Date   

Jewish Cemetery of Warsaw #warsaw #poland

Vangheluwe Daniel <vangheluwe.smietan@...>
 

Bonjour,

Is there a way now to obtain additional information, datas or pictures of the
gravestones of Josef AGATSTAJN, in the Warsaw cemetery (recorded on
JRI-Poland )

Many thanks

Daniel Vangheluwe
France


Warszawa Research Group #Warsaw #Poland Jewish Cemetery of Warsaw #warsaw #poland

Vangheluwe Daniel <vangheluwe.smietan@...>
 

Bonjour,

Is there a way now to obtain additional information, datas or pictures of the
gravestones of Josef AGATSTAJN, in the Warsaw cemetery (recorded on
JRI-Poland )

Many thanks

Daniel Vangheluwe
France


Seek Moritz ROSENBERG b Niedermeiser (Hessen) 20.02.1866 d. Haifa #germany

melchior <mlchior@...>
 

I am seeking for descendants of Moritz ROSENBERG born in Niedermeiser
(Hessen) 20.02.1866 and died in Israel probably Haifa.
He was a son of Joseph ROSENBERG and Jette DOERNBERG / DORNBERG
(with umlaut on the O).

Shlomo MELCHIOR Arad Israel <mlchior@zahav.net.il>

Researching: MELCHIOR (Westfalen) ROSENBERG (Hessen) KUGELMANN (Hessen)


German SIG #Germany Seek Moritz ROSENBERG b Niedermeiser (Hessen) 20.02.1866 d. Haifa #germany

melchior <mlchior@...>
 

I am seeking for descendants of Moritz ROSENBERG born in Niedermeiser
(Hessen) 20.02.1866 and died in Israel probably Haifa.
He was a son of Joseph ROSENBERG and Jette DOERNBERG / DORNBERG
(with umlaut on the O).

Shlomo MELCHIOR Arad Israel <mlchior@zahav.net.il>

Researching: MELCHIOR (Westfalen) ROSENBERG (Hessen) KUGELMANN (Hessen)


BOOK CITE: "Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust" #germany

H.Peter Sinclair <peter@...>
 

A new book was published on 6 October 2005 under the title: "Forgotten
Voices of The Holocaust - A New History in the Words of the Men and
Women Who Survived" Author: Prof. Lyn Smith in association with the
Imperial War Museum in London

Set in chronological order starting in 1933, the book contains the
transcripts of the voices of over 100 survivors, previously recorded
in interviews on tape over a period of 25 years by Lyn Smith, as a
freelance interviewer for the Imperial War Museum Sound Archive.
Published by Ebury Press, Random House, 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road,
London SW1V 2SA, England. ISBN 0091898250

H. Peter Sinclair London, UK <peter@thesinclairs.co.uk>


German SIG #Germany BOOK CITE: "Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust" #germany

H.Peter Sinclair <peter@...>
 

A new book was published on 6 October 2005 under the title: "Forgotten
Voices of The Holocaust - A New History in the Words of the Men and
Women Who Survived" Author: Prof. Lyn Smith in association with the
Imperial War Museum in London

Set in chronological order starting in 1933, the book contains the
transcripts of the voices of over 100 survivors, previously recorded
in interviews on tape over a period of 25 years by Lyn Smith, as a
freelance interviewer for the Imperial War Museum Sound Archive.
Published by Ebury Press, Random House, 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road,
London SW1V 2SA, England. ISBN 0091898250

H. Peter Sinclair London, UK <peter@thesinclairs.co.uk>


Re: is there additional information in photocopies of Tarnow records? #galicia

Richard Cooper <ricooper@...>
 

Just to add my two penn'orth:

I ordered the death certificate of my great-great-grandfather
Mojziesz Eizik LETZTER who died in Tarnow in 1891 aged 65.
In a beautifully legible hand was written that he was born in
Kolbuszowa, the son of Leizer and Ester Hena LETZTER:
three genealogical gems hitherto unknown to me!
Maybe I've just been lucky: what I would say is that basic common
sense tells us that the further removed >from the original
the transcript, the more scope there is for errors.

With respect, may I suggest that Alan Wasser's comment:
<<They went straight into the waste basket.>>
is not an approach to be copied.

