Re: Poland - Can someone please help me solve the mystery? #poland

J.R. Silver

Just to clarify- the 'W' in the Polish name 'GLOWINSKI' is pronounced as an English 'V'. So if you were told by some  relative in the USA that the name was GloBinski , that was probably his /her understanding of what she or he had HEARD.  The 'B' sound s close enough to 'V' for a guessed spelling using 'B'. 
So I don't think we should be looking IN POLAND for a name change from GLOWINSKI involving 'W' to 'B'. The generous level of occurrence of the surname 'GLOWINSKI' in Brzeziny and surrounding towns is sufficient to make that an unlikely complication.  
And Beider's reference , cited by David Price , of the etymology of GLOWINSKI being possibly someone from the town of GLOWNO is apposite, since Glowno is a neighbouring town to Brzeziny and a number of Brzeziny families were of Glowno origin. 

Judith Silver Email:  silverjr1@...

Re: 1897 Odessa Census Name Index #records #ukraine

Alan Shuchat

Here is another source with the name index: This is easy to read (but in Russian). The Gordin/Gordion names and addresses begin at #1181 in the database.
Alan Shuchat
Newton, MA

SHUKHAT (Talnoe, Simferopol, Sevastopol, Odessa, Balta (Abazovka), Pogrebishche)
VINOKUR (Talnoe), KURIS (Mogilev-Podolskiy, Ataki, Berdichev)
ZILBERMAN (Soroki, Kremenets), BIRNBAUM (Kamenets-Podolskiy)
KITAIGORODSKI (Zvenigorodka)

Re: Curious question on name change #records


May I throw my maternal GM (Anna Kaplan) and her unusual name changes into the Kaplan discussion of Donna Kanlan? In the USA, my GM was Anna Kaplan, and her marriage record says Anna Kaplan 19, from Grodno Russia, married Barnet Horowitz on 30 January 1914 in Manhattan, NY and that her parents were Isadore Kaplan and Esther Saltman. GM told me she came from Belarus with a sister who was sent back at immigration, and GM then had to go to Troy, NY alone after arrival. I don’t know if GM came through Canada or Ellis Island, but believe she arrived in the USA in 1910 too late to be included in the 1910 census.

My mother (Charlotte Horowitz) always said my GM’s real maiden name sounded like Kapoushnik, and on my mother’s death record, my father gave Kapoushnik as her mother’s maiden name. On the other hand, my aunt, my GM’s last surviving child, says my GM’s surname was Kaplan, and I assume Kaplan is shown on my GM’s death record (she died in Yonkers in 1977) since my aunt would have filled those forms out. I have found people named Kaplan/Kirpichnik in the Belarus Revision Lists from Grodno.

My questions is: Can anyone help me discover my GM’s maiden name back in Europe and what town in Grodno she likely came from?

Bruce Podwal


Researching Kaplan (Belarus), Podwal (Bessarabia), Horowitz (Lomza and Latvia), Fuchs (Jezierna/Ozerna)

Re: was my great-grandmother Jewish? #general

Relly coleman

A point of clarification on who is a Jew in Israel. Israel’s law of return should not be confused with the definition of ‘who is a Jew’.

Israel uses the ‘formula’ of: one Jewish grandparent (based on the Nazi formula), only to qualify for immigration to Israel under the ‘law of return.’

Once in Israel, the Interior Ministry enters ‘Jewish’ on the immigrant’s ID card, based, by and large, on the immigrant’s personal declaration. This however is not the end of the road.

To get married, or for any services that involve the Israeli rabbinate, the person has to meet the Halachaic definition of who is a Jew. Their ‘formula’ is based on proof of a jewish mother (or orthodox conversion by approved rabbis).

So, You can immigrate to Israel if one of your grandparents was Jewish, even if you are practicing another faith. You can be labeled Jewish on your ID card and not be considered Jewish by the rabbinate. 

Relly Coleman


Facial Identification in Two Old Photos #latvia #photographs

Gail H. Marcus

I previously posted a photo (reposted here) to try to figure out if the individuals in the photo were related.  I received some very helpful observations (thanks to all who replied!), but in the end, nothing was definitive.  I have since been provided with another old photo that MAY be a later photo of one of the individuals in the first photo.  (I am not certain.)  I was hoping that someone with good facial recognition skills might be able to see if one of the individuals in the later photo resembles anyone in the earlier photo.

