Snyder/Gouline/Highstein/Bass - 2020 New Year Genealogy Letter

Happy New Year to my Family,
 
For this year's Genealogy update, again I choose to focus on the towns of Birzia in Lithuania and Kremenets in Ukraine.
 
Last year, I talked about Birzia from the perspective of Charles Highstein as well as Helen, and their Aunt Hannah Sandler and Uncle Morris Highstein. Hannah Gnendel (née Chait) Sandler took on a special meaning for me this past year. Her great-great granddaughter, Melanie is a fellow genealogist. Melanie organized a get together in Bethesda with me, her sister Allison, her Uncle Marc and his kids. We had a wonderful time chatting about family relationships and comparing some family lore. I am so excited that there are a number of young people including Melanie, that have taken an interest in the Mitzvah of remembering our ancestors (http://www.zchor.org/KURZ.HTM).
 
Hannah Sandler also brings special meaning to me this year, because of the birth of Hannah Jane, my grand-niece (b. 11/21/2019), who I've been told is named for my mother's sister Harriet Gwendolyn (née Highstein) Brown, who was named for Hannah Sandler. Hannah and her sister Riley brought the joy of children's laughter to this year’s Chanukah celebration as another generation extends my family tree upwards.
 
Finally, Birzia provides an interesting twist in my family ancestry. It seems that my Grandmother Lena (née Bass) Snyder's sister, Ida Friedman's husband was born in Birzia before moving to Pakruojis, Lithuania where they married in the lovely Synagogue that Carol and I visited. This delightful connection to Birzia brings an added meaning as both my Mother and Father are connected to this charming little town.
 
This past year, I attended the International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies (IAJGS) again, this time in Cleveland. A meeting in Cleveland is much different than going to Warsaw, but I found that I attended many more sessions. As with many non-profit, volunteer-run organizations they are always looking for people to step-up and help with the work efforts. IAJGS works closely with JewishGen which hosts much of the research data collected about the Jewish people worldwide. JewishGen organizes itself mostly through Kehila (Hebrew for community) Groups, often grouped by location. I belong to Kehila groups at the shtetl, district, region, province, and country level in both Ukraine and Lithuania. However, I was recruited by the Kremenets District Research Group (KDRG) to serve on their Board of Directors and assist with 2 of their major initiatives.
 
KDRG services a large swath of Volynia where my Great-Grandmother Rachel (née Oks) Gouline has family origins. The first project, I'm working on is the Cemetery Project. Our goal is multifaceted:
1) Photograph and transliterates all the Matzeva (head/foot stones) and submit to JOWBR (Jewish Online Worldwide Burial Registry);
2) Fence in, cleanup, and arrange for the care of Cemeteries within the Kremenets District; and
3) Upright fallen and overturned Matzeva to ready them for cataloging.

So far, I've been responsible for cleaning up and preparing the records for more than 3,800 gravestones in the 5 - Kremenets, Vishnevets, and Yampol Jewish cemeteries. I'll be preparing data for another five cemeteries this next year.
 
I'll also be assisting with a second project of organizing all KDRG records (birth, death, census, tax, etc.) to build a district-wide tree of the Jewish people.
 
On other news, I recently found a Yizkor book for the shtetl of Zholudsk, which is just to the northeast of Lutzk in Ukraine, that contains references to the Galon (Gouline) family. Arye Galon, who survived the Holocaust, was a contributor to this book. I found that he settled in Petah Tikva, Israel. I've tracked down some of his dependents, but they have not done any genealogy. I've prepared a letter to send to them to solicit information and to ask for a DNA submission to find out if this is where my Great-Grandfather Jacob Gouline comes from. Wish me good luck.
 
As for extending my family tree, most of my efforts over the last year have been tracing relationships to cousins. The benefit of this research is to use their research to help me with my own tree and research on ancestors. My biggest breakthrough has been finding Bass family ancestors going back to 1750 thanks to finding family in Pakruojis, Lithuania. I can now trace 6 of my 8 Great-Grandparent’s families back to the 1700’s.
 
My effort to look for source data for the Krieger-Katzenellenbogen connection as I seek to validate my line to RASHI, continued this past year and looks to be an ongoing challenge. I’m glad to work with an Altschul family genealogist on this effort.
 
I have been invited by my Temple to teach a three-day class on Jewish Genealogy in June as I hope it will inspire me to submit a paper for the 2021 IAJGS conference. I'm still debating attending the 2020 IAJGS conference in San Diego. Either way, I'll be participating through my work with KDRG.
 
Lastly, if anyone has or plans to do DNA analysis, I'd appreciate your sharing with me as it helps in validating my research and often helps in tracking down cousins who may have genealogy information to help me out.
 

For a complete list of KDRG resources, including links, see the "All Resources" page on our website. Proofed records are available to all. Unproofed records are available on the KDRG Contributors Site (for those who have donated money or services during the previous two years). Names and towns from all records are searchable in the Kremenets Concordance Database Index.



Love to All, and a Shanah Tovah Umetukah!
Michael
 
Researching: Snyder, Highstein, Gouline, Bass, Bashes, Musicant, Oks, Khait, Galon, Shenker, Kreiger, Paliukar, Zaidel, Kats, Tamshe, Altschul, and Khazan.
In Lithuania: Birzai, Pasviten, Linkova, Pasvalys, Krekenava, Kaunas, Pumpėnai, Pakruojis and Varniai.
 
Researching: Gouline, Galon, Oks, Gertsberg, and Shkurnik
In Ukraine: Radyvyliv, Lutzk, Kremenets, and Zholudsk.
 

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