Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Hebrew Translations of Handler Gravestones

I previously posted photographs of the Handler family gravestones for family buried in Akron, Ohio. I then shared my experience using JewishGen's ViewMate to obtain translations of the Hebrew on these stones.

One respondent provided the following translation: "Here lies our dear and respected father Reb Josef Ben/(son of) Reb Aharon, Z"L. He died on the 19th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev (and the Hebrew year). May his soul be bound up in the bonds of eternal life."

She also provided the additional information: "A couple of explanations....The word "Reb" is a title of honor and respect, however it does NOT imply rabbi. The use of "Z"L" is the Hebrew abbreviation for one who has predeceased or is of recent memory. It clarifies that Joseph's father Aharon had predeceased him. The Hebrew name Aharon translates to Aaron, and the father could have been named Adolph in Hungary (with a Hebrew name of Aharon)."

Another noted that: "Date is 19 Kislev, 5708 = December 2, 1947" I have his death certificate, so I do know this is the correct death date for Joseph.


For his son, Alfred, the first response noted: "Here lays Anshel son of Joseph, fell on the kiddush hashem for our country on 2 Tamuz tav shin dalet"

The second said: "Some additional information for you. The "Z'L" after the name of the father Yosef indicates that he had predeceased his son." Now, this puzzles me, as I know (see above) that his father, Joseph, died three and a half years later. I'm not sure why this was put on Alfred's stone.

A third reply added: "Might the second line also be rendered as "died a martyr for our country"?" An interesting thought.

And the fourth response clarified the date of death: "Date is 2 Tamuz 5704 = June 23, 1944."  This is the date that Alfred Handler died fighting in New Guinea.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuesday's Tip ~ Using JewishGen's ViewMate

I recently learned of another great feature at JewishGen, a wonderful online research for Jewish Genealogy. From JewishGen's ViewMate page:
ViewMate allows JewishGen participants to post photographs and documents online, and request help in translating or identifying information.
Here you can submit:
  • Photos: for identification of people, clothing, buildings, scenes, objects, artifacts, etc.
  • Letters, documents, book pages, maps, etc. for analysis or translation.
This past month, I posted photographs of gravestones with quite a bit of Hebrew on them. I shared these images at JewishGen's ViewMate to see what translations might be provided by volunteers. I thought it might be helpful to share my experience.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Searching for Death Records in Bonyhád Hungary

I have (slowly) been working my way through vital records from Bonyhád, Tolna District, Hungary from the late 1890's into the 1900's at FamilySearch.org. The specific record collection is Hungary, Civil Registration, 1895-1980. It is slowly being indexed, but Bonyhád is not indexed yet, so I have to scroll through the records image by image. And to top it off, the title and date ranges of the record types at the links are mostly incorrect, so I first had to figure out what the links really connected to!

Lena Hollander Handler, 1911
I have written about my husband's grandmother, Lena (Holländer) Handler several times, first finding her passenger record, then, by exploring Bonyhád records on a Family History Library microfilm (Registers of Jewish births, marriages and deaths [to 1895]. Text in Hungarian and German) that I borrowed over a year ago, I found and shared her birth record. I also found enough additional records on that microfilm as well as in the online Hungary, Civil Registration, 1895-1980, that I have pieced together several generations of her ancestors.

Her parents were Samuel Holländer and Anna Honenvald. I previously shared Samuel's 1863 birth record and I have been curious to know when he died. I have been looking through these records at FamilySearch.org and found death records for his mother, Babette (or Betti) Kohn Holländer in 1896 and for his father, Leopold (or Lipod) Holländer in 1907. (I have not yet found Samuel Holländer's death record.)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Handlers in Akron, Ohio

Ahavas Zedek Cemetery in Akron, Ohio, is also known as Hungarian Jewish Cemetery or Sand Hill Cemetery. The following photographs are courtesy of Find A Grave volunteer, Dennis Frisone, who has given me permission to share them here.

My husband's grandfather, Joseph Handler, 1884-1947. Click here to see his Find A Grave Memorial.

My husband's grandmother, Lena (Hollander) Handler, 1890-1983. Click here to see her Find A Grave Memorial.

My husband's uncle Alfred, who died in Biak, New Guinea in the service of our country. Click here to see his Find A Grave Memorial.

My husband's uncle Louis, who died in Normandy, France in the service of our country. Click here to see his Find A Grave Memorial.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thriller Thursday ~ All The Girls Jumped

My husband's great-grandmother, Golda Segal, immigrated to America in 1891. The family settled in Woodbine, New Jersey, which was originally established as a farming community for Jewish immigrants. But when that was not successful, Woodbine became a manufacturing center with a variety of factories providing jobs for new Americans.

Golda Segal was born sometime about 1869 in Russia. She worked in one of the factories in Woodbine in the 1890's. Golda was my mother-in-law's Bubbie (grandmother), and, as my mother-in-law tells it:
She [Golda] was in a fire and in those days they locked people in the factories so they wouldn't get out. When the fire happened, people told her to jump so she came out of the window to jump. There was a barrel or something on the ground and when Golda jumped, she fell onto this barrel, hit her head, and her eardrum burst. This caused hearing and speech problems for her for the rest of her life.
I have found several newspaper accounts of a factory fire in Woodbine on February 7, 1895, which is likely the one my husband's great grandmother was injured in.

From the Bridgeton (NJ) Evening News, February 8, 1895 from GenealogyBank:

TERRIBLE FIRE AT WOODBINE. Factory Buildings Burned and Many Persons Hurt. A Panic Among Employees - Rosa Litshetz Jumps From a Third Story Window - The Loss May Reach Fifteen Thousand Dollars  There was a big fire, terrible in its results, at the Russian Hebrew colony of Woodbine late yesterday afternoon, but the particulars are meagre and hard to obtain.
  The machine and tool factories were burned to the ground. The first account says that seven persons were badly injured and one woman was nearly burned to death.
  A later report says: One of the main building which were burned was a three story one. Forty five persons were in it. The fire happened late yesterday afternoon. A girl named Rosa Litshetz jumped from a third story window and was seriously injured.
  Several others jumped from windows and were somewhat hurt. Nearly all the employees were injured, either by jumping or fighting the fire.
  The factories have lately started up and the town had taken a sudden boom during the last two weeks.
  Great excitement prevailed during the fire and several persons were frozen by exposure.
  The loss by the burning of the buildings is estimated at between $12,000 and $15,000.
  A physician went to Woodbine from Millville by special car this morning. Several reporters of Philadelphia and New York papers, en route for the place, are on the down train, snow bound at Glassboro.