The individual I want to try to match is the man on the lower right side of the photo of 5 people.  The question is, do his facial features resemble any of the men in the photo of 3 couples, and if so, which man?  (Note that the photo of the couples was probably taken between 1905 and 1920, and the photo of the 5 people was probably taken in the late 1930s.) 

Thanks for any help anyone can give me.

Gail Marcus
Bethesda, MD

Re: Poland - Can someone please help me solve the mystery? #poland

J.R. Silver

Hi Shira,

I'm writing as JRI-Poland Town Leader for Brzeziny.
JRI-Poland has scans of almost all the vital records ( BMD) ,for the town of Brzeziny from 1822 to 1920 ( B) , 1931 (D) and 1935 (M). Projects  to fully index and extract key information from the whole range of these records are well underway.   
This vast database will eventually be placed in the public domain on the JRI-Poland website, pending full funding. In  the meantime JRI-Poland  makes available a spreadsheet with the records for your family names to qualifying donors. Please contact me by email for further information.
I have checked our Brzeziny database and sadly I do not find a birth record for your grandfather Josek Abraham GLOWINSKI around 1911-12.  There could be many reasons for this: late registration, registration in another town, registration under a different name ( possibly for reasons of evading army service, though I am no expert on this .)  [ You will have noted in the JRI-Poland online records a Brzeziny birth of an Abraham Josek GLOWINSKI in 1842[ Art 46] - and it might well be that your grandfather was named after him- it gives good reason to suppose that your grandfather was indeed of Brzeziny origin]
Nor at the moment can I find any trace of a Brzeziny marriage record for your grandparents
However, JRI-Poland does have  a record of the birth of a  Sura Leja MORDKOWICZ  registered in 1913 and this is likely to be  your grandmother. Also an 1872 marriage record for your great-grandfather Jankel Wolf MORDKOWICZ .
There are numerous Brzeziny GLOWINSKI and MORDKOWICZ vital records going back to the 1850's, so there is a good chance that you will be able to construct a good family tree going backwards in time from around 1912. The prospects going forward in time are less certain.
Please do contact me if you would like to take this further.

With all good wishes

Judith Silver

Town Leader, JRI-Poland Brzeziny vital records indexing and extraction project.

Re: Poland - Can someone please help me solve the mystery? #poland

Frank Szmulowicz

On Tue, Nov 23, 2021 at 05:07 PM, shiraH wrote:
her name was Sura Leja Mordkowicz (not 100% sure about the spelling) parents names: Jakel Wolf Mordkowicz/Rajle Lipsman 
Grandfather was born in 1911-1912 (we assume he was born in the same area) Josek (Jozef, Yosef)-Szmul Parents: Avraham Glowinski\Tauba (Tova, Toba) unknown last name. 
During the war, they left for Uzbekistan, I think they got married there when they came back to Poland they changed their name to Grynbaum. 
I cannot find any record of my grandfather! I searched everywhere! I am not sure why! 
I was told the name was Globinski but I know the Polish language doesn't really have a B sound? maybe there is another name like Globinski like a name that
B is a very proud member of the Polish alphabet. Globinski is a possible Jewish name that derives from the ball/globe- kugel.

Here are other variations of the name derived from "glob".

Frank Szmulowicz

Re: 1897 Odessa Census Name Index #records #ukraine

Alan Shuchat


Thanks for posting the link to this interesting Avotaynu article.

The index of the Odessa Board for Small Business, Fond 359 is described at

and you can look up names at

Footnote 41 in the Avotaynu article gives the Russian name of the book Jews of Odessa and Southern Ukraine: History in Documents. The book is online atЕвреи_Одессы_и_юга_Украины_история_в_документах._-_Кн._1_(кон._ХVІІІ-_нач._ХХ_вв.).pdf

The actual index for the Board begins on page 95 in the pdf file. Page 111 contains several Gordin and Gordion names, including the dates on which they were recorded in this register.

You can look up the addresses in the 1897 census at and, if the families were at those addresses in 1897, get information about them. On the other hand, I have found relatives in the census (by looking through streets in Jewish neighborhoods) who are listed as meshchanin (townsperson, petty bourgeois) but apparently didn't have businesses that were registered with the Board. 
Alan Shuchat
Newton, MA

SHUKHAT (Talnoe, Simferopol, Sevastopol, Odessa, Balta (Abazovka), Pogrebishche)
VINOKUR (Talnoe), KURIS (Mogilev-Podolskiy, Ataki, Berdichev)
ZILBERMAN (Soroki, Kremenets), BIRNBAUM (Kamenets-Podolskiy)
KITAIGORODSKI (Zvenigorodka)

Wikipedia Page for Gesher Galicia #announcements #galicia #poland #ukraine

Steven Turner

Dear Friends,

We want to share with you the news that a Wikipedia page for Gesher
Galicia has gone live. You can find it here:

Please be aware that Wikipedia pages are informational only and there
are very strict criteria for what can and what cannot be on a page.

We want to wish all of our American friends a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

Dr. Steven S. Turner
President, Gesher Galicia

Re: Curious question on name change #records


As others who've responded to this question have noted, there are at least two sources of surname discrepancies:

1.  Transcription errors:  these can originate in original documents (e.g. metrical records, ship manifests, declarations of intent and censuses, to name a few) where the official writing the surname applied their own spelling "conventions" to a foreign name, and in genealogical indices in sources such as Ancestry, Ellis Island and FamilySearch, where the problem can arise when the transcriber is trying to decipher a poorly imaged document, or one where the original handwriting is sloppy or simply idiosyncratic.

2.  Immigrants changed their surnames informally (without going through the legal process, either at time of naturalization or independently), often quite soon after arrival and sometimes to a form unrecognizable from the original.  One of my great-aunts and her children arrived in New York in December, 1909 as members of the Zhizmar family (her husband having arrived the previous June);  by the time they were recorded in the 1910 US Census the following April, their surname was Sussman.

Joel Novis
Longmeadow, MA
Researching NOVITSKIY (Ukraine), OLSZTAJN (Poland), GEYMAN/HYMAN (Belorus), POTASHNIK/LEVY (who knows?)

Re: Poland - Can someone please help me solve the mystery? #poland

dprice dprice

Beider reference: GLOWINSKI means from the village of Glowina or Glowinsk or Glowno, see GLOWIANSKI. The closest surname to GLOBINSKI is GLOBEN (Chelm) A: GLAUBEN (German) meaning 'faith' (see GLAUBER) and GLOBUS meaning 'globe'.

David Price

Re: Help understanding ship manifest #records


Those numbers and date are related to his naturalization information.  It is hard to read the date; it looks like 3/20/19 to me.  If you have his naturalization document, you can see if the date matches.

Marlise Gross
Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Researching Romanian/Moldovan or Belarus towns #belarus #romania #general

Angie Elfassi



A relative in Israel has given me, in Hebrew, the names of two towns where various relatives were born.


One of the towns I believe I have found but it is in Belarus, although in 1941 it might have been considered Romania.

This following relative was born in 1941

משה נולד מוגלוב, שזה היה רומניה

This following extract I found on a site called wikiaray and I don’t know if it’s a very safe site.

“In its Third Establishment Treaty, the following territories for the republic were claimed: Moglov (district) as well as Belarusian parts of Minsk region, Grodno region (including Bialystok), Vilnius district, Vitebsk region, Smolensk region and parts of the population of Belarus. Border regions, rejecting the division of Belarusian land between Germany and Russia at that time. The territories were claimed by a Belarusian majority or a large minority (as in the Grodno region of Vilnius), although there were a number of Lithuanians, Poles, people who spoke mixed varieties of Belarusian, Lithuanian and Polish, as well as many Jews, mostly in cities and towns (they were majority in some towns). Some Jews spoke Russian as their mother tongue; Others spoke Yiddish (or Yiddish)”

This following relative Ella was born c. 1908 and Grandma Tsiporra (also known as Fanny, surname unknown) was born c. 1886
אלה נולדה גם במיאטראמים ,וגם הסבתא ציפורה. לאחר מכן עברו לרומניה

I’d appreciate any input about the names of the towns.

Thank you.



