Thursday, November 4, 2021

Professional Genealogist Tips and Tricks

Professional Genealogist Tips and Tricks
Professional Genealogist Tips and Tricks

Genealogy research can be rewarding and bring families together, but the process of doing the research can be time consuming and often frustrating. Here are some tips to help you do your own research or work with your hired professional genealogist to get the best results. 

1. Organize all of your information. You may be surprised to find that you already know more about your ancestors than you believed. You might find information in boxes of family photos and papers, in prayer books, in passports and other legal documents, in Holocaust documents, etc. Anything connected to immigrant ancestors can be especially important. 

2. Review the information that you collected and take notes. If you are working with a professional genealogist, make sure to share everything with them (even if you don’t think it is important) in an orderly fashion before they begin your research. This will help you, or your researcher, identify your family members in records. 

3. Work backwards slowly. Gather evidence and document exactly where your immigrant ancestors came from. You, or your professional genealogist, will need to locate the exact town or city that your ancestors came from and determine if the name they used after immigration was the same name they used before immigration. 

4. If you are doing your own genealogy research, learn everything you can about your ancestor’s place of origin, the history of the town or city, record availability, languages used in records, and what you can learn from different types of records. Knowing these things will help you gauge your expectations of what you can learn about your family history. When working with a professional researcher, make sure that they have expert knowledge of the area and records you will need for your project. For example, an expert on American Revolution genealogy might not be familiar with the nuances of 19th century Jewish Galician records. 

5. Have patience. Genealogy research takes time, skill and luck. Record availability varies and could change at any time. Please check with archives or your professional researcher periodically for updates on new records for your ancestors’ relevant locations. 

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Monday, September 20, 2021

How do you research your Jewish ancestry?

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Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Creative Use of Indexed Records in a Genealogy Project - Tuchfeld part 14

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Tuchfelds appear in records of Galician towns other than Rzeszow. In order to prove that all Tuchfelds are connected, we decided to examine indexed records of Tuchfelds in other Galician towns. We quickly stumbled upon two Tuchfeld records in the town of Tarnow. Tarnow is about 55 miles from Rzeszow.

The Tarnow Tuchfeld records that we found included an 1848 marriage record for Zlate Tuchfeld, from Rzeszow, to Israel Lieber Frisch, and the 1849 birth record for their daughter Judes. The 1848 marriage record showed Zlate’s age as 19, calculated birth year 1829. This birth year predates known Rzeszow birth records. We checked Rzeszow records for Zlate and her husband and could not find them. The marriage record included an important clue for Zlate, it named her parents. Zlate’s parents were recorded as Jacob and Frommet Tuchfeld. Upon examination, we discovered that we had already come across and collected information on this couple, unaware that they were a couple. We had previously documented the death records for both a Jacob and Frimed Tuchfeld living in the same house in Rzeszow. Jacob Tuchfeld died in 1857 in house 147 at age 65. Frimed Tuchfeld died in 1859 in house 147 at age 75. The combination of Zlate’s marriage record, naming Jacob and Frommet Tuchfeld of Rzeszow as her parents, plus a Jacob and Frimed Tuchfeld (who were of age to be Zlate’s parents) dying in the same house in Rzeszow, leads us to believe that the Jacob an Frimed in the Rzeszow death records were married and were Zlate’s parents.

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1848 Tarnow Marriage record for Israel Lieber Frisch and Zlate Tuchfeld

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1849 Tarnow Birth record for Judes Frisch

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1857 Rzeszow Death record for Jacob Tuchfeld 
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1859 Rzeszow Death record for Frimed Tuchfeld 
Since we couldn’t find Zlate, Israel Lieber or Judes in any additional Tarnow or Rzeszow records, we searched all indexed Galician records. We were unable to find the family in any of these records. We wondered if they had left Galicia after the birth of their daughter. We then examined previously discovered and collected Tuchfeld passenger manifests. Even though Zlate and Israel Lieber were legally married, we thought it was possible that they might have been listed in a Tuchfeld record. We uncovered an 1860 Hamburg departure manifest (in our collection of Tuchfeld manifests) for a 28-year-old Slate Tuchfeld and 8-year-old Judita, both listed as born in Rzeszow. We checked indexed Rzeszow births to see if we had missed a Slate/Zlate Tuchfeld giving birth to a Judita/Judes around 1850, but found none. The combination of the similar names, ages and place of birth for Slate/Zlate lead us to believe that this manifest is likely for Zlate Tuchfeld Frisch and Judes Frisch. The ship’s ultimate destination was recorded as New York, but we were unable to find a New York arrival passenger manifest. We were also unable to find a manifest for Israel Lieber Frisch, or any evidence that anyone in the family lived or died in the United States. We will continue to search for the family.

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1860 Hamburg departure manifest for Slate Tuchfeld and Judita Tuchfeld

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Tuchfeld Frisch Family Tree

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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Your Family Story

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Jacobson and Jacobson Genealogy Researchers work with you online to help you discover your family history, build an impressive family tree and find the correct town of origin for your family. Start your personal ancestry adventure today at Jacobson and Jacobson Genealogy Researchers .

Friday, March 6, 2020

Using Newspapers for a Genealogy Project - Tuchfeld part 13

Using Newspapers for a Genealogy Project - Tuchfeld part 13, Jacobson Jacobson Genealogy Researchers

Previously, we traced a branch of Tuchfelds from Rzeszow to Tennessee. In our last blog post, Using Wills and City Directories for a Genealogy Project, we mentioned Joseph son of Salomon Tuchfeld. According to his birth record, Joseph Tuchfeld was born in Przemsyl, Galicia in 1865 as Joel Tuchfeld. His passenger manifest states that Joel Tuchfeld arrived in New York in 1881. While researching Joel, who used the name Joseph/ Joe in the US and eventually moved to Jackson, Tennessee, we found his marriage.

