Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ancestor Deep Dive: Avraham Tzvi Diamond

Even though he is a relatively recent ancestor, my great grandfather Avraham Tzvi Diamond didn't leave much of a paper trail.  He was born about 1879, likely in Biscupice, Russian Empire (now Berezhanka, Volhynia, Ukraine), just north of the road connecting Horochov and Lutsk, midway between the two cities.  His parents were Hillel and Hinda (nee Kreiss) Diamond, and his siblings included:
  • Leibish (b. abt 1886)
  • Shaindel (later Jenny Dorfman, b. 1891)
  • Esther (married Motel Landman)
  • Rivka 
  • Basya (married Mordechai Landor)
Avraham Tzvi married Tzivia Zuttelman, and they had 5 children in Biscupice:
  • Kreina (married David Mazurik), born about 1915
  • Dvorah (later Deborah Schuster), born 1920
  • Pesach (later Paul Diamond), born 1921--my grandfather
  • David, born 1924
  • Shlomo, born 1928
In 1925, when the two oldest children were in school, Avraham Tzvi signed a document allowing those children to be taught in Polish; the area recently had become part of Poland after WWI.
1925 School Declaration by Abram Diment; Source: State archive of Volyn oblast. Fond 454, opys 2, file 450, page 103

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sheva Baich and My First A-File

I've already done an Ancestor Deep Dive on my great grandmother Sheva Fine Baich.  But I recently received her A-file via the USCIS Genealogy program which contained a treasure trove of information on her, and some photographs that I'd never seen before.

While still in Germany, she applied for a visa.  The document verified her parents' names (my grandmother had been pretty sure of Sheva's mother's maiden name but had not been positive) and gives details of where she was during WWII.  Interestingly, Sheva consistently puts her married life as taking place in Lutsk whereas her daughter Sonia has always maintained that the family lived in Horochov.
Sheva Baich Application for US Visa, January 1947 (page 1)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

My great-great grandmother's maiden name--SOLVED (I think)!

I'd posted about 3 months ago about how my great-great grandmother's maiden name was given as "Christ" on her daughter Jenny Diamond Dorfman's marriage license--not quite the typical Jewish family name!  There were lots of ideas given via facebook, but it was all conjecture.

Last week, a cousin posted a letter that Jenny's daughter Ida Dorfman Hall had written in 1980.  I'd seen this letter before when we first figured out the connection to this branch because of DNA testing.  Ida had mentioned a cousin Sam who had left Europe along with her, her mother, and her brother.  I'd identified the cousin on the manifest, but the name meant nothing to me at the time, so I assumed he was likely related on Ida's paternal side.

But seeing the letter again made me pull up that manifest.
Schmul Kreiss Ship Manifest (line 26); December 1913

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Muravitsa Fire of 1858

My Zitelman/Suttleman family at one time lived in Muravitsa (adjoining Mlyniv) in the Russian Empire; the town is now in the Dubno district of Volhynia, Ukraine.  My great-great-great grandfather, Pesach Hirsch Zitelman, was living there in 1858, when 11 Jewish-owned houses--including his--were burned down.
Court Transcript: State Archive of Rovno Oblast. Fond 567, opys 1, file 28

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Ancestor Deep Dive: Isadore Tolchin (Tolchinsky)

My great grandfather, Isadore Tolchin, was born Yitzchak Tolchinsky on December 26, 1889, to in Losinovka (just south of Nezhin, Ukraine) to Hillel and Pesha Riva Tolchinsky.
Yitzchok Tolchinsky Birth Record; Nezhin Metrical Records
Yitzchok was the oldest of the at least 11 children.  In 1902, Yitzchak appeared in the Russian Empire's Poll Tax Census as a 13-year-old living with his parents and siblings.  His uncle Hirsch lived next door with his family as well as with Hirsch's mother (and Hillel's stepmother), Risha Frayda.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ancestor Deep Dive: Yeshaya Supkoff

My great-great grandfather Yeshaya "Shaya" Supkoff was born Yeshaya Zubkis, about 1859, likely in Shpikov, Ukraine (then Russian Empire) to Shaul Dov and Elka.  The earliest mention of him in records (that I've found so far) is in the 1895 Russian Empire census:
Russian Empire Census; Shpikov; 1895; Zubkis Family (left side)

Russian Empire Census; Shpikov; 1895; Zubkis Family (right side)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Tracking Mira's Children: Hirsch/Harry Marienhoff

This is the eighth in a series tracking the children of Mira Halperin Lefand Marienhoff.  You can see everything in this series to this point here.

 Hirsch Marienhoff was born on April 1, 1893 in Nezhin, Ukraine to Mira and Yitzchak Marienhoff.
Birth Record for Hirsch Marienhoff; Nezhin Metrical Records; 1893
He is the last (recorded) child of Yitzchok & Mira.  Hirsch spent his early childhood in Nezhin, but in 1906 he came with his mother, some of his siblings, and his nephew (who was older than Hirsch and also my great grandfather) to America.