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passenger
06-25-2019, 02:23 AM
I thought it might be nice and - hopefully - helpful to start a relatively generic thread on challenges and strategies in Jewish genealogy. I'm relatively new to the subject, as I've only been actively researching my genealogy for the past two years. Although I've often been successful in tracing my non-Jewish paternal lines back several centuries, my quest to do the same with my Jewish lines has been (somewhat predictably) much less fruitful. Three of my maternal great-grandparents were born in the Russian Empire (present-day Ukraine) and one in Turkey. Amazingly to me, I've been able to find all of their parents' names and, in some cases, their grandparents' names, by digging in U.S. records. Unfortunately, my tree ends there. If there are records online, lack of cataloguing and my own lack of knowledge of the records' language of publication are significant obstacles.

I'd be very curious to know what challenges and successes others have faced in this area! Has anyone been able to trace their Jewish lines in Europe, North Africa or the Middle East beyond what immigration records show? Have you had to use knowledge of local languages? What kind of resources have you been able to tap into, online and offline?

Lirio100
06-25-2019, 04:17 AM
One of my great grandfathers was Jewish; initially I had only his name and his wife, and his father's name. The family had either passed or moved away before my grandmother was an adult so picking up the traces was difficult. His parents were married in London, England, and so was he, in fact my grandmother thought her father was English. I eventually found the town in northern Germany the family came from, but not much more. The town was heavily damaged in WWII, and then behind the Iron Curtain. My 2x great grandparents were married in the Great Synagogue in London, but that was nearly destroyed in the same war.

One place I've found useful is JewishGen.org--they have a great many records there that might be helpful.

There are two things to keep in mind here; the adoption of surnames is relatively recent and DNA is of very little help. The Jewish communities tend to marry within, you'll find many "cousins" that aren't actually relatives because of endogamy.

StillWater
06-25-2019, 04:36 AM
-jewishgen.com
-yadvashem (even if your ancestors didn't perish in the Holocaust, your ancestors likely had close family that did. The documents submitted for them can give you leads towards previous generations, locations, contacts etc. It's also a useful way to gauge the geographic distribution of a Jewish surname)
-geni.com
- https://mitzvatemet.com/ (they follow soviet transcriptions. A chat window pops up. Ask the guy to help you with the soviet transcription. Soviet transcriptions of Jewish surnames can be counter intuitive. Also, some surnames are conjugated for females, so you'll have to search the female versions separately.)
- Beider's surname dictionaries: Beider lists the towns/cities where a given surname was most common/originated from. He recently wrote one for Sephardim.
- Learn multiple transcriptions of the surname in question and learn to search it in the relevant languages.

passenger
06-25-2019, 04:37 AM
One of my great grandfathers was Jewish; initially I had only his name and his wife, and his father's name. The family had either passed or moved away before my grandmother was an adult so picking up the traces was difficult. His parents were married in London, England, and so was he, in fact my grandmother thought her father was English. I eventually found the town in northern Germany the family came from, but not much more. The town was heavily damaged in WWII, and then behind the Iron Curtain. My 2x great grandparents were married in the Great Synagogue in London, but that was nearly destroyed in the same war.

One place I've found useful is JewishGen.org--they have a great many records there that might be helpful.

There are two things to keep in mind here; the adoption of surnames is relatively recent and DNA is of very little help. The Jewish communities tend to marry within, you'll find many "cousins" that aren't actually relatives because of endogamy.

Thanks for sharing your story.

So far JewishGen has been of little use to me personally, though it's generally a great website and I hold out hope that in the future they'll be able to get even more records translated and catalogued. I did find immigration records there for some of my great-grandfather's siblings that I haven't found elsewhere, so that was a nice surprise.

I do wonder how far back my Ashkenazi family surnames go. As I understand, Sephardic surnames tend to go back much farther. My great-grandmother's apparently goes back all the way to the medieval Kingdom of Aragon, though of course I have no idea how it got carried to her.

passenger
06-25-2019, 04:43 AM
-jewishgen.com
-yadvashem (even if your ancestors didn't perish in the Holocaust, your ancestors likely had close family that did. The documents submitted for them can give you leads towards previous generations, locations, contacts etc. It's also a useful way to gauge the geographic distribution of a Jewish surname)
-geni.com
- https://mitzvatemet.com/ (they follow soviet transcriptions. A chat window pops up. Ask the guy to help you with the soviet transcription. Soviet transcriptions of Jewish surnames can be counter intuitive. Also, some surnames are conjugated for females, so you'll have to search the female versions separately.)
- Beider's surname dictionaries: Beider lists the towns/cities where a given surname was most common/originated from. He recently wrote one for Sephardim.
- Learn multiple transcriptions of the surname in question and learn to search it in the relevant languages.

Thanks! A couple of those are new to me. I'll have to look into them.

Lirio100
06-25-2019, 05:20 AM
My 3x great grandfather was born about 1812 what was then Jastrow,Poland; as far as I can tell his generation was the first one to have the surname that got passed down. As you've found it varies by locality.

I haven't done much more at the moment The family came from a tiny town in northern German, only had a prayer room, no synagogue. His mother is said to have been born in Berlin but I haven't found any trace of her in extant records so far. I hope you have more luck!

passenger
06-25-2019, 05:34 AM
My 3x great grandfather was born about 1812 what was then Jastrow,Poland; as far as I can tell his generation was the first one to have the surname that got passed down. As you've found it varies by locality.

I haven't done much more at the moment The family came from a tiny town in northern German, only had a prayer room, no synagogue. His mother is said to have been born in Berlin but I haven't found any trace of her in extant records so far. I hope you have more luck!

Thanks! I hope so, too. It seems like you've done pretty well though with what little info you had to go on.

coffeeprince
06-29-2019, 12:44 AM
-jewishgen.com
-yadvashem (even if your ancestors didn't perish in the Holocaust, your ancestors likely had close family that did. The documents submitted for them can give you leads towards previous generations, locations, contacts etc. It's also a useful way to gauge the geographic distribution of a Jewish surname)
-geni.com
- https://mitzvatemet.com/ (they follow soviet transcriptions. A chat window pops up. Ask the guy to help you with the soviet transcription. Soviet transcriptions of Jewish surnames can be counter intuitive. Also, some surnames are conjugated for females, so you'll have to search the female versions separately.)
- Beider's surname dictionaries: Beider lists the towns/cities where a given surname was most common/originated from. He recently wrote one for Sephardim.
- Learn multiple transcriptions of the surname in question and learn to search it in the relevant languages.

Thanks for mentioning Beider. I haven't heard of him before - I was impressed with the samples of his Sephardic book that I found online. I will be buying a copy of his book asap.

Pylsteen
06-29-2019, 06:44 AM
Some sources that helped me:

- Dutch victims of the holocaust (https://www.joodsmonument.nl/)
- Dutch Civil records (https://www.wiewaswie.nl/nl/zoeken/?advancedsearch=1)
- (specific) The Hague Civil records (https://haagsgemeentearchief.nl/genealogy/personenoverzicht)
- Amsterdam marriages before 1811 (https://archief.amsterdam/indexen/ondertrouwregisters_1565-1811/zoek/index.nl.html) These are great, since they state age, often the witnesses (generally a parent), place of origin and if they could write a signature. Be aware that most Ashkenazi did not use surnames and that their given names might be a bit altered.
- Amsterdam notarial records (https://akten.amsterdam/)
- Dutch Jewry in general (https://www.dutchjewry.org/)
- (specific) Ashkenazi Amsterdam (18th century) (https://www.dutchjewry.org/genealogy/ashkenazi/)
- (specific) graves of the Beth Haim cemetery (https://www.dutchjewry.org/phpr/amsterdam/port_isr_gem_burials/amsterdam_port_isr_gem_burials_list.php) (where most Sephardim from Amsterdam lie).
- The database from mr. Lewis. (http://tzorafolk.com/genealogy/index.html)
- Burial records Frankfurt am Main (https://www.cjh.org/) (search for "Ele Toldot").
- google books sometimes contains interesting information.


Some issues that I came across: especially with Ashkenazi, their names are often different within the Ashkenazi community than in the public sphere (some examples in my family tree: Issachar vs. Zacharias; Beile vs. Sybilla; Haim vs. Hendrik; Jechiel vs. Michael; Scheinle vs. Reina vs. Catharina).
On the other hand, watch out for brothers that have similar names (I have a Nathan and Nathaniel, Joseph and Josiah) and also keep in mind that sometimes cousin-marriages or even uncle-niece marriages occurred.

Brick walls generally arise when the background was outside of Amsterdam (if they were from a smaller town, or from somewhere in Germany).

About geni: some of their trees are very good, but if they do not provide sources or I cannot verify the links, I am cautious, especially with lines to Rashi etc.

miremont
06-29-2019, 08:47 AM
Brick walls generally arise when the background was outside of Amsterdam (if they were from a smaller town, or from somewhere in Germany).



Though I hate to admit it, I have given up on finding out more about my Jewish ancestors at this point. The only hint I have is that they came to the Netherlands from Berlin. Not much to go on, unfortunately.

StillWater
06-29-2019, 10:01 AM
Though I hate to admit it, I have given up on finding out more about my Jewish ancestors at this point. The only hint I have is that they came to the Netherlands from Berlin. Not much to go on, unfortunately.

Western Ashkenazim are much easier to trace than Eastern Ashkenazim, especially those from the Russian Empire

StillWater
06-29-2019, 10:09 AM
Here is a Russian language resource - probably the largest free surname resource I know of: https://toldot.ru/life/lnames/a/#alphabet-search

It has many Jewish surnames from the Russian Empire. However, you'll need a Russian-speaking friend, as google translate won't be sufficient, and you'll need to know how your surname varies across Yiddish dialects. The site merely offers explanations for the surnames, as opposed to locations. Many are taken from Beider's book.

coffeeprince
06-29-2019, 03:04 PM
Here are some sites I've used for Moroccan genealogy.

Jewish cemeteries:
http://www.cimetierejuifcasablanca.com/site/
http://www.cimetierejuifmarrakech.com/
http://www.cimetierejuifessaouira.com/
http://www.cementeriojudiotetuan.org/

https://www.judaisme-marocain.org/ -> This website has some nice photos, scans and other artefacts.

artemv
07-05-2019, 07:49 AM
Here is a Russian language resource - probably the largest free surname resource I know of: https://toldot.ru/life/lnames/a/#alphabet-search

It has many Jewish surnames from the Russian Empire. However, you'll need a Russian-speaking friend, as google translate won't be sufficient, and you'll need to know how your surname varies across Yiddish dialects. The site merely offers explanations for the surnames, as opposed to locations. Many are taken from Beider's book.

Could not find my great-grandmother's family name for example.

There are also photos of Jewish cemeteries. Found photo of my grandfather's grave (I knew before where his grave is, just made a search and it was found). But the graves are mostly recent.
But this resourse will not give you info that will help to find someone.

Generally I would say there is the only way to get info on your Russian Empire ancestors - write to archives a mail (not e-mail, old-style mail), or come there by foot and search for info there. Or probably hire someone who will do this for you. Because almost nothing is online, and in Ukraine and Belarus the situation is worse than in Russia itself.

