HYMAN = KHELEM?? #lithuania

mleonards . <mleonards@...>

Until recently I had been working under the assumption that my great-grandmother's family name was HYMAN. This is what appeared on death certificates, a naturalization petition, and SSDI applications, as well as what I'd been told by children of the immigrant generation.

Then, about two weeks ago I located the NY City marriage certificate of one of the siblings, in which she gave her maiden name as CHELEM. On two of her children's birth certificates it was CHELAM.

And sure enough, I have found some entries for my KHELEM ancestors in the Kupiskis research group records.

So now I have some questions. Since I don't speak any of Hebrew, Yiddish, Russian or Lithuanian, I cannot tell how similar HYMAN and KHELEM are in those languages. Can anyone provide me with some phonetic equivalents? (However, they do not match under the Daitch-Mokotoff system.)

KHELEM appears to be a fairly unusual surname. Beider says it was Lithuanian name, indicating origins in Chelm, in southeastern Poland (although who knows how far back). No one is searching KHELEM or CHELEM (under those spellings) in the JewishGen Family Finder or the Family Tree, and there are only six entries in the All Lithuania Database. Using the D-M Soundex there are lots of hits, but mostly for variants of KLEIN.

Has anyone else traced their family back to a KHELEM/CHELEM? What kinds of anglicizations have you found?

Thanks for your help.
Monica Leonards
Glenside, Pa

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