase by,” INA section 1356(t)(1) authorizes DHS to set the genealogy fee for providing genealogy research and information services at a level that will ensure the recovery of the costs of providing genealogy services separate from other adjudication and naturalization service’s fees. USCIS must estimate the costs of the genealogy program because it does not have a discrete genealogy program operating budget. Nor does USCIS discretely identify and track genealogy program expenditures. The same office that researches genealogy requests, the National Records Center, also performs other functions, such as FOIA operations, retrieving, storing, and moving files. In the FY 2016/2017 fee rule, DHS estimated the costs of the genealogy program indirectly using projected volumes and other information. The projected costs included a portion of Lockbox costs, genealogy contracts, and other costs related to the division that handles genealogy, FOIA, and similar USCIS workloads.” They also responded to one of the genealogy submitters: “USCIS receives fewer than 10,000 genealogy requests each year, so the fees should not affect hundreds of thousands of people as the commenter mentions.”


They also commented on the electronic version of records,: “DHS is expanding the use of electronic genealogy requests to encourage requesters to use the electronic versions of Form G-1041 and Form G–1041A. DHS is changing the search request process so that USCIS may provide requesters with electronic records, if they exist, in response to the initial index request. These final changes may reduce the time it takes to request and receive genealogy records, and, in some cases, it will eliminate the need to make multiple search requests and submit separate fees. Moreover, DHS notes that providing digital records in response to a Form G-1041 request may reduce the number of Form G-1041A requests that will be filed because there would already be a copy of the record if it was previously digitized. As a result, the volume of Form G-1041A requests USCIS receives may decrease, though DHS is unable to estimate by how much. .. DHS recognizes that some small entities may be impacted by these increased fees but cannot determine how many or the exact impact. “


Another response to the fees regarding genealogists, professional and hobbyists:” DHS does not have sufficient data on the requestors for the genealogy forms, Forms G-1041 and G-1041A, to determine if entities or individuals submitted these requests. DHS has previously determined that requests for historical records are usually made by individuals. If professional genealogists and researchers submitted such requests in the past, they did not identify themselves as commercial requestors and therefore could not be segregated within the pool of data. Genealogists typically advise clients on how to submit their own requests. For those that submit requests on behalf of clients, DHS does not know the extent to which they can pass along the fee increases to their individual clients. DHS assumes genealogists have access to a computer and the Internet.”


Note: DHS stands for Department of Homeland Security of which USCIS is under.


They further commented, “Based on DHS records for calendar years 2013 to 2017, there was an annual average of 3,840 genealogy index search requests made using Form G-1041 and there was an annual average of 2,152 genealogy records requests made using Form G-1041A. DHS does not have sufficient data on the requestors for the genealogy forms to determine if entities or individuals submitted these requests.”


While they reduced the fees for genealogy from what was originally proposed by reassigning the National Records Center cost that do not directly apply to genealogy, and it now allows for a $10 reduction in filing fee for applicants who file online for forms that are electronically available by USCIS rather than submit paper applications.


As with the proposed fee increase USCIS still maintains, “DHS is unable to estimate the number of G-1041 index searches and G-1041A records requests considered small; however, some will receive a reduced fee and savings, by filing online. Therefore, DHS does not currently have sufficient data on the requestors for the genealogy forms to definitively assess the estimate of small entities for these requests. DHS is unable to estimate by how much because DHS does not know how many individuals will have access to a computer and/or internet capability. The case management tracking system used by DHS for genealogy requests does not allow for requestor data to be readily pulled.”



For a Genealogy Records Request, requests for copies of historical records or files must: (1) Identify the record by number or other specific data used by the Genealogy Program Office to retrieve the record as follows: (i) C-Files must be identified by a naturalization certificate number. (ii) Forms AR-2 and A-Files numbered below 8 million must be identified by Alien Registration Number. (iii) Visa Files must be identified by the Visa File Number. Registry Files must be identified by the Registry File Number (for example, R-12345).


Information required for release of records. (1) Documentary evidence must be attached to a Genealogy Records Request or submitted in accordance with the instructions on the Genealogy Records Request form. (2) Search subjects will be presumed deceased if their birth dates are more than 100 years before the date of the request. In other cases, the subject is presumed to be living until the requestor establishes to the satisfaction of USCIS that the subject is deceased. (3) Documentary evidence of the subject's death is required (including but not limited to death records, published obituaries or eulogies, published death notices, church or bible records, photographs of gravestones, and/or copies of official documents relating to payment of death benefits).


Fees must be remitted from a bank or other institution located in the United States and payable in U.S. currency. The fee must be paid using the method that USCIS prescribes for the request, office, filing method, or filing location, as provided in the form instructions or by individual notice.


