All posts by Philip

Pre-War Female Jewish Names in Poland

In 1928, the Warsaw Jewish community published a list of Jewish given names, with the name in Hebrew, a transcription of the Hebrew, and the Polish equivalent. The list was intended to show the proper forms of Jewish names, and also included a second larger list of names which were meant to show incorrect alternatives that should not be used.

This is an excellent list, and particularly useful for understanding what names were in use at the time, and for looking up the Polish versions of names (although keep in mind that one’s name in Hebrew need not have mapped directly to the Polish equivalent). The booklet is titled Spis Imion Żydowskich in Polish and לוח השמות העבריים in Hebrew (It actually has a a title page and introduction in Polish on one side, and a title page and introduction in Hebrew on the other side).

Excerpt of Spis Imion Żydowskich

One way to use this list, besides searching for names you might have found in a document or on a gravestone, is to find the canonical name. For example, if you are looking for a relative that you found in a document listed as Libcia or Liwsza, and are looking for their birth record, it’s useful to know that those names derive from Liba.

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Pre-War Male Jewish Names in Poland

In 1928, the Warsaw Jewish community published a list of Jewish given names, with the name in Hebrew, a transcription of the Hebrew, and the Polish equivalent. The list was intended to show the proper forms of Jewish names, and also included a second larger list of names which were meant to show incorrect alternatives that should not be used.

This is an excellent list, and particularly useful for understanding what names were in use at the time, and for looking up the Polish versions of names (although keep in mind that one’s name in Hebrew need not have mapped directly to the Polish equivalent). The booklet is titled Spis Imion Żydowskich in Polish and לוח השמות העבריים in Hebrew (It actually has a a title page and introduction in Polish on one side, and a title page and introduction in Hebrew on the other side).

Excerpt of Spis Imion Żydowskich

I originally found this booklet at the National Archives of Israel in Jerusalem, but I later found a digitized copy posted online the Repozytorium Cyfrowe Instytutów Naukowych (Digital Repository of Scientific Institutes) site.

The original separated ‘correct’ and ‘incorrect’ names into two separate lists (or rather 4 lists as male and female names are separated). I’ve put the two lists together, as well as integrated footnotes that indicated which names were frequently paired with other names.

One way to use this list, besides searching for names you might have found in a document or on a gravestone, is to find the canonical name. For example, if you are looking for a relative that you found in a document listed as Benek or Beno, and are looking for their birth record, it’s useful to know that those names derive from Binjamin.

Continue reading Pre-War Male Jewish Names in Poland
Hebrew Resources

A look at Hebrew resources on this site

As many of you know, I live in Israel, and while I do not speak Hebrew fluently, I have tried to offer Hebrew resources for genealogy. This is both for Israeli genealogists, and for Jewish genealogists everywhere who almost always need some Hebrew skills, whether to transcribe a gravestone or read old documents. For Hebrew-language genealogy I’ve created Hebrew Genealogy Forms, as well as researched and put together the list (and chart) Hebrew family and genealogy terms.

In the B&F Compendium of Jewish Genealogy, there are many Hebrew-language resources spread across the thousands of locations. Some resources are things like Yad Vashem Encyclopedia of the Ghettos articles (only available online in Hebrew), or the web sites of Israeli landsmanshaftn.

As a Mac user, I also have worked through using Hebrew on my Mac when it wasn’t the language I use everyday. For Mac users, I’ve put together Using Nikud (Vowels) in Hebrew on a Mac and Trick to use Hebrew and Yiddish in Adobe InDesign. For all computer users, there is also my article Finding Hebrew Fonts.

Lastly, I have been regularly publishing the top 101 Israeli Jewish boys and girls names when they are released. Most recently these were 101 Most Popular Jewish Boys Names in Israel in 2017 and 2018 and 101 Most Popular Jewish Girls Names in Israel in 2017 and 2018. I’ve also published the 101 Most Common Surnames in Israel (in 2016).

To make it easier to find all of these posts, I have added a page that is simply located at bloodandfrogs.com/hebrew.

I’ve also consolidated several of the site features and categories into a single menu, called Features. So along with the new page on Hebrew Resources, there is also Forms, Search, Names, Naturalization, and Belgium. For a short description of each of these just go to the Features page itself, which gives brief descriptions of each page.

Figuring out the Polish State Archive changes

After my earlier post Changes at the Polish State Archives about the closing of several important record databases at the Polish State Archives, it was pointed out that the database I directed people to use instead, szukajwarchiwach.pl, is also going to be shut down.

szukajwarchiwach.pl on left and szukajwarchiwach.gov.pl on right

It has been announced that that site will be replaced by szukajwarchiwach.gov.pl. The date for that transition has not been announced yet, but hopefully they will not do so before you can do everyone on the new site that you can do on the old site. I’m going to discuss two issues I have with the new site, one very significant, and one perhaps less so, but that still bothers me quite a bit.

You can’t get the same search results

As it currently stands, the new site cannot do the same kinds of searches as the old site. I pointed people to szukajwarchiwach.pl because I was able to show the exact same results from searches on both PRADZIAD and szukajwarchiwach.pl, even if the results were in a different order and format. It does not seem possible to do the same kind of searches on szukajwarchiwach.gov.pl.

For example, in my earlier article, I wrote about searching for all Jewish civil registers (birth, marriage, divorce, death, etc.). Both PRADZIAD and szukajwarchiwach.pl returned 3303 results:

3303 results from both PRADZIAD (left) and szukajwarchiwach.pl (right)
Continue reading Figuring out the Polish State Archive changes

B&F Honored by the IAJGS

I want to thank the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) and the over 80 member societies that make up that organization for honoring this site last night at their annual conference in Cleveland. I am very grateful that this site and the many years of work I’ve put into have been able to benefit so many people, and I am thankful to have that work recognized.

I am sorry I was not able to attend the conference this year, not only because I wasn’t able to accept the award personally (thank you Garri Regev for accepting on my behalf), but because it is always nice to be able to see other genealogists from around the world and to learn from the many lecturers who speak at the conference.

IAJGS President Ken Bravo presenting the Outstanding Project award to B&F

For those who learned about this site from hearing about the award, and are new visitors, see the Welcome page and also the Follow this Blog page for ways you can get updates about what is added to the site (such as via Facebook or Twitter). Also make sure to check out the B&F Compendium of Jewish Genealogy, with over 25,000 resources for Jewish Genealogy.