A friend recently asked me to help research her Jewish ancestors. Her initial question was – where did my father’s family live in Poland? The family story was that her grandfather emigrated to the United States at a very young age. Her parents had divorced in the early 1950’s and she had not maintained a relationship with her father. However, she did have a wonderful family picture of her father, his siblings, and her grandparents. She also had family stories that she shared with me. For example, her paternal grandfather, George, had his own business of manufacturing ladies’ garments in the Bronx and had lost a lot of money in the stock market crash of 1929.
We started by having her complete a family chart – giving as much information as she knew. Based on this information, we started by looking at the 1940 census in Jackson, Michigan as she knew that her parents were living there at the time. The search began. We looked at birth records, Marriage licenses, Death records, census records, World War I and II draft registration cards, City Directories, and Naturalization records.
I was very excited about attending Alan’s HGF lecture on December 3, “Tracing the Schoenemans in Pittsburgh and Germany”. I felt that I would receive expert guidance on how to pursue the birth place of George. We had identified three different places of birth in different records: Warsaw, Russia; Lodz, Poland, Russia; and Looz, Russia.
A hint that I will try is to use Family Search and look for my friend’s family name in the village of Lodz, Poland. Alan clearly showed how he tied his family members together from Germany to Pennsylvania in his own family research. I hope to do the same for my friend’s family.
Alan also provided an excellent list of sources and bibliography to yesterday’s audience. He clearly demonstrated how he used these in his own research.