If you want to place an order this would be the more cost-efficient time to do so. The forms may be found at:


To see previous postings about the USCIS and the fee increases,  go to the archives of the IAJGS Records Access Alert at: You must be registered to access the archives.  To register go to:  and follow the instructions to enter your email address, full name and which genealogical  organization with whom you are affiliated   You will receive an email response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be finalized.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee



Re: Wedding Announcement errors.. question #general

Sherri Bobish

BPYunes@... asked:  "Frank Yunes, one of the Groom's brothers". I was told he was an only child and this is the first I had heard of this."

Here are Frank's parents names, according to his 1915 marriage record:

Married June 16, 1915 in Boston
Frank YUNES married Margaret McCarthy
Frank's age in 1915 is 26 (so, born about 1889)
Born Russia
Parent's names:  Jacob YUNES and Annie MORGAN
Lives at 116 Appleton St
Occupation:  Shipper

And, info from Frank's naturalization papers:

b. 11/25/1888 in Kiev
arrived NY June 1893
lived 87 Orange St., Chelsea, MA at time of naturalization 1913

Do Frank's parents names match up with Louis' parents names?

Have you looked at Frank and Louis's tombstones to see if the father's names match?


Sherri Bobish
Princeton, NJ


Harry Moatz

I have been researching my SCHWARZ / SCHWARTZ family from Monasterzyska and Stanislawow (now Ivano-Frankivisk).  Two lines in the family present brick walls.  I ask for your help, guidance, suggestions.  I’ll address them separately below. 


Line 1.   Moshe Schwarz (abt 1815-2000) had three sons, Abraham Meier (the eldest), PERETZ, and Mordechai (aka MARKUS).  Moshe probably lived in Monasterzyska his entire life. Peretz’ and Mordechai’s descendants are known.  Some members of their families moved from Monasterzyska to Stanislawow in the 1880’s; the others remained in Monasterzyska and emigrated from there.  My tree for Peretz and Mordechai is substantial and very well documented.


The first wall arises with Abraham Meir Schwarz, born about 1845, probably in Monasterzyska.  Though married, the name of his wife is unknown.  Whether he came to the US and when is unknown.  He had five children, JOEL, SAUL, LEO, ESTELLE and LIBA.  No information is known about their dates of birth or death, whether and when they immigrated to the US, or whether they married.  I assume Abraham's children were born about 1865-1885.


I have searched for them on Ancestry, Family Search, JRI-Poland, and  On stevemorse,com, I have searched for the names of all persons immigrating from either Monasterzyska or Stanislawow, and separately all Schwarzes (various spellings) coming from either town. Not finding anything about them suggests they either did not immigrate to the US, or they emigrated elsewhere, e.g., Canada.  No luck there either.


I have considered the possibility that the names of the sons could be Anglicized versions of their names or names they adopted.  As I have found those names in birth and death records in Galicia, the names (not the spellings) may be accurate.  On Ancestry and Family Search, none of the records for anyone having the same name connects that person with either town. I do not know of any other town in Galicia or elsewhere with which to associate their names.


The published vital records on Gesher Galicia for Monasterzyska are sparse, mostly from the 20th Century, and otherwise do not go back far enough to be of value locating Abraham or his children. Searches of GG’s published records for Stanislawow have been unsuccessful.


Any suggestions or help researching this family would be much appreciated. Also, if anyone knows descendants of these Schwarzes/Schwartzes, I’d appreciate your help in contacting them.


Line 2.  The references to Moshe Schwarz in the family lore do not address whether he had siblings.  Given that families tended to be large, I thought it was possible Moshe had siblings.  My search of Monasterzyska metrical records in GG for the late 19th and early 20th Centuries has revealed a number of Schwarzes/Schwartzes in that town who are not known to be descendants of Peretz and Mordechai.  There are also a few Schwarzes in the Yiskor book for the town.  Monasterzyska had a Jewish population of 2450 in 1890.  This is a relatively small Jewish population. So it is possible that some, if not all, of these Schwarzes/Schwartzes are descendants of Moshe’s siblings.  I have not located on JRI-Poland any birth/death records for Schwarz (various spellings) associated with Monasterzyska going back to early or mid-19th Century.  To date, few metrical records for Monasterzyska have been located or published. 


Any thoughts about finding connections between these families would be appreciated. 


