Sunday, April 22, 2018

My (Possible) 4th Great Grandfather

Back in March, I wrote about discovering my 3rd great grandfather's name--Leibish Diamant.  What I didn't mention then is that I think I may also have my Diamond/Diamant 4th great grandfather's name.  I'm just not positive.  Here's what I have; please let me know your thoughts!
Yankel Diamant Death, 1859

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Esther Rutner's Actual Birthdate

My great grandmother was Esther Rutner Joshowitz; my middle name is Esther in her memory.  She used various birthdates both in European documents as well as in American documents, ranging from 1881 to 1889.  Birth months were all in the winter but spanned the period from December through March.  I assumed that the actual date would be closer to 1881, since women tend to make themselves younger than their actual age.  I was wrong.
Eszter Rutner Birth, March 1889

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) 2018

Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) starts this evening.  For the past two years, I listed the names of the 250+ families members I've found who were murdered in the Holocaust.

It's been rather disconcerting (to say the least) to find vital records identifying another branch of my family--and then trace those relatives forward in time to find that all or most had been murdered during the Holocaust.  This is my one small way to make sure they are all remembered--all 259 of those currently on this list.

I'm currently going through a new batch of records which unfortunately I think will generate more names for next year's list.  But for now, remember these 259, and the millions of others.
Front Row L-R: Yosef Wollich, Mendel Chechman, Devorah Chechman; Back Row L-R: Sara Fine Wollich, Moshe Wollich, Chaike Chechman.  All were murdered in the Holocaust

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Early-On Rutner/Joshowitz Connections

Sometimes you wonder how your ancestors met.  With my great grandparents, it looks like their families were friends from quite early on.

My great grandfather was Josef Joshowitz.  Josef's parents, Chaim and Mindel, had a son Smil Hers in 1889; Smil Hers only lived until the age of two, so I never knew he existed until recently when I was transcribing record books for JewishGen.

Smil Hers Joszovits Birth, 1889


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

My Twice-Married Great-Great Grandparents

I've written before about how in Austria-Hungary, many couples had a religious wedding and were considered fully married by their communities; however, they never civilly registered their marriage, so their children were considered illegitimate.  In fact, I believed my great-great grandparents (Shmuel Moshe Rutner and Rochel Fuchs) were in this situation, as their children whose births were registered in civil records only listed a mother.
Birth of Mendel Fuchs (Rutner), 1900

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sima Diamond, the Maiden Widowed Divorcee

My great-great grandfather was Hillel Diamond.  My great-great grandmother was his wife Hinda, but there were rumors that Hinda was not Hillel's first wife.  Those rumors were correct--and that first wife had an interesting backstory.
From the Marriage Record of Hillel and Sima Diamond - Hebrew Side

Monday, March 5, 2018

Taking the Diamonds Back--Another Generation

I've gotten many of my family lines back centuries, but the Diamonds have always been a brick wall.  I knew my great-great grandfather (Hillel), and that was it.  My grandfather had told me the names of some of Hillel's children and had also said that there was a rumor that he had been married before he wed my great-great grandmother Hinda.

Well, the rumors were true--and by verifying them, I've gotten back another generation in the Diamond family.
Yankel Diamant Birth Record