Where are the Smolensk vital records located? #belarus


Hi everyone, 

I am researching my Jewish family from Smolensk. Where are the vital records located for Smolensk Jews?

Thank you


Re: Vetting family tree submissions to genealogy sites for data soundness #general

JoAnne Goldberg

I wouldn't expect any of the companies to double-check sources, but they might flag improbable situations, like a boy becoming a father at age 8 or a woman having a baby at 60, or giving birth to three children, all with different fathers, in the same year.

I've encountered situations where a family shows up as having multiple kids, for example, Israel, Izzy, and Isadore, with the same birth date, same spouse, same date of death. That is most likely one child, not three, and should be flagged.

JoAnne Goldberg - Menlo Park, California; GEDmatch M131535


Re: Military Uniform, Russian or Polish? #photographs


The Polish Legions were established by Joseph Pilsudski in 1914. Their uniforms were not standardized, but they usually wore either round grey visored caps called „maciejówka” (Maciej-cap) or four-cornered Pokish hats. Wearing an Austrian uniform by a Legions medical officer was a possibility.
Kris Murawski
Raleigh, NC

Re: Fairy Tales my Father Told Me #belarus

Sally Bruckheimer

Some tales are right and others fanciful. My 3nd g uncle, the first to come to the US, supposedly because he killed a Cossack who was raping his sister. I rather think this might be right, because they still had them on the books in Augustow 30 years after he left, so I think they were still looking for him (they should have looked in Pittsburgh). They weren't looking for any of the other brothers and sisters.
But most of the tales of 'working for the Czar' and such are exaggerated terribly; very, very few Jews did things in the government..
Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ

L'dor V'dor Generation to Generation Documentary in finals for Emmy award #announcements

Phil Goldfarb

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Tulsa along with the Tulsa Historical Society is pleased to announce that their documentary L'dor V'dor Generation to Generation, the Jews of Oklahoma is in the final five for an Emmy Award which will be announced on Saturday, July 25. This is in the Documentary-Historical category of the Hartland Division. 

This is what happens when a JGS works with their local Historical Society to bring the history of Jewish migration into their community. Your JGS can do it as well! The documentary has been shown on PBS stations around the United States as it can really be a story of almost any Jewish Community. The publicity that our Genealogy Society has gotten locally from this documentary is enormous. You can view the documentary on YouTube at: 

Phil Goldfarb
JGS of Tulsa


Re: Fairy Tales my Father Told Me #belarus


My grandfather, Morris WEINSTEIN, lived in Riga, Latvia (Russia) with his family. 
In November, 1905, he received a draft notice from the Russian army and 
was told to report by November 30, 1905. He was 19. He landed in New York,
aboard the "Bluecher", a ship he boarded in Hamburg, on Feb. 5, 1906. So
glad he dodged the draft!

Linda Mintz  <lsmintz@...>

Re: US Naturalization Papers from the Supreme Court #usa #general

David Oseas

Unfortunately, the only DC Supreme Court naturalization collection at FamilySearch is an index (not papers themselves) of records from 1802-1909 ( ).

If it was a military naturalization, you may be able to find it in Ancestry's "Washington D. C., Military Naturalization Petitions, 1918-1924" collection ( ).  Otherwise, you will need to obtain the naturalization papers through NARA or the USCIS Genealogy Program.

Regards,   -David Oseas  Thousand Oaks, CA  <doseas@...>

Sarah APTECKAR AND ARON DOLINE #france #general

Lemberski Evelyne


Ladies and gentlemen
 I am looking for the first names - parents' names, the exact date and place of birth of Aron DOLINE because I only have vaguely the year (1877). He would be buried in a cemetery in LIMOGES and died a few years after the end of the Second World War. I only know that this couple had a son Théodore Chaime DOLINE born on 06/21/1918 in BORDEAUX.

I am looking for the first and last names of the parents of Sarah Sarolea Léa APTECKAR born on 08/01/1887 in ODESSA arrested in Charenton and deported on 07/29/1942.The death certificate with mention of death in deportation concerning Sarah Sarolea Léa APTECKAR born on 08/01/1887 in ODESSA has not been transcribed to CHARENTON's (FRANCE) civil status even if published in the official journal in 2008. I can't find anything as information apart from the Holocaust memorial

I have no information on the marriage of Sarah Sarolea Lea APTECKAR and Aron DOLINE.Obviously Theodore DOLINE had a diabetic sister who died before the second world war. I have no information on the first name, place and date of birth of her sister. If you can help me pleaseThank you for all of your help and take care of yourself.

MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately with family information


Re: Vetting family tree submissions to genealogy sites for data soundness #general

Sally Bruckheimer

I don't know how anybody could vet somebody's tree. Most companies don't have any way to 'check' what you give them.
I have lots of records that I have obtained for my ancestors, and some people have been shocked to find how much I know. But there is no way to upload it to Geni or Ancestry with the 'proof', if I wanted to do that.
Online trees are like information from relatives. Some are very good, but, for example, my mother misremembered things. Once I was named for my grandfather, Samuel, who was dying when I was born, and I was to be the last grandchild; another time I wasn't named after anyone. And my brother wasn't named for anyone either, although he shared a name with her grandfather.
My aunt, Merle, didn't know she was named for her grandmother, Merle Linder, either. I had to explain that to her
Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ

US Naturalization Papers from the Supreme Court #usa #general

Herbert Lazerow

U.S. law provides that naturalization can be done in any court or by the attorney general. If you are looking for the naturalization of a Philadelphia resident early in the 20th century, there are at least 5 different courts that did numerous naturalizations. As time went on, naturalizations were concentrated in the United States district courts.
Herbert Lazerow
Professor of Law
University of San Diego

Re: Y DNA question #dna

Sally Bruckheimer

Your best bet, whatever sex, is to do an autosomal DNA test. This will test all branches of your ancestral tree, and find you lots of possible cousins (as Jews are all related, Ancestry gives me 197,000 5th - 8th cousins).
Y-DNA and mt-DNA test only the all male or all female line. However, since they don't crossover at meiosis, they don't change over many centuries. You won't find many cousins, but you will find out, in code of course, who your ancestor, maybe 1,000 or more years ago.
Sally Bruckheimer

Re: New Ukraine records #ukraine #russia

Chuck Weinstein

The JewishGen UkraineResearch Division is aware of the new agreement between Familyseach and the Ukraine State Archives to film records in the Ukraine Archives.  Alex Krakovsky has been filming records in several archives and posting them online on his excellent Ukraine wiki page for over a year.  His records are available now.  The Familysearch records will become available over the next several years, although Alex has suggested they will likely be of better quality, generally.  Contact me if you are interested in organizing a project to index the records already available or are interested in volunteering to help index them.  This is an ongoing project. Currently available scans are at  The page is in Ukrainian, but Google Chrome browser will automatically translate the pages (sort of).  

Chuck Weinstein
Towns Director, JewishGen Ukraine Research Division

Re: Military Uniform, Russian or Polish? #photographs

There was no Poland army during the time period you cite;  the country was either under Russian rule, or Galicia, which was under the Austro Hungarian Empire.  Poland became independent after WWI.   Prio to that, Stanislaw was in Galicia, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, under the rule of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria.   There is an excellent web site which is invaluable to anyone looking for information about Galicia.  

There is a special study of physicians under the web site of Gesher Galicia.

The picture you have, based on all of the information above, is probably an Austrian uniform. 

Avivah Pinski

Avivah R. Z. Pinski
near Philadelphia, USA
Avivah R. Z. Pinski ,  near Philadelphia, USA

Re: Looking for MUTCHNIK /MUCZNIK family from Warsaw, Poland #warsaw #holocaust


Oscar MUCHNIK b.1930 in Montreal, Quebec, d. 1980 In Toronto, Canada married my first cousin once removed of mine, Frances Fayge BURACK d.1990, in Toronto, Canada. However, I don’t have any info on Oscar’s parents, neither names nor where they came from. Many of our family lived in Warsaw at some point before immigrating to North America, so perhaps there’s a connection? Also notice that Oscar’s son Philip MUCHNICK has a small private tree on MyHeritage, if you think there’s a connection, you can contact him via MyHeritage and go from there.
Jan Lastman, Toronto ON CANADA.  Janllb@...

Researching: LASTMAN and LASTMANN w/origins in HOLLAND late 1600s then => Lublin early-mid 1700s.
By early-mid 1800s there were LASTMAN/N branches => Łódź, Radom, Warsaw, Szydlowiec and Ostrowiec, POLAND and Leipzig and Breslau, GERMANY
My LASTMAN relatives married in 1800s to KLAJMAN, KAUFMAN, LEDERMAN, KAC, CUKIER, STROSBERG, WAJCHANDLER, KUTCHINSKY/KUTNER etc... then => Toronto and Rio de Janeiro in early 1900s.  LASTMAN/Ns who remained in Europe but survived the Holocaust => France, Israel, Australia, Sweden, NYC, New Orleans.
Also researching:
MADELSBERG that somehow became DAVIDSON while still in Ostrowiec POLAND (!), immigrating as DAVIDSON => Toronto, Montreal, NYC and Detroit, most EARLY 1900s pre WW1
— SINGER / ZYNGIER from Janow Poldaski POLAND => Toronto and possibly Columbus OH all pre WW1 married to SCHAFER / SHAFIR from Linitz now Illinits UKRAINE (Russia) => Toronto and Detroit and possibly Columbus OH all pre WW1

Rapoport-Quint Family Tree on MyHeritage or contact  janllb@...

Re: Y DNA question #dna

Alicia Weiss

Carol, Males inherit their Y chromosome from their fathers; that is
why this test is helpful for trancing the paternal line. Therefore,
your son's Y chromosome was inherited from his father, so will not be
helpful in tracing your paternal line, Similarly, as your nephews are
presumably the children of your sisters, they also inherited their
Y-chromosomes from their fathers.

If your father had brothers who had sons, these male first cousins (on
your paternal side) would be candidates for Y testing.

However, a Y-chromosome test alone will not allow you to identify
potential half-siblings, but in combination with an autosomal DNA test
would be helpful.

Good luck,
Alicia Weiss

Re: Fairy Tales my Father Told Me #belarus

Diane Jacobs

Personally, I have found while stokes past down ate not totally true, there is usually some truth that can lead to facts and documentation. Diane jacobs

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: bduchan@...
Date: 6/6/20 11:07 AM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@...
Subject: [] Fairy Tales my Father Told Me #belarus

Was it common to tell lies about how one's ancestors got out of Russia?  For instance, my father told me that his father was a good swimmer and saved several lives when a ferry sank, so the Tsar let him leave Russia (between 1904-1907).  I've also heard of stories used to justify escaping from the draft and leaving the country.
Brian S. Duchan. Fairfield, CT
Diane Jacobs, Somerset, New Jersey

Fairy Tales my Father Told Me #belarus


Was it common to tell lies about how one's ancestors got out of Russia?  For instance, my father told me that his father was a good swimmer and saved several lives when a ferry sank, so the Tsar let him leave Russia (between 1904-1907).  I've also heard of stories used to justify escaping from the draft and leaving the country.
Brian S. Duchan. Fairfield, CT

Migration from Tiflis (now Tblisi), Georgia #russia


Does anyone have any information about migration from Tiflis (now Tblisi), Georgia. My grandmother emigrated to Philadelphia around 1904. She was adopted by cousins (not sure of actual relation) Ersner-Gordon. Thanks. Steve DeCherney

Re: Gitel and Leon Okneinu from Pietra Neamt, Romania #romania

Valentin Lupu

Hi Jackie,
I think that the correct family name should be spelled Ocneanu (in Romanian) and pronounced Ockneanou.
Adelina is a diminutive form for Adela. Marcusor (pronounced Marcushor) is also a diminutive form for the name Marcu.
Ocneanu is quite a rare Romanian name. I may help with the search given you can add more data. You can contact me privately either in English or Hebrew.

Valentin Lupu

Re: ViewMate translation request - Russian #translation


#47                                                                        183                          



Состоялось в посаде Могельница в восемьнадцатый день Августа тысяча восемьсот девяносто третьего года, в два часа дня. Явились: Вульф-Бер Хирш, пятидесяти шести лет от роду, школьник, и Шлема Гутман, сорока восьми лет от роду, домовладелец, в посаде Могельница жительствующие и объявили: что пятнадцатого числа текущего месяца и года в два часа дня умер Мордка Лейб Райзвинг жительствующий в посаде Могельница, девяносто трёх лет от роду, подившегося неизвестно где, сун Елия Райзвинг и жены его Тобы, урожденной неизвестно, оставив после себя овдовевшую жену Фрайдлю, урожденную неизвестно. По удостоверению о смерти Мордки-Лейб Райзвинга, акт сей прочитан и присутствующими свидетелями подписан.


Чиновник Гражданского Состояния    Войцеховский

Свидетели В. Б. Хирш    Шл. Гутман


Translate to English:


# 47                                                                                         183



The Mogilnitsa Posad took place on the eighteenth day of August, one thousand eight hundred and ninety-three, at two in the afternoon. Appeared: Wolf-Ber Hirsch, fifty-six years old, a scholar, and Shlioma Gutman, forty-eight years old, a landlord, in the Mogelnitsa Posad resident and announced: that on the fifteenth of the current month and year at two o'clock in the afternoon Mordka-Leib Raisving resident in the Mogelnitsa Posad, ninety-three years old, who marveled in the middle of nowhere, Son of Elijah Raisving and his wife Toba, nee unknown, leaving behind the widowed wife Fraidlia, nee unknown. On the death certificate of Mordki-Leib Raisving, this act has been read and signed by the witnesses present.


Civil Status Officer Wojciechowski

Witnesses B. B. Hirsch    Shl. Gutman