If you only know city, name, family name and hopefully date of birth - that's good for the start. And also care about second name. Russians alsways have only one given name, but everyone has a patronimic (name of father + special suffix). When we get outside we usually fill in patronimic as a second name (in Russian patronimic is called "otchestvo" отчество). So patronimic will also give you name of one more ancestor. Patronimic is very important, because traditional formal way to call someone higher in hyerarchy, or in some official situation is to call him by both name and patronimic. So in all official documents you will always find patronimic also.

loxias
07-05-2019, 09:08 AM
Has anyone had any luck finding data online for people born in Latvia and/or Lithuania before 1800?

StillWater
07-05-2019, 01:12 PM
Has anyone had any luck finding data online for people born in Latvia and/or Lithuania before 1800?

I haven't seen Grand Duchy censuses uploaded online, though I've looked for them too. They have been (partially) translated though. Best bet is to join one of the projects and get someone to email you a relevant document: https://www.litvaksig.org/research/grand-duchy-of-lithuania-gdl/

StillWater
07-05-2019, 08:04 PM
Could not find my great-grandmother's family name for example.

There are also photos of Jewish cemeteries. Found photo of my grandfather's grave (I knew before where his grave is, just made a search and it was found). But the graves are mostly recent.
But this resourse will not give you info that will help to find someone.

Generally I would say there is the only way to get info on your Russian Empire ancestors - write to archives a mail (not e-mail, old-style mail), or come there by foot and search for info there. Or probably hire someone who will do this for you. Because almost nothing is online, and in Ukraine and Belarus the situation is worse than in Russia itself.

If you only know city, name, family name and hopefully date of birth - that's good for the start. And also care about second name. Russians alsways have only one given name, but everyone has a patronimic (name of father + special suffix). When we get outside we usually fill in patronimic as a second name (in Russian patronimic is called "otchestvo" отчество). So patronimic will also give you name of one more ancestor. Patronimic is very important, because traditional formal way to call someone higher in hyerarchy, or in some official situation is to call him by both name and patronimic. So in all official documents you will always find patronimic also.

It's not perfect, but it has 7 of 8 of my great-grandparents' surnames, only a couple of which can be considered common.

StillWater
07-05-2019, 08:53 PM
Does anyone know if everyone with the 3 Litvak communities gets this map on Ancestry or is this specific to me?

https://i.imgur.com/RsiYlZC.png

The one featured here is different, but it's form 2017: http://whitmanic.com/litvak-galitzianer/

hartaisarlag
07-05-2019, 09:00 PM
Does anyone know if everyone with the 3 Litvak communities gets this map on Ancestry or is this specific to me?

https://i.imgur.com/RsiYlZC.png

The one featured here is different, but it's form 2017: http://whitmanic.com/litvak-galitzianer/

Do you get all 3 of them? (I haven't done Ancestry, btw, but I'm hella curious about which Litvak and non-Litvak communities I'd get.)

StillWater
07-05-2019, 09:03 PM
Do you get all 3 of them? (I haven't done Ancestry, btw, but I'm hella curious about which Litvak and non-Litvak communities I'd get.)

All 3.

hartaisarlag
07-05-2019, 09:26 PM
Where are your folks from?

StillWater
07-05-2019, 10:13 PM
Where are your folks from?

6 great-grandparents from Belarus, 1 from the Litvak end of Poland, 1 from southern Ukraine

josh w.
07-06-2019, 02:09 AM
All 3.

I am not at Ancestry. Offhand, my pattern seems similar, but I have a bit more Belarus and western Ukraine

There is a Lithuania and Latvia Jewish group on Facebook. I got lucky----there are dna groups for both of my parents' home towns----Keidan and Ukmerge.

StillWater
07-06-2019, 02:13 AM
I am not at Ancestry. Offhand, my pattern seems similar, but I have a bit more Belarus and western Ukraine

There is a Lithuania and Latvia Jewish group on Facebook. I got lucky----there are dna groups for both of my parents' home towns----Keidan and Ukmerge.

Is that what you think your map would look like based on your cousin matches?

josh w.
07-06-2019, 03:46 PM
Is that what you think your map would look like based on your cousin matches?

Yes, for adna. My Y matches go from Iberia to eastern Europe. Of course border changes confound the picture. Most of my matches from Belarus are from western Belarus, e.g. Grodno region.

passenger
07-07-2019, 03:49 AM
Two related questions - one general, one specific. First, although I'm aware of the pitfalls of trying to find legitimate relatives through DNA matches, particularly in the case of Ashkenazim, has anyone here had any success in finding cousins you were unaware of? I've mostly given up on verifying Ashkenazi matches unless they're relatively close, but I wonder if that's worked for anyone.

Second, with regards to Sephardic matches, does anyone know of population exchanges between Eastern Sephardim (Turkey, Greece, etc.) and North African Sephardim within the past few hundred years? The thing is, I have tons of North African Jewish "cousins", especially of Libyan and Tunisian origins, occasionally Algerian (never Moroccan) that I share the same segments with (usually 12-13 cM segments). I don't know how far back that connection would go, but I'd imagine it would have to be post-1492 expulsion for such a connection to be detected. I know that some of the early Sephardic migration routes out of Iberia passed through North Africa before ending up in the Eastern Med, and I'm aware of particularly Italian Jewish trade networks connecting Italy with Tunisia and Istanbul, but I've never heard of any substantial direct population flow from North Africa to Greece and Turkey, although, again, I imagine trade would have facilitated movement within the Ottoman Empire. Any ideas?

artemv
07-07-2019, 04:35 AM
Two related questions - one general, one specific. First, although I'm aware of the pitfalls of trying to find legitimate relatives through DNA matches, particularly in the case of Ashkenazim, has anyone here had any success in finding cousins you were unaware of? I've mostly given up on verifying Ashkenazi matches unless they're relatively close, but I wonder if that's worked for anyone.

I found a relative with myheritage.
My mother's second cousin. My mother remembered his family name, but they lost contact since his family emigrated to US in late Soviet times.

Myheritage reported 2,9% of common DNA, much more than thousends users that have 1,0-1,5% in common.

StillWater
07-07-2019, 05:15 AM
I found a relative with myheritage.
My mother's second cousin. My mother remembered his family name, but they lost contact since his family emigrated to US in late Soviet times.

Myheritage reported 2,9% of common DNA, much more than thousends users that have 1,0-1,5% in common.

My grandma has a 2.2% match on MyHeritage, but we can't find any surname in common, despite a shared ancestral city. My mom has a 2.3% match; both sides vaguely recognize a surname and share a city in common, but nothing came out of it. Relevant table here for Ashkenazic matches: https://larasgenealogy.blogspot.com/2018/05/ashkenazic-shared-dna-survey-data-by.html

StillWater
07-07-2019, 05:37 AM
Two related questions - one general, one specific. First, although I'm aware of the pitfalls of trying to find legitimate relatives through DNA matches, particularly in the case of Ashkenazim, has anyone here had any success in finding cousins you were unaware of? I've mostly given up on verifying Ashkenazi matches unless they're relatively close, but I wonder if that's worked for anyone.

Second, with regards to Sephardic matches, does anyone know of population exchanges between Eastern Sephardim (Turkey, Greece, etc.) and North African Sephardim within the past few hundred years? The thing is, I have tons of North African Jewish "cousins", especially of Libyan and Tunisian origins, occasionally Algerian (never Moroccan) that I share the same segments with (usually 12-13 cM segments). I don't know how far back that connection would go, but I'd imagine it would have to be post-1492 expulsion for such a connection to be detected. I know that some of the early Sephardic migration routes out of Iberia passed through North Africa before ending up in the Eastern Med, and I'm aware of particularly Italian Jewish trade networks connecting Italy with Tunisia and Istanbul, but I've never heard of any substantial direct population flow from North Africa to Greece and Turkey, although, again, I imagine trade would have facilitated movement within the Ottoman Empire. Any ideas?

I have such segments with Sephardim and with Hispanics. I don't know the exact migrations between North Africa and Turkey, but judging by my matches, yours could simply go back to the inquisition. Try seeing whom you can triangulate them with.

artemv
07-07-2019, 05:47 AM
My mom has a 2.3% match; both sides vaguely recognize a surname and share a city in common, but nothing came out of it. Relevant table here for Ashkenazic matches: https://larasgenealogy.blogspot.com/2018/05/ashkenazic-shared-dna-survey-data-by.html

I guess you are likely related. But your first step should be to go to archives.
Without info about 4-5 generation relatives you will never know what to discuss with potential relatives.

StillWater
07-07-2019, 10:50 AM
I guess you are likely related. But your first step should be to go to archives.
Without info about 4-5 generation relatives you will never know what to discuss with potential relatives.

I know the names of all of my great-grandparents and a good amount of info on the next generation. Have you paid someone to look through physical archives?

passenger
07-07-2019, 04:05 PM
I have such segments with Sephardim and with Hispanics. I don't know the exact migrations between North Africa and Turkey, but judging by my matches, yours could simply go back to the inquisition. Try seeing whom you can triangulate them with.

I have triangulated some of them. For instance, I have one 12-13 cM segment with lots of matches, the vast majority of whom are of Libyan or Tunisian Jewish descent, with a couple of Hispanic and Ashkenazi matches thrown in (in that case, the Ashkenazi matches usually show a small Sephardic percentage). These segments don't generally triangulate with any of my Eastern Sephardic matches, but my Greek and Turkish matches hardly triangulate with anyone.

StillWater
07-07-2019, 08:18 PM
I have triangulated some of them. For instance, I have one 12-13 cM segment with lots of matches, the vast majority of whom are of Libyan or Tunisian Jewish descent, with a couple of Hispanic and Ashkenazi matches thrown in (in that case, the Ashkenazi matches usually show a small Sephardic percentage). These segments don't generally triangulate with any of my Eastern Sephardic matches, but my Greek and Turkish matches hardly triangulate with anyone.

This sounds like MyHeritage. Just make sure you're not triangulating segments with 2 close family members.

josh w.
07-07-2019, 11:18 PM
Two related questions - one general, one specific. First, although I'm aware of the pitfalls of trying to find legitimate relatives through DNA matches, particularly in the case of Ashkenazim, has anyone here had any success in finding cousins you were unaware of? I've mostly given up on verifying Ashkenazi matches unless they're relatively close, but I wonder if that's worked for anyone.

Second, with regards to Sephardic matches, does anyone know of population exchanges between Eastern Sephardim (Turkey, Greece, etc.) and North African Sephardim within the past few hundred years? The thing is, I have tons of North African Jewish "cousins", especially of Libyan and Tunisian origins, occasionally Algerian (never Moroccan) that I share the same segments with (usually 12-13 cM segments). I don't know how far back that connection would go, but I'd imagine it would have to be post-1492 expulsion for such a connection to be detected. I know that some of the early Sephardic migration routes out of Iberia passed through North Africa before ending up in the Eastern Med, and I'm aware of particularly Italian Jewish trade networks connecting Italy with Tunisia and Istanbul, but I've never heard of any substantial direct population flow from North Africa to Greece and Turkey, although, again, I imagine trade would have facilitated movement within the Ottoman Empire. Any ideas?

