Monday, July 9, 2018

Sali Handler's Birth Record

As I noted in a previous post about Regina Handler, I have several images of records from Erdevik, Serbia, and Ilok, Croatia. These communities were both part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 19th and early 20th centuries and part of Yugoslavia for a good part of the 20th century - see Mappy Monday for details.

The following record is a collection of Jewish births from the Ilok, Croatia, Office of the Registrar (according to the Hungarian Databases at JewishGen).

There are five Handler births listed on this birth register and they "belong" to two different, yet related, families. This record is not an original source since the births are recorded in order by family; they must have been copied from other records. The births range in date from March 1849 to November 1854, but this is likely the closest I'm going to get to determining birth information for these relatives of my husband.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Mappy Monday ~ Where the Handlers Were From

Because I am sharing images of vital records for my husband's Handler family, I thought I should refresh my memory (and that of my readers) as to the area that the family lived in.

Surname Saturday ~ Handler Family of Yugoslavia is where I shared the following series of maps showing the border changes.

Macrohistory: Worldhistory is where I found a changing map of Europe from WWI to 2000. I took screen shots and showed where Ilok is situated: at the point of the arrow in each map.

1914: Ilok was in Hungary (Austro-Hungarian Empire)

1919-1938: Ilok was in Yugoslavia

1956: Ilok was still in Yugoslavia

2000: Ilok is now in Croatia, just north of the Serbian border.


Monday, June 25, 2018

Resi Handler's Birth Record

Acquiring records and images is fun. Crafting an accurate citation, entering the information into Family Tree Maker, and analyzing the evidence sometimes gets put off way too long.

I have several images of records from the border area of Ilok, Croatia, and Ljuba, Serbia, where the Handlers lived for a good part of the 19th century and early 20th century and I have only shared a few:

Josef Handler's 1884 birth record is at Use JewishGen Family Finder.
Adolf (Aron) Handler's 1900 death record is at Adolf Handler's Death Record.
Adolf's and Sali's 1882 marriage record is at Wedding Wednesday ~ Adolf Handler and Sali Handler, 1882.

I will be sharing additional record images that I received from the researcher in Serbia who is indexing these records for JewishGen's Hungary Database. This database is growing! There are now records from the office of the registrar in Ilok, Croatia, in addition to those from Erdevik, Serbia.

Two and a half years ago, when I shared the transcriptions or index of birth records for my husband's grandfather, Josef Handler, I only saw transcriptions for Rose (Rosi, born 1883), Joseph (Josef, born 1884), and Sam (Salomon, born 1887). I wondered why their younger sister, Regina, born in 1891, didn't appear. The suggestions in the comments were great, but it turned out that her birth was recorded in Ilok, not in Erdevik, and it doesn't appear in the JewishGen Hungarian Database, but I found it in one of the digital images that was sent to me.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Happy 7th Blogiversary to A Jewish Genealogy Journey

I started this blog seven (!) years ago to share stories of my husband's family and to share the research strategies I have used to discover these ancestors, cousins, and their stories.

I took a brief hiatus from blogging last summer when I spent 15 weeks obtaining my certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University. And this week, I officially begin my participation in the next session of the ProGen Study Group. I'm excited for this new educational opportunity but will keep blogging, as ProGen is not quite as time consuming as the B.U. course.

Some favorite blog posts of mine from this past year include a series of posts about connecting with a genetic relative:

Analyzing a DNA Match
Analyzing a DNA Match - Who is the Common Ancestor
Wordless Wednesday ~ Half-Sisters and Half-Cousins

I keep hoping to connect with more DNA cousins, but it's a challenge when the shared DNA is a small amount. I recently created a DNA Toolbox on this blog, which is as much for my reference as it is for my readers!

Thank you for continuing to read my blog even though the posts are infrequent.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

DNA Toolbox

I've been interested in DNA testing and analysis for several years (and for many genealogists, it takes several years to really understand how to use DNA).

