Re: Looking for information about buying a surname #names

Susan Sorkenn

I’ve written about this topic before but haven’t learned the answer yet. My maternal great-great-grandparents, Reb Yossel (a rosh yeshiva) and Zelda, (a commission merchant for Polish nobles) Weinstein lived in Vilna. My grandmother, Fannie Weinstein Margolin, lived with them after her father, their oldest son, Moshe Aaron, an auditor of liquor sales, died young from TB, leaving his wife, Malke (Mollie) Eilperin Weinstein with 6 children and twins born after he died. Grandma Fannie, who immigrated at about the age of 12, said that the family name was originally Romm, the same name as the printing family. Weinstein was the name of a childless relative, and the “adoption” of Yossel or Moshe Aaron was to avoid conscription into the Czar’s army. I have found Yossel and Zelda’s marriage date, 1842, and the record of Moshe’s bris, 1845, but no last name. Also, the marriage record says that Yossel was both a widower and divorced, another puzzler. He was 26, and Zelda was 17. Zelda’s father seems to have been Leyba. Iosel’s father was Movsha, interestingly the name of his first child.
Is there any way to learn more about the name change and history of both families prior to 1842 and how Zelda became such a wealthy businesswoman? I have more information about my grandmother’s older sister, Celia, who was a governess who spoke 7 languages fluently and who married Itzak Pollack, owner of a cotton plantation in Tashkent. Friends visited her in Moscow after WW II. The rest of the family immigrated to the U.S.

Susan Kurtin Sorkenn (researching Weinstein from Vilna, Kurchin/Kurtin from Lyachavichi, Margolin from Gomel)

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