Cracking a brick wall - Hershkowitz in Bucharest in the early 20th century - #romania

Marc Friedman

I have recently inherited a quantity of family photos, and much to my surprise there was a photo postcard printed in Bucharest that was identified as my great grandmother's eldest brother, Morris Hershkowitz (anglicized spelling), with his wife and son. 

Based on the probable year of birth for this great granduncle (early 1870's), and my grandfather's brothers (1896-1905), and comparing it to the picture (the son appears to be less than 10 years old - in a sailor's suit, no less), I figure the picture dates from around 1900.

The only other information I have is my great grandparents' marriage record, where my great grandmother's parents are listed as Harry Herscovitz and Mimi Iuster.  Harry (Shimon Zvi) came over with the 4 younger children in 1888 (the mother died before emigration), and that the family was originally from Onesti (from the Hamburg ship registry).  As far as I know (oral history), Morris never emigrated to the US.

Another part of the oral history (which is always questionable until it can be documented) is that between the wars, the family/cousins were very involved in the largest department store in Bucharest (as I said, this may be questionable).

If anyone has any constructive hints as to how to break through this brick wall - or if there is a member out there who is related to these individuals, I would be interested in hearing from you.

Irvine, CA

GERMANY:  APFEL (Bretten and Sinsheim, Baden); KAHN (Rimbach, Hesse-Darmstadt/Chicago, IL); LAUMAN (Spachbruecken, Hesse-Darmstadt/Attica, IN); MAYER (Nierstein, Rheinpfalz/Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI); PFEIFER (Eberbach, Baden/Little Rock, AR)

HUNGARY:  SACZ/SCHATZ (Satoralja Uhjely); LAZAROVITZ (Marmaros Szighet/Chicago, IL); SERMER/SCHERMER (Satoralja Ujhely/Pittsburgh, PA); WEINGARTEN (Satoralja Ujhely);

LITHUANIA and LATVIA/KURLAND:  ABRAMOWITZ/FRIEDMAN (Pasvalys and Kurland/Pittsburgh, PA); FRANKENSTEIN (Verzhbolovo and Wilkowisk/Pittsburgh, PA); HADAS; TSESARSKY/CHESARSKI (Panevezh);




Re: Why would my Grandfather travel under his older brother's name? #names

Mike Grossman

I have a similar question about my grandmother. According to her naturalization papers, Peppi/Bessie (nee BRODER) BERKOWITZ (her husband's name, married in Romania) traveled to the US under the name of Peppi GROSSMAN (no relation to my father's Grossman, I assume). When I found her on the ship's manifest, she was traveling with her 1-yo daughter Paulina/Pearl, who I had been looking for until then, but never could find under BERKOWITZ. Peppi's destination was to her husband "Abr Grossman" in Philadelphia, where her other children were born. After she arrived, I think they always used BERKOWITZ?
Thanks, MikeG

Yiddish Translation VM 83543 Request #translation

loren greenberg

I would greatly appreciate your help with translating a short Yiddish note posted here.

The note was written in 1939. On the reverse is a photo of 3 siblings in Kovno, Lithuania.
The photo was taken just before one brother left Lithuania for the safety of Sydney, Australia.

Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.

Thank you,
Loren Greenberg
Los Angeles, California

Volpiansky- Kaunas or Kovno and Balbierishkis, Lithuania
Abelow - Merkine or Meretz, Lithuania
Golub(ofsky) and Perlow(sky) - Vasilishok or Vasilishki, Belarus
Milner - Smiltene, Latvia
Melamed, Shafir, Schaeffer, Agazim, Vinograd - StaroKonstantinov, Ukraine

Vital Records for Mariyampil in the Ivano-Frankivsk District from 1857 to 1920 #galicia #records

Sharon Taylor

I am searching for vital records for the Nemeth and Ingier families from Mariyampil, Ukraine in the Ivano-Frankivsk (was Stanislawow) district. The Nemeths lived there from 1857 until 1921. I have checked a variety of repositories for vital records for this specific time period. There seem to be earlier and later records from the district, but vital records for Mariyampil from 1857 to 1920 seem to be missing.  I am looking specifically for records from the town of Mariyampil (was Mariampol) located in the Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine district. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Sharon Taylor
Philadelphia, PA
Researching NEMETH, INGIER and BLOCH in Mariyampil (Mariampol), Ivano-Frankivsk (Stanislawow), and Knihinin, Ukraine (Galicia)
Researching WIESNER, FLEISIG, and KASTENBAUM in Kulykiv (Kulikow) and Lviv (Lemberg), Ukraine (Galicia)

Motel Turkanis #translation

Marvin Turkanis



I would appreciate a translation of all the information for my grandfather, Motel Turkanis, passenger number 66, and the applicable headings on the Hamburg Passenger List found at

Thank you.

