Trying to break a brick wall to find living relatives in the US... #general #usa #belarus

Gregory Engels

This might be the other way around as for the most other brick walls - I do know the historic ancestors here, but I have trouble to connect the dots to the present day.

My Great-Grandmother was a part of big jewish family of 14 siblings. They lived in Minsk, Belarus, Her 10 sisters and the youngest brother have all emigrated to the US and my GGF Basia stayed in Russia with two brothers. (actually my GGM was already "sitting on packed suitcases" when my GGF has left her, so she stayed with five kids in poverty and could not afford the travel). In the Soviet time, nobody in the family have talked about those american relatives, as this could get one in jail or even killed. So it was a big surprise as I interviewed the brother of my grandfather and he came up with this information - but he could not remember any names, even the one of his uncles that actually came to visit in the sixties. That was 12 years ago, and out of those 11 siblings I was able to find four and have met with descendants from two of them and had a little conversation with another one. But the fourth one I am stuck for over two years now.

So here it goes:

My GGGF: Peisakh Gordin b 1851, d 1942 Slaveni, Belarus.

his wife: Frieda Itkin. (he later in life had a second wife Galina)

His Children I know of:

  • Stayed in Russia:

    • Basia Gordin 1878-1942 - married Engelsgelb - my Great-Grandmother, five kids.

    • Isaac Gordin b1870 - d unknown, lived in Minsk, four kids.

    • Aaron Gorind b? - d.~1974, lived in Minsk, two kids.

  • Emmigrated to the US:

    • Isidore (Israel, Izzy) Gordon - b 15 Jul 1895, d 21 Mar 1991 in West Palm Beach, 2 Kids, I have met his grandchild.

    • Fannie (Feiga) Balberor b 15 May 1887, d 10 Mar 1950 Detroit, three kids, I have met her grandkids.

    • Mollie (Malke) Sirota b Apr 1889, d 06 Jan 1953 in LA, three kids, I have some contact on Facebook with her granddaughter.

    • six further sisters I do have nothing on. The birth register for Slaveni has apparently not survived WWII.

so the last sister I know about and try to find out her descendants:

  • Rose (Rane, Rone, Rannie) Gordin born 1885 in Sloveni, Senno Uezd, Mogilew Gubernia, Russia died Sep 20 1969 - buried in Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, NY

    • she married sometime in 1906 one Jacob Etkin b25 Jan 1887 in Minsk, Belarus, d 15 May 1953 in New York

    • Jacob arrived in the US 24 Jun 1906 under the name Yankel Itkin, he stated that he would be joining his Father (according to jacobs gavestone his name would be Abraham) with c/o of a Max Mindlin, Red Bank, NY. Because he had no money, he was detained, and the record list Max Mindlin as his uncle. Manifest Detained list

    • Rose arrived 24 Jun 1907, exactly one year after Jacob, passenger name Rone Itkin (row 18) - she too was detained and picked up by her husband (row 8) - his address being 165 East Broadway, NY

    • 19 Jan 1909 their daughter Annie (or Anna) Atkin was born - address 653 Sackman St, NY

    • 1910 Census Jake, Rosie and Annie Etkin - 401 Powell St, Brooklyn, NY

    • 18 Jan 1912 their daughter Florence Etkin is born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. - Florence died 29 Dec 1975

    • 1915 NY State Census Jacob, Jennie (!), Annie and Flora - they are back in NY: 226 Livonia Ave.

    • Nov 1917 their daughter Sylvia is born in New York

    • Nov 1919 their daughter Lillian is born in New York

    • 1920 Census: Etkin, Jacob, Rose, Anna, Florence and Lillian - Address 1514 St Marks Ave, Brooklyn.

    • 1925 NY State Census surname Atkin, same address 1514 St Marks Ave

    • 1930 Census: and 456 Herzl Street, Brooklyn

    • 1940 Census: They still all live together - address 408 E95th St (that's just a couple of hoses away from Rose's brother Isadore)

    • Anna have married sometime Hyman Lastman

Now, the headstone of Jacob and Rose says that they had grandchildren. I had wrote an email to Montefiore cemetery once using their contact form in june 2019 and once using the email of their director jan 2020, asking them if they would have a next of kin information or a obituary on file, but never got an answer. (I had some success in writing to the cemeteries before - ifact the first hint of Rose was from the cemetery file from Fanny Balberor (died 1950) that listed in the next of kin list: "Str Mrs Jacob ATKIN NYC", and it took me some time to find everything linked above in this message). 

