Thursday, June 7, 2012

1940 New York Census

I woke up this morning to going berserk with all these new hints because I can now search the 1940 census for New York by name. This brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes when I found the very first census showing my Grandparent's after they married and when my Aunt was just 2 years old.

There is something amazing to me about these Census records. If you take the time to search the entire record image you discover things, for instance, just 10 rows down from my Grandfather, my Grandmother's sister is listed. She was living in the same building with her daughter and her daughter's family. Her husband was gone by this point and from what I can tell, they moved in with Aunt Helen when he passed. My Grandparent's lived below them and it shows me just how much my Grandmother and her sister's cared for each other.

Now to search the records for my Grandfather's Mother. My Great Grandfather had passed in 1938 so I am curious to see where she wound up and who she was living with:).


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Took a Break

Hello all, it has been awhile since my last post. I began to get so overwhelmed with the whole "Finding my Roots" journey that I literally had to close up shop for a bit and walk away. I needed to recharge and recommit. I don't know how many other people are out there that have the same messed up family tree like I do, but if you do then you know how frustrating the search can be when you are starting from nothing and building it from scratch.

What boggles my mind is that no one, on either side of my family, kept a family history. I mean, seriously? Maybe it is because I have lived in Utah since I was six and family history is such a HUGE part of the genetic make-up of most Utahns. I am an east coast girl, my home town is Erie, Pennsylvania, and I spent my formative years living in Utah during the winter with my parents and the rest of the year scuttling between Erie (with my Grandparents) and San Francisco (with my Aunt). I loved my San Francisco journeys because I had extended family that lived there and surrounding areas. Every visit we all got together and Fran and Anselm's AMAZEBALLS two story home (they won an architectural award for the renovations they did on the building). A huge dinner was prepared, the conversation flowed, Anselm would play the piano (he wasn't just a highly respected sociologist but also an accomplished classical pianist) and laughter rung out in the air. Our family tapestry on my Grandmother's side of the family was so loving and supportive. It never entered my mind that no one in the room had any information about our Goldman roots. How did a family with such close ties and bonds have no information about the Matriarch and Patriarch that created all of them?

On my paternal side, the same thing. My Grandfather took off on the family and I can understand the lack of information because of that but in speaking with my biological father's cousins I discovered that they have as little information as I have. Their mother, my Grandfather's sister, had little to no information also. There is the family lore that we are Native American, although I can't prove that nor can I figure out which line (Great Grandfather or Great Grandmother) it comes from. I feel at times that there is something in the Universe that is literally preventing me from finding any information. At times I wish I had Henry Gates on speed dial so I could call him and beg him for his help. I mean, have you seen how much it costs to hire a professional genealogist to do the research for you? On the cost STARTS at $1900.00, seriously, who has that kind of money lying around?

I will get through this, I will discover the hidden secrets and find that line we all descend from. I will find out whether my Grandmother's father had another family in Europe and that that is the reason he went back and forth to Hungary and not because he sold European pocket books to American women. I WILL succeed but I cannot promise that I won't throw my hands up in the air and have a temper tantrum that would rival the most misbehaved 3 year old. So here is to all you Family Tree Hunters, may we discover the amazing, mourn the tradgedies and honor all of those that came before us.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

And the Teich's are on Board!

I emailed my cousin David who is my third cousin and he sent me his sister's emails. In the span of two hours, my cousin Judy and her daughter had emailed me and my cousin Esther just sent me her information. In my head, I always thought that certain parts of the family knew information that I didn't. Turns out, some of the Grandchildren did but for us, Great-Grandchildren, we are all pretty much in the dark together. I am so beyond excited that they will be going on the journey with me and that there are people who will honestly understand my emotion regarding this journey and understand my excitement every time I find out something new.

So what am I doing tonight? Family tree....I am supposed to be cleaning the house....but I'd rather be doing the family tree ;).


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sharing Photographic Memories

Goldman Family Sometime before 1924
11 Brothers and Sisters with their Spouses and Children 
(My Grandmother and Uncle are the only one's not married yet)

The 5 Graces, The Goldman Sisters
(From Left to Right Aunt Lillian, Aunt Ida, Aunt Esther, Aunt Helen and My Grandmother Anne)

From Left to Right Uncle Abraham, Uncle Seymour and a Friend

Here are a few photographs of my Grandmother's family that I emailed to VH in MD. Her Great Grandmother was the sister of my Uncle Sandor and Uncle Abraham's wives. It feels so awesome to be able to share these photographs with her. Because even though we don't share the same blood, we do share to four common descendants between our families. I hope everyone is having a joyful and blessed weekend. Now to watch Joyful Noise with my daughter, girls night!


Friday, May 4, 2012

And Two More Family Trees with my Grandmother's Brother and Sister on them Found

Just finished messaging to Family Tree holders on One Family Tree had my Aunt Ida and her husband listed (he is a relative of the Family Tree Holder) and another Family Tree has my Uncle Shimon on it. I have messaged the person with Uncle Shimon on their tree before but still have not heard back so I am trying again....and will keep trying until I hear back. Onward and Upward!


Is Anybody Out There?

I still don't understand how this whole bloggersphere works. I don't know how to search for blogs or how people would even find this little ol' blog. I like to think people are reading this but to be honest, I have no idea. But still I soldier on and will continue sharing the crazy story of my search for my family history. Henry Louis Gates Jr. (one day I WILLmeet this amazing man) said on his latest episode of Finding Your Roots that "We are our ancestors". I truly feel that, I mean, I know who I am but to discover the people I descend from, to discover the stories of their makes me stand a little taller, walk a little straighter and strive to conduct myself and my life in a way that would honor them. Until the next post.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sisters, Sisters, There were never such devoted SISTERS

In contact with a woman named Valerie who turns out to be my Great Aunt Sarah's, Great-Great Niece. Although we aren't related, it is pretty cool to meet someone who has a common ancestor with me. I received an email today providing me with Great Aunt Sarah's family tree information. You could have smacked me with a Mackeral and called me fish bait when another email came in with some very interesting information. Sarah had a sister named Emma, who married a man named Abraham. Wait a second,  I have a Great Uncle named Abraham who married a woman named Emma. I had no idea that Sarah's sister had married into the family, not only that but my Mom and Aunt were unaware of it also. So Sarah married Sandor and Emma married Abraham, so her sister also became her sister-in-law. Pretty nifty neato if you ask me, that being said, I hope Abe and Emma married for love and that it wasn't arranged. Uncle Sandor and Sarah had a habit of medaling in other's lives.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Found a Relative! Kind of

So here is the dealio, connected me to a family tree that had my Great-Uncle Sandor Goldman, his wife Sarah and the children listed on it. I emailed the owner of the tree and waited and waited and waited until the day before yesterday when they responded back! This person is my Great-Aunt Sarah's Great-Great Niece. Her Great-Great Grandmother Rose Norman was Sarah's sister. The first big thrill for me is now I know Aunt Sarah's maiden name. Second, I now have the names of her siblings. Third, I have the names of her parents!!!!! I am plotzzing here people! This wonderful person is getting all of the information together for me and I am getting together the stories I have along with photographs for them ( I say them because I still don't know if they are male or female, LOL). Funny side note, they have a story posted under Sarah on their family tree that said Sarah was only 2'3". I commented on the note because Sarah was not 2'3" although she was barely 5 ft tall in heels and Uncle Sandor was 6 feet. I will be working on the tree some more today, so hopefully I will be able to add a few new items also.


Monday, April 30, 2012

And his Hebrew name is.....

Rabbi Illana is AMAZING! Within 20 minutes of  emailing the photographs of the headstones to her, she had emailed back the translations. To know my Great Grandfather's full Hebrew name is totally blowing my mind. So the man I knew of as simply Simcha is actually Simchah Yehudah, the Cohen.

I asked the Rabbi what "The Cohen" meant and here was her explanation: The Cohen means, hereditarily they are part of the priesthood that existed in ancient Israel. The Cohanim and Liviim (the Cohens and Levites) ran the Temple in Jerusalem, saw to the sacrifices, offerings and other things. For many modern Jews, this is no longer an issue. For those who are waiting for the Temple to be rebuilt and sacrifices resumed, they want to keep track of who was part of which tribe.

So, now I know that my Great Uncle Sandor found it extremely important to have "The Cohen" inscribed on the headstones of Simchah's children. Now if I can just track down where Simchah and Great Grandma Pepi are buried. If I can find Pepi's headstone then I will be able to find her Hebrew name and the name of her father which would be INSANE!


Update on Hebrew Translation

Woo Hoo! The Rabbi from Congregation Kol Ami is going to translate the Hebrew on the Headstones from my family plot in Mount Hebron Cemetary! And if she is too busy, there are other people in the office that will do it. I am so fricking excited I can't even stand it....PLUS....there is a member of their congregation that is from Hungary and she is going to see if he is willing to help me search for Pepi and Simcha in Hungarian records. I may actually be one step closer in finding out the names of their parents, OH YAH, UH HUH, OH YEAH, DO THE BUTT DANCE ( \ ) ( I ) ( / ) ( \ ) ( I ) ( / )!!!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

If at first you don't succeed....bang your head against the wall!

