Sunday, September 7, 2014

Solving One Mystery

Early posts have already shown how Genealogy searches have changed my early feelings and frustrations with retirement. No Story Too Small has created a challenge I cannot resist. Each week participants write a SMALL story about one ancestor and share it in the 52 Week Challenge. Addendum: August 6, 2016  Never did finish the challenge. Wish I had but have followed up with other kinds of challenges and genealogy searches are still moving forward.

Several of my father's cousins were at my 1953 wedding. They had come from Philadelphia and I didn't know my dad had cousins in Philly. I had never met them before and had no idea how they were related to my father. And, to tell the truth, at that moment, I really didn't care. Years went by. Although it was children, a new marriage, the death of many family members (including both parents and all grandparents) and, suddenly, I did care who they were and how they were related. And this happened because family history and genealogy entered my life..... late but you have to start when you start. I began with what I knew: the family surname, the city where they had settled and, somehow, they were related through my father's family.  It took some census searching, help from folks on the JewishGen website who read my requests and I was able to find the Baraff family I was looking for. But even though I recognized the names and knew I had the right people, there was no apparent name that made clear how we were related.  It took a while to find the link. Through the census I was able to find Aron Baraff, his wife Jennie (Jenne), and the names of their five children. I was even able to discover that the husband of one of maternal great aunts had lived with the family for a short time.  Then, after working on other family for awhile, I had an AHA moment.  I went back and looked for birth information on each of the five children.  On my first four searches the mother's name was Jennie Baraff. But the fifth was the charm. For that child the mother's name was entered as Jene Talmage Baraff.  My pgmother's maiden name was Talmage. My dad, his next older sister and his mother came from Romania when he was fifteen. An older sister and my grandmother's brother, Isaac, had come earlier. At no time in my life had I, or my brothers, ever heard my dad, the aunts or our grandmother mention this sister. It was a wonderful surprise but it still has a way to go. I am still searching for her manifest and naturalization papers. Perhaps there are my surprises ahead.

No comments: