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.
I'd tried to track Leibish further, but there were very many Louis Diamonds (as well as other names that may have been Leib originally) around the same age.  I've been requesting marriage certificates for Louis and Leib Diamonds through photoduplication requests, but being limited to 5 per month makes it a slow process.  Hopefully one will have parents whose names are Hillel and Hinda, and the trail will no longer be so cold.

But meanwhile, I was trying to find a ship manifest for Morris Dorfman, husband of the Jennie Diamond Dorfman I'd mentioned at the beginning of this post.  I knew from his grave that his Hebrew name had been Moshe, but there were still no matches.  However, once I received his Declaration of Intention, it thankfully contained the exact ship information (as well as a photo).
Morris Dorfman, Declaration of Intention, December 23, 1940
Morris confirmed here that Jennie had been born in "Biskavitch, Russia" which is also where they had been married.  Interestingly, Morris says he was born in Bormel, which is the town where my great-great-great grandfather, Pesach Hirsch Zutelman, was enumerated in the 1850 Russian Empire revision list.  He says that he arrived in New York on May 26, 1909 on the SS Bremen.
Ship Manifest, Moses Dorfmann (Line 17), Arrived May 26, 1909
Sure, enough, there he was.  The entry had been mis-indexed as "Moses Dorpnann," which is why even my wildcard searches weren't able to locate him.  He was a 26-year-old butcher from "Orechow," likely Horochov, the larger town near Biscupice, and he left his wife "Scheine Dorfmann" there.  He was going to Connecticut (to a town I can't read--advice welcome).  I went to the next page to see who he was joining in Connecticut, and a whole new avenue opened up:
Ship Manifest, Moses Dorfmann (Line 17), Arrived May 26, 1909
Moses Dorfmann was going to join his brother-in-law L. Diamond (likely Leibish) in Connecticut.  But the three people immediately after him were going to join their cousin (brothers Chaim & David Rosenfeld) and brother-in-law (Motel Landsman).  And a few lines down on the same page, Arye Koruczuk, also from Orechow but whose wife was in Biskupice, was going to join Leibisch Diamond (relationship to whom I cannot make out), also in Connecticut.

Who are these people?  How are they related?  And where did they end up?  I've answered some of those questions for some of those people, but I have lots of outstanding questions.  Current answers are here.


  1. I'm somewhat familiar with Connecticut town names, but this doesn't look familiar. I wonder if this is a section of a large town or city in Connecticut. For the longest time, I couldn't figure out where my great-grandmother had died until I realized the place I was given was not an incorporated town but simply a section of a Connecticut town.

    Perhaps sharing a close-up of the image in a Facebook Connecticut group might help.

  2. Thanks, Elizabeth. I actually did try that--as well in a few generic genealogy groups. Many guesses for Palmerton (no such place in Connecticut)....

  3. You probably did all of this but how about checking the family names in the 1900/1910 census or various city directories in Connecticut?

  4. Lara, I used the Falling Rain gazetteer to get an alphabetical list of towns in Connecticut, and I believe it's PALMERTOWN, CT, which is a small village that appears to be incorporated into the town of Montville, just north of New London, on the Connecticut River. My mother's family also settled on a farm there around 1914, and I still have relatives in Montville (the area is also called Uncasville), although my mother's immediate family moved to Groton, which is directly across from New London. I grew up in a different part of Connecticut, but we used to visit my grandmother in Groton frequently.

    This town, and this general area in eastern Connecticut, was one of the locations for a Jewish farming movement, sponsored by Baron de Hirsch (IIRC), who subsidized the settlement of farming areas in eastern CT, southern NJ, and a few other places, in the early 20th century. Unfortunately, most of the Jewish settlers were city/town folk and had never owned or managed large farming operations before, so many of the farms failed. I know I have some interesting material on this--photos, too--and will try to find them for you.

    So funny that our ancestors and relatives were neighbors, and now we are, too!

  5. I read this post and somehow skipped over the later one, where you've posted the 1910 Montville census, so I think that nails it! :-)

  6. Correction: Thames River, not Connecticut River.