Two Bellas - 5 Generations Apart  

Posted by Abba-Dad in , , , , , , ,

Yesterday afternoon we were blessed with another beautiful baby girl. We decided to call her Bella Brannon Dekel which is a great combination of her ancestry and a very cool name. My wife's maiden name is Brannon and that lineage can be traced back 11 generations. The Dekel family name is relatively new and was changed from my father's Kilchevsky (Kielczewski) by his father. But the name Bella is a whole other story.

Bella "Beile" Kreplak was my great-grandmother. I have very little information about her and most of it is from oral interviews and a single page of testimony in the Yad Vashem Database. Here is what I know (treat this is unsourced information, but it's as good as I can get right now):

Bella was born in Warsaw about 1884 to Avram Kreplak and Dobe Jablonka. She was one of 8 children in her family (Moshe, Bella, Yossel, Rivka, Haya, Esther, Meir & Noeh). She married Hanoch Meir "Heynoch" Dombek probably in Warsaw before 1905 (when her first child was born). Heynoch and Beile had 9 children and lived at 16 Woloska Street in Warsaw before the Holocaust. Their children were Moshe Mordechai, Zipora "Feige", Tamar "Tana", Hava, Michael Haim "Misha" (my grandfather), Leah, Arieh "Leib", Haya & Rivka.

Bella, her husband and 8 of 9 children perished in the holocaust (the 9th child was my grandfather who escaped east to Russia). I don't know their exact fate, but from bits and pieces of what I remember hearing, they died of Typhus in the Warsaw Ghetto. I am sure that if I dig in the Polish Archives I will be able to find more information, but that will have to wait for now. It is assumed that Bella died in 1943.

The translated page of testimony about Bella from Yad Vashem reads as follows:

Detail text:
Bela Dombek was born in Warsaw in 1884. Prior to WWII she lived in Warsaw, Poland. During the war she was in Warsaw, Poland. Bela perished in 1943 in Warsaw, Poland. This information is based on a Page of Testimony (displayed on left) submitted on 26-Jun-1955 by Rivka Geiger.

Full Record Details for Dombek Bela

Source Pages of Testimony
Last Name DOMBEK
First Name* BELA
Sex Female
Date of Birth 1884
Name of 1st Child LEIB
Date of Birth of 1st Child 1928
Name of 2nd Child* LEA
Date of Birth of 2nd Child 1926
Name of 3rd Child KHAIA
Date of Birth of 3rd Child 1930
Date of Death 1943
Type of material Page of Testimony
Submitter's Last Name* GEIGER
Submitter's First Name RIVKA
Registration date 26/06/1955

* Indicates an automatic Translation From Hebrew

Detail comments:!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_FL/.cmd/acd/.ar/sa.portlet.VictimDetailsSubmitAction/.c/6_0_9D/.ce/7_0_V9/.p/5_0_P1/.d/2?victim_details_id=1604044&victim_details_name=++Bela&q1=53EyGfyZ998%3D&q2=nCb0IKBT2lJyrAw9hs3KZKtWDxcmsb7P&q3=VlWlwPDAqiE%3D&q4=VlWlwPDAqiE%3D&q5=5%2BnqSfv9YJY%3D&q6=rFcgqeCcjDU%3D&q7=bxVfqQaN%2Ft%2BRpyXBct1qE2j6IQqmeLWD&frm1_npage=4#7_0_V9

Update: My mother read this post and pointed out that the dates above are incorrect. She is completely right about that, because these birth years do not make much sense. But you have to remember a few things about Yad Vashem Pages of Testimony - Most of them were filled out a decade or two after people left Europe and not always by very close relatives. These sources should be treated carefully because they may contain mistakes. For Example, the same submitter filled out a page (actually two) about my own grandfather, who was alive at the time. Still, for anyone researching Jewish Genealogy, the Yad Vashem database is a must. Thanks for the comment Mom!

Had it not been for my genealogy research and newly found obsession with family history we would probably never have come up with the name Bella. I am honored and proud to be able to name my youngest daughter after my great grandmother. Two Bellas - 5 generations apart.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 9, 2009 at 12:10 AM and is filed under , , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


Congratulations, Amir, to you and your wife. Belle is adorable, and what a lovely idea to name her for her ancestor!

April 9, 2009 at 9:31 AM

Thank you for sharing the story about Bella's namesake.

May she be a blessing to you and your family, and to her children.

The hopes and dreams of all the years...

April 9, 2009 at 11:58 AM

She is ADORABLE! How precious, and Bella is such a wonderful name (I believe it means beautiful).

And the name just rolls off the tongue, and it is so wonderful that you gave her such a family name full of rich history.

Who knows...maybe she'll be a little genealogist someday!

April 10, 2009 at 10:28 PM

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