Thursday, October 29, 2015

The World's Only Jewish Christening

Harry Zitelman, my grandfather's first cousin, was born in Frederick, Maryland in 1913.  His parents were Morris (Moshe) and  Rebecca Zitelman, both of who were immigrants from near what is now Lutsk, Ukraine.

102 years ago this week, the infant Harry's bris (circumcision ceremony) made the local Frederick newspaper.  And it's clear from the article that Jewish rituals were not well-understood in Frederick!
The (Frederick, Maryland) News; October 27, 1913

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

International Tracing Service Came Through! Paul Diamond's Displaced Persons Records

Over a year ago, I contacted the International Tracing Service (ITS) to see if they had information on my grandfather during or after WWII.  I had forgotten that I even submitted the request--and was pleasantly surprised to get multiple documents from them, tracing my grandfather's life after WWII finished until he left Europe for America.  My grandmother's account of those years can be seen here.
Pejsach Diment Alien Registration, December 13, 1945

Monday, October 26, 2015

Adolph Rutner, Documents Galore

Adolph Rutner was the brother of my great grandmother, Esther Rutner Joshowitz and her only blood relative (besides her children) with her in McKeesport, Pennsylvania.  When Adolph came to America, he brought along many documents from Europe--and his son Emile gave me copies of them back in the early 1990s.

Adolph was born Abraham Rutner in what is now Dulovo, Transcarpathia, Ukraine--part of the Austria-Hungarian Empire when he was born in 1894.

By 1914, he was living in Budapest, and he had to apply for official permission to live there.
Abraham Rutner Temporary License; Budapest; 1914

Thursday, October 22, 2015

I'm Going Sanshuck Tracking....

Many researchers have to take family names and figure out from an Americanized version, what the name had been in Europe.  However, this is an example of having to go the other way--and how changing up traditional search techniques can help solve a problem.

Sanshuck is a very uncommon name.  It is also the maiden name of my great-great grandmother, Zlata Tzipra Sanshuck Supkoff.  Based on the metrical records I have from her hometown of Krasnoye, Ukraine (near Vinnitsa), it appears that all of Krasnoye's Sanshucks are descended from one person, Yisrael Sanshuck.

I found ship manifests for two Sanshuck brothers from Krasnoye:
Itzko Schinzuk Ship Manifest; Liverpool->Maine; March 1911

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Finding Eastern European Records - Collection of Posts

Finding records from Eastern Europe can be challenging--but it isn't impossible.  This series of blog posts covers some strategies to help you locate where records may exist.  Do you have other ideas that weren't covered?  Please mention them in this post's comments!

Finding Eastern European Records, Part 1 (LDS Microfilms)





Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sonia Diamond Holocaust Reparations Application

After surviving the Holocaust and coming to America, my grandmother Sonia Diamond applied for reparations from the German government.  My father tells me that my grandparents did get reparations--and they turned the money around straight to charity.  The following is the content of her 1950 application.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Finding Eastern European Records, Part 7 - Other Sources for Documents (and Beyond the Records)

I've often been asked how I find so many documents from various parts of Eastern Europe--many of which have appeared in blog posts.  This is the seventh in what will be a series of posts describing how to find Eastern European records for your own ancestors; the entire series can be seen here.

This post will concentrate on places to find not only documents beyond those already discussed, but also information about the towns or cities in which you family lived to be able to get a better understanding of their lives in Europe.  If you know of additional sources, please leave them in the comments!

Yad Vashem

Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum located in Jerusalem, is also a resource to learn about those who were killed and the towns in which they lived.  Yad Vashem's searchable database of Pages of Testimony can give insight into your relatives, and potentially help you locate more distant relatives who survived to fill out the pages.  They also have significant repositories of photographs, documents, and other information here.
Yad Vashem Page of Testimony for Dovid Eizik Eizikovic, my great grandfather's first cousin

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Contest--Win RootsTech 2016 Free Registration!

I'm excited to be attending RootsTech 2016--and a lucky blog reader will be able to attend for free (a savings of $249 off the full price registration), with more details below.  Thanks to the RootsTech Ambassador program for making this possible.

RootsTech will be held February 3-6, 2016, in Salt Lake City.  Why do you want to attend?  Well, it is the largest family history event in the world.  Regardless of whether you're a genealogy beginner or an expert, there will be something for you.  There are over 200 classes over the course of the conference, a huge exhibit hall, and the ability to network with other genealogy addicts.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Moving Marienhoffs, Take 2

Earlier, I showed the extreme distances that Yitzchok/Isaac Marienhoff and his son Binyamin/Benoit traveled during the 19th century.  The same sort of traveling was done by Binyamin's first cousins, siblings Louis and Jules as well.

Jules Marienhoff Antwerp Police Registration, June 1892 (page 1)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Census Sunday - Zutelman Family; Boremel, Russian Empire; 1858

This is the 1858 Revision List (Russian Empire version of a census) for the Zutelman family in the town of Boremel, in what is now Rivnens'ka Oblast, Ukraine, located here.  The left page are the males in the family; the right side lists the females.

The top notes that this is from 1858, and is a revision list for Volhyn Province, Dubno County, town of Boremel.  This page contains the extended family of my great-great-great grandfather, Pesach Hirsch Zutelman.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Paul Diamond Reparations Application

After my grandfather, Paul Diamond, survived the Nazis, he came to America.  In 1950, he applied for reparations--and in doing so, he documented his life both before and after the Nazis invaded his part of Poland (now Ukraine).

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Settleman/Suttleman Connection?

My great-great grandfather Yechiel Suttleman was the son of Pesach Hirsch Suttleman.  Born in 1850 in what's now Ukraine, Yechiel came to America in 1911.  I have significant amounts of information (both on paper and from relatives' memories) on his three wives and twelve children.  But no one ever mentioned if he had siblings himself or aunts and uncles.

There is a gentleman (with the family name of "Settleman") who knows he is related to us.  He knew Hinda, daughter of Yechiel (and second wife Chana) as his father's cousin.  His father was Efraim (Frank in America), and his grandfather he believes was Abraham.  He knows that his father had a brother Pesach.  Is this family truly related?  If so, how?
Ship Manifest; Pejsach Zutelman; Argentina -> New York; December 1923 (page 1)

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Finding Eastern European Records, Part 6 (Getting Documents from Archives)

I've often been asked how I find so many documents from various parts of Eastern Europe--many of which have appeared in blog posts.  This is the sixth in  a series of posts describing how to find Eastern European records for your own ancestors.  While these posts will generally concentrate on how to find Jewish records in Eastern Europe, many of the strategies will also be applicable to records for other religions.  (Note that in the Russian Empire, most record sets were recorded separately by religion.)  The entire series can be seen here.

Dealing with Archives Directly

Some Eastern European archives are very responsive and can be reached via email addresses or forms on their webpages.  Others are not responsive at all to individual email queries.  (Many of the archives in Ukraine fall into this category.)  The archivists, should you get a response, are best utilized for specific queries.  Examples of what they can help with are:
  • "My grandfather, Leib Melamed, was born in the town of XXX on January 1, 1899.  Do you have a copy of a birth record for him?"
  • "I'm interested in entries for the Melamed family in the 1875 census for XXX town."
Examples of what they likely will not be able to help with include:
  • "My family lived somewhere in Vilna Guberniya.  What do you have on them?"
  • "Please send me all records from the Melamed family in XXX town."
1811 Revision List for modern-day Krasnoye, Belarus; Obtained from Lithuanian State Historical Archives (Halperin family is highlighted)