Thursday, March 28, 2013

How Much is Enough?

When we started researching our family we thought that many of our relatives died in the Holocaust. We had names, some photos and some information. Soon we learned about Yad Vashem, an institution in Israel that collects information on Jews killed in the Holocaust. Survivors and relatives submit a Page of Testimony with name and information on the victim's life and death. The focus is to keep the memory of the Holocaust victim alive and remembered forever. In 2004 all of the Pages of Testimony were put on the Yad Vashem website . We did not find any Pages of Testimony for our relatives. We were able to find a Holocaust survivor cousin who gave us more information on our relatives' life and confirmed Holocaust death. We still weren't sure if we had enough information to create Pages of Testimony for our family. Eventually we realized that we had to do it. We were the only people alive who were willing and able to create these Pages of Testimony. Even a little bit of information is better than none and will help memorialize our relatives. We had to be the voice from the grave. We had to keep their memories alive.

Jacobson and Jacobson Genealogy Researchers helping you break through your genealogical brick walls.

Friday, March 8, 2013

What's In a Name?

Our research continued and we began to search for passenger manifests for our ancestors. We expected to easily find our grandfather's manifest. We were sadly mistaken. We knew his name, year of arrival, port of arrival, and place of birth. Searching the Ellis Island website, we searched for his name and found nothing. We tried variations of the spelling and found nothing. An unexpected brick wall? Time to start thinking out of the box. Maybe he traveled under a different name. One he didn't use in the United States. We knew the first name he was born with was different from the first name he commonly used. We tried that and it didn't work. Now on to the last name. He always used his mother's maiden name in Europe and in the United States. We had only searched that name. It was time to search using his father's last name. The combination of his birth first name and father's last name was a success. We found the manifest. Note to self: when you can't find someone under their usual last name, try their other parent's last name.

Jacobson and Jacobson Genealogy Researchers  helping you break through your genealogical brick walls.