Ralph Baer

My parents had a total of 25 first cousins. I at least met as a child or have located since I started pursuing genealogy 22 of them. I recently posted about Herbert (Naftali) BACHARACH, and with the help of readers here put his sad story to rest Thanks again. This post is about cousin #24. The last one is an illegitimate daughter of a brother of my paternal grandfather whom I will probably only learn about if a descendant takes an autosomal DNA test.
My grandfather’s sister Julie STRAUß (STRAUSS) nee BAER (14 July 1872 New York – 30 June 1951 New York) and her husband Aaron (Adolf) STRAUß (28 April 1855 Walldürn [Neckar-Odenwald-Kreis, Baden-Württemberg] – 15 June 1905 Frankfurt am Main).had two sons. One, Ludwig STRAUß (born 16 February 1894 Frankfurt), was killed early in World War I. 
All I know about the second, Robert STRAUß, was that he was born on 6 October 1897 in Frankfurt and moved to South America. He supposedly broke contact with the family including his mother. By any chance is anyone familiar with him?
Yes, Julie was born in New York before her parents returned to Germany about 1874.
Ralph N. Baer        RalphNBaer@...       Washington, DC

Re: Geni and Family Search #general

E. Randol Schoenberg

Geni is more accurate and complete than any individual tree on Ancestry or MyHeritage in almost all cases, since it is a collaborative tree.  Why?  Think of it this way.  What would be more accurate and complete: a tree you do on your own, or a tree you do with other people who can detect and correct your mistakes and add missing data?  Of course there are errors on any tree.  Geni has 145 million connected profiles, so even if the error rate is 1% that would be almost 1.5 million errors.  But I can guarantee that every small, individual tree is bound to have a far higher rate of errors and omissions.  As for FamilySearch, they also have a large collaborative tree and it is often very good.  Again, finding some mistakes on another tree should never give anyone a false sense of superiority.  There is always work to be done on every tree, and the larger collaborative trees are necessarily going to be more complete and accurate than anything a single person could do on his or her own.

Re: Rezniks of Pohost, (Slutsk) and New York #belarus #usa


Sorry I can't help you on your Resnicks but my grandfather Lieb Frankel was from this Pohost.


Re: Dates of Simchat Torah 1866 #general

Valentin Lupu

Hi Toby,
Simchat Torah is celebrated on Tishrei 23rd outside the land of Israel. Brest-Litovsk was in the Russian Empire in 1866 and Russia adopted the Gregorian calendar only in 1918. Therefore, two possible dates correspond to this event:
- October 2, 1866 according to the Gregorian calendar
- September 19, 1866 according to the Julian calendar used in Brest in those times.

Valentin Lupu

Re: Seeking information on a village named Horodok, Vilna #lithuania

Alexander Sharon

Correction for Kazhan - Haradok

There are  80 entries for this town by Genners in JGFF database. 

The total number for all searches for five towns named Haradok, Belarus is 504, by 242 researchers.

Alexander Sharon
JGFF editor

Re: "His name was changed at Ellis Island" #names

Bob Bloomberg

I think we are getting very defensive.  I haven't seen anyone who claims that names were intentionally, willfully changed. I don't believe they were.  What I think many are saying is that the system, and the people in it, were not perfect.  Add to the imperfections the fact that orthography was still in flux, and that most names could be spelled many different ways,by the same person, and you have the opportunity for name changes (I have seen different spellings of the same name on different documents signed by the same person.).

Re: Dates of Simchat Torah 1866 #general

Barbara Mannlein <bsmannlein@...>

GOOGLE is your friend.  Searching for     simchat torah 1866 brings up a site a genealogist should know.    try it, it’s easy to use.

Barbara Mannlein
Tucson, AZ

On Jun 26, 2020, at 4:10 PM, Frank Bond <fb645@...> wrote:

Would someone be able to tell me when Simchat Torah was in 1866?  A memoir states that my 3great-grandmother died in the middle of Simchat Torah in 1866 (cholera plague in Brest).
Thank you.
Toby Gass

Re: "His name was changed at Ellis Island" #names


This became oddly contentious.

Like many others, I'd heard to stories about Ellis Island name changes and later learned that this would not have happened. My own tree shows numerous name changes, both in Europe and in the USA. In some cases, this came down to differing opinions about how to transliterate a Russian or Yiddish name or even a shift from a Romanian to a Yiddish variant of the same name. A couple of times, it looks like whoever wrote the name down in Europe misheard the name entirely. Usually, it was a matter of simple desire to assimilate.

