Thursday, April 28, 2016

Happy 145th Anniversary--Sort Of!

Happy 145th anniversary to my great-great-great grandparents, Yehoshua Zev and Mira Lefand!  Kind of.
Marriage Record for Yehoshua Zev Lefand to Mira Halperin; 1871

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

When You Can't Find a Ship Manifest

You know those relatives that you just can't find on a ship manifest?  That you search for using wildcards and alternate spellings and every trick in the book--and they're just nowhere to be found?

Well, those were my Joshowitzes.  I knew that my great grandmother Esther Rutner Joshowitz came to America with my grandmother's oldest brother Izzy.  They came at some point after WWI and at least nine months before my grandmother's birth in February 1922.  I tried with just first names (lots and lots of Esthers and Esters came to the US in that time period).  I tried with as many wildcards as Ancestry would allow.  And nothing.

I cursed transcribers who obviously couldn't read my great grandmother's name.  I grumbled at the Ancestry programmers who put too many restrictions on wildcards in searches.  And then I tried searching on Steve Morse's site.
Output on Steve Morse's site

Monday, April 25, 2016

New Eizikovics Link--Or Maybe Not!

Samuel Hers Eizikowitz kept popping up in my research.  Since I had a great-great-great grandfather with this name, I suspected he was relatively closely related to me, but even with a pretty comprehensive Eisikovics tree, I couldn't fit him in.

I knew he had gone to America--his daughter's birth record has his place of residence as "New York, America."
Berta Eizikovics Birth; Kolodne; 1911

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Award for Greatest Distance and Time-Lapse for a Birth Registration

And the award for going through the most difficulty to get a birth registered goes to....Eizik Fuchs, the brother of my great-great grandmother Rochel Fuchs Rutner!  Eizik's journey to get his birth registered spanned an ocean and more than seven decades.  When I started writing this post, I wasn't sure why he would have done such a thing, but in the course of writing this post, I figured it out!
From Josef Joshowitz's Ship Manifest; 1913
In 1913, Josef Joshowitz (my great grandfather) came to America, and he said he was joining his cousin "Eizig Fuchs" in New York.  I knew of my family's Fuchs connection but was never sure how Eizig was related.
Isaak Fux; Petition for Naturalization; 1909

Sunday, April 17, 2016

My Pedigree Has Collapsed!

Well, it's happened. My first instance of pedigree collapse. While I've seen examples in my family of cousins related in multiple ways, I had no examples of any of my direct ancestors appearing on my tree more than once.

And then along came Avraham Vizel.

Avraham Vizel was the father of Rechel Vizel Rutner, who was the mother of my great-great-great grandfather Mendel Rutner. Avraham lived in what is now Bilovartzi, Ukraine (and what was called Bilvaritz in Yiddish). There's an entire section with his story in the Yizkor Book Sefer Maramaros which deserves (and will get) its own post.

Recently, as I was doing research, I found another branch of Vizels to whom I was related. I had traced them back to the dual villages of Kis-Kirva and Nagy-Kirva. But “coincidentally,” the furthest back I traced them was to a man also named Avraham Vizel.

So it looked like I had two 5th great grandfathers with the same name! Perhaps they were related? I checked to see how far apart they lived.

I'd looked up Nagy-Kirva in JewishGen's Communities Database (an incredible tool to find Eastern European towns by both their prior and present names). There was one result:
JewishGen's Page on Kryva, Ukraine (Formerly Nagy-Kirva, Hungary)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Surname-Morphing Census Entries (Plus a New 5th Great Grandfather)

Some wonderful volunteers at JewishGen's Hungarian Special Interest Group (H-SIG) have transcribed and indexed Jewish entries from multiple different Hungarian censuses.  And more are being added regularly.  I recently learned some lessons about dealing with this data set that can help others with their research as well.

I've regularly searched for entries relating to my Rutner family from Darva (today's Kolodne).
Results on JewishGen for Hungarian Censuses for Rutners in Darva

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Ontario Genealogical Society Conference Jewish Stream

In under two months is the Ontario Genealogical Society's conference which--for the first time--has a Jewish Stream in cooperation with the Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto.  I'll be speaking along with Israel Pickholtz and Daniel Horowitz--plus there's access to all of the other OGS talks!
And they have quite the jam-packed program. Take a look: