Re: Abbreviation OT in US Census #usa

Ralph Baer

I asked this question of 5/18:
Does anyone know what the abbreviation “OT” next to a name in the 1910 US census signifies? See, for example, the entry for Harriett HARRIS in the cropped attachment Harris.jpg. I am guessing that it means “Out of Town,” because that would explain why she is also listed with her husband and oldest child as Hattie SCHULTE in the second attachment, but it is only a guess. Both censuses show her as married four years with one living child, although her listed ages differ by one year.

It appears that it is a notation for who spoke to the census taker and stands for "other". That is to say, not the heard of the family or the spouse. Most of them read "Wf" for wife.
Ralph N. Baer        RalphNBaer@...       Washington, DC

Re: Percentages of ancestry - my Ashkenazi father seems to be partly of Italian/Greek descent? #dna

Dahn Cukier


(I tried to use the links at the bottom to reply, but it opens
some email window that I am unfamiliar with.)

To everyone, please add dates to ggggrandparents, such as gggrandparent(b.1890),
otherwise there is no time reference for us to look at. Your gggrandparnet could
be my father's classmate.

Now to an answer. The DNA data does not give an absolute location but
a statistical probability location. When speaking of southeast Europe/N. Africa
and the Middle East, at the time between 1500-1900 the area was
mostly controlled by the Ottomans, and I expect many people,
especially military and political, traveled. Mistresses and one-night-stands are
not things invented in the last few years, but Thomas Jefferson and
DDE (to name just 2 POTUSs) were both well known to have mistresses.


When you start to read readin,
how do you know the fellow that
wrote the readin,
wrote the readin right?

Festus Hagen
Long Branch Saloon
Dodge City, Kansas

On Saturday, May 23, 2020, 05:53:45 PM GMT+3, <swerner@...> wrote:

I had my genes tested by FamilyTreeDNA.  I already knew I had two very different lines of ancestry.  My father's Ashkenazi Jewish (Belarus, Ukraine).  My mother's of Irish and German descent.  My results came back: Ashkenazi 38%, Ireland/British Isles 27%, West and Central Europe 23%, Southeast Europe 9%, East Europe < 3%.

The Southeast European bit was sort of a surprise.  On my mother's side I know back to my great-great-great-grandparents in all cases and further back than that in some cases.  (Of course, this assumes that everyone's father was the person their mother was married to.)  On my father's side I only know back to my great-grandparents plus, in three out of four cases, their parents as well.

Is it possible that some of my father's ancestors came from Southeast Europe and later immigrated to the Pale to escape persecution?  It's rather tantalizing that 38% + 9% + 3% adds up to 100%.  (Of course, it could also be that some of that 23% West and Central Europe is coming from my father's side as well as my mother's.  For example, my mother's Irish ancestry arises from three different women who immigrated from Ireland independently of each other, at different times and possibly from quite different parts of Ireland.)

I should also note that both my parents are now deceased.  Each of them had one sibling, also now deceased.  My father's sister had no children.  So asking him or her or them to get their DNA tested isn't possible.

Many thanks for any info!

SarahRose Werner
RABINOVICH: Chopovichi, Ukraine
GITELMAN: David-Gorodok, Belarus

Re: How do I get a copy of the death record of Zelman BERKOWITZ who died in Odessa on 16 Dec 1924 #ukraine

Family and DNA

Hi Larry.

Just an aside -- are we sure that this grave is in Odessa? Who is in the picture? What does the grave say?

My dad's grandmother (Zelman's daughter Leike/Elisabeth) always said she was "from Odessa." But on her 1911 ship manifest she says she was born in "Chersonska", her last residence was Lokhvitsa, Poltava (she's also listed as living there in 1908 on her husband Israel Amberg's ship manifest, & he seems to have been from there) -- & her dad "Salmon Berkowitz in Chersonska" is listed as her contact back home in 1911. So I'm assuming the Berkowitzes were there for a while before coming to the US.

When I was first in contact with you, I was just starting my family tree research. I've got to go back in & correct so many things -- and continue also to credit you in the places where you gave me the info! So many loose ends...

