Saturday, January 30, 2021

The Professions of David Orel Kruvand (1805-?)

Below are some index records I found on Ancestry pertaining to my third great grandfather, David Orel Kruvand. I do not believe the original records are accessible anywhere online, yet. 

The first record is from 1840, and the second 1852. In those 12 years he went from being a Miller to being a Butcher. What caused this change of occupation? What happened to the mill? Nothing certain, but one can certainly imagine several hypotheses.  In the first record - a census - he was 35 years old, and the second 47. It seems rather late in life, in that era, for a career change. But it is possible the mill belonged to his father, and he was not successful in keeping it up.  Or one of a multitude of other possibilities.

I recently found both records in a search, but it is interesting to speculate what I, or another genealogist, might conclude if only one record had turned up. If one only knew about his job as a Miller, one might conclude the family was, if not wealthy, successful. The physical requirements of a mill probably limited the number of millers in a town, and limited competition. This is not necessarily the case for butchers. So his success as a butcher might have depended upon the amount of competition he had as well as his skills. 

Butcher is a slightly humorous occupation for him to have gone into. Why? I learned a few years ago that the Lithuanian word, "Kruvinas," means 'bloody," and the town Kruvandai was named after a particularly bloody war. Kruvandai is near Cekiske, and everyone in town would have known from where the family got their surname. But there would likely have been a slight chuckle among residents that someone with that surname was a butcher. Under Kosher dietary laws blood has to be drained from meat, so "Kruvand meat" might have had negative connotations, even if everyone understood the origin of the surname.

I don't know yet when David Orel Kruvand passed away. The next generation started immigrating to America in the 1870s and 1880s.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Finding Your Roots - Andy Cohen

This post has mostly been written in advance of the airing of Finding Your Roots - Season 7 - Episode 2 with Andy Cohen. Not sure whether or not I should say this, but the episode was recorded back in 2019. Andy is my fourth cousin, and information got shared. I kept quiet. I didn't want to get anyone in trouble. But the episode has now aired. I’ve made some edits as naturally not everything that got shared with Andy made the show. There wasn’t enough time.

I actually learned from his family that his genealogy was being researched when the research began, so I have an idea how long that research can take. It was long enough I wondered if they had given up on finding anything of interest. I'll leave it at that. I was not contacted in any way by any of the researchers during the research of the episode.

I will say, though it won't be mentioned in the episode, unless they went back and recorded an extra scene [which didn’t happen] that Andy's bout with Covid this year gave me a personal scare. We may not be close cousins genetically, but we went to school together a year apart, and our families are close.

How are we related? Those who watched the episode and have been followers of my blog may have recognized the surname I have often spelled (C/K)r(u/oo)van(t/d). Almost every conceivable permutation exists on at least one branch of the family. The family surname comes from the town of Kruvandai in Lithuania. The town's name comes from the Lithuanian word for 'bloody' and was named for a bloody battle. My second great grandfather, Moshe Leyb Cruvant, and Andy's second great grandfather, Samuel (Simon) Cruvand, were brothers.

Here's some links to a few past blog posts that touch upon some of the same people, places, and events from the show.

I believe the only post I’ve made since the recording of the episode which referenced Cekiske, and the Cruvant family in Lithuania, was the one I made a couple weeks ago about the synagogue in Burlington, Vermont. There will be more.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Amanuensis Monday: Melvin Newmark's Speech to the Samaritan Methodist Church 1946

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

Today I share a speech my grandfather gave to the Samaritan Methodist Church of St. Louis in October of 1946. He would have been 34 years old at the time. My grandfather was active in interfaith organizations such as the National Conference of Christians and Jews. He had spoken at the church in February, probably in connection with National Brotherhood Week, and was invited back in October by the pastor, so apparently had made a good impression.

October 10, 1946

Rev G.F. Tipton [Samaritan Methodist Church]
4118 Cook Ave
St. Louis, Missouri

Dear Rev. Tipton:

It was certainly good to hear from you and to receive your kind invitation to be with you at your vesper services on October 27.

I shall certainly do everything in my power to be with you that evening. If there is any particular subject that you would like me to choose, I would appreciate your advising me.

