Wednesday, February 17, 2016

My great-great-great grandmother Malka Vizel's Death Record--Maybe

I need advice from my readers on this one.  I recently learned that my great-great-great grandmother was Malka Vizel Fuchs/Fux. And I may have found her death record--but maybe not.

I can narrow down when Malka would have died:
Malka Rutner Birth Record, 1897

My great-great grandmother Rochel Fuchs Rutner had a daughter named Malka on October 2, 1897.  So Malka Vizel Fuchs died no later than that date.
Rivka Fuksz/Fuchs and Marku Jankelovits Marriage Record, 1893
When Rochel's sister Rivka got married, her father was listed as being deceased--but her mother was not--implying that Malka was still alive on June 14, 1893.  So we can narrow Malka's death to being between June 14, 1893 and October 2, 1897.

Going through records from the area of Novoselytsya, I saw the following record and initially thought I'd found Malka Vizel Fuchs' death record:

Malka Vizel's Death Record
Malka Vizel, daughter of the late Eizik and the late Eidel Vizel from Nagy-Kirvau, died on June 8, 1896, right in the target range for Malka Vizel Fuchs' death.  Malka died in Felso-Neresnicza, today's Novoselytsya, Transcarpathian Ukraine.

There are other tantalizing clues here.  Malka Fuchs had a daughter "Eitl," seemingly named after her mother.
Birth Record for Eitl Fux/Fuchs
There's also an Eizik Fux in the town who I believe is the son of Hers and Malka, but I haven't yet verified that--but it would imply that Malka had children named after both of her late parents, should this death record be hers.

In addition, Malka's daughter Rivka had a daughter Eidla:
Birth of Eidla Yankelovics, daughter of Rifke Fux; June 1903

The earliest documented birth of a child of Hers and Malka was their daughter Etye, born 1863, and Malka had children into the mid-1870s.  So Malka was likely born in the 1830s or very early 1840s.  So her estimated age at death of 65 in 1896, meaning her birth around 1831, is feasible.  And I've learned that ages at this time were very much guess for the most part.

But then here's the issue.  Her husband's name is listed as the late Smily (Samuel/Shmuel) Berkovics.  Nowhere near Hers Fuchs/Fux/Fuksz.

I found no birth records for any children to a Smily/Samuel/Shmuel Berkovics and Malka Vizel in this area.  I also have no marriage records for this couple or any death record for Smily/Samuel/Shmuel.  I have a death record that is possibly that of my great-great-great grandfather Hers from 1876.  So his wife may well have remarried.  Or not.

Looking at the death records for Novoselytsya and adjacent towns, there are 5 death records from 1895-1930 with a father's name similar to this Malka's husband.  Assuming Smily was within 15 years of Malka's age, he would have been born between 1815 & 1846.  Therefore, his children would likely have been born 1890 or earlier.  Of the 5 death records, only one fits into this criteria.  Pirl Berkovics Ickovic, daughter of Samuel and Ruchel Berkovic, died in 1928, aged 75.

Any ideas?  Comments?  Advice?


  1. Did you look for a death for Rachel? If I understand correctly, your scenario is that Smily and Rachel had Pirl and maybe others, then Smily the widower married Malka the widow. An earlyish death for Rachel would support that.

    One nitpicking question. You assume that Malka was alive when the daughter Rivka married in 1893 because the marriage record says her father was deceased but not her mother. The mention of the father may have had some legal significance ("giving away" the bride, etc) and the mother might not have been mentioned because it didn't matter if she was alive or not. Have you found other marriage records in that set that say the mother is dead?

    1. There are many records where it specifies that the mother is deceased. Nothing for Rachel yet, but I'm still going through them....

  2. Loved how you translated that all. Photos brought that to light. This is so different from my Heritage but yet I'm drawn to it. Great Piece!