In one Microfilm digitized by FamilySearch. #bessarabia #records


Is Kagul an uezd or is it reference to the Jewish Community (Kahal) in Bessarabia?

Bob Weiss

Re: Jewish Community in Finland #general #russia

Barbara Levy

Thanks for all your help. I know about the kahal, and their use in filling army quotas. It's not pleasant history, but it's true.

Jewish community in Hamina, Finland
My grandfather said he was born in Hamina, Finland. Does anyone know if there was a Jewish community in Hamina, Finland? Do you know if Hamina was a Russian territory or a Finnish territory in 1878, when he was born?
Barbara Levy

ViewMate translation request - Yiddish postcard #translation #yiddish

Lee Jaffe

I've posted a copy of a postcard in Yiddish addressed to one of my great-grandfathers, of which I would appreciate a translation.   I would like to know who it is from, whether they are related, or any other information about family members it contains.  

It is on ViewMate at the following address ...
Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.

Thank you very much.

Lee Jaffe
Joroff/Zarov - Mohilev, Belarus and Snovsk, Ukraine

Re: 60 Minutes Episode on Home DNA Testing and Genealogy Testing #dna

Deb Katz

On Mon, Feb 1, 2021 at 12:58 PM, Jx. Gx. wrote:
Once it is given you have no control of who has access to it and how it can be used.
I do not think there is any facts or evidence to back up this statement, which at least in my 20+ years of experience is quite false. (If you have such evidence, feel free to contact me directly at dnadeb@... as I know this forum is not the place for extended debate.)  I suppose there may be differences in privacy policy depending on what organization you give your DNA to, but any reputable lab---certainly the reputable ones that do genetic genealogy testing--gives you complete control over your DNA and how it can be used. 

If you do not want to do any DNA testing, don't.  But please do not make sweeping statements that will frighten others needlessly.

Debra Katz
Pacific Beach CA USA

Need help to translate a Hungarian birth certificate #hungary #translation


I posted a birth certificate and I need help  to read it. It's from someone Betti krausz Born 1863 To father David in village of nyirgyulaj. I would very appreciate anyone who can help me to translate it. Thanks. Here is the link. Https:// 
Joseph Krausz

Re: Jewish Community in Finland #general #russia

Jules Levin

The status of Jews in the army needs to be clarified.  The Cantonist
system was officially ended in 1871.  Afterward Jews were subjected to
the same military service as others.  Although many Jews in the service
had to hear efforts to convert them, a remarkable percent, including
those who remained in Finland as Jews, managed to resist.  My own
relative appears as a Jew living in Viipuri--now Vyborg.  These were
specifically Jewish veterans. My ancestor was listed as sgt.   Many
Cantonists thrived in the army and remained loyal Jews, including the
highest ranking Jew, a Sargent Major--the highest ranking non-com
position.  In the Jewish cemetery of Tsarskoe Selo is the grave of a
Jew, a Cantonist, awarded the Cross of St. George for heroism in battle.
The Jewish language press in Russia--Hebrew, Yiddish, or Russian, often
published the reminiscences of Jewish veterans.  Joseph Trumpeldor, a
hero of the first Yeshuv, had lost an arm in Russian service, and said
he would gladly give another arm for the tsar.    Alexander I had
excused the Jews from the draft, because he considered them weak and
untrainable.  Nicholas I was a martinet who thought that everyone, even
the Jews, could be made into soldiers.  In the US, UK, or France the
view of Alexander I would be abhorrent to Jews.  The problem was that
the rabbinate resisted the draft because dietary and other religious
laws would not be observed.  They facilitated draft evasion and the
community failed to meet its quota.  [while this was going on, keep in
mind that 60% of Russians were serfs, whose owners easily met the quota
by sending their property to the army like it or not.]  As a result,
Russia instituted the Kahal method, and it was the Kahal--the Jewish
community leaders, who were responsible for meeting the quota.

I realize that many Jewishgenners will be horrified by this contrarian
view, but remember that views are shaped by the opinions of ancestors
who left Russia.   Тhe 6 million Jews who were still in Russia in 1900
were proud of their sons' service, as shown by the many family photos of
young men in uniform.

