SNGF - Unique Ancestral Name  

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

Once again a fun genea-challenge from Randy Seaver:

What is the most unique, strangest or funniest combination of given name and last name in your ancestry? Not in your database - in your ancestry.

Well, I don't have any unique ancestral names. My pedigree is full of Sarahs, Jacobs, Abrahams, Moshes and so on. You could say that my great-grandfather Ze'ev Arieh Kielczewski is an unusual name since in English it mean Wolf Lion Kielczewski (in Yiddish it is Wolf Leib).

So as usual I turn to my wife's side and since she has mostly Irish and English ancestry, nothing jumped at me right away. But there is one name that is unique in another way.

My wife's third great-grandmother was Sarah Whitehead Battle CARTER Tuggle (1820-1883). Her middle names are unique but that's only part of the story. She was the daughter of Sarah Whitehead BATTLE Carter who was the daughter of Sarah WHITEHEAD Battle. So that's three generations of women all named Sarah who kept their surnames as middle names.

Sarah Whitehead Battle Carter married Pinckney Jackson Tuggle and they lived (and died) in Greene County, Georgia. They are buried together in historic Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia, and did not want to be buried in the Greene County family cemetery on William Tuggle plantation. I found their grave site and added them to find-a-grave:

People of the Book Review, um... Book Review, um...  

Posted by Abba-Dad in , ,

I just finished reading a great fiction book called "People of the Book" by Geraldine Brooks, who won a Pulitzer prize in 2006 for a previous book, her second novel, "March", a retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s classic "Little Women" from the point of view of Mr. March, the absent father.

Ms. Brooks likes to write historical fiction and I have to say she did a great job with "People of the Book" which deals with the famous Sarajevo Haggadah. This piece of history is truly amazing and I have to admit I had never heard of it before. Here's what Wikipedia says about this amazing codex:

The Sarajevo Haggadah is an illuminated manuscript that contains the illustrated traditional text of the Passover Haggadah which accompanies the Passover Seder. It is one of the oldest Sephardic Haggadahs in the world, originating in Barcelona around 1350. The Haggadah is presently owned by the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, where it is on permanent display.

If you want to see some of these fantastic images, whose history is shrouded in mystery, click here.

So what did I like about this book? It's based on some facts that have already been discovered about the history of the Haggadah, but it takes the reader through a journey of all the (fictional) characters that may have been associated with its creation and survival. These characters are very well written and intrigue the reader to keep going to find out what all the clues mean.

The story is about an Australian manuscript restorer who goes to Bosnia after the war to restore the Haggadah in order to get it ready for permanent display at the museum. During the restoration she finds several items that then get their own story through history to explain how they eventually got there in the first place.

In order for a Jewish Haggadah to survive for over 650 years, it had to go through a lot. And the story follows many account of Jewish suffering and weaves the story of the Haggadah and the characters surrounding it. As I said, the characters are amazing: A Partisan girl, an African slave, a drunk Inquisitor, a Gambling Rabbi, the deaf-mute son of a wealthy Jewish doctor living in medieval Spain and many others comprise "the people" of the book.

One thing that this book made me think about is the history of the Jewish people, also known as the people of the book. It made me think about how fortunate we are to actually still be around and exist today. Throughout history, Jews have been persecuted, tortured, converted and mercilessly murdered. Just because they were Jews. No other reason. It's just absolutely mind-boggling to me, every time I think about it.

Anyway, I encourage everyone to read this book. It's a fairly easy read and has a lot of twists and surprises that will keep you guessing.

SNGF - A Family's Increase  

Posted by Abba-Dad in , ,

As usual Randy Seaver comes up with great genea-challenges. This time we're finding descendants of one of our great-grandparents:

1) Pick one of your four great-grandparents - if possible, the one with the most descendants.

2) Create a descendants list for those great-grandparents either by hand or in your software program.

3) Tell us how many descendants, living or dead, are in each generation from those great-grandparents.

4) How many are still living? Of those, how many have you met and exchanged family information with? Are there any that you should make contact with ASAP? Please don't use last names of living people for this - respect their privacy.

5) Write about it in your own blog post, in comments to this post, or in comments or a Note on Facebook.
So I chose the only great-grandparents who have a big list of descendants, Moshe Zinberg (died about 1960) and Elka Benditovich (holy cow, I don't have any dates for her - adding to my to do list right now):
  1. Children - 6 (3 deceased, 3 living) - I met all but two.
  2. Grandchildren - 11 that I know of, there may have been more. I have met 8 of them.
  3. Great-grandchildren - 20 that I know of. I believe I have met 11 of them. Obviously I need to fill in some gaps because I don't even know the names of some of them. I have to call my grandma, she'll know.
  4. Great-great-grandchildren - I only know of 4 of which 2 are my own children. I am sure there are more out there, but I need to research that more.
Since this is a relatively young line, the total comes out to 41. Since almost all of the descendants that I have not met are still alive, I will not list them here. I have a lot of work to do on the Zinberg line. So much work, so little time...

2010 Census Cautions  

Posted by Abba-Dad in

I got this in an email today. I think it is good advice so wanted to pass it along to my readers:

WARNING: 2010 Census Cautions from the Better Business Bureau

Be Cautious About Giving Info to Census Workers

With the U.S. Census process beginning, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises people to be cooperative, but cautious, so as not to become a victim of fraud or identity theft. The first phase of the 2010 U.S. Census is under way as workers have begun verifying the addresses of households across the country. Eventually, more than 140,000 U.S. Census workers will count every person in the United States and will gather information about every person living at each address including name, age, gender, race, and other relevant data.

The big question is - how do you tell the difference between a U.S. Census worker and a con artist? BBB offers the following advice:
  • If a U.S. Census worker knocks on your door, they will have a badge, a handheld device, a Census Bureau > canvas bag, and a confidentiality notice. Ask to see their identification and their badge before answering their questions. However, you should never invite anyone you don't know into your home.
  • Census workers are currently only knocking on doors to verify address information. Do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking information to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. Census. While the Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information, such as a salary range, the Census Bureau will not ask for Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers nor will employees solicit donations.
Eventually, Census workers may contact you by telephone, mail, or in person at home. However, the Census Bureau will not contact you by Email, so be on the lookout for Email scams impersonating the Census...

Never click on a link or open any attachments in an Email that are supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau.