GEOGRAPHIC REGION OF UKRAINE G.N.D.B.
In general, the region covered by this GNDB is the Ukraine of today. However, a strip-region (called "Little Russia" by Jews) in Eastern Ukraine is included in the Lithuanian Yiddish dialect area, and a second region in Western Ukraine was part of East Galicia. The East Galicia region is split by a vertical line such that Jews in the west part of this East Galicia strip used the Polish/Galician Yiddish dialect, while Jews in the small east part used the Ukraine Yiddish dialect. You should use a map to understand where these regions are. Little Russia in East Ukraine may be defined approximately by a straight line connecting Cernigov (30 40 E, 51 20 N) on the north border of Ukraine, to Taganrog (39 20 E, 47 20 N) in southeast Ukraine on the Black Sea. East of this line, the Lithuanian Yiddish dialect was used, and you should also use the Belarus GNDB (Belarus also used the Lithuania Yiddish dialect) to search for names. West of the line, this Ukrainian GNDB should be used.
In West Ukraine, the portion of Ukraine that was in East Galicia may be defined approximately by a "trapezoid" which extends from the West Ukraine border to an eastern line running from Brody (25 20 E, 50 10 N) in the north, to Darabani (26 40 E, 48 20 N) in the south. This trapezoid is divided by a vertical line running from Brody in the north, to Borsa (24 50 E, 47 50 N) in the south. The "triangle" east of this vertical line was in the Ukraine Yiddish dialect area and searches in this region should be made in this Ukraine GNDB. West of this vertical line (in the Polish Yiddish dialect area), searches should also be made using the Galicia GNDB.
Searching in the Ukraine GNDB
FIRST-TIME USERS: If you want to avoid confusion and frustration in using the GNDB, read the descriptions of the search options below. Once you understand these guidelines (it's easy!), you can go directly to the Search-Input Form.
This example shows the fifteen fields in the Lithuania record for the Hebrew name YEHUDA LEYB:
All records contain NAME-ONLY fields (like "Yiddish Names") with all names delimited by the character "/". There are also two types of TEXT fields: the "Legal/Hebrew Name" field and the "Origin" fields both containing names delimited by the character "\".
The "Gender" field contains only an "M" or "F" -- no names. Thus, (1) you can search for a specific name inside name-only and all-text fields using a "Global TEXT Search", or (2) you can search for a specific name using "sounds-like" Daitch-Mokotoff Soundex. These two options also contain aids like logical "AND" and "OR", and the ability to specify beginning letters for a name (e.g., Yeh* would find Yehuda as well as Yehudis in Global Text Search).
Global Text Search of ALL Fields does exactly what it says -- it looks for an input search name as is, wherever it appears, without regard to the delimiters, and it does this throughout the entire set of fields (name-only fields and text fields). You can search using the exact spelling of a name or the first few letters of the name.Global Text Search (option one) allows the use of logical constructs like AND/OR (DM Soundex does not). If you use "Alter OR Moshe" or "Moshe OR Alter" with option one in the Lithuania GNDB, then you will find seven results in both cases -- the two Alter's, the three Moshe's, and an additional two Moshe's found in text.
The search engine seeks the two names wherever they may be in the record. D-M Soundex (option two) searching can be very effective in finding names for which you do not know the exact spelling (for whatever reason). It will find all names which SOUND LIKE the name which you enter, because they all have the same DM-Soundex code. On the one hand, it helps overcome your lack of knowledge of the "correct" spelling of the name, or how it might be spelled in the data base using the GNDB standard. On the other hand, it may find lots of names in which you are not interested. DM Soundexing sometimes produces two different codes for one given name.
The only possible modification with DM Soundexing is the use of square brackets [ ]. For example, in the Lithuania GNDB, searching on "Moshe" will lead to 29 records retrieved, but using [Mo]she to search will yield only 16 records -- you are limiting the search to only those hits which begin with the exact letters "Mo", but which have the desired DM Soundex code for Moshe. You should experiment with this scheme and learn its advantages and limitations.
