Re: Where can I find Lodz Court records for 1949 #lodz

Lewis, Megan

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has the Lodz Sąd Grodzki (Municipal Court) court files for cases involving declaring someone dead for the years 1946-1950.  The catalog record for this collection is at  The finding aid for this collection, which you can access by clicking on the finding aid button, lists the names of the people involved.  The finding aid is in Polish so you need to be mindful on the Polish declensions that change the ending of names. We have Sąd Grodzki records from over 25 cities in towns in Poland.  Researchers can search our Collections Search catalog at

Cannot help with the 1922 records, sorry. You might want to check the website of the Lodz branch of the Polish National Archives to see if they have the court records.

Megan Lewis

Re: What does the abbreviation "MZ" or "M3" mean in the Creed column of the 1897 Russian census? #translation #russia #records


Thank you for that explanation, Ilya. Do you know why only the first four Volodarsky family members were listed with "Moses' Law", while the the other four members were listed as Jewish with the notation "Iud/Yud"? What is the difference between "M3" and "Iud"? I've gone through thousands of census pages, and this is the only record I've seen that used the abbreviation "M3". 

Thank you,
Ben Zitomer

This week's Yizkor book excerpt on the JewishGen Facebook page #yizkorbooks #belarus #JewishGenUpdates

Bruce Drake

In 1933, a circus passed through Glubokie (Hlybokaye) in Belarus and one of the performers, an unprepossessing man who struck townspeople as a ” poor, dejected outcast” stayed behind.
No one could imagine that this poor, dejected, outcast who was nicknamed “Tzirkovetz” (one who is part of a circus) could possibly be a German spy.
But by the end of the summer of 1939, before the German attack on Poland, the results of his undercover work began to make themselves felt. In 1941, he showed up as part of the German Civil Administration “But he was no longer the downcast, pitiful, lonely character, but outfitted in genuine German, sparkling new Fascist uniform. He now looked like a authentic Hitlerite hangman.”
“The German Spy Vitvitzki” from the Glubokie Yizkor book is an account of the increasingly vicious role he played under the Nazis. “Whatever happened to him, this bloody German spy will remain in the memory of the few surviving Jews of Glubokie and the surrounding area, as a symbol of the hateful, freakish reptile, who carried with him death, destruction and annihilation…”

Bruce Drake
Silver Spring, MD

Towns: Wojnilow, Kovel

Re: Explanation of the name #names

Stephen Weinstein

This is the type of question to which a private reply would normally be appropriate, but the answer indicates you may be unwittingly researching a famous family of more general interest.

Zalmanson means "son of Zalman".

Reb Yosef Bunim Wallis married the daughter of Reb Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev

You're probably looking at one of their descendants, and someone with the inherited surname Wallis and who was from the place Berditchev.

What's really fascinating, or at least of more general interest, is the marriages between this family and the Lubavitch-Chabad dynasty.

Take a look, for example, at

Or just Google some of the names -- there's a ton of information out there, some of it true, most of it legend.

On Thu, May 20, 2021 at 01:17 PM, <hsalmenson@...> wrote:
Yekutiel Zalman of Berdichev Wallis
1: There does not appear to be a last name, I am researching the last name Zalmanson. From what I can ascertain Yekutial Zalman was the father of Levi Yitzhak Zalmanson.
2: I understand that he was from Berdichev but am not sure what the Wallis represents. In some parts of the tree the last name of Wallis does appear

Stephen Weinstein
Camarillo, California, USA

Re: Uncooperative Cemetery Personnel #usa

Stephen Weinstein

On Thu, May 20, 2021 at 01:17 PM, Jx. Gx. wrote:
the guy doesn't want to get up from his comfortable chair and search through dusty old burial folders in storage.  Its easier for him to look at his computer database that has minimal information.  Is there any legal recourse in getting recalcitrant cemetery officials to do their job and help relatives with the information they need
It's not "their job".  Their job is to bury the recently deceased and to care for the older graves.  Any assistance they provide to researchers is a courtesy, not an entitlement, and not likely to be forthcoming when the requester has an attitude problem or insults them.

Stephen Weinstein
Camarillo, California, USA

Re: Uncooperative Cemetery Personnel #usa

Gail H. Marcus

Don't know if I've just been lucky, but I usually find the cemetery staff remarkably helpful.  At times, they have gone to their archives and called me back.  Or, when they couldn't find something, they suggested alternatives to check (name variants, nearby cemeteries, etc.).  More than once, it's helped me identify a relative.  Maybe it is the person or the time of day.  Or just a lucky chance.

I should, however, note that I've never asked for the congregation.  And I've never had anyone offer me the name of a congregation, so I don't know if the real issue is that they don't save this kind of information.  And I can say that privacy rules have made them more reluctant to give exact home addresses or names of next of kin, especially for burials in the last 50 years.  However, they will verify a name or address if I ask. 