Harry Moatz

Potomac, MD


Re: Research individuals in France/MEYER #france

Dottie Miller

I, too, have MEYER ancestors from neat Lembach. I found another Meyer family from Laubach ,a connection that a descendant of that family and I found very exciting, but then I learned from that Laubach didn't allow Jews to live there. That fact explains why there is no listing of Jewish families in Laubach in Pierre Katz's book that names the Jews in Alsace by town, a book giving the names before and after the 1808 requirement that all subjects of Napoleon's Empire had to take a civil name. The same is true of the 1851 census of Jewish communities compiles by Katz. I found your ancestors listed in Lembach in the latter book. Salomon Meyer is listed as a widower. There is a notation that he was born in Bavaria. in Niederhochstadt. You can most likely find civil records of life events in the Departmental Archives for Alsace, in Strasbourg, France, available online. Once you've found them, I'd be happy to read them for you, up until 1871 when Alsace was lost to Germany and the records from then on till after WWI are in German.
Dottie Miller

MEYER (Goersdorf), DREYFUS (Brumath and Duppigheim), BIGART (Gerstheim), GERNSBACHER (Buhl), GUGENHEIMER (Ihringen and Breisach), JACOBSON (Vilna), BOGASLAVSKY (Ukraine), SERIENSKY (Ukraine)

Re: Wedding Announcement errors.. question #general

Neil Kominsky

Anytime you're dealing with an item printed in a newspaper, you have two questions: Who wrote it? and Who edited it?  If the announcement was written by someone other than the immediate family, someone may have mistaken the best man with the same surname for a brother.  If it was edited at the paper, it is possible that someone tried to make it "clearer" by mistakenly specifying the best man with the same surname as a brother.
It is also a question, of course, of how reliable the source was that told you the groom was an only child.
Neil Kominsky
Brookline, MA

Salli Heidingsfeld. #rabbinic #names


I recently purchased a set of Machzorim printed in Rodelheim in 1905.
they are all embossed with the name
Salli Heidingsfeld.
i have no information at all about this person.
Can anyone provide any?

Re: FBI Case Files on Fold3 #records

stewart wershow

It is an investigation for a visa application. let me know if you need more information

Re: Finding a Long Lost Cousin - Unraveling a Clue #general

Sherri Bobish


You may also want to get a copy of Norma's birth certificate.
"For birth and death records after 30 June 1915, one must make application to the Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records, 110 North 8th Street 215.560.6011. To order certificates on a VISA card call 724.656.3100. For downloadable request forms please visit


Sherri Bobish
Princeton, NJ

Mt. Sharon Cemetery #general

Carole Brewster

Can someone please give me the link to search for people buried in Mt. Sharon Cemetery, Springfield, Delaware County PA 1980. I’m trying to find the burial of my greatgrandmother Yetta Garfinkel Theil 1878-1980. Her death certificate says Mt Sharon
thank you
Carole Hoffman Brewster researching Theil, Garfinkel, Baylinson, Hoffman, Kreisberg, Janofsky

Re: Finding a Long Lost Cousin - Unraveling a Clue #general

Sherri Bobish


I see that the info is from The Social Security Applications and Claims Index.

I believe that her birth date, and names of her parents, would have been written on the original SS5 application by Norma herself.

Today Social Security cards are given to babies at birth, that was not the case back then.

Norma would have, most likely, filled out an SS5 at the time she began working.

There are errors in the Social Security index, so you may want to obtain Norma's original SS5 form.
The fee is $24. for a photocopy.

Of course, it is possible that someone filled out the SS5 for her.  Seeing a copy of the original SS5 will help you determine if it is her handwriting, or not.


Sherri Bobish
Princeton, NJ

Re: Wedding Announcement errors.. question #general

Sally Bruckheimer <sallybruc@...>

"Has anyone experienced information from a wedding announcement that is in error? "

It could have been that the cousins' parents had died or been disabled, so that your family took him in and considered him a son - a brother of their biological son. Early deaths and disability were pretty common in the old days, so somebody had to take care of children if they could.

Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ

Re: Let's Introduce Ourselves #bessarabia

Pablo Libedinsky

Thank you for the information.
I didn't know about A. Beider's Encyclopedia.  I'll look it up.
For what I've been able to learn, KHAMUDIS is derived from the Hebrew Khamud (plural Khamudot, or Khamudos in the Ashkenazi pronunciation).  I haven't found any other explanation.
I know that "lebed" means "swan" in Russian and also that there is the town of Lebedyn in Ukraine. I guess the most likely source is the town's name.

Thanks again.
Shabbat Shalom.

Brick Wall: Help Needed #ukraine


I have hit a brick wall in researching the ancestry of my great-grandfather, Edward S. Cooper, prior to his marriage to my great-grandmother Goldie Bramer in 1912, in Chicago, Ill.  Soon after marriage, Edward and Goldie moved to Spokane, WA.

While I have some information regarding Edward’s place of birth, I have been unable to confirm specific information about his life prior to arriving in Chicago.  I am assuming that his last name changed at some point.  I would appreciate any ideas or suggestions in moving past this brick-wall.  I have provided a quick list of facts that I have found in my research (declaration of intention and 1900 and 1910 census documents).

