Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving 2020

 This has been an unusual and difficult year for many, but there is lots to be thankful for. 

Below are several poems for the holiday


Gratitude - by Edgar A. Guest (©1917)

Be grateful for the kindly friends that walk along your way;
Be grateful for the skies of blue that smile from day to day;
Be grateful for the health you own, the work you find to do,
For round about you there are men less fortunate than you.

Be grateful for the growing trees, the roses soon to bloom,
The tenderness of kindly hearts that shared your days of gloom;
Be grateful for the morning dew, the grass beneath your feet,
The soft caresses of your babes and all their laughter sweet.

Acquire the grateful habit, learn to see how blest you are,
How much there is to gladden life, how little life to mar!
And what if rain shall fall to-day and you with grief are sad;
Be grateful that you can recall the joys that you have had.



Looking Back - by Edgar Guest (©1921)

I might have been rich if I'd wanted the gold instead of the friendships I've made.
I might have had fame if I'd sought for renown in the hours when I purposely played.
Now I'm standing to-day on the far edge of life, and I'm just looking backward to see
What I've done with the years and the days that were mine, and all that has happened to me.

I haven't built much of a fortune to leave to those who shall carry my name,
And nothing I've done shall entitle me now to a place on the tablets of fame.
But I've loved the great sky and its spaces of blue; I've lived with the birds and the trees;
I've turned from the splendor of silver and gold to share in such pleasures as these.

I've given my time to the children who came; together we've romped and we've played,
And I wouldn't exchange the glad hours spent with them for the money that I might have made.
I chose to be known and be loved by the few, and was deaf to the plaudits of men;
And I'd make the same choice should the chance come to me to live my life over again.

I've lived with my friends and I've shared in their joys, known sorrow with all of its tears;
I have harvested much from my acres of life, though some say I've squandered my years.
For much that is fine has been mine to enjoy, and I think I have lived to my best,
And I have no regret, as I'm nearing the end, for the gold that I might have possessed.



A Song of Thanks - by Edward Smyth Jones (©1922)

FOR the sun that shone at the dawn of spring,
For the flowers which bloom and the birds that sing,
For the verdant robe of the gray old earth,
For her coffers filled with their countless worth,
For the flocks which feed on a thousand hills,
For the rippling streams which turn the mills,
For the lowing herds in the lovely vale,
For the songs of gladness on the gale,—
From the Gulf and the Lakes to the Oceans’ banks,—
Lord God of Hosts, we give Thee thanks!

For the farmer reaping his whitened fields,
For the bounty which the rich soil yields,
For the cooling dews and refreshing rains,
For the sun which ripens the golden grains,
For the bearded wheat and the fattened swine,
For the stalled ox and the fruitful vine,
For the tubers large and cotton white,
For the kid and the lambkin frisk and blithe,
For the swan which floats near the river-banks,—
Lord God of Hosts, we give Thee thanks

For the pumpkin sweet and the yellow yam,
For the corn and beans and the sugared ham,
For the plum and the peach and the apple red,
For the dear old press where the wine is tread,
For the cock which crows at the breaking dawn,
And the proud old “turk” of the farmer’s barn,
For the fish which swim in the babbling brooks,
For the game which hide in the shady nooks,—
From the Gulf and the Lakes to the Oceans’ banks—
Lord God of Hosts, we give Thee thanks!

For the sturdy oaks and the stately pines,
For the lead and the coal from the deep,
dark mines, For the silver ores of a thousand fold,
For the diamond bright and the yellow gold,
For the river boat and the flying train,
For the fleecy sail of the rolling main,
For the velvet sponge and the glossy pearl,
For the flag of peace which we now unfurl,—
From the Gulf and the Lakes to the Oceans’ banks,—
Lord God of Hosts, we give Thee thanks!

