Sunday, July 15, 2018

Discovering my 6th Great Grandfather

Now that I can access lots of Nezhin vital records and tax poll censuses from home (see if your own town's records are covered by following the directions here), I've been slowly going through them.  And there are many thousands of images.

The vital records start in the 1850s, and in the 1858 death records, I found an exciting (to me) record.
Meir Lefand Death Record, 1858

Thursday, July 12, 2018

IAJGS2018 in Warsaw!

IAJGS2018 is coming up in just under a month.  This year it's in Warsaw, and I'll be presenting and mentoring.  If you're a regular blog member who will be attending, please come by and say hi!

Here's where and when I'll be speaking:

Sunday, July 8, 2018

My Step Great-Great Grandmother's Arrest and Acquittal

Newspapers can be a wonderful resource to get insight into ancestors' lives, beyond the brief facts noted in census records, ship manifests and the like.

My great-great grandfather, Yechiel Suttleman, was married three times; his third wife, Ida Himelfarb Suttleman, was the only spouse who came to America.  There are lots of family stories about how the family made moonshine and had the younger kids sell it (since they'd be more likely to be let off if/when caught).  But the January 5, 1923 edition of Baltimore's Evening Sun mentioned how Ida herself had been arrested for possessing moonshine.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Where Did Yankel Marienhoff Go?

I've been tracing the children of my great-great-great grandmother Mira Halpern Lefand Marienhoff for years.  I had the birth records for a set of twins born to Mira and her second husband, Yitzchok Marienhoff; Yaakov/Yankel and Chava Marienhoff were born in Nezhin on July 1, 1887.

Birth of Yaakov and Chava Marienhoff

Sunday, June 24, 2018

An 1883 Chabad Connection

My Lefand, Tolchinsky and Halperin ancestors lived in what is now Nizhyn, Ukraine.  Since recently many Ukrainian vital records went online (including those of Nizhyn/Nezhin!!), I've been going through all of the town's metrical (vital) records from the comfort of my home.  I've gone through these records on microfilm, but the writing is much easier to read on my laptop--plus, I'm not limited in seeing them at a Family History Center during the hours they're open.

As I was browsing through these records, I saw a familiar surname that wasn't one of my family's.
Death Record of Yisrael Noach Schneerson

Monday, June 11, 2018

Finding Liba/Elizabeth/Lizzy--Found!

Yesterday, I wrote about how I'd finally found a post-1910 mention of my great-great grandmother's half sister.  This sister emigrated to America as Liba, was enumerated in the 1910 census as Elizabeth and then was married and was enumerated in 1920 as Lizzy.  In 1920, she was married to Frank Trachtenberg, and they had two children: Margery and Edward.  And then I couldn't find them again.

I'd searched for the family using wildcards in the surname to try to find them if Trachtenberg had been horribly mis-transcribed.  I tried just searching for them as a family group without a surname as well--but I found no family with a Frank, Elizabeth/Lizzy, Margery/Marjorie and Edward/Eddie/Ted.

I'd asked for readers to help.  And Kira Dolcimascolo came through.  She pointed out that Frank and Elizabeth's grandson had posted on an Ancestry message board back in 2008.
https://www.ancestry.com/boards/surnames.trachtenberg/6.1/mb.ashx


Sunday, June 10, 2018

Finding Liba/Elizabeth/Lizzy (A Bit More Than Before)

My great-great-great grandmother Mira Halperin Lefand Marienhoff was married twice and had at least eleven children (in addition to a number of stepchildren).  Five years ago, I did a series of posts about most of those children and what I knew about them at that point.  I'd managed to trace descendants of all of Mira's children who came to America--with the exception of one.  I simply could not find any trace of Liba Marienhoff (who became Elizabeth in America) after the 1910 census, when she was living in Pittsburgh.  You can click here to see what I knew at that point (and until about a week ago).

But now I've found her--and how I did this highlights how spelling of names, especially among immigrants, was simply not important to them.  So try as many possibilities as possible to try to find your family.  Sometimes it's the key to solving a long-time mystery. 
The "Levants" and Tolchinskys in the 1910 Census, Pittsburgh, PA