Born on 2/12/1886 in Odessa, Russia (Jewish descen

Parents: Esther and Edward (per Spokane, WA death certificate) 

·       Left the port of Libau and arrived in NYC on or about April 15, 1888 (the name of the ship isn’t listed.) We believe an older cousin or sibling traveled with him to the United States. 

I did locate a couple of documents that support that may match up with Edward, but are not definitive and contain some conflicting information.

·       1900 US Federal Census (Chic, Ill):

o   Edward Kooper (age 14), born in 1886.

o   Esther Kooper (age 49) born in 1851.  Head of the family (widowed).

o   Bennie Kooper (age 30) born in 1870.

o   Leo Kooper (age 12) born in 1888.

o   The immigration year listed for all four family members is 1890.


·       1910 US Federal Census (Chic, Ill):

o   Edward Cooper (age 24) born in 1886.

o   Esther Cooper (age 58) born in 1851.

o   The immigration year for both Edward and Esther is 1892.


I did find it interesting that Edward’s two son’s were named Bernard and Gerald Leonard (possibly in honor of his siblings?)

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Quick Translation from German to English Please #translation


I don't have time to do a full translation, but here are the names:

The groom was from Noredenburg.  His parents were the vinegar manuracturer Katzke Lieberman and Rahel nee Wolff.

The bride was from Liebstadt.  Her father was the merchant Elias Espen.  Her mother's name is not given.
Fredel Fruhman
Brooklyn, New York, USA

Re: Wood Street Shul Stein family in Chicago. #usa

Sheri Prager

My great great grandfather, Aron Stern, was Rabbi for B’nai David. I probably don’t have any information that can’t be easily found but I’m happy to share what I have.


Mike, do you possibly have any photos of the Shul or the Rabbi?


Sheri Prager

Vancouver, WA



From: main@... <main@...> On Behalf Of Mike Karsen
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2020 9:56 AM
To: main@...
Subject: Re: [] Wood Street Shul Stein family in Chicago. #usa #general




I believe the Shul was B'nai David at 1271 Woods Street. It was at that location from 1896 to around 1917. I don't know if that fits your time when your grandparents lived there.

It would have been about a 25 minute walk (1.3 miles) from Grand and Damen.


I can provide you more info if you email me directly at karsen.mike@...




Mike Karsen

JGS Illinois Help Desk

Re: Equivalent Name for Rose #names

Sue Coleman

My Hebrew name is Shoshana. It is after my late grandmother Rose who died very young
Sue Coleman
Pinner, UK

Strauss Family of Staden, Hessen and Grünebaum Family of Gambach, Hessen #germany

Ralph Baer

I have recently been compiling data on the descendants of Hirsch STRAUß II and his wife Scheile (later Jeanette/Jannette/Johannette) of Stade in the current Wetteraukreis in Hessen (formerly in Oberhessen).  Is anyone familiar with this family? 
Hirsch STRAUß was born about 1784 and died on 7 March 1860 in Staden. Scheile was born about 1789 and died there on 22 September 1869.
I strongly suspect that Scheile was the same person as Schönle, the eldest child of my 3rd-great grandfather Kaufmann GRÜNEBAUM (1757 – 22 April 1840 Gambach) and the only child of his first and unknown wife. See the page from the 1818 Gambach list of Jews attached showing her as born in 1792 and moving in 1816 to Stade. I am descended from her half-brother Moses GRÜNEBAUM.
Hirsch and Scheile had the following five children:
1. Rebeka STRAUß 1819 Staden – about 1822 Staden
2. Dey (Dottchen) STRAUß 1821 Staden
3. Rebecca (Ricka) STRAUß 25 January 1825 Staden
4. Beile (Bettchen) STRAUß 3 August 1827 Staden – 9 April 1884 Staden, unmarried
5. Joseph Löb STRAUß 11 August 1831 Staden, married 29 October 1863 Langenselbold to Hindel (Hanchen) ROSENTHAL about 1837 Langenselbold
I am sure that a daughter was named for Scheile’s mother or perhaps both Rebeccas. I have not yet located the second and third child. The death record of Bettchen on Ancestry gives her mother’s name as Johannette Kaufmann corresponding to her mother’s patronymic, Kaufmann. It was supplied by her brother. Since Scheile had married before family names were adopted, it is not surprising that GRÜNEBAUM was not used. I am interested in seeing what the other death records state.

Ralph N. Baer        RalphNBaer@...       Washington, DC

Re: Deportation from U.S. ports back to Eastern Europe #general

Sherri Bobish

asked:  "What do readers believe is the best data base for early 1900 passenger records?"

Passenger records for which country?  If you can be more specific, than more precise answers can be given.

In general, I suggest which is a free site, and has a good selection of passenger manifest databases for The U.S.

Of course, is a wonderful resource.


Sherri Bobish
Princeton, NJ