Help = Ancestry DNA .. is it worth looking below 2nd Cousin if no proof in trees or known relatives? #dna


 Ancestry - is it worth looking below 2nd Cousin if no proof in trees or known relatives and Jewish on both sides of the families?
Was told not to bother with anything below 4th in 4th Cousin by speaker in a local talk, however told also by another researcher that the DNA is magnified once it gets past 2nd cousin? I am on Ancestry, My Heritage and GEDmatch. (love the GEDmatch tools) to compare and do the wider searches.

Thanks in advance
Mandy Molava

KGB Archives #records #russia #ukraine

Jan Meisels Allen





The Security Service of Ukraine or SBU is Ukraine's law-enforcement authority and main government security agency in the areas of counterintelligence activity and combating terrorism. Surprisingly, this archive is where Russia’s KGB materials are stored. By a 1991 decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, the KGB materials were to be transferred to the State Archives which included one and a half million “filtration cases” against people who were forcibly brought to Germany and other countries of the Axis coalition during World War II. However, the transfer of the remaining funds to the KGB was prevented by the lack of space in state archives. Therefore, they remained in the Security Service of Ukraine, which received from Parliament material and technical support of the Soviet Special Service, including the premises where the KGB archives were kept.


The records include the regulatory and administrative documents of the Cheka-KGB, documents of secret and unclassified office work, annual work plans, reports and the like. And indeed political cases: arrest warrants and search warrants, questionnaires of the arrested, search logs, fingerprints, photos of the arrested, descriptions of the confiscated property, interrogation records of the defendants and witnesses, indictments, documents relating to stay in forced labor camps, letters, appeals, complaints of the defendant and his relatives, conclusions on the lack of rehabilitation reasons or a resolution on rehabilitation.


The affairs of the KGB were and are kept by the SBU  (,  documents of the NKVD — the Ministry of the Interior ( only in Ukrainian and records of the secret services of Soviet Ukraine documents of the NKVD


Many documents were destroyed after the Stasi Archives in East Berlin were seized in 1989, which changed the period of time for storage.


To learn how to work with the KGB Archives ad read more see:


The article gives a list of online archives and databases with links to them. They are in Ukrainian. Use of a translation system such as Google translate and may be of assistance.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee



Re: Reading the Translations of the Jewishgen Yizkor Books #yizkorbooks


I wanted a translation of the Troki Yizkor book.  (Only the table of contents and the lists of martyrs were on JewishGen originally.)  JewishGen acted as middleman.  I made charitable contributions to JewishGen and they paid the translator I had found.  The Troki book is now totally online.    It was well worth the effort.
Fred Millner
Trenton, NJ

Re: Changing occupations on a ship passenger list #general

David Oseas


The information on the passenger list was gathered & recorded initially by the shipping company at the ticket sales office.

One of the ship's officers confirmed the information with the passengers as they boarded (or perhaps shortly afterward). 

It appears that the person at the ticket office did not follow standard practice in several columns:  for example, only the town of residence was recorded in column #10, and not the country, which was added in the same handwriting as the occupation corrections.  The person making the corrections also added family relationships in column #2.  As you noted, the occupations were originally recorded as generic terms (domestic, laborer) rather than specific fields of work (capmaker, tailor).

My guess is that the person at the ticket office was inexperienced & that the ship's officer made the corrections to adhere to the policies of the shipping company.

David Oseas

HYMAN/HEYMAN/HEIMOWITS/CHAJMOVITS: Zemplen-Dobra, Hungary > New York;  KLEIN: Satoraljaujhely (Ujhely), Hungary > New York > Los Angeles
Hungary > New York;  OSEAS/OSIAS/OSIASI/OZIAS: Iasi, Romania > Chicago > Milwaukee > Los Angeles
SCHECHTER/SHEKTER: Kishinev, Bessarabia > New York;  SHERMAN: Iasi, Romania > New York > Los Angeles
STRUL:  Iasi, Romania > Haifa, Israel;  WICHMAN: Syczkowo (Bobruisk), Belarus > Milwaukee > Los Angeles

