Sunday, May 1, 2022

Look for Obscure Sources Too; How I Found a Written Mention of Shlomo Diment

My paternal grandfather was a Holocaust survivor.  From him and his surviving siblings, I knew they had a brother Shlomo who was murdered by the Nazis soon after his bar mitzvah.  Their older sister Kreina was also murdered, along with her husband and their young daughter.  I've found mention of Kreina in written documents--both her birth record and a form filled out by my great grandfather relating to her schooling.  But other than oral history, I've seen no written document with Shlomo's name.  But now I have.

Diment Family, 1932; 286.1.68 - Lists of residents of Czaruków gmina of Jewish nationality

I regularly search the major genealogy websites, like Ancestry, FamilySearch, MyHeritage, JewishGen, etc., since more records come online with some regularity.  But it's critical to look for other sources of records for your particular geographic area of research.  For example, I look at Alex Krakovsky's uploads regularly as well as local branch archive Facebook pages and webpages.  But sometimes I also find more focused sources of records--and they can may have access to records that other sites don't.  So I follow those as well, hoping for gold.  When I saw one of the blogs (which I follow because of its focus on Volhynia) mention a listing of Jewish residents from Czaruków gmina, I got excited.

It seems that in 1932, there was a census of Jewish residents in Czaruków gmina, which was a district just southwest of what is now Lutsk, Ukraine (then Łuck, Poland) as well as Połonka gmina, just south of Lutsk.  I knew that my grandfather's town of Biskupicze was in Czaruków gmina.  And right there was on the index was a mention of a Diment family in Biskupicze, as well as other family names that I recognized in neighboring villages.  I immediately ordered copies of the original documents.

In the original document, I find my great-grandfather Abraham Diment, a 56-year-old wheelwright.  My great-grandmother Cywja (Tzivia) was 42.  And four of their children are named--Krejna, Dwojra, Dawid and Szloma.  Yes, Shlomo is mentioned by name!  Oddly, my grandfather, who would have been around 9 years old, was not mentioned with the rest of the family.  (And yes, DNA has shown that this is his biological family.) 

Besides this incredible mention of Shlomo, I have another clue to an outstanding family mystery.  It seems that in 1932, there were only two Jewish families in Biskupicze--My Diment family and a Rozenfeld family, led by Szmul, a 41-year-old trader.  Could there be a genealogical relationship between these two families?  Very possibly.

Back in 2014, I discovered two Rosenfeld brothers (twins) who upon their immigration to America in 1909 listed my grandfather's uncle Leibish as their cousin.  DNA matches with some of their descendants as well as some oral history both point to their being a connection.  (You can read about what I've found in the past here.)  Could the Rozenfeld family in this 1938 family list be connected to those twins?  I don't yet know, but this is yet another tantalizing clue!

Had I not followed this one Volhynia-related blog, I may not have ever found this one written acknowledgement of Shlomo Diment's life.  And I may not have refocused my efforts on finding my Rosenfeld connection.  So look for those resources that cover your areas of research; they could be the key to solving some mysteries!

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