Al Yellon's Genealogy Page My second cousin Mike Brooke, who lives in the UK, and I just completed a research project and book about the history of our extended family and its emigration from Eastern Europe to the UK and the USA. Millions of people took this journey in the last decade of the last century and the first decade of this one; ours is just one story.

There are many genealogical resources on the Net if you want to start your own project; you can begin with the JewishGen organization's page of course, if you are Jewish, or you can look at the home page of Avotaynu, a Jewish genealogy quarterly. There is also a Newsgroup called soc.genealogy.jewish and if not here are some others:
Cool Sites For Genealogists, a good link page;
Census Name Search, a way to search older federal census records;
Genealogical and Family History Resources in Illinois, if, of course, you live or are searching out ancestors in Illinois;
Genealogy Online, which contains some census records, some other databases, and some other links

I have extensive experience searching out records in the Chicago area; if you are in this area and want some help in beginning a genealogy project, e-mail me and I'll see if I can help you get started.

The basic story of our family, as far as we have been able to trace it, is:
Mike Brooke and I, and many of our cousins, are descended from two people named Mordechai and Rachel Lev, born in the Bialystok guberniya (or region) in Russian Poland in the 1820's. They had eight children, of whom we know three: Yetta, born in 1851, who married Chaim Kaplan in Europe. When he died around 1898 she and her family emigrated to the USA; Hannah, born in 1855, who married David Yellin in Europe. When he died around 1895 or 1896 she and her family emigrated to the UK; and Morris, born in 1860, who married Leah Banderovitch in Grodno, around 1883. Around 1900 his entire family emigrated to the UK. Mike Brooke is the great-grandson of David and Hannah Yellin, as am I. My grandfather, Mark Yellon, married Rose Kaplan, granddaughter of Yetta Kaplan, so I am descended from that line as well.
Some of the people mentioned above are pictured here in a photo taken in Chicago in 1916:




Top row: Nathan Miller, Morris Kaplan, Bea Kaplan, Rose Kaplan (my grandmother), Sam Kaplan;

Middle row: Minnie Miller (with Janet), Sarah Kaplan, Ruth Miller, Yetta Kaplan, Esther Kaplan;

Bottom row: Ben Kaplan, Hy Kaplan


If you have the last name LEV, LEVY, KAPLAN or YELLIN, or if you are related to any people with that name, or if you have any of those names in your family tree, or if you think you are descended from any of the people I mentioned earlier, or you recognize anyone in the photo above, we would like to hear from you. We are still trying to trace some of our ancestors who left Bialystok, Brestovits (that shtetl might have also been called "Brestovitz" or "Brestovich"), and Grodno, all in the old Pale of Settlement in Poland and Russia. If you think you might be related to us, please write to me,or to Mike Brooke. We'd also be happy to share a copy of our family book with you, if you are interested..
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