Sunday, September 19, 2021

Family Reunited, 75+ Years After the Holocaust

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I've done quite a bit of research on my Zubkis/Supkoff family.  The various branches of the Zubkis family moved quite a bit, generation by generation, and my particular branch ended up in what's now Shpikov, Ukraine, before coming to America.  In 1908, my great-great grandparents came to America, but I knew both from oral tradition and from records that my great-great grandfather had a brother Yosef/Yossel who had stayed in Shpikov.  Yossel had three sons who came to America in the 1920s, but we knew there were sisters who stayed behind in Russia and were killed in the Holocaust.  In fact, I mention in a post that I did in 2019 after discovering a 1902 Households List that the daughter Rivka that was mentioned was killed in the Holocaust.  Except I recently discovered that she wasn't.  And that I have living relatives in Ukraine (and England and America) who are her descendants.  So how did this happen?

The First Hint

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Russian Empire Recruit Lists - Garber Edition

My Garber ancestors lived in what is now Torchin, Volhynia, Ukraine.  My grandmother knew that her grandmother's maiden name was Devorah Garber, but she didn't know Devorah's parents.  Devorah died around 1935 in what is now Horochiv, Ukraine (it was Horochow, Poland at the time), and there are no known surviving death records from that time and place that might mention at least a father's name.  Normally she would be a dead end--except that my grandmother also told me that one of Devorah's brothers had come to America.  From that brother's grave, I know that his and Devorah's father--and therefore my ggg grandfather--was Chaim Asher Garber, and from his ship manifest and other documents, I confirmed he was from Torchin.  (Via DNA testing of some of his descendants, I confirmed the relationship as well.)  And with the help of some Russian Empire recruit lists, I was able to trace the family even further back.

Lists of Torchin recruiting district. 1859 – 1862; Garber Family

Sunday, August 8, 2021

JewishGen's JGFF / A Family Story Matching Documentation & Cousin Connection

Fuchs is one of those frustrating surnames when doing genealogical research; it's extremely common across Central and Eastern Europe, with most Fuchs families not related to one another.  My Fuchs family lived in what is now Novoselytysa, Zakarpattya Oblast, Ukraine, just across the border with Romania; it was formerly Taracujfalu and Felso-Neresznicze, Hungary and Novoselice, Czechoslovakia as well.  I have all of the Jewish and civil records of the town, and I have been able to connect all of the Fuchs individuals from that town to my 4th great grandparents, Gershon & Toba-Rivka.  (I've also indexed them, and they're searchable on Jewishgen.)  I was pretty sure that implied that Gershon was the first Fuchs in the town (or at least the only brother who had children in the town), but I had no concrete documentation one way or the other.  But now I may have a hint of what happened, thanks to JewishGen's awesome Jewish Genealogy Family Finder (JGFF).

My Entry in JGFF

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Diamonds Are This Girl's Best Friend - Two New Diamond Ancestors!

My Diment/Diamond family lived in what is now Kiselin, Ukraine, formerly Kiselin, Vladimir-Volinsk District, Volhynia Gubernia, Russian Empire.  Alex Krakovsky recently put up an 1858 revision list for the district (if you have Ukrainian ancestry and haven't looked at Alex's scans, go look here immediately).

After a false start (since the first 150 or so pages are non-Jews), I figured out how the book was organized, and then I zeroed in on the Kiselin entries.  And there they were.

Diment Family (males); Kiselin, Russian Empire; 1858

Monday, July 19, 2021

Budapest Archives / National Archive of Hungary - Ordering Documents

Last week I wrote about a resource that indexes individuals from a large number of Hungarian documents (you can read about that here).  Many of those documents are kept at the Budapest City Archives or the National Archive of Hungary, and you can request the originals there.  But those particular archives have also indexed a subset of their holdings by surname.  While some records are indexed in both the Hungaricana resource I wrote about last week as well as by the holding archive, some are only on one site but not the other.  And regardless, you can request the original document from the archive itself.  Here's how to do that.

Document Obtained from Budapest Local Archives regarding Jakab Salamon Ruttner

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Hungarian Documents - Another Resource

If you have family that came from Hungary, or adjacent areas like Galicia, you'll want to check this out--a growing repository of images from Hungarian archives, along with indexed records that will direct you how to find originals.

Prison Record for Wolf Berkovits, originally of Nereshaza, Maramaros, Hungary (currently Neresnytysa, Ukraine)

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

WWII Letters and Documents - Found Online

Last month, I wrote how I found out that my great-great grandfather's brother's family ended up in Moscow and that not only were he and his wife buried in Moscow, but so was at least one of their daughters, Bluma/Lyuba Tolchinsky Frolov, who would have been my great grandfather's half first cousin.  A reader pointed out that the Bluma/Lyuba's husband wasn't actually buried in the cemetery and had been killed in WWII.  Using that tip, I found information about the husband's service--as well as a handwritten letter that Bluma/Lyuba wrote to try to discover what exactly had happened to her husband.

Letter from Lyuba Frolov, 1944