Thanks again for your invitation, and be assured that I am looking forward to being with you and your congregation on October 27.

Sincerely yours,

Melvin L. Newmark


Recently I received one of the nicest compliments ever paid me — Rev. Tipton’s kind invitation to meet again with you good people — having stood on this pulpit only eight months ago, I was at first reluctant to accept for fear I would, “so to speak”, “Wear out my welcome”— but the happy prospect of enjoying your friendliness was too much to resist — so in spite of the qualms that are inherent in repetition I came again to enjoy one of your most inspirational services — perhaps too, my return is the result of coincidental timing. Some time ago my office, and in particular my senior associate, Victor Packman, was retained with Henry Espy to represent a group of negro train porters — very likely the case is familiar to all or most of you — the issue involved is heart-rending; it is typical of the sort of problem we are encountering, but it stands out because of the inhumane boldness of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen — a lily-white organization. For years the Frisco railroad has employed negroes in the dual capacity of brakemen and porters. But only so with the reluctant approval of the Brotherhood.. This year when the time came to renegotiate the various labor contracts involved, the brotherhood decreed that hereafter negroes would no longer be permitted to engage in that capacity, and in accordance with the agreement made, the Railroad served notice on the negro employees involved that they would be fired — fired outright, mind you, in spite of the fact that most of these men had 15, 20, 25 years of valuable seniority with the company. Our job was to get the Federal Court here in St. Louis to enjoin the railroad from firing those negro employees who were fired only — and for no other reason than — that they were Negroes. We won the first round with the aid of the Lord, and a temporary injunction was issued. Round two came up a few weeks ago and a decision is expected shortly after the first of the year. If necessary we will continue fighting until the United States Supreme Court itself has had the opportunity to pass on it. But that case itself is not the basis for my discussion this evening, though well it might be.

Since it is a matter that at this very moment is pending before the court, propriety prevents me from discussing it in any greater detail than I already have. But it was the occasion of this case pending in my office, and the pitiful things I learned, and the tearful experiences encountered in working on the case that made me welcome so much the opportunity to talk to you again, as I did eight months ago on the unholiness and evilness of prejudice, hatred and bigotry.

How many times, since the end of the war, has each of you asked — either to yourself or to others — did we really win what we were fighting for? Is the war really over—Is Fascism really ended? On the occasion of the hanging of the 10 Nazi leaders a few weeks back, those questions were especially in everyone’s mind. The two great newspapers in St. Louis had a good deal to say about those questions — Let me read a few lines from each of the editorials that were printed.

“The gallows at Nuremberg ended a regime; It could not kill the ghastly, corrupt and inhuman impulses which created the regime. Hitler, Goering and the rest have returned to the dust, but the things they stood for live everywhere in the minds of other men, and the world must be on guard lest Fascism — once supreme in Germany, Italy and Japan — should again become triumphant.”

And a few days before the Post said that, the Star-Times on Friday October 18, said:

“Naziism was the repudiation of liberty, of equality of fraternity. You do not kill that philosophy when you have done no more than hang a few men or watch a few others gurgle their way to an ignominious death. Nazism lives in every man who denies democracy. It lives in every man who would erect barriers of economic or social, or racial or credal caste in the nation. It lives in every sword-rattling jingo, every war-mongering nationalist. Sometimes it is called the Ku Klux Klan, and sometimes it is called the Order of the Silver Shirts, and sometimes it is called by more respectable names. But always it is the same, and always it is a dread threat to man’s dignity — IT STILL LIVES.”

Yes, unfortunately, the newspapers are right — Fascism is not dead — not yet are we able to say — we won the war — we won what we were fighting for — we can not say we won the war if the Frisco Railroad can fire those trusted employees only because they were negroes — nor when Gerald KKK Smith is afforded the dignity of our great municipal auditorium to spread his nasty lies of hate — Nor when a situation can develop like that at Columbia, Tennessee. Now when — after working in my office Mr. Espy and Mr. Houston (Mr. Houston is a negro lawyer from Wash. D.C., who came here to help us on the Howard cause — perhaps some of you know him — he happens to be one of the leading members of the American Bar — White or Colored — the former dean of Howard University, a graduate of Amherst, Howard and Columbia, a citizen all America can and should be proud of—) As I started to say — you can not say we won the war when after working in my office with those two men we can not find a restaurant downtown where we can even have lunch together!!