CURRENT LIMITATION USING D-M SOUNDEX: D-M Soundex does not work right now on the Origins fields.
ALL-INCLUSIVE ASTERISK "*"The two available search options then are:
1. Global TEXT Search of ALL Fields, ignoring delimiters
Under option one, you can use an all-inclusive asterisk "*" to represent any letters of the alphabet. This very useful capability allows you to search exactly for the beginning of a name in cases where you are not sure how the whole name is spelled. For example, consider the Yiddish name NOTL, as it is transcribed using the YIVO standard, but which you think could be Notel or Nottel or Notell. If you try "Notel", "Nottel", or "Notell" using option one in the Lithuania GNDB, you will find no hits -- these spellings do not exist in the data base. But if you try "Not*" using option one, you will find six hits -- five for the Hebrew name Nasan (for which Notl is a kinui) and one for the Legal/Hebrew name Note (for which Notl is a kinui).
Another example: MOSHE. If you try "Moshe" as the search input using option one in the Lithuania GNDB, you will find five hits -- three for Moshe including its double names, and two for Moshe used in the "Origin" field where it is referred to in text. If you try "Mos*" using option one, you will find the same five hits. If you try "Mo*" using option one, you will find that the search engine will not accept your input, stating that you must use at least three characters in this way.You should experiment with these variations to learn how they work best.
SUMMARY OF SEARCH GUIDELINES: For the case where you know one or two Yiddish names (say) and want to find all the other Yiddish, Hebrew, and European secular names which were linked to your one or two, the best initial approach is probably to use option one with the first few letters of the name, along with the asterisk, e.g., "Not*". However, it might be worthwhile to back this up with a second trial in which your input is "[Not]l" using option two (DM Soundex). After trying the last one using the Lithuania GNDB, you might also have a go at the input "Notl" using option two (interesting?!)The above case is probably the most popular use of the GNDBs.
In general, a combination of both search options would work the best and minimize the possibility of missing names of which you should be aware, but some of these trials may give you lots of false positives.For the case where you want to enter an English vernacular name (for US, UK, SA...), say Morris, option one would give twenty hits for the Lithuania GNDB. However, option two (Soundex) with input Morris would yield 29 hits -- it finds a number of names of females which have the same DM Soundex as Morris. In general, for English vernacular names, option two is NOT a good choice because DM Soundex was not set up for English names and does not work well with them. The use of the old NARA Soundex for English (and perhaps other foreign) names is currently under consideration.
Entering foreign vernacular names is useful when you want to find all of the possible vernacular names an immigrant might have used, or you are looking for all the Hebrew, Yiddish, and European secular names from which the vernacular name might have come -- this could turn out to be a large number of possibilities because many different European Jewish names were translated into the same English vernacular foreign name.Searching on foreign names is probably the second most interesting use of the GNDBs. You undoubtedly will work out alternative approaches which will work for you and your own special needs.For a detailed, field-by-field description of the fields' contents, see the Description of the Databases.
GIVEN NAME SEARCH INPUT FORM
This search input form allows you to accomplish ONLY one of two different search directions (don't try to fill out both red and blue data):
SUMMARY OF SEARCH OPTIONS
Try out these search options yourself until you feel confident that you can use them for your own searches, and then use them as guidelines for setting up your own searches.
Global Text Search: DM Soundex Search: Notl Alter OR Moshe Moshe Not* Yehuda AND Leyb [Mo]she Moshe Mos*
A list of the SOURCES used to obtain the given names data for the Ukraine GNDB can be found here.
All About Given Names & the Databases
This website includes several articles which you will want to read, in order to learn more about the GNDBs and how they were developed, and in order to broaden your background in the topic of Jewish given names, Judaism, and Jewish history. Come back to this section often.