Sunday, June 7, 2020

Finding Uncle Leibish's Grave

For quite a while, Uncle Leibish was my genealogy white whale.  My father's cousin remembered my grandfather's Uncle Leibish coming to Baltimore to visit but knew nothing about where he lived (she guessed New York, since he came by train) or if he had any other family.  I wanted/needed to find him.

I had finally found his ship manifest (details here), and eventually located a very strong suspect (here).  I tracked down that suspect's grandson, and DNA proved that I had, in fact, located Uncle Leibish (details here)!

Speaking to Uncle Leibish grandson, I learned that Uncle Leibish and his wife had divorced, and his wife took the children to California, so Uncle Leibish's grandson knew very little about his grandfather.  When Uncle Leibish was visiting my part of the family in Baltimore, he was living alone in New York.

The grandson didn't even know when Uncle Leibish had died, although we had a ballpark 10-year probable window.  So I put in requests for FindAGrave photos for every Louis Diamond buried in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts who had died within that time window with a grave listed on FindAGrave.  I know that the graves listed on FindAGrave only consist of a small percentage of actual graves, but it was a start (and there were still many Louis Diamonds who fit my criteria).  Over the past few years, volunteers have photographed some of my requested graves, but none were him.  Until now.
Uncle Leibish's Grave; New Montefiore Cemetery, West Babylon, NY
A wonderful volunteer, "torgo," took a photograph of one of my Louis Diamond requests.  And jackpot!  Uncle Leibish used various birthdates, all of which were in 1887.  And this Louis was Yehudah Leib son of Hillel.  It's almost surely my guy.

I'm waiting on his death certificate.  I'm hopeful (but cautiously realistic) that it may have his mother's maiden name--that of my great-great grandmother.  I have two sources for her maiden name, neither of which is the same.  Do you think I'll get yet a third?

Obsessive genealogy pays off again.

FindAGrave can be a great tool for locating where people are buried and their dates of death. If you're near a cemetery, check if anyone has put in requests for photographs of graves in that location.  You may help them to solve a mystery as well.

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  1. If Louis was survived by his first wife, and if she was the informant for the death certificate, then the odds of his mother's maiden name being on it are pretty good. If not, the odds drop off significantly. Even when maiden names are present on death certificates, however, they are not always reliable -- it depends who the source of information was, and how well they knew the deceased's family.

    1. I doubt the first wife was the informant. But Leibish's grandson says his grandfather was married again. Potentially she knew the mother's name--but if not, I'll know the second wife's name and potentially there's information on their marriage certificate/license.

    2. Good luck Lara ... I'll be interested to hear about what the death record shows!

  2. We certainly have the same mind set. We have an expression in Maine...Git in your craw and never let go. Present circumstances have allowed me ooooodles of research (QUALITY research) time and a few minor mysteries have been solved. All the best, CPT

  3. Very pleased for you. I know how long you have been working towards this.

  4. Always amazing to me and now I get to show this to his Great,great nephew - my Louis Diamond.

  5. My husband's great grandfather was Louis Diamond (20 Feb 1886 to 4 Aug 1969). He must have come up in your Find-a-grave search :-)

  6. Lara, I can't thank you enough for this post and links. My maternal great-grandfather Herman Schwarz was indeed listed in the Ungvar/Ungvar census as a home owner and, with the help of my 2d cousin, we found (and mostly deciphered) that household's census pages. I'll be blogging about our discoveries very soon, but I had to tell you how much I appreciate that you called this resource to the attention of your faithful readers! Stay well and thanks again.