Re: "adoption" to avoid the czar's army #general #lithuania

Ida & Joseph Schwarcz

-----Original Message-----
From: חיה שה-לבן שוורץ [mailto:idayosef@...]
Sent: Wednesday, July 01, 2020 6:10 PM
To: main@...
Subject: Re: "adoption" to avoid the czar's army

Yes. My late husband's grandfather, whose surname was Cohen was "adopted" by
a widow (his parents were well to do and she was poor) and received the name
Selavan (or Selavoy or Selaveitchik) and the rest of his siblings and
cousins took the name too. When his son made Aliya in 1923 he became a
student in the David Yellin Teachers' School whose principal wanted his
students to have Hebrew names, so he became Yosef Seh-Lavan. It is a unique
surname and as far as I know only his family is Seh-Lavan.
In the US it became Selavan.
Ida Selavan Schwarcz

More Przemysl and Sieniawa vital record images online #galicia #poland

Logan Kleinwaks

More scans of Przemysl Jewish vital records 1790-1933 and Sieniawa Jewish vital records 1869-1912 were recently added to the website of the Przemysl Branch of the Polish State Archives. These are only images, there is no search interface, however some (but not all) of the records are searchable at
To view the images, go to, then change the top drop-down option "Nr zespolu" to "1924" for Przemysl or "2001" for Sieniawa and press the "Szukaj" button at the bottom. You will see a table where each row refers to a group of images, covering one or more types of records (e.g., only births or births, marriages, and deaths) and one or more years. There are sometimes multiple rows referring to the same records (e.g., originals, duplicates, and indexes). In the first column on the left, "Sygnatura," is a link to the corresponding images. Clicking that link brings up a small image of the first scan with links below it to jump to other images. Clicking a small image will enlarge it. When viewing an enlarged image, you can press the right or left arrow to move forward or backward one image, and there is an icon on the left of a downward arrow in a circle, which you can click to download the image to your computer.
I have not carefully examined the records, but coverage by record type is roughly:
Przemysl births 1790-1827, 1853-1912; marriages 1790-1893, 1903-1933; deaths 1790-1933
Sieniawa births 1869-1912; marriages 1878-1881, 1887-1912; deaths 1878, 1880-1881, 1891, 1893-1898, 1901-1912

This includes the recent additions and images added previously. The additions seem to cover Przemsyl records 1902-, Sieniawa marriages 1901- (and maybe some earlier), Sieniawa births 1901-, and all Sieniawa deaths, but I have not carefully checked.  The additions are not yet viewable at, where all(?) of the previously-added images can also be viewed.
Thanks to the Przemysl Archives for continuing to make their holdings accessible online (also including numerous notary records, among other things).
Logan Kleinwaks
near Washington, D.C.

Looking for Julia YAGUROV in Israel #israel

Felissa Lashley

I am trying to locate a mailing address, phone number, or hopefully an email address for Julia YAGUROV in Israel. She is a ZATOLOFSKY descendant. I hope that you all can help me find this. Thank you so very much.
Felissa Lashley
Austin, Texas
MAYSTROVOIY, Korsun, Valyava
MASUR/MOZER/MAZER/MAYER, Valyava, Gorodische
LESCHINSKY/LISHINSKY, Gorodische, Korsun, Moshny
ZATULOFSKY/ZATOLOVSKY, Lysysanka, Gorodische, Korsun

Re: Was a gradfather an acceptable witness for the birth of a grandson in Galitzia in 1875? #austria-czech

Sally Bruckheimer

"I have found a close relative living in the same house, with the same surname who appears as witness in the birth act of a boy".

The witnesses were witnesses to the registration of the birth, not to the birth itself, which would not have been witnessed by men. Often, if you look at the registrations, the same men witnessed them all.

Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ

Re: "adoption" to avoid the czar's army #general #lithuania

Ettie Zilber

Yes, that’s exactly right. As I understood it,  the trick was to find a family to adopt you who did not have any sons. Thus, I don’t think they could just choose a family name. Thanks for responding

Dr. Ettie Zilber
zedEd Consultancy

Re: Viewmate Translation Request - Russian #translation


Viewmate # 4


In russian:


Состоялось в городе Люблин, 30-го мая (11-го июня) 1897-го года в 10 часов утра, явился еврей Мордка Вайсблех, работник, 34-х лет житель города Люблина, в присутствии свидетелей Шлемы Монка, писаря, 57-и лет и Берки Мухшана, домовладельца, 34-х лет, жителей города Люблина, и предъявили нам младенца женского пола, объявляя, что она родилась в городе Люблин в доме #638, 22-го мая (3-го июня) сего года в 11 часов ночи, в городе Люблин от законной жены Хаи, урожденной Фрим, 26-и лет и младенцу этому дано имя Роза-Шаша.  Акт этот присутствующим прочитан, и нами подписан.

Подпись  Подпись Подпись Подпись.



Translate into English:


Held in the city of Lublin, on May 30 (June 11), 1897, at 10 a.m., a Jew Mordka Weissblech, a worker, 34 years old resident of the city of Lublin, appeared in the presence of witnesses Helmets Monk, clerk, 57 years and Berka Mukhshan, a homeowner, 34 years old, residents of the city of Lublin, and presented us with a female baby, announcing that she was born in the city of Lublin in the house # 638, May 22 (June 3) this year at 11 hours of the night, in the city of Lublin, from the legal wife of Hai, nee Freem, 26 years old and this baby was given the name Rosa Shasha. This certificate has been read to those present, and we have signed it.

Signature Signature Signature Signature.

Re: "adoption" to avoid the czar's army #general #lithuania

carol lipson

Yes, this happened in my family.  The original name was Lipshitz, and the new name was Litvinov.  Ironically I married a Lipshitz (from another area in Belarus).  I didn’t know until well after we were married.  People always said we looked alike!  

carol lipson

Sheftel family from Kratinga, Kovno, Russia #russia


I would like help researching my Sheftel/Sheftelovitz family line. I have successfully traced it back to Mordechai Joshua Sheftelowitz (1812-1886) married to Fanny. One of his sons is Michael Sheftelowitz, who became a naturalized British Citizen 4 April 1897,

Re: Adoptions in the US around the 1930s #general #dna

Sarah L Meyer

Many years ago I tried to use DNAGedCom and it blew up because I had so many Jewish matches (all 4 of my grandparents were Jewish).  So try it but be aware that if there are a lot of matches it may crash your system.   Unfortunately we Jews have fewer records, and shorter surname history - and more matches than the non-Jews.
At that time, I sent a message to the administrators requesting that they let me know when their site would work for Ashkenazi Jews.  I have never heard back from them.

Sarah L Meyer
Georgetown TX
BIRGARDOVSKY, EDELBERG, HITE (CHAIT), PERCHIK Russia (southern Ukraine) and some Latvia or Lithuania

"Osterbücher" in 1832 Hessen-Nassau #germany

Michael Rubin

I have the estate inventory of an ancestor who died in 1832 in a small village in Hessen-Nassau. The inventory lists several obviously Jewish books (eg. "ein Judisches Gesetzbuch").  It also lists "2 Osterbücher."  I know that this term today means springtime children's books and/or secular books somewhat related to Easter themes such as bunnies and generally neutral in terms of religious content.  My question is what this term might have meant in 1832. I have a hard time believing it refers to today's version especially since this person was elderly and children were out of the house.  And, there were only two such books.  There were only one or two of any of the books in the house.
Could Osterbücher have meant haggadah for Passover?  Any other ideas?

Michael Rubin
Boston, MA USA

Event: The Poetry and Fate of Matilda Olkinaite: A Diary of Jewish Culture in Lithuania #announcements #lithuania #holocaust #events


Thank you to Phil Shapiro for letting me know about an online discussion of the fate and writings of Matilda Olkinaite, a young Litvak poet whose life was cut short by the Holocaust.

The event is organized under the auspices of the commemorative year of Vilna Gaon and Lithuanian Jewish Heritage by the Embassy of Lithuania in Washington, DC.  The online conference will take place on Friday, July 10, 2020 at noon, 12:00 PM EDT

For more information:

Peggy Mosinger Freedman

Re: Adoptions in the US around the 1930s #general #dna

Phil Karlin

I found relatives who got pregnant before they were married in 1934. They put the baby up for adoption then married 3 months later. I can't imagine anyone doing that today.