Family Connections: Lviv - Vienna #austria-czech #ukraine


Recently, I posted a query regarding my HEILPERN family & its extended family. Looking at old photos with & without id, and recalling names my father mentioned being, "cousins of some sort."  I hope to connect these faces/names to my family tree, but there are BIG gaps. I posted 3 photos on View Mate about a week ago, #88955-57 hoping to id the men shown.  The names I have in mind would connect on my father's maternal line, and from what I know so far, they would likely be in these families: STROH, PINELES & RAPPAPORT, (and maybe POLTURAK). My grandmother was, Ernestine Lea Korpus, born 1881, in Lemberg/Lwow/Lviv. Most of these families were also in that area, and eventually many of them ended up in Wien/Vienna & a lot of them were in the medical field.  Any suggestions on finding more siblings & married-in people & resulting children connected to these names; any possible relations along the family names mentioned here?  
Leah Heilpern Snider
Silverdale, Washington/ USA

Viewmate Translation Request - Polish #poland #ukraine #translation


Re: Paternal grandparents Ancestral Town in (?) Russia #russia



Did any of your Portnoj/Portnoy ancestors marry Guinzbergs/Ginsburg family from Chernigov gubernia? It appears there was definitely several marriages between them in my family.

Susan Ginsburg Brundage
researching Ginsburg/Portnoy/Malatzky/Kvas/Mindlin families

Re: How they traveled #romania #russia #usa

Michele Lock

I’m responding to a couple of posts above –


The Fusgeyers – There was an article written on the Jewish Telegraphic website back in 2005, that says the these travelers walked across Romania, rather than walking clear across Europe. They were stopped at the Austro-Hungarian border. They were able to proceed by train and then by ship because Jewish communities in Austria, Hungary and Germany paid for their tickets, apparently so the travelers would not remain in those countries (and cause embarrassment).


How immigrants got their ship/rail tickets – Temple University has images of the ticket purchase records of the Blitzstein Immigrant Bank in Philadelphia. I found my greatgrandfather’s purchase of tickets for his wife and children (including my then 3 year old grandfather). The family’s address in Lithuania is shown, so that they could receive their tickets, most likely from a local agent near their town in Lithuania. For persons who bought their own tickets, they also would have gone to a local agent. It’s my understanding that these were combined rail/ship tickets. The Blitzstein ledgers show who paid for the ticket, the passenger’s name and address in the old country, the name of the ship, the port where the ship was leaving from, and any intermediate ports (Liverpool, etc.). Gives a good snapshot of the various routes that immigrants took to come to the US.

Michele Lock

Lock/Lak/Lok and Kalon in Zagare/Joniskis, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Minsk gub., Belarus

Avigdor ENDE-Galicia and Jerusalem #israel #names #galicia

Yonatan Ben-Ari

Does anyone know of a connection between ENDE family , a well known
Jerusalem family and an EISEN family who lived in Zlochew, Poland and
then NYC.


Yoni Ben-Ari, Jerusalem

Changing occupations on a ship passenger list #general

Michele Lock

I have the ship passenger list for my maternal great great grandparents Jossel and Michle Leibman and two of their daughters, arriving in July 1906 on the SS Westernland in Philadelphia. On the page that includes them, I noticed that 12 out of the 30 passengers had their occupations changed after the manifest had first been filled out.

The Viewmate image of the entire page is available at:

A snippet of the page is below - 

Some of the changes don't make much sense to me - changing 'Laborer' to 'Druggist', 'Laborer' to 'Capmaker', etc. Almost all the listings for 'Domestic' (meaning a maid) were changed to 'Tailoress'. I checked other pages in the manifest, and this is the only one that has so many changes. By looking at the handwriting, the person who made the changes was not the original person who filled out the manifest.

Does anyone know what the reason(s) for so many changes might be? My impression had been that passengers were not re-interviewed about their occupation or any other details, once they were on the ship. I also assume that once they had arrived, the US immigration officials would have asked them what their occupations were.

Michele Lock

Lock/Lak/Lok and Kalon in Zagare/Joniskis, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Minsk gub., Belarus

ViewMate translation request - Polish #poland #translation

Alex Guri


I've posted vital records in Polish for which I'd appreciate a translation.
They are on ViewMate at the following addresses:

Please respond via the form provided on the ViewMate image page.
Thank you very much,
Alex Guri

Re: help deciphering name #names #translation

Peter Cohen

Might says Chaweyleh (Chavaleh)
Peter Cohen

Question about funding Holocaust Documentaries #holocaust

Nehama and Moshe Kutten

My cousin who lives in  Argentina is the son of my uncle who was born and grew up in Brody,. Zeev Was born in a Nazi camp in Rhodes after his parents were captured by the Italian Fascist navy while escaping from Europe. Their ship Pentcho ship, which left Brattislava on May 1940, was wrecked off Mytilene Island in the Aegean sea. Zeev’s daughter who is a movie director is working now on a documentary (in Spanish) about her father and grandparents. Do you know about any institutions who help in funding that type of Projects?. I have a brochure that describes the project and would be happy to send it to anybody who can help.


Moshe Kutten

Coatesville, PA


Sent from Mail for Windows 10


Re: How they traveled #romania #russia #usa

Lee Jaffe

I've been looking for sources that can elaborate on the journey, including the legal/illegal and financial aspects involved.  I have little pieces of the story but I'm intrigued by how all the moving parts fit together to enable someone living in a small rural town – perhaps speaking only Yiddish, maybe a minor, without official permission to travel or leave the Empire – could travel across several frontiers, a journey of days, arriving at a port city, negotiate boarding a steamship, with all the fiscal and legal transactions involved.  

There is an episode in Sholem Aleichem's Motl, the Cantor's Son in which the family travels to America.   It involves travel by wagon, being smuggled across the frontier and escorted to lodging before being put on a train to a port city.  There were obviously "agents" who took care of arrangements organized in advance, but there are no clues about how those were managed.

My grandfather told me he was smuggled across the Russian border from his town in Poland, near Bialystok, and put on a train to Antwerp.  The train was delayed by the Germans and he arrived too late for his passage and had to wait in Antwerp for a week for the next ship.  According to him, he was 13, accompanying a younger cousin, spoke Yiddish only.  He didn't say (and I failed to ask) how he got across Poland to the frontier, who smuggled him across the border, who put him on the train, who arranged for lodging in Antwerp, and how did he pay for it, and who negotiated his passage when he missed the first boat.  I know that there was a system where family in the US could deposit money in a bank in order to pay for the crossing but I'd like to know more about the whole scheme, step-by-step. 

I have two Russian passports for my great-grandparents (other side of the family).  The one for my great-grandfather has many pages torn out (coupons?) and only the barest information remains.  But my great-grandmother's passport includes three pages with handwritten information, one of which is in French: "The bearer ... the wife of a citizen of Mohilev, with 3 children ...has permission to board."  I assume that this was their official authorization to leave the Empire.  It is dated a week before I find her on a ship's manifest with the 3 children.  How did someone get such a passport?  Were they common?  I assume that those who traveled by wagon and were smuggled across were those without passports.  Was there a completely different system in place for those traveling legally and illegally.  Or, were the arrangements the same for everyone once they crossed the frontier?   I note that the name on the manifest was different than the one on the passport, so that was not the basis for the travel arrangements outside of Russia.  

I'd love to see a point-by-point narrative of how such a fraught journey was arranged and managed.  Any suggestions?

Lee Jaffe 

#belarus #general #belarus #general


How to get an information about marriage certificate without proof of your relationship in Belarus

looking for my father roots Kats, #belarus #holocaust


Looking for my father Kats Iogan or Ivan, I last  saw him in 1958,  He would have been born between1910 and1935 His father's name was probably David. I believe my father's parents and siblings were murdered in the holocaust, but, my father survived and stayed with his uncle after war in Polotsk, Belarus probably till1958. I very much would like to learn about my father live and view his grave site. I also would like to learn about my relatives on his side.

