Unknown Daughter/Sister--Did She Really Exist? #general
An obituary notice in an entertainment trade paper in 1915 related to my
great grandmother's death, noted that Rebecca LEVINE was survived by two
sons and five daughters. The surprise for me was that it listed five, not
four, daughters. Neither her daughter, my grandmother, nor my mother, ever
mentioned another sister. I don't know if this was a newspaper error, or
if there actually was another child.
No information in any source so far mention an extra daughter--census
reports, newspapers, etc. If she existed I don't know if she remained in
Poland/Russia or emigrated to the US. I'm not sure where to even begin
My grandmother came her as a baby with her family >from the Warsaw in about
1890-92, so I have been unable to find travel records. I know the names of
all of the children of the four sisters--there aren't any "extra" children
with unnamed parents in the family. If someone married a non-Jew, I suppose
their name might never have been discussed, but the family was not religious.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to proceed??
Searching: Unterberger (Tarnow, Galicia, Austria), Kapelner (Galicia,
Austria, Tarnow), Schutz/Schultz (Galicia, Austria, Ulanow), Yudin
(Sharkovshchina), Luria/Leurie (Lodz, Warsaw), Reichman (Warsaw) Regent
(Krakow) Wieser/Weiser (Galicia, Tarnow, other), Balsam (Galicia), Zager
I had a similar issue in my family. The first child was a daughter
who died at childbirth. One story was that she froze to death while my
grandmother was being cared for, but that sounded unlikely. My one
advantage was that I knew if she existed she was born in Manhattan.
After talking to many family members without any result, she was
finally found on cemetery records as buried in Staten Island as baby
SLATAS, no given name. The death certificate listed her as stillborn.
My point is, there are many possible ways to search for this child. I
would start in the area where the family first settled and look for a
death certificate or cemetery listing that might fit.
Searching: SLATAS, SLONIMSKY and more
The researcher who posted on this topic, Marilyn Robinson, might try looking
for other obits to see if they also state that there was the extra child.
In addition, it would be helpful to locate the estate record or will, if
available, for both of her great grandparents which might mention the
I have found over the years that oftentimes families may not retain the
memory of or know about children who might have remained in "der heim"
(the old country), have been >from a prior marriage, have physical or mental
defects, have married out, or had "farribles" (arguments) with their family.
One incident, I remember vividly, is that one of my relatives did not know
she was a twin as her twin had died shortly after birth and had not been
mentioned ever again. However, when I found her birth record in Lithuania,
there was the twin and his name recorded. I also remember that I found
that my grandmother was known to be one of four sisters only. Imagine my
surprise when I was chatting with an elderly relative who mentioned a fifth
sister Mary who had passed away in "der heim" as a toddler >from an illness
and had not been mentioned again.
Have you found the family in the 1910 census? Column 10 lists how many shildren the
mother had, and column 11 lists how many are still living. It is not always correct,
but it confirms the additional child, then it is worth the effort to try to find her.