For the lowly cot and the mansion fair,
For the peace and plenty together share,
For the Hand which guides us from above,
For Thy tender mercies, abiding love,
For the blessed home with its children gay,
For returnings of Thanksgiving Day,
For the bearing toils and the sharing cares,
We lift up our hearts in our songs and our prayers,—
From the Gulf and the Lakes to the Oceans’ banks,—

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Veterans Day - Nov 11, 2020

 

Caption for photo to left: Human Statue of Liberty. 18,000 Officers and Men at Camp Dodge, Des Moines, Iowa. Colonel William Newman, Commanding. Colonel Rush S. Wells, Directing. Mole & Thomas, 09/1918. (source)

Wednesday, November 11 is Veterans Day in the US, and Remembrance Day in the UK, Canada, Australia, France and Belgium. In Poland it is celebrated as National Independence Day.

Below are the names of ancestors, and their siblings, who I know served their nation's military, either in a time of war, or in a time of peace. I am including my Loyalist ancestors; their nation was Great Britain. Canada became their country after the war. I am including my Confederate ancestors too, despite their desire to form a separate nation. I am also including a Conscientious Objector ancestor since the DAR counts him as a Patriot.

Fifth Great Grandfathers
McGregory Van Every (1723-1786) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers
Michael Showers (1733-1796) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers
Mark Fretz (1750-1840) Patriot (Inactive Duty) Pennsylvania militia

Fourth Great Grandfather
David Van Every (1757-1820) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers (served briefly as a Patriot in the NY militia)

Fifth Great Uncle
Benjamin Van Every (1759-1795) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers (served briefly as a Patriot in the NY militia)
William Van Every (1765-1832) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers
Peter Van Every (1771-bef 1816) Loyalist/Fifth Lincoln and Second York regiments (War of 1812)

Fourth Great Uncles
David Van Every Jr. (1782-1847) Loyalist/Second York regiment (War of 1812)
Michael Van Every (1790-?) Loyalist/Fifth Lincoln and Second York regiments (War of 1812)

Second Great Grandfather
Ebenezer Denyer (1828-1872) (Mexican-American War) (Confederate Army)

Third Great Uncles
Samuel Jennings Denyer (1822-1861) (Gonzales County Minute Men - Republic of Texas -1841)
Samuel T Hartley (1830-1920) (Confederate Army)

Great Grandfather
Samuel Deutsch (1861-1938) (Franz Josef's Austro-Hungarian Army)

Second Great Uncle
Nelson D Van Every (1845-1926) (Union Army)

Grandfathers 
Melvin L Newmark (1912-1992), WWII
Martin J Deutsch (1907-1991), WWII

Great Uncles
Jerry Deutsch (1909-1950), WWII
Allen Deutsch (1914-1988), WWII
Harold Newmark (1915-2003), WWII
Mandell Newmark (1923-1945), WWII (KIA)
Bernard Feinstin (1913-1968), WWII
Seymour Feinstein (1917-1999), WWII

Uncle
Stevan J Newmark (1942-1997) Army Reserves

Photographs of those who served in World War II

My grandfathers Melvin Newmark (1912-1992) and Martin Deutsch (1907-1991)


Allen Deutsch (1914-1988) and Maurice "Jerry" Deutsch (1909-1950).


Harold Newmark (1915-2003) and Mandell Newmark (1923-1945).


Bernard "Benny" Feinstein (1913-1968) and Seymour "Babe" Feinstein (1917-1999)

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Thoughts on Geni and Relationships to Celebrities

 Five years ago I made fun of Geni's twisted relationship finder that determined how William Shatner was 'related' to Leonard Nimoy.


A month ago, I uploaded portions of my family tree data to Geni, and have been playing with it for the past month. I still find what they term an "in-law relationship" to be rather silly at times. For example, Ruth Bader Ginsberg is my first cousin twice removed's wife's niece's husband's second cousin once removed. Can you follow that?