But overall, I have been very impressed at how helpful they have been, when, after all, these kinds of questions are a distraction from their main business.

Gail Marcus
Bethesda, MD

Reuniting holocaust survivor’s missing families #holocaust #education


Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor

Sunday May 30, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. EDT

Zoom Webinar

Speaker: Jennifer Mendelsohn

Jennifer Mendelsohn will share her heartwarming stories of the reunions resulting from her research and how she was able to solve many genealogy mysteries.

Jennifer’s work has appeared in The New York Times, People, The Washington Post, and Slate.  She also administers and frequently contributes to facebook’s the Jewish DNA for Genetic Genealogy and Family Research. Her presentations on how to research your family and DNA testing are popular with beginning and expert genealogists alike .A question and answer session will follow the presentation.    


All are welcome; attendance is free. Click here on the 30th at 7:30 pm to join the program. 


Submitted by:

Chuck Newman

Host of Conversations

Ann Arbor, Michigan


Re: Uncooperative Cemetery Personnel #usa

A. E. Jordan

-----Original Message-----
From: Jx. Gx. <mrme1914@...>
I contacted the NYC cemetery where my ggf and ggm are buried and asked if they could check the burial file for my ggf and tell me the name of the congregation that he belong to because I'm certain it would be included in the actual original folder. The guy refused to give me that information.

I have done a lot of work at the NYC area cemeteries and the level of cooperation varies greatly between cemetery and even the individual you are dealing with, and of curse the day. However, I think from my experience people way over estimate the amount of information the cemeteries have in their files. Pre-pandemic I had the opportunity with my work to "go behind the wall" so to speak at some of the offices. Recently for one of the research cases I was working on when I got to the grave it was a double stone for husband and wife but no one had ever had the wife's information completed after death so it only had her name. We needed more information so I decided to write the office, not call, and explained only in basic terms that I needed to document the grave and could they send me the file or something. I expected a letter but instead they also sent a copy of the individual's burial card.

Based on a lot of hours spent working with cemeteries I believe they know the name of the person, age, who made the arrangements or who was considered "responsible" for the grave in the sense of a contact for care.Some record where the person died and that is about it. If there was a contract for the purchase of the plot or grave they have that and a lot of them have notations if or when a stone was set. They mostly record the date of burial versus date of death.

Cemeteries for the most part have the contract for the grave if it was purchased from them and not via the society. They have the burial permit (different than the death certificate) and that's about it. They are going to know the name of the funeral home although that often does not get transferred into their files either.

They do not collect voluminous amounts of details about the deceased person ... they have no need for it. Basically they need to know what grave to open, when it will be used and the permission to do the burial.

I have seen into those "magic" files and they just are not a complete as people hope. Add in the number of years and the information that survives declines further.

The older cemeteries have one other tool that hey do not publicize which is the burial books. They are strictly by date or some also have them by society plot. In those cases they are nothing more than name, date and location. One of the cemeteries I work with at least in the old days occasionally made notes specifically if someone was removed from their grave in the burial book. I was looking for a grave last Sunday at that cemetery and could not find it and the office after checking the computer went and pulled the burial book and it showed the person was removed and they had the date and where the person was transferred.

Specifically in response to the individual question ,,, why would the cemetery have collected the name of the person's congregation if it was different than the burial society? Who would they have kept that all these years later?  They simply do not need those type of details to do their business. A better question might be if they know anything or have any details or contacts for the burial society. That might lead to the congregation if there was a connect but a lot of the societies were independent social organizations. Often if you find they are still in business at all, the society is maintained by the oldest member out of a shoe box or a ledger book and not much else.

The location in the process that collects the information is the funeral home. They have a role in the death certificate. They act as the go between setting up the burial. They have contact with usually family members. They often arrange for the burial notice or the obit. Of course the first challenge is finding the name of the funeral home, the second does it still exist, and the third being the age of the record. I have found a lot of them to be very cooperative if I can find them and the records still exist. I have gotten them to read details off to me on the phone or I ask questions such as I say I assume such and such was the next of kin and they confirm. If you can not find the grave they can be a great source to find the burial. I always ask them did they arrange an obit and if it is in the file they know where and when it ran.

As for the last question about legal resource .... this is not a public institution where you can use FOIA. It is a private business. You have to remember they get inundated with phone calls from people doing genealogy. A letter saying you are trying to resolve family matters (don't say genealogy) might get a response but don't assume they have kept detailed information on the person's life.

