A reader asked how to prove that someone died childless. As the reader probably
knows, it often is more difficult to prove a negative.
I once had a case in which I had to prove that someone died childless. I did it
by offering in evidence a photograph of her gravestone. The gravestone had a
quotation >from the section of Proverbs (Mishle) known as "a woman of valor."
Proverbs 31:28 says (in translation), "Her children rise up and call her blessed."
The quotation on the gravestone read, "All who knew her rise up to call her
blessed." I put in an affidavit >from a rabbi, confirming the biblical text and
the change in the text on the gravestone. I urged the court to conclude >from
the change in the text of the biblical quote that she had no children to "rise
up and call her blessed." The Court accepted this offering as proof that she
had died childless.
I had to do this because there was no one still alive who knew her. A much
easier way to prove someone died childless is to put in affidavits >from people
who knew him or her. These people should be financially disinterested in the
outcome of the case.
Researching: SCHWARTZ, WEISS, BALAJTI (Miskolc); WIESENTHAL (Skala); COHEN
(19th century Gnesen, NYC, Richmond VA); JACOBS (19th century NYC, Richmond VA,
Albany NY); ROTHOLZ (19th century Hamburg, NYC, Richmond VA, Kansas City KS);
EINBINDER, COHEN, WAXMAN (Kalarash); KHENVIN (Kiev, Kremenchug); GOODMAN (Chotin);
WALTMAN (Zvaniec, Chotin); ZEITSEV (Sofievka).