So don't be put off by a bad experience: order those
photocopies of unique original documents!
Kol ha-koved to all our many colleagues who have worked so hard
to make these records available to us!

Richard Cooper
Gosport, UK
Poland/Galicia/Ukraine SIG Co-ordinator
BORENSTEIN, MATELEVITCH and GODZINSKIJ >from Warsaw
LEZTER, RINENBERG & SALENDER >from Rzeszow & Kolbuszowa
MILLET & ENGELBERG >from Dabrowa Tarnowska, Zablocie & Lezajsk
ADLER & FINKELSTEIN >from Tarnopol
LEWINSTEIN >from Berdichev
YAROSHEVSKY & SHAPOCHNIKOW >from Odessa


Gesher Galicia SIG #Galicia Re: is there additional information in photocopies of Tarnow records? #galicia

Richard Cooper <ricooper@...>
 

Just to add my two penn'orth:

I ordered the death certificate of my great-great-grandfather
Mojziesz Eizik LETZTER who died in Tarnow in 1891 aged 65.
In a beautifully legible hand was written that he was born in
Kolbuszowa, the son of Leizer and Ester Hena LETZTER:
three genealogical gems hitherto unknown to me!
Maybe I've just been lucky: what I would say is that basic common
sense tells us that the further removed >from the original
the transcript, the more scope there is for errors.

With respect, may I suggest that Alan Wasser's comment:
<<They went straight into the waste basket.>>
is not an approach to be copied.

So don't be put off by a bad experience: order those
photocopies of unique original documents!
Kol ha-koved to all our many colleagues who have worked so hard
to make these records available to us!

Richard Cooper
Gosport, UK
Poland/Galicia/Ukraine SIG Co-ordinator
BORENSTEIN, MATELEVITCH and GODZINSKIJ >from Warsaw
LEZTER, RINENBERG & SALENDER >from Rzeszow & Kolbuszowa
MILLET & ENGELBERG >from Dabrowa Tarnowska, Zablocie & Lezajsk
ADLER & FINKELSTEIN >from Tarnopol
LEWINSTEIN >from Berdichev
YAROSHEVSKY & SHAPOCHNIKOW >from Odessa


Given Names Pattern of Jews in the USA-The Bernanke Case #galicia

Abuwasta Abuwasta
 

Dear Genners and Siggers,

I was curious when I first heard the Bernanke surname
by the time he was suggested to the post of the
Federal Reserve Chairman. I quickly discovered that he
has Galitzianer roots.But what is even more
interesting is his given name Ben Shalom.
Here is what I managed to find out:
"It was the tradition in the South that the
first born son received his mother's maiden name as
his first name. Thus, in Dillon there were people with the
name Smith Williamson and Brown Jones. The Bernankes
translated his mother's maiden name - Friedman to
Ben-Shalom."

I also enclose a link to an interesting article about
him in this week's "Forward".
http://www.forward.com/articles/6896

Jacob Rosen
Jerusalem









__________________________________
Yahoo! FareChase: Search multiple travel sites in one click.
http://farechase.yahoo.com


Gesher Galicia SIG #Galicia Given Names Pattern of Jews in the USA-The Bernanke Case #galicia

Abuwasta Abuwasta
 

Dear Genners and Siggers,

I was curious when I first heard the Bernanke surname
by the time he was suggested to the post of the
Federal Reserve Chairman. I quickly discovered that he
has Galitzianer roots.But what is even more
interesting is his given name Ben Shalom.
Here is what I managed to find out:
"It was the tradition in the South that the
first born son received his mother's maiden name as
his first name. Thus, in Dillon there were people with the
name Smith Williamson and Brown Jones. The Bernankes
translated his mother's maiden name - Friedman to
Ben-Shalom."

I also enclose a link to an interesting article about
him in this week's "Forward".
http://www.forward.com/articles/6896

Jacob Rosen
Jerusalem









__________________________________
Yahoo! FareChase: Search multiple travel sites in one click.
http://farechase.yahoo.com


GUREVITCH families in Israel #belarus

MavAlan Shaffer <mavalan_shaffer@...>
 

Dear Genners,

I have some old addresses for GUREVITCH cousins in
Israel and would be
grateful for any information on them or their
families.
The connection is between my maternal grandmother,
Sarah GUREVITCH (or HOROVITCH) who married Joseph
AARONS in
Krasnoluk, Minsk, Dec. 1899, and came to London Feb.
1900.
I believe her brother Simon also came to London, and
other
brothers went to Israel.

