Genealogy: L'Dor V'Dor - From Generation to Generation

This page was last updated on 17 AUG 2009

I have walked through many lives, some of them my own, and I am not who I was, though some principle of being abides, from which I struggle not to stray.

From THE LAYERS in The Poems of Stanley Kunitz 1928-1978

The top bar is a menu. Click on it to go to the genealogy page described. There are seperate databases.
Family names available on each site:
Family Names of Shchedriners

My paternal antecedants from Lepel' and Chasnik. ONIKUL, SVERDLOVE, DAVIDSON, and their descendants PAPERMAN, DICKMAN.  Login 

My maternal antecedants from the shtetl Shchedrin, Parichi and Bobruisk DENBURG (and FINKELSTEIN), ROTHMAN (and RIFKIN), and all the families from the Russian Empire province of White Russia (formerly the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) shtetl Shchedrin.  Login 

I have a world-wide collection of Swerdlow/Sverdlov variants and their descendants, SVERDLOV/SWERDLOW/SWERDLOFF etc. A substantial part of SVERDLOV and SCADRYN began with material excerpted from original data.  Login 

My friend Jane Simon's family had a wonderful genealogy producted 60 years ago. I started with Teller Family in America - 100 Years and added to it. That story can be read here: TELLER.  Login 

Additional family names are listed below and/or on the introduction pages to the different databases. The families of my grandchildren and grandnieces antecedants are found under Davidson-Sverdlove Family.

NOTE: E-mail jpegs, GEDCOMs, additions, and correction. Snail-mail photos (which I will return) or any information to be posted. You can fill in this information on-line by asking for a password at the login page. I would like to put up pictures that are old, or show families, or show celebrating holidays and doing interesting activities, and I'll post them. This is a place to write biographies for you descendants.

For Shchedrin shtetl researchers, please e-mail or call me. This database is being updated frequently. I am planning to get stuff like oral interviews onto the site. This is true for everyone interested in any part of any genealogy herein. Harry L. Katz provided the major starting point from annual meetings in the 1970's and '80's. DENBURG (DENBERG, DEMBERG, SVERDLOVE); OKUN (OKLIN); EPSTEIN; GOLD; KATZ; HOLODETZ (and JACOBSON); GORELICK (and GETH, SCHERR, SCHWARTZ); HORELICK; GETH (GUSHIN); OLSHANSKY (and HURVITZ); ERENBERG (and BRINER, KANNER); KITMAN (and KITAIN, MOGALNICK); KAPLAN; SORKIN (MARKWITZ); WERTKIN (and WITKIN).

For Svardloff, Svedloff, Svedlow, Sverdloff, Sverdlov(a), Sverdlove, Sverdlow, Swedloff, Swedlove, Swedlow, Swerdloff, Swerdlov, Swerdlove, Swerdlow, and Swerdlowe and others such as Sweet, first check the complete database in at Sverdlov name I had planned to put individual families under their own way of spelling the name, but decided in mid April 2005 to simply reference the main database.

For anyone remotedly related to me, the complete database, my family & extended family, includes the families of all my former wives (don't ask), my brother-in-law's extended family, Rapp, my son-in-law, and daughter-in-law back to their great-great-great-grandparent's. BROODNEY (and SIMS, PARTRIDGE). SVERDLOVE (THAU, GORDON)

For the updated genealogy of my friend Jane Simon's family, go to Teller Family in America

I believe privacy laws eventually end up protecting the bad acts of public officials and community leaders. But over the past few years, as people have found this database, I have been asked about a dozen times to limit access. Adam Teller Block recently found a new software package called phpGedView and with help from my webhost Max Sverdlove, it was tested December 31, 2006. I messed up an upgrade around July 2007. As of mid-November 2008, I have it working but the links to media need corrections.
Choose database under Welcome
The picture is of my mother's mother, Zlate Rakmanov nee' Denburg (in Shchedrin) about 1911. She is with my mother's older sister, Sarah and brother Aryeh (Harry). This may have been for the passport to Montreal. She was buried in Queens, New York as Zelda Rothman.
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THANK YOU THANK YOU and THANK YOU again for the wonderful job you are doing. Having my family on the website makes me feel grounded, like actually seeing one's roots. Your tremendous task is most impressive and wonderful for all of us who are a part of this. Best wishes for continued health and Good Work, Regards, C.Z.S.
I was tearful as a searched your website and found an image of a 3x5 card with my dad's name and notes from 1981. He died March 26 '05. I will gather my information and send it on to you. I have done a family tree in the past so I'll give you everything I know.
Subject: Genealogical Films at the 26th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy in New York City. August 13-18, 2006 (Av 19-24 5766).
From: Pamela Weisberger

As those of you who attended the recent IAJGS conference in New York know, we screened 20 films related to Jewish genealogical, historical and research topics, covering over 16 countries and regions. The feedback we got on these films was excellent, and many attendees lamented the fact that there was not enough time to catch every screening.

There were also many genners who could not attend the conference, but expressed interest in learning more about these films, so I'm posting information on how to order them for home video use and/or for screenings for your local Jewish genealogical society, library, Hadassah, or Jewish community groups, with or without the filmmakers as speakers. All are good options for learning more about the subjects these films cover, spreading the word about filmmaking as an adjunct to research and increasing your knowledge base on genealogical subjects.

I've indicated the countries covered in the films in caps, the film's cost if it is known, and the filmmaker's name where I had direct contact with them in putting together this program. If the film or filmmaker has a website, I've also indicated that. If there is not website, the distribution company can put you in touch with the filmmaker if you have questions.

The following seven films can be purchased at home video prices (usually in the $30 range) or for group rentals from " Cinema Guild.
Contact Stephanie Houghton at: shoughton@!

My Grandfather's House (Eileen Douglas/Ron Steinman)
Lithuania Dancing With My Father (Marcia Rock)
Slovakia/USA L'Chayim, Comrade Stalin (Yale Strom) Jewish Autonomous Region/ Siberia/Soviet Union
Voices of the Children Theresianstadt, Czech Republic
In Vienna They Put You in Jail: The Max Birnbach Story, Austria
Luboml: My Heart Remembers (Eileen Douglas, Ron Steinman) Poland Chaim Rumkowski and the Jews of Lodz, Poland

Pearl Gluck's "Divan" (Hungary) can be purchased through Amazon, or through the distributor, Zeitgeist Films. Contact Clemence Taillandier at clemence@!, or visit the website:
Pearl's website is: ""
which provides detailed information and Pearl's contact info.

Danish filmmaker, Casper Hoyberg's "My Jewish Grandfather" (Latvia/Israel/Russia) can be purchased from me for $20 per copy. Contact me by email: pweisberger@!

Yaron Zilberman's "Watermarks,"(Austria) about the women's Hakoah swim team in 1930s Vienna can be purchased from the distributor Kino films. Contact Jessica Rosner: jrosner@!

Website is: ""
where you can view a trailer of the film.

"Into the Arms of Stangers: Stories of the Kindertransport," (Austria, Germany, England) "The Last Days," (Hungary, Transcarpathia, Ukraine) "The Forgotten Refugees," Middle East, North Africa, Palestine Mandate, Israel) can be purchased through Amazon, or other DVD online retailers by doing a Google search on the name of the film and the word "purchase."

Websites for these are: ""

Jay Heyman's "Bernie," (New York/USA) about his grandfather who was raised in NYC's Jewish Orphan Asylum can be purchased directly from the filmmaker for $30 at: jayheyman@!
Website is: ""

Menachem Daum's "Hiding and Seeking: Faith and Tolerance After the Holocaust," (New York/USA/Poland) can be purchased from First Run Features, Phone: (212) 243-0600

The film's website is: ""

Yale Strom's film "The Last Klezmer" (Galicia/Poland) can be purchased from Yale by contacting him at: Yitztyco@!, and check out his website, for his other films: ""

"I Remember Jewish Drohobycz" (Galacia/Ukraine) ($12) through me: pweisberger@!

"Genealogy Anyone: Twenty Five Years in the Life of the JGSLA" (Los Angeles/ /USA/Eastern Europe) ($20) can be purchased through the Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles (JGSLA) at: treasurer@j!

"Poumy" (France/French resistance)is available through Filmakers Library: info@! website: ""

Kupishok: For Eternal Memory (Lithuania) is available through The National Center for Jewish Film: ""

Please remember that purchasing a home video copy of the film does not give you the right to show it at a public meeting. The film's distributors have special film rental rates for those types of gatherings, even if you do not charge for attendance. Contact the filmmakers and/or the distribution companies for those prices.

Remember, also, that many Jewish community libraries throughout the country own these videos and will lend them to you for free, just as they lend books. The Jewish Community Library in Los Angeles offers this excellent service to anyone in the United States. For more info go to:

Also check out the " The National Center for Jewish Film at Brandeis University:
and Video Judaica at ""

A few of these films are also offered by NetFlix and larger public libraries, Jewish historical societies, etc.