I never did go & look for ship manifests for all the other Berkowitz folks who went to Buffalo, I need to do that! I was able to see Tzipa's 1918 Buffalo death index info, but I don't have her death certificate, gravestone, or anything else really.

Why did she come to the US without her husband -- or did he come also & then go back to Russia/Ukraine, & then die there in 1924?

I've been helping download all the new Ukraine records being posted online by Alex Krakovsky on Wikipedia, I've totally lost track of my own research & my family tree is crap. There are Kherson records up now there, so we may have some leads, but I can do spreadsheets etc, but cannot read Russian or Hebrew...

Best regards from France,
Juliana berland

On 5/24/2020 18:32, LarryBassist@... wrote:

Hi Siggers,
  My great grandfather, Zelman BERKOWITZ, died in Odessa on 16 Dec 1924. I want to get a copy of his death record. How do I do it? A photo of his headstone is attached.
  Do any of you have access to these records and would be willing to get me a copy, or do you know anyone who could?
  Any help and/or guidance would be appreciated.

Thank you,  Larry Bassist,  Springville, Utah, USA 

List the surnames/towns that you are researching in the JewishGen Family Finder.
Go to and click on ENTER/MODIFY.


/// Russia: BENIN / BERLAND Czernigow; Romny, Poltava > (Paris>) Chicago AMBERG BERKOWITZ EPSTEINE Odessa, Kherson, Poltava > (Paris >) Buffalo NY; Chicago GELBURD / GAYLBURD / GOLDBERG / GILBERT Vinnitsya; Nemyriv; Priluki Staraya; Podolia gub. > Philadelphia; Atlantic City; Milwaukee /// Galicia/Poland: BADER Felsztyn (Skelivka) > Philadelphia BADIAN Komarno? FELDMA(N)N Wolanka / Boryslaw > Philadelphia FREIDENHEIM Stryj, Drohobycz, etc. GERTLER Komarno, Wolanka, Stryj, Drohobycz, etc. WEINER/WIENER ? /// Germany: ADELSDORFER  BÄR / BAER Buttenhausen > mid-W US, esp. near Vandenburgh Co, IN. EPSTEI(N)N Willmarsch?, Röhrenfurth/Melsungen, Sachsenhausen, Guxhagen > Luxembourg; Amsterdam; mid-W US, esp. near Vandenburgh Co, IN HAUSSMAN Heidenheim? ISAAK Fellheim? MEYER Hannover > Aurora, IN. MOSES Gottenheim/Gottersheim, Sachsenhausen, Röhrenfurth. ROSENSTEIN Stuttgart; Elberfeld? > Philadelphia, Lancaster, PA.


Re: Eastern European surname suffix in transliteration #translation #names

Eric Davis

Another factor is that Polish does have German influences since Poland-Lithuania rules Prussia for 250 years. As a result Rabinovitz was in Polish Rabinowicz, pronounced as Rabinovich.

GenTeam Recht.als.Unrecht - Property registrations in Vienna from 1938 to 1945 #austria-czech

Jan Meisels Allen

This is from Prof. Ing. Felix Gundacker, Vienna from


The website is:

Initial checks of the archival fonds of the "Vermögensverkehrsstelle" (Assets Transfer Office) which were handed over to the Austrian Archives of the Republic in 1989 revealed that the holdings and the name index were often not consistent. This quickly led to the idea of setting up an electronic database which would allow researchers to quickly gain access to the required archival material.

It was only through this database established in many years of arduous work that genealogical research on the victims of the holocaust as well as scientific research by international historians were made possible.

"Recht als Unrecht" initiated an intensified debate on confiscations and restitution. In 1998 and 2003, official Austria reacted with the foundation of the National Fund for the Victims of National Socialism and a mandate to the Historical Commission.

On behalf of the entire research community I would like to sincerely thank Hofrat Dr. Hubert Steiner for creating this database and making it available to GenTeam.