George Washington is my "fifth great uncle's great uncle's wife's niece's 2nd husband." Neither of these are as tortuous as Kirk and Spock's relationship above, though neither is a blood relationship. The George Washington connection goes through the ancestry of my fourth great grandmother, Sarah Showers Van Every. I have not confirmed all of the steps. I do know that I have a much less tortuous in-law relationship to our first President, but I didn't upload the data in my family tree for a cousin, so Geni doesn't tell me about it. George Washington's father is an ancestor of some first cousins, through one of his half-siblings. 

If one can confirm ancestry to Colonial Americans, which I can, in a lot of cases connections to European royalty have been traced by others. Whether these connections are all accurate and truthful is open to question at times. As I did with Ancestry's discontinued We're Related App, I use the information it provides for my 'new' ancestors as a basis to research, and I essentially trust the ancestry done for the famous celebrities. 

Geni makes it easy to search for the closest in-law and closest blood relationship paths of pretty much any public figure. (I do have a fourth cousin who is fairly well-known, but who isn't on the Geni website. I didn't upload his data to the site, and don't plan to. My second cousin twice removed, David "Jay and the Americans Black" Blatt isn't on the website either. As long as he is living, I won't be the one to enter his data, and if I did, I'd mark it as private.) I have discovered that I am 90th+ cousins with a few celebrities. How is that possible?

Well, those royal families had their ancestries traced back to the Bible. Some people trust those ancestries. So Abraham the Patriarch is my shared ancestor for a few. Intriguingly, Isaac is a great...great-uncle. I have not been able to trace my Jewish ancestral lines far enough back. And while I thought the Royals traced their ancestry back to King David, apparently my Royal ancestors did not, and their line to Abraham is through Ishmael. To connect with Isaac, a lot of Jewish lines go through Rashi. Rashi's Biblical descent is missing a few generations. 22 generations, traditionally. That's a lot of generations to skip, and trust, based on Tradition. Traditionally, my great grandfather was a Cohen, and thus a direct descendant of Aaron, Moses's brother. That's skipping a lot more generations, but the tradition is equally acceptable to my mind.

While seeing the connections to famous people still fascinates me at times, I hope to use the blood relationships it provides to actually help research/confirm some of my own ancestral lines a little further than I have.

Friday, September 25, 2020

The Three Sisters of Selig Dudelczak Feinstein

 Back in 2018 I found the obituaries of my 2nd great grandfather's sisters - Sylvia Dudelczak Blufston Babchick, Lottie Dudelczak Getz Goldstein, and Rebecca Dudelczak Portnoy. While I had found photos of some of the gravestones online, I didn't have a chance to visit the cemetery to look for them myself, until today.

When I looked up online the locations of the sisters' graves, I learned they were all in the same numbered section of the cemetery, but that's all I knew. I wondered how close they would be to each other.

This close. 
All three were married, but none of their husbands are buried next to them.

Here lies Woman, Baila, daughter of R. Shmuel Zvi, Portnoy...
Ylota, daughter of R. Shmuel Zvi...

Shprintze, daughter of R. Shmuel Zvi...

I did find Sylvia/Shprintze's husband. 

I was under the impression that Sylvia had two husbands. A Jacob Babchik and a Jacob Blufston. Her death certificate records her name at death as Sylvia Babchik. Her obituary states Sylvia Blufston Babchik, and lists her children with the surname Blufston. Jacob's death certificate lists his name as Jacob Babchik, and his father as Wulf Babchik.

His tombstone has the additional surname of Blufston on it. I guess there is a small chance his children put their father's surname on their step-father's tombstone - which would be highly irregular. It makes more sense that there is only one husband, and at some point he changed his surname from Blufston to Babchik, and his wife followed suit, but not the children. Why did he change his name? That is not what I would consider an Americanization of an Eastern European surname.
Yakov Meyer, son of Zev Babchik...
(Zev is Hebrew, and Wulf is Yiddish. They are the same name.)





