Updates Updates Updates!

I have one minor update to the blog and one major piece of found information.

First the trivial.  Despite our decadent duck, Eli and I missed latkes.  Therefore we extended the Chanukah season and this happened:

LatkesUpon further consideration the latkes make the duck look like health food!

And now for the big update.  I found a new branch of my family tree!!!  Blog readers other than my Dad, do you remember Oma’s old siddur?Siddur1It’s an old book, we estimate it’s approaching it’s 200th birthday.  I first blogged about the content of it here.  And while the content of the book has always seemed interesting and appealing.  There are amazing hand written entries on the covers.  See below:

20150122_151013While it seemed that these contained tantalizing family history, with entries starting in the 1800s it was largely illegible.  I took it to my local Leo Baeck Institute for help translating it.

The funny thing was that it belonged to a relative that was so far back on my family tree that it took until the THIRD page of translation before we found someone I knew!  “Our Daughter Sophie Weissman Married Avraham Heidecker December 6, 1904”.  Yes you read that right folks.

For what it’s worth, Sophie Heidecker nee Weismann was my Great Grandmother.  This book belonged to her mother and father, my Great Great Grandparents.  And while I have a really extensive family tree for my Great Grandfather Avraham Heidecker, I knew nothing of Sophie’s lineage.

The next step was to write to my friend Gerd living in their hometown Georgensgmünd.  It turns out that Sophie’s parents are buried in the local cemetery, which was one that was not destroyed in the war.

He replied (corrected for English spelling and grammar)

…no problem. I have a large book about the Jewish cemetery in Georgensgmünd, where all tombstones are cataloged and described. It was a many years work of a researcher in Jewish history named Kuhn.

This I have found:
1. Tombstone Nr. 1635: Elieser / Lazarus, Son of Jakob Weissmann, from Georgensgmünd, 28.2.1923 (Date of death). Text: Here is resting Lazarus Weissmann, born august 12th 1844 in Altenmuhr, died february 28th 1923.
2. Tombstone Nr. 1603: Rebekka Weissmann, from Georgensgmünd, 6.7.1919 (Date of death). No further information, because the tombstone is heavily weathered.
If you need the birthday of Rebekka, I could ask in our township. The birthday must be listed in the registry of the death.

So now in addition to all the family information I have on Sophie’s siblings and children (and grandchildren, and great grand children, and great great grandchildren), I finally found records of her parents!!!  Hooray!

And here’s the shocker.  It wasn’t Oma’s Siddur at all.  It was Opa’s Oma’s Siddur.  Are you confused yet?

With Gerd’s help I’m looking a little more carefully into her birth records as well as the Jewish community in the town of Altenmuhr, which seems to have largely disappeared even before the war.  In 1933 there were only 29 Jews left.  Another small mystery to solve.


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