These addresses are >from Simon's son Lou GORDON
(formerly
Leyzer Gurevitch) who visited the families:

S Gurevitch
Tel Aviv

Z. Gurevitch
Tel Aviv

D. Gurevitch
Herzlia


Thanking you for your help.

(Mrs.) Mavis Shaffer
London, England
MODERATOR NOTE: Addresses have been deleted per JewishGen rules. Private replies
only. Please remember to capitalize only surnames.





___________________________________________________________
Yahoo! Messenger - NEW crystal clear PC to PC calling worldwide with voicemail http://uk.messenger.yahoo.com


Belarus SIG #Belarus GUREVITCH families in Israel #belarus

MavAlan Shaffer <mavalan_shaffer@...>
 

Dear Genners,

I have some old addresses for GUREVITCH cousins in
Israel and would be
grateful for any information on them or their
families.
The connection is between my maternal grandmother,
Sarah GUREVITCH (or HOROVITCH) who married Joseph
AARONS in
Krasnoluk, Minsk, Dec. 1899, and came to London Feb.
1900.
I believe her brother Simon also came to London, and
other
brothers went to Israel.

These addresses are >from Simon's son Lou GORDON
(formerly
Leyzer Gurevitch) who visited the families:

S Gurevitch
Tel Aviv

Z. Gurevitch
Tel Aviv

D. Gurevitch
Herzlia


Thanking you for your help.

(Mrs.) Mavis Shaffer
London, England
MODERATOR NOTE: Addresses have been deleted per JewishGen rules. Private replies
only. Please remember to capitalize only surnames.





___________________________________________________________
Yahoo! Messenger - NEW crystal clear PC to PC calling worldwide with voicemail http://uk.messenger.yahoo.com


NEW BOOK CITE - Major new resource for Jewish history in northwest Germany #germany

Ralph B. Hirsch <hirsch@...>
 

The historical handbook of Jewish communities in Lower Saxony and Bremen
(the title and text are in German) has now been published after ten years of work
by a team of more than 50 professional historians in Germany and Israel.

This impressive two-volume reference work should become an important resource to
everyone researching the history of Jews in northwest Germany, including
genealogists. It includes an article for each of 178 cities and towns, ranging
in size >from metropolitan centers such as Bremen and Hannover to small towns and
villages that have had significant Jewish communities.

Each entry typically begins with a brief sketch of the town's historic
development, beginning with its first mention in medieval documents. It then
provides a narrative overview of the history of the town's Jews >from their first
documented appearance to the community's destruction by the Nazis, and beyond,
for those places where a new Jewish community has been established since World War
II. Among many useful features, the size of the Jewish population is shown in
comparison to the town's total population at various points in history.

Cultural, social and political aspects of Jewish life are discussed, together with
the lives of individuals and families that have made important contributions to
each aspect. Significant Jewish institutions, among them schools, associations,
synagogues, and cemeteries, are described. Each town's entry contains detailed
reference sources and cites relevant literature on the basis of which the reader
can undertake further research.

Professor Herbert Obenaus, the editor-in-chief of the project, also contributed
an introduction of some 70 pages that provides an excellent overview of Jewish
history in northwestern Germany >from the Middle Ages to the present.
The book's appendix contains a glossary of terms, lists of abbreviations and of
relevant literature, and a detailed, cross-referenced register of places.
A separate map shows the location of every city, town and village for which there
is an entry.

The German title is "Historisches Handbuch der juedischen Gemeinden in
Niedersachsen und Bremen", edited by Herbert Obenaus with David Bankier and Daniel
Fraenkel. Goettingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2005. Two volumes, hardbound, 1678 pages,
83 illustrations, ISBN 3-89244-735-5. Price, 59 Euro.

Grants >from foundations and several governmental agencies in Germany have made it
possible to set the book's price at a surprisingly modest level, keeping it within
reach of interested individuals as well as university and public libraries.
The handbook may be ordered via the publisher's website at the URL
http://www.wallstein-verlag.de/3892447535.html

Ralph B. Hirsch, Council on the Jewish Exile in Shanghai Celle, Germany


German SIG #Germany NEW BOOK CITE - Major new resource for Jewish history in northwest Germany #germany

Ralph B. Hirsch <hirsch@...>
 

The historical handbook of Jewish communities in Lower Saxony and Bremen
(the title and text are in German) has now been published after ten years of work
by a team of more than 50 professional historians in Germany and Israel.

This impressive two-volume reference work should become an important resource to
everyone researching the history of Jews in northwest Germany, including
genealogists. It includes an article for each of 178 cities and towns, ranging
in size >from metropolitan centers such as Bremen and Hannover to small towns and
villages that have had significant Jewish communities.

Each entry typically begins with a brief sketch of the town's historic
development, beginning with its first mention in medieval documents. It then
provides a narrative overview of the history of the town's Jews >from their first
documented appearance to the community's destruction by the Nazis, and beyond,
for those places where a new Jewish community has been established since World War
II. Among many useful features, the size of the Jewish population is shown in
comparison to the town's total population at various points in history.

Cultural, social and political aspects of Jewish life are discussed, together with
the lives of individuals and families that have made important contributions to
each aspect. Significant Jewish institutions, among them schools, associations,
synagogues, and cemeteries, are described. Each town's entry contains detailed
reference sources and cites relevant literature on the basis of which the reader
can undertake further research.

Professor Herbert Obenaus, the editor-in-chief of the project, also contributed
an introduction of some 70 pages that provides an excellent overview of Jewish
history in northwestern Germany >from the Middle Ages to the present.
The book's appendix contains a glossary of terms, lists of abbreviations and of
relevant literature, and a detailed, cross-referenced register of places.
A separate map shows the location of every city, town and village for which there
is an entry.

The German title is "Historisches Handbuch der juedischen Gemeinden in
Niedersachsen und Bremen", edited by Herbert Obenaus with David Bankier and Daniel
Fraenkel. Goettingen: Wallstein Verlag, 2005. Two volumes, hardbound, 1678 pages,
83 illustrations, ISBN 3-89244-735-5. Price, 59 Euro.

Grants >from foundations and several governmental agencies in Germany have made it
possible to set the book's price at a surprisingly modest level, keeping it within
reach of interested individuals as well as university and public libraries.
The handbook may be ordered via the publisher's website at the URL
http://www.wallstein-verlag.de/3892447535.html

Ralph B. Hirsch, Council on the Jewish Exile in Shanghai Celle, Germany


Israel Genealogical Society/Jerusalem/EnglishSection #general

Barbara Siegel
 

Israel Genealogical Society/Jerusalem/English Section
Barbara Siegel, Coordinator
E-mail: bsiegel@netvision.net.il Tel/Fax: 02-561-8153

Notice of Next Meeting

DATE: Wednesday, November 23, 2005

TIME: 6:00 P.M. Library open
7:30 " Announcements
7:45 " English Section Program

PLACE Beit Frankfurter. 80 Derech Beit Lechem in the Baka'a
neighborhood.
Buses: 7, 21(>from he Central Bus Station) 30,

TOPIC: Have you ever wondered about the in's and out's of doing on-site
archival research in Eastern Europe? What is available; whom to
contact; how much and what kind of preparation is needed; handling language
barriers; what sort of results to expect ?? Ambassador Neville Lamdan has had
extensive first hand experience in these situations. All this and more he will
share with us under the rubric of "Research in the National Archives in
Minsk--Be Warned!!"
Although individual Archives, their staffs, services and
methodologies do differ, there are many basics and constants that apply to
all. To illustrate this, following Ambassador Lamdan's presentation, I will
briefly describe my experience at the Latvian Archives in Riga, along with
others who would like to join in with their personal Archival tales.
Archives can offer a treasure trove of invaluable genealogical information,
so please try to join us in learning how to most effectively navigate the hurdles.

