Friday, April 18, 2014

The Mystery of Naftali Hirsh Tolchinsky, Solved

Naftali Hirsh Tolchinsky was a younger brother of my great grandfather Yitzchok Tolchinsky (later Isadore Tolchin).  He was born in 1905 in what is now Nizhyn, Ukraine to Hillel and Pesha Riva Lefand Tolchinsky.
Birth Record for Naftuli Hirsh Tolchinsky, Nizhyn, Ukraine
He immigrated to the United States in March 1911 with his mother and some of his siblings, arriving in Baltimore but traveling on to Pittsburgh to join his father and other siblings already in the US.

Boat Record for Naftule Tolchinski, 1911
And then he disappeared.  Until today.  Ancestry has put up the first batch of post-1906 death certificates from Pennsylvania (which until now has been a horrid state from which to get vital records).

Harry Tolchinsky Death Certificate, Pittsburgh, PA, 1911
Harry Tolchinsky died in May 1911 of complications of an ear infection, less than 2 months after arriving in America. His mother is listed as Bessie (Pesha Riva went by Pesha, Pessie, and Bessie in the US) Lipffand. His father is oddly listed as Nathan, rather than Hillel.  Perhaps this was a language issue?  The address is Hillel's address.  So unfortunately, the mystery of Naftali Hirsh's disappearance doesn't have a happy ending.

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