Jules Levin

On 2/2/2021 4:20 AM, seligson@... wrote:
I am from Finland and three of my eight great-grandparents were
already born there, the first one in 1857.
Finland was a part of the Russian empire from 1809 to 1917. Although
it has an autonomous status, there were Russian troops stationed in
Finland. These troops included a number of Jews, serving mostly in
auxiliary positions: tailors, musicians etc. Many of these Jews -
so-called Cantonists - were more or less kidnapped at a tender age to
serve in the army up to 25 years, the goal being to turn them into
good Christians. In 1858 retired Russian soldiers were permitted to
stay at their last place of service. This rule applied to all, not
only to the Jews. Before that the old laws from the period, when
Finland was a part of Sweden prohibited Jews from living in Finland.
Hamina is an interesting place: it became a part of Russia already in
1743, after the treaty of Turku, and the first known Jew to have known
permanently settled in what is now Finland was Jacob Weikain, who was
working in Hamina in 1799. In 1878 there was a small Jewish community
in Hamina, and an old cemetery, with some 20 graves, still exists. To
your question why they would leave Finland to go (back) to Latvia,
there can be many explanations. One explanation can be that they had
relatives there and considered life in Latvia to be more promising.
Another explanation can be that the permission for the retired
soldiers to stay in Finland applied only to them and their families:
when their children grew up they faced the threat of being evicted
from Finland. The woman Jules Levin mentioned is Meliza Amity and she
can be contacted through her website at
<>. there you can find a huge tree with over
30,000 names, covering virtually all Jewish families ever lived in
Finland. As a guest you can see the data on those that are deceased.

David Seligson
Poiseul-la-Grange, France
searching Seligson, Skurnik, Klimscheffskij, Indursky, Guterman,
Levin, Fischlein, Rung, Feitelberg, Bubelsky

Re: Manifest Mystery #names

Sherri Bobish


I did a quick search in this Ancestry database:
Massachusetts, U.S., Marriage Records, 1840-1915
and found:
Anna Adelstein marrying Jacob Kaplan in Boston in 1910. 

Her father is Samuel, mother Esther Skedavitz.  Address: 202 Bremen St.

Anna gives her age as 23 in 1910, and her age is 23 on the 1906 manifest, but most people at that time did not know their exact age, and the ladies always made themselves younger.

Could this be the lady you seek?


Sherri Bobish

Article of Interest on DNA Testing #dna

Jan Meisels Allen

This article may be of interest on DNA testing    The Hidden Personal Cost of Genealogy Websites


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Polish Translation #translation

Laufer, Shmuel

I need a translation from the Polish of the marriage certificate of Nuske Zyman and Baila Gitl Borkower.

I do not need a complete translation, only the data of names, dates, ages and places.

I thank you in advance.




Shmuel Laufer

Rehovot -Israel


Research: Laufer (Przasnysz, Poland); Domb (Pultusk, Poland); Bruckman (Sarnaki, Poland); Zelazo (Sarnaki, Poland); Preschel (Berhomet, Chernivets'ka, Ukraine), Leder (Berhomet, Chernivets'ka, Ukraine); Schnap (Berhomet, Chernivets'ka, Ukraine); Mitelman (Chelm, Poland); Tenerman (Dubienka, Poland)



JGS Toronto. Free Virtual Meeting. Using Facial Recognition Tools to Identify Unnamed Ancestors for Genealogical Research. Scott Genzer. Sunday, 28 February 2021, at 10:30 a.m. ET. #announcements

Jerry Scherer


Using Facial Recognition Tools to Identify
Unnamed Ancestors for Genealogical Research



Speaker: Scott Genzer



Sunday, 28 February 2021, at 10:30 a.m.

Photographs have always been a genealogical challenge because, unlike more conventional sources such as vital records, they do not impart clear data. Most often we simply attach the pictures to our trees and then leave them there. However in early 2019 Genzer developed a new technique that shows how to implement facial recognition via artificial intelligence/machine-learning methods to identify unknown people in photographs using large libraries of passport-like images currently available online. Facial recognition enables genealogists to use never before available technology to generate new clues with statistical probabilities from old photos.  His presentation will be an elaboration and detailed demonstration of this technique previously published in the fall issue of Avotaynu [PDF copy of the article will be available).