Any questions? Please E-mail or call Barbara at bsiegel@netvision.net.il
02-561-8153


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Israel Genealogical Society/Jerusalem/EnglishSection #general

Barbara Siegel
 

Israel Genealogical Society/Jerusalem/English Section
Barbara Siegel, Coordinator
E-mail: bsiegel@netvision.net.il Tel/Fax: 02-561-8153

Notice of Next Meeting

DATE: Wednesday, November 23, 2005

TIME: 6:00 P.M. Library open
7:30 " Announcements
7:45 " English Section Program

PLACE Beit Frankfurter. 80 Derech Beit Lechem in the Baka'a
neighborhood.
Buses: 7, 21(>from he Central Bus Station) 30,

TOPIC: Have you ever wondered about the in's and out's of doing on-site
archival research in Eastern Europe? What is available; whom to
contact; how much and what kind of preparation is needed; handling language
barriers; what sort of results to expect ?? Ambassador Neville Lamdan has had
extensive first hand experience in these situations. All this and more he will
share with us under the rubric of "Research in the National Archives in
Minsk--Be Warned!!"
Although individual Archives, their staffs, services and
methodologies do differ, there are many basics and constants that apply to
all. To illustrate this, following Ambassador Lamdan's presentation, I will
briefly describe my experience at the Latvian Archives in Riga, along with
others who would like to join in with their personal Archival tales.
Archives can offer a treasure trove of invaluable genealogical information,
so please try to join us in learning how to most effectively navigate the hurdles.

Any questions? Please E-mail or call Barbara at bsiegel@netvision.net.il
02-561-8153


Re: More on Parents and Children with the same name #lithuania

Judy Simon <heyjude0701@...>
 

Elsebeth Paikin wrote:


However, I am aware of the naming tradition, so I should have added that
I found father and son with the same name - or apparently the same name -
although the father was not yet dead!

Could this possibly be a clue that the father may have had some
Sephardic heritage?

Judy Simon, New York
researching KAPELUSHNIK, BROSGOL >from Rezekne, Latvia; KELMER, LEFKOWITZ
from Zychlin, Poland


Lithuania SIG #Lithuania Re: More on Parents and Children with the same name #lithuania

Judy Simon <heyjude0701@...>
 

Elsebeth Paikin wrote:


However, I am aware of the naming tradition, so I should have added that
I found father and son with the same name - or apparently the same name -
although the father was not yet dead!

Could this possibly be a clue that the father may have had some
Sephardic heritage?

Judy Simon, New York
researching KAPELUSHNIK, BROSGOL >from Rezekne, Latvia; KELMER, LEFKOWITZ
from Zychlin, Poland


Illegitimate royal descent, myth or mystery? #general

HeyJudy123@...
 

I offer this rumor to the participants of this forum for their insights and,
perhaps, for their confirmation.

In the family of my maternal grandmother, for at least a century, there were
whispered rumors of illegitimate descent >from some member of the royal
family.

Since this branch of my family was living in what then was the Austro-Hungarian
Empire, I must assume that the "royal" person referred to was a Hapsburg.

When I was tiny, my mother's older brother mentioned the rumor that their
maternal grandmother had been the Emperor's illegitimate daughter.

This seems hard to imagine about an Orthodox Jewish girl raised in the town
of "Kosice" in what then was Hungary and, today, is part of the modern nation
of Slovakia. (Kosice has alternately been called "Kassa" and "Kashau," among
other names.)

Then, there was one of my mother's aunts, the eldest daughter of the
putative illegitimate princess. She, too, insisted that she was, herself, an
illegitimate princess.

I have pondered this for years now, since I first heard these whispers as a
little girl. As an adult woman, I am wondering if, when there's this much
smoke--albeit metaphorical--whether there had been some sort of fire.

Any question I had asked as a girl about this topic had been shushed and,
except for my mother, anyone capable of answering those questions now
is long dead; sadly, my mother no longer is able to respond lucidly.

There are some curiosities here, however.

My grandmother always told her children that she had been born in
Budapest but, recently, purely by chance, I found her application for a
teaching license with the New York City Board of Education in which--
in her own handwriting--she gave her birthplace as "Hunfalu." Hunfalu,
also called "Huncovce" and "Hunsdorf" also is in modern Slovakia, quite
near to Kosice.

My grandmother's next younger sister wrote "Kosice" on her application
for the same license; actually, she wrote "Kashau."

Now, there is no crime in having lived in a small town rather than a big
city and there also is the possibility that the family had, indeed, lived in
Budapest for a period before emigrating to New York.

I do think that it is curious, however, that my grandmother and her
siblings--six in all--kept the names of the small towns in which they had
been born >from their own children. It seems to have been a deliberate act
and it seems clear that they did not want their children to know >from exactly
where they had come.