Yes, I found three second cousins who were unfamiliar

passenger
07-08-2019, 12:42 AM
Yes, I found three second cousins who were unfamiliar

Which website(s) did you use? Were you able to verify the connections through your online family trees?

blackbird57
07-08-2019, 02:40 AM
I am having a difficult time tracing my family beyond 1855 Berlin. I found my gg grandfather's brother witnessing his son's wedding in Berlin. Family name "Cohnheim". That is the only connection I can find. I can't connect to any other Cohnheim I find in Jewish Gen or any other place. I think that is probably around the time surnames were being adopted by Jews. Any information out there regarding that time

passenger
07-08-2019, 04:00 AM
I am having a difficult time tracing my family beyond 1855 Berlin. I found my gg grandfather's brother witnessing his son's wedding in Berlin. Family name "Cohnheim". That is the only connection I can find. I can't connect to any other Cohnheim I find in Jewish Gen or any other place. I think that is probably around the time surnames were being adopted by Jews. Any information out there regarding that time

From what I understand, the process of adopting surnames generally began earlier with German Jews, so it may be possible to trace your family back even farther through their surname: https://oldgermantranslations.com/translations/page4/page4.html Have you checked on familysearch.org? There are quite a few German Cohnheims from the first half of the 19th Century.

josh w.
07-08-2019, 04:51 PM
Which website(s) did you use? Were you able to verify the connections through your online family trees?

I found them at Ftdna and 23&me. They were connected to people who were on my family tree.

passenger
07-29-2019, 03:14 PM
I have a translation request for anyone who can read Hebrew. It's a file from Yad Vashem, which seems to contain information (e.g. location of internment) that hasn't been translated in the database. It's not a lot of text, I'd just like someone to confirm what it says about the locations and dates listed. If you can help, let me know and I'll send the file in PM.

Targum
07-29-2019, 03:59 PM
I have a translation request for anyone who can read Hebrew. It's a file from Yad Vashem, which seems to contain information (e.g. location of internment) that hasn't been translated in the database. It's not a lot of text, I'd just like someone to confirm what it says about the locations and dates listed. If you can help, let me know and I'll send the file in PM.

I’ll look at it but if it is Yiddish written in Hebrew alphabet I will not be able to read it.

Erikl86
07-30-2019, 06:13 AM
I have a translation request for anyone who can read Hebrew. It's a file from Yad Vashem, which seems to contain information (e.g. location of internment) that hasn't been translated in the database. It's not a lot of text, I'd just like someone to confirm what it says about the locations and dates listed. If you can help, let me know and I'll send the file in PM.

I second Targum here, except that if it's Yiddish I can help (not me personally, but my few members of my close family read Yiddish quite fluently).

StillWater
07-30-2019, 06:16 AM
I haven't yet encountered a Yad Vashem submission in Yiddish. However, I bet such submissions do exist, for the obvious reasons. Regardless, locations and dates should only require being able to read the script and the script is the same as in Hebrew.

StillWater
07-30-2019, 06:18 AM
Does anyone here have access to Belarusian, Polish, or Ukrainian archives?

passenger
07-30-2019, 01:42 PM
I second Targum here, except that if it's Yiddish I can help (not me personally, but my few members of my close family read Yiddish quite fluently).

Thanks! I may want to enlist your help in the future. With Targum's help I discovered that the document in question had been misfiled under my grandfather's cousin's case and was not actually related to her. Oh well.

artemv
07-31-2019, 04:50 AM
Does anyone here have access to Belarusian, Polish, or Ukrainian archives?

My father once tried to deal with archive in Ukraine. He came to the archive by foot, payed and got what he asked.
But this was about non-Jewish ancestors.

P.S. Recently found an interesting database (only about Ukraine):

http://lipesdatabase.com/

hartaisarlag
07-31-2019, 05:07 AM
Cutting in a bit randomly, but I've had so much more luck with records for ancestors from Poland (particularly Congress Poland) than for those from Ukraine, Belarus, or Romania. Might just be a fluke of more being digitized.

StillWater
07-31-2019, 05:09 AM
My father once tried to deal with archive in Ukraine. He came to the archive by foot, payed and got what he asked.
But this was about non-Jewish ancestors.

P.S. Recently found an interesting database (only about Ukraine):

http://lipesdatabase.com/

Nice find! Don't understand how the "Notes" column functions. Seems to have results not uploaded to Jewishgen.com

jetshop
08-01-2019, 12:37 PM
Western Ashkenazim are much easier to trace than Eastern Ashkenazim, especially those from the Russian Empire

That's one of the walls I'm running into on my mom's side, especially since one of my ancestors was adopted as an infant after his parents died in a plague in their village. We have absolutely no idea what his real last name was, and furthermore even the Russian, Yiddish, and English names seem to be different even for single individuals.

passenger
08-02-2019, 03:37 PM
My father once tried to deal with archive in Ukraine. He came to the archive by foot, payed and got what he asked.
But this was about non-Jewish ancestors.

P.S. Recently found an interesting database (only about Ukraine):

http://lipesdatabase.com/

Nice! It looks like they have a couple records related to my Odessa family. Too bad you have to pay to see the documents, but I guess it's worth it. I'll try one.

artemv
08-02-2019, 04:06 PM
Nice! It looks like they have a couple records related to my Odessa family. Too bad you have to pay to see the documents, but I guess it's worth it. I'll try one.

Please tell us about the results.

Targum
08-02-2019, 04:53 PM
This is in category of “Stating the Obvious “, but Jewish genealogy usually involves transliteration between 3 alphabetic systems.In case of Eastern Ashkenazim it is Hebrew/Aramaic, Cyrillic and Latin. Example: כהן (pronounced Kohen), каган (pronounced Kagan), and Kohen, Cohen, Kagan, Kohn, etc

passenger
08-02-2019, 05:10 PM
Please tell us about the results.

Will do. The site says it may take up to a month to send the photocopy.

StillWater
08-02-2019, 05:58 PM
This is in category of “Stating the Obvious “, but Jewish genealogy usually involves transliteration between 3 alphabetic systems.In case of Eastern Ashkenazim it is Hebrew/Aramaic, Cyrillic and Latin. Example: כהן (pronounced Kohen), каган (pronounced Kagan), and Kohen, Cohen, Kagan, Kohn, etc

Kogen is the most common for the countries that use Cyrillic. Even with Latin, there will be differences. "sh" is often "sz" in Polish, for example. Some search engines adjust for it, others don't. Names can sound utterly different from country to country: Silverstein vs Zylbershteyn. Kahanowitz vs Kaganovitch etc.

chelle
08-02-2019, 10:03 PM
For the longest time growing up I had thought only my mom's maternal grandparents immigrated from Russia. Then as I got more into digging around on Ancestry I realized that my great-grandfather was born in Missouri, but that many of his siblings and parents were the immigrants. My great-great grandfather's death certificate is how I found out his parents names. Then when looking for other death certificates with the same last name, I found one that listed the same names for parents. So now I knew he had a brother who immigrated. So then I researched his brother's family and found his sons naturalization paperwork from a few years later than my great-great grandfather. It listed their last residence as Konotop. So that is the closest I have come as a lead of origin on that line. Then on a couple of death certificates of her children, my great-great grandmother's fathers first and last name were listed. So I at least have that now. Now on my mom's mom's maternal side, I know that for some reason only my great-great grandmother immigrated with all of her children. No clue what happened with her husband not coming or even what his name was. I am guessing the sons went through a different line at immigration, because they have a different last name on census than their mom and sisters. A couple of years ago I discovered that at some point my great-great grandmother's father and some siblings immigrated in through Philadelphia when I found a ships arrival form and an inquiry form. I think it is a bit hard to read, but Ancestry site says it put his last residence as Rowno and that he came over on the Dresden. The inquiry form was a neat bit of history. It said that he didn't have enough money to pay the entire cost of the trip and that he had a son in St. Louis that had been in contact with a Hebrew Relief Society that would help pay the difference once he arrived. I kind of am at a brick wall too as far as researching anything beyond this, but I am grateful I even got this far in my brick walls. I recently bought two out of print books on Amazon that are supposed to be a good resource for listing places to find records or historical info. They are both written by Miriam Weiner. One is called Jewish Roots in Ukraine and Moldova Pages from the past and Archival Inventories. The other one was about Poland, but I never received it. Honestly, between me knowing no Yiddish, Hebrew or Russian or knowing who was born in Ukraine, Poland or anywhere else and various name spellings I feel defeated on that front. Jewish names in my line that I know of are Hiken, Barron/Brown(this was the females got Barron and boys got Brown, Tanapolsky/Tonopolsky/Tarnopolsky?, Gutman/Goodman and Kahanoff. Sorry if this is rambling and not making much sense. I will say if you have any ancestors from Missouri, their sos mo gov site is a really good place to research different topics.

* Let me know if there is anything you want me to try and find in the book for you.

StillWater
08-02-2019, 10:12 PM
For the longest time growing up I had thought only my mom's maternal grandparents immigrated from Russia. Then as I got more into digging around on Ancestry I realized that my great-grandfather was born in Missouri, but that many of his siblings and parents were the immigrants. My great-great grandfather's death certificate is how I found out his parents names. Then when looking for other death certificates with the same last name, I found one that listed the same names for parents. So now I knew he had a brother who immigrated. So then I researched his brother's family and found his sons naturalization paperwork from a few years later than my great-great grandfather. It listed their last residence as Konotop. So that is the closest I have come as a lead of origin on that line. Then on a couple of death certificates of her children, my great-great grandmother's fathers first and last name were listed. So I at least have that now. Now on my mom's mom's maternal side, I know that for some reason only my great-great grandmother immigrated with all of her children. No clue what happened with her husband not coming or even what his name was. I am guessing the sons went through a different line at immigration, because they have a different last name on census than their mom and sisters. A couple of years ago I discovered that at some point my great-great grandmother's father and some siblings immigrated in through Philadelphia when I found a ships arrival form and an inquiry form. I think it is a bit hard to read, but Ancestry site says it put his last residence as Rowno and that he came over on the Dresden. The inquiry form was a neat bit of history. It said that he didn't have enough money to pay the entire cost of the trip and that he had a son in St. Louis that had been in contact with a Hebrew Relief Society that would help pay the difference once he arrived. I kind of am at a brick wall too as far as researching anything beyond this, but I am grateful I even got this far in my brick walls. I recently bought two out of print books on Amazon that are supposed to be a good resource for listing places to find records or historical info. They are both written by Miriam Weiner. One is called Jewish Roots in Ukraine and Moldova Pages from the past and Archival Inventories. The other one was about Poland, but I never received it. Honestly, between me knowing no Yiddish, Hebrew or Russian or knowing who was born in Ukraine, Poland or anywhere else and various name spellings I feel defeated on that front. Jewish names in my line that I know of are Hiken, Barron/Brown(this was the females got Barron and boys got Brown, Tanapolsky/Tonopolsky/Tarnopolsky?, Gutman/Goodman and Kahanoff. Sorry if this is rambling and not making much sense. I will say if you have any ancestors from Missouri, their sos mo gov site is a really good place to research different topics.

Tarnopolsky is the most likely. It is derived from this location: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ternopil (the Polish/German/Yiddish version). Kahanoff is a Cohen surname.

chelle
08-02-2019, 10:15 PM
Thank you. I tried to use one of your links from earlier to find the origin of Hiken. There are so many various spellings.

StillWater
08-02-2019, 10:24 PM
Thank you. I tried to use one of your links from earlier to find the origin of Hiken. There are so many various spellings.

I'm wondering if it's some Galitzianer perversion of Haykin.

Targum
08-02-2019, 11:07 PM
It’s חייקין Chaykin Hiken хаукуи

chelle
08-03-2019, 12:30 AM
Online I have found Chaykin, Chiken, Chaikin, etc.

StillWater
08-03-2019, 10:19 AM
It’s חייקין Chaykin Hiken хаукуи

"Ha-oo-koo-ee"? It's Хайкин in Cyrillic, which is its original transcription. It's a typical Eastern Ashkenazi matrynomic surname, in this case derived from Chayke/Chayka (diminutive of Chaya), with the Slavic suffix in. As far as Latin transcriptions of it, Haykin does exist: https://www.schusterman.org/users/talia-haykin. Though I agree, Chaykin is closer to the standard transcription.

An important related note: Slavic countries conjugate surnames with Slavic suffixes.

For females, in Russian:

in becomes ina
sky becomes skaya, ski becomes ska (polish)
ov becomes ova
ev becomes eva

So, when you look up records for names like Tarnopolsky and Chaikin, don't forget to check Tarnopolskaya and Chaikina.

Targum
08-04-2019, 04:41 PM
"Ha-oo-koo-ee"? It's Хайкин in Cyrillic, which is its original transcription. It's a typical Eastern Ashkenazi matrynomic surname, in this case derived from Chayke/Chayka (diminutive of Chaya), with the Slavic suffix in. As far as Latin transcriptions of it, Haykin does exist: https://www.schusterman.org/users/talia-haykin. Though I agree, Chaykin is closer to the standard transcription.

An important related note: Slavic countries conjugate surnames with Slavic suffixes.

For females, in Russian:

in becomes ina
sky becomes skaya, ski becomes ska (polish)
ov becomes ova
ev becomes eva

So, when you look up records for names like Tarnopolsky and Chaikin, don't forget to check Tarnopolskaya and Chaikina.

Lol thank you StillWater It has been many decades since I wrote anything in Cyrillic (high school Russian during Cold War) I conflated Spanish “y” with Cyrillic “ee” phoneme. I’m not going to try to write Cyrillic again without thoroughly reviewing the (long forgotten) alphabet.

StillWater
08-05-2019, 12:06 AM
Lol thank you StillWater It has been many decades since I wrote anything in Cyrillic (high school Russian during Cold War) I conflated Spanish “y” with Cyrillic “ee” phoneme. I’m not going to try to write Cyrillic again without thoroughly reviewing the (long forgotten) alphabet.

Why endure something like that?

Targum
08-05-2019, 12:41 AM
Why endure something like that?

Russian was pushed as the preferred second language for science!

StillWater
08-05-2019, 03:51 AM
This is a Russian-language Jewish geneology forum: https://forum.j-roots.info/viewtopic.php?f=97&t=92&start=8180, frequented by Beider himself. It seems that Beider may be willing to tell you the definition and key location(s) of your surname if you ask on there. If not him, others on there seem to have a copy of his books.

Yes, I know - this is the greatest find of all time. Now, all you need to do is learn Russian.

passenger
08-08-2019, 04:54 AM
Please tell us about the results.

I just got the results. It was very fast actually. They sent a scan of the relevant pages in the record book and the attached translation.

It is in fact pertinent to my family - the birth and circumcision record of one of my great-grandfather's younger siblings, born in Odessa in 1898. There's not a whole lot of information, but, if I'm interpreting the document correctly, it appears to state that my great-great grandfather was from Slutsk, Belarus. That's news to me, since all I've ever known is that the family was from Odessa.

So I'd say it was definitely worth it overall. Plus it's my first time seeing an actual Russian document pertaining to my family, so that's pretty cool.

StillWater
08-08-2019, 04:57 AM
I just got the results. It was very fast actually. They sent a scan of the relevant pages in the record book and the attached translation.

It is in fact pertinent to my family - the birth and circumcision record of one of my great-grandfather's younger siblings, born in Odessa in 1898. There's not a whole lot of information, but, if I'm interpreting the document correctly, it appears to state that my great-great grandfather was from Slutsk, Belarus. That's news to me, since all I've ever known is that the family was from Odessa.

So I'd say it was definitely worth it overall. Plus it's my first time seeing an actual Russian document pertaining to my family, so that's pretty cool.

You must feel relieved.

passenger
08-08-2019, 05:05 AM
You must feel relieved.

Hah. Is that a slight on Odessa?

StillWater
08-08-2019, 05:31 AM
Hah. Is that a slight on Odessa?

Be glad yours was Litvak Master Race.

artemv
08-08-2019, 08:55 AM
I just got the results. It was very fast actually. They sent a scan of the relevant pages in the record book and the attached translation.

It is in fact pertinent to my family - the birth and circumcision record of one of my great-grandfather's younger siblings, born in Odessa in 1898. There's not a whole lot of information, but, if I'm interpreting the document correctly, it appears to state that my great-great grandfather was from Slutsk, Belarus. That's news to me, since all I've ever known is that the family was from Odessa.

So I'd say it was definitely worth it overall. Plus it's my first time seeing an actual Russian document pertaining to my family, so that's pretty cool.

All the Novorossia (south part of modern Ukraine, without Crimea) was a very unsafe place because of Tartars raids from Crimea and this lasted until Russian conquest of Crimea at the end of 18th century. Because of that, region had very few permanent population, and Russian Empire authorities viewed this as a problem - fertile land with no cities and almost no population.
They were so eager to bring at least someone there, that they made an exception - gave the Jews right to settle there, including into Pale of settlement territories that were never part of Polish-Lithuana commonwealth. Jews could even purchase land and build agricultural colonies.

So, if your family is from Odessa, this means your ancestors migrated there not earlier than beginning of the 19th century (note that it wasn't a that big city in the first half of 19th century). It just could not happen that your family lived there for centuries.

Erikl86
08-08-2019, 09:52 AM
All the Novorossia (south part of modern Ukraine, without Crimea) was a very unsafe place because of Tartars raids from Crimea and this lasted until Russian conquest of Crimea at the end of 18th century. Because of that, region had very few permanent population, and Russian Empire authorities viewed this as a problem - fertile land with no cities and no almost population.
They were so eager to bring at least someone there, that they made an exception - gave the Jews right to settle there, including into Pale of settlement territories that were never part of Polish-Lithuana commonwealth. Jews could even purchase land and build agricultural colonies.

So, if your family is from Odessa, this means your ancestors migrated there not earlier than beginning of the 19th century (note that it wasn't a that big city in the first half of 19th century). It just could not happen that your family lived there for centuries.

I can confirm this with my paternal grandfather's family, they migrated from Lithuania to Odessa in the 1860s. This is also when the way my surname is pronounced changed from a Litvish-sounding pronunciation to Volinyer pronunciation, exemplified by the change in one of the vowels from "a" to "e".

passenger
08-08-2019, 03:02 PM
All the Novorossia (south part of modern Ukraine, without Crimea) was a very unsafe place because of Tartars raids from Crimea and this lasted until Russian conquest of Crimea at the end of 18th century. Because of that, region had very few permanent population, and Russian Empire authorities viewed this as a problem - fertile land with no cities and no almost population.
They were so eager to bring at least someone there, that they made an exception - gave the Jews right to settle there, including into Pale of settlement territories that were never part of Polish-Lithuana commonwealth. Jews could even purchase land and build agricultural colonies.

So, if your family is from Odessa, this means your ancestors migrated there not earlier than beginning of the 19th century (note that it wasn't a that big city in the first half of 19th century). It just could not happen that your family lived there for centuries.

Thank you. Yes, I had that impression, but until now I had no solid evidence of where my ancestors on that branch lived before Odessa.

passenger
08-09-2019, 04:19 AM
Does anyone have experience requesting genealogical information directly from state archives? I'm looking at the archives for Belarus and they seem to be relatively well organized and prepared to assist in genealogical research, but it looks like they charge some pretty hefty fees. I wonder how efficient they are.

StillWater
08-09-2019, 04:21 AM
Does anyone have experience requesting genealogical information directly from state archives? I'm looking at the archives for Belarus and they seem to be relatively well organized and prepared to assist in genealogical research, but it looks like they charge some pretty hefty fees. I wonder how efficient they are.

My cousin has before. Anything in particular you want me to ask about?

passenger
08-09-2019, 04:31 AM
My cousin has before. Anything in particular you want me to ask about?

Mostly I'm curious to know how much information they give you if you request a genealogical search for a given individual. They have a generic request form where they ask you to list the relevant biographical data, but it's not clear what they actually give you in return and whether it's just on that individual or also on the parents. Also, their fee structure is somewhat confusing. Of course I can try asking them directly to clarify, but it would be nice to get feedback on people's experience with that archive or others.

StillWater
08-09-2019, 04:46 AM
Mostly I'm curious to know how much information they give you if you request a genealogical search for a given individual. They have a generic request form where they ask you to list the relevant biographical data, but it's not clear what they actually give you in return and whether it's just on that individual or also on the parents. Also, their fee structure is somewhat confusing. Of course I can try asking them directly to clarify, but it would be nice to get feedback on people's experience with that archive or others.

She didn't ask for generic genealogical info. She asked to receive a specific document.

passenger
08-09-2019, 04:52 AM
She didn't ask for generic genealogical info. She asked to receive a specific document.

I see. Was it the National Historical Archive of Belarus? Was she happy with the service?

StillWater
08-09-2019, 04:55 AM
I see. Was it the National Historical Archive of Belarus? Was she happy with the service?

I think it was from the city's Jewish archives. The document was pretty dry and she received it, so I assume she was happy. It was the marriage record of her great-grandparents.

rober_tce
08-31-2019, 05:58 PM
Good afternoon everyone, I'd like to consult you on a matter.

I have been researching the Italian lineage Emo, native of Venice. Do you know if there have been Jews or converts belonging to this lineage? Thank you all.

mildlycurly
09-23-2019, 02:05 PM
Good afternoon everyone, I'd like to consult you on a matter.

I have been researching the Italian lineage Emo, native of Venice. Do you know if there have been Jews or converts belonging to this lineage? Thank you all.

I've checked this database (http://www.sephardicgen.com/databases/SephardimCom2009.htm) and it does not appear.

passenger
09-23-2019, 02:43 PM
Good afternoon everyone, I'd like to consult you on a matter.

I have been researching the Italian lineage Emo, native of Venice. Do you know if there have been Jews or converts belonging to this lineage? Thank you all.

It's not on this list (http://www.italiansurname.com/italian-jewish-surnames-genealogy-part-i/ ) either.

loxias
12-06-2019, 08:33 PM
Finally had a breakthrough!
After growing up hearing from my grandmother that her great-grandfather walked all the way from Latvia to France. I tried to find who that person was on my family tree. For years I was barking up the wrong tree, I suspected the guy was one of her great-great-grandfathers, who bore the surname OLMER and who turned out to have come from the Netherlands.

Some research on another line, got me, via a book on the Jewish community in Clermont-Ferrand in the 19th century, to find the marriage act of my grandmother's great-great-grandfather. He was the guy!
Bearing the surname MOISE in France, but born in Zagare, Lithuania (mentioned as Russian Poland in the act) in 1798 to a "Jean?" JACOB and a Haiman TOBE.
I am guessing the names he gave for his parents are Frenchified.
This may not seem like much, but I now know exactly where that elusive "Latvian" ancestor came from. Do you reckon there is any chance to dig deeper with what little information I uncovered?

passenger
12-06-2019, 08:59 PM
Finally had a breakthrough!
After growing up hearing from my grandmother that her great-grandfather walked all the way from Latvia to France. I tried to find who that person was on my family tree. For years I was barking up the wrong tree, I suspected the guy was one of her great-great-grandfathers, who bore the surname OLMER and who turned out to have come from the Netherlands.