Sunday, September 20, 2020

Ancestral photographs

It's been a long while since I've been able to add a photograph to my ancestral montages below. It's exciting to be able to do so.


Left to Right: Grandfather, Melvin Newmark; Great Grandfather, Barney Newmark; Great Grandfather Herman Feinstein; Great Great Grandfather, Samuel Newmark; Great Great Grandfather, Moshe Leyb Cruvant; Great Great Grandfather, Morris Blatt; Grandfather, Martin Deutsch; Great Grandfather, Melvin Van Every; Great Grandfather, Samuel Deutsch; Great Great Grandfather, Samuel Van Every; Great Great Grandfather, Israel Lichtman [2 grandfathers, 4 great grandfathers, 5 great great grandfathers]

I have three un-photographed great great grandfathers. 

  1. Ebenezer Denyer died in 1872, so I doubt I will find a photo of him.
  2. I might have a photograph of Abraham Deutsch. This photograph was originally found in the same folder as the one of Israel and Sarah Lichtman. It would make logical sense if they were the other set of my maternal grandparents' parents. But there is no way I can make that assumption. 
  3. The remaining un-photographed great great grandfather is Selig Dudelczak Feinstein. He died in 1915, so it is conceivable that there is a photograph out there in some cousin's archives.


Left to Right: Grandmother, Myrtle Van Every Deutsch; Great Grandmother Margaret Denyer Van Every; Great Grandmother, Helen Lichtman Deutsch; Great Grandmother, Bertha Cruvant Newmark; Great Great Grandmother Minnie Mojsabovsky Cruvant; Great Great Grandmother, Rose Cantkert Newmark; Great Grandmother, Annie Blatt Feinstein; Grandmother Belle "Sissie" Feinstein Newmark [2 grandmothers, 4 great grandmothers, 2 great great grandmothers]

I have 6 un-photographed great great grandmothers. 
  1. Chaia Bela Boksern Blatt died in 1892 in Poland. 
  2. Sarah Weiss Deutsch may be in the same photograph I link to above which might contain Abraham Deutsch. 
  3. Israel Lichtman's first wife, Betty Adler, probably died in the early 1880s.
  4. Abigail Stuart Van Every died in 1866. 
  5. Sarah Hartley Denyer died in 1898. There is a photograph of her grandchildren from the 1890s, but I doubt I will find a photograph of her.
  6. Annie Perlik Feinstein died in 1932. If I am going to find another female ancestor's photograph, hers is the most likely. I feel a photograph has to be hiding somewhere in some cousin's archives. 
There are a handful of ancestors who might have had portraits done of them. So far I have not found any.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Israel and Sarah Lichtman - 1915

 

I posted the below photo in 2009 as an Unidentified Family phOto. Going through some family folders, the image was used on a family reunion packet back in 1992, and the photo was identified as Israel and Sarah Lichtman, 1915, Austria-Hungary. 

Israel was my 2nd great grandfather, and Sarah Jonas Lichtman was his second wife. (My 2nd great grandmother was his first wife, Betty Adler.) I have no other photographs of Israel to compare, so I will just accept the identification from the family reunion packet. Especially since there was a date given, with no indication that it was an estimate, the information probably came from the back of the original.

My Great grandparents (Samuel and Helen Lichtman Deutsch) immigrated to the US in 1912 and 1913, so this photograph was apparently taken after they had left.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Belle Wyman Korn and Cary Grant - 1972

Belle Wyman Korn (1914-2015) was my grandmother's first cousin. They were the same age, and were best of friends. The Wymans moved to California in the 1930s, and this is Belle at a pool in 1972. That is Cary Grant standing next to her. I am told that it was at Charlie (Kewpie) Rich’s estate. (Charlie Rich and Belle’s brother, Sid Wyman, were co-owners of the Las Vegas Dunes hotel.) For comparison, I've included a photograph I found online of Grant and Ingrid Bergman from 1972. It's definitely him.