Prohibition Poster - Fact or Fiction?  

Posted by Abba-Dad in , ,

I am always behind the times when it comes to the almost weekly regular blog carnivals and missed the 58th edition called "Fact or Fiction". But when I came across this e-mail from a friend yesterday I figured some of you readers will get a kick out of it. It reads:

Comment: If you were around in 1919 (just before prohibition started) and came upon the following poster ...

Would you quit drinking?

So I wanted to find out if it was a spoof or a real poster (which I didn't believe it was). I typed in 'prohibition poster' in Google and the first hit was a forum page discussing this poster. You can follow the discussion (and some of the snide remarks) here.

I followed some of the links and found out this photo was listed by the National Park Service archives as "Caption: Movie Still, "Lips That Touch Liquor Shall Not Touch Ours." in the Black Maria; Unknown Date; {23.430/25} (jpg)." That looked interesting. So I tried to find out what the movie Black Maria was about and at first tried to search IMDB but came up with 3 foreign films that obviously didn't match. Then I found the entry to Thomas Edison's Black Maria studio on Wikipedia.

So this dates the picture back to 1893-1901 when the studio was in operation. But the 18th amendment was passed in 1919. So that didn't make sense to me until I read a little more about the prohibition movement and found out it started in the mid 1800's. Now it all makes sense.

Still, this is a very progressive, satirical way to fight prohibition almost a century ago. When I scan through century-old census enumerations and see mostly farmers and day laborers I tend to forget that other parts of the US were thriving with cultural and "modern" occupations. A movie studio making a spoof on prohibition never really crossed my mind!

One last tidbit about the poster. The words on the poster are from the name of a song that was received at the Library of Congress on May 11, 1900, but was created in 1874 and published in San Francisco:

LOC has 34 entries under 'temperance' for these kinds of songs. So it was a legitimate phrase from the temperance movement. The LOC listing comes complete with sheet music too. So all you musicians out there can download and play it.

Even a funny e-mail spoof can lead you down an educational historical sleuthing adventure. I hope you enjoyed it.

A message from my cousin  

Posted by Abba-Dad in , , , ,

One of the many reasons I started this blog was to get some of the family names out into cyberspace and see who might find their way here. I just got a comment on one of my previous posts from my third cousin once removed who lives in Argentina. He was doing some Google searches on his surname and found the post where I had mapped out the area where our ancestors were from in Poland. He remembers his grandfather was from Ostrow Mazoweicka.

Before I started on this journey I had no idea that I had any relatives in that part of the world but after doing some research on we have managed to connect many cousins and create a very big family tree.

So Ernesto Kreplak, if you read this post, please send me an e-mail to adekel (at) bellsouth (dot) net. I will invite you to join the Geni tree and connect to everyone who's on there already.


Graveyard Rabbits  

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Terry Thornton who writes the terrific Hill Country of Monroe County blog has started a new endeavor called The Association of Graveyard Rabbits. It's an association of genealogy bloggers who write specific blogs about cemeteries, grave markers, burial customs and more. I would love to join, but I just don't see having the time right now and my geographical region is not extremely exciting for me and my current research. I haven't even scraped the surface of our family history so this will have to wait for a later date.

Schelly Talalay Dardashti, who writes the excellent Tracing the Tribe: The Jewish Genealogy Blog, has started up a Jewish Graveyard Rabbit blog as part of the association. I sent her a link to the post I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the grave of my great-grandfather Moshe Zinberg. But looking through all the photos my mother brought on her last visit I found another interesting aspect of Jewish cemeteries.

In many cemeteries in Israel you will find memorial monuments to holocaust victims. The one above is for the victims from Grajewo, Szczuczyn, Rajgród and Radziłów in Poland. As you may recall my paternal grandfather was born in Radziłów. The inscription on the monument reads:

In memory of the saints from the communities of
Saints of Grajewo, Szczuczyn and Rajgród perished in the village of Bogusze near Grajewo
Saints of Radziłów were burned alive in a barn
May the Lord revenge their blood (HY"D)

I put together a map of the area as well:

If you want to learn about honorifics for the dead in Judaism, you can find more on Wikipedia by clicking here.

To learn more about reading Hebrew gravestones, click here. This is a must-have document for anyone trying to understand a Jewish grave.

Research Question  

Posted by Abba-Dad in ,

Who do you add to your family tree?

This question has been on my mind for a few weeks now. I guess it started when I was able to merge our family's Geni tree with several distant relatives (third cousins and beyond). My immediate reaction was that anyone I can add will be added. But then when I started doing just that I ran into many new branches of people who were only related to me through marriage or multiple marriages. So here's who I've decided to add to my research:

1) All direct descendants of my daughter's direct ancestors.
2) Spouses of 1.
3) Parents and siblings of 2.