Some research on another line, got me, via a book on the Jewish community in Clermont-Ferrand in the 19th century, to find the marriage act of my grandmother's great-great-grandfather. He was the guy!
Bearing the surname MOISE in France, but born in Zagare, Lithuania (mentioned as Russian Poland in the act) in 1798 to a "Jean?" JACOB and a Haiman TOBE.
I am guessing the names he gave for his parents are Frenchified.
This may not seem like much, but I now know exactly where that elusive "Latvian" ancestor came from. Do you reckon there is any chance to dig deeper with what little information I uncovered?

Congratulations! It's always so satisfying to break through those brick walls.

I don't know if you'll be able to find anything more, but if there is something out there you'll probably find it through the links on this page: https://www.cjh.org/pdfs/Lithuania.pdf

loxias
12-06-2019, 09:20 PM
I am thinking TOBE is a form TAUBE.
Funnily enough, researching the Zagare community, I stumbled right away upon a descendants of the TOWB family, which seems to be a similar name.
It may just be a coincidence, considering how patronymic surnames are not regularly used. Interesting nonetheless.

StillWater
12-08-2019, 07:23 PM
Finally had a breakthrough!
After growing up hearing from my grandmother that her great-grandfather walked all the way from Latvia to France. I tried to find who that person was on my family tree. For years I was barking up the wrong tree, I suspected the guy was one of her great-great-grandfathers, who bore the surname OLMER and who turned out to have come from the Netherlands.

Some research on another line, got me, via a book on the Jewish community in Clermont-Ferrand in the 19th century, to find the marriage act of my grandmother's great-great-grandfather. He was the guy!
Bearing the surname MOISE in France, but born in Zagare, Lithuania (mentioned as Russian Poland in the act) in 1798 to a "Jean?" JACOB and a Haiman TOBE.
I am guessing the names he gave for his parents are Frenchified.
This may not seem like much, but I now know exactly where that elusive "Latvian" ancestor came from. Do you reckon there is any chance to dig deeper with what little information I uncovered?

"Russian Poland" typically denotes Congress Poland. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congress_Poland. What's interesting is that it came to exist after his birth.
What's interesting is that your ancestor would've been born there right after Russia acquired the area: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partitions_of_Poland#/media/File:Rzeczpospolita_Rozbiory_3.png

What you should also keep in mind is that Jewish birth years during the Imperial period can often fluctuate within a few years from document to document. And as far as exact dates go, most used the Hebrew calendar, so many didn't know when their Gregorian birthday was.

StillWater
02-04-2020, 12:45 AM
Seems JewishGen has had an update since I last visited it. I now know the likely name of one of my great^3-grandparents and of other relatives on that side.

passenger
02-04-2020, 03:05 AM
Seems JewishGen has had an update since I last visited it. I now know the likely name of one of my great^3-grandparents and of other relatives on that side.

That's good news! What tools on the site helped you find them?

StillWater
02-04-2020, 03:32 AM
That's good news! What tools on the site helped you find them?

Just the search engine.

Seabass
02-18-2020, 12:07 PM
As I'm going to Central Europe this year, I'm planning to visit just one concentration/death camp only. Auschwitz because I've only found out within the last year that not only did my great grandfather perish in the Holocaust, but he was snatched by the French Gestapo in Paris after immigrating there from Istanbul, Turkey. They took him to the camp at Drancy, France before sending him to his death in Auschwitz. I've been fortunate to be able to find him on this list below of 1659 Turkish Jews deported from France during World War 2.


http://www.sephardicstudies.org/pdf/turks.pdf

There is also a list of Greek Jews in France who suffered the same fate.

http://www.sephardicstudies.org/pdf/grefrashoah.pdf

And Egyptian Jews too

http://www.sephardicstudies.org/pdf/egypt_dep_fr.pdf

Anyway on a brighter note, these lists are actually pretty informative I think for getting a glimpse into the typical distribution of Sephardic Jews within Greece and Turkey over the first half of the 20th century. I think this list of surnames could also possibly allow us to even deduce very loosely maybe the proportion of surnames maybe of various regional Jewish origins.

A little analysis I did of the three below.

364223642336424

Most popular surnames among this list of Turkish Jews as a total percent

Surname / Count of Score / Percent
Cohen 78 4.70
Levy 64 3.86
Behar 51 3.07
Eskenazi 41 2.47
Mizrahi 29 1.75
Abouaf 13 0.78
Angel 12 0.72
Arditti 11 0.66
Hasson 11 0.66
Mechoulam 11 0.66
Farhi 9 0.54
Fresco 9 0.54
Leon 9 0.54
Amon 8 0.48
Danon 8 0.48
Goldenberg 8 0.48
Menache 8 0.48
Nahoum 8 0.48
Chalom 7 0.42
Gabay 7 0.42
Hatem 7 0.42
Levi 7 0.42
Mitrani 7 0.42
Namer 7 0.42
Razon 7 0.42
Sabah 7 0.42
Salmona 7 0.42
Sarfati 7 0.42
Alfandari 6 0.36
Barouch 6 0.36


Most popular surnames among this list of Greek Jews as a total percent

Surname / Count of Score / Percent
Cohen 88 5.31
Saltiel 48 2.90
Gattegno 32 1.93
Levy 31 1.87
Angel 29 1.75
Molho 27 1.63
Nahmias 27 1.63
Arama 23 1.39
Assael 23 1.39
Hassid 21 1.27
Benveniste 20 1.21
Raphael 20 1.21
Carasso 17 1.03
Covo 17 1.03
Scialom 17 1.03
Aelion 16 0.97
Broudo 15 0.91
Matarasso 15 0.91
Haim 14 0.85
Arenos 13 0.79
Bendavid 13 0.79
Hasson 13 0.79
Naar 13 0.79
Azouvi 12 0.72
Eskenazi 12 0.72
Nehama 12 0.72
Pessah 12 0.72
Romano 12 0.72
Beraha 11 0.66
Revah 11 0.66
Sciaky 11 0.66

hartaisarlag
02-18-2020, 03:05 PM
As I'm going to Central Europe this year, I'm planning to visit just one concentration/death camp only. Auschwitz because I've only found out within the last year that not only did my great grandfather perish in the Holocaust, but he was snatched by the French Gestapo in Paris after immigrating there from Istanbul, Turkey. They took him to the camp at Drancy, France before sending him to his death in Auschwitz. I've been fortunate to be able to find him on this list below of 1659 Turkish Jews deported from France during World War 2.


http://www.sephardicstudies.org/pdf/turks.pdf

There is also a list of Greek Jews in France who suffered the same fate.

http://www.sephardicstudies.org/pdf/grefrashoah.pdf

And Egyptian Jews too

http://www.sephardicstudies.org/pdf/egypt_dep_fr.pdf

Anyway on a brighter note, these lists are actually pretty informative I think for getting a glimpse into the typical distribution of Sephardic Jews within Greece and Turkey over the first half of the 20th century. I think this list of surnames could also possibly allow us to even deduce very loosely maybe the proportion of surnames maybe of various regional Jewish origins.

A little analysis I did of the three below.

364223642336424

Most popular surnames among this list of Turkish Jews as a total percent

Surname / Count of Score / Percent
Cohen 78 4.70
Levy 64 3.86
Behar 51 3.07
Eskenazi 41 2.47
Mizrahi 29 1.75
Abouaf 13 0.78
Angel 12 0.72
Arditti 11 0.66
Hasson 11 0.66
Mechoulam 11 0.66
Farhi 9 0.54
Fresco 9 0.54
Leon 9 0.54
Amon 8 0.48
Danon 8 0.48
Goldenberg 8 0.48
Menache 8 0.48
Nahoum 8 0.48
Chalom 7 0.42
Gabay 7 0.42
Hatem 7 0.42
Levi 7 0.42
Mitrani 7 0.42
Namer 7 0.42
Razon 7 0.42
Sabah 7 0.42
Salmona 7 0.42
Sarfati 7 0.42
Alfandari 6 0.36
Barouch 6 0.36


Most popular surnames among this list of Greek Jews as a total percent

Surname / Count of Score / Percent
Cohen 88 5.31
Saltiel 48 2.90
Gattegno 32 1.93
Levy 31 1.87
Angel 29 1.75
Molho 27 1.63
Nahmias 27 1.63
Arama 23 1.39
Assael 23 1.39
Hassid 21 1.27
Benveniste 20 1.21
Raphael 20 1.21
Carasso 17 1.03
Covo 17 1.03
Scialom 17 1.03
Aelion 16 0.97
Broudo 15 0.91
Matarasso 15 0.91
Haim 14 0.85
Arenos 13 0.79
Bendavid 13 0.79
Hasson 13 0.79
Naar 13 0.79
Azouvi 12 0.72
Eskenazi 12 0.72
Nehama 12 0.72
Pessah 12 0.72
Romano 12 0.72
Beraha 11 0.66
Revah 11 0.66
Sciaky 11 0.66



Interesting lists! And I feel you - I always knew that my grandparents had cousins, uncles, and aunts who were killed, but apparently nobody got the memo that my great-great-grandmother was killed by the Nazis as an old lady at the Hasag Pelcery Labor Camp in Czestochowa. It's somehow very different when it's a direct ancestor.

passenger
02-18-2020, 05:17 PM
As I'm going to Central Europe this year, I'm planning to visit just one concentration/death camp only. Auschwitz because I've only found out within the last year that not only did my great grandfather perish in the Holocaust, but he was snatched by the French Gestapo in Paris after immigrating there from Istanbul, Turkey. They took him to the camp at Drancy, France before sending him to his death in Auschwitz. I've been fortunate to be able to find him on this list below of 1659 Turkish Jews deported from France during World War 2.


http://www.sephardicstudies.org/pdf/turks.pdf

There is also a list of Greek Jews in France who suffered the same fate.

http://www.sephardicstudies.org/pdf/grefrashoah.pdf

And Egyptian Jews too

http://www.sephardicstudies.org/pdf/egypt_dep_fr.pdf

Anyway on a brighter note, these lists are actually pretty informative I think for getting a glimpse into the typical distribution of Sephardic Jews within Greece and Turkey over the first half of the 20th century. I think this list of surnames could also possibly allow us to even deduce very loosely maybe the proportion of surnames maybe of various regional Jewish origins.

A little analysis I did of the three below

Good work! Thanks for sharing. And good luck with your trip. Of course you have to keep in mind as far as Turkey is concerned that there were still many Turkish Jews after WWII, as well as many who emigrated during the 1930s to locations outside Europe, especially in Latin America, so I'm not sure how representative this set of names is, but it seems like a useful sample.

I only very recently discovered the stories of some of my relatives during the Holocaust. Oddly enough the stories are from the Sephardic branch, since I'd always assumed the connections would be with my grandparents' relatives back in Ukraine. I'm sure there are stories there too, but I haven't found any. The stories that have surfaced are from my grandfather's cousins who were raised in Greece and then moved to France (again, the French connection). Apparently the ones who were still living in Greece were somehow spared, but one of the cousins moved to France, and then Belgium with her husband in the 1920s and was deported to Auschwitz with her four children. Another cousin also moved to France and survived, but had to live in hiding throughout the entirety of the war.

