Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Genealogy

I've been doing a bit of genealogical research lately. Traced my father's father back to Hungary, where I was stopped dead. My father's mother came from a large family, but no trace of them. Everyone on both sides of my family changed their names, which doesn't make it easy. My father's sister was Julia in Hungary, but was transmogrified to Helen here. His brother Gersh became Andy.

My dad's father was known as Wolf when he came to this country, but soon became William P. A friend suggested that wolf was a translation of Zev, and what do you know, he was buried under the name of Schlomo Ze'ev ben Rab Ya'akov. This indicates that his (Wolf or William) father was a rabbi. But I always understood he was an orphan.

My mother's father had a couple of brothers named Feibel and Velvel. I found immigration records for them and they then disappeared into history.

I was contacted by someone else who shares some of my relatives; I'll call him Steve. Steve was able to give me some information which was interesting about a cousin of mine. Then he started discovering new and distinguished ancestors of dubious provenance: Eleanor of Aquitaine, for instance. Except for a gap of a century or two which somehow got lost, Steve claims relationship to her and to various other august personages.

Not me. All my ancestors were mediocre and respectable.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Good Luck! My ancestress, Mary McNeill had a 'natural child" in 1809, in Scotland. The father was "Red Ling", the first and ONLY time in the parish records a nickname is used. Howsa about that!!

You are right, tho. If someone tells you one of your ancestors is 'Charley Main", don't believe him.