Sunday, August 24, 2014

My great-great grandmother's maiden name was....WHAT?

Last week, I mentioned how getting the Declaration of Intention for my grandfather's aunt's husband (Morris Dorfman, husband to Jenny Diamond Dorfman) led to finding his ship manifest which contained the names of several other previously unknown relatives as well.  Well, it turns out his Petition for Naturalization opens up another avenue for research as well!

My grandfather had told me that his Diamond grandparents were Hillel and Hinda Diamond, but he did not know Hinda's maiden name.  When DNA helped to discover Jenny's large family in the Detroit area, I was hoping that Jenny's death certificate could help to solve that mystery.

Death Certificate, Jennie Diamond Dorfman; Detroit, Michigan, 1949
While the certificate did help to verify that Jenny was, indeed, my grandfather's aunt, it has her parents as Hillel and Hilda Diamond, with the maiden name for "Hilda" unknown.

But I noticed something very peculiar on Morris' Petition for Naturalization:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ancestor Deep Dive: Hillel Tolchinsky (Part 2/2)

In an earlier post, I traced the life of my great-great grandfather, Hillel Tolchinsky, from his birth around 1865 in what is now north-central Ukraine, through the 1910 census, when he was living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Hillel Tolchinsky (left), my great-great grandfather and his son Isadore Tolchin, my great grandfather
In March 1911, Hillel's wife Pesha Riva and six of their children came to join Hillel and Isadore in Pittsburgh.  Unfortunately soon after their son Naftali Hirsh died.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tracking the Newly-Discovered Diamond Cousins....

I recently wrote about discovering a manifest for the husband of my grandfather's aunt, which said he was going to his brother-in-law, Leibish Diamond.  But interestingly, there were four other individuals on the same page who also listed Leibish Diamond as their destination.  At least 3 listed him as a relative; one has a relationship that I cannot read.

Ship Manifest, Moses Dorfmann (Line 17); David & Chaim Rosenfeld (lines 18-19); Motel Landsman (line 20); Arye Koruczuk (line 27), Arrived May 26, 1909
Motel Landsman, a 28-year-old butcher, said that he was going to his brother-in-law L. Diamond, and that his wife Ester was his closest relative back in Europe.  My grandfather had said that one of his father's sisters (therefore one of Leibish's sisters) was Esther!  I know know her married name and that her husband came to America.  The question then became, what happened to Esther?  Did she join her husband in America?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

More Diamond Cousins? A New Mystery....

Earlier I posted about discovering via DNA testing that my grandfather's aunt, Jennie Diamond Dorfman, had actually come to America.  After that, one of my father's first cousins mentioned that there was an Uncle Leibish that she recalled meeting as well.  This was another of my grandfather's father's siblings that he had mentioned.  I looked, and sure enough, I found that Leibish had come to America!
Ship Manifest, Leib Diamond (line 18), Arrive New York Sep 3, 1905
Leib Diamond was a 19-year-old butcher from Biskupicje, Russia, going to Brooklyn (along with line 17, Leib Blaustein) to join a friend Schloime Galperin.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Ancestor Deep Dive: Hillel Tolchinsky (Part 1/2)

My great-great grandfather, Hillel Tolchinsky, was born in 1865 or 1866 (although he later used the birthdate of January 10, 1869) in what is now Lubny, Poltava, Ukraine.  His father was Shimon Tolchinsky, and his mother was probably named Chaya.  His mother died soon after his birth, and by 1867 Shimon had moved with Hillel to Nezhin, Chernigov, Ukraine and married Risha Frayda Mechansky.

In 1882, Hillel was 16 (backing up the 1866 birthdate) and living with his father, stepmother, and siblings in Losinovka, a village just south of Nezhin.
Tolchinsky Family, 1882 Poll Tax Census, Nezhin, Ukraine; Hillel is the 16-year-old son