Relatives want to know - where are the coveted records? #general #lithuania #records


Michele Lock
 

I’m looking for advice on how to handle some delicate situations that I’ve come across while researching into my various family branches, both on US sites and on Jewishgen. I’ve enjoyed sharing everything that I’ve found with family, have reconnected with distant relatives, have been on Zoom calls with those relatives, and have generally enjoyed the whole process.

However, with my relatives seeing the plethora of records that I’ve uncovered, a few have asked me why I haven’t located certain things. For instance: Have I discovered yet how we are descended from one or another of the famous Kalonymus rabbis? Or: Have I found any records of our great great grandfather Aaron Lock (Lak) of Zagare, Lithuania, because someone once met someone who remembers he was an administrator in a Jewish high school there.

I don’t know what to answer people when asked these questions. The records I’ve found firmly show our extended families were simple working class Litvak Jews from northern Lithuania, with no connections to any rabbinical dynasty. As for Aaron Lock/Lak, I found an 1892 tax record listing him as a poor cabman in Zagare. Based on an 1834 revision list, he was born in 1821, far too early to have been a high school administrator in the early 1900s.

So, I’m interested in how others have handled such situations when they’ve come up.

--
Michele Lock

Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock in Plunge/Telsiai in Lithuania
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lev/Lew in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus


Laurie Sosna
 

Tell them that you haven't found documentary evidence and the difficulties in finding that evidence.
Sharing what you have found would go a long way, I think.

I often explain that many stories aren't supported by the math, as your high school administrator example proves.
Other times, it is because our family name is difficult to trace or I don't have an accurate version of the name they used before they came to the U.S.
Or I joke that that a story is hearsay, which which is inadmissible, your honor.

I have one of those "he was a rabbi" stories in my tree. But the evidence supports that he owned a barge and ferried goods across the Dneiper River.
He may have had aspirations to scholarship, or studied in his spare time.
Or it could have been his daughter embellishing because she wanted to make her family sound more important than it was.
My goal as a genealogist is to begin with hearsay; prove what I can, continue to search for what I can't.
The lack of documentary evidence from "the old country" for much of my family is frustrating. I can only hope that as more records are translated, something will pop up.

Laurie Sosna
San Francisco, CA

SOSNA: Ivonivka (near Yampil), Mogilev
GOIKHMAN: Rascov, Mogilev
LEVIN: Vilna, Dnipro
KOBB: Ukmerge
FRIEDSON: Ukmerge


Judy Floam
 

Or the “rabbi” who ferried goods on a barge might have studied to be, and been ordained as a rabbi but couldn’t (or didn’t want to) make a living as a rabbi.   Ordained rabbis today sometimes work as accountants, lawyers, etc.

 

Judy Floam

Baltimore, MD


Sally Bruckheimer
 

Tell them we have to work with the records that exist. Where my mother's mother's family came from, there aren't many records. There was a fire at City Hall at the turn of the 20th century.

But I found a brother of my 2nd ggrandfather that lived in another town where there were records. And I found out a cousin had taken a picture of my 3rd ggrandfather's tombstone (which the sons in the US had bought).

You have to keep looking, and see what you can find. If you work long enough, and you are lucky, you will find stuff. It took me nearly 35 years to find where another ggrandmother was born - in the Duchy of Nassau according to her marriage record, a tiny part of what is now Germany. Bit now I have about a million cousins, because my ggrandmother was one of 20 children.

Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ


David Harrison
 

I must be the lucky one,. My great-grandfather was a long-time friend of a Rabbi (I have a photo of them together).  The third wife (the other two had died in succession) of that blood relation was the daughter of that Rabbi.    I know well my cousins from that line and we share research information from the three descending lines.  All the references are safe, my mother was g-grandfather's clerk before WW1 and his Executer, he died a few months before I was born, but I do not have(yet) a photo of that lady.
David Harrison, Birmingham, England


From: main@... <main@...> on behalf of Michele Lock <michlock77@...>
Sent: 25 April 2021 18:36
To: main@... <main@...>
Subject: [JewishGen.org] Relatives want to know - where are the coveted records? #general #lithuania #records
 

I’m looking for advice on how to handle some delicate situations that I’ve come across while researching into my various family branches, both on US sites and on Jewishgen. I’ve enjoyed sharing everything that I’ve found with family, have reconnected with distant relatives, have been on Zoom calls with those relatives, and have generally enjoyed the whole process.

However, with my relatives seeing the plethora of records that I’ve uncovered, a few have asked me why I haven’t located certain things. For instance: Have I discovered yet how we are descended from one or another of the famous Kalonymus rabbis? Or: Have I found any records of our great great grandfather Aaron Lock (Lak) of Zagare, Lithuania, because someone once met someone who remembers he was an administrator in a Jewish high school there.

I don’t know what to answer people when asked these questions. The records I’ve found firmly show our extended families were simple working class Litvak Jews from northern Lithuania, with no connections to any rabbinical dynasty. As for Aaron Lock/Lak, I found an 1892 tax record listing him as a poor cabman in Zagare. Based on an 1834 revision list, he was born in 1821, far too early to have been a high school administrator in the early 1900s.

So, I’m interested in how others have handled such situations when they’ve come up.

--
Michele Lock

Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock in Plunge/Telsiai in Lithuania
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lev/Lew in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus


Dan Nussbaum
 

There was a well known Rabbi Issachar Levin in Trenton, New Jersey at one time.

Daniel Nussbaum II, M.D., FAAP
Retired Developmental Pediatrician
Rochester, New York
yekkey@...
 
Tone can be misinterpreted in email. Please read my words with warmth, kindness, and good intentions.

Searching for;
Nussbaum, Katzenstein, Mannheimer and Goldschmidt; Rhina, Raboldshausen and Bad Hersfeld, Germany
Teplitzky, Bendersky and Kaszkiet; Uman, Ukraine
Rosenthal and S(c)henk(el)man; Zinkov, Ukraine
Bild and Kashlevsky; anywhere


Jx. Gx.
 

Hello Michele.

I would simple tell them the truth that you haven't yet found everything and that genealogical research sometimes takes decades to uncover records and that sometimes records were discarded or destroyed by man-made disasters such as wars and fires, but that you will continue your search.  To help put things in perspective for them, you might even mention that even they don't have complete personal records such as school reports cards or the mortgage papers to their first home or business licenses they received. You get the idea.  I wouldn't hurt their feelings by telling them their stories are untrue. Doing so would also put you in bad standings with them.

Jeffrey Gee
Arizona    


Michele Lock
 

Thanks for all the responses, including the private ones. I'm sure they'll help me finesse my way through these occasional uncomfortable moments.

With one exception, I haven't told a relative that their family lore is not true. I have generally said that all records may not be available, or that I'm still finding things, or that perhaps the records may not exist anymore. I have gently suggested that sometimes our immigrant forebears weren't entirely consistent with their recollections.

The one exception above was a man who I connected with via DNA testing, whose wife is a 3rd cousin once removed to me. I won't ever be meeting them, and though they shared a family history with me, I decided to tell them that the story of the fabulously wealthy great great grandfather Kalon who owned a large factory, married into the Russian nobility,  lived in St. Petersburg and who died in a carriage accident with his noble Russian wife - such a man did not exist, and that this story was complete fiction. I haven't heard from them since. {Whenever I hear the terms 'Czar', 'Russian nobillity' or 'St. Petersburg', I want to run for the hills}.
--
Michele Lock

Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock in Plunge/Telsiai in Lithuania
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lev/Lew in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus