Deborah Dworski <ddworski@...>
As I reflect upon my genealogical advances of the past year, I would like
to publicly thank two Discussion Group subscribers who have been crucial
to my success. Though I have expressed my appreciation via private
messages, I am posting this note to the group to encourage others to take
that extra step to help fellow Genners. You just never know when your
effort may make a big difference for someone else.
First, I am indebted to Ken TURKEWITZ. I noticed his surname in a
Discussion Group posting and sent him a message, really on a whim, hoping
he might know the Aaron TURKEWITZ who married into my family. I was not
particularly interested in the TURKEWITZ family--but the fairly obscure
surname was the only way I could fathom locating my BROWN family >from New
York City. BROWN is a very difficult surname to research because it is so
common. The only details I had were that my BROWN ggm had a sister
Florence married to an Aaron TURKEWITZ--not much to work with. I had
spent several years searching without any success when I wrote to Ken. He
told me that my information did not mesh with his data, but that he would
forward my note to his TURKEWITZ cousins around the country with the hope
someone could provide a lead for me. This extra effort on his part--
forwarding my message to others--proved to be the breakthrough I needed.
Ken's cousin in California recognized the name Florence TURKEWITZ >from
some memorial literature at her synagogue. She picked up the telephone
and called the congregant who had submitted the name (another wonderful
example of extending a helping hand!). Indeed "my" Florence Turkewitz was
the congregant's Florence Turkewitz--specifically her grandmother! Within
48 hours I had received many new names to add to the BROWN family tree.
And, less than two weeks after Ken made that inquiry on my behalf, I was
watching old film footage of my ggm BROWN and all of her siblings (sent to
me by my new-found relative). I had never even seen a photograph of my
ggm, so you can imagine my excitement to finally have a face to attach to
the name. This discovery happened over the summer, and I am still
documenting the huge BROWN family with new additions to the pedigree
practically every week.
I am also appreciative of Carol EDAN's efforts to introduce me to my
DWORSKI family in Israel. Actually, I had contacted her offering to help
with a look-up in the U.S. when Carol, upon noticing my surname, asked if
I might be related to a friend of her family--Yair DWORSKI. Yes, indeed,
I wrote back explaining that Yair was my father's first cousin, though he
probably did not know about his American family. Though I knew of Yair's
existence, I had not attempted to make contact because of the language
barrier. (I knew, through other sources, that he did not speak English).
Not only did Carol pick up the telephone and call Yair for me, but she put
me in contact with one of his sons who does know English. This connection
was made in September, and ever since, there has been a steady flow of e-
mail and family photographs across the Atlantic Ocean. Both DWORSKI
branches have learned so much about the family history through these
exchanges. I now know that my father lost a DWORSKI first cousin in the
Israeli War of Independence. And the Israeli DWORSKIs were equally shocked
to hear >from me, that our ggf Isaac had lived in the U.S. and then made a
fateful decision to return to Poland where he perished in the Holocaust.
They never knew he had been to the States--if only he had stayed.
And now, thanks to Carol's introduction, the DWORSKI families have agreed
they must meet, though the details about when and where have not been
In the year 2000, two very big breakthroughs for me thanks to two fellow
Genners. May there be many similar success stories for our Group in 2001.
Arlington, Virginia U.S.A.
searching >from Galicia:
SONNENBLUM (Gorodenka); STUPP (Gorodenka); SCHOR (Gorodenka); KOFLER
(Gorodenka); DIENER (Gorodenka); SOCKEL (Solotwina); SCHNEID (Solotwina);
SCHIEBER (Kossow); KLEIN (Kossow)
searching >from Russia/Poland:
DWORSKI (Raczki); MINSKY (Raczki, Sopotskin, Galynka); SILVERSTEIN (Raczki);
LEVATINSKY (Raczki, Augustow); BRAMA (Rypin); BRAUN / BROWN (Rypin);
GRZEBIEN / GESBEN (Sierpc); LOPATKA (Sierpc)