Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Jewish Burials in Eastern Europe - Relatives Left Behind?

My immediate ancestors were all in America by 1947--and my mom's ancestors by the early 1920s.  But especially for the branches of my family who came over earlier in the twentieth century, we know that they left relatives behind.  My family, like many others, lost contact with those relatives over the years--and definitely post-Holocaust.  Many of those who stayed behind (and survived the Holocaust) were buried in local Jewish cemeteries.  And finding those burials can potentially point you towards their descendants.

Grave of Leia Zubkov Linetzky, Courtesy

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Intensive Course in Galician & Russian Empire Jewish Genealogy

If you're interested in a week-long intensive course in Jewish Genealogy (focusing on Galicia and the Russian Empire), then you'll want to jump on this.  I'm one of the instructors in this course at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), along with Emily Garber (who's doing the hard work of coordinating everything), Janette Silverman and Marian Smith.  This was supposed to be an in-person class in Salt Lake City and we were entirely full, but thanks to Omicron, it's now virtual.  And this opens seats and opportunities for more people to join.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Family Stories Vs Documents & DNA

My father's parents were both Holocaust survivors and didn't have much close family, especially on my grandmother's side and on my grandfather's father's side.  The two "Schwartz" brothers, also Holocaust survivors, lived in New York and would always come down to Baltimore for our family celebrations, and my grandparents would go to New York, since they were some of the few relatives on my grandfather's Diamond side who had survived.

My grandfather had told me that these "Schwartz" brothers (I'm using a pseudo surname, as requested by the surviving brother) were related through their mother, whose maiden name was Reiza Diamond, and that Reiza's father Yankel was a sibling to my grandfather's grandfather Hillel, making the Schwartz brothers second cousins to my grandfather.

But DNA disagreed.  As did some documentation.

Yankel Diamond, Grandfather of the "Schwartz" Brothers