Allan Jordan
New York

Plagai, Lithuania - I'm lookin' for it, You got it? #lithuania #poland

Arthur Sissman

I am looking for Plagai, Lithuania.  The nearest I can find is Plunge, Lithuania and Plagai is NOT one of the alternate spellings.  It was supposed to be in the state of Suvalk, Russia or Poland (in the late 1800's).  I have a relative who was born in Shakki (now Sakiai, Lithuania.  I found Suvalk (now Suwalki, Poland) and Shakki.  I found this reference on Lith Births to Plagi vil, Zyple area, Wladyslavow, Suwalki.

Please help me find Plagai, Lithuania.  I have researched JewishGen Town Finder, the Gazetteer, and Google for Plagai.  The family lore says that when the Jews of the area were force to take surnames, my ancestors surname became Plager.  Sorta like Moses ben Chaim Plager!  And the surname Plagar was off and recreating!  So where is my hometown?

Thanks in advance!
Arthur Sissman
Jewish Genealogy SIG of Naples/Collier Co FL



Join our FB page at Jewish Genealogy SIG:

Genealogy Wise page:

Charlotte (Lotte) Friedmann from Breslau #germany

Harvey Kaplan

Lotte (Charlotte) Friedmann from Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland) came to Scotland in the 1930s and we know that in 1937, she was employed as an ‘English correspondent’  by a company in Aberdeen. She lived at the time with a Mrs Benson. In February 1940, the Aberdeen Press & Journal reported that Lotte Friedmann was convener of the Aberdeen Refugee Centre.  In 1943, there is an account of Lotte giving a political talk to the Aberdeen Housewives' Association.  But what became of Lotte after the war?  Did she stay in the area? Does anyone have any knowledge of this lady?

In 1999, Charlotte Friedmann of Ramat HaSharon in Israel submitted a Page of Testimony to Yad VaShem about her father-in-law, Louis Friedmann from Breslau.  Perhaps Charlotte or someone who knows her may read this posting.


Harvey Kaplan

Scottish Jewish Archives Centre



Re: Translate two Hebrew words #translation

Seth Jacobson

There is little doubt that the reference on your tombstone is to a word that means monument. It appears in The Book of Malachim II (King 2), Chapter 23.

An adequate English translation would be:

Then he said: 'What monument (Tsiyun) is that which I see' And the men of the city told him: 'It is the sepulcher of the man of G-d, who came from Judah…'

Also note, the word Zion (as in Zionism) is in Hebrew pronounced as Tsi’on (the last syllable ~as “on” in pion), while the Hebrew pronunciation of the word for monument (with the same Hebrew consonants, but different vowels) is pronounced Tsi’un (the last syllable ~as “oon” in saloon).

Seth Jacobson


Re: Why Would Patronyms be Used Well After Formal Last Names Were Required?: Michalowicz vs. Leurie #names

Jill Whitehead

Quite a few members of my family reverted back to patronymic names in the UK after having been given surnames they did not like in the old country. Some who went from UK to US, or direct from old country to USA also did the same. It is not uncommon. I also have examples of both the given surname and the patronymic being used at the same time. 

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK

Re: Online listl of emigrants from Germany #germany #records

Andreas Schwab

To find a name or a place in the list, first go the the APERTUS search page:
Enter the name or place or any other search item.
Click on "Landeshauptarchiv Koblenz"
Click on "Auswanderer" 
Most entries will be at Bestand 441 or Bestand 442, but it is worth going through all Bestand numbers and all the other archives.
You can narrow the search by putting several terms into the search box. For example, if you search for "Mayer Chicago", you will get 12 results.
The link I provided recently is for the Hessen archives, which is independend of the Rheinland-Pflalz archives and will give you more results so you should search in both data bases. For Hessen the search page is
"Mayer Chicago" will provide 14 hits. 
Other emigrant data bases are:
Bremerhaven emigrants: (click on "Online")
Migra Base:
Here is a list (in German) of German emigration data bases.

Andreas Schwab

Re: Uncooperative Cemetery Personnel #usa

Dahn Cukier


I had a "due to privacy", about taking photos
of graves. Email was no help but I sent a printed
letter and a reply that matches the British policy.
No movies, stills are fine.

I did NOT include a phone number or email address.

When refusing information is more trouble than supply,
it can work.

Good hunting

Dahn Zukrowicz

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 Thursday, May 20, 2021, 11:17:54 PM GMT+3, Jx. Gx. <mrme1914@...> wrote:

I contacted the NYC cemetery where my ggf and ggm are buried and asked if they could check the burial file for my ggf and tell me the name of the congregation that he belong to because I'm certain it would be included in the actual original folder. The guy refused to give me that information.  All he kept repeating is that its "against our protocol" to release any information beyond the name of the burial society.  That bit of information is worthless because the society's name is already mounted on the entry gate to the cemetery section where my ggf is buried. It seems to me the guy doesn't want to get up from his comfortable chair and search through dusty old burial folders in storage.  Its easier for him to look at his computer database that has minimal information.  Is there any legal recourse in getting recalcitrant cemetery officials to do their job and help relatives with the information they need? 