More curious is that this branch of my family arrived in New York with what
had to have been a comfortable amount of money. They traveled first class
on the ship to the USA, according to the family history, bringing maids and
nannies with them on the voyage. In New York, they immediately bought a
four-bedroom apartment on Central Park West, which is where my great-
grandmother lived for the rest of her life. They always had a live-in maid.
Obviously, this was not the typical experience of the recently arrived Eastern
European Jewish immigrants of 1890.

Ah, but there's more. My grandmother was the second of four sisters. The
three younger sisters all attended college, and they each married.

The oldest sister, however, was not allowed to attend college, and she never
married.

Remember, this was an era during which no family would have been ashamed
to have arranged a marriage. There really is no reason that I can discern,
after this passage of years, why they family would have hesitated to employ the
services of a professional matchmaker, particularly since money issues never
were their problem.

I have been told by people more learned than I am that, under Jewish law, an
illegitimate child is not permitted to marry a Jew. There is no doubt but
that my grandmother's parents remained observant Jews for their entire lives.

Could my maternal grandmother's parents, then, have held back this young
woman >from marriage because she was illegitimate?

Could they have received money >from someone--someone royal?--to take this
girl out of the town of her birth?

My great-grandmother would only have been about 18 when this daughter was
born. While I well understand that, by the standards of 19th Century Hungary,
this would not have been too young to have been married and given birth to a
child, motherhood here also could have happened in another fashion. What if
some rich, perhaps noble, man had impregnated a Jewish girl >from some small
town and, to prevent a scandal, arranged for the child of this union to be
adopted by suitable parents? And what if the rich man (or his agent) endowed
the adoptive parents with enough money so that they could relocate easily, and
raise the child in a certain amount of comfort?

Or there's even the possibility that my great-grandmother was, indeed, the
biological mother of this girl. Yet perhaps my great-grandfather was not the
girl's father; rather, he could have been someone to whom she hastily was
married off--and, quickly afterward, effectively banished >from their families.

Oddly, this one aunt looked nothing like her five younger siblings, not the
least bit. The other five all were short--barely five feet--and fair, as
were their parents. This one sister was quite tall, particularly for their era,
and dark. I am sure that there are biologists and geneticists on this forum
who can confirm that this does not seem to be biologically possible.

Of course, I have tried to do some research on this topic. I have discovered
that Crown Prince Rudolf, the "Mayerling" prince, left at least 75 known
bastards at the time of his mysterious death. I also discovered that Prince
Rudolf was great friends with the renowned Jewish philanthropist, the Baron
Moritz DeHirsch, who also served as his banker. The first thing that the
Emperor Franz-Josef did on learning of his son's death was repay the debt
that Rudolf had owed to DeHirsch.

I am sorry to send such a long letter, but I would be interested to get opinions
about this mystery, and to learn whether others have similar rumors in
their own families.

Thank you!
Judy Segal
New York City

BAYERN, HERSKOVITS (alternate spellings), RAPAPPORT (alternate spellings),
KOHN, HABER, ROSENBERG/ ROZENBERG, perhaps POMERANTZ, AXELROD, of "Huncovce"
and "Kosice" (now Slovakia, then Hungary), Budapest, New York City and Ohio.


JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Illegitimate royal descent, myth or mystery? #general

HeyJudy123@...
 

I offer this rumor to the participants of this forum for their insights and,
perhaps, for their confirmation.

In the family of my maternal grandmother, for at least a century, there were
whispered rumors of illegitimate descent >from some member of the royal
family.

Since this branch of my family was living in what then was the Austro-Hungarian
Empire, I must assume that the "royal" person referred to was a Hapsburg.

When I was tiny, my mother's older brother mentioned the rumor that their
maternal grandmother had been the Emperor's illegitimate daughter.

This seems hard to imagine about an Orthodox Jewish girl raised in the town
of "Kosice" in what then was Hungary and, today, is part of the modern nation
of Slovakia. (Kosice has alternately been called "Kassa" and "Kashau," among
other names.)

Then, there was one of my mother's aunts, the eldest daughter of the
putative illegitimate princess. She, too, insisted that she was, herself, an
illegitimate princess.

I have pondered this for years now, since I first heard these whispers as a
little girl. As an adult woman, I am wondering if, when there's this much
smoke--albeit metaphorical--whether there had been some sort of fire.

