Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday's Tip ~ Using JewishGen Gazetteer

My husband's great uncle Sam Handler reported his birthplace as "Erdvick, Hungary" on his 1919 Naturalization Papers.

From the Declaration of Intention (December 31, 1912)

From the Petition for Naturalization (March 20, 1919)

From WWII Draft Card
However, by the time he had to provide information for the World War II Draft Registration, he reported that he was born in Illok, Hungary, which is where his brother, Joe Handler reported he was born. (See Josef's passenger list and naturalization papers.)

I had not had luck finding a community with the name of Erdvick, and I thank the reader of my blog who was a little more creative with looking for this community and searched for Erdevick at the JewishGen Gazetteer.

The result looks like this:

Erdevick is in what is now Serbia.

Illok (or Ilok) is in what is now known as Croatia:

Ilok is about 16 km or 10 miles north of Erdevick.

So today's tip is to remember to be creative as you search for a Jewish community in the JewishGen database. The spelling may not be what you think it is.

Update / clarification: Be aware of the different search methods drop-down box at the bottom of the search screen AND if you think you know the general area of the community, in this case, possibly near Ilok, use an online map, like Google Maps to scan for the community name.


  1. Good tip. I had difficulty locating a hometown handwritten on a passenger list as "Kofrts"... Then I happened to see a post on someone with the same surname that cited Kopys (now Kopistche, Belarus). Bingo.

    1. I've found that with practice, I'm getting better at figuring out how to "guess" a foreign location.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.