This is the second edition of the Vaysman family tree book originally published by me in 2013. There were a few white sports in that research. Since then, I was able to find more information, and the tree is finally complete. I found Raphael Weisman, and learnt about a lost branch of Wolf Vaysman who immigrated to South Africa at the turn of the 20th century. Silvia Spoliansci (Gersh Vaysman descendant) contacted me from Germany after reading the book. Susan Weis from Argentina similarly found me, and she provided some information about another lost, as I thought, branch of Samuel Weisman (Azriel Vaysman descendant). I found Katelyn Michelle Richmond on ansectry.com as my distant cousin. She is a descendant of Haskel Vaysman (Hershel Vaysman (White). Instead of statistics, that is rather out of date, I added beautiful photos, which I collected from different relatives, whom I gladly thank for that.
Chapter 1. Introduction
About the Author
Dear friends, family and all readers,
My name is Ella Romm. My maiden name is Vaysman. I was born in 1966, in a small Russian town of the Rostov-on-Don region, named Sholokhovskiy. My father Yuliy Vaysman relocated to Sholokhovskiy from Kishinev, Moldova, where he was born, spent his childhood and early adulthood together with many other Vaysmans. In 1993, my family immigrated to the United States. I had been living in New York for 15 years and then moved to San Diego, California in 2007. I am a medical doctor, a poet, a researcher.
The subject of my latest research that started in 2010 is the Vaysman family ancestry along with the Bessarabian Jewish heritage. This book is a summary of how and what I was able to dig on the subject. Working on the book, I not only brought to light the life of our ancestors, but also met interesting people, restored lost connections and made many friends. I became deeply attached to every person in the family tree, no matter living or dead long time ago, met in the past or will not be seen ever. In the process, a terrific family reunion was held on October 26, 2012 in HodHaSharon, Israel where more than 70 people came together.
Some data in this book can be incorrect. I would appreciate any amendments and additions sent to me by the readers.
My address is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find me on Facebook as Ella Romm Vaysman.
My family history is a precious jewel I possess and want to share with you.
How It All Started
Vaysman family tree I built on ancestry.com includes more than 4500 people. Not all of them related by blood, of course, but rather by marriages. More than 300 of them are related by blood.
It all began with my father"s memoirs that I wrote down and published on Internet. His mother, Anne Vaysman (Meites), whose family stories were recorded on tape long time ago, in turn, inspired my father. Thanks to these stories, I knew there were four siblings on the top of the family pyramid: Mendel, Hoskel, Azriel and the sister Anerosya.
My family was descendants of Mendel, so it was not hard to build that part of the tree. Usually this is where people stop their research. I had a desire to dig deeper. I learned that Azriel"s children went to Australia, Hoskel"s to Argentina and USA and Anerosya"s to Israel. I was also aware that Azriel had a son Pinya, Anerosya had five children, among them Kenya, Gersh and Shimon, and Hoskel was visiting his children in America. I discovered another brother Volf, who ended up in South Africa. I did not have any accurate data, rough dates of birth were unreliable, and the only fact I had known for sure was that Vaysman family lived in Kishinev. Anyway, I started.
Sourcing the Data
It is perhaps fascinating that I never used any paid people search services actively advertised online, and so far had not spent a penny on my research. Normally I collect data free of charge from these web sites:
People"s private information has become widely available with the advent of the Internet. I easily collected names, birthdays and places of residence. I copied pictures, learned about the number of children in the families without breaking the law, without asking anybody for information.
How It Worked (Finding the People)
Not everything was as easy as it sounds, of course. I had too little information to start with. The major breakthrough happened when I discovered the Yad Vashem site with the database of Shoah victims" names.
Yad Vashem is the Israel's official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust (Shoa in Hebrew), established in 1953. To my great surprise, all three Vaysman brothers, Mendel, Hoskel and Azriel, were listed in their records.
Pages of Testimony
Father's First Name:
Mother's First Name:
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Spouse's First Name:
Permanent Place of Residence:
Place during the war:
Place of Death:
Date of Death:
Submitter's Last Name:
Submitter's First Name:
Relationship to victim:
Yad Vashem collects data mostly provided by the victims" relatives. Their testimonials gave me the incredible information not only about the victims but also about ther families. Let us look at the Azriel"s son Pinchas testimonial.
This document gave me not only Azriel"s date of birth but also the names of his parents and wife. The original document also pointed to the Pinchas" address in Australia confirming that Azriel"s descendants moved there. Then I just needed some luck. To get in contact with Azriel"s son Pinchas I emailed the Jewish Holocaust Center in Melbourne where the testimonial was filed. I have never got an answer. Not sure if Pinchas was still alive and puzzled by how to proceed with my search, I went to odnoklassniki.ru, a famous Russian social network for the former classmates. There I found 14 Vaysmans living in Melbourne and wrote a letter to each one of them. How lucky! I got a response from two brothers Semen and Michael, seemingly Azriel"s grandsons!
The other main breakthrough happened when I found Hoskel"s profile on myheritatage.com and wrote a letter to his granddaughter Annette Lustgarten, the originator of his record in her family tree. I cannot express how exiting it was when she replied confirming our relationship. She told me about relatives in Argentina and USA and provided with valuable information on them. The tree was growing! In the same period, I found more evidence on Yad Vashem. I stumbled upon Shmiel and Gersh Vaysman"s testimonial about their relatives perished in Holocaust. There were home addresses of both of them. I placed the data of the people of interest on one of the Israeli forums, and with help of other researchers got their phone numbers. In the beginning, I was very shy to make a call, so I asked my father for help. He called Ester Vaysman in Israel and, to his astonishment, she was the one he uses to play with as a child in Kishinev. They talked, and talked, and talked... Ester and her daughter Eugenia helped me in finding the Anerosya"s descendants.