Any question I had asked as a girl about this topic had been shushed and,
except for my mother, anyone capable of answering those questions now
is long dead; sadly, my mother no longer is able to respond lucidly.

There are some curiosities here, however.

My grandmother always told her children that she had been born in
Budapest but, recently, purely by chance, I found her application for a
teaching license with the New York City Board of Education in which--
in her own handwriting--she gave her birthplace as "Hunfalu." Hunfalu,
also called "Huncovce" and "Hunsdorf" also is in modern Slovakia, quite
near to Kosice.

My grandmother's next younger sister wrote "Kosice" on her application
for the same license; actually, she wrote "Kashau."

Now, there is no crime in having lived in a small town rather than a big
city and there also is the possibility that the family had, indeed, lived in
Budapest for a period before emigrating to New York.

I do think that it is curious, however, that my grandmother and her
siblings--six in all--kept the names of the small towns in which they had
been born >from their own children. It seems to have been a deliberate act
and it seems clear that they did not want their children to know >from exactly
where they had come.

More curious is that this branch of my family arrived in New York with what
had to have been a comfortable amount of money. They traveled first class
on the ship to the USA, according to the family history, bringing maids and
nannies with them on the voyage. In New York, they immediately bought a
four-bedroom apartment on Central Park West, which is where my great-
grandmother lived for the rest of her life. They always had a live-in maid.
Obviously, this was not the typical experience of the recently arrived Eastern
European Jewish immigrants of 1890.

Ah, but there's more. My grandmother was the second of four sisters. The
three younger sisters all attended college, and they each married.

The oldest sister, however, was not allowed to attend college, and she never
married.

Remember, this was an era during which no family would have been ashamed
to have arranged a marriage. There really is no reason that I can discern,
after this passage of years, why they family would have hesitated to employ the
services of a professional matchmaker, particularly since money issues never
were their problem.

I have been told by people more learned than I am that, under Jewish law, an
illegitimate child is not permitted to marry a Jew. There is no doubt but
that my grandmother's parents remained observant Jews for their entire lives.

Could my maternal grandmother's parents, then, have held back this young
woman >from marriage because she was illegitimate?

Could they have received money >from someone--someone royal?--to take this
girl out of the town of her birth?

My great-grandmother would only have been about 18 when this daughter was
born. While I well understand that, by the standards of 19th Century Hungary,
this would not have been too young to have been married and given birth to a
child, motherhood here also could have happened in another fashion. What if
some rich, perhaps noble, man had impregnated a Jewish girl >from some small
town and, to prevent a scandal, arranged for the child of this union to be
adopted by suitable parents? And what if the rich man (or his agent) endowed
the adoptive parents with enough money so that they could relocate easily, and
raise the child in a certain amount of comfort?

Or there's even the possibility that my great-grandmother was, indeed, the
biological mother of this girl. Yet perhaps my great-grandfather was not the
girl's father; rather, he could have been someone to whom she hastily was
married off--and, quickly afterward, effectively banished >from their families.

Oddly, this one aunt looked nothing like her five younger siblings, not the
least bit. The other five all were short--barely five feet--and fair, as
were their parents. This one sister was quite tall, particularly for their era,
and dark. I am sure that there are biologists and geneticists on this forum
who can confirm that this does not seem to be biologically possible.

Of course, I have tried to do some research on this topic. I have discovered
that Crown Prince Rudolf, the "Mayerling" prince, left at least 75 known
bastards at the time of his mysterious death. I also discovered that Prince
Rudolf was great friends with the renowned Jewish philanthropist, the Baron
Moritz DeHirsch, who also served as his banker. The first thing that the
Emperor Franz-Josef did on learning of his son's death was repay the debt
that Rudolf had owed to DeHirsch.

I am sorry to send such a long letter, but I would be interested to get opinions
about this mystery, and to learn whether others have similar rumors in
their own families.

Thank you!
Judy Segal
New York City

BAYERN, HERSKOVITS (alternate spellings), RAPAPPORT (alternate spellings),
KOHN, HABER, ROSENBERG/ ROZENBERG, perhaps POMERANTZ, AXELROD, of "Huncovce"
and "Kosice" (now Slovakia, then Hungary), Budapest, New York City and Ohio.