Additional databases on Jewish genealogy and restitution:

Besides this highly valuable new database, GenTeam offers additional important resources for genealogy and restitution, such as a complete index of the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde (IKG) of Vienna (as well as data from Jewish communities in Lower Austria, Burgenland and Moravia), Jewish resignations 1868-1945, IKG divorces, converts, proselytes, foundling baptisms, the Jewish cemeteries of Vienna, Eisenstadt and Innsbruck as well as Nuremberg, civil marriages from Vienna, Graz and Salzburg, the Jewish familiants of Prague as well as an index for "Wer einmal war", volumes 1 and 2. Further references to Jewish families can be found in the databases of newspaper obituaries, the Vienna index of baptisms and the database on Jewish gravestones.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Illegitimate births circa 1906 #galicia

Sharon Taylor

I am researching an illegitimate birth in the Stanislawow region of Galicia in 1906. The story in the family was that the mother was later sent to America because of the shame, but the child was a loved and accepted part of the family. I'm wondering if anyone out there has any research or documentation (memoirs/Yizkor books) that deal with this issue in Galicia.

Sharon Taylor   Philadelphia, PA    stay9045@...

NEMETH, KASTENBAUM, WEISNER, FLEISIG in Stanislawow and L'viv regions of Galicia    FISHER, RAPPAPORT in Lithuania

Re: Eastern European surname suffix in transliteration #translation #names


you are looking for consistency in transliteration between at least 3 different alphabets, and 5 or more different languages?

-ovich, regardless of spelling, is a slavic suffix meaning "son of". it's used, as far as i know, in russian, ukranian, polish, slovak, most of the balkans, and even romania, in either latin or cyrillic alphabets. from there, it goes to yiddish, in hebrew letters, and then transliterated into latin letters using either german or english spelling conventions. and then sometimes into modern hebrew. (i don't know if any slavic version ends in the "tz" sound of the hebrew tzadi.) i can't imagine that there's a single, consistent and rational way to do this. there isn't even consistency in the original languages, because polish, german, hungarian and romanian, just for example, all write the "ch" sound differently, and some aren't even consistent within themselves. (e.g. hungarian spellings vary between "-ovits" and "-ovics", even for the same individual. both are valid and pronounced the same.)

you can either accept the (historic) inconsistency, or attempt to impose your own idea of what is correct. my experience is that i prefer to be more consistent in my own records, just because it wastes time to not have members of the same family grouped together, and to have to remember to check alternative spellings all the time. but i suppose that from a purely academic research point of view, i should really record all the variant spellings exactly as i find them.

....... tom klein, toronto  <tomk@...>

At 13:27 -0700 23/5/20, main@... wrote:
Does anyone know a linguistic reason to prefer a transliteration of
the Hebrew suffix bet-yud--tzadik sofi such as in the name Rabinovitz
in the absence of documentary evidence? If no rule or reason shouldn't
phonetic usage dictate consistent transliterations within one document
or book?
Sometimes a name is spelled -witz or. as from the Polish to English
usage -wicz.. Common also are the suffixes --vich., -vitch -wich and
-witch (as in Borovitch or Borovich). The latter usage seems unsound
phonetically, but it exists. A name is a private matter after all and
can be legally changed. Appreciate any comments.

Seeking Joseph Weisman, a member of Proskurover in NYC #ukraine

Meryl Goldberg

When your message includes the name of a place that's not familiar to everyone (Proskurov) please include the country.
The JewishGen Gazetteer says Ukraine for this one.  - Moderator

Searching for any information about Joseph Weisman.  He was a member of Proskurover in NYC.  My family is also Weisman from Proskurov but settled in Chicago in 1912.  My mggf  Mendel had at least 2 brothers, Akiva and another who we lost touch with.  Thanks for your help.

Meryl Harris Goldberg <>

Seeking the NEUMANN family group /landsmnaschaff in either lower east side or the Bronx, NYC #usa

Shimon Rosenberg

Any way to find family club /landsmanshaft?

My father remembers his grandmother going to meetings somewhere in ny either lower east side or the Bronx. My gg grandmothers maiden name was Hanna Neumann (or some variation phonetically Newman ) married isadore Weiss and lives in the Bronx and Newark nj.

Shimon Rosenberg <grubness@...>

Signing your full name to your messages furthers the spirit of community and mutual assistance that our group depends on.

