Conference to reveal roots of communities

THE history of the smaller Jewish communities in Scotland and Wales, as well as that of Preston, will be highlighted at the Jewish Genealogical Society's northern conference in Manchester later this year.

Dr Nathan Abrams lived above the shul in Aberdeen when he lectured at the local university between 2004-6. It was there that the history lecturer became interested in the annals of the Aberdeen Hebrew Congregation.

He realised that little had been written about small Jewish communities in Ayr, Dundee, Dunfermline, Falkirk, Greenock and Inverness and even those on the Scottish Isles, Borders and Shetlands.

At the conference at Manchester's King David High School on Sunday, June 3 (10am-4.30pm), he will tell their stories as well as those of the North Wales Jewish communities of Bangor, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno and Rhyl, whose history he has researched since moving to Bangor to take up the position of director of postgraduate studies at the National Institute of Excellence in the Creative Industries at the University of Wales.

Blackpool-born John Cowell, now based in Chorley, who teaches family history in Southport and Preston, will tell the conference about the history of the Preston Jewish community.

Other speakers at the conference include Myer Rose, widower of cook Evelyn Rose, who will discuss the genealogy of Jewish food, Stephen Poole on 'Surprising Facts on Birth, Marriage and Death Registrations' and South African-born Sam Aaron on 'Lithuanian Ancestors'.

Also attending to answer genealogical questions will be researcher Jenny Thomas of the BBC series, Who Do You Think You Are?

* Registration details on or from Lorna Kay, 26 Park Lane Court, 462 Bury New Road, Salford, M7 4LP.

Meanwhile, Who Do You Think You Are? is holding a roadshow at Kensington Olympia from May 5-7.

Attractions and exhibits will include The History Channel Theatre, an 'ask the experts' panel, talks, workshops and an historical fashion feature.

Renowned genealogist Nick Barratt and historian David Starkey, amongst others, will be passing on their knowledge, along with some of the celebrities whose lives were changed on the BBC TV series, including David Baddiel and Ian Hislop.

The Jewish Genealogical Society will host a stand at the event, and will launch a new database over the weekend.

* Details: 0870 166 0443 or

Helping out

RAY WALKER of Liverpool wants to help a Glaswegian colleague find an old friend.

"He asked me if I had heard of a Liverpool family called Kaplinski as he had been at Glasgow University in the late 60s with a girl called Mary Kaplinski," Ray of the Port of Liverpool Police said.

"When I said I didn't recognise the name, he said that one of her relatives had been the Lord Mayor of Liverpool in the mid 60s.

"I decided to make some enquiries to see if I could surprise my friend. I discovered that there was a Lord Mayor called Mr L Kaplin around 1964/5, but I have been unable to progress beyond that.

Write to Ray Walker, Ch Officer, Port of Liverpool Police, Police HQ, Maritime Centre, Seaforth, Merseyside L21 1JD or

Moved to Leeds

HAROLD BERMAN of Australia is trying to trace part of his family who emigrated to Leeds during the early part of the 1900s from Lithuania.

The people involved were the brother and sister of his grandfather Meier Leibe Lifschitz.

His grandfather, grandmother and eight of their children emigrated to South Africa during the early part of the 1900s. One passport was in the name Iser Lifsic in Kovna stating that his area of domicile was Sauliai (Leida).

The brother's name was Israel and the sister married a Mr Alpert. The two entered the UK under the name of Shilansky, as there were relations of that name who had settled in Leeds previously.

Harold has found an Israel Shilansky, who changed his name to Isador sometime between 1930to 1936. He found this information from the marriage records of two of his children, Harry and Rebecca, who both married at New Central Synagogue, Wintoun Street.

An Aunt Rose moved to Leeds just after the First World War also under the surname of Shilansky and married Hyman Miller.

They had two daughters Anita (born 1923, died 2006) and Beatrice (born 1929). They lived at 26 Elmete Avenue, Roundhay Park. Harold believes that he is also related to a Rabbi Hurwitz of Leeds, who has two children, Vivien and Marcia.

Write to PO Box 732, Maroubra, NSW, 2035, Australia, email or telephone 00612 9661 3460.

Lost touch

Brenda Habshush of Israel wants information on her paternal grandfather Simon Bernstein.

He was born in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, and married Annie Lightman from Vilna.

Brenda discovered that two Bernstein brothers living in Brooklyn were possibly brothers to her grandfather.

According to the Ellis Island database, Leib Bernstein from Kremenchuk emigrated to New York in 1912. His brother Aron was already living in Brooklyn. Their father was named Israel.

"I am interested to hear from possible decendants of these Bernstein families," Brenda said.

Simon and Annie's firstborn son, Harry, left Leeds for New York in 1915. Harry died having lost touch with his family.

Muriel Ross (nee Bernstein), aged 91, Harry's youngest sister living in Leeds, still hopes for information about American relatives.

Write to Kibbutz Sde Boker, Israel and email


Rae's relatives

GLASWEGIAN Harvey Kaplan is seeking relatives of Rae Rychel, who married David Kaplan, then Robert Livingston.

Email or telephone 0141 649 4526.

Woolf hunt

NEIL BARMANN of New Jersey is looking for information on the Phillips and Woolf families from London and/or Manchester.

He believes that Nathan Phillips and Eve Woolf were married at the Great Synagogue in London in the 1860s. At some time after the marriage, they moved to Manchester, where their son Tobias was born in September, 1870.

Their address at the time was 5 Stocks Street, Cheetham, Manchester. The family believes that Nathan was a descendant of Moses Phillips, a Hebrew scribe.

Tobias emigrated to America and lost contact with his family. Tobias may have had a brother known as Tony, but this has not been confirmed. Tobias was Neil's maternal grandfather.

Write to 2196 Hemlock Farms, Lords Valley, Pennsylvania, USA or email

Graveyard mystery

HAROLD POLLINS of Oxford wants to solve a graveyard mystery.

He says there is a small tablet on the grave of Samuel Davis in Edmonton Cemetery, London, who died on May 5, 1921.

The tablet is in memory of Barney Davis, son of Samuel and Mary Davis who was killed in action on August 23, 1918 in his 23rd year. There is no official record of the death of a soldier with that name on that date.

Write to 50 Ash Grove, Headington, Oxford OX3 9JL or email

Snipper search

Alyson Snipper Pichon of France wants to make contact with anyone who knows the Snipper or Kolinsky families who lived in Swansea, Wales.

Alyson's great grandfather Louis Snipper had many siblings who have emigrated to America, Canada, Australia and South Africa.

Write to La Vannetiere 14220, St Martin de Sallen, France or email

Old friend

ANNE STENTON of Australia is looking for an old friend. Anne was friends with Maurice Cohen 45 years ago in Manchester. She moved to Australia 37 years ago.

Write to 6,4-6 Wright Street, Fairy Meadow, NSW 2519, Australia or email

Cousin Lillian

Norman Goldberg of Edinburgh is seeking his cousin Lillian Goldberg, possibly now McKechnie, who lives in Glasgow.

She is the daughter of Elaine Brodie and Max Goldberg. Max is the son of the Ben and Jean Goldberg of Glasgow and the brother of Alex and Solly.

Write to 18 Abercorn Crescent, Edinburgh EH8 7HR, telephone 0131 6611541 or email

Hull rabbi

CHERIE ALLEN of California is the great granddaughter of a former Hull rabbi.

She said: "My great-grandparents went from Russia to Hull and my grandparents then went to Manchester. Their family name was Brody or Brod."

Her father's side of the family, Aaronberg or Anenberg, also moved to Manchester.

Cherie would also like to find any of the Brown or Hymanson family still living in Manchester related to her.

Write to 82 Begonia Place, Ventura, CA 93004, USA, telephone 001805 647-8493 or email

Blacher to Blackstone

Selwyn Blackstone of Australia is searching for the Blackson/Blackstone family which lived in Glasgow in the 1960s.

His grandfather Samuel (Simcha) Blackstone (Blackson) emigrated to England possibly with his father Moses. A document Selwyn has refers to the last place of residence as Bialystok, Russia. Samuel was born 1877. The original family name may have been Blacher.

Samuel married Edith Grushlavsky (Grosse) in Bangor, Wales, in 1899 and left for South Africa around 1901.

Write to PO Box 8670, Armadale 3143, Melbourne, Australia or email

To make an appeal, email MIKE COHEN at Please include your home address.

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