Jeffrey Gee

Re: Where can I find Lodz Court records for 1949 #lodz

Dominique MERLET

I am also very interested in how to contact the court of justice in Lodz as I am looking for the reasons for a court decision dating back to 1922.
Thank you for your help.

Best regards
Dominique MERLET

Re: Uncooperative Cemetery Personnel #usa

Kenneth Ryesky

Which cemetery in New York?

There still are some cemeteries which have not yet computerized their card files (including the one near Philadelphia where I have a gm, 2 g-gms, a g-g-gm, and other relatives; fortunately, the office personnel there were quite accommodating when I made a personal visit some years ago).

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

GERTZIG, BRODSKY; Yelizavetgrad, Ukraine
IZRAELSON, ARSHENOV; Yevpatoriya, Ukraine (Crimea)

Re: Birth Records For Leurie Michalowitz #records


On Thu, May 20, 2021 at 09:13 AM, Shelley Mitchell wrote:
Tiraspol in Moldava. ...Dubassary, Russia
Until early 20th century Dubossary was a shtetl in the Tiraspol uezd, Tiraspol being the uezd capital in the Kherson governorate.  These towns, which are 40 mi apart, are now part of Moldova, although technically in the breakaway region of Transnistria.

Mike Vayser

Re: Need Assistance with Genealogy Databases - Not finding names #names #ukraine


In addition to Renee's comment about "Kevguberna" being a broken phone version of Kiev gubernia (governorate, province, etc), I'd like to add that the last name Coopersmith is likely not the original name.  Perhaps, it was changed in the US from something like Kupershmid/Kupershmit/Kupershmidt.  Zaslovsky was likely Zaslavsky.
The town, you refer to as Tative and Teteve, sounds like Tetiev, which was part of Tarashcha uezd in Kiev governorate from 1795 until 1922.  Belaya Tserkov is about half way between Tetiev and Kiev, 45-50 mi each direction.

Also, Odessa doesn't have an Ostrova suburb.

Mike Vayser

"From Bourbon to Blue Jeans: Bavarian Jews and Their Influence on American Culture," Sunday, May 23, 1 P.M. (PDT) #germany #usa #events

Emily Garber

This coming Sunday, May 23, 2021, the Phoenix Jewish Genealogy Group will present Suzanne Kelting Myers and her talk: "From Bourbon to Blue Jeans: Bavarian Jews and Their Influence on American Culture."
This virtual presentation is free of charge and open to all. To register, go to:
"From Bourbon to Blues Jeans: Bavarian Jews and Their Influence on American Culture” will begin with an overview of Jewish immigration to the United States: Sephardic Jews prior to 1800; the German-speaking Jews in the 19th century (post-1813 and post-1848); and the Eastern European wave between 1880 and 1920. Pressures from cultural and legal events in Bavaria, especially those relating to the Napoleonic Era, and to a lesser extent those relating to the German revolutions of 1848-1849, and how they affected the status of Jews in the region will be discussed.  The patterns of immigration, the conditions required to travel, and the ports of arrival in the United States by individuals and families will be reviewed. Jewish men who settled in the United States were identified by the state not by their religious affiliation but by their race (white) and therefore had all the rights that other white males in society held: citizenship, voting rights, and land-owning.  How this distinction supported their ability to flourish economically and to fully participate in civic life was significant.

Suzanne Kelting Myers, D.O. is fascinated by the immigration of Jewish immigrants during the 19th century and how they became involved in various vocations, especially those in the American West.  She uses her anthropology perspective as an approach to genealogy, her teaching background to communicate and educate, and her medical training to integrate science (including DNA) into her research.  She is the editor of Tidbits, the newsletter for the West Valley Genealogical Society in Youngtown, and has been involved with the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society’s project to transcribe all Jewish burial records in the Bay Area.


Taking up genealogy seriously about 15 years ago, she has traveled to four European countries and more than a dozen states to pursue her family’s history. She has completed Boston University’s certificate program and is an alumnus of the ProGen study group. Her educational opportunities to genealogical institutes have been facilitated by a ProGenealogist scholarship in 2020 and the Donn Devine scholarship in 2021.


She is the owner of Expedition Genealogy and is Adjunct Faculty at Midwestern University in the College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Emily Garber, Chair
Phoenix Jewish Genealogy Group
a committee of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society

Re: Online list of emigrants from Germany - translation #germany

Daniella Alyagon

How can this database be accessed?

Daniella Alyagon