Monday, June 23, 2008

Dudelsack Dudelzak Dudelczyk

This is the first of a series of posts that I am putting together to hopefully get seen by those doing searches on their surnames. Most of these are what are referred to as “Brick Walls,” though I think usually that is used to reference lines you are attempting to expand further generationally. I don’t have high hopes for this with most of my Polish, Russian and Transylvanian ancestors. It might happen, but I am more interested in finding cousins. (Theoretically finding cousins could also help me find a way around the wall)

My website is already at the top of the list for searches on "Dudelsack," but the other variant spellings actually seem to be more common, and I haven’t written a post yet that gathers all the information that might catch the eye of a cousin researcher.

Generation One: Simcha Zelig Slupsky

I know nothing about him. His given name appears on his daughter’s tombstone in the traditional fashion of “Gertrude daughter of Simcha Zelig” (In Hebrew). The surname is the name passed on by family oral tradition. More about that later.

Generation Two: Gertrude (Gerte) Slupsky (1846-1906) married Samuel Harry (Shmuel Zvi) Dudelsack. They had six children: Yidel, Selig, Gershon, Selma, Toba, Belle and Sprinsa.

Gerte Slupsky's birth year is a guess. Her death record says she was 60 years and 5 months old when she died, which would indicate she was born in 1846. However, her tombstone says she was born in 1831, which means she would have been 75 when she died. She immigrated with her son, Selig, and died in St. Louis, MO.

Generation Three: Yidel, Selig and Toba immigrated to America. Yidel became Julius Odelson (Odelsohn). Selig became Selig Feinstein. Toba, back in Russia, married Aaron (Aron) Oberman, and in America became Tillie Oberman.

Julius, his wife Jennie (likely his second wife), and most of their family moved to Chicago. Julius probably died in Chicago before 1916.

Tillie died in 1935, and is buried in St. Louis, MO with her husband Aaron.

Research suggests there are Dudelzaks in the US and Argentina. I have no idea if they’re related. The name seems to come from players of a particular type of bagpipe, and several different Dudelczyk families could exist.

My great-aunt who passed down the information said that Gershon, Selma, Belle and Sprinsa remained in Europe. However, Selig, Yidel and Toba immigrated in the 1890s, leaving a few decades their siblings, or the next generation, could have followed and still have escaped the Holocaust. It's possible they immigrated to somewhere other than the US (there seem to be some Dudelzaks in Argentina, for example), or immigrated to the US, but didn't know how to make contact since the previous generation had all changed their surnames.

We don’t know what city our Dudelsac family came from. The best information we have is for Selig’s brother-in-law Jacob Perlik who put down Szdobeitzen, Poland/Russia on his naturalization papers. No such city exists, but ‘Dobryzn’ is close, as is ‘Shebreshin‘.

Slupsky surname: There was a Slupsky family in St. Louis at the time Gertrude and her son Selig immigrated to America. It’s a logical theory that they are related, and may have been the reason St. Louis was chosen as a destination, though while I have communicated with a descendant, no connection has been made.

My great aunt has been 100% correct with all the other names she provided, so there is no reason to suspect she is wrong with ‘Slupsky’ or the given names of Selig, Yidel and Toba’s three other siblings. Her accuracy with dates, on the other hand, was very poor, but it’s not uncommon to have a greater facility at recollecting names than dates.

This covers what I know of these generations. I have made contact with some of Julius's grandchildren, and they have kept in contact with each other, so I don't think there are any stray Odelsons that I won't ultimately be able to find.

I've made contact with one Oberman, though he is in his early 90s and hasn't kept in touch with the rest of his family. He gave me a few leads on finding others.

I'd really love to find out if any descendants of Gershon, Selma, Belle or Sprinsa exist.

Any descendants of Dudelsacks, Dudelzaks, Dudelczyks, or variations are welcome to email me at the email address at the top of the sidebar, and we can compare notes to see if we are possibly related.


Anonymous said...

My last name is Dudelcyzk. My father survived the holocaust. His family was from Lodz, Poland.

Frieda said...

My name is Frieda. My father, and his 3 brothers were called Dudelczyk and came from Lodz and survived the war. My name on my birth certificate was the same. My father, Moniek (Morris) and 2 of his brothers, Srulek (Sid) and Bernard changed their names to Dudley in England.

The third brother, Isaac, arrived in the USA after the war. He was married to Helen and they had a son, Michael. He kept the name Dudelzcyk. I had contact with Michael until a few years ago, but since then my letters to him have been returned.

If there is any chance that Anonymous is related to me I would be very grateful to hear from you.I have a lot more information.

Eliza Dudelzak said...

Hello. It is very interesting to find out the different variations of the Dudekzak name. I emigrated to the US in 1988 from the former Soviet Union. My father's father, Avram Dudekzak aka "Misha" is from a town in the Ukraine. He is one of 5 siblings. I was born in Moscow.
My great uncle

Anonymous said...

Hi - Dudlezak (or a variant) was my family's original name; it was changed at some point after immigration to the UK. The last use of this name in my family was by Helen Mahut (see: here ). I'll ask about some great-grand parents and see if I can find any names to share. Not surprisingly, my family was from Western Russia/Eastern Poland; equally unsurprising I have little other information.