So, for example, Talpalariu became Feller (Romanian and Yiddish for the same profession). Leibovici became Leibowtiz and, later, Lee (Romanian to Yiddish to Anglicized). Itrov was misspelled as Eatroff in the US and we stuck with it. Wittrof ended up on a a passenger manifest, but was so wildly off, it never appeared on another document. Faivush became Philip and Mikael became Max to sound more "American." All of those sorts of changes are extremely commonplace.

The most amusing story about assigning surnames in my family was a tall tale from the mid-19th century when the Austro-Hungarian Empire decided Jews should have surnames. Usually, those names would be based on an occupation or patronymic or a location, but one of my ancestors was said to have been so amused by the "ridiculous" names people took, he laughed out loud and an official saddled him with the name Lacher, meaning "laugher." That's too good to be true, but it's more fun than "they changed it at Ellis Island."

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

Jules Levin

I haven't been following this topic, but my grandmother's name in St
Petersburg was Ita, pronounced /EEta/.  If you say it with an American
accent the t becomes d, and you get Eda,  which was her name in
America.  I never thought this was a problem name.

Jules Levin

On 6/26/2020 3:14 PM, Barbara (Tuchow) Frohlich wrote:
Art Hoffman, my Montreal born mother who’s name was
Ida was always called Chaike or Chaikelah by her Russian born mother
so that’s the name I had put on her headstone. Years later said that
Chaike is a diminutive for Chaya!

Wejswaser/Weiswasser family in Suwalki, Poland #poland

Dwera (Dora) Wejswaser came to Rochester, New York around 1881. Would like to know of siblings she left and those who may have immigrated with her.
Many thanks,
Judy Cohen
Sent from my Verizon ASUS tablet

Kumelanski family in Sejny, Poland #poland

Searching for Riwka Kumelanski, nee Tokarczyk.
Would appreciate any information.
Thank you,
Judy Cohen
Sent from my Verizon ASUS tablet Offering Free Access to Selected Collections Through Canada Day #announcements #canada

Jan Meisels Allen is offering free access to selected collections through Canada Day, July 1, 2020  11:59PM ET. Registration is required with your name, email address and password.


Go to:


To see the featured collections  go to:


Open the record you are researching an a green “save” box opens and from there you can save the record to your computer or Ancestry Shoebox.


After the free offer expires you will only be able to access the records in the featured collection using a paid membership.


Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee


Re: what is the meaning of given name #poland #names





The name seems to suggest – nesicha which means princess in Hebrew.

Shabbat Shalom, Malka Chosnek

Dates of Simchat Torah 1866 #general

Frank Bond

Would someone be able to tell me when Simchat Torah was in 1866?  A memoir states that my 3great-grandmother died in the middle of Simchat Torah in 1866 (cholera plague in Brest).
Thank you.
Toby Gass

Re: Seeking information on a village named Horodok, Vilna #lithuania

Alexander Sharon

Hi, there seems to be confusion as to the number and location of towns named Horodok in Belarus.
JGFF database has identified only 5 (five) Horodok (s) in Belarus that had Jewish population. 

1. Davyd-Haradok, (current modern name), during Russian Empire era was known as David - Gorodok, Mazyr uyezd, Minsk guberniya
   During the interwar period (1918-1939) town was known as Dawidgródek, located in the Stolin powiat, Polesie Wojewodztwo , Poland
   Town population was ~30% Jewish in 1921.
   There are 226 searches for this town by Genners in JGFF database. 

2. Kazhan - Haradok, (current modern name), during Russian Empire era was known as Kozhan Gorodok, Pinsk uyezd, Minsk guberniya
    During the interwar period (1918-1939) town was known as Kożangródek and was located in the Łuniniec powiat, Polesie Wojewodztwo , Poland
    Place is located 14 miles distance from Davyd - Haradok, and towns are often confused by researchers.
    Town population was ~30% Jewish in 1921.
    There are 226 matches for this town by Genners in JGFF database. 

3. Haradok, (current modern name), is identified in JGFF database as Haradok, (near Molodechno).
    This is probably town that the initial query was all about. 
    During Russian Empire era place was known as Gródek, Vilejka uyezd, Vilna gubernia
    During the interwar period (1918-1939) town was known as Gródek, Molodeczno powiat, Wilno Wojewodztwo , Poland
    Town population was ~70% Jewish in 1921.
    There are 134 searches for this town by Genners in JGFF database. 

4. Astrashytskiy Haradok, (current modern name), during Russian Empire era was known as Gorodok Ostroshitskii, located near Minsk, Belarus  (13 miles distance)
    There are  22 entries for this town by Genners in JGFF database. 

5. Haradok, town near Vitebsk, Jewish population in 1939: 1,584 souls
    There are  41 entries for this town by Genners in JGFF database. 

By providing for above entries nearby large town names, where probably vital records have been deposited, I hope that researchers will be able to identify researched by them correct Horodok .

Alexander Sharon
JGFF editor

Re: Libraries with Ancestry Remote Access Through ProQuest Has Been Extended Through July 31 #announcements


It is WONDERFUL to have this free access to all of their records, particularly those from other countries.

I want to point out an issue, though:

When you "view" the original source, you will usually be taken to a page that shows your specific image, which is one of a series of pages in a particular file.  You can then easily save this original page directly to your computer via the "Save" button at the top right of the screen.  BE CAREFUL.  After saving, open the image that you saved (wherever you saved it on your computer) and double-check that you have indeed saved what you intended to save!   I am finding that, very often -- with no apparent rhyme or reason -- the FOLLOWING page was saved, rather than the record that I want!  Going back and trying again usually succeeds.
Fredel Fruhman
Brooklyn, New York, USA

IGRA Show & Tell - June 29 and July 1 #announcements #events

Garri Regev

The IGRA Show and Tell sessions this week deal with the Census and Registry information available on the All Israel Databases (AID) as part of the IGRA Collection. Rose Feldman, the IGRA Databases Coordinator will be the presenter.
The Show and Tell sessions are at 9 pm (Israel time), 2 pm (EDT). The session on Monday is in English and in Hebrew on Wednesday.
Advance registration is required.
רוז פלדמן תדבר על מאגרים של ממא"י הקשורים למפקדים השונים  
All are welcome!
Garri Regev
Past-President, IGRA

Simon Lazare FRIDMAN (or FRIEDMAN) and Chaïa Hinda Haya SAKNOVITZKI SAKHNOVITZKI #france

Lemberski Evelyne


Ladies and gentlemen,

I'm looking for the cities of birth, date and place of death for the following people:
Simon Lazare FRIDMAN (or FRIEDMAN) born in 1870 (country and city of birth unknown) who lived with his family in 1926 at 6 rue rampon to Paris. The profession of this man was tailor
It seems that he died unless I was mistaken on October 14, 1932, but I don't know in which city.

and Chaïa Hinda Haya SAKNOVITZKI SAKHNOVITZKI wife FRIDMAN (or FRIEDMAN) born in 1872 ((country and city of birth unknown) who lived with her husband and children in 1926 at 6 rue rampon to PARIS. died October 18, 1940 but I don't know in which city.
The children of this couple (Lea, Philippe, Malka, Salomon) were born in BREST LITOWSK but were deported during the Second World War.

This couple hosted at 6 rue rampon in PARIS in the first months of 1923 my maternal grandfather Mordko KAMIENIECKI born 22/10/1898 in BREST LITOWSK.

Thanking all of you for your help,

Saint Maurice 

Re: Name Changes on Passenger Lists #general

Shelley Mitchell

With so many stories focusing on Ellis Island, one fact remains unspoken. You could always use any name you wanted. You still can, except to deceive creditors. When it came to Naturalizations, however, the name used on the passage was asked as was the name being used at the time. From these documents, a new name was born.

And don’t forget that many immigrants believed that countries like Russia could reach out and bring them back for conscription . Another reason to use modified versions of their name. We are too focused on the staff at Ellis Island. My own grandfather lied and told me his name was changed at Ellis Island. Not true.
Shelley Mitchell, NYC    shemit@...
Searching for TERNER, GOLDSCHEIN, KONIGSBERG, SCHONFELD, in Kolomyya; PLATZ, in Delaytn; and TOPF, in Radautz and Kolomea.

Ports of Departure and Index of Maritime Arrivals #general

Alan Reische

The two questions are related, and hopefully begin to narrow my search further.

The name 'Reische' likely bears some relationship to either the city or county of Rzeszow'. For Jewish families emigrating from Rzeszow to the US in the late 1870s, what are the most likely ports of departure, and do they maintain online resources as does Hamburg?

For ship arrivals in either Castle Garden or Ellis, is there a master index of shipping arrivals in a narrow period of May through August 1879?

Thanks for any guidance you can provide.

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