In 1899 Joe Tuchfeld married Raye Levy in Pulaski, Arkansas. Why did Joe Tuchfeld go to Arkansas to find a wife? Are there other Tuchfelds there? Yes. While looking through the marriage records, we found a Joel Tuchfeld who married Grace Levy in Pulaski, Arkansas in 1898. Coincidence? No. Our previous Tuchfeld Project research showed that Joel Tuchfeld was the first cousin of Joe Tuchfeld.

Joel Tuchfeld Grace Levy 1898 Marriage
Joe Tuchfeld Raye Levy 1899 Marriage

So now we know the connection between the Tuchfeld men, but what about the Levy women? Are they related? Arkansas marriage records from this era did not list parents’ names. Unfortunately, there are limited vital records (birth, marriage, death) for Arkansas in this time period. Census records were not helpful. So, we searched for an alternate source of information. We searched through online newspapers to solve our mystery and confirmed our suspicion that Raye and Grace Levy were sisters. We found the 1922 obituary for Emma Levy, recorded as mother of Mrs. Grace (Levy) Tuchfeld of Little Rock and Mrs. (Raye Levy) Joe Tuchfeld of Jackson, Tennessee.  

Emma Levy 1922 Obituary

Sometimes answers to genealogy mysteries are not found in traditional record sources. Creative research can be the answer. 

Friday, February 7, 2020

Using Wills and City Directories for a Genealogy Project - Tuchfeld part 12

In our last blog post, Using Passenger Manifests for a Genealogy Project, we followed Samuel Tuchfeld from Rzeszow to New York where he interacts with other Tuchfelds. Now we will follow another Tuchfeld from Rzeszow. Salomon Tuchfeld was born in Rzeszow in 1843, according to his birth record. In the 1860’s he moved to Przemysl, where his second son was born. On September 25, 1870, Salomon Tuchfeld departs the port of Hamburg, Germany for America.

Salomon Tuchfeld age 32 from Przemsyl Manifest
Unlike Samuel Tuchfeld, who arrived and settled in New York City, Salomon Tuchfeld headed south after arrival. According to Salomon Tuchfeld’s 1874 city directory listing, he was living in New Orleans, Louisiana and working as a glazier.

Salomon Tuchfeld 1874 New Orleans, LA City Directory

In 1900 Salomon is living in Jackson, Tennessee and his occupation is recorded in the US Census as merchant. In 1904 Salomon Tuchfeld is listed in the Jackson, Tennessee city directory as the owner of Sol Tuchfeld & Sons – “dry goods, clothings, shoes, and gents' furnishings”.  There are a total of five Tuchfelds listed in this directory, including Sol’s sons Aaron and Joseph and Sol’s daughter Claudia. The fifth Tuchfeld is Moses Tuchfeld. Further research into Moses Tuchfeld revealed that he is ten years older than Salomon. We found Moses living in Jackson, Tennessee as early as 1876, before Salomon arrived in Jackson. We were unable to find their familial connection, but wonder if Moses was the reason for Salomon leaving Louisiana and moving to Tennessee. A further connection between Moses and Salomon’s family was found in Moses Tuchfeld’s will. Moses named Salomon’s son Aaron as trustee and Joseph as successor trustee in his will. Unfortunately, Moses Tuchfeld did not state his relationship to Aaron and Joseph in the will.

Salomon Tuchfeld 1904 Jackson, TN City Directory
Moses Tuchfeld Will

There is evidence of a connection between Salomon Tuchfeld, of Rzeszow and Moses Tuchfeld, born in Austria. The nature of this connection remains unclear.

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Monday, January 13, 2020

Using Passenger Manifests for a Genealogy Project - Tuchfeld part 11

So far, we have been using Galician vital records to connect the Tuchfelds of Rzeszow. Now we are moving on to use US vital records to connect the Tuchfelds that migrated to the US. If we can connect the US Tuchfelds, then maybe we can work backwards and connect more Tuchfelds in earlier Rzeszow records.

We started this stage of the project by searching for Tuchfeld passenger arrival manifests. We searched Ancestry for Tuchfelds arriving in NY from 1820 to 1957. The Tuchfelds range from 1880 to 1952.

Ancestry search for Tuchfelds NY arrivals
According to his 1880 NY arrival manifest, 22-year-old Samuel Tuchfeld from Austria was an upholsterer. Early manifests do not have a lot of information and can be challenging. Unlike manifests from the early 20th century, they usually do not list a specific town of origin, or name a relative the traveler is going to or leaving behind. Luckily, the Samuel Tuchfeld on the manifest has an unusual occupation for a Tuchfeld from Rzeszow.

1880 NY Manifest for Samuel Tuchfeld
In our previous Rzeszow research, we found a Samuel Tuchfeld born 1859 who listed his occupation as upholsterer on the birth and death records of his children. Based on the name, age and occupation, we believe that this is the same Samuel Tuchfeld. We researched further and found an 1893 US passport for a Samuel Tuchfeld who arrived in the US in 1880 on the same ship as the Samuel Tuchfeld manifest above. He lists his birthplace as Rzeszow and his occupation as upholsterer. More evidence that this is the same man.

Samuel Tuchfeld US Passport 1893
Did Samuel Tuchfeld interact with other Tuchfelds in the US? We began to research Samuel Tuchfeld in the NY City directories. We found him in five different directories from 1889 to 1910. In 1889 and 1891 Samuel Tuchfeld is one of three Tuchfelds in NY. All three Tuchfelds are listed as living withing a few blocks of each other. Three Tuchfelds all living so close. Is this a coincidence? Possibly. This suggests a relationship.

Samuel Tuchfeld NYC directory 1889
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