Marvin Turkanis

"Rauschenbach" #slovakia #hungary

Hilary Osofsky

We're hoping to clarify a reference to  "Rauschenbach" [Hungary], in the 1899 New York passenger manifest of one of our Wolf family members. Some family information suggests that this referred to  Nizne Ruzbachy (earlier names include Unter-Rauschenbach), but Vysne Ruzbachy (earlier names include Ober-Rauschenbach).and Revuca (Grosz-Rauschenbach) are also possibilities.

Perhaps at that time Rauschenbach was understood to mean only one of those towns? RadixIndex does list the town of Rauschenbach, but this doesn't strike us as determinative since the name doesn't appear in either the JewishGen Gazeteer or 

There are probably better sources; we would appreciate assistance in clarifying to which town Rauschenbach refers.

Hilary Stein Osofsky
Orinda, California

WOLF: Primarily in and near Huncovce, Nizne Ruabachy, Vysne Ruzbachy, Strazky, Sulín, Kral'ova Lehota, Jelsava, Banská Bystrica; Szatmar
NUERNBERGER: Primarily in and near Zalesie, Podolinec, Hagy, Liptovsky Hradok, Zilina, Kosice, Spisska Stara Ves, Stara Lubovna, Krizova Ves Hafka, Presov


Carole Brewster

Thank you all for your responses to my question about Mt. Sharon (Delaware Co. Pa) Cemetery. I called directly today & they were very helpful. I spoke with Jack Livezey & he drove to the plot & I found out it was a family plot & 8 of my relatives are resting there. I was speechless. There are so many of you willing to help others..thank you
Carole Hoffman Brewster

Viewmate - US Naturalization Index care - what info on it? #records

Michele Lock

I found the following naturalization index card for my grandfather on

What do the different numbers mean? There is a number in the 7015983 in the upper right corner, then a petition number of 195616 in the lower left, then an alien registration number also in the lower left. There is also a date in which 'the certificate was issued' of 4/8/1952.

Which, if any, of these numbers can I use to request his naturalization papers from the Genealogy service in the US Citizen and Immigration Services in DHS? Will I still need to have this Genealogy service do an Index search first? I often read on this discussion board that a person has the 'C' number or certificate number; is that any of the numbers on this index card?

It also looks like my grandfather Philip Leapman originally filed under his Yiddish nickname and surname Paska Leibman, then requested this name change in 1952. I don't know when he made the original petition/declaration.

And finally - this naturalization took place in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Has anyone had any luck finding the actual naturalization declarations/petitions online, for this district? On, they only go up to 1930.

Thanks for any input you may all have.

Michele Lock
Alexandria, Va

Searching for Lock/Lak/Lack from Zagare/Joniskis, Lithuania
Olitsky from Alytus, Suwalki, Lithuania
Leapman/Lipman/Leibman from Dotnuva, Lithuania
Lavine from Trenton, New Jersey, originally from Minsk Gubernia.

Gesher Galicia SIG Meeting - Wednesday, Aug. 12, at the IAJGS Conference #events #jgs-iajgs

Gesher Galicia SIG

The Gesher Galicia SIG will meet virtually at the upcoming IAJGS conference on

Wednesday, August 12
2:45 pm - 3:45 pm U.S. Eastern time

(11:45 am - 12:45 pm Pacific, 7:45 - 8:45 pm UK, 8:45 - 9:45 pm Central Europe, 9:45 -10:45 pm Israel, 4:45 - 5:45 am next day Australia)

Please join us to hear the latest news from Gesher Galicia -- new research projects, upcoming webinars, website changes, and more -- as well as tips on making the most of both our free resources and our member benefits.

The meeting is open to all; you do not have to be a paid conference attendee to join in. However, whether or not you’ve paid for the conference, you do need to register to attend this and other “Free Access Sessions.” Please read more below.

Go to the Attendee Service Center on the conference website (, sign in, and select “Update Your Info.” Then click “Edit” and page through your registration until you reach the listing of free sessions. Select your choices, then be sure to continue to the end of the registration to save them.

If you have not registered for the conference and want to have access to SIG and BOF meetings and other free events, go to and register for the Virtual Limited Access Conference. Select your choices, then be sure to continue to the end of the registration to save them.

If you have already registered for limited free access but did not select the meetings you want to attend, please go back and edit your registration to include your choices. Follow through to the end of the registration to save them.

We hope that you will be able to attend the Gesher Galicia meeting.

For more information about the conference see or . Registration questions/problems? Contact registration@... .

For information about Gesher Galicia, see or contact info@... .
Shelley Pollero
... for the Gesher Galicia Board of Directors
Send all inquiries to info@...