Angie Elfassi


RAYKH-ZELIGMAN/RICHMAN, Stakliskes, Lithuania/Leeds;
COHEN, Sakiai, Lithuania/Leeds

MAGIDOVICH, Jurbarkas, Lithuania/Leeds; KASSIMOFF, Rezekne, Latvia/Leeds; MULVIDSON, Rezekne, Latvia/Sweden; GREENSTONE, Rezekne, Latvia/Leeds

ITMAN, Stakliskes, Lithuania/USA; SOKOLOV, Latvia

KANTOR, Sakiai, Lithuania; GOLDBERG, Sakiai, Lithuania; GELBERG, Kamianka-stromilava, Lvov, Poland; ELFASSI, Settat, Morocco


Re: was my great-grandmother Jewish? #general


It seems we all beg to differ, and many Orthodox Jews still consider Reform and Liberals not to be Jewish
It reminds me of the old joke about two Jews wrecked on a desert island who built three shuls, one for each of them to go to and the third that neither would be seen dead in. 

Also times change. In my youth in the early 1950s a local boy whose father was Jewish but whose mother was not was refused entry to our Jewish youth club on the grounds he was not Jewish. I believe that many years later he married a Jewish girl in the local shul.

Perhaps we should leave it there having pretty thoroughly chewed over the subject.

Alan Cohen

Re: Need to research name change in UK records #unitedkingdom #names #general

SoundFlyer <458batty@...>

Thanks Joyaa - I've also been told that Salmon is already an anglicization so to try closely phonetic Jewish names such as Solomon. Found some  good websites with lists of such names, e.g. 
Stephen Batty (918406)
Gtr. Manchester, UK.

Re: Schapsel name equivalents #general

David Ziants

On a Google search, I noticed on a reply to a posting I made more than two decades ago, that I signed off:-

<<< ZENETSKI became ZIANTS and ISHMA became DAVIDSON all from Narewka. >>>

A few years after then, I found out concerning my own family (who lived in London, England, UK) that;-

1) ISHMA  that my grandmother told me was the original family name of her paternal family, was really ISMACH (and my great-grandfather, Alter, changed this to DAVIDSON for himself and possibly for his father). His brother (i.e. my second great uncle), Abraham, changed his family name to OSMAN and married and raised his family in Glasgow, Scotland, UK

2) Of course my great-grandmother, Alka (Alice) changed her maiden name to that of her husband. What was not told to me was that Alka's brothers changed the name from ZENETSKY to SCHLOSBERG and I only found this out on receiving a condolence call from a distant cousin after the last of my grandparents left this world.

I am sure I have many other places to correct this statement on my replies and postings from the  earlier days of this forum.

David Ziants

Ma'aleh Adumim, Israel

Re: was my great-grandmother Jewish? #general

David Lewin

At 18:57 23/11/2021, David Harrison wrote:
Surely it does not really matter. She is still your grandmother and
always will be. If it is that important to you, why did you not ask
her when you were alive and met her? On the other hand, if your
mother did not ask her (or care) why should it bother you unless and
only unless some very frum (demonstratedly strict on his or her
observances) relation of your potential partner is kicking up a fuss
to prevent your marriage, or have you met Humpty Dumpty or the Red Queen.
David Harrison
Birninghan, England
What an unfair message!!!!

I wonder how many of us "genealogists" were that when we were young?

I am reminded of a sign hanging in my Landlady's entrance hall about
60 years ago: It was one of those wood rectangles into which the
words had been "burnt" so that the surface had singed:

There is so much good in the worst of us
and so much bad in the best of us
that it ill behoves any of us
to talk about the rest of us

David Lewin

Re: ViewMate translation request - RUSSIAN #russia #poland #belarus #translation

Frank Szmulowicz

The two sides - the groom and the bride - did not conclude a prenuptial agreement, that is, there is no pre-nuptial agreement between them. It does not mean that they did not succeed; they did not even try.
Frank Szmulowicz

Re: ViewMate translation request - RUSSIAN #russia #poland #belarus #translation


Why do all these marriage records refer to a " prenuptial agreement that was not concluded." What does this mean?
Geoff Ackerman

Lazarus Denenberg from Bialystok, Poland. Can you Solve his Life's Mysteries #poland


We believe Lazarus Denenberg was born in Bialystok, Poland in about 1860.  He died on May 28, 1902/  We know very little about his life. Except to say what you'll find in the Attached Image / PDF.  His Dad might have been named Wolf.

Lazarus Denenberg was buried in Bialystok, Poland:

Can you help us solve the mystery of his Parents? Siblings? and Life in Poland before his death at age 42!

Sophia Sherman