We can not say the we have won the war when a certain US Senator — you know who I mean — can write this letter,

“If Jews of your type don’t quit sponsoring and fraternizing with the negro race you are going to arouse so much opposition to all of you that they will get a very strong invitation to pack up and resettle in Palestine, the homeland of the Jews, just as we propose to provide for the voluntary resettlement of the American Negro in West Africa, their fatherland” —

Except for the signature I would swear that Hitler himself wrote that letter — and not a US Senator — let me read you a passage from Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and you’ll see what I mean.

“From time to time it is demonstrated to the German that for the first time here or there a Negro has become a lawyer, teacher, clergy, or even a leading opera tenor or something of that kind. It is a sin against the will of the eternal Creator to let his most talented beings degenerate while Hottentots are trained for intellectual vocations. The Jew knows very slyly how to construe from this a new proof of the correctness of his theory of the equality of men which he means to instill into the nations.”

But the question in our minds is — What can we do about it? The answer is — Plenty — as long as we live in a democracy.

First of all, we must learn — and re-learn — what Democracy is. What does it mean? What is its value? Some of you may be thinking — we know what Democracy is — but do you? Does Mr. American Citizen know what Democracy is? How many of you know what the Bill of Rights is? Its contents? If you are average, 79% of you will have to admit that you don’t know. The National Opinion Research Center of the University of Denver recently completed a nationwide survey on that very question. Only 21% had a reasonably accurate idea of the Bill of Rights contents.

In other words, only one person out of five knows that the American Bill of Rights consists of the first 10 amendments to the Federal Constitution. Only one person out of five knows that these amendments protect the basic liberties of the individual citizen from encroachment by the government. Only one person out of five can identify the very heart and center — the well-spring of American Democracy.  Let me urge you first then to learn what Democracy is.

Secondly, you must learn what Fascism is — and how to recognize it. Here too, you might say — We know what Fascism is. But do you? And even more important, do you know how to recognize Fascism when you see it? Can you see behind its sugar coatings and its false fronts? Do you recognize Jim Crow, and anti-Semitisms and discriminations against foreign born — discrimination against all minorities — as tools of fascism. Our general knowledge of Fascism is weak — we need to be informed. The Library of Congress is now preparing a report for the American people to the end that they may recognize Fascism and be armed against it. When that report comes out, study it; Knowledge is your only weapon.

Thirdly, by actual participation in our government, if you fail to vote in a primary or election or if you use your vote carelessly, you are doing yourself a grave injustice. The most valuable right that you have is your right to vote; don’t waste it or squander it. And don’t just stop with voting. If a candidate is running who has proven by his past record that he is worthy of support, get out and work for him — let him know it — and when he gets elected let him know how you feel on important issues. Yes, influence him if you will, on those issues that spell success for democracy. And at this point I wonder if it would bee all fright for me to say something in my heart — I happen to know Congressman John Sullivan personally — I can tell you honestly that he is your friend — but you don’t need me to tell it to you — his wonderful record speaks for itself — I think you owe it to yourself and your children to see that he is reelected —

But actual participation in government means more than voting — it means democracy in action — it means taking advantage of every law and statute — and instituting legal action where necessary — to protect and maintain your freedom — Legal action is one of your finest weapons — and under our system your surest guaranty of freedom. Court action is not only a means of testing a statute or enforcing it — it can also build community sentiment, get the people aroused, not exclusively on the particular case at issue, but on broad principles. So that even if the case itself is lost, the principle involved becomes important and.later legislation may be proposed that will put into the statute books the issue that was lost in the courtroom. Legal action of this sort is most important. The suits that have been filed to eliminate restrictions in deeds is a good example, as is the case against the railroad I talked about earlier and others that you are all familiar with —

These things can be done — and many others — so take hope in the future. The will to live a better life for ourselves and our children lies in our own hands. With an unswerving faith in God we will not fail.