At the top of my blog, I have added the tab called DNA Resources. Last year, I added a DNA Toolbox to my other blog, From Maine to Kentucky, and I thought that a DNA Toolbox would be helpful for me and my readers at this blog. Many of the resources are the same: links to my favorite genetic genealogy blogs and links to some online video resources, but, of course, on this blog, I include links to all the posts I have written about DNA in my research on my husband's family, as well as links to a couple of blogs that include posts about genetic genealogy with a Jewish focus.

I will add to this toolbox in the future when I find new resources for DNA.

If you have a great online resource for DNA, especially with regards to Jewish genetic genealogy, let me know and I will add it.

Remember, once your results are in (from whatever test you have taken), please upload them to, where you can take advantage of other DNA analysis tools and find cousins who have tested at other DNA companies.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday ~ Unknown Child

This photograph came to me from my mother-in-law. She thinks it might be one of her mother's Litwin cousins. There is nothing written on the back. I love the bell being used as a prop to keep the child occupied during the photography session!

Could this be a child of Samuel Litwin and Sophie (Levitas) Litwin of Newark, New Jersey? Their children were David Litwin (b. May 1896), Moses Litwin (b. 1907), and Jeanette Litwin (b. 1910).

I have written about the Litwins at:
Sunday's Obituary ~ Samuel Litwin, 1935
Workday Wednesday ~ Assemblyman David Litwin

M. Olesky, the mark of the photographer, is likely Morris Olesky, found in the 1900 and 1910 U.S. Federal Census with occupation of photographer, but not found in the Newark, New Jersey, city directories for this period of time. Too bad the lower right hand corner has broken off; I wonder if there was additional information there.

If you know who this child is or if you descend from Samuel and Sophie Litwin of Newark, New Jersey, please contact me at elizhandler -at-

Monday, April 16, 2018

DNA Matching at FamilyTreeDNA

I received an email from FamilyTreeDNA last week notifying me of changes that they are offering in their Account Settings. I manage several different kits there and thought I'd take a look at what my settings are.

I did this for all of my accounts on Friday. It's a good idea to review your privacy settings for your online accounts every so often (especially for social media accounts).

At FamilyTreeDNA, under Privacy & Sharing, the first section is "Matching Preferences," where you choose what level of matches you want to see. What you choose here also affects who will be able to see and compare their results with yours.

In the screenshot below, I have added the rest of the sentence that is covered by the informational "balloon."

The choices are:

For my son, I guess I had selected Close & Immediate. What happened is that when I logged in yesterday, I found that he had fewer matches than I expected due to the change I made.

Out of curiosity, I explored what his number of matches would be under each setting.

Level of Sharing Total Matches Paternal Maternal Both
Immediate Only 9 3 5 1
Close & Immediate 12 4 7 1
Distant, Close & Immediate 1,116 889 195 1
All Levels 9,264 4,773 898 3

My comments and observations:
  • Paternal and Maternal matches appear for my son because I have set up a small family tree for him, linking my husband and me to him. FTDNA uses this information to "phase" the tester's results so they can see if a match comes from their father's or their mother's DNA.
  • The 1 "Both" match at the first three levels is his brother, who is also linked to him in his tree.
  • There are many more paternal matches than maternal matches because my husband is Ashkenazic Jewish (endogamy) and I have British Isles and Western European ancestry. (Colonial New England ancestry has some endogamy but not as much as Ashkenazic Jewish.)
  • "All Levels" includes "Speculative" matches. There are enough matches at the Distant, Close & Immediate level of sharing for me to look through (though I doubt I'll ever get to match number 1,116) that I don't need people who match my son as a speculative match to be thinking we can find a common ancestor easily.
I certainly want to find matches, but I don't know as I need to be exploring a possible relationship with a speculative match to my son, especially through my husband, for whom I can only go back a few generations. I will note that for my husband's Family Finder matching settings, at All Levels, he has 14,731 matches, but at Distant, Close & Immediate, he has only 2,522 matches.

I wrote a blog post explaining endogamy at Jewish DNA and Endogamy ~ One Example back in March 2017, when my husband had "only" 9,902 matches.