I have taken some time away from research to try and get my mind to calm down and quit over thinking things. The 1940's census is still being transcribed and because I don't know the district numbers or the areas of the relatives I am looking for, I have to wait for that info to become available through a normal search on I have however been updating my Grandmother's brothers and sisters, since adding their birth and death dates has exploded with hints that I have been able to look at and attach to my relatives. Case in point, I now have a census for my Uncle Sandor (whom I am named after, yeah fun to know I am named after a man, LOL) who was the head of the family after my Great Grandfather passed away. I knew he was a successful business man but I never knew that he was a restaurantor and owned his own restaurant. For me, it is these little nuggets of information that make all the difference. They are what keep me going since those family members are no longer alive to share their stories with me.

I wound up contacting two members because I found two family trees, one listing my Uncle Sandor and one listing my Uncle Shimon. I am assuming they are Grandchildren of my Uncles but I have not heard back from them. That is a little disconcerting since I am trying to not only piece my family together but also to bring my family back together. I also haven't heard back from the Rabbi at the local synagogue and I can't translate the Hebrew on their headstones myself. I plan on calling the Synagogue to see if there is anyone else in the congregation who would be willing to translate the inscriptions for me. So that is where I am at, I will forge ahead, I know this all won't come together as quickly as I would like but it will happen. Some how, some way, I will learn the story of the people that I come from.

Until Next Time,

Friday, April 13, 2012

And I am stuck....again

Right now I am sitting in neutral while I wait for people I emailed on to get back to me. Three were regarding my Spears Family and two were regarding my Goldman Family. Plus I am waiting to hear back from the Rabbi at the local synagogue because I need some who can read Hebrew to translate information on some headstones. A wonderful woman named Dyane in New York went to Mount Hebron Cemetery in Flushing, New York and photographed the main plot for my Grandmother's brothers and sisters. It was surreal to see my Great Aunt's and Uncle's headstones, I mean, this is something I have never seen before. There is a secondary plot that I have asked her to also photograph when she has time. This plot was for the children and grandchildren and there are A LOT. Anywho, that is where I am, I have been helping out with the data entry for the 1940 census on Family Search so that has been super fun and has been keeping me busy until I hear back from folks.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Baptism by Proxy and What does that Mean?

As I have been putting together Family Group Sheets for my Mother-in-Law, I noticed that some of her ancestors were baptized by Proxy between 2002 and 2010. I found this odd because my Mother-in-Law's family was LDS, came over with Brigham Young and even founded and settled Panguitch and Garfield, Utah. SO, why I ask you, would they be Baptized by Proxy if they lived and died a member of the faith? Definitely food for thought for the day.

Monday, April 2, 2012

You know them by one name but they are really called.....

I just had something happen that is a lesson for all genealogists and ancestry buffs. I was typing up the family group sheets and realized that I didn't know my husband's Uncle's full name. So I picked up the trusty cell and called my Father-in-law. I know my husband's Uncle as Uncle Tobe and that is what everyone calls him. I as well as my husband assumed that his name was Toby because my brother-in-law Shawn's first name is Toby (after Uncle Tobe). Well you could have called me a monkey's uncle when my Father-in-law told me that his brother's name is Charles. NO WONDER I hadn't  found any information about him!

How do you handle little kinks such as this and how do you go about researching when this happens? I know that by knowing Uncle Tobe's actual name it will make it a lot easier to search records.


I am an Ace!

What does being an Ace mean? Just that I get all the information about the 1940 census before anyone else does! Of course it is going to take awhile for the 1940 census to be uploaded to their site but it's nice to know when the censuses I am looking for will be posted. They already have a few states up and they are working on New York right now, it should be posted within the next couple days. That is the one I am itching to get in my hot little hands. To see a census with my Grandmother and Grandfather AND my Auntie on it.....she is just going to die. There was an article online this morning that said about 21 million people from the 1940 census are alive today....they are a part of living history, how cool is that! I hope that when the 1980 census drops I will still be around. To read the article, click on the link here:,0,2777746.story

Here is to a fun and fantastic search for all. I know it's not going to happen as quickly as I want it too but come on, it's been 78 years already so a few more days won't hurt:).


Friday, March 23, 2012

Birth Dates Make a World of Difference

My cousin Boomer sent me birth and death dates for his Mother and some of her siblings last night. Boy Howdy, does that change the tide as far as the research goes. I plugged in those dates and little green leaves started popping up everywhere! Now to disprove, The Naked Genaologist at says the best thing to do is instead on working to prove the record is of your ancestor, work to DISPROVE it. That way you are making the list smaller instead of adding more possibilities to your search....I just love Crista Cowen:).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sisters Picture Update

My friend Rob in New York emailed me a link to a phenomenal website where they will analyze your photograph and help you find out when it was taken. I emailed the photo of the sisters this morning and just now (not even an hour later) got a response from Gary. He was able to tell me that this was taken between 1880 (when the process became popular) and 1905 when it started to die out. I know that my Aunts were born in 1894, 1896 and 1899. This means the picture was taken between 1899 and 1900 which would explain why my Aunt Maddie is not in the picture. So my cousin Arlene was right, this is indeed her mother and Aunt and my cousin Warren can rest his brain that this is not a photograph of his mother and her sister. That still leaves the question though.....what happened to Jean?