I'm pretty certain I didn't have any direct ancestors who were involved, but it's still weird to find these connections, since nobody ever talked about them. I feel like my grandfather must have known, since the remaining cousins from Greece moved here after the war and visited my family several times.

passenger
02-18-2020, 09:57 PM
As I'm going to Central Europe this year, I'm planning to visit just one concentration/death camp only. Auschwitz because I've only found out within the last year that not only did my great grandfather perish in the Holocaust, but he was snatched by the French Gestapo in Paris after immigrating there from Istanbul, Turkey. They took him to the camp at Drancy, France before sending him to his death in Auschwitz. I've been fortunate to be able to find him on this list below of 1659 Turkish Jews deported from France during World War 2.


http://www.sephardicstudies.org/pdf/turks.pdf

There is also a list of Greek Jews in France who suffered the same fate.

http://www.sephardicstudies.org/pdf/grefrashoah.pdf

And Egyptian Jews too

http://www.sephardicstudies.org/pdf/egypt_dep_fr.pdf

Anyway on a brighter note, these lists are actually pretty informative I think for getting a glimpse into the typical distribution of Sephardic Jews within Greece and Turkey over the first half of the 20th century. I think this list of surnames could also possibly allow us to even deduce very loosely maybe the proportion of surnames maybe of various regional Jewish origins.

A little analysis I did of the three below.

Here's a link to the records of the Sephardic Jewish Brotherhood of America, where you can find lists of surnames. Their membership was Greek and Turkish. Unfortunately, I don't think there's an easy way to search by birthplace, and some of the surnames were probably picked up in the U.S., but it might be helpful to compare it with the other lists: https://digifindingaids.cjh.org/?pID=504717

StillWater
02-20-2020, 02:29 AM
As I'm going to Central Europe this year, I'm planning to visit just one concentration/death camp only. Auschwitz because I've only found out within the last year that not only did my great grandfather perish in the Holocaust, but he was snatched by the French Gestapo in Paris after immigrating there from Istanbul, Turkey. They took him to the camp at Drancy, France before sending him to his death in Auschwitz. I've been fortunate to be able to find him on this list below of 1659 Turkish Jews deported from France during World War 2.


http://www.sephardicstudies.org/pdf/turks.pdf

There is also a list of Greek Jews in France who suffered the same fate.

http://www.sephardicstudies.org/pdf/grefrashoah.pdf

And Egyptian Jews too

http://www.sephardicstudies.org/pdf/egypt_dep_fr.pdf

Anyway on a brighter note, these lists are actually pretty informative I think for getting a glimpse into the typical distribution of Sephardic Jews within Greece and Turkey over the first half of the 20th century. I think this list of surnames could also possibly allow us to even deduce very loosely maybe the proportion of surnames maybe of various regional Jewish origins.

A little analysis I did of the three below.

364223642336424

Most popular surnames among this list of Turkish Jews as a total percent

Surname / Count of Score / Percent
Cohen 78 4.70
Levy 64 3.86
Behar 51 3.07
Eskenazi 41 2.47
Mizrahi 29 1.75
Abouaf 13 0.78
Angel 12 0.72
Arditti 11 0.66
Hasson 11 0.66
Mechoulam 11 0.66
Farhi 9 0.54
Fresco 9 0.54
Leon 9 0.54
Amon 8 0.48
Danon 8 0.48
Goldenberg 8 0.48
Menache 8 0.48
Nahoum 8 0.48
Chalom 7 0.42
Gabay 7 0.42
Hatem 7 0.42
Levi 7 0.42
Mitrani 7 0.42
Namer 7 0.42
Razon 7 0.42
Sabah 7 0.42
Salmona 7 0.42
Sarfati 7 0.42
Alfandari 6 0.36
Barouch 6 0.36


Most popular surnames among this list of Greek Jews as a total percent

Surname / Count of Score / Percent
Cohen 88 5.31
Saltiel 48 2.90
Gattegno 32 1.93
Levy 31 1.87
Angel 29 1.75
Molho 27 1.63
Nahmias 27 1.63
Arama 23 1.39
Assael 23 1.39
Hassid 21 1.27
Benveniste 20 1.21
Raphael 20 1.21
Carasso 17 1.03
Covo 17 1.03
Scialom 17 1.03
Aelion 16 0.97
Broudo 15 0.91
Matarasso 15 0.91
Haim 14 0.85
Arenos 13 0.79
Bendavid 13 0.79
Hasson 13 0.79
Naar 13 0.79
Azouvi 12 0.72
Eskenazi 12 0.72
Nehama 12 0.72
Pessah 12 0.72
Romano 12 0.72
Beraha 11 0.66
Revah 11 0.66
Sciaky 11 0.66



The common presence of Arditti among Turkish Jews and the study that pointed out that Italian Jews and Turkish Jews seem to be very connected makes me think that maybe the main secondary population wasn't Romaniote, but Italki.

passenger
02-20-2020, 03:21 AM
The common presence of Arditti among Turkish Jews and the study that pointed out that Italian Jews and Turkish Jews seem to be very connected makes me think that maybe the main secondary population wasn't Romaniote, but Italki.

Despite the appearance, Arditti is actually a Catalan Jewish surname, dating back to the crown of Aragon. Sephardic surnames are tricky like that. As I've said before, even Romano, one of my family surnames, was found in Iberia centuries before the expulsion, so Italian-looking names don't always point to more recent Italian origins. I have no doubt Italkim were a key part of the formation of Eastern Sephardic communities, but surnames aren't necessarily the best way to track that.

This database is very helpful for looking up Medieval Spanish Jewish surnames: https://www.sephardicgen.com/databases/MedievalSurnames.html

StillWater
03-13-2020, 12:51 PM
My mom has an utterly confusing match. He is Filipino. He scores 0 East Asian. All his ancestors are from the Philippines. He looks Filipino. All his surnames appear Spanish (not atypical for the Philippines). This is what he scores:

9.6 Ashkenazi
5.5 Italian
18.4 Iberian
1.9 West Asian
57.6 Sephardi
7 Middle Eastern

Is this some case of a Sephardic adoptee coming to resemble the local population after being raised there? Or is this someone else's kit under his information? Maybe he decided to use a relative's picture?

passenger
03-13-2020, 05:37 PM
My mom has an utterly confusing match. He is Filipino. He scores 0 East Asian. All his ancestors are from the Philippines. He looks Filipino. All his surnames appear Spanish (not atypical for the Philippines). This is what he scores:

9.6 Ashkenazi
5.5 Italian
18.4 Iberian
1.9 West Asian
57.6 Sephardi
7 Middle Eastern

Is this some case of a Sephardic adoptee coming to resemble the local population after being raised there? Or is this someone else's kit under his information? Maybe he decided to use a relative's picture?

The kits must have been switched or something. This looks just like a North African Sephardic result. There's no way this person is ethnically Filipino.

StillWater
03-13-2020, 05:57 PM
The kits must have been switched or something. This looks just like a North African Sephardic result. There's no way this person is ethnically Filipino.

MyHeritage dun switched the kits up? Here we go..

coffeeprince
03-15-2020, 07:51 PM
My mom has an utterly confusing match. He is Filipino. He scores 0 East Asian. All his ancestors are from the Philippines. He looks Filipino. All his surnames appear Spanish (not atypical for the Philippines). This is what he scores:

9.6 Ashkenazi
5.5 Italian
18.4 Iberian
1.9 West Asian
57.6 Sephardi
7 Middle Eastern

Is this some case of a Sephardic adoptee coming to resemble the local population after being raised there? Or is this someone else's kit under his information? Maybe he decided to use a relative's picture?

Omg, I match this dude too! I've been so confused as well. He is definitely a North African Jew (at least the data is), as all my highest matches with him are Moroccan.

StillWater
03-15-2020, 08:20 PM
Omg, I match this dude too! I've been so confused as well. He is definitely a North African Jew (at least the data is), as all my highest matches with him are Moroccan.

Curious if you ever come across this match (France):

76.8 Sephardi
23.2 Italian

or (also France):

3.3 Italian
6.3 Balkan
90.4 Sephardi

coffeeprince
03-15-2020, 08:52 PM
Curious if you ever come across this match (France):

76.8 Sephardi
23.2 Italian

or (also France):

3.3 Italian
6.3 Balkan
90.4 Sephardi

No, I don't think so. Definitely not the second one - as I filtered "France" and "Balkan" and checked the 14 matches that fit both those criteria and didn't see it.
For the first one, if I filter France / Italian or Sephardi I still get 350+ matches, so I'm not going to look through them all, but that match with only two ethnicities would have stuck out to me. Why?

passenger
05-08-2020, 09:01 PM
Does anyone know if everyone with the 3 Litvak communities gets this map on Ancestry or is this specific to me?

https://i.imgur.com/RsiYlZC.png

The one featured here is different, but it's form 2017: http://whitmanic.com/litvak-galitzianer/

Re-hashing this topic because I just saw my cousin's AncestryDNA results. He's 1/2 Jewish, related to me through my mom's side, so his results would probably apply to me (I haven't tested with Ancestry). He got 3 Jewish communities: 1) Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine & Western Russia, 2) Lithuania, Latvia & Belarus, 3) Northeast Poland, Lithuania, Latvia & West Belarus.

I'm curious about a few things. First off, I'm confused by the divisions, since they all seem pretty similar. Does anyone know why they have these as separate communities? Also, how accurate do users find these communities to be (compared to paper trails)? How much variety is there among Eastern Ashkenazim? Does everyone tend to get these same communities?

Dewsloth
05-08-2020, 10:32 PM
I'm brick walled (or at least stalled) at two 6th great grandfathers (one died 1763 in Kraichtal, B-W and one lived 1665-1740 possibly at least died in Gochsheim, Kraichtal) and another who died 1783 somewhere in Germany (possibly Königshofen am der Tauber, B-W).
Just to make things harder, the third one's surname was David, but his son's was Weimann -- whose daughter switched back to David. :confused:
And I don't know who any of their spouses were.

passenger
05-11-2020, 09:30 PM
FYI, I just inherited a copy of the bilingual, Portuguese-English Dictionary of Sephardic Surnames by Faiguenboim et al. It's partly based on Beider's work, but is expanded to include other sources. Most entries aren't all that detailed, but include locations where the surname has been found in the historical and modern diasporas, and sometimes additional information, such as the surname origin and/or prominent individuals with that surname. If anyone is interested in particular names, I'd be happy to look them up. The coverage is pretty exhaustive.

For instance:

"Aboulafia: Livorno, Didimotikho, Smyrna, Dedeagatach, Galata, Turkey, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Ciudad de Mexico, Alexandria, Tunisie, Mogador-Essaouira, Maroc, Aleppo, Tiberias; (O); médico, farmacêutico; doctor, pharmacist; [list of sources in which name is included]; v. Abulafia"

Dewsloth
05-11-2020, 09:52 PM
^^Cool! It probably won't help me (I think all my known direct surnames* except David originated in Germany and not Sephardic?) but seems like a neat research tool.

*Dessauer, Seligmann, Weimann, David and Sontheim

hartaisarlag
05-11-2020, 10:44 PM
FYI, I just inherited a copy of the bilingual, Portuguese-English Dictionary of Sephardic Surnames by Faiguenboim et al. It's partly based on Beider's work, but is expanded to include other sources. Most entries aren't all that detailed, but include locations where the surname has been found in the historical and modern diasporas, and sometimes additional information, such as the surname origin and/or prominent individuals with that surname. If anyone is interested in particular names, I'd be happy to look them up. The coverage is pretty exhaustive.