Phil Karlin
Hartford, CT

Re: "adoption" to avoid the czar's army #general #lithuania


It was a frequent practice. It was this in my family. It was a childless relative. I don’t know anything more about him. It is necessary to look for documents about adoption.

Re: Institutionalized relative - death date and burial location #general

Kenneth Ryesky

I do not know any of the particulars regarding your interactions with Pilgrim Psychiatric Center (formerly Pilgrim State Hospital), but note the following
New York's Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) is structurally and operationally similar to the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), except that FOIL gives New York state agencies broader reasons to deny access than does FOIL for federal agencies.
Your written request for the information should specifically state that the information is requested in accordance with FOIL.  If your request is denied, then the bureaucrat who denied your request is required under FOIL to inform you of (A) the reasons for the denial, and (B) the identity of the bureaucrat to whom the denial can be appealed.
If the denial is upheld on this appeal, you then have the right to further appeal the denial to the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court (if this appeal is successful you may be entitled to attorney fees and costs).
[N.B.  Don't let the name of the tribunal intimidate you.  In New York, the "Supreme Court" is the LOWEST court of general jurisdiction; the intermediate appellate tribunal is the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, and the highest state court in New York is the Court of Appeals of the State of New York.]
{Usual caveats that this does not constitute legal advice in the context of the lawyer-client relationship.}
-- KHR
Kenneth H. Ryesky, Esq.
Petach Tikva, ISRAEL

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

Re: Institutionalized relative - death date and burial location #general

Marilyn Feingold

HIPPA has changed everything. Many years ago I researched a family member in a facility and got a copy of their diagnosis and lots of other information.  I am certain they wouldn't give me that information today.  Too bad. Marilyn Feingold

Re: Gomborow/Gomborov #ukraine #general

David Cherson

This may not help you at all but at the Kehillath Israel (Brookline MA) Hebrew School, several years ago, we had a third grade teacher named Avraham Gomborow and he was also a survivor.  In fact half of the teachers plus the principal were survivors.  I'm talking the 1950's fyi.  


Re: Adoptions in the US around the 1930s #general #dna


I have some thoughts for you if you would like to connect privately. I am not sure how to contact you however. 

Re: Yiddish or Hebrew name for IDA #belarus #names


Itka is a diminutive for Ita 

Re: "adoption" to avoid the czar's army #general #lithuania

Angie Elfassi

this subject is close to my heart!
A story I have told before and am happy to share again ....
My ggrandfather Mordechai KASSEMOFF was born in Rezekne in Latvia. On his papers that I had received from the Latvian archives, it said that his father was Moshe Hirsch. However, on his tombstone, in Leeds, it said his father was Zeev.

During my years of research I came across two family ancestors - GREENSTONE/GREENSPAN and MULVIDSON, and I couldnt understand how they were connected to the KASSEMOFFS. Eventually I was in contact with a descendant of one of the MULVIDSON family, who lives in Norway, and he sent me a copy of a photo taken in 1926. He told me that on the reverse side of the photo was written: my brother Mordechai and family in Leeds. Imagine my shock when I received the photo (attached). I had the identical photo in the cupboard of my ggrandfather and ggrandmother and their grown children (including my grandparents).  He told me that the original family name was MULVIDSON. Ggrandfather Mordechai's birth father was Zeev. The clue of his birth father was on his tombstone Emoji. The GREENSTONE/GREENSPAN  (I have found different surname information and spellings, for the same branch) is the 2nd brother. There may have been more but because of the different family surnames, it's not easy to find them.
I was told that they had been given different surnames almost at birth, to avoid conscription. The oldest son kept the family surname as he was exempt from army service.
Hope this has helped.
Angie Elfassi

"adoption" to avoid the czar's army #general #lithuania
From: Ettie Zilber
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 2020 22:12:23 EDT

DOES THIS STORY SOUND FAMILIAR? a branch of my family had 5 sons around the mid-late 1800s. In order to avoid the military, 4 of the sons were "adopted" by families which had no sons. Thus, this branch had 5 different family names. They lived in Kalvarija and environs. Does anyone have information about this practice? How do the genealogy experts advise doing research for this brick wall?


Re: looking for family in Australia from Poland name Cohen/K #general #poland

Esther Goldberg

All telephone books are on the web

10681 - 10700 of 656225