Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Mysterious Uncle Leibish

My grandfather's uncle, Leibish Diamond, is a man of mystery.  He seems to have vanished into thin air once he came to America--at least as far as documents tell us.  I'd love some ideas of how I can figure out where he ended up.  (Please, please help me!)
Leib Dimend Ship Manifest, 1905

Leib Dimend came to America in 1905, along with a fellow 19-year-old, Leib Blaustein.  The two Leibs were joining their friend Schloime Galperin in Brooklyn.  Leib Diment was born in Biscupicze, which is the same town where my grandfather was born--modern-day Berezhanka.  When Leib lived there, the village was in the Russian Empire; after WWI it was part of Poland, and it is currently in Volhynia Oblast, Ukraine.
Leib Dimond & Blaustein departing Hamburg, 1905

By 1909, Leibish was living in Connecticut, when his brother-in-law and cousins emigrated to America and listed him as their American point of contact. 
L. Diamend as destination, May 1909

There's a Louis Diamond who is boarding with a family in the 1910 census who may or may not be Leibish.  But I tracked all of the Louis/Lewis/Leo/Leopold Diamonds in post-1910 censuses born between 1876 & 1896.  None seem to fit into what I know about Uncle Leibish.

And that's it--at least as far as documentation.  However, my father and some of his cousins remember Uncle Leibish coming to visit in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  They believe he was living in New York at the time, but don't know anything else about him.

Some of the places I've already looked include:
  • I went to the New York Municipal Archives and looked at the marriage licenses for every L. Diamond/Diamant/Diamend (and other variants) who married in New York City who was within 10 years of the birthyear implied on Leibish's manifest.  None had parents' names who matched Leibish (Hillel and Hinda) or were probable English approximations.
  • I had a UCSIS index search conducted, giving the information I had from his manifest.  Nothing was found.
  • I requested an SS5, but they also couldn't find anything that matched what I knew about Leibish.
Recapping, here's what I know:
  • Leib Diment/Diamond was born around 1886 in Biscupicze, Russian Empire to Hillel and Hinda Diament.
  • He emigrated to the United States in 1905 with a destination in Brooklyn, New York
  • As of 1909, he was living in Connecticut.
  • He was still alive in the 1950s and early 1960s and may have lived in New York at that time.
Does anyone have additional ideas of where he may have gone?  Please?

Note:  I'm on Twitter.  Follow me (@larasgenealogy).

Want to get future blog posts emailed to you automatically?
Enter your email address:


  1. I put a possible lead on your FB post.

  2. The first name is wrong, but...there's a *Nathan* Diamond who was born circa 1890 in Russia (he says he was 22 in 1912), married in NYC in 1912, and has parents named Harry and Hinda.

    Link: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:243K-FBC

    1. Or perhaps there's ANOTHER brother! My Hinda's surname was likely something closer to Krauss, but I'm going to follow this lead as well. Thanks!

    2. Looks like Nathan died in 1918. So it isn't another name for Leibish, but it's still worth investigating.

  3. There is a Louis Diamond, born Austria, who was naturalized in 1917 in Waterbury, CT. Index card is on FamilySearch. Could he be your man??

    1. Thanks but likely no. Biscupice was never in Austria (but it was in Russia, Poland, Soviet Union & Ukraine).

    2. Perhaps the index card is wrong? Where in Connecticut did he live in 1909?

  4. Lara, we moved when I was 8 or 9 which would have been 1959 or 1960. My guess is that the last time we saw him was mid to late 50s. I only remember him coming to the house when I was younger and he never came to the new house.

  5. Is it possible he changed his surname? Have you tried searching with all your other known parameters and perhaps just D* for the surname? The other thing I'd try is searching for the friends he lived with when he first arrived. Maybe he ended up living near or even with one of them later on.

    1. While it's possible he changed his surname, my father's cousins remember his name being Diamond in the 50s. So unlikely he would have changed it and then changed it back.

      I've tried (without success) to find the friends. I don't know if they went back to Europe (which one of Leibish's brothers-in-law did, only to die in the Holocaust) or if they completely changed their names.

      This one is really frustrating me!

    2. I can understand why. Where did he live in Connecticut? It looks like Pelenorton, and I don't know any town like that in Connecticut. And I live near the CT border...

    3. It was the Baron de Hirsch farm located in Chesterfield. The American Jewish Historical Society searched for his name in the de Hirsch records and found nothing.

    4. And nowhere near Waterbury where that nationalization card was filed. Oh well. Good luck. I wish I had some bright new idea, but it sounds like you've searched thoroughly. Sorry.