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I have always loved cemeteries and lived a few blocks from a really gorgeous one when growing up. As an avid traveler, wherever I go, I visit cemeteries and so I've now been to these in countless states and perhaps two dozen countries. They are poignant. I've always left flowers for the people who seem to have the least and have thought long about the people who once lived in these graves: it's a very human encounter, I think, to spend time in a cemetery.

On FindAGrave, I mainly watch out for my own family -- but -- in the process of that, I frequently stumble over other peoples' families and do my best to help them out as well.

Some of the family names/roots I am looking for, in particular, are: MENAKER (from Minsk area, especially Nesvizh); SELTZER (from Pilviskiai, Lithuania; Minsk area and city; Kletsk, Belarus; Vandziogala, Lithuania; and Grodno area, Belarus -- was ZELTSER or ZELTZER originally); MINSKY from Minsk area, city, possibly Kletsk, and then Kovno (the ones who changed their surname from Seltzer and were well-known in NYC for the theatre); KARABELNIK (from Panemunelis, Panevyezs, Roskiskis, Lithuania, and perhaps adjacent areas -- they moved to South Africa and Israel, with name changed to KATZ); MALATZKY or MALATSKY from Vidzi, Vitebst, Belarus, and Moletai, Lithuania; KHISHIN or CHISHIN (with many spelling variations) from the Minsk area, especially Mir or Nesvizh; ZHUKOVITSKY or ZUKHOVITSKY (with many spelling variations) from the Minsk area, especially Mir; GIRSHOVSKY often spelled HERSHAFSKY from Baranovichi, Belarus. All are close relatives. I am also looking for any surviving GOLDBERG (unchanged name) from Pilviskiai, Lithuania, or the surrounding area in Marijampole, Suwalki, and Kovno, Lithuania. Two other surnames that I am looking for are ISRAELIT from Grodno and JAFFE from Pilviskiai, Lithuania, or nearby.

Please contact me if you have leads.

There are others I may watch out for and odd too because of all of the marriages, branches, and lines that weave in and out.

If I happen to have any graves that you want to have transferred to you, please contact me. My interest is to document and thus honor all those who have died; I am not a collector of graves whatsoever and only focus on the ones that are a bit overlooked that I happen across. I will maintain those I manage very well and will also work with anyone who wants information added or changed, and again, I will transfer to you in almost every case if you ask.

I am an avid genealogist and work with both records and genetics. My own family is a blend of Jewish immigrants (so far all from Lithuania and Belarus), Russian-Germans from the Black Sea (from Speyer/Speier and Landua, Beresan, Ukraine), British Colonial-American settler families and Great Awakening folks, early Irish families who came over on land grants, and Prussian/German Midwestern farmers, particularly in Sangamon Illinois and the surrounding areas. My primary focus is Jewish genealogy as it's often the most challenging. I also tend to focus on New York City, with all of my Jewish great-great-grandparents moving to the lower East Village, which I am familiar with, geographically.

I can read English, French, Spanish, and limited Hebrew, mainly names on gravestones and a few key phrases.

At the end of the day, I'd rather be snorkeling. However, I spend most of my time working as an educator and researcher.


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