Researching YELLIN > LEVIN family from Wysockie Maz, Jablonka, Zambrow > USA #poland

Sandy Levin

Moderator note: If your message mentions towns or regions that aren't well known places, please add the country to the local name.

Does any of this ring a bell?  If so, would be interested in hearing from you. 
I have quite a bit of information on this branch of YELLINs. 

My ggf was Azariel Zelig (Zelk) YELLIN.  His father’s name was Srol (1807-77) and
his mother’s name was Rochel Leah.  Srol’s His grandfather’s name was Hersh. 
According to the marriage records of two of Zelig’s daughters, he was married to
Marim Rochle KRZEWICZ.  I now have their marriage record as well.  They were
married in June 1877.   Her parents were Boruch and Dwejra. 

According to Srol Yellin’s death record from 1877, these are their children:

Sons:  Joszk Jankiel , Zelik, Pejsach Herszk and Matys
Daughters:  Sora Jenta and Bejla Itka

My grandfather, Sam Levin, was born Sam Yellin in Wysockie Maz, probably around
1890.  He settled in Chicago and in 1913, married ANNA BEDO(WICZ) who was from
Zambrow.  They had three children, Ida (z”l), Sol (z"l), and my father Jack
(z”l), all who lived in Chicago, although Ida moved to California and passed
away there in 2017 at 102. My grandfather was the youngest in the family. 

According the one of the last folks from the old country, my grandfather had six
sisters and one brother – Sarah (Surki), Chana,  Pesha Mindile (Bessie), Molkie
(Malcha), Shelub,and Bella Itka, and Lazar.   I believe only the first three and
my grandfather got out of the old country.  I have the marriage record of Bella
(Itka) Yellin.  She married Chilko (Hillel) Slklo (son of Shi and Pesia
(Bessie)), also of Wysockie Maz, in Wysockie on November 28, 1909.    She was
26, he was 25.   They were married by Rabbi Aron Perlman, the last rabbi of
Wysockie.  He perished in the Holocaust, as I assume this couple did. Based on
one of the other records I have, Bessie Yellin was born in 1880.  Surki married
Abe Zaitz in Wysockie in 1895.  Bessie married to Harry Slodki in Wysockie in
1900.  (These two couples settled in Chicago before the war).  Malcha married
Chilko Blodsztejn in Wysockie in 1907).  I have this marriage record as well. 
They did not leave the old country.

Chana married a COHEN.  They had five children, Lil, Ann, Sylvia, George, and
Freda.   Ann married a ROSENBERG.  They had at least one child, Bert, who
married Joan in New York in 1957.  I understand this branch of the family
lives(d) in Bell Harbor, New York.

Bessie married Harry SLOTKY (Slodki) in Wysockie in 1900.  They had four
children, Joe, Meyer, Sol, and Sam.  They lived in Chicago.

Somewhere along the line, there is a Nathan (Nissan) Yellin.  I have been in
contact with his descendents. Nissan (SONA in Yiddish) YELLIN had six or seven
kids, including Velvel Wolf YALEN who married Fanny PEARLMAN and Schmule YELEN. 
These two children settled in the Hartford area.  Sona also had a daughter,
Rebecca YELLIN who married Lazer BEN r. NEHEMIAH.  They eventually settled in
Columbus, Georgia.  My grandfather frequently visited with this branch of the
family including cousins Mildred (Feinberg) Green and Bernice (Feinberg)
Weinstein.  There were so many cousins, that I understand there was a "Sona's
Club," which was an annual gathering of cousins somewhere in the southeast
during the 1930s.  Sona also had a son BEROL who was born around 1859.  He
married Asna Leah BERENSZTEJN in Lomza or Jablonka in 1880.  According to the
marriage record, Sona was married to Basia, daughter of BEREK, and that Sona’s
father’s name was Lazar (Lejzor).  One of their children, Bessie, married Sam
Zaitz who was from Wysockie.  The story is that he changed his name to Yellin
when my grandfather brought him over from the old country.  The cousin
relationship may be here because Abe ZAITZ married my great aunt Sara (Surkie)
YELLIN  in Wysockie Maz in 1895.  This couple had five children:  Julius, Zelda
(Sylvia), Joe, Sol, and Sam (who took back the name Sam YELLIN). 

 Sandy Levin <s.levin@...>

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How do I get a copy of the death record of Zelman BERKOWITZ who died in Odessa on 16 Dec 1924 #ukraine


Hi Siggers,
  My great grandfather, Zelman BERKOWITZ, died in Odessa on 16 Dec 1924. I want to get a copy of his death record. How do I do it? A photo of his headstone is attached.
  Do any of you have access to these records and would be willing to get me a copy, or do you know anyone who could?
  Any help and/or guidance would be appreciated.

Thank you,  Larry Bassist,  Springville, Utah, USA 

List the surnames/towns that you are researching in the JewishGen Family Finder.
Go to and click on ENTER/MODIFY.


Re: Percentages of ancestry - my Ashkenazi father seems to be partly of Italian/Greek descent? #dna

Kenneth Ryesky

Following the Roman conquest of Judea, Jews were scattered throughout the Mediterranean, Europe, and indeed, the world.  The Romans (and before them, the Greeks) took many Jews as slaves, and, as soldiers then as now often did, with varying combinations of force and consentuality, took "war brides" from the territories in which they served.  Jewish slave labor built many of the historical structures of Rome, including the Coliseum.

So it is not unusual for one of these DNA testing concerns to report Greek and/or Italian DNA in its Jewish clients.  Oftentimes it is not so much a case of Jews having Italian DNA so much as Italians having Jewish DNA.    {Remember that if a boy looks like his father it is heredity, but if he looks like the mailman then it is environment.}    -- KHR

Ken Ryesky, Petach Tikva,Israel  kenneth.ryesky@...

Re: Eastern European surname suffix in transliteration #translation #names

Kenneth Ryesky

Avigdor Ben-Dov asked: "Does anyone know a linguistic reason to prefer a transliteration of the Hebrew suffix bet-yud--tzadik sofi such as in the name Rabinovitz in the absence of documentary evidence? If no rule or reason shouldn't phonetic usage dictate consistent transliterations within one document or book?............."

Complicating the issue is the frequent transition from one alphabet to another.  (Roman alphabet, Cyrillic alphabet, Greek alphabet, Hebrew/Yiddish alphabet, etc.).

-- KHR
Ken Ryesky, Petach Tikva, Israel kenneth.ryesky@...

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Re: Survivors to Israel #holocaust #israel #romania

Rose Feldman

Marty Rice asked: Is there a source for the names of Romanian survivors who made it to Israel 1946 to 1960?

It isn't that lists don't exist, it is the fact there is privacy laws and lists of less than 70 years aren't open to the public.
Rose Feldman, Israel Genealogy Research Association  http:/

Seek information on Bercu LITVAC and Golda YUZVINSKYmy paternal grandparents, who traveled from Vinnitsa, Ukraine, through Bucharest, Romania #latinamerica #romania #ukraine

Lainie Levick

Hello all,

I am looking for information on Bercu (Beryl) LITVAC and Golda YUZVINSKY, my paternal grandparents, who traveled from Vinnitsa, Ukraine, through Bucharest, Romania, where their first son Chaim (Hymie) Felwich, was born on April 5, 1921, and they obtained a passport to the US. They arrived in Ellis Island July 23, 1921, and settled in Philadelphia. Bercu’s two sisters went to Argentina, and his brother David probably stayed in Ukraine. We don’t know what happened to Golda’s siblings Tzvia and Moshe. We know what happened to Bercu and Golda in the US, but not much before they arrived here, or what happened to their families. I have searched the typical genealogy websites, including the DNA sites, but have hit a brick wall. Any information about these families would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance.

Lainie Levick <llevick@...>


Re: Ukraine Brick Wall MILLSTEIN #ukraine


  You said:  "I have been trying to find any documentation/information about my
great-grandfather Shimon MILLSTEIN. He was married to a woman named
Dora who bore him 3 sons: Harris (b. 1885 in Kiev), Joseph (b. 1888,
likely also Kiev), and Julius. ... My searches on JewishGen, Ancestry, Family Search have yielded
nothing for Shimon or Dora (or various spellings, etc) that fits the
dates and information I do have. Any thoughts about how I might
proceed? " ============================================>

   Go to and in the search box type:
   That will turn up a number of people that might be related to you.
   It is free to subscribe to the website, but they do charge for extra information and for documents.
I have found many of my relatives through them though.