Pamela WeisbergerFilm Coordinator, IAJGS Conference


My name is Andrew Ira Sverdlove. I live at 1 Franklin Ave, Apt. 3-F; White Plains, New York 10601-3808). Cell Telephone 917.863.4559. e-mail

This is a work in process.


Family Group Record - pbs kbyu  print and mail as many FGS as you can for each family branch or email the information; or click on Pedigree Chart - pbs kbyu

If you do not have Acrobat reader, go to download Adobe Reader

1. Origin of the name Sverdlov.
Two theories. Viking and Toponym(Excerpts from A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire by Alexander Beider. Avotaynu, 1993)

2. What life was like in Russia-Poland (White Russia) in 1850.
A Story - Excepts from Yesterday, A Memoir of a Russian Jewish Family by Miriam Shomer Zunser and How I Wrote My Songs by Eliakum Zunser(1840-1913). Harper and Row, 1978

3. Laws - Excerpts from The Jew in the Modern World, A Documentary History

     Statutes Concerning the Organization of Jews
     (December 9, 1804)

     Statutes Regarding the Military Service of Jews

     (August 26, 1827)

     The May Laws

     (May 3, 1882)

4. A HISTORY OF RUSSIAN ADMINISTRATIVE BOUNDARIES (XVIII - XX centuries). (by) Irina Merzliakova, Ph. D. Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow and Alexei Karimov, Ph.D., Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow. Excerpted from web site.

Stage of stability (1775 - 1917). In1775 Catherine the Great among other reforms introduced the reform ofadministrative division and boundaries. This reform summarized the long periodof changes. The surveyors of late XVIII - early XIX centuries were to adjustboundary lines in accordance with the lines of rivers and lakes, and to"round" the wedged borders. From one hand, it was the adaptation ofthe conceptual political models to the variety of nature and historic life,from the other - the adjustment and clarification of the very models ofgovernance and regional administration. At that time the administrativeboundaries really became to mean something practical. It was also an attempt todivide the country to the regions with equal population. 41 guberniawere introduced each consisting of uezd and volost'. Thisadministrative division the same as the whole procedure of territorialgoverning in general remained untouched until 1917. During the next 130 yearsonly a few new gubernia had been founded.

5. Under each name are a variety of standard genealogical reports and two name indices created by different programs.

The Brother's Keeper 6 index will let you see Family Group Sheets, these are the basic facts about someone and may include birth date & place, Bar Mitzvah or similar religious events, residences at various times, education, graduation, occupation(s), author (of publications), emigration (from), immigration (to), census data, death, burial (or cremation), cemetery, and "events" for other information.

The second index was made by GED4WEB and has a first name as well as last name searchable datable that links to Pedigree Charts. From these "facts" one can build a chronology. Add some biographical material and you have a story about families.

In addition to these I have tried to have available a variety of reports based on the oldest ancestor. These Descendant reports include a "Modified Register Report (National Genealogical Society Quarterly)" - with photos when I have them; a "Descendant Report (simple)" and a "Descendant Report with Locations"; finally an "Indented Book Report". My Register Books have all the citations of sources and footnotes detailing the information from that source. As people send me family stories of individuals I will include those memories under the persons name.
With the new site I will be able to add audio interviews and family photos and perhaps more.

6. Go to Downloads  or click on Family Group Record - pbs kbyu  print and mail as many FGS as you can for each family branch or email the information; or click on Pedigree Chart - pbs kbyu

If you do not have Acrobat reader go to

7. Where does this information come from? I started collecting my Denburg family trees in the early 1950's. This is my maternal grandmother's side of my family. My Tante Reizel (great-aunt Rose) was my grandmother figure. I started computer program use in the 1980's. On-and-off over the years I have gather information from telephone books, city, state, and federal archives, research libraries. A major source was and continues to be, the archives of the Family History Library, research center's of the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormon's). I researched government archives in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia; I have been to the Library of Congress, National Library, Philadelphia Free Library, New York Public Library and various National Archives regional offices. NARA Waltham, MA for the St. Albans Canadian border crossing records. Also Pittsfield, MA, Boston, Philadelphia and New York.

In 2003 I computerized "Teller Family in America - 100 Years". I started with records from Jane Simon's Aunt Evelyn Kornberg and used records from Philadelphia Free Library and the Family History Library. I added the immediate family. I was contacted by 95-year-old Lucile Fleisher Bernstein (Wyncote, Pennsylvania) and added research she and her daughter had done on all the branches of her family. That is all under my Teller data.

