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How to make sense of two death records that don't make sense to me #germany

Shana Millstein
 

While research my German relative Seraphina LICHTENSTEIN WETZLAR I’ve come across an odd situation that I’m not sure how to interpret.  I found what I believed to be her death record from 1901: 88 year old Seraphina Lichtenstein, a widow of B. Wetzlar, and the daughter of the dancing-master Levi Lichtenstein and his wife Henriette born Lichtenstedter both deceased. The record was read, approved and signed by Leopold Wetzlar (son of Seraphina).

I then found an earlier record of the 1890 death of 84 year old Seraphine Lichtenstein, unmarried. It would be easy to conclude this is a different person with the same name, but the record also states that she was the daughter of the dance-teacher Israel Levi Lichtenstein and wife Friedericke, born Lichtenstäd. This record was read, approved and signed by Henriette Lichtenstein. Any ideas to make sense of this?  

jbonline1111@...
 

Could they be cousins or sisters born to the same father but different mothers?  While it is unusual for sisters or cousins to have the same name, if they were named for the same person, it's not impossible.  My grandfather and his uncle had the same names, presumably for this reason.
--
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC

Bob Silverstein
 

Hi Barbara,

Here is a variation on that them.  I had two great-uncles, Meloch and Manya Tzipershteyn.  Their two sisters and brother became Silverstein here.  However, Meloch and Manya became Max Selverston and Max Selverston.  And, not to confuse, matters, each married a Sarah.  Help me with that one!

Stephen Weinstein
 

She died, was reincarnated, and died again.  I'm kidding.  Seriously:

This may mean that her death was falsely reported when she was still alive (in 1890), perhaps either so her husband could marry someone else or so that her heirs could take her assets.  And then reported a second time when she really did die (in 1901).

Or that the first report (in 1890) is true and then one of her heirs falsely reported that she was a widow who died later (in 1901) so that they could "inherit" the property of the man reported to her husband.

Or there could be a legitimate explanation.

Robert Hanna
 

My two Max brothers were Moshe and Mordechai.  Neither one of them came to the US, but their descendants Anglicized both their names to Max.  It took me a long time and several documents to figure out that they weren't the same person, but were, in fact, brothers.
 
Robert Hanna
NYC

viviansilco@...
 

I think they are two different persons, by chance with the same name, and with a dance teacher father.
1.  the ages are different - 1st is 88 in 1901, 2nd is 84 in 1890
2. mother of 1st is Henriette Lichtnenstedter, of 2nd Friedericke Lichtnestad
3.  father of 1st is Levi, of 2nd Israel Levi
I am sure they are family, but different persons.  Is there a place mentioned in the certificates?

Good luck!
Vivian

a.eatroff@...
 

It's my understanding that it is very common for multiple family members to be named for the same ancestor. My mother has 3 cousins on her mother's side all named Michael for their grandmother. My great-grandmother and her siblings all had daughters named Jente for their mother. I've also seen numerous instances of children named for their siblings who died as infants. Repeated names show up everywhere and it can create a fair amount of confusion.

I will say it would be unusual for a man to give two of his living children the same name, even if the children have two different wives. But for two cousins to have the same given name, be in the same profession, and then name their children for the same ancestor wouldn't be unheard of at all.

Shana Millstein
 

I want to thank all of you for sending me your thoughts. I will be following up on them. Right now, I have a theory which fits the data I have (data that I do not have italicized in parentheses):  In 1813 Levi and Henriette LICHTENSTEIN have a daughter Seraphine. (Henriette dies). Levi (who now has the imposed surname Israel?) remarries Freidericke and they have a daughter in 1826 they name Seraphina (a tiny variation in the name, and the main part of this theory I have trouble with. More research to do).  They have another child in 1833 named Johanne Henriette (after his dead wife?). The two records do come from different parts of Germany.  None of them ever came to the US.
I look forward to following up on your ideas and solving the mystery. Shana Millstein, from San Francisco. 

avivahpinski@verizon.net
 

I would be very cautious about your theory.  I have a branch of the family from Austria/Moravia.  Seraphine/Seraphina/Serafine 
was not an uncommon name.  There are several in the family.  Multiple uses of the same name (often for cousins) makes it more
difficult to sort out families.  In your case, the geographic differences may make it even more problematic. Do you have a death
record for Henriette?   These may well be two separate families with daughters named Seraphine/Seraphina.

Good luck
Avivah Pinski
near Philadelphia, USA




1a.  Re: How to make sense of two death records that don't make sense to me #germany
From: Shana Millstein
Date: Mon, 06 Jul 2020 22:00:30 EDT

I want to thank all of you for sending me your thoughts. I will be following up on them. Right now, I have a theory which fits the data I have (data that I do not have italicized in parentheses):  In 1813 Levi and Henriette LICHTENSTEIN have a daughter Seraphine. (Henriette dies). Levi (who now has the imposed surname Israel?) remarries Freidericke and they have a daughter in 1826 they name Seraphina (a tiny variation in the name, and the main part of this theory I have trouble with. More research to do).  They have another child in 1833 named Johanne Henriette (after his dead wife?). The two records do come from different parts of Germany.  None of them ever came to the US.
I look forward to following up on your ideas and solving the mystery.

 

--
Avivah R. Z. Pinski ,  near Philadelphia, USA

Eva Lawrence
 

Two sisters/cousins Henriette and Frederiecke Lichtensted married two men, both dancing masters. One of the men was  Levi Lichtenstein, the other Israel Levi Lichtenstein, who may  have been the brother of the first, or even to judge by their names his son. Each couple have a daughter, called Seraphine/a  who was called after some relative of a previous generation.  Henriette's daughter, b. 1813, marries Mr Wetzlar and has a son Leopold and dies aged 88 in 1901.     Frederiecke's daughter, b. 1806 doesn't,  and dies first. Her death, age 84,  is reported in 1890, possibly by an unmarried sister/ cousin called Henriette Lichtenstein  (although her aunt Henriette could also still have been alive in 1806?)   Henriette was a really popular name in Germany for years. 
I think it's very unlikely that two sisters even with different mothers would share a name, but cousins born around the same time often did.  
Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK.

Nicole Heymans
 

I agree with Eva Lawrence's view. In my own search for my maternal grandmother's ancestors, I have run into several instances of families A and B with the same family name, same father's given name and several A siblings with the same given names as in family B. If other details don't fit the simple explanation is that the fathers (or, in this case, namesakes) are two different people.
Occupations often ran in families, so finding two individuals with the same name and the same profession suggests they might well have been cousins.

Nicole Heymans, near Brussels, Belgium

Andreas Schwab
 

The Israel was imposed in 1938, and always as a middle name. So the dancing-master Levi Lichtenstein and the dance-teacher Israel Levi Lichtenstein were most probably different people.