2  ZOLDAN brothers, Chicago or Pennsylvania

David Zoldan

I have a ZOLDAN relative who was born in Kispatak (Richka) in 1906.  In the 1920’s as an orphan he traveled to and settled in Chile.

In 1999 he penned a letter to all the ZOLDANs he could find in Chicago who may be his relatives and this is how I learned of him.  But I learned of him after he passed away.

In the letter he wrote that his uncle Hersh ZOLDAN had 2 sons who had immigrated to Chicago early 1900s and he was hoping to reconnect with any of his descendants.

In my research with various parts of the family we have determined that there were indeed two sons of Hersh ZOLDAN who did immigrate to Pennsylvania in 1904.  One to McKeesport and the other to S. Sharon (later known as Farrell).

We have found no evidence of two sons who went to Chicago and no one in the family knows of any relatives who went to Chicago.  There are no stories, nothing.

Of course, it is possible there were 2 brothers who went to Chicago even if no one knows of it.

However, I would like to work with the assumption that there were two brothers who went to Pennsylvania and not to Chicago.

Of course, there could be an error in the tradition which the letter writer had and so he incorrectly thought his cousins went to Chicago and not Pennsylvania.  He was after all a young teenager when he knew this information.

But I would like to explore a different idea which someone suggested to me.  Perhaps the letter writer was told that his two cousins went to Chicago even though in truth the cousins went to Pennsylvania.  Perhaps everyone in the family spoke of Chicago and not Pennsylvania.  This could be so because Chicago was a major city with a large Jewish population and perhaps the name “Chicago” was used generically to refer to a major US city with a large Jewish population.  This would be similar to the residents of a suburb of a major city telling people they come from the major city and not mentioning the small suburb.

So, has anyone come across a situation where large cities with large Jewish populations were used as a substitute for smaller lesser known cities.

In other words, is it possible that since Chicago was a large Jewish center in far off America, perhaps this boy, the eventual letter writer was told that he had two cousins in Chicago, a generic term for a city in the U.S.

I would be happy to hear any suggestions in this regard.

Thank you,

David Zoldan

Researcher 382214