Any ideas where to dig now?

best regards to all you who are in quarantine, as we are here in Germany. 
Gregory Engels

Re: Given name Ksyel

Israel P

In proper Hebrew, that is Yekusiel /Yekutiel. In other languages they could have used anything.  It is my Uncle Ken's name.

#galicia Researcher #galicia

Amos Sobel 4X4MF

Looking for a researcher to find out the birth records of Stryj in Eastern Galicia for the period 1924-1942.

Your help is welcome

Amos Sobel
Haifa, Israel

Re: Given name Ksyel


I looked up the ship Statendam, arrived NY on 4 Sep 1898. Child is male. I would say Ksyel is short for Yekusiel

David Rosen
Boston, MA

On 3/28/2020 9:32 PM, Rachelle Litt wrote:
On the ships manifest it says the child’s name was Ksyel. I’m trying to figure out what that might have become in English?
Any suggestions? Mother was Sure Lindenbaum
Rachelle Litt
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Rachelle Litt
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Re: yiddish words #yiddish

David Lewin

Is this "Halts kammer"  not the German word Hals  = throat  rather than Holz = wood?

David Lewin

At 19:22 28/03/2020, Deborah Blankenberg wrote:
Google Translate transliterates ער רעד זיך �פ ווי� פייוויש �ין ה�לץ ק�ממער as "er red zikh af vya feyvish in halts kammer" and translates it as literally meaning "He speaks like a fish in a wooden chamber." Such a colorful language, our mameloshn!
Deborah Blankenberg (JewishGen ID #613395)
Lodi, CA
Researching BLOCH/BLOCK (Germany to New York, Colombia and Missouri), BLINDER (Kishinev to New York via Poland? and Paris), KUSHER/KUSZER (Lodz vicinity to New York via Paris), GOLDSCHMIDT (Germany)

Seeking FEUERLICHT - to USA late 1800s #austria-czech #hungary

Alex Magocsi

In the late 1800s, Herman FEUERLICHT emigrated to the USA with his family and settled in Manhattan, NYC.
As a point of reference, per the 1869 Hungarian / Slovak census, Herman & family were residing in Lapispatak, now Ploské, Saros County.

I am trying to locate a descendant of this family to see if there is a family relationship to Hanna FEUERLICHT / FEIERLIKT.

I am writing to the list in the hope that Ira FEUERLICHT, son of Herbert & Roberta (STRAUS) FEUERLICHT is a member of this community AND will respond.
He reportedly resides in Manhattan and is the great-grandson of Herman.


MAGOCSI (Gyula-Jovancza, Gyulaj, Tolna)
Grosz (Nyirbator)
Greif (Prešov District, Austria Hungary,Slovakia)

IGRA Offering Free Opportunities to Connect and Learn #israel

Elena Bazes

The Israel Genealogy Research Associations (IGRA) has two new opportunities for you to engage and be connected to the genealogy community. After Pesach we will be hosting a series of free webinars with lecturers from around the world. The schedule will be available shortly. 

More immediately we are beginning a free “Show & Tell with IGRA” ZOOM series this Monday, March 30 and Wednesday, April 1. These sessions in English will take place weekly (but not on a holiday) Monday evenings at    9 pm Israel time (2 pm EDT, 11 am PDT). The same topic will be in Hebrew on Wednesday evenings 21:00 Israel time.

“Show & Tell with IGRA” will be open to those who connect to ZOOM with our meeting code. We will do our best to record these sessions and make them available on our website.

Each session of “Show & Tell with IGRA” will demonstrate a different topic. Some will be connected specifically to IGRA, while others will demonstrate how to use other websites or applications – hands on topics you can immediately make use of on your own. Each session will run for 30 minutes with time following for you to ask questions via the Chat option.

