was my great-grandmother Jewish? #general

Rachel Neeve

Hello everyone,

I'm looking for some advice from more experienced people about my desire to find out if my great-grandmother was Jewish. 

My great-grandmother, born 1903, had 10 children. Some of her children say my great-grandmother was Jewish, and some of them say she wasn't. 

I'm particularly interested to find out more about my great-grandmother specifically. At this stage I am not seeking to create a family tree spanning generations, just to know more about her. Is this possible?

Is there any way I can definitively say whether she was Jewish or not?

Thank you in advance
Rachel Neeve

Re: Pre War handwritting Yiddish #yiddish

David Lewin

At 14:45 16/11/2021, Jorge Frankon wrote:
I am interested in reading old handwritten Yiddish, especially coming from central west Poland and the "zone of transition" of Yiddish dialect at the north west from Warsaw, in the pre WWII years.
I have found a very interesting blog in that every Yiddish reader will love, that helps a lot, but I am trying to find more resources that may help to read it.
I will really appreciate if somebody can provide information about other resources, as books, papers, blogs, web pages or any one you know about.
Many thanks,
Jorge Frankon
Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Jorge M. Frankon
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Are you familiar with the Yivo Institute?

Jane Tuszynski (she/her)
Program Coordinator
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
15 W 16th St, New York, NY 10011

Visit our Website | Join our Email List | Like us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter | Follow us on Instagram

David Lewin

Search & Unite attempt to help locate people who, despite the passage of so many years since World War II, may still exist "out there".
We also assist in the process of re-possession of property in the Czech Republic and Israel.
See our Web pages at

Re: Caribbean with Ashkenazi Jewish Dna #dna


Brian, I recently read the book you mention and found the title to be very misleading.  As you say, it is more about the history and movement to that part of the world that "Pirates."  That being said, it was interesting.

Herschel Sheiness
San Antonio, Tx

WWI military service for Austrians living in Germany #germany

Jeffrey Knisbacher

I have questions about the status and origin of the military service of my paternal grandfather Yitzkhaq Moshe KNISBACHER, for whom I am named. For years I have had a postcard (sent to me by  a distant cousin) of him in a Berlin military hospital (Lazarett) and had, until very recently, assumed he served in the German army. Then a lengthy petition that my late father Max KNISBACHER had filed for a German pension turned up in the files of the Jewish Museum of Maryland. One of those pages detailed, in German, in my father's own hand, that his father had been an Austrian who fought for Germany and, on September 28, 1918, died of the flu pandemic that he had contracted in the service.

So my questions are:

1. Would he have served in the German army or in the German-allied Austro-Hungarian army?

2. Does his presence in a Berlin Lazarett mean that he was in the German army at the time or could Austrians have wound up there (if, say, their service left them sick or wounded closer to Berlin than to Vienna)?

3. Could he have been drafted into the German army as an "alien" from Austro-Hungary?

4. Could he have been drafted into the Austro-Hungarian army (via an Austro-Hungarian official in Berlin, where he was living)?

5. In either case, could I expect to find a record of his call-up in the Austrian State Archive?

6. Was he more likely to have been drafted than to have volunteered, given that by my father's birth in 1913, he already had two children?

Note that I have already filed for his Lazarett records with the German state archives but will have to wait a while for a final response and have no idea if such a Lazarett record would answer any of my questions. Thanks in advance for any help with this.   Jeff Knisbacher, Bradenton, FL

Re: Kalman and Deborah ABRAMOWITZ #names


For what it's worth, there is also an ABRAMOWITZ tangentially related to my tree, Masha, apparently an earlier spouse of my great-aunt's second husband.  I have no information other than his name and descendants, but if anyone has a Masha, I'd gladly share what I have.
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC

Re: Seeking possible cousins in Israel #israel #general

John Kovacs

Dear Veronica,
Your note got my attention because you mentioned the name of the town of Drohobych.   My mother, after WWII got married to a wonderful man Oskar Russ who was born in Drohobych about 1907.  Oskar's sister went to Israel and settled in a Kibbutz and I met her and her family several years ago.   Unfortunately I am not in my usual home where I have various notes that would remind me of the name of the Kibbutz.  Part of the family of Russ who live in the US are on vacation and as soon they come home I will ask them of the name of the kibbutz who maybe could give you more information.     
Best wishes, John Kovacs

Re: Caribbean with Ashkenazi Jewish Dna #dna

Paula B

Hi, Simon,

I would love to read your book. I don’t see it on Amazon, or am I missing something? I am very interested in Caribbean history *and* Jewish history, so it sounds perfect. How can I get hold of a copy?

Thank you!
Paula Berinstein 

Re: Grave translation #translation


I see that the name of the father of Dvorah Fine was spelled differently, once Kapil and once Kopil. 