Re: Housing Family Trees for FREE #general

Jeff at SG

Besides the religious aspects, there are other problematic aspects. One of them is simple implied misinformation. I remember looking up some prominent Jewish individuals and to my surprise retrieved their 'baptismal dates'. To me at the time (and to unsophisticated future researchers 100 years from now) the logical assumption was that they must have converted! I'm sure there is some clarification somewhere and experts know better but to the casual observer, the logical conclusion is that the person had converted and did not die a Jew. Definitely misinformation. 

I know the LDS has changed its policies about such baptisms as a result of the resulting angry outcry. They can just as easily change it again. But the recorded date of 'baptism' remains forever in the records. 

In my opinion it is insulting and a form of identity theft. These involuntary baptisms need to all be expunged from the records.

Jeff Malka
Too many names to list.

Re: Housing Family Trees for FREE #general


I would not and do not house my family tree online anywhere, because I believe in privacy.  The deceased may not care but the living do.  I prefer to house everything on my own computer and backup. 
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC

Jewish Religious Personnel in the Russian Empire, 1853-1854 #general #russia

Herbert Lazerow

If you have the pages, you have what exists. Translation is probably not necessary, as Professor Deych organized the work in tabular form. You can use an online translator for the position your ancestor held.  What is available from the book that is not in the index is the name of the congregation, the number of members (presumably males at least 13 years old) and, for a small minority of the people listed, when they assumed the office and their annual compensation.
    Professor Deych indicated that for some listings there is additional information available in the archives in St. Petersburg, but did not mention what that additional information might be.
Herbert Lazerow

Seeking descendants of Masya Ginda Rakovschik from Minsk #belarus


Hi All
I am trying to trace any descendants of Maysa Ginda Rakovschik. She was born in Minsk Belarus about 1889 to Movsha-Aron and Brucha. According to, she married Aron Elterman/Alterman. On yadvashem there is a POT submitted in 1998 by a Genya Elterman. I would like help contacting her or her children if she had passed. Genya was born about 1918. Her mother would have been a great aunt to me.

Sarah Greenberg (USA)

Re: Deportation from U.S. ports back to Eastern Europe #general


Does or has anyone found either deportation records or departure records from NY to Europe around 1935 plus or minus but before 1938?

Need help with marriage license #poland #records


Need help please, been trying to find marriage license for
Gerszon George Klejman Kleinman
Dowira Dora  Ber Barr
marriage was in Warsaw on Jan. 1 1916
Thank you in advance
Gerald Kleinman / Florida

Re: Philadelphia: Sautter #usa

Sherri Bobish


Some info from records on Ancestry, other info from family tree on Ancestry.

Friedrich Sautter, son of Adam & Pauline.
born Dec. 2, 1890 Philadelphia.
baptized Oct. 10, 1891.
married Pauline.
daughter Frieda born May 9, 1919 in Germany, d. 1996 in Germany
Frieda married Alexander Jerger, d. 1999 Germany

Looks like Frieda & Alexander had a child that is still living (marked private on tree on Ancestry.)


Sherri Bobish
Princeton, NJ

Re: are there benefits of the My Heritage site over Ancestry #general

Lee Jaffe

I think that each site offers different strengths and weaknesses and, if you are have to choose between the two, you will be making a compromise.

First, let me point out that all of these sites have two basic functions which overlap some.  One is tree maintenance, recording your family finds and the information about its members.  Some have better tools than others.  For instance, Ancestry won't let you upload video and audio recordings.  But My Heritage has very nice tools  for identifying people in photos.  

The second major function is research resources.  Most of the comments so far have referred to what resources are available from the different services.

There is a third component, which is a hybrid of the other two, the services where they trawl their databases to find matches or hints.  Some people find these helpful but many consider them distracting.

I started with a MyHeritage account and grew frustrated with all the "come ons" to up my membership status, only to discover they apply only tree by tree, rather than across my membership.  I'd get match notices that I wasn't allowed to see.  My original reason for joining was tied to another tree. When that became dormant, I jumped to Ancestry because of their better terms.  But I do miss some of MyHeritage's tree management tools.

Geni seems to be a completely different animal and I'm not sure what I think of that yet.

Lee Jaffe

Jews in Mohacs #hungary


Any information about Jews in Mohacs would be very very much appreciated. Some of the family names are: Alt, Hajduska, Fischer. Thanks.

Re: Avigdor family of Mexico City #latinamerica


Hi Neil:
This are the phone numbers of Zvi, as follows:
Home 1 718 997 6742
 Cel 1 347 398 1266
Lab 1 718 483 1306

Please send him my regards

Re: Jewish Legion WW1 #canada


The website "British Jews in the First World war We were there too" is worth a look

The Pattinson book is available to view online,%20J.%20H.%20(John%20Henry),%201867-1947

Marsha Rosenberg