1) Genealogically there is little here except that my grandfather was involved with NCCJ, which is confirmed by some letters back and forth that were retained with the speech text. But having a written document containing my grandfather’s thoughts on Fascism, racism, and bigotry as a young man following his participation in WW2 is marvelous. Especially since they are thoughts I can unequivocally be proud about.

2) My grandfather stated his law firm was ready to take the court case he mentioned all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. It was. They won in 1952.

3) The US Senator who wrote the horrific letter described was Mississippi Senator Theodore Bilbo. Pete Seeger recorded the song, Listen, Mr. Bilbo in the same year that my grandfather gave this speech.

4) A next step a historian might take might be to find the editorials that are quoted in part within the speech to see what they said in whole. They might be found in online newspaper archives. However, that is unnecessary as my grandfather retained clippings of the sources for his speeches in the same folder.

5) My grandfather’s speech folder doesn’t contain a copy of the speech he gave in February 1946, but it does have a short summary. I suspect he didn’t save a copy, and perhaps wrote the summary in October from memory. There aren’t a lot of speeches in the folder, so he was selective. I believe this is the earliest speech of his that he saved, but there are some undated ones. A speech he gave 12 years later in connection with National Brotherhood Week is also in the folder, and I will share it next week. National Brotherhood Week was the third week of February, though it ceased being observed in the 1980s. Perhaps we need its return. 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Amanuensis Monday: Samuel J. Denyer and the Santa Fe Expedition

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

Today I share a news article containing a narration of some of the events of the Texan Santa Fe Expedition by Samuel J. Denyer, the brother of my second great grandfather, Ebenezer Denyer. I do not know how closely this narration resembles what other survivors said. or how it compares to the historical record. Reading it from the perspective of our own times, it is easy to see a markedly different narration of events could be written by other participants.

Santa Fe Expedition as told by Samuel J DenyerThe Brooklyn Daily Eagle 
Brooklyn, New York 
23 Jun 1843, Fri • Page 2

The sufferings of the Santa Fe Expedition — of which we received a verbal account from Samuel J. Denyer, one of the survivors, a few days ago — were much greater than have commonly been supposed. Scarcely had they left Austin when calamities began to overtake them ; and ere they had accomplished a moiety of the distance, their provisions were exhausted, and they were reduced to a state of extreme want. At the camp on Little River, Gen. McCloud, the leader of the expedition, was taken sick, and a small detachment remained for the purpose of assisting him during his illness and conducting him to the main body when he should recover: the remainder pushed onto Nolan's River, where they discovered an Indian village, and were fortunate enough to obtain some provisions. Here the main body was again joined by McCloud and his guard. The hunger of the men had now become excessive, and they ate the hides, entrails everything, in short, except the horns of their beeves, and even drank the blood. This latter was subsequently divided among them, so eager had the competition for it become. Large numbers of Indian dogs were also killed and eaten : and by many pronounced extremely delicate. At this time several of the men had been killed in skirmishes with the Indians and two or three had committed suicide.

Soon after leaving Nolan's river, and before reaching the Polladora, a fight occurred between five of the men and several hundred Indians. The former had wandered some distance from the camp for the purpose of shooting game, and while thus engaged, found themselves among hills black with the enemy. Escape seeming to be doubtful, if not impossible, they resolved to sell their lives as dearly as possible, and obtaining as favorable a position as they could find, drew up their horses in the form of a breastwork, and awaited the onslaught. In a few moments about half a dozen Indians approached, and all save one were killed. Some four or five others were then sent, who shared the fate of their predecessors ; and this operation was repeated apparently with the view of not endangering the lives of more than were competent to the object until a score of the assailants had fallen. By this time the horses of the whites had been killed, and their bodies served as a fortification, from behind which considerable execution was done. At length, overpowered by numbers and their ammunition exhausted, they were slain. A spy, who arrived in camp the next day, informed the Texans that the heart of Maybe (one of the five) whose extraordinary bravery had excited the admiration of the Indians hid been taken out and roasted, and each one of the tribe allowed to eat a piece of it. A council was now held, and it was resolved that a detachment of one hundred should proceed to Santa Fe for provisions, as neither buffalo could be killed, or supplies obtained from the natives.