The first “Show & Tell” will emphasize IGRA’s many resources. To join the Zoom Meeting  on March 30th  go to

If you have suggestions of topics for us to include in future sessions please send them to webinars@...


Elena Biegel Bazes

IGRA Publicity Chair 



Re: Would a boy and a girl in the same family ever both be given essentially the same names? #ukraine #names

Eric Mack

One possibility is that one sibling was named after the ancestor, and the other sibling was born on or about the 9th of Av.  "Menachem" and "Nechamah" connote "comfort", and the month of Av is often called "Menachem Av".

On Sunday, March 29, 2020, 04:24:52 AM GMT+3, Shlomo Katz <shlomodkatz@...> wrote:

I know many Orthodox families, my own and others, in which brothers and sisters have similar names, for example:
Menachem and Nechamah
Baruch and Bracha
Yehuda and Yehudis.

Shlomo Katz
Silver Spring MD

Re: Given name Ksyel

Eric Mack

I would guess יקותיאל, which is rendered as  "Yekusiel" in Ashkenazic pronunciation, and "Yekutiel" in S'fardit.

The name is from the Bible, Chronicles I, 4:18

"וְאִשְׁתּוֹ הַיְהֻדִיָּה יָלְדָה אֶת יֶרֶד אֲבִי גְדוֹר וְאֶת חֶבֶר אֲבִי שׂוֹכוֹ וְאֶת יְקוּתִיאֵל אֲבִי זָנוֹחַ" (דברי הימים א', ד', י''ח).

Sefaria translates that verse as:
And his Judahite wife bore Jered father of Gedor, Heber father of Soco, and Jekuthiel father of Zanoah. These were the sons of Bithiah daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered married.

Eric Mack, Jerusalem

On Sunday, March 29, 2020, 04:52:40 AM GMT+3, Rachelle Litt <rlittrph@...> wrote:

On the ships manifest it says the child’s name was Ksyel. I’m trying to figure out what that might have become in English?
Any suggestions? Mother was Sure Lindenbaum
Rachelle Litt
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Rachelle Litt
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

New data from the Vilnius Household Registers project #lithuania

Russ Maurer

LitvakSIG is pleased to announce that batch 10 of the Vilnius household registers is now available to qualified donors.

The registers were created between 1919 and 1940 when Wilno (Vilnius) city and Wilno voivodeship were part of Poland. The registers contain detailed information about everyone who lived in Wilno city at that time, including many visitors. The registers potentially hold discoveries for anyone whose family was in that general area, which today includes parts of Lithuania, Belarus, and northeast Poland. I urge you to check the batch previews described below, even if you don’t think your family was ever in Vilnius. There have already been unexpected discoveries. 

As this is a very large project that will go on for years, we are releasing data in batches of about 5000 lines. Batch 10 contains 5002 new lines, plus 640 lines repeated from an earlier batch as explained below. The batch contains data from three apartment houses, located at Mala Stefanska (also called Kwaszelna) 19, Wielka Pohulanka 9 (was 15 prior to a renumbering), and Wielka Pohulanka 14. You can find these streets on our Vilnius interactive street map. We previously included data from the 1920s for Mala Stefanska 19 in batch 4. Later, after we realized that Mala Stefanska was renamed Kwaszelna, we found the registers from the 1930s for #19. To put all the data for that address in one place, we have repeated the earlier data with this batch.

To help you determine if this batch or a previous batch is relevant to your research, I have attached to this message a file containing a preview of every batch to date.  The batch preview is a bare-bones version of the batch spreadsheet containing just the full name and year of birth (or age) of each person. The previews are presented both in original order and alphabetically by surname. The previews include directions for becoming a qualified donor and accessing the full data for batches of your choosing.

More information about the Vilnius household registers can be found on the VHR home page. Any inquiries related to VHR should be directed to me at vhrproject@...

Russ Maurer
VHR project coordinator, LitvakSIG

Passage Libau, Latvia to Jaffa, Palestine #latvia

Roberta Lipitz

What I do know is that my Grandmother left Libau, Russian Empire for Jaffa, Palestine (date unknown).  According ship's manifest  obtained from Ellis Island, N Y she left Jaffa at age 18 and out of LeHavre, France in July 1903.  What I would like to find, if possible, is any documents she, her Father and younger sister needed for this journey.

