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:

Morris Dorfman, Petition for Naturalization, Detroit, December 1943
Typed into the document were Morris & Jenny's marriage date and place--May 19, 1907 in "Bishavitch, Russia."  But both of those were crossed out, and a new date of August 18, 1943 in Detroit was written in.  I had found a divorce record for Morris and Jenny from 1926 on Ancestry; could they have gotten remarried?  And might Jenny's mother's maiden name be on that marriage license?  I requested a copy which came yesterday.
Marriage License & Certificate of Marriage, Morris & Jennie Dorfman, 1943
Sure enough, Morris and Jennie were remarried in 1943.  Here, Jennie's parents were listed as Louis Diamond (Jennie had a son Louis; likely his Hebrew name was Hillel after Jennie's father) and Anna (Jennie also had a daughter Anna, whose Hebrew name was likely Hinda after Jennie's mother).  And Anna/Hinda (my great-great grandmother) had a maiden name!  However, it isn't what I would have expected for a Jewish woman--it is clearly typed as being "Christ."

So was this her name?  Or was it what a clerk heard when talking to a couple with Yiddish accents?  I don't know, but this is the first lead of any kind as to her maiden name.  Ideas anyone?

Update: I may have solved it!  Read how here.

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  1. Lots of hits on JGFF but not many that look promising.