Monday, July 23, 2012

AncestryDNA ~ One Jewish Result

Ancestry.com is one of the smaller players in the genealogy DNA testing business now, but it's doing its best to get itself out there and get more people to use its DNA testing.

By no means am I an expert in genetic genealogy, but very simplistically, there are three general tests that a person can do, depending on what he or she wants to learn about (and depending on how much money that person is willing or able to spend). There is mtDNA (maternal) testing, which traces a person's (either male or female) maternal ancestors (mother's mother's mother, etc.) and lets that person know what his or her maternal origins are 20,000 to 100,000 years ago. There's also Y-DNA testing, which only men can take, which traces a man's father's father's father's line, which can be used for surname studies for men trying to confirm if they descend from the same man (assuming the surname has remained the same over the years).

And there's autosomal DNA testing, which is a test that provides a breakdown of one's ethnic percentages, to find out where all your ancestors may have come from; you just don't know which ancestors make up which pieces of the pie. It's this last type of testing that AncestryDNA has been promoting recently. With a couple million users and online family trees, this is another way to help people try to find common ancestors on their trees and discover second, third or fourth (or even more distant) cousins.

After I had my autosomal DNA tested last winter during its beta test phase (and reported about it here), Ancestry.com made its autosomal DNA test publicly available, though it still appears to be in beta. I had my husband take it and his results came in a couple of weeks ago. If you've been following my blog, you'll see that I've traced his ancestry back to Hungary (paternal grandparents), Romania (maternal grandfather), Shytomir / Zhitomir, Ukraine (maternal great grandmother), and Poland/Austria/Russia, depending on the source (maternal great grandfather).

So we were somewhat surprised when the results came in and we saw the following:

Husband's genetic ethnicity (according to AncestryDNA results)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sympathy Saturday ~ A Death Followed by a Birth

In researching the Sam Handler family, and finding Sam Handler's Naturalization Papers, I discovered that Sam and Sadie had a third child after Esther (b. 1910) and Arthur (b. 1912). According to his Petition for Naturalization, Alfred was born on August 16, 1914.

However, I had not found him in subsequent census records, which showed Sam and Sadie with only two children, Esther and Arthur, so I checked "Ohio Deaths 1908-1953" at FamilySearch and found a death certificate for Alfred Handler who died July 30, 1919, of Acute Lymphoid Leukaemia, just a few days before his fifth birthday.


According to Sam's brother Josef Handler's naturalization papers, Josef and Lena Handler's son Alfred was born on August 10, 1919, less than two weeks after his cousin's death. With the tradition in Jewish families of naming children after deceased relatives, I wonder if this Alfred was named after his recently deceased cousin.

From the naturalization papers for Josef Handler

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sam Handler Naturalization Papers 1920

As I noted in Josef Handler's Naturalization Papers, if you have Ohio ancestors, you may have luck finding information for naturalizations from the United States District Court, Cleveland, (1907-1946) at Fold3.

Sam Handler became a naturalized citizen in Cleveland about a month before his younger brother, Joseph Handler became a naturalized citizen in Akron. The following images are from:
"Naturalization Petition and Record Books for the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, Cleveland, 1907-1946", digital image, The National Archives (www.fold3.com); Original data from The National Archives), Record for Sam Handler, naturalization file no. 1386239.


His Declaration of Intention (31 Dec 1912) tells us that he works as a Clerk and has dark complexion, black hair, blue eyes and is 5'6" tall and 182 lbs. His birthdate is December 27, 1887, and he was born in Erdvick, Hungary, (a location which I have not been able to identify, not even in the JewishGen Communities Database). His World War II Draft Card has a birthplace of Illok, Hungary, which is where his older brother Joseph was born, which was his prior foreign residence.

Update: With help from a reader, I found Erdvick in the JewishGen Communities Database.

Although this declaration indicates that he arrived in America on the Fatherland (Vaderland) on January 18, 1905, I have not had luck finding him on a passenger list.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wedding Wednesday ~ Sam and Sadie, 1909

Earlier this year, I posted a marriage record for my husband's grandparents, Josef Handler and Lena Hollander. They were married in Bonyh√°d, Tolna, Hungary, on March 10, 1909.

Soon afterward, I found the record for the marriage of Sam Handler and Szedy Herzkovitz at FamilySearch.org in Ohio County Marriages, 1789-1994.



Sam Handler, age 22, and Szedy Herskovitz, age 20, were married on March 10, 1909.

I wonder what the brothers thought about their common wedding anniversary dates.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Military Monday ~ Sam Handler's Draft Cards

Draft registration records at Ancestry.com are a wealth of information for those men born during certain years in the late 19th century. (I shared Joseph Handler's Draft Cards last week.) My husband's great uncle Sam Handler (Joseph's brother) is found in a World War I Registration Card dated June 5, 1917.

Ancestry.com, U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (Provo, UT, USA,
The Generations Network, Inc., 2007), www.ancestry.com, Database online.
Roll: WWII_2246615; Local board: Cleveland, Ohio. Record for Sam Handler.

This record tells me that Sam Handler is 30 years old, living at 6304 Central [Avenue], Cleveland, Ohio. He was born December 27, 1887, in what looks like Hungar Austria (okay, that's a little vague, but borders were changing...). In answer to the question "Are you a natural-born citizen, a naturalized citizen, an alien, or have you declared your intention," he is "Declared." (He became a citizen in May 1920.) He considers himself a citizen of Austria.

His occupation is "confectionary" and he is employed "By himself" in Cleveland. He is supporting a wife and three children; he is married; and he considers himself caucasian. He has no military experience. He claims exemption from the draft due to wife and 3 children.

On the right hand side of the card, it is noted that he is tall and stout, with gray eyes, dark hair (and not bald - Handlers keep their head of hair!) "None" refers to the fact that he has no disability.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Military Monday ~ Joseph Handler's Draft Cards

In doing research on another Handler family member, I realized that I have not yet shared the Draft Cards for my husband's paternal grandfather.

Courtesy of Ancestry.com's World War I Draft Registration Cards description:
Registration
The World War I draft consisted of three separate registrations.
  • First Registration. The registration on 5 June 1917, was for men aged twenty-one to thirty-one—men born between 6 June 1886 and 5 June 1896.
  • Second Registration. The registration on 5 June 1918, was for men who had turned twenty-one years of age since the previous registration—men born between 6 June 1896 and 5 June 1897. Men who had not previously registered and were not already in the military also registered. In addition, a supplemental registration on 24 August 1918, was for men who turned twenty-one years of age since 5 June 1918.
  • Third Registration. The registration on 12 Sept 1918, was for men aged eighteen to twenty-one and thirty-one to forty-five—men born between 11 Sept 1872 and 12 Sept 1900.
Registration Cards
Each of the three separate registrations used a slightly different version of the draft registration card. Because different cards were used, the information included in each varies.
I find 34-year-old Joe Handler in the World War I Draft Registration records in September 1918 (third registration).

Ancestry.com, World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (Provo, UT, USA, The Generations Network, Inc., 2005), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Registration Location: Summit County, Ohio;
Roll: 1819623; Draft Board:  5. Record for Joseph Handler.

Joe Handler is living at 646 Bell [Street], Akron, Ohio. He was born August 24, 1884. He is a declared alien, which indicates that he has declared his intention to become a citizen. (Joseph Handler became a citizen in June 1920. See his naturalization here.)

This also indicates his occupation, but it's challenging to read. Does that look like "Bar Tender" and the employer is "Handler + Weinberg"? It's also hard to read the address: possibly 1223 Sweitzer, Akron, Summit, Ohio.

His nearest relative is his wife, Lena Handler, at 646 Bell [Street], Akron. The next page indicates that Joseph is of medium height, medium build, with brown eyes and black hair.