Best regards,  Larry Bassist  Springville, Utah, USA

Re: Jewish Argentinians #latinamerica

Shelley Mitchell

One point in history not frequently discussed was the enslavement of Jewish immigrants from 1870 to WWII. They were forced into prostitution, mostly in Argentina. And many of their “owners” were Jewish. It is for that reason alone, many of these unwilling women will be lost to researchers. It’s doubtful that they were buried where their names would be known. Plus many arrived alone from Germany, Austria, and Western Europe. It’s an embarrassing aspect of our history but it must be studied and understood.
Shelley Mitchell, NYC    shemit@...

Re: Illegitimate births circa 1840 #germany

Arline and Sidney Sachs

My g.g.grandfather wrote of his experience in the early and mid 1800s in Kastel (across the river from Mainz).  When he wanted to get married in 1829 he had to get permission from the town, community and state.  To do this he had to prove he would not be a burden on the community.  He was serving as a Chazen and had to have the entire community sign an official paper saying that they would continue to support him. ( I have this document if anyone wants to see it.)  One member of the small community did not sign it.  My ancestor  wrote in his journal that he returned to his room and cried, but the owner assured him that they would make sure he would get it.   Much later the mayor asked the person who would not sign, why he had not signed.  My ancestor wrote "He has yet to answer the mayor".

  Many years later when his daughter wanted to get married, he made the comment about his future son-in-law, who lived in Bischofsheim (now part of Mainz). " Thank goodness he received his permission to marry."
  Remember the early 1800s was a time of great immigration of Germans to America - both Jewish and Christians.

Arline and Sidney Sachs <sachs@...>

Signing your full name to all messages to the JGDG furthers the spirit of community and mutual assistance that our group depends on.

Seeking a Distant FRIEDMAN Connection #ukraine #usa

Matt Friedman

A few weeks ago I viewed an Ancestry map of potential DNA matches and saw a friend, Susan Breslauer, as a potential 4th cousin.  I called her and she exuberantly said that she had recently discovered the identity of her birth father as Marshall FRIEDMAN.  The challenge is that the farthest back known Friedman ancestor from me is 4 generations.  Moshe Leib Friedman who lived in the Horodenka, Ukraine area in a small village Jasienow Polny (with variant spellings).  Two of Moshe Leib's son came to the US.  We know with certainty the identity of all of Moshe Leib's descendants.  None of his European family survived WWII. I am the only remaining male descendant with the name of FRIEDMAN.  The Ancestry list has no Friedmans listed.  We don't know anything about Moshe Leib's extended family.   We don't know if he had brothers or cousins that could potentially have Friedman descendants.  Susan has few details about Marshall but is persuing available records and connections.  So far she has not found a "missing link." Possible geographic connections for Marshall, who would now be in his early 80's, are the Baltimore area and Ohio.  Social media searches haven't led anywhere definitive.  A potential 4th cousin is already a genetic stretch, but it would be wonderful to find a link to other relatives.

Matt Friedman   <mlfriedman@...>

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Seeking ancestors of my paternal grandfather Simon (Shimon, Yehoshua) BERNSTEIN in Kremenchug, Poltava in 1870 #ukraine


I am continually searching over many years for the origins of my paternal grandfather’s family BERNSTEIN.
lsrael Zvi and his wife Cissie (Shayne) gave birth to my paternal grandfather Simon (Shimon, Yehoshua) in Kremenchug, Poltava in 1870.
That information I found on my grandfather’s British citizenship certificate from Kew Archives, London.

Simon married Chana Likhtmakher (Lightman) in Vilna... or on the way... the family settled in Leeds, UK at the side of the Lightman families.
The Bernstein g.grandparents could have been “in migration “... The Pale... South to Kremenchug, maybe originating in Galicia, Prussia, Lithuania.
Up until now... I have absolutely no new ideas and need some help. 

Brenda Bernstein Habshush, Israel   <brentsi@...>