The traditional Jewish name involved here is Koppel. 
In Yiddish, many times, the letter "aleph" is used for the voyel "o". The letter "yod" is very softly pronounced to the point that it reflects the sound "e".

In most cases Koppel is a diminutive form of Jacob. 
We have a similar example for Seppel being the diminutive form of Joseph.

Depending time and place, Koppel became germanized as Kaufmann. This is the source of the family name Kaufmann, that usually does not mean that an ancestor was a trader or merchant, as implied by the German meaning of the word. 

Best regards, 

Laurent Kassel 
Moreshet, Israel

Re: Have the towns in Prussia but can't read the handwriting #translation


Hi Ellen,

I read the towns as Hamerstein (probably a misspelling of Hammerstein, now known as Czarne), and Krotoschin (Krotoszyn).

Jonathan Spencer-Todd
Oxford, UK

Lichtenstein in Ramat Gan #israel

Neil Rosenstein

Trying to make contact with the family of Sara (nee Wagschal)
Licthenstein who immigrated to Israel in 1943 and lived in Ramat Gan.
Her father, Shlomo Wagschal was a descendant of the Wagschal Chassidi
Neil Rosenstein

Re: NYC information on psychiatrists #general #usa

Sherri Bobish


Found at

On the NYC 1924 Voters List there is a Henry V. AGINSKY listed in Brooklyn, NY at 299 Hopkinson Ave.  Also at that address are Hyman S. and Ida AGINSKY.

On the 1925 NY State Census at 299 Hopkinson Ave. are the same three people, as above.  Henry is age 22 and a student, and Hyman and Ida are his parents.  Also living with the family are Hyman's father-in-law and mother-in-law, Jacob and Lea SASSULSKY.

Found at:
Henry V. AGINSKY received a medical degree in 1927 from The Medical School of The Long Island College Hospital, according to a newspaper article at the above named site.

Good luck in your search,

Sherri Bobish

Searching: RATOWSKY / CHAIMSON (Ariogala / Ragola, Lith.)
WALTZMAN / WALZMAN (Ustrzyki Dolne / Istryker, Pol.)
LEVY (Tyrawa Woloska, Pol.)
LEFFENFELD / LEFENFELD / FINK, KALTER (Daliowa/ Posada Jasliska, Pol.)
BOJDA / BERGER (Tarnobrzeg, Pol.)
SOKALSKY / SOLON / SOLAN / FINGER(MAN) (Grodek, Bialystok, Pol.)
BOBISH / APPEL (Odessa?)

Seeking Ancestors, Julie ERTHEIN, born Julie ROSE #usa


I cannot find much information on my paternal grandmother's family.  She was born Julie ROSE, in Stamford, Connecticut, in 1906, daughter of Nora and Morris ROSE.  

I do not have further information on Morris ROSE, such as dates of birth or death.  And nothing about his parents.

As for her mother, Nora, she was born Nora COON in ca 1886, and died in 1951.  I strongly expect she was born and died in the US, probably in the NYC area.  

Any hints or suggestions of where to look would be wonderful (what I have, I have from Ancestry dot com.  I asked my father but he does not know more than that either.  He's not much into genealogy).

Thank you,

John Erthein

Re: FamilySearch - order documents #general

Barbara Stack

You can also phone your local LDS Library and ask if there is someone who can help you or when such a person might be in.
Barbara Stack
Berkeley, CA
[] Discussion Group - Digest #2055
Wed, May 26, 2021 3:08 am
main@... digestnoreply@...
To        BTStack@...
FamilySearch Library To Offer Library Lookup Service #announcements #records #usa
From: Jan Meisels Allen
Date: Wed, 26 May 2021 03:25:06 EDT
With the pandemic, the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City, Utah has been closed, as has its regional and affiliate libraries. A new Library Lookup Service will soon provide greater access to these records globally.
You need to register for a free FamilySearch Account where you can search through their large database of records. When you open the link on the right upper side there is a sign in and a create account. To create an account you need to provide your first and last names, birth month, day and year, sex and whether you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Upon request, staff and volunteers at the library will look up specific records in their collections that cannot be viewed online. Since Library Lookup is not a research service, people will need to identify the specific record from that they need to see.
To use the Lookup service, visit the online request form (   to request a copy of the image of the original document.
If your request is about something in a book-not all books have been digitized and copyright limitations will apply. Use the same aforementioned request form along with the title or call number of the book and the page number (s) you want copied.  The staff will send a PDF copy of the page or pages, as allowed. In cases where page numbers are unknown, staff can check the index in a book for the listing of a name or chosen term to help provide the right pages.
After the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and the library reopens, the Library Lookup Service will continue as part of the FamilySearch global outreach.
To read more see:
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Have the towns in Prussia but can't read the handwriting #translation

Ellen Beller

The marriage of my great great grandmother and father have the towns they were born but I can not read the script.  Encolsed is the marriage certificate from NY in 1867.   Thank you in advance.  

