Sunday, December 30, 2018

Thanks, JewishGen: My Great-Great Grandmother's Surprise Burial Location

My great-great grandmother was Rochel Fuchs Rutner.  Although she never lived outside of what's now Subcarpathian Ukraine (although it was Hungary when she was born and Czechoslovakia when she died), I actually have gathered quite a bit of documentation about her life.

But I never knew exactly when she died.  I have the death records from Kolodne and Dulovo, where she lived from the time she married, and her death was not recorded.  I did have a window of when she would have died; she was alive in 1920 when my grandmother's older brother came to America, and she had a granddaughter named for her in 1927.  In addition, when her husband died in 1928, he was listed as a widower.

I had been in Kolodne back in 2016, and I photographed what is left of the Jewish cemetery.  When I got home, I transcribed all of the tombstones, and sent the transcriptions and associated photos to JewishGen's JOWBR.  The other night I wanted to check on a particular tombstone to see if it correlated with a lead I was following (more to come on that lead in a future post), and I was being lazy, so instead of searching through my computer, I just searched for Kolodne graves on JOWBR.

And this is why being lazy can pay off!
Partial JOWBR Listing for Kolodne

All of the stones were ones I had photographed--but I happened to notice that the last entry was for someone actually buried in Berehove, but which came up when I searched for Kolodne--plus Boruch Hirsch/Tzvi is a common name in my family.  So I clicked:
Ruchel bat Burech Zvi's JOWBR Entry
Ruchel, the daughter of Burech Zvi died on November 19, 1924 and was buried in Berehove.  This is my great-great grandmother!  And that date of death was right in the window I'd estimated.  JewishGen has a KehilaLinks page for Berehove, and that page has photographs of the cemetery.  And look what's there:
https://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/Berehove/album-tstones/slides/Row-35-45.jpg
My great-great grandmother is described as a modest woman, Rochel daughter of Baruch Tzvi from Kolodne who died 22 Cheshvan 5685.
Distance between Berehove and Kolodne

But why is she buried in Berehove?  So far as I know (so far), she didn't have immediate family who lived there.  Berehove is quite a distance to Kolodne; even today, Google Maps says this 103kM/64 mile distance is a 2-hour drive.  And she was born even further to the east of Berehove than Kolodne is.  Looks like I now have to do some Berehove investigations to figure this one out!  And I'd love to get there to get a better photo--or if anyone reading this might be in the area and would be willing to take a photo, I'd greatly appreciate it.

This shows the power of JewishGen and its volunteers.  I never would have looked through Berehove's cemetery for my family members, since I didn't know of any connection to that town.  But because someone took a photo and someone else indexed it and sent that to JewishGen, I was able to find where my great-great grandmother was buried and when she died.

So thanks, JewishGen.  I've just sent them a donation, so hopefully they'll be able to host JOWBR and all of their other databases for a long time to come.  If you've benefited from JewishGen, thank them--plus you'll get in a 2018 tax deduction!

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3 comments:

  1. FIrst time reader here. I have family in Minsk I am wondering if you can help me find. Please email me atblackmanderek96@gmail.com so we can discuss my family and all that. Thank you.

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  2. Amazing. But how did the person who listed it know where she was born? Does the headstone include her birthplace? I have a somewhat similar circumstance. A relative was buried in a town about 15 km from where he lived---and I can't figure out why. His wife was buried where they lived. Not as distant as your ancestor from her home, but still puzzling.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, the headstone includes the town (which isn't her birthplace but is where she lived most of her adult life, post-marriage).

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