Sunday, September 16, 2018

Religious Excuse Note from Court, 1869

This time of year, I'm having to take an awful lot of time off work for all of the holidays.  In addition, sunset is getting earlier and earlier, so I need to leave earlier and earlier on Fridays as well to get home well before Shabbat starts.  Generations of my family have had to ask for postponements of various events that conflict with religious observances.  And here's an early example:

Religious Excuse Note, Nizhyn, 1869

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Rosh Hashanah, 1935

Rosh Hashanah is coming up next week.  So I wanted to share a family Rosh Hashanah card with readers.

My grandmother's first cousin was Chaiky Wollich Chechman, who grew up in Sienkiewiczowka, Poland (now Senkevychivka, Ukraine).  Chaiky and her husband Mendel, as well as their young daughter Devorah, were all killed in the Holocaust.  But in 1935 things were still good, and they sent out cards to their friends and relatives.
Front of the Chechman 1935 Shana Tova Card

Sunday, September 2, 2018

My 11th Great Grandfather, and Kraków

Since I was already in Warsaw, I took a high-speed train to spend a whirlwind 24 hours in Kraków.  One of the first things I did after dropping off my backpack was to head to the Remah Cemetery.

My 11th great grandfather (yes, you read that right--it helps when you can connect to a rabbinic line) was buried in Kraków in 1640.  Rabbi Joel Sirkis, also known as the BaCh, after his Bayis Chadash writings, served in many communities in the area, the final as a Rabbi in Kraków.  He even has his own page on Wikipedia.
Me at the grave of Rabbi Joel Sirkis

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Diamant Discovery!

Alex Krakovsky added some more scanned Ukrainian documents to his awesome Wikipedia page.  No, they are not in English.  But yes, it's also worth learning how to at least read names in Russian.  Because there is some awesome stuff here.

As a side note, recent regulations are stopping Alex from doing this incredible work.  Check out some of his videos such as this one on his Facebook page--and make sure others know about what's happening.

Alex recently added two census addenda from the 1860s for Volhynia.  These are additions to a main census, but there are still a lot of names.  I initially went through the first file, which covers 1862-1863 and didn't find any of my family surnames.  So I then looked at the second, which covers 1862-1865.  And here I found something intriguing.
Diamant, Volhynia Guberniya Revision List Addendum, 1864 (page 1)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

IAJGS2018 - Part 4 (JewishGen Updates)

This is the fourth in a series of posts about IAJGS2018.  You can read other posts I've made from this and other IAJGS conferences here.

JewishGen held an evening event, where many exciting new developments were unveiled.  Avraham Groll opened the session, presenting JewishGen's Volunteer of the Year.
Avraham Groll of JewishGen

Monday, August 20, 2018

IAJGS2018 - Part 3

This is the third in a series of posts about IAJGS2018.  You can read other posts I've made from this and other IAJGS conferences here.

Since I woke up early (thanks, jet-lag!), I walked down the block to the Monument Commemorating the Evacuation of Warsaw Ghetto Fighters.  It was kind of oddly placed, since it's currently right in front of a perfume store.  I then continued walking to see a remaining fragment of the ghetto wall, which is currently in the middle of a parking lot.
Monument Commemorating the Evacuation of Warsaw Ghetto Fighters

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Spelling Doesn't Matter in Genealogy

These days, names have a set spelling.  I cringe when someone spells my name "Laura."  But it wasn't always that way--spellings of names used to be much more fluid and wasn't a big deal.

But often people researching a family disregard individuals with names not spelled the way in which they are accustomed.  They insist that those individuals with other spellings simply could not be the right family, so they miss clues that truly are connected to their own family members.

Well, I was recently indexing an 1892 death register from the Munkacs district (then Hungary, now the area around Mukacheve, Ukraine), and it's a great example for how fluid name spellings could be.  With only 7 deaths recorded on this page, 4 of the deceased (all young children) had surnames spelled differently from their father's surname.
Page of Munkacs Area 1892 Death Records