Any help or information would greatly be appreciated.

Roberta Lipitz
Cherry Hill, NJ

Given name Ksyel

Rachelle Litt

On the ships manifest it says the child’s name was Ksyel. I’m trying to figure out what that might have become in English?
Any suggestions? Mother was Sure Lindenbaum
Rachelle Litt
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Rachelle Litt
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Re: Would a boy and a girl in the same family ever both be given essentially the same names? #ukraine #names

Shlomo Katz

I know many Orthodox families, my own and others, in which brothers and sisters have similar names, for example:
Menachem and Nechamah
Baruch and Bracha
Yehuda and Yehudis.

Shlomo Katz
Silver Spring MD

Re: What is the difference between "town" and "residence" in Ukraine Death Records on JewishGen #ukraine

Alan Shuchat

Sorry for the multiple postings but I want to correct an error I made. In, I said Dina lost her husband and then her son. It's the other way around: the husband El'ya-Benyamin lost his wife Dina and then their son Don.
Alan Shuchat
Newton, MA

SHUKHAT (Talnoe, Simferopol, Sevastopol, Odessa, Balta (Abazovka), Pogrebishche)
VINOKUR (Talnoe), KURIS (Mogilev-Podolskiy, Ataki, Berdichev)
ZILBERMAN (Soroki, Kremenets), BIRNBAUM (Kamenets-Podolskiy)
KITAIGORODSKI (Zvenigorodka)

Given name Añuta from Bender, Besarabia #bessarabia

Alberto Guido Chester

Thanks to each kind Jewishgenner who answered.
The unanimous suggestion for the origin of my great aunt's nickname is Ana.
I am looking for documents with this name, yet with no success.
Thanks again

Alberto Guido Chester
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Re: Upcoming free access to the Archives of St. Petersburg, Russia




The URL of the archives is I did look at the vital records. There is no name index that I could see anywhere, so, even if you know the name and a year, you would have to go through the entire register, one page at a time. The quality of the web images is barely adequate to read.


Oh yes, one must register in order to gain access to these records.







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Re: yiddish words #yiddish


there is a list of those words a lot of blessings too let's count our blessings now

Re: yiddish words #yiddish


it really means kein ein hora no bad eyes it is to say no one should not put a course for jealousy or revenge 

More Yizkor Books in translation at reduced prices by ordering directly from JewishGen #yizkorbooks

Joel Alpert

Yizkor Books in Print Project is happy to add more books to the list
of those being offered at reduced prices by ordering directly from
Jewishgen. They are:

Ostrow Mazowiecka: Memorial (Yizkor) Book of the Jewish Community of
Ostrow Mazowiecka
Sierpc: Memorial (Yizkor) Book of the Community of Sierpc, Poland -
Rokitno-Wolyn: Rokitno-Wolyn and Surroundings - Memorial Book and Testimony
Dusiat: There Was A Shtetl In Lithuania: Dusiat
Sokoly: Deliverance - THE DIARY OF MICHAEL MAIK: In Memory of the
Destroyed Jewish Community of Sokoly, Poland
Drohitchin: Drohitchin Memorial (Yizkor) Book - 500 Years of Jewish
Life (Drohiczyn, Belarus)

go to our web page:
make sure you click on the link to Jewishgen to get to the order form.

Find your book and order directly from JewishGen for lower prices.
Our aim is to get the books in people's hands at as low prices as

Joel Alpert, Coordinator of the Yizkor Books in Print Project

Re: Fogel family in Rivne or Rowno is this the same place #ukraine

Alexander Sharon

This appears to be town Rovnoye [Rus], currently known as Rivne in Yelizavetgrad (later Kirovograd) in Kherson Guberniya, Ukraine at 48°15' N 31°45' E
It should not be confused with the larger town/provincial seat of Wolhynia Province - Rowno (currently also known as Rivne) at 50°37' N 26°14' E
Conflicting forms that were filled from 1913 to 1940 could not be related to Wolhynia's Rivne since this towns from 1922 till 1939 was located in Poland and was known as Równe, capital of Poland Wołyń województwo.

Alexander Sharon,
JGFF editor