For instance:

"Aboulafia: Livorno, Didimotikho, Smyrna, Dedeagatach, Galata, Turkey, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Ciudad de Mexico, Alexandria, Tunisie, Mogador-Essaouira, Maroc, Aleppo, Tiberias; (O); médico, farmacêutico; doctor, pharmacist; [list of sources in which name is included]; v. Abulafia"

Cadranel?

passenger
05-11-2020, 10:55 PM
Cadranel?

Not a lot of information on that one, just locations and the list of sources (which I won't reproduce, cause it's too much info).

"Cadranel: Smyrna, Rhodes, Constantine, Buenos Aires"

passenger
05-12-2020, 04:44 PM
Translation request: If anyone who can read Russian (late 19th-century/early 20th-century print in this case) could do me the favor of translating the words on the back of this old photograph, I'd greatly appreciate it.

37563

Edit: If you click on the image twice, it will appear horizontally, rather than vertically.

artemv
05-13-2020, 04:56 AM
Translation request: If anyone who can read Russian (late 19th-century/early 20th-century print in this case) could do me the favor of translating the words on the back of this old photograph, I'd greatly appreciate it.

37563

Edit: If you click on the image twice, it will appear horizontally, rather than vertically.

Фотограф Витлин в Кременчуге
Собствен. дом
Удостоенный медали в Лионе высшая ... (it looks like there was one more word here, but we only see half of first letter)
Большая золотая медаль в Одессе
Серебряная медаль в Кременчуге
Негативы сохраняются

I typed the text in modern Russian alphabet, so that you could translate it with google translate.
This is a photo made by professional photographer. Photographer's family name is Vitlin(Витлин), and the text is about awards he got in Lyon, Odessa and Kremenchug.
There is nothing about the photo itself in russian text. I guess someone ordered a photo from professional photographer, and this is standard advertisment, that was the same on the back for all photos made by his studio.
'Негативы сохраняются' means "Negatives are being kept". Like you can come afterwards and order another copy of your photo.

Only hand-written vertical text in French(?) maybe of some interest (and might be related to the photo itself).

passenger
05-13-2020, 05:10 AM
Фотограф Витлин в Кременчуге
Собствен. дом
Удостоенный медали в Лионе высшая ... (it looks like there was one more word here, but we only see half of first letter)
Большая золотая медаль в Одессе
Серебряная медаль в Кременчуге
Негативы сохраняются

I typed the text in modern Russian alphabet, so that you could translate it with google translate.
This is a photo made by professional photographer. Photographer's family name is Vitlin(Витлин), and the text is about awards he got in Lyon, Odessa and Kremenchug.
There is nothing about the photo itself in russian text. I guess someone ordered a photo from professional photographer, and this is standard advertisment, that was the same on the back for all photos made by his studio.
'Негативы сохраняются' means "Negatives are being kept". Like you can come afterwards and order another copy of your photo.

Only hand-written vertical text in French(?) maybe of some interest (and might be related to the photo itself).

Great! Thanks so much for that. Normally I would have just run it through Google translate, but I had a hard time figuring out the corresponding modern letters.

The handwritten text is my grandmother's, written in English, but it's cut off. It's a photograph of her mother and grandmother somewhere in what is now Ukraine (I suppose Kremenchug, where they were from). That much I knew, but I've been trying to see if I could figure out any more information about the photo, like more precisely when and where it was taken.

artemv
05-13-2020, 05:44 AM
Great! Thanks so much for that. Normally I would have just run it through Google translate, but I had a hard time figuring out the corresponding modern letters.

The handwritten text is my grandmother's, written in English, but it's cut off. It's a photograph of her mother and grandmother somewhere in what is now Ukraine (I suppose Kremenchug, where they were from). That much I knew, but I've been trying to see if I could figure out any more information about the photo, like more precisely when and where it was taken.

No doubt it's Kremenchug.
Text in largest font says: 'Photographer Vitlin in Kremenchug'

I just typed "фотограф витлин в кременчуге" in google and found enough links in Russian about him (and enough old photos with the same backs, you can check pictures).
Photographer himself had typical Jewish name for that time (like Jacob son of Wulf).
I guess if you try you can probably find out which years his studio used this backward text.

There are enough old photos online with back exactly like yours.
Now check your photo again. Definitely you can see only part of a picture that should be there. Could it happen that part of your photo was cut out?

passenger
05-13-2020, 03:28 PM
No doubt it's Kremenchug.
Text in lagest font says: 'Photographer Vitlin in Kremenchug'

I just typed "фотограф витлин в кременчуге" in google and found enough links in Russian about him (and enough old photos with the same backs, you can check pictures).
Photographer himself had typical Jewish name for that time (like Jacob son of Wulf).
I guess if you try you can probably find out which years his studio used this backward text.

There are enough old photos online with back exactly like yours.
Now check your photo again. Definitely you can see only part of a picture that should be there. Could it happen that part of your photo was cut out?

I'll see if I can do some more research on the photographer.

I don't think any part of the photo was cut out, but obviously parts have been torn off the back.

This is the front, which I've posted on other threads:

passenger
07-04-2020, 01:51 AM
I finally made a little bit more progress on my mom's side of the family tree. It's been slow going. Basically I'd been able to find out the names of all of my 2x great-grandparents, and a few 3x great-grandparents through American records, and I'm still at that stage. There isn't much online, and what is online hasn't been translated or indexed, and I don't read the necessary languages (19th-century Russian, Ottoman Turkish and Hebrew) that would allow me to search through unindexed material.

However, following up on my previous breakthrough in discovering that my 2x great-grandfather was most likely from Slutsk (found in a birth and circumcision record for one of my great-grandfather's siblings), I was recently able to confirm that, plus a few more tidbits about that branch. Previously, all I knew about my great-grandfather's family is that they were from Odessa, and at some point passed through Istanbul, which is where my great-grandfather met and married my Sephardic great-grandmother. Now, thanks to a possible distant relative who contacted me through geni.com (I definitely recommend posting your tree to maximize potential contacts), I was able to get a hold of the 1897 Odessa census record for my great-grandfather's family, and found out that he, along with a number of siblings, were actually born in Istanbul, although the eldest and youngest siblings, along with their mother (my 2x great-grandmother) were born in Odessa. So it appears that my great-grandfather spent his childhood between Istanbul and Odessa, which might explain how he was able to communicate with his wife when he met her (previously a mystery to us). The record also contains their address and my 2x great-grandfather's occupation.

Not sure if this will lead to much success in adding more generations to the tree, but it gives me some hope!

Seabass
07-04-2020, 03:03 AM
Previously, all I knew about my great-grandfather's family is that they were from Odessa, and at some point passed through Istanbul, which is where my great-grandfather met and married my Sephardic great-grandmother. Now, thanks to a possible distant relative who contacted me through geni.com (I definitely recommend posting your tree to maximize potential contacts), I was able to get a hold of the 1897 Odessa census record for my great-grandfather's family, and found out that he, along with a number of siblings, were actually born in Istanbul, although the eldest and youngest siblings, along with their mother (my 2x great-grandmother) were born in Odessa. So it appears that my great-grandfather spent his childhood between Istanbul and Odessa, which might explain how he was able to communicate with his wife when he met her (previously a mystery to us).

Maybe he knew Ladino or Greek? I'm told when one of my great grandfathers born 1905 left Istanbul, he was a Greek speaker, though Sephardic. Unfortunately his my ancestor who died in the holocaust so we know very little about him. I think some Jews around this time educated in Istanbul were also French speakers too due to French Jewish philanthropy.

passenger
07-04-2020, 03:25 AM
Maybe he knew Ladino or Greek? I'm told when one of my great grandfathers born 1905 left Istanbul, he was a Greek speaker, though Sephardic. Unfortunately his my ancestor who died in the holocaust so we know very little about him. I think some Jews around this time educated in Istanbul were also French speakers too due to French Jewish philanthropy.

That's really too bad about your great-grandfather. Did he maybe have siblings or cousins who survived and passed down some information?

Yes, I wonder whether my great-grandfather might have spoken one of those languages. It seems strange that we don't know that, but my grandfather and his brothers (AFAIK) didn't talk much about family history or even their own childhood. I think my great-grandparents mostly spoke to their children in English, though my grandfather did know at least some words in Ladino and at least enough Yiddish to talk in "code" with my grandmother in front of the kids. My Sephardic great-grandmother certainly spoke Ladino and French, and I would suppose also Greek and probably some Turkish: she was educated at a French-language school in Greece, and I say "some" Turkish because my understanding is that Turkish Jews led very separate cultural lives at the time and many were not all that fluent in Turkish.

eolien
07-04-2020, 01:04 PM
That's really too bad about your great-grandfather. Did he maybe have siblings or cousins who survived and passed down some information?

Yes, I wonder whether my great-grandfather might have spoken one of those languages. It seems strange that we don't know that, but my grandfather and his brothers (AFAIK) didn't talk much about family history or even their own childhood. I think my great-grandparents mostly spoke to their children in English, though my grandfather did know at least some words in Ladino and at least enough Yiddish to talk in "code" with my grandmother in front of the kids. My Sephardic great-grandmother certainly spoke Ladino and French, and I would suppose also Greek and probably some Turkish: she was educated at a French-language school in Greece, and I say "some" Turkish because my understanding is that Turkish Jews led very separate cultural lives at the time and many were not all that fluent in Turkish.

the tombstone database (though not perfect) is finally public after a long history (40 years). Maybe you can find something there:https://jewishturkstones.tau.ac.il/

you can also go to AIU school archives, to check of your ottoman part studies in one its schools.

passenger
07-05-2020, 05:29 PM
the tombstone database (though not perfect) is finally public after a long history (40 years). Maybe you can find something there:https://jewishturkstones.tau.ac.il/

Thanks for sharing! That's really a fantastic resource. It's too bad that it's so tricky to navigate through, though.

I had to try a couple different Hebrew spellings of my great-grandmother's maiden name in both the "Family" category and the "Inscriptions" category before I found anything potentially relevant (in the inscriptions, under זונאנה). I've found two tombstones bearing the same name as my 2x great-grandfather in the Hasköy cemetery, in the broad period period between 1895 and 1921 when he must have died. Do you know if Turkish Jews followed the custom of not naming children after living relatives? If so, that could narrow down the window in which he likely died, since he had a grandson named after him who was born around 1911.

Another question. Do you know where "Ezat Capia" (possibly an abbreviation or typo) may be/have been located in Istanbul? That was the address listed under contact info from when my 2x great-grandmother came to the U.S. to visit her children in 1921.

eolien
07-05-2020, 08:34 PM
Thanks for sharing! That's really a fantastic resource. It's too bad that it's so tricky to navigate through, though.

I had to try a couple different Hebrew spellings of my great-grandmother's maiden name in both the "Family" category and the "Inscriptions" category before I found anything potentially relevant (in the inscriptions, under זונאנה). I've found two tombstones bearing the same name as my 2x great-grandfather in the Hasköy cemetery, in the broad period period between 1895 and 1921 when he must have died. Do you know if Turkish Jews followed the custom of not naming children after living relatives? If so, that could narrow down the window in which he likely died, since he had a grandson named after him who was born around 1911.