To check out the awesome website and Gary, the dude that helped me, go to:

They are awesome!!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Update: The Sister that Existed....But Didn't

My cousin Heather and my cousin Warren and I keep bouncing back and forth. Is the photograph Arlene and the missing sister Jean OR is it really my Aunt Flo and my Aunt Hattie? I can't believe that my Great Grandmother would have a photograph taken of just them when she also had Aunt Maddie. I keep dreaming of the girl with big brown eyes, I feel like she is trying to tell us who she is but with so little information and stories that were taken to their graves, how do we find her out? I have asked a friend in New York to do some research on the Photographer that took the photograph. If we can pinpoint when the Photographer was in business, we should be able to figure out if it's Arlene and Jean or Flo and Hattie.......OY!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Sister that Existed....but Didn't

Take a look at this photograph, what is your first thought? Two sisters, sitting side by side, having their portrait taken for their parent's? Cousins or even friends perhaps? It is more likely the first, sisters, one with what could be soft hazel eyes, one with piercingly dark, brown eyes. Both dressed the same, hair the same, they look different but very similar. My cousin Heather has had this picture out in her home for years, not quite sure as too who the younger girl is but always believing that the older child (on the right of the photograph as you are looking at it) was her Grandmother (my cousin Arlene). While researching our Hess Family history, I came across the 1930 Federal Census for Heather's Great Grandparents (her Great Grandmother is my Great Aunt). The names match, the profession of the man match the profession of her Great Grandfather. The name of their daughter (her Grandmother) matches and yet there was a shocking surprise. Underneath her Grandmother Arlene's name, another child, a daughter aged 6 is listed. How could this be? How could they have had a child that NO ONE living knows about? And yet there it is in black and white. Jean Loeb, aged 6, born about 1924 (probably 1923). I spoke with Heather on the phone and she had me pull up this photograph. This photograph of two beautiful little girls, this photograph that is the only image we have of the younger child. How can it be a possibility that our family never spoke of her? The reality is between 1930 when the census was taken and 1942 when my Great Grandmother (Heather's Great Great Grandmother) passed away that this little girl disappeared? I cannot tell you how excited I am that the 1940 census drops in 15 days because I am hoping that I will be able to have an answer for her. What happened to little Jean? Was she institutionalized, did she pass away as a young girl? All we know is that in the 1942 obituary for my Great Grandmother Matilda, my Aunt and Heather's Grandmother are mentioned as Matilda's grandchildren....but Jean is not. Is this because she passed away or was she a dirty little secret of the family that no one talked about? Heather and I both feel that we are Jean's voice, that whatever happened to her, we must find out, we must tell her story and we must honor her existence. As a mother, I cannot imagine having a child and then never speaking of them. I cannot imagine being gone from this world and having no one know that I was ever even here. I am putting some of my other research aside so that I might spend more time trying to find our Jean.....our Jean....that is what she is, she is ours. My cousin, Warren's Aunt, Heather's Great Aunt. We will find her and we will honor her.....she has been forgotten for too long.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Rough Night

I tossed and turned all night, restless with dreams of my Great Grandparents. I am overwhelmed, I feel like they don't want me to know anything about my family. I am thrilled to have found their marriage record last night but instead of bringing me peace, it leaves me with more questions. To find any records about my Great Great Grandparents named in the marriadhe record, I have to search German records which aren't that great. How do I even do that? It looks like I am going to have to physically go to the Family Research Library, I am hoping that there is a sweet little volunteer man or woman who will take pity on me. Someone who lives to unlock family mysteries and will volunteer to help me with my research.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Great Great Grandmother and Grandfather on Paternal Grandfather's Side

This evening, right as I was about to shoot my computer in frustration with came across the marriage record of my Great Grandfather and Grandmother (my Grandfather's parents). Oddly enough I did not find the information on Ancestry, instead I found it on Not only did it give me the date they were married, but I now have my Great Grandfather's Father's name and my Great Grandmother's Mothers name. Now, this also opens up more questions like 1. Why is Great Grandpa's Mother not named and Great Grandma's Father not named. 2. While knowing they were married in New York in 1892 is great, why can't I find any record of them individually in 1892 in New York since both of them arrived prior to that? I am giving up for the night, I am going to take my little piece of research success, hold it tight and have sweet dreams. At least I can now give my Mom, Aunt, Cousin and his daughter names that no one in the family had ever known.