Now I am in contact with families all around the world. I am thanking all of you who took any part in building the tree. My special thanks to Yuliy Vaysman (USA), Annette Lustgarten (USA), Ester Koyfman and her daughter Eugenia Itzhack (Israel), Maya Nave and her husband Shlomo (Israel), Rosita Glyukman and her father Vladimir Shor (Israel), Ruth Vaisman (Argentina), Semen Vaysman (Australia), Shneir Vaysman (Israel), Elik Kamisher (Israel), Stella Kanchik (Israel), Anna Fudman and her son Baruch (Israel), Julia Bustos (Argentina), Biana Shapiro (Israel), Eva Chistova (Russia), Raphael Weisman (South Africa), Silvia Spoliansci (Germany) and Sarita Froimovici (Argentina) for their help and support. The listing could continue but I would just like to thank all those who helped in my research! I also want to pay my deep respect to Gersh Vaysman, Pinchas Vaysman, Shmiel Vaysman and Ida Gabeva. Unfortunately, they are not with us anymore but they had left the information on Yad Vashem in the past so I was able to bring everybody together.
Concerns and Problems in the Research
I can divide my research in two main parts. The easier but also time-consuming part was surfing the web in getting any hints about the relatives. Almost every week I discovered new evidence, new data, or a new person. The other part was talking to the people I found and getting information from them, or confirming the data I already had. I was lucky to become friends with some newly found relatives. They were interested in learning about their past, or just willing to make a connection. Yet most of the people were resistant to any form of communication. Some even doubted our relationship. My letters were often left unanswered, and the communication attempts failed. I was getting frustrated and upset and at times wanted to stop the project. However, I always went back with reassurance and support of my husband Michael Romm who believed in my research and me. Michael offered me help in translation, correcting grammar, and creating graphics for this book. Over time, I grew less sensitive to rejection and more focused on my project itself.
Geography of the Vaysman Family
It was the common believe among relatives that Vaysmans settled in Kishinev long time ago.
Today Kishinev is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Moldova. However, throughout its history the city belonged to a number of counties. Since its foundation in 1436 it was a part of the Principality of Moldavia under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire; from 1812 to 1918 - the capital of Bessarabia, a province of Russia; from 1918 to 1940 - a provincial town of Romania; from 1940 to 1991 - a capital of Moldavian Republic of the USSR.
In this book, I will use Moldova instead of Bessarabia or Romania all the time for the consistency and statistics. I also will use Kishinev without mentioning of the country.
Working with the metric certificates, I found that not Kishinev but another Bessarabian city was our family"s place of origin. All our early ancestors were born in Bendery, lived there through the childhood and moved to Kishinev as adults.
Bendery, also known as Tighina, is located on the western bank of the river Dniester in the historical region of Bessarabia. Most likely Jews came there from Romania and, more precisely, the place called Transnistria.
Vaysmans moved from Bendery to Kishinev in the beginning of the 20 century. Kishinev was a quickly growing provincial capital and could provide better business opportunities as well as the quality of life. For example, my great-grandfather Mendel Vaysman was a resident of Kishinev in 1907 according the Bessarabian Duma Voters List.
At age at Vote:
at least 24
Year of Record:
Tenant (rents an apartment and pays apartment tax)
Romania - Bessarabia Duma Voters List
Life in Bendery and later in Kishinev was not easy. The brutality of pogroms, Soviet repressions, the World War II combined with anti-Semitism forced Vaysmans to emigrate. Only few families are still left in Russia and Moldova, as far as I know.
Presently descendants of our family reside all around the globe, mostly in Israel, USA, Argentina and Australia, but also in Germany, Canada, South Africa, England and Spain.
Prior to the 20th century, all the people from our tree were born in Bessarabia, now Moldova. Then immigration started in the first quarter of the 20th century. The role of Moldova in our family growth was slowly diminishing, until no births in the 21st century.
Names and Their Metamorphosis
Having a last name was atypical for a Jew prior to the late 18th and the beginning of the 19th century. The common practice was to call a person by his or her first name plus the father"s first name on the ritual occasions. For example, Gersh"s son Eliyahu would be called Eliyahu ben-Gersh and his sister Ester would be called Ester bat-Gersh. Such "last names" were one-generational.
Our first known ancestor, who actually had a last name, was already VAYSMAN. Vaysman is a typical two-part Yiddish name that means "wise man" or "white man". A person"s appearance, profession or trades of the character often were used in making their last names. The known fact that our family was heavily involved in the grain processing business led me to the idea that the last name Vaysman was given to accentuate the white color of the flour covering hair and faces of our early ancestors.
I am not sure how "Vaysman" was spelled in the beginning. The earliest Bendery records I found had it as "Visman" rather than "Vaysman" (or "Vaisman"), only later it appeared as "Vaysman" (Вайсман in Russian transcription), but this does not make any difference in the meaning.
Vaysman name has many variations of spellings, depending on the country our relatives lived in or immigrated to, the language they spoke, and even a simple clerical error. In this book, as a matter of convenience, I will be using the spelling from my emigration documents, VAYSMAN. I will also use other spellings known to me: Vaisman, Veisman, Weissman, Waisman, Wajsman and so on.
Due to marriages, our family has expended with many other last names.