Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Connecting Toni, Twenty Years Later

In the mid-1990s, my grandmother Minnie Joshowitz Tolchin mentioned that she'd like to find an old pen-pal who had also been a cousin.  She recalled writing to her cousin Toni in England for many years--one of the few cousins she had who could write in English.  At one point, Toni wrote to her saying that she married a man named Kaplan, they were going to move to Australia and change their name to Kingsley, and she would send contact information once they were settled in Australia.  My grandmother never heard from her again.

My grandmother passed away in 2001, and I hadn't found Toni.  But a couple of years later, my uncle had an Australian working in his office and he asked her if she knew any Kingsleys--and she said that her doctor in Melbourne was named Kingsley.  She contacted her mother in Australia who contacted the doctor--and he confirmed that his late mother's name had been Toni!  I met some of the family when I was in Australia shortly after, but we weren't sure exactly how we were related.

Now that I have so many new records from my grandmother's side of the family, I wanted to see if I could link the Australian family to mine.  I found Toni Rutner's marriage to Jankiel Kaplan indexed on FreeBMD, and I ordered the original.
Marriage of Jankiel Kaplan & Toba/Toni Rutner; 1943

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Mapping My DNA--Updated!

About five months ago, I blogged about using Kitty Cooper's Chromosome Matcher to figure out which segments of my DNA came from which ancestors.  Now that several more relatives have tested, I've been able to include them in my analysis, filling in some more of the blank areas.

(Are you reading this and related to me?  Want your DNA to be included in a future blog post?  Contact me!)

So who contributed to breaking out into these particular ancestors?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Dovid Isaac/Eizik David Rutner

Dovid Isaac (also sometimes Eizik David) Rutner was the older half brother of my great grandmother, Esther Rutner Joshowitz.  He was generally called "Eizik."
Eizik David Rutner Birth Registration

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Who's Your Daddy (and Mommy), Mendel Fuchs?

Mendel Fuchs was born about 1823.  He may have been born in what's now Novoselytysa, Ukraine; at any rate, he was living there by the time he had children.  As this is the same place that my Fuchs family came from, I wanted to know if there was a connection.  By putting together the documentation I have on him--on documents relating to his children--as well as using naming patterns, I think I've figured out the connection.

Mendel had at least three sons with his wife Etya: David, Chaim and Hers.  Their birth records give some information about their parents.
Chaim Fux Birth; 1853

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Ancestor Deep Dive: Shmuel Moshe Rutner--Updated!!

A while back I did a series of deep dives into my direct ancestors.  Until now, I haven't had to update any, but I have so much new information on Shmuel Moshe Rutner that it's time to update his deep dive.  The earlier version of the deep dive is here if you want to compare it to this to see what's new.

Shmuel Moshe Rutner was my great-great grandfather.  He was born in 1855 in the town of Kolodne (also called Darva) which was then in the Austria-Hungarian Empire and is now in Subcarpathian Ukraine.  Or else he was born 1841 in Kolodne, depending on what he told the record takers.
Shmuel Moshe's Self-Registered Birth Record

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Leveraging Google Maps in Genealogy

I posted about this a few years back, but after meeting up recently with my cousin Sara (great granddaughter of my great-great grandmother's brother Meyer), I realized it bears repeating and updating.

You've probably used Google Maps to get directions.  But did you know that you can create personal maps of places your ancestors have lived to help visualize their migration and how close various branches lived to one another?
Locations in which my family members have lived

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Holocaust Memorial Day

Tonight begins Yom HaShoah--Holocaust Remembrance Day.  I grew up knowing that my father's parents were Holocaust survivors and had lost most of their families.  But my mother's family came to America well before WWII, and I never heard mention of anyone on my mother's side having been impacted by the Holocaust.  But as it turns out, my mother's family was greatly impacted as well--my maternal grandmother had aunts and uncles who were killed as well as first cousins and many others more distant.

Below is a list of my nearly 100 relatives who I know were killed in the Holocaust--many of whom were just small children.  There are many others for whom I have birth records and who disappear from records and were likely killed as well.
The back of my paternal grandparents' tombstone--their immediate family members killed in the Holocaust