Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Transition to Polish Rule

Earlier this month, I wrote about finding a letter in Simon Mitchneck's 1919 passport application from his sister Dora, detailing the hardships the family was enduring in WWI's aftermath.  Simon didn't take his planned 1919 trip, and he applied for another passport in 1922.  In this application, he included a translation of a letter from his sister Toba (who was getting married in 1919) which shows that things were still difficult.  At this time, the area around Torchin had transitioned for years as part of the Russian Empire to part of the newly-created country of Poland.  Here is Toba's letter.

Translation of Letter from Toba Mitchneck Hochman, Page 1 (1922)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Uncle Leibish's Grandson--With DNA Proof

I've been trying to find my grandfather's Uncle Leibish for a while (see here, here, here, and here).  About 6 weeks ago, I wrote about how I found his grandson.  Well, not only have I met his grandson, but I have genetic proof of our relationship (which also allows me to identify more Diamond-specific DNA).
Me with Uncle Leibish's Grandson

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Off to America!

A few years back, I emailed the few addresses I could find for the small village of Losinovka, just outside of what is now Nezhin, Ukraine.  My Tolchinsky family lived there, and I was hoping to find a contact who could help me with some ultra-local records.  I've since been in touch with a Ukrainian Orthodox priest who has an interest in history.  He was able to tell me that there was no Jewish cemetery in the village, but since the Jewish community wasn't much more than my Tolchinsky family, that didn't surprise me--they'd likely have been buried in Nezhin.  He also has been gracious enough to send me documents about my family when he comes across them in the local records.  The latest was incredible.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Upcoming Talk on Ukraine Trip--Kensington, Maryland

I'll be speaking about my trip to Ukraine this Thursday (June 15, 2017) in Kensington, Maryland.  If you're in the Maryland/DC area, please come!  It's free and open to the public.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

A Glimpse Into Post-WWI Turmoil

I mentioned in a previous post about how my father's first cousins recalled that we are somehow related to Simon Mitchneck.  In researching Simon and his family, I found many documents, including an application for a US passport submitted by Simon in 1920.  Enclosed in that application was the translation of a letter from his sister Dora.  This letter gives great insight into the hardships that people had at the close of World War I.  This letter was written from what is now Torczyn, Volhynia, Ukraine but which was (at the time the letter was written) part of the newly-formed Wolyn, Poland.
1919 Letter from Dora Mitchneck, Page 1

[Translation of letter received from Poland]

December 6, 1919

My Dear Brothers David, Samuel, Harry, Simon Mitchneck.
May you all fare well.