Mila Faulk
MODERATOR NOTE: General information may be posted to the group. Family information
                                    should be sent privately

Link - Rootstech conference online if interested? Examples of talks below #announcements #general


If anyone have ever been to or interested in Rootstech they will be doing online talks rather than the conference this year, just as a few examples below of the classes, that I'll be tuning in to and researching myself:

. Finding Jewish relatives in Russian Empire records
. Secrets to researching Jewish Genealogy revealed
. Sephardic Resources - whats new for 2021

Good luck with your searches

Re: Maps of Galicia and bukovina #galicia

Jay Osborn

Ellen Trencher wrote:

"i am looking for detailed maps of bukovina and Galicia between 1890 and 1925.  

are there any available online?"

There is a large collection of historical maps of Galicia and Bukovina on the Map Room website of Gesher Galicia:

...including many in the range of years you specified. The first section of the Map Room displays regional maps at three levels of scale; these maps are listed chronologically from 1775 to 1939. The second section displays cadastral maps of Galician towns – property tax maps at very high scale, showing individual houses and other buildings plus plots of land. The third section displays general and street maps, like conventional city maps produced today, primarily of large cities in Galicia and Bukovina, in alphabetical order. The last section displays unusual historical "special" maps of Galicia and Bukovina, a group of thematic maps on topics such as the ethnic mix of towns and regions, climate, geology, and more.

In the regional maps section (top of the page), some maps show rail lines, telephone and telegraph lines, roads, and rivers – all forms of communication in past times.

Many of the regional maps are available for free download on websites of the digital libraries of Poland and other archives; where a good source is available, we link to it in the map description. Other sources for online maps, many of which can be downloaded for free, are listed on a links page attached to the Map Room website:

Jay Osborn
Gesher Galicia Digital Maps Manager
Lviv, Ukraine

Two rabbis from Potok Zloty-1834 #poland

Milton Koch

I am looking for the family of a father and son who were both rabbis, and Cohanim, in Potok Zloty. There is a tombstone of one of them dating to 1834.
Please let me know if this might be in your family.
MIlton Koch

Nograd Jewish Community and Shoah Victims #hungary #holocaust #slovakia

Vivian Kahn

Andras Hirschler found this resource, which may be useful to those who had family from Nograd megye, Hungary, which was in the northern part of pre-Trianon Hungary just north of Pest-Pilis-Solt-Kiskun.  The area is now divided between Hungary and Slovakia. Balassagyarmat was the county seat and Losonc, now Lucenec, Slovakia, was one of the largest cities. (See attached Goncy map from about 1910.)
The article includes a short history of the Jewish community in each place in the county and a list of names and family members of Holocaust victims.
JewishGen Hungarian Research Director

Vivian Kahn, Santa Rosa, California
Researching families including:
BERKOVICS/BERKOWITZ/ROTH/GROSZ. Avas Ujvaros, Hungary/Orasu Nou, Romania
KAHAN/JOSIPOVITS/DUB, Sziget, Kabolacsarda, Nagyvarad, Hungary/Sighet, Ciarda, Oradea, Romania
KOHN/Zbegnyo/ Zbehnov, Tarnoka/Trnavka, Slovakia; Cleveland  LEFKOVITS/Kolbasa/Brezina, Slovakia
MOSKOVITS/Honkocz, Szobranc, Osztro, Kassa, Hungary/Chonkovce, Sobrance, Ostrov, Kosice, Slov., Nyiregyhaza, Hungary
ELOVITS/Hornya, Hungary/Horna, Slovakia
NEUMANN/Szeretva, Kereszt, Nagymihaly, Miskolc, Hung./Sobrance, Kristy, Stretavka, Michalovce, Slov. 
POLACSEK/Hunfalu, Hungary/Huncovce, Slovakia
SPITZ/Nikolsburg/Mikulov, Prosnitz/Prostejov, Moravia/Czech Republic; Kismarton/Eisenstadt, Hungary/Austria; Hunfalu,Hungary//Huncovce, Slovakia

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