Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Etymology of the Surname Dudelsack/Dudelczak/Dudelzak

When I began researching, all I could find on my ancestral surname, Dudelsack, was the German bagpipe.

Later, once I realized 'Dudel' was a Yiddish diminutive for 'David,' I realized the surname was likely 'Dudelczak' or 'Dudelzak,' and patronymic in origin.

A different etymology is provided in Dictionary of Jewish Surnames From the Russian Empire, by Alexander Bieder, Avotaynu, 1993.

Dudel'zak (Pinsk, Lutsk, Ostrog, Odessa, Rovno) O: from 'nudlzak' [Southeastern Yiddish] needle packing. 

This would make it an occupational surname. Needle packing is probably related to the profession of tailor. The entry also provides some locations where the surname could be found.

It's worth noting that there are several surnames in the dictionary that are based on the Yiddish diminutive, 'Dudel.'

Monday, February 19, 2018

Anna Yetta Babchik Blufston - 1873-1930

I wrote most of the below in 2016, but I put it aside, confused by the information I had. Now I know more. 

Several years ago I shared a passenger manifest from the TSS New Amsterdam, October 28, 1891.

The Feinsteins included Nechama (my 2nd great grandmother), Gitel (my 3rd great grandmother), and Nechama's children Hersch, Chaim (my great grandfather), Berl, and Pearl. There was also an 18 year old woman named Yetta Feinstein traveling with them. Who was she? I didn't know then. I know a lot more about her now, but I'm not really any closer to figuring out what I want to know. [I wrote that in 2016. I'm a lot closer now.]

My second great grandfather, Selig Dudelczak, immigrated a year earlier. Gitel was his mother. It was always known that the family changed their name to Feinstein in America. The popular story was that the person ahead of them in line at Ellis Island was named Feinstein. Of course, Ellis Island wasn't open yet. And beyond that, Selig traveled under the name Dudelczak, and nobody named Feinstein arrived at Castle Garden at the same time. (Or at least there are no Feinsteins in the Castle Garden database for that date.) Five years ago my first thought was that perhaps Yetta was the mystery Feinstein. It was just Nechama who changed the name, not Selig.

Recently, I believe, I have uncovered documents for Yetta.

In August of 1894 she married Samuel Blufstein in the City of St. Louis. (I have found the marriage certificate that confirms they did get married.) 

In the 1910 census, Samuel and Anna Y Blufston are residing in St. Louis

How do I know that Anna Y is Yetta, and Samuel Blufston is Samuel Blufstein?

Anna Y was born in 1873, which matches an 18 year old woman in 1891. She also immigrated in 1891 from Russia. It could be a coincidence. There's also the daughter Etta.

On June 9, 1929, Samuel Blufston's obituary appeared in the St. Louis Post Dispatch

This obituary suggests, if Anna Y was the passenger on the manifest, her real name wasn't Feinstein either. It was Babchik.  (Her death certificate states her father was Jacob Babchik.)

How was Yetta related to Sylvia Dudelczak Babchik Blufston, sister of my second great grandfather? She was born at about the same time as Sylvia. 

Her obituary (something I hadn't yet found in 2016) provides a possible answer. From the Aug 6, 1930 St. Louis Post Dispatch

The obituary states she is a sister of Bertha Rovin, Goldie Klein, Harry, Leo and Etta Buflston. These are the children of Sylvia. However, she is the same age as Sylvia, so Sylvia can't be her mother.

However, Sylvia's first husband could have had a prior wife, and a daughter. Having a significantly younger second wife isn't uncommon at that time. This would make Sylvia a step-mother of Anna Yetta, and Anna Yetta would be a step sister to Sylvia's children. While none of the obituaries for Bertha, Goldie, Harry, Leo or Etta mention Anna, this is the most likely solution to all the documents I have uncovered to date. More documents might suggest a different answer.

This theory still doesn't explain why the Feinstein surname was chosen, by the Dudelczaks, or Anna Yetta Babchik.

This is my last blog post related to the Dudelczak immigrants - until I discover more.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Bessie or Rebecca (Bella) Dudelczak Portnoy 1871-1916

Below is the 1900 census record for my second great grandfather, Selig Feinstein. He is actually recorded as Samuel Feinstein. In a city directory, his name appears one year as Salem Feinstein. However, on most records he used his Yiddish name, Selig. He lived at 1122 North 8th. This is part of the Carr Square tenement district I've written about several times. The Feinsteins were in the front of the building, and several families were in the rear. The census also indicates (in a column that isn't in the image below) that the Feinsteins were owners, and everyone else at the address rented. 

Others at the address: Sarah Freeman, the Finkelsteins, the Buchanans, the Shparbergs, and Ruben and Bessie Portnoy. I've had this census page downloaded since 2007, when I began my research. It didn't occur to me back then to research all the names of the people living at the same address as my ancestor. Now I know that Bessie Portnoy was Selig's sister.

Other things to note: Almost everyone on this page was from Russia. Ruben Portnoy is recorded as having filed his first papers, so I will have to see if I can find them. Ruben and Bessie are recorded as having immigrated in 1896, so hopefully that will help with locating their passenger manifests. In 1900 they've been in the US for 4 years, and have been married for 8 years. They have no children.

Bessie died on November 2, 1916. Her death certificate (PDF), under the name Rebecca Portnoy, records her father as Samuel Feinstein. I have no doubt that it is actually Shmuel Hirsch Dudelczak, but the informant (R Portnoy, likely her husband) used the surname my second great grandfather chose.

Related Posts:

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Sylvia Dudelczak Blufston Babchick 1874-1930

A great great aunt wrote down the family information years ago. Selig Dudelczak, son of Samuel Harry (Schmuel Hersh) Dudelczak and Gertrude (Gitel) Slupsky, immigrated to America and changed his surname to Feinstein. He had two siblings who also immigrated, Julius and Tillie. We didn't have surnames for either one. Four siblings remained in Russia: Bella, Gershon, Selma, and Sprinsa.
That is how I began the post I wrote last month, where I described how I discovered Selig's sister Lottie (Ylota) Getz Goldstein. The 1900 census indicates Gitel/Gertrude had seven living children. The census doesn't indicate how many are living in the US. Since last month's post, I have learned at least six of the seven children immigrated.

Below is Lottie's obituary from The Modern View, June 22, 1939, page 10

GOLDSTEIN, LOTTIE - On Sunday, June 18, beloved mother of Mrs. Sarah Goodman of Tulsa, Okla., and Sam Getz, dear sister of the late Zelik Feinstein, Udil Odelsohn, Sprintza Babchick, Toba Oberman and Baila Portnoy, our dear aunt, mother-in-law, grandmother, and great-grandmother. 
Funeral from the Jewish Old Folks' Home on Monday, June 19. Oxenhandler service.
I'm working my way backwards through the Modern View microfilm at the library. When I discovered Lottie mentioned in Tillie's 1935 obituary, I had already scanned the 1939 microfilm for surnames I recognized. I should have seen and recognized Zelik, Udil, and Toba - right? Browsing pages and pages of newspapers on microfilm searching for surnames isn't an easy task. And I will admit that in the obituary section, my eyes are attracted to the deceased's name more quickly than all the names mentioned in the obituary. So I missed it.

Lottie's obituary mentions five pre-deceased siblings, including Sprintza Babchick and Baila Portnoy. Two surnames that were new for me. However, in this case, the given names were names my great great aunt had mentioned.  Had they immigrated, or had they stayed in the Old Country, and Lottie had just remained in contact with them? The first obvious place for me to research was the Missouri digitized death certificates.

Here's Sprinza Babchick's death certificate (PDF). Under 'Name of Father' it says: Shmeel Hersch Doodelock. The name of the mother is unknown. The informant is Jake Rovin, who research suggests was a son-in-law.

It seems the father's name was passed down in every branch of the family, even though the spelling became fuzzy. The given name of the mother appears on the death certificate of only two of her children, and her maiden name on none. Our family records suggest it was Slupsky, but I have found no supporting documentation.

Here's Sylvia's obituary from the St. Louis Post Dispatch, June 2, 1930, p. 29

On Monday, June 3, 1930, dear mother of Mrs. Bertha Rovin, Mrs. Goldie Klein, Harry, Leo and Etta Blufston, dear grandmother and mother-in-law.  
Funeral from residence, 1285A Amherst place. Notice of time later. Oxenhandler service. Omit flowers.
Bertha and Goldie, research suggests, were Blufstons as well. There is no evidence, yet, that either of Sylvia's husbands immigrated, or that any of the children were born in the US. Though I have not yet uncovered the passenger manifests.

What about Baila Portnoy?
I've found her, too, and she will get her own post.