Sunday, August 2, 2020

Zubkis Family, 1858 Style

I've been researching my Zubkis family for years (although when I started, I was researching the Supkoff family--which turns out to be an Americanization of the original name).  My branch of the family lived in Kuna for multiple years, and I thought I'd exhausted all Kuna resources.  When Alex Krakovsky posted the 1903 Kuna census which referenced an 1858 revision list, I was excited, since no one seemed to know where the 1858 revision was--and in fact, it had possibly burnt up in the Kamenets-Podolsk archives fire.

But it turns out the 1858 revision (which is a Russian Empire type of census) is still around.  And it may have found a new ancestor for me.
Header of a page of the Kuna 1858 Revision

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Longest Segment Coming on AncestryDNA!

If you are from an endogamous population, you're used to getting predicted "close" relatives that aren't really so close after all because of endogamy.  One of the best strategies for determining if a match is truly worth pursuing for us endogamous people is looking at the size of the largest segment, since many small segments may be artifacts from being related in many ways on many lines, pretty far back.  Most of the large genealogical testing companies give the size of the largest segment, but AncestryDNA hasn't done so. 

I've accosted Crista Cowen at many genealogy conferences for years (sorry Crista) with my largest segment plea; in fact, I was thinking that Crista appreciated Covid stopping in-person genealogy conferences for now so I can't bother her in person.

But Ancestry has come through!!

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Enumerated....Three Times

Every genealogist knows the frustration of not finding a specific family member enumerated in a census.  A lucky genealogist will find family members enumerated in two places because they in school (and enumerated there as well as at home) or had moved right in time to be enumerated at an old and new home.  But have you ever found someone enumerated THREE times in one census?

Meet someone who has: Srul son of Mordechai Zubkis, my second cousin four times removed.
Zubkis Family, 1875 Russian Empire Conscription Census, Kuna, Gaysin Uezd

Sunday, June 28, 2020

My Great-Great-Great Grandmother's Grave

I have only one great-great-great grandparent who ever came to America, Mira Alpern Lefand Marienhoff.  Her death certificate from Pittsburgh says that she died in Pittsburgh in April 1913, less than seven years after coming to America.  The certificate notes that she was buried in "White Hall."  What was then known as Whitehall Cemetery is now divided into Beth Abraham, Shaare Zedeck and Shaare Torah cemeteries in the Carrick section of Pittsburgh.

Mira had children buried in Beth Abraham and Shaare Zedeck.  When I was in Pittsburgh a few years ago, I spent hours going through these very large cemeteries trying to find Mira's grave, but I never found it.  Pittsburgh's Jewish cemeteries seem relatively well-indexed on JOWBR, but she was not listed there.  I assumed that perhaps as new immigrants, her family was unable to afford any sort of gravestone for her.

Just in case, I put up a request on FindAGrave, in hopes that someone would enable a miracle.  And that miracle has occurred.
Grave of Mira Alpern Lefand Marienhoff!

Sunday, June 21, 2020

1921 Czech Census for Podkarpatská Rus (Now Zakarpattia Oblast, Ukraine), Online!

If you have ancestors from the slice of Europe which is currently Zakarpattia Oblast (Ukraine), was Podkarpatská Rus (Czechoslovakia) between WWI and WWII, and which was part of Hungary before that, then prepare to get excited.  After this area became part of the newly-formed country of Czechoslovakia after WWI, the new government conducted a census in 1921 to get a handle on their population.  A fellow Subcarpathian researcher let me know that this is now online, and OMG, is this incredible.
Part of Lajzer Ruttner's Family, 1921 Czechoslovakian Census, Dulfalva/Dulovo

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

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Preschool Pal Leads to Genealogical Find

Did you ever think that a preschool classmate's blog post would give you information about your own family?  Well, it's happened to me.

Elli Fischer writes on HaMapah, which "aims to bring modern tools of quantitative and geographic analysis to Rabbinic literature."  It's definitely worth checking out.  His latest post in particular caught my eye because it involved Felsö Neresznicze, Hungary (now Novoselytsya, Ukraine), the town where my Fuchs family lived for generations and discussed the story behind the publication of a book coordinated by someone from that town.  Elli writes about the prenumeraten in this book, subscriptions that people paid for to help fund the book's publication.  And since the coordinator lived in Novoselytysa, it's clear that some people from that town would have subscribed.
Subscribers from Novoselytsya