Sunday, December 17, 2017

Two Sisters, Different Surnames

My grandmother's older brother, my Uncle Izzy, was born in what is now Kolodne, Ukraine.  He had told me about his two first cousins, Golda and Feige.  I wrote earlier about finding their birth records as well as Feige/Fani's marriage record and the birth of her children--but at the time I wrote that post, I hadn't yet found anything about Golda.  Well, it turns out that I already had records of some of Golda's children's births--but I didn't realize that at the time.
Birth Record of Aranka/Golda Joszovics

Aranka/Golda was born on February 24, 1904 in Darva (current-day Kolodne, Ukraine).  Her parents are given as Iszak Joszovics (my great-great uncle) and Eszter Herskovics.  Her sister Feige/Fani's birth record is practically identical.  But regardless of her father's name being on the birth record, it seems that the parents weren't civilly married (which wasn't unusual):
Marriage of Hers David Slomovic to Aranka (Golda) Herskovic, 1933

Aranka (Golda) Herskovic married Hers David Slomovic in 1939.  Her father is indeed given as "Izak Josovic."  But she went by her mother's surname.  Interestingly, her sister went by the father's surname.  Both birth records have an identical notation saying that the father claimed paternity.

I already had birth records for children of Hers David and Aranka/Golda (Herskovic) Slomovic.  They include:
  • Helena, born February 13, 1933 (her parents' civil marriage legitimized her birth)
  • Izak, born October 13, 1934
  • Helena (implying the first child died young), born November 27, 1936
  • Mendel, Helena's twin
Birth of (the second) Helena Slomovic, 1936
Golda and Hers David (aka Herman David) were still living in Kolodne having children through the 1930s (and the later 1930s/early 1940s records aren't yet available).  The surviving children would have all been under the age of ten when the Nazis came into Kolodne in 1944 and sent everyone to Auschwitz.  I haven't found pages of testimony at Yad Vashem for this family, but unfortunately I don't know that any of them would have survived the Holocaust.

Note that Feige & Golda's birth records were in Hungarian, as at that point the town was in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but their marriage records and most of their children's birth records are in Czech.  One of Fani's daughter's birth record was in Ukrainian (she was born the time that Kolodne was part of the short-lived Carpathian Ruthenia).

I would also like to know why these two sisters used two different surnames.  Anyone have ideas?

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

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  1. Possibly the parents had had an official (as opposed to merely a religious) marriage ceremony by the time their younger daughter was born. This would have meant the elder daughter was illegitimate in the eyes of the law and so used her mother's maiden name.

    1. Possibly, but I don’t see such a marriage in the records. And the child with the father’s surname married first.