Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Early-On Rutner/Joshowitz Connections

Sometimes you wonder how your ancestors met.  With my great grandparents, it looks like their families were friends from quite early on.

My great grandfather was Josef Joshowitz.  Josef's parents, Chaim and Mindel, had a son Smil Hers in 1889; Smil Hers only lived until the age of two, so I never knew he existed until recently when I was transcribing record books for JewishGen.

Smil Hers Joszovits Birth, 1889

Smil Hers' birth record gives me a town of birth for his father Chaim/Chajem (Also Neresznicze, today's Neresnystya, Ukraine) and mother Mindel Eizikovits (Darva, today's Kolodne, Ukraine).  But the second page of the record also has some familiar names
Smil Hers Rutner Joszovits Birth, 1889 (page 2)

The midwife was Henya Moskovits.  But what was particularly interesting to me were the other two names on the second page--the mohel (circumcizer) was "Smil Mozes Rutner," and the sandek (godfather) was "Mendel Rutner."

Shmuel Moshe Rutner was my great-great grandfather.  Mendel Rutner was my great-great-great grandfather.  Just over 22 years after Smil Hers' birth was recorded, Shmuel Moshe Rutner's daughter (and Mendel Rutner's granddaughter) Esther would marry Josef Joshowitz, brother of this child Smil Hers.

So while I don't know exactly how long the Rutners and the Joshowitzes knew one another before Josef & Esther's 1912 wedding, it was at least two decades!

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  1. "Knew each other" - or more likely were already related.

  2. Was he the mohel for many others? And was Mendel there as a witness for others as well? We have seen that kind of thing.

    1. Mohel, yes. But Mendel was only listed elsewhere with his own grandchildren/great grandchildren.