Sunday, February 6, 2011

Shifting Borders In a Changing World

In a world of constantly shifting borders it is often difficult to trace family lineage back through the destruction of the two World Wars that marred the 20th Century, especially in Europe. Throw in Russia's 70 year foray into Communism, along with these shifting borders, and you can run into a real puzzle!

When William and Esther Marcus left Poland for America around 1911, they left Poland. When the Russian Revolution was over and the First World War had ended, the borders had shifted. The same thing happened in the Second World War and then again later, when the Soviet Union collapsed in the late 1980's.

So, over the years I have been descended from Poles/Russian/Poles. And that's just on that side of the family! My second cousin, Jana Marcus, has done a lot of research on this and come up with a new twist. We have another family member we were unaware of, who died in infancy back in Poland in 1902. Here is a part of the e-mail I received yesterday about this new discovery, with some other background info thrown in;

I wanted to share with you some new family history I have discovered.

As you know, William and Esther were from Kishinev (Chisinau), Moldava.

I did some extensive research in the Moldava marriage and birth
records through I found three exciting things:

1. The name of the village they came from in Kishinev is Rashkov

2. William and Esther had a child we didn't know about! Rivka Marcus
was born in Kishinev in 1901, and died on June 8, 1902 of a cerebral
infection. She died a baby, but was born before Minnie and Sophie.

3. I found William and Esther's marriage record. Married in 1895 in
Kishinev, Esther's "old world" maiden name was Saganovskaya. Her
father was Yosef Saganovskaya. This led me to a search for
Saganovskaya, and I discovered the following:

Yosef Saganovskaya, son of Pinkos Saganovskaya, was born abt. 1848
in Gaysin, Vinnitsa, Ukraine. He had three children:

Avrum Saganovskaya
Jankel Saganovskaya
Esther Saganovskaya

Avrum Saganovskaya married Rakehl Edya and had the following children:

Pinkhos Saganovskaya ( b. 1894)
Yankel Saganovskaya (b. 1896)
Sura Sarah Saganovskaya ( b. 1899)
Sheyndlya Saganovskaya ( b.1904)
Yosef Saganovskaya (b. 1907)

Jankel Saganovskaya ( wife unnknown) had one child that I could find:

Shlioma Saganovskaya (b.1900)

Noticed how many children were named Pinkhos and Yankel or a variation of...interesting, uh? So, we have gone two more generations on Esther's side!

Happy trails to you all,
Jana Marcus Photography

With this new information, Jana has established my family tree as far back as the 1840's on the Marcus (maternal) side. The Henkin side of that tree is shrouded in mystery with no one left to tell the story. And anyway, I like the mystery better, as it probably trumps the reality.

On my paternal side, we have information and Census forms dating back to the 1850's for the Burke's (my Dad's maternal side), and on the Williams' side we can trace our roots to the mid 1800's in Wales and England.

I never get tired of this stuff. The past is where we all come from and a large piece of who we are and where we are headed. Eventually we are all going to come around to the realization that we are all related. That doesn't mean we are going to love one another in the blink of an eye. But it is the beginning of becoming aware that we are all truly connected in one way or another. So don't judge your neighbors too harshly - you just might be related...

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