Monday, January 18, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: A Further Inventory of Cousins

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I'm nearing the end of a transcription of a tape my grandfather, Martin Deutsch, his older brother, Ted, and their sister, Berta (Deutsch) Freed recorded in 1977. I'm 1 hour and 50 minutes into the tape, and at this point they're trying to remember the names of their uncles, aunts and cousins.


Ted: Mother’s sister, Rosenblum, Mrs. Adolph Rosenblum.
Martin: Adolph was his name
Ted: Adolph was her husband’s name.
Martin: It was Sarah wasn’t it?
Bert: That was not mother’s side, that was father’s side.
Martin: You think that was father’s side? That could have been father’s side.
Bert: Giza was another sister
Martin: Dad’s…
Ted: No we’re talking about mother’s side
Martin: Giza. What did she change her name to?
Bert: Hoffman
Martin: She never did change it from Giza, though?
Bert: It must be Gizella in English.
Martin: I remember her, Giza Hoffman, mother’s sister
Ted: That’s right, and she came to live with us around 1917 or 16
Martin: When she was unmarried?
Ted: When she was unmarried. She came out here and soon after. Soon after we got here, she came out. She lived with us on Campbell Avenue for awhile.
Martin: I had forgotten that.
Ted: Then she met this man, Morris Hoffman
Martin: It wasn’t Nathan Hoffman?
Ted: No, it was Morris, and married him around 1917. And then they have about four children.
Martin: The Hoffmans, do you remember any of them?
Ted: Esther Hoffman, she lives here
Martin: I think I met her, I recall meeting her
Ted: She’s working for the government now as a secretary, and another son is Bernard Hoffman, who is living now. And they had another son, Irving Hoffman. He died. And there’s another girl, who’s married, I don’t recall her, Helen was her first name. I don’t recall her last name.
Martin: You did pretty well to have remembered
Ted: I remember because when their mother passed away, Gizella passed away, they had an estate and probate, and that’s how I remember their names. [ed: Ted was a lawyer by profession.] Outside of Gizella, that’s the, there were only two sisters that I remember.
Martin: And no brothers
Ted: And her brother was James
Martin: Yeno, James. OK, let’s get over to father’s side.
Ted: Father’s side, we already mentioned practically all of them.
Bert: You missed Joe Deutsch, Herman Deutsch
Ted: That’s from another brother that I never knew.
Martin: Yeah, Joe Deutsch then was married to Eva.
Ted: Eva Deutsch.
Martin: And she’s still living, he’s dead.
Ted: No.
Bert: They’re both dead.
Martin: They’re both dead.
Ted: (unintelligible) five years old when she died.
Martin: So they were Dad’s…
Ted: They were from another brother. Dad’s brothers, and I don’t recall him at all.
Martin: He may have stayed in Europe and you don’t remember.
Ted: Yeah, I think so.
Martin: That was quite a big family, of course Joe Deutsch and Eva Deutsch’s children were Albert and what’s his
Ted: Sigmund.
Martin: Sigmund.
Ted: And Albert died.
Martin: Yeah, Albert died, and Sigmund is still alive.
Ted: There’s another one, Herman Deutsch.
Bert: Dora was his wife.
Ted: Who was he, I don’t recall who he was. He must have been…a brother of Joe’s?
Martin: I don’t recall Herman Deutsch.
Bert: Yes he was.
Ted: He was?
Martin: A brother of Joe’s.
Bert: And there was Sarah Goldberger
Ted: Sarah Goldberger was his sister
Martin: Whose sister?
Bert: Joe’s. And, Greenfield,
Ted: Regina.
Bert: Regina.
Ted: Sisters from this other brother
Martin: Joe. So Regina was our cousin too. Regina Greenfield. I recall the name.
Bert: She married the brother of her aunt Rose.
Ted: Herschel Greenfield. Nathan Greenfield was his brother.
Martin: Yeah.
Ted: Two brothers married two sisters.
Martin: I see. I guess I never did know the relationship because of the names. Well, now I’ve covered…
Ted: Let’s see, we mentioned Dexter.
Martin: Yeah. And he didn’t have any children I guess, did he?
Bert: No, he never did.
Martin: He just passed out of the picture. Well, I don’t know, did we leave anybody out? Brothers or sisters of mother or father?
Ted: Mother had another sister in Europe, Rosa. They were here at one time, but they went back to Europe, and never came back here.
Martin: They were here when we were here? They went back after WW1?
Ted: They came back to Hungary from the United States must have been around 1910, before we [arrived]


Martin: Oh, before, I see.
Ted: They stayed there and never came back. I remember they visited us and when they came back from the United States they brought a lot of money with them. At that time it was a lot of money.
Martin: If they had a couple hundred dollars.
Ted: They bought two beautiful horses, and they called them Chassar and Chular.
Martin: I’m going to stop here a moment, and come back. You say you remember mother had a couple other brothers. Do you remember the names?
Ted: They lived with the parents at that time when I
Martin: Back in Europe
Ted: When I visited them in Europe. One of them was Feri – F E R I.
Bert: Would probably be Freddy in English.
Martin: That was his brother. Now they never came over…
Ted: There was a younger one, Dezur
Martin: Dezur? I recall the name, D E Z O I supposed.
Ted: In Hungarian they spelled it with a Z. Dezur and Feri, those are the two brothers I met that I know of in Margitta, because I was there, and I visited them. I used to go when I visited them, I went out to the marketplace, I used to sell water over there. Fresh water.
Martin: Sell water? How did you get the water?
Ted: Well, we had a well. They had a well.
Martin: Oh, you wouldn’t get it from the river?
Ted: Grandfather had a well. And they had a little container that I put on my back. I was about 10 years old. We’d go to the marketplace, and sell fresh water. We made money that way.
Martin: You had goatskin probably.
Ted: No, we had a little container. I don’t recall what kind, made out of wood, that’s all I know.
Martin: Seems to me it would leak. You probably had to carry it halfway up the mountain or something.
Ted: There wasn’t any mountains around Margitta. They were in a valley more or less.
Martin: Flat.
Ted: I recall every time I visited them I stayed maybe 2 to 3 weeks. It wasn’t only for one day. I remember there was a great big plain next to their home, just a wild plain where we used to go out and play
Martin: I suppose they did farming, would you guess?
Ted: Exactly what he was doing I don’t remember.
Martin: Of course, all these relatives in Europe we lost track of either after World War One, certainly after World War Two. There was absolutely no correspondence or contact or information of anybody in any way.
Ted: No
Martin: Since World War Two anyway.
Ted: Although, Esther Hoffman told me that she had contacted somebody in Israel who was related to her mother.
Martin: Oh, is that right, so she may have left Hungary and went to Israel after WW2 I suppose. That is something.
Ted: I didn’t go into it deeply with her. That’s my recollection.
Martin: That’s something you can explore here with Esther.
Ted: That’s right.
Martin: I’ve met her. She’s a very charming girl. I haven’t seen her. I guess I met her at Herman Freed’s funeral maybe.
Bert: Yeah, you probably did.
Martin: I don’t believe I had known her before. She was of course Giza’s daughter.
Ted: Her name now is Cohler.
Martin: She married?
Ted: She’s married and has a child.
Martin: KOHLER, or something like that?
Ted: COHLER. She’s married to Jerry
Martin: Jerry Cohler.
Ted: That was the daughter of Gizella.

A lot of this is repetitious of names they've already discussed earlier in the tape, but it's helpful for them to repeat it, if only to verify they're remembering it the same. They do discuss their mother's siblings who remained in Europe for the first time. The Israeli cousin that Esther Hoffman had been in contact with was likely a grand-daughter of Feri/Frank Lichtmann. She and her family have traveled to the US a couple times now, and I've had a chance to meet them. The uncle they recall as Dezur, is listed in my family notes with the English name David.

I have learned through some research that the father of Joe and Regina Deutsch was an Albert Deutsch, another brother of my great grandfather, Samuel. Bert says their cousin, Herman Deutsch was also a brother to Joe and Regina. This is possible, though I haven't found any documentation absolutely connecting Herman to Albert. The records I have found show he was ten years younger than Joe, and seven years younger than Regina. My research also suggests Joe changed the spelling of his surname to Deutch (dropping the 's').

There are 20 minutes left of the tape to transcribe.

If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post below, or in the comments.

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