Sunday, March 29, 2020

My Family in the Cholera Pandemic of 1848

As COVID-19 has spread across the world, instantly changing how we go about our day-to-day lives, our lives have changed.  It's the first time in most of our lifetimes that we've experienced something like this impacting ourselves and our families personally.  But pandemics have happened before, and at least once before, they specifically impacted my family.
Tzipra Brandman Death; Krasnoye, Podolia, Russian Empire; July 26, 1848

Monday, March 16, 2020

Upcoming Free Webinars!

With "social distancing" becoming the norm, lots of people are going stir-crazy.  But this also gives you the time to do more genealogy--and to learn from other genealogists.  I'm pleased to be part of a series of free webinars that will be given nearly daily over the upcoming weeks.


Sunday, March 8, 2020

Purim in Senkevychivka, 1934 -- Before the Ghetto

My grandmother Sonia Diamond rescued some photos from the ruins of the Senkevychivka Ghetto after its October 1942 destruction.  One of them is particularly applicable this time of year, with Purim coming up this week.
Senkevychivka Purim Play?

Sunday, February 23, 2020

My Prestigious (Possible) 5th Great Grandfather

My great-great-great-great-great grandfather was Avraham Rutner, who is said to have come from Galicia to Maramaros.  So far, I've been able to link all Rutners who lived in the Maramaros Megye of Hungary (now split between Subarpathian Ukraine and northern Romania) to being his descendants.

Distant cousins have said that he was also a wealthy man, but I've never seen anything to prove (or refute) that fact.  Until now--maybe.

Hazai's Külföldi Tudósítások; January-June 1827

Sunday, February 16, 2020

How Quickly the Holocaust Happened

My mother's parents were born in America, so I didn't hear about the Holocaust like I did from my father's parents, who both had survived the war in Poland (now Ukraine).  But my mother's parents had many relatives who had remained in Europe and who were Jews swept into World War II.  Until the war happened, they were living their everyday lives.  But this is a story of how quickly their lives changed--and ended.
From the Pesti Hírlap, February 1, 1944

Sunday, February 9, 2020

David Rutner's Land, Taken by the Government

My great-great-great-great grandfather was Dovid Rutner.  I knew that he owned some land as of 1865, per a cadastral map.  But it looks like he owned land in 1857 as well, but that land was taken by the government via a Hungarian version of eminent domain.
Budapesti Hírlap, January 28, 1857

Monday, February 3, 2020

Get a GRIP on Jewish Genealogy

This summer, I'm co-teaching a week-long intensive course on Jewish Genealogy, along with Emily Garber, Janette Silverman, and Marian Smith at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh.  Where else would you want to spend the week of July 19 but in beautiful Pittsburgh!  Registration opens this Wednesday, with limited seats.

So what would you learn in this course?