Does this make any sense? Does it make any sense for me to expand my tree further than that? From all the Geni tree merges I now have people who are my "first cousin thrice removed's wife's nephew." I don't even know what that means!

On Geni, I set my family to the highest level:

My Family consists of my 5th cousins and closer plus their current partners
and My Wife's 5th cousins and closer plus their current partners
and our inlaws out to first cousins.

Too much? I'd love to know what others are doing.

More Photos  

Posted by Abba-Dad in , ,

I have not posted anything new for a while not because I had nothing new to report but rather because there was too much going on. My parents arrived for a visit and we had a great time together. One of the things I had asked my mother to do was to bring as many old photos as she could. She did not disappoint!

I started scanning and cataloging all these terrific pictures and it's going to take a long time to get through everything. The method I've been using is to place as many photos as I can on the scanner and scan them as an entire page:

I scan them at a high DPI on the A4 paper setting so that I can use the entire scanner. Then I flip them over and scan the backs:

The next step in the process is to start cropping and aligning the images correctly and then saving them in the proper directories in my photo filing system. That's a lot of work, but I really look forward to it.

Last week I received Maureen Taylor's (the photo detective) book "Uncovering Your Ancestry through Family Photograph" from Amazon (where's my second book Bezos?) and started reading through that. Even though my photos are not very old I have been learning some research methodology and a few helpful tips about how to catalog and record what is on them.

Here's one of my favorite photos so far:

It's a photo of my great-grandfather Moshe Zinberg's grave site in Beltsy, Moldova (previously Romania and also Russia). I don't know who took it. I don't know when it was taken. I don't know how it ended up in my hands (I will have to ask my grandmother but my guess is her mother brought it with her on her visit to Israel many years ago). I don't know who the two men in the picture are but my best guess is that they are cemetery workers. I don't even know if the grave is still there!

What I do know is the following:
1) The plot is very large and fenced, which is not common.
2) The name in Hebrew would be pronounced "Tzimbarg". What does it say in Russian?
3) From what I could tell he was a VIP (Ish Ha'Tov) and a Cohen. It says he is Moshe, son of Aaron the Cohen.
4) There is a small picture of Moshe at the top of the tombstone.
5) There is a bunch of stuff in Russian which I couldn't read.
6) I couldn't figure out his date of death either (too fuzzy when I zoom in - I will try with a magnifying glass on the original).

I also scanned the back and sent it to two of Moshe's grandchildren to see if they could read it and translate it for me:

Does anyone know what it says?

I can't wait to get into all the other photos. Some are complete mysteries...

Smile for the Camera  

Posted by Abba-Dad in , ,

Submitted for the 6th edition of the Smile for the Camera blog carnival. Theme: Funny Bone.

I guess it's blog carnival post day today. I really enjoy all the different genea-blogs about photos and so I decided to submit my entry as well. The instructions said to "Show us that picture that never fails to bring a smile to your face! An amusing incident, a funny face, an unusual situation. Share!"

I think I have a winner here with this photo taken at the most critical moment of my Brit:

As the Rabbi leans over for the delivery of a most precision cut, my paternal grandfather, Avraham Kilchevsky, just can't bare to watch. The look on his face is priceless. It's an amazing blend of extreme happiness, some sadness, pain and sheer terror.

You see, I was his first grandchild. The first of nine to come after me. He was a very religious man who went to synagogue and prayed every day, so this was a big deal for him. He and his sister, Sarah, were the only ones from their family who survived the holocaust, so this was the continuation of our family.

You can just stare at this picture and feel all these emotions he is experiencing at the exact moment the shutter snapped.

But you can also look at this picture and laugh every time. Which is pretty much what I do.

I read it in the news!  

Posted by Abba-Dad in , , ,

This is my submission to the 57th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy.

One of my best resources in my search so far have been newspapers. I've written previously about obituaries and how much information they provide as well as the social pages that give a lot of color to the characters of our ancestors. I recently came across a couple of interesting newspaper clips. The first one is about my wife's grandfather, Lawrence Brannon:

Boy Shot (rest missing)
Two Youngsters Were Playing "Indian Camp"
Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) 20-8-1919

Obviously this was a serious matter, but seems like everything turned out all right. Maybe I will do some more research to see whatever happened to the other boy. I guess gun control in 1919 was a bit of an issue. At least I got another verification of his address. From the 1920 US Census I thought it was 256 East Fair Street. Hmmmm....

The second article is the announcement of a wedding performed by my wife's great-grandfather, Rev. Milton B. Tuggle:

This clip confirmed to me that he indeed lived in Inman Park. It also confirmed he was clergy, which does not appear in any of the census info or city directories. But what I really love about this piece is the description of the bride and groom:

"The bride is an unusually pretty young woman and from one of Georgia's oldest and best families."

Too bad there's no picture attached.

I really love these old newspapers. I wish I had access to more of them.