Gombin Email Exchange Forum, My Message: 30.7.98


Date: Thu, 30 Jul 98 08:25:11 PDT
From: Ada Holtzman - ada01@netvision.net.il
Subject: Shalom Plock (2)... (MITZVA)

Marty wrote:

>Please let me know exactly what is required to help with this. What do you mean by >transliteration? From what to what?

Mindy wrote:
>Please let us know the specifics of the work involved. It might lead to more volunteers.


Dear Marty, Mindi and all the others who wonder what this Shtetl CO-OP is, and wonder if they are CAPABLE of joining the project. I shall try my best to explain, in short(;-) what is this.

It is a giant project of JewishGen aiming to put on the web, in a large database, accessible to everybody, all the indexes of the vital records of the Jews of Poland, available at the Mormons LDS microfilms. I am the coordinator for Plock. The idea is to join people with interest from a certain town which has also vital records of other smaller towns in the surrounding area, in COOPERATION, COLLECTIVE VENTURE. JewishGen intends to post 6 million indexes of vital records, filmed by the Mormons (an estimation) on the web. How can they do it, while it is a voluntary organization?

Nobody pays the leaders of this project any salary. They don't have funds to pay professionals to do it. They rely on simple non-professionals like me and you, with a bit of interest, kind heart and good will, who are ready to spare some of their time and work, for the benefit of the Jewish roots seekers community, now and in the future... NEARLY NO ONE knows Polish, but still manage to decipher the surnames and insert what he deciphers in a template Excel file. This file is added later to JewishGen JRI growing database.
See all about the project in:

Principally, you transliterate, decipher the surname and given name, some other details, like age when Death is concerned, and the AKT nr (the registration number of the vital record itself, which is available later for the researcher of that vital record, at the Mormons LDS center which have a copy of that microfilm).

Special details about my shtetl CO-OP Plock are available at the page I erected now, at:

I have added now there 2 pages with "EXAMPLES". So you can evaluate if you can do the transliteration or not. There I scanned one index page of year 1830/1840 and its transliteration. Of course it is not so easy, as the Polish 150 years old handwriting is very picturesque and creative... So you can always mark the undecipherable surnames and I complete later while doing the proofreading. Note well the first example, Birth records of year 1840.There in the bottom you see the index for the following vital record:



Given Name






Fajge Gitte




Now if a certain ZAMOSC, somewhere in space is really searching his/her roots he can access any of the Mormons LDS in the world and order and xerox the birth certificate itself. In it he/she will find the parents of this Fajga Gitte, the father's profession and town of birth, which I am sure, is GOMBIN! In this way a root searcher may expand his family tree to cover a period of 200 years and more. You will judge if it is important or not... May be now you are not interested, but may be your own grand-children will wonder from where you came - and this is the tool which let you do it, for yourselves and for others as well.

I also included in my page another chapter: "Tips and Help" which will really assist in the transliterations.

In the end, there is a message a friend of mine wrote to his friend, trying to convince him. He is a volunteer, with no connections to Poland. His special writing deserves your attention, for one more moment:


The message:

On Thu, 23 Jul 1998 22:32:08 +0300 Gabriel Lana wrote:

Dear Chaverissimo,
Jjust in case, you are interested to pave nicely your way to the eternal pastures, there is an opportunity. I myself am participating in such a project of Good Deeds too and don't want to be selfish. A lady, who usually answers on the name Ada Holtzman or
ada01@netvision.net.il asked me to "transliterate" a polish text and to put it into EXCEL. It's a huge job of getting the genealogy of Polish Jewry, that is in the meantime on handwritten lists (microfilmed),computerised. So they broke it into pieces.I got several such fotocopies made from the microfilms, which contained the names of all Jews, who were: born, died or married in the year 1836 at the town PLOCK.
Sometimes there was a problem to "decipher" certain names, but with some imagination and with a slight knowledge of my unpolished Polish, I got quite satisfactory results.
If you too would be interested, you can choose another year of happenings in Plock or even ask for another town/village that would be of special interest for you. The "raw material" can be delivered to you by fax. The results can be sent back by E-mail.
Please assist.


So who else joins the jolly Flock of Plock? It is lonely there on the Wisla riverside...

Ada Holtzman


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