In 2005 I started the web site because I am digitizing the family trees and records of descendants from Shchedrin (near Bobruisk, Belarus). These are handwritten family trees collected at gathering in Pittsburgh and Florida in the '70's and '80's organized by Harry L. Katz. Starting with these handwritten family trees I search the genealogy web sites for Census, telephone directories, immigration records, and similar public records. I have a number of errors. The wrong Social Security Death Index or a Census records for a similarly named person, a mistake in spelling, etc. For these I apologize.

The most important contribution is from people who are alive and can share the family tree and stories. Since there is nothing collected about people's financial affairs, there is no interest from those who want to steal a credit card, bank account, etc.

The part of our heritage that fascinates me most are the stories of the generation that left Europe and started a new life elsewhere. My favorite web page is the

I hope you will contact me and update and correct the family tree and perhaps send along the story you like. If you give me all sides of the tree I will include it.

I went to the Bar Mitzvah of my childhood friends' grandson in October 2005. He had to do a family tree for a school project. With my help we produced a tree going back five generations!

Why? My obsession/hobby may be rooted in a desire to preserve our heritage; the wanderings, sometimes thrown out, sometimes for economic reasons. The stories, sometimes told, often implied by life events.

We used to have extended and large families. Now we are often small, and disbursed. This genealogy allows someone to follow a family line and see how we have changed from large families in one town to small families scattered around the county and even the world.

I became interested in my family from my maternal grandmother's sister (Tante Reizel Weiner nee' Denburg). I would bicycle to her two-family home on Summit Avenue in Mt. Vernon, New York from Pennington School, my Elementary School. I would delight in her fine, home-made pastries, and ask her to tell me stories about growing up in Shchedrin, a shtetl in today's Belarus. It was unique in that the Jewish inhabitants owned. That was 1950 and I was 10-years-old. Over the years I asked cousins about other cousins; Aunts about siblings. Pretty soon, it gets like a gigantic jog-saw puzzle. At first, my records were hand-written box charts. I stopped for a little over 10-years then retired. I am currently working on that shtet and ALL it's descendants. Of course, that will never happen 100%, but I have dozen's of family names from the original 300 settlers in the 1840's and 1850's. Since most clans intermarried, there are repetitive surnames in everyone's genealogy. Enough of that database.My father, Harry (Hirsch) was born in Lepel'. When his father (Louis (Nachum Leyb) was in the Russian army he meet and befriended the brother of his future wife, Sonya DAVIDSON. Dad grew up in Montreal and loved meeting his cousins. Perhaps because Sonya, his mother, died so young (she was only 38-years-old), dad was well acquainted with many cousins. My father emigrated to Brooklyn, New York at 18. I, during my youth, was introduced to these dozens of cousins in New York, Montreal, and Florida.

NOTE: E-mail jpegs, GEDCOMs, additions, and correction. Snail-mail photos (which I will return) or any information to be posted. You can fill in this online form with genealogies for each family.

 Polish Jews in Buffalo

      Excerpts from
     Second Looks: A Pictorial History of Buffalo and Erie County, by Scott Eberle and Joseph A. Grande. Donning Co., 1993, p. 85

     The census of 1850 lists only fifty people born in Poland, and these were not the Roman Catholic peasants we most often think of as Polish immigrants, but Yiddish-speaking Jews who fled persecution and discrimination in the Russian-Polish pale of control. Czar Nicholas I broke his covenant not to draft Jews into the Russian army before they were granted civil rights, and this prompted others to leave.

     After 1830 the Niagara Frontier settled rapidly. The population of Buffalo, for instance, doubled, doubled, and then doubled again in the first three decades after it was incorporated. The county experienced growth that was only slightly less dramatic.

     The many new households demanded all the little useful utensils, "Yankee notions," and modest fineries that elevated material life in a frontier and boom town. The invention of the department store was decades off, so peddlers supplied these needs. Many of the peddlers were Jews.

     With a small investment in goods, and a sturdy pair of shoes, (later, perhaps, a wagon) peddlers on the Niagara Frontier looked forward to quick returns. However profitable, this life was not easy. It required a great deal of time away from home.

     Jewish peddlers endured anti-Semitism that denied them credit (a special disadvantage to peddlers). Nevertheless Jewish immigrants from Poland prospered in this occupation. Over time they established a stable community.

 Some genealogical links

Links to external sites are notoriously difficult to maintain and to keep accurate. If you find that any of the following do not work properly, please notify me, and I will chase down the new URL (Internet address) to the best of my ability. If, on the other hand, you are aware of a newer address, I would be grateful for such information. Click on name and it will open a new browser window.

Web sites