Monday, January 11, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: An Inventory of Cousins

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

I'm returning to transcribing the tape my grandfather, Martin Deutsch, his older brother, Ted, and their sister, Berta (Deutsch) Freed recorded in 1977. I'm 1 hour and 40 minutes into the tape, and at this point they're trying to remember the names of their uncles, aunts and cousins.


Martin: So I think we took care of Dad’s relatives about completely.
Ted: Mother’s father I remember him. He was married
Martin: Before we go here, Dad was married with a first wife.
Ted: That’s right.
Martin: Do you have any recollection of that?
Ted: I don’t remember – I wasn’t there. But I do remember his daughter.
Martin: He did have a daughter by his first wife
Ted: By his first wife, who was a step-sister to us, and she lived in Italmas.
Martin: She lived in Italmas?
Ted: And Dad took me many times to visit them. They lived
Martin: That was the one daughter he had by his first wife, she died.
Ted: She had several kids, which I don’t recall how many
Bert: Six, father used to say six.
Ted: And she had a husband, they lived next to the river in Italmas. 'It' means river in Deutsch, so they lived next to a river, and that’s how I remember.
Martin: I guess we lost track of them, between two wars
Ted: We tried to get her to come out
Martin: She didn’t want to come out?
Ted: She didn’t want to come out, and then we lost track of her all together
Martin: Which is understandable. Then you say, mother’s
Ted: Mother’s grandfather and father lived in Margaritta
Martin: Margitta. M A R G I T TA, is the way I envision spelling
Ted: I understand the Romanians changed it to Margarita, I’ve seen that on a map since the war, and he was married to Zally
Martin: Zally was his wife’s name?
Ted: His name was Lichtmann
Martin: Lichtmann. L I C H T MA N N, would you say that, double N ending?
Ted: L I CH T M A N
Martin: One N?
Ted: Maybe two.
Martin: Anyway, LICHTMAN is the name, now she had brothers and sisters.
Ted: That’s right, she had brothers here in New York
Martin: She had one brother?
Ted: Mother had a brother named…Hungarian name was Yonas, no Yeno
Martin: That was yours
Ted: YENO , and he lived in New York


Martin: In English he changed it to James?
Ted: I don’t know.
Bert: I was in New York, and they lived in…
Martin: In what year would you say you were there?
Bert: About ’34.
Martin: 1934, and stayed with them? So that you got acquainted with the family.
Bert: I got acquainted with the whole family, they’re a lovely family
Martin: How many kids did they have?
Bert: They had two boys, one was George and the other I can’t remember the older boy’s name
Martin: George was one of them, you can’t remember the older boy. Anyway, you lost track of them in the meantime. You haven’t had any connection.
Ted: I haven’t had any connection with them.
Bert: After Uncle James died, we didn’t hear from them. They moved away and we didn’t hear from them.
Ted: The last I heard the two boys were, one of them was living in Washington, employed by the government. I don’t know in what capacity. One of them called me, I would say at least ten years ago when he was passing through Chicago
Martin: Oh, is that right?
Ted: He called me, and I tried to see him, but I was involved in something and I couldn’t see him that day. And I just talked with him over the phone.
Martin: So you never did meet him?
Ted: I never got any details of where he lived, what he was doing, matter of fact I asked him to come and have lunch the next day, but he said he had to go home today.
Martin: He might have been the one working for the government.
Ted: I imagine it could be, I don’t remember which one it was.
Martin: Well to get back to the other mother’s relatives. Of course we knew of Bert Gold who lived in Racine. As matter of fact her husband, she died long ago, but her husband just died not too long ago, four or five years, in his nineties.
Ted: About 92
Martin: 92 years old when he died. And of course he had…they had children. Emilie Fox, is one of them. Albert and Bill. Bill died in Arizona I understand, he moved out there and married, but he died in Arizona. Albert is still in Racine, I think carrying on with the old business if I’m not mistaken.
Ted: No, he’s in another kind of business
Martin. He’s not selling clothes?
Ted: No.
Martin: And Emilie Fox is down in Lincoln, Illinois. Now, that’s…Of course Mother stayed with Bert Gold in I guess Racine at the time.
Ted: That’s right
Martin: When she was here for a year trying to earn a few dollars to bring us all over. OK, that’s one family. Now, who else? There were a lot of families.

Transcribing this section, I realized the notes I took originally listening to the tape were incorrect. I had written down that my great grandfather, Samuel Deutsch, and his first unknown wife had six children. Actually, they had one daughter, and that daughter had six children, all of whom remained in Transylvania. Without any married names to go on, the odds are low on tracking what happened to them, but possibly the vital records will someday be discovered.

It's interesting how many of the 'facts' from this tape contradict other information I have. All three seem to remember 'Zally' as the name of their maternal grandfather, Israel Lichtman's second wife, or at least there is no argument. It's possible that was her Hungarian name, or a nickname derived from her Hungarian name. Other family notes I have say her name was Sara Jonas. Their mother, Helen (Lichtman) Deutsch was the only child of Israel and his first wife, 'Betty' Adler. All the siblings of Helen mentioned are half-siblings.

Yeno Lichtman actually went by the English name Eugene, not James. I have photographs of him and his family, with their names labeled on the back. Though it is also possible he used both names at different times. His two sons were Joe (not George) and Israel.

The current Romanian spelling of the Hungarian town, Margitta, is Marghita. Though the name does appear to derive from "Saint Margaret." I am unable to find 'Italmas," on a map, though I may not be hearing the name of the town correctly. According to online dictionaries, the German words for river are 'fluss' and 'strom.'

There are 30 minutes left of the tape to transcribe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, I tried to find something to transcribe that relates to my genealogy, but didn't come up with anything - not even an obituary. I'll try again next week :)