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

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Accessing Ukrainian (and other) Records on FamilySearch--From Home

FamilySearch recently announced that all of their filmed records from Ukraine are now available for free, from your home!  But how do you best figure out what records may be available on FamilySearch for your ancestral towns?  Here are some tips (which are applicable to all locations, not just Ukraine).
Lots and lots of documents are available!  (Yes, you can zoom in.)

Sunday, May 27, 2018

My Great-Great Uncle's Death Certificate--From Dachau

At the end of 2016, I discovered the fate of my great grandmother's brother, Mendel Fuchs; you can read the little I know of his life here.

A few weeks ago, I went to the Holocaust Museum in Washington.  The museum has access to an International Tracing Service (ITS) terminal, and I asked the wonderful person working there to look for records of several relatives.  And he found a record for Mendel.
Mendel Fuchs Death Record

Thursday, May 10, 2018

My Genetic Genealogy Interview, WBAL-TV

A few weeks back, I was interviewed by Mindy Basara of WBAL-TV, Baltimore's local NBC affiliate, on genetic genealogy.  The result aired last night.



Sunday, May 6, 2018

Ashkenazic Shared DNA Survey: Data by Ashkenazic Percentage

Thank you to everyone who has contributed data about shared DNA in people with Ashkenazic ancestry!  I have 4990 data points to analyze, and that should help the entire genetic genealogy community  (I'm still collecting data--you can find out more about the project and how to contribute here).

This iteration looks at how shared DNA will differ depending on how much (documented) Ashkenazi DNA each individual has.

There are four tables below:
  • Table 1 looks at all 4990 data points, regardless of Ashkenazic percentage
  • Table 2 looks at those data points where both individuals are documented to be 100% Ashkenazic
  • Table 3 looks at those data points where one individual is documented to be 100% Ashkenazic and the other 50% Ashkenazic
  • Table 4 looks at those data points where both individuals are documented to be 50% Ashkenazic