Ellen Beller

Re: Naming convention among Romanian Jews in the late 1800's / early 1900's #names

David Harrison <djh_119@...>


Certainly this also happened in The Netherlands.  I have a large slice of an ancestral tree in which a series of first cousins have the same given name with a ripple of third cousins all using the same given name.  I am very thankful that the Dutch do not have a once in ten years census, they have house books which are open for a whole decade and are cross reference between books showing where people have come from or went to.  This has given me a child who went to relations for several years and then returned (to make a new entry in that book)  Other information can be found on Birth Certificates, which if signed by the Postmaster or town Clerk instead of parents , indicates thar parents could not read, this was a requirement for signing such a document.

David Harrison
Birmingham, Great Britain

From: main@... <main@...> on behalf of jack nathanson via <>
Sent: 15 November 2021 21:52
To: main@... <main@...>
Subject: Re: [] Naming convention among Romanian Jews in the late 1800's / early 1900's #names
In Romania, Jewish children were definitely named after deceased ancestors. My late father, Nathan (Nuta), born in Raducaneni in 1911, was named after his paternal grandfather, Nuta Tailic. As a matter of fact, the name "Nuta" was so common in the family that the family name was eventually changed from "Tailic" to "Natanzon".

Jack Nathanson,

Re: FamilySearch - order documents #general

Lee Jaffe

Family History Library Lookup Service


Lee David Jaffe

Surnames / Towns:  Jaffe / Suchowola, Poland ; Stein (Sztejnsapir) / Bialystok and Rajgrod, Poland ; Joroff (Jaroff, Zarov) / Chernigov, Ukraine ; Schwartz (Schwarzman?, Schwarzstein?) / ? ;  Koshkin / Snovsk, Ukraine ; Rappoport / ? ; Braun / Wizajny, Suwalki, Poland,  Ludwinowski / Wizajny, Suwalki, Poland


Re: Kalman and Deborah ABRAMOWITZ #names


I am also searching for my Abramowitz family.  

Could you provide approximate birth-death dates for Kalman and Deborah and where they originated from.

I am looking for relatives of Tsvi Hirsch HlLevi Abramowtiz (born about 1845) and Eta/Yetta Smarkowitch. from Lativa (possibly Jelgava)  Five of the children came to the US:  Max,  Gurssie, Sarah, Abe, Sam.  Two went to South Africa but I don't know their names or what happened to them, and 2 sons and their families perished in the Holocaust. 

Tara Blieden Rothman

Offering Mount Zion Cemetery photos (Queens, NY) #photographs #usa

A. E. Jordan

A few people are asking about Mt Zion in Maspeth. Queens, NY so if the weather continues ok I am happy to make another trip back there to get photos.
Process I follow is fairly simple in offering to take photos for people.
You ID the grave from the cemetery's online database and send me the details. I take a photo and email it to you and in turn I appreciate a few dollars to help defer the expense of doing this for everyone, ie gasoline money.
I am happy to help out where I can, but please don't send me a generic name and ask me to find the person at the cemetery and please don't send me around the cemetery to find the 20 people named Jack Cohen because one of them might possibly be your long lost cousin. The cemetery is massive and a few people have asked me to do that and it is a very slow process that takes a lot of time and gasoline, etc.

Also if you are asking for an infant or child's grave please tell me. They are mostly in separate areas of the plots and a lot of those graves do not have markers.
Mount Zion has an online database. It is better if you search the name on their database versus the commercial Find a Grave because the position information and data is better at the cemetery's page.
Feel free to ask me questions via email and ask about other NYC area cemeteries because I will visit most of them as the summer progresses. There's a few I do not go to because of distance or safety issues.
Please respect the discussion group and send your specific requests to me privately by replying to this email or my email address aejordan at aol dot com.
Allan Jordan
New York

Re: Caribbean with Ashkenazi Jewish Dna #dna

Victoria Fisch

I have in my possession a book likely written in the 1950s (no publication date) entitled Jewish Monumental Inscriptions in Barbados, by E.M. Shilstone. It is a list of burials and headstone inscriptions and in glancing through it, I did come across the surname Burgos  / Burgoss - perhaps Burgess was an anglicization.

Victoria Fisch
Sacramento CA

Resource to find Jewish demographics #records

Myra Fournier

I have been investigating the Jewish population in Brookline, MA for an article I am writing.  
Many "Genners" gave me suggestions to find democratic information, so I wanted to let you know about one valuable resource I stumbled upon - the online archive of American Jewish Yearbook.
Hard copies are also available at:

The yearbooks contain a wealth of data about Jewish civilization since 1899, including Jewish demographics by states, some cities, and some countries.

I have no affiliation with the publishers; am just providing an FYI because it was so helpful to me.

Myra Fournier
Bedford, MA

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