Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Jacob Rutner & Genealogical Serendipity

Before starting the main part of this post, I'd like to mention the hugest genealogical coincidence ever.  As I was writing this post on Jacob Rutner, I used one of my favorite genealogy tools--Google.  I think I've Googled Jacob before, but a page I hadn't seen came up--a blog post about Jacob Rutner, written by his great grandson Michael!  It had many open questions he had about Jacob, some of which I could help answer.  I posted a comment on the page saying that I'd love to share information.  Shortly after, I received an email from the very same Michael who apparently had come across my blog within the past hour--and hadn't yet seen my comment on his blog!  Our messages crossed in cyberspace.

And now the actual post which includes documents that should help answer some of the Michael's questions and gives us a way forward.

When I was working on connecting Shmuel Hers Eisikowitz to my family, I noticed that he had come to the United States with Leopold Meilechovics; both were listed as coming from "Dorowa," which is Darva--today's Kolodne.  And Leopold was going to join a friend named Jacob Rutner.

I knew who Leopold was--I have his birth record.  And Leopold later married Fani Eizikovics, a first cousin to my great grandfather Josef Joshowitz.
Leopold Majlechovics Birth Record

But who was the Jakob Ruttner that Leopold was going to join?

Jacob Rutner's Petition for Naturalization, 1913
Jacob Rutner says he was born in Talabor, Hungary--today's Tereblya, Ukraine, a town adjacent to Kolodne and Dulovo, where my Rutners lived.  He said that his wife was the former Dora Kirschbaum, also from the same town.  At the time of his petition for naturalization, he had three children: Morris, Bennie and Minnie, all born in the United States.  In later census documents, Minnie is called Martha, and two more children--Abraham and Helen--had been born.

Jacob gives a ship name and date for his arrival to America.  I've looked through the entire manifest but haven't found him--however, there's one person who wrote several pages in illegible handwriting, so Jacob may well be on one of those pages.  Bonus blog points if you can find him on the manifest!

Jacob's grave gave me information about his Hebrew name (not Yaakov!) and his father's name.
Jacob Rutner's Grave--Washington Cemetery, New York
Jacob's Hebrew name was Yom Tov Lipa; his father was Shlomo Yehudah.  And his death certificate gives information as well:
Jacob Rutner's Death Certificate, Manhattan, 1931
Jacob's parents are given as Samuel (not a literal translation of Shlomo which is Solomon but an English approximation) and Martha Fuchs.  However, on Jacob's marriage record, as indexed on FamilySearch.org, there is a difference:
Marriage of Jacob and Dora Rutner (familysearch.org index)

Here Jacob's father is Solomon (a literal translation of Shlomo), but his mother is "Mortel Moskowitz."  I'd like to see the original to see if that's actually the mother's first name--Meita was a common name in the Kolodne area, so perhaps that's what it says.  In addition, his mother's Moskowitz surname is very different from the "Fuchs" given on Jacob's death certificate.  It is possible that one of Jacob's maternal grandparents was a Fuchs and the other a Moskowitz.  As mentioned in previous posts, it was common in Maramaros to take one's mother's surname legally, although in practice people often still used the father's surname.

However, I have no records of any Solomon or Samuel Rutner married to a woman with a name beginning with an M who would have been born early enough to have been Jacob's parents.  And I do have post-1895 Tereblya vital records.

But let's look at Dora.
Debora Kirschblum Ship Manifest
Dora immigrated as 19-year-old Debora Kirschblum in May 1903.  Her last place of residence was "H. Sofalva," which is today's Danilovo, Ukraine--not Talabor or Tereblya, although right nearby.  On her marriage registration (above), her parents were indexed as Mentel and Rachel Hucks--likely Fuchs.
Dora Rutner's Grave, Washington Cemetery
Dora's father is named on her grave as Menachem Mendel, the cohain (priest).  I do know another daughter of Mendel Kirschblum of Danilovo:
Eizikovic Family Manifest
In 1927, Sura Eizikovic arrived in New York with her two children Berta and Solomon.  Their nearest relative in Europe was Sura's father Mendel Kirsblum in Danilore.  Sura was the wife of Shmuel Hers Eisikowitz--the same one whose ship manifest led me to Jacob Rutner to begin with!  This is likely Danilovo as well, so it seems that the Kirsblums lived in Danilovo for some period of time.

The Jewish Genealogy Family Finder has many researchers looking for the Fuchs family from Danilovo and one researching the Moskowitz family.  And there's one (including a known Eizikovics cousin, Judith) who's also looking for Kirsblums from the town.

So, what's the geographic distance we're talking here?  Quite close actually:
Map showing geographic relationship between Kolodne, Tereblya & Danilovo
All of these towns are within a 6-mile radius of one another.  So it's extremely likely that Jacob is connected to my Rutners.  I just don't know how--but perhaps the great grandson and I can get the Danilovo records and figure this out.  Here's what I know so far:
Relationships of Individuals In This Post
But I still don't know how Shlomo Yehudah Rutner is related to my great grandmother Esther Rutner Joshowitz.  Stay tuned--or better yet, if you know, please tell me!

Note:  I'm on Twitter.  Feel free to follow me (@larasgenealogy).

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