Scott Genzer is an amateur genealogist who has spent two decades researching his family tree, particularly his paternal branch from Mielec, Poland. During the day, he is a data scientist at RapidMiner, a software company based in Boston. Scott lives in Norwich, Vermont, with his wife and two daughters.

To register, please go to

You will then receive an immediate acknowledgement plus the link to access the event.

Please keep the acknowledgement email when you receive it as it contains your personalized link to join the Zoom meeting. 


Please make a voluntary donation in the box titled  $ | Other | at this link

JGS Toronto is a registered charity so Canadian donors will receive a tax receipt.



View this livestream meeting on our YouTube channel:


info@...              Tel:  647-247-6414

twitter: jgsoftoronto        facebook: Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto



Jerry Scherer

Vice President, Communications



Re: Why was I told my mother's family were German Jews when they weren't? #austria-czech


My family were all originally considered Russian Jews. However, the borders changed frequently.  In his naturalization papers when he arrived, my grandfather listed his country of origin as Russia, but when he actually became a citizen in the early 1930s, it is listed as Poland.  

My mother and father had a running joke as who was a Litvak and who was a Galitizianer, which suggests a rivalry if not snobbery. The last names of several great-grandmothers suggest a Germanic origin. 

As someone else noted, German Jews, no matter where they lived in this country, considered themselves superior to Russian and other Eastern European Jews, partly because they had come to this country earlier.  
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC

Re: Manifest Mystery #names


I read the first name as "Yrlja."  I was unable to enlarge this enough to read the brother's name. 
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC

Re: Hebrew name #names

Philip Freidenreich

It could be "Bar Reb."  If the father were a rabbi, it should have been Bar HaRav.


Philip Freidenreich
JewishGen Researcher #1797

Seeking Dawidowicz from #lodz


I am seeking Dawidowicz from Lodz, Poland. I am trying to connect a few different family groupings all from Lodz and locate the common ancestor(s) If you have Dawidowicz from Lodz, please reach out to me at AliseKermisch@... Thank you,
Alise Kermisch

FTJP - Family Tree of the Jewish People


Update - All gedcoms received during the month of January have been processed & included in the FTJP database.  All gedcoms received will be processed the last weekend of the month they were received.

Iris Folkson


JewishGen Technical Services

Re: Hebrew name #names


It is not BYR, but B’’R, meaning Bar Rabbi... followed by his father’s first surname. 

Daniel Ewenczyk


Re: Jewish Community in Finland #general #russia

Barbara Levy

Thank you SO much!
Jewish community in Hamina, Finland
My grandfather said he was born in Hamina, Finland. Does anyone know if there was a Jewish community in Hamina, Finland? Do you know if Hamina was a Russian territory or a Finnish territory in 1878, when he was born?

Barbara Levy

Re: What happened on 7 March 1612 in Poznan? Mass death of Jews #general #poland

Gerson Sher

Good suggestion, thank you. It was all connected to the Fettmilch Uprising of 1612-1616.

The first major mass program in that uprising was in 1614 in Frankfurt, but evidently as early as its beginning in 1612, when Fettmilch came to head the merchant guilds in Frankfurt, there must have been a strong echo on Posen/Poznan, also a major trading city, and in Poland, on very ripe ground for anti-Jewish sentiment. While Fettmilch was eventually executed, the anti-Jewish sentiment grew and exploded in the infamous Khmelnitsky Uprising ( of 1648-1657. 

Two references to the Fettmilch uprising are at and

Gerson Sher
Washington, DC

Re: tracing possible WW2 resistance fighters #general #romania


The Fighters List on their website may still work (it looks like the website has not been updated since 2010), but I believe the Organization of Partisans Underground and Ghetto Fighters in Tel Aviv disbanded in February of 2016 due to lack of funds or Government support and the increasing deaths of its elderly members.
George Mason 

Re: Need help in researching in Portuguese and Spanish #latinamerica #ukraine

Rachelle Litt

Thank you. Is there a way to download the FamilySearch info directly to Ancestry?  I also have Family Tree Maker that shows a hint from Family Search but can't figure out to connect directly and download

Rachelle Litt
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

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