Another question. Do you know where "Ezat Capia" (possibly an abbreviation or typo) may be/have been located in Istanbul? That was the address listed under contact info from when my 2x great-grandmother came to the U.S. to visit her children in 1921.

Zonana is a common surname, if you have an adult from the 1910s , i can check another source for you. dont forget to check the hebrew name without alef, he or waw (I am sure you did but still...)

Children were named after grandparents when they were alive!, the first born male the paternal grandfather etc. But it was not an obligation. You could also have a name like Haim or especailly Mercado if the child survived an illness. You should be also careful that at the end of the century many had additionally or instead a french equivalent of their hebrew names.

Ezat Capia should be Azat Kapi/Kapu which today is Azap Kapi quarter on the Galata side near the Unkapani bridge. If you give the full address i can find out where exactly it was located 38277

passenger
07-05-2020, 09:22 PM
Zonana is a common surname, if you have an adult from the 1910s , i can check another source for you. dont forget to check the hebrew name without alef, he or waw (I am sure you did but still...)

Children were named after grandparents when they were alive!, the first born male the paternal grandfather etc. But it was not an obligation. You could also have a name like Haim or especailly Mercado if the child survived an illness. You should be also careful that at the end of the century many had additionally or instead a french equivalent of their hebrew names.

Ezat Capia should be Azat Kapi/Kapu which today is Azap Kapi quarter on the Galata side near the Unkapani bridge. If you give the full address i can find out where exactly it was located 38277

Thanks! That's very helpful. In that case I think the most likely candidate among the tombstones from the database is the one for Isak Zonana, who died in Nov. 16, 1917. I think the dates make sense, since the tombstone record claims he died at age 60. I believe my Isak Zonana's eldest daughter was born in the late 1870s, and the youngest may have been born around 1895 (he and his wife, Ester, had 7 children in total). The inscription appears to be mostly in Judeo-Spanish, and reads:


ב'ה
אקי ריפוזה לה אלמה
דיל דיפ'ונטו מויי
ריגריטאד'ו יצחק
זונאנה מורייו די
60 אנייוס נ'פ ר'ח'
כסלו 5678

Unfortunately, I can't see any information in the inscription or in the rest of the record that would help definitively establish or rule out a connection to my family.

As for the address, the only information on that record is "40 Ezat Capia", which doesn't seem like it would be a full address, and it's listed as the address for my great-grandmother's brother Vitali/Chaim. It's kind of confusing because my understanding is that he had already died shortly before that (of cholera?) and that his mother and younger sister went to the U.S. in part to leave one of his orphan children in the care of my great-grandparents. Vitali is also listed as the contact person on my great-grandmother's immigration record from 1913.

Piquerobi
07-06-2020, 07:48 PM
^ The Spanish/Portuguese like language with Hebrew characters looks quite peculiar:


אקי ריפוזה לה אלמה

Literally:


Aqi ripozah lah almah

In Portuguese:


Aqui repousa a alma

In Castilian:


Aquí reposa el alma

In English:


Here rests the soul

passenger
07-06-2020, 09:09 PM
^ The Spanish/Portuguese like language with Hebrew characters looks quite peculiar:



Literally:



In Portuguese:



In Castilian:



In English:

Yup, that's Ladino for you! Or Judeo-Spanish if you prefer ;) There is a technical difference, but it seems to be a losing battle, since "Ladino" is so widespread nowadays. My great-grandmother just called it "espanyol". At its core, it's mainly late-medieval Castilian, with possible grammatical and lexical influences from other Iberian languages, especially Portuguese and Catalan, in terms of phonology and grammar, but it's hard to tell sometimes because a lot of Old Castilian sounds that were lost in the modern language are still preserved in Portuguese. I think it's likely that the influx of Portuguese Jews in the Ottoman Empire may have reinforced retention of those sounds, rather than necessarily leading to their innovation. Also the reason for grammatical divergences like gender differences between Ladino and Modern Spanish are hard to pinpoint, since medieval and Renaissance Iberian languages themselves experienced so much flux in grammatical gender.

Add a few centuries of local innovations in grammar, vocabulary and phonology, with influence from other Ottoman languages, French and Hebrew, and a number of decades of decline in everyday use, and you get the type of language spoken here:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lu1o1xsTrs

eolien
07-06-2020, 09:56 PM
alma is feminine but because of initial a it becomes el alma but still las almas.

i found for example a google books scan from 1641 still using la alma

38294

Piquerobi
07-07-2020, 04:51 PM
Yup, that's Ladino for you! Or Judeo-Spanish if you prefer ;) There is a technical difference, but it seems to be a losing battle, since "Ladino" is so widespread nowadays. My great-grandmother just called it "espanyol".

A very interesting history! They have managed to keep their language and heritage for such a long time. I have met a few in Brazil. Their surnames many times sound Iberian and go unnoticed, such as Calderón, Penso and Calvo, f.e. The most famous Brazilian of Sephardic Jewish ancestry from Turkey and Greece is Silvio Santos (real name, Senor Abravanel). He is a 15th generation descendant of Isaac Abravanel. He also has Ibn Yahya ancestors, another illustrious Jewish family from the Iberian peninsula whose ultimate origins would have come from the Exilarchs.

Silvio Santos, a quite outstanding personality:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3t8xu4Lcusw
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvio_Santos

passenger
07-25-2020, 09:44 PM
I'm wondering if anybody might be able to help me read the blurred Hebrew letters on the tombstone of my 2x great-grandmother. I found the image on an online database and tried to sharpen it, but haven't had much luck.

38706 38707

andyouare
07-26-2020, 11:48 AM
I'm wondering if anybody might be able to help me read the blurred Hebrew letters on the tombstone of my 2x great-grandmother. I found the image on an online database and tried to sharpen it, but haven't had much luck.

38706 38707
What I got so far from first look:

Third line from bottom: בתו מנחם מאן
Daughter of Menachem Mann (?)

Bottom line: תנצבה
Acronoym for "May her soul be bound up in the bond of life"

Targum
07-26-2020, 12:09 PM
Top line says “our Dear Mother Ms.”
Followed by the name
And date of death is 12th of Iyar
Still trying to make out the year

Erikl86
07-26-2020, 01:05 PM
It says from what I could decipher:
"אמנו היקרה ... :
גיטעל ליפריק
בת מנחם מאן
י"ב באייר
תנצבה"

Or:

"Our dearest mother:
Gitel Liprick
Daughter of Menachem Mann
Died in 12th of Iyar, xxxx
May her soul be bound up in the bond of life
"

And then the date in English is:
"Died in May 22, 1x2x".

The year in Hebrew is difficult to decipher, it reads like התרע"ב which would make it 1910-1911, but that's way to close to today for it to be your 2x great grandmother, no?

I tried, based on the number from the Gregorian date, to look at 182x but none of the Hebrew calendar years look like the Hebrew word written there. Do you perhaps know when did she pass away?

passenger
07-26-2020, 03:26 PM
It says from what I could decipher:
"אמנו היקרה ... :
גיטעל ליפריק
בת מנחם מאן
י"ב באייר
תנצבה"

Or:

"Our dearest mother:
Gitel Liprick
Daughter of Menachem Mann
Died in 12th of Iyar, xxxx
May her soul be bound up in the bond of life
"

And then the date in English is:
"Died in May 22, 1x2x".

The year in Hebrew is difficult to decipher, it reads like התרע"ב which would make it 1910-1911, but that's way to close to today for it to be your 2x great grandmother, no?

I tried, based on the number from the Gregorian date, to look at 182x but none of the Hebrew calendar years look like the Hebrew word written there. Do you perhaps know when did she pass away?

Thanks everyone!

The date of death in English at the bottom is 1929, and it says she died at the age of 79. This was my grandmother's maternal grandmother. She came to the United States in 1907, 2 years after her daughter, my great-grandmother, and at that point her age was listed as 55, so it makes sense and would put her year of birth some time between 1850 and 1852.

Her married name was Gitel Lipnik, and I believe her maiden name was Gotlib, so I'm not sure where the "Mann" comes in, if that was meant to be a surname, but the name Menachem lines up with what I've found.

Targum
07-27-2020, 12:37 AM
Yes I wanted to say Lipnik it is a nun

Pylsteen
09-22-2020, 06:01 AM
I came across the Portugese national archive (https://digitarq.arquivos.pt/), where a lot of inquisition processes are digitized. I found a few for my own ancestors under their portugese names (early 1600s). It is interesting to see that in a number of the pieces, names of family members (parents, grandparents, uncles/aunts) of the accused are mentioned, probably with the purpose to keep an eye on them.

Pylsteen
10-13-2020, 06:43 PM
Today I broke one of the Ashkenazi brick walls which I have in 18th century Amsterdam, when assembling pieces together from house transaction registers... and, surprise, surprise, another German line! This time from Westfalen. Now I have about 3/4 of my Ashkenazi ancestry traced back to Germany and Poland. (hotspots: Hessen, Swabia, Alsace). Still 1/4 to go that "suddenly" appeared in Amsterdam and the western Dutch provinces during the 18th century... the ongoing digitalisation really helps (I know I'm spoiled with the Dutch records:))

passenger
10-13-2020, 07:10 PM
Today I broke one of the Ashkenazi brick walls which I have in 18th century Amsterdam, when assembling pieces together from house transaction registers... and, surprise, surprise, another German line! This time from Westfalen. Now I have about 3/4 of my Ashkenazi ancestry traced back to Germany and Poland. (hotspots: Hessen, Swabia, Alsace). Still 1/4 to go that "suddenly" appeared in Amsterdam and the western Dutch provinces during the 18th century... the ongoing digitalisation really helps (I know I'm spoiled with the Dutch records:))


Gefeliciteerd!

passenger
12-02-2020, 05:49 PM
Thought some here might find this interesting/useful: https://semiph.piwigo.com/

It's a gallery of "Sephardic-Mizrahi Postal History and Ephemera", with hundreds of postcards, letters and other documents. Unfortunately it's not so easy to search through, but it's interesting to flip through the images anyway.

passenger
12-16-2020, 08:41 PM
JewishGen has been offering a lecture series, including two lectures on surnames and ethnogenesis by the renowned researcher Alexander Beider. Here's his lecture on Jewish names and general etymology from Eastern Europe:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JmMg0y3bXI&t=1203s

He also did an interesting one today on the Jews of the Ottoman Empire, which I watched live. It's not on Youtube yet, but it should be soon.

Edit: The Ottoman video is now available and posted on the Sephardic thread.

Pylsteen
12-16-2020, 09:12 PM
JewishGen has been offering a lecture series, including two lectures on surnames by the renowned researcher Alexander Beider. Here's his lecture on Jewish names from Eastern Europe:


looks great; the dialectal variation in given names is so large and furthermore there often is an additional worldly form, e.g. in my tree there is a Breinche (Breinle, Brendele, from Brunele "brown") who took on the "wordly" name Branca, which is interestingly a Portugese name, meaning "white".

Some time ago I was on the cemetery visiting the graves of my ggg-grandparents; I don't do that often and it is impressive to look at, all those large standing stones watching at you in silence. There I learnt my ggg-mother's jewish name, which I think was Keila; she used Frederika in worldly life.

Something different: for who knows the Portugese names of their converso ancestors, there might be an inquisition file on them or their familymembers at the Portugese archive, here (https://inquisicao.info/) is a useful search engine. A search for inquisition records in Spain can be done here (http://pares.mcu.es/ParesBusquedas20/catalogo/search).