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Member introductions #austria-czech
Sharla Levine <austriaczech@...>
I've just been back a week now >from the IAJGS conference in Las Vegas.
The conference marked the six-year anniversary of the start of this group as
a JewishGen SIG. Our discussion list went online for the first time on
1 October 1999 with 56 or 58 members. We now have approximately 630 people
subscribing to the mailing list. When members attending the SIG meeting
at the conference last week heard this number, they suggested we renew
member introductions to refresh our memories about who is searching for what
families and locations. More about the SIG meeting in a later message.
As people have joined along the way, many have posted to the list about
the names and places they are researching in Austria and the Czech Republic.
But new members are sometimes shy about doing so, and members of longer
standing tend to forget that it's been quite a while since they've posted
their research interests to the group.
I'd like to encourage everyone to introduce or re-introduce themselves
to the list, and perhaps we'll find some new connections!
I'll start with my own re-introduction. I live near Boston, MA, and
started researching my family tree almost 25 years ago but have worked on it
only sporadically over time, as I raised my daughter, changed careers, moved
across country, served on the board of my local Jewish Genealogical
Society as newsletter editor and on the committee of the 1996 international
conference, and became involved with JewishGen and the creation of this
The main family I am researching in the Austria-Czech area is HAMLISCH
(yes, I am related to Marvin, but have not yet been able to document exactly
how). My great grandfather Emanuel HAMLISCH was born in Austerlitz (Slavkov)
in about 1863 and my great grandmother Theresa was born in Olomouc in 1873.
I have records of HAMLISCH family members >from many towns in our
geographical area, and have every reason to believe they are all descended
from one common ancestor, who reversed the Hebrew letters of his name Shlomoh(shin, lamed, mem, hay) to create the surname Hamlisch (hay, mem, lamed, shin).
My long-term goal is to complete a family tree of the descendants of Shlomoh.
Austria-Czech SIG Coordinator
Sharla Levine suggested:
I'd like to encourage everyone to introduce or re-introducethemselves >to the list, and perhaps we'll find some new connections!
Allow me to introduce myself. I've been reading the digest for about
a year, but I have not posted to it before. My name as Mark
Williamson. I live in Houston, Texas, USA and am a semi-retired
computer guy >from the "big iron" era. I am lucky enough to live
within an easy drive of the Clayton Genealogical Library.
I inherited my mother's genealogical papers after she died nearly two
decades ago. >from time to time since then, I have tried to connect
her conclusions to her source material, her notes, and other source
material that has become available to me. I have been able to add a
few branches to portions of our family tree.
The main family I am researching in the Austria-Czech area is that of
my great-grandfather Ignatz Frederick KAUDERS (sometimes transcribed
as KANDERS) and his second wife Anna BERGMANN, plus the
tenuously-related POLLAK (POLLACK) and GUTWERTH or GISTHWIRTH
families. Ignatz was born around 1842 in Austria (or Hungary on some
papers), came to the United States around 1866, married here twice,
and lived in and around New York City until he died around 1909. His
first wife, Ricca BASCHE (1848-1880s), was apparently >from somewhere
in Germany; I have not searched for her as much as Ignatz and Anna.
Most of the family lore about Ignatz and Anna came >from their middle
child, my grandmother Elsie KAUDERS. Some of it is recorded in
letters >from my grandmother, some in notes >from a formal interview by
my mother. I have been able to substantiate parts >from transcripts
or images of official records; parts still remain in the realm of
"lore" (such as Ignatz being educated as the University of Vienna and
being a terrible gambler) or even fantasy (such as Elsie's claim that
Ignatz's father was of the lesser titled nobility, though there was a
Freiherr von Kauder title at one time).
The only tentative Jewish connections are
(1) the apparent presence of Anna's brother Friedrich (Fritz)
BERGMANN (1858-1930) and his wife Therese (POLLAK) BERGMANN
(1868-1925) in Zentralfriedhof IV. Tor sharing a grave,
(2) a number of documents describing their son Gustav BERGMANN
(1909-1987, semi-famous philosopher known to my grandmother) as
Jewish ("100%" Jewish according to a document filed just before he
fled Germany in 1939), and
(3) Gustav's own family tree, showing his first set of in-laws
Friedrich GOLWIG (1866-1907) and Elsa PHILLIPSOHN GOLWIG (d. ca.
1930) buried in an unspecified Jewish cemetery in Vienna (possibly
the Fritz and Elsa GOLWIG with matching dates indexed as sharing a
grave in Zentralfriedhof I. Tor, where Gustav's POLLAK grandparents
David and Marie may also lie).
I just (re)discovered a Mormon transcription of Manhattan (New York,
NY, USA) marriages >from Aug-Oct 1887 that may include Ignatz and
Anna's marriage. If so, Ignatz's parents were David KANDERS and
Nettie POLLACK, and Anna's were Michael BERGMANN and Bertha
GESTHWIRTH. My grandmother had given us the "Nettie" and "Michael
BERGMANN" parts, but said Anna's mother was also an Anna. Gustav
BERGMANN's family tree claims Michael's wife to be Blume GUTWERTH; is
that close enough to Bertha GESTHWIRTH?
Sorry to ramble on. Please let me know if any of this connects with
any of your research, or if any of what I have said looks wrong to
you. (For example, I am a little confused about just which parts of
the Zentralfriedhof contain Jewish burials. Are Entrances I and IV
both exclusively or primarily Jewish or only IV? If, as I suspect,
Gate 1 leads to mixed burials, can one tell which is which >from the
My native language is English, but I read some French and Spanish,
very little German, and no Hebrew or Yiddish. I may well have missed
the best sources.
Mark R. Williamson