Leaving this position the main body advanced towards Red Lake, and in their progress encountered a large and handsome Indian village, (the Waco.) It was beautifully situated on the margin of a stream which emptied into Red River, and was so large as to be mistaken by many for the latter. The streets of this village were neatly laid out, the houses well built and comfortable, the gardens filled with fruit trees in bearing, and the fields growing corn and vegetables. In the centre was the Great Council House, of a circular form, and appropriately fitted up. Tho whole aspect of the place, indeed, gave evidence of advancement in civilization ; but the inhabitants were hostile and treacherous. At first they intimated their willingness to form a treaty, and proposed a day for a meeting of the Chiefs on both sides. The Texans were ready at the appointed time, but not so the faithless savages. They solicited further time ; but it having now been ascertained that they were carrying off their women, children and valuables, and that the desire for time was a mere artifice to deceive the Texans until the arrangements for giving them battle with safety should be completed, the negotiations were summarily closed, and the expedition took up the line of march.

From this time nothing of importance occurred until the surrender at Red Lake, which was induced by the treacherous conduct of the individuals entrusted with the arrangement. On arriving at the Lake the Mexicans were discovered in a strong position, and although not exceeding an hundred in number, they were fresh and well-provisioned, and constituted a formidable foe for one hundred and fifty Texans, worn down with hunger and fatigue, and many of them scarce able to walk. Still, the latter would have fought and were anxious to do so ; but they were overruled by the officers, all of whom, save McCloud, were clamorous for terms. The Mexicans had professed an anxiety to trade, provided their customers would lay down their arms; and promised, in the most solemn manner, to act in good faith, and restore the arms on their departure. When asked what guarantee they would give for the fulfillment of the conditions, they replied, "The best guaranty in the world the faith of the great Mexican nation."

An agreement was subsequently reduced to writing, and interpreted to the Texans by the commander. It promised everything that could be desired, and exhibited, on its face, the most perfect fairness. Gen. McCloud, however, was not willing to repose confidence in the treacherous crew ; referred to the many instances of Mexican duplicity of which they had had experience ; " but," said he, "what can one do against a dozen." At a given signal the Texans discharged and then grounded their arms, when the Mexicans marched in, and took possession of them. As an instance of their seeming fidelity we may state, that they requested each man to write his name on a piece of paper, and attach it to his musket, so that no difficulty or confusion might ensue in returning them. Some obeyed the request, and all were about to do so when McCloud suggested that they had better save themselves the trouble.

For some days after the capitulation, the prisoners were treated with generosity and even kindness ; but this was because their subjugation was not yet quite complete. One evening a sham riot was enacted, and a complaint was afterwards made that a Mexican soldier had been stabbed by one of the Texans with a Bowie knife. The prisoners were thereupon mustered into line, and their knives taken from them under pretense of examining each for blood. It is hardly necessary to say that they were not returned. Their rations were now suddenly cut down to an ear of corn a-day for each man, with scarcely water enough to quench their thirst. Subsequently the Texans were again paraded, and their pen and jacknives taken from them; when, being assured of their entire defenselessness, a most cruel and inhuman mode of treatment was adopted towards them by those honorable representatives of the " Great Mexican Nation." They were tied together and driven like animals ; kept with scarcely food enough to sustain life, and when the women and children on the route, seeing their destitution and feeling a disposition to relieve them, offered provisions, they were rudely ordered and beaten away. Sometimes a shower of nicknacs would be thrown in among them, which, however, were of little use, unless when the prisoners were fortunate enough to catch them in their hands. The subsequent fortunes of the expedition are already well known.


1) My third great grandfather, William Denyer, the father of Samuel Denyer and his brother, my second great grandfather, Ebenezer Denyer, was born in England and immigrated to the US in the early 1820s. Samuel was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1822 and Ebenezer in Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 1828. It's not clear exactly when the family headed south to the Republic of Texas, but at least Samuel was clearly there before Texas became a State in 1845, and likely the rest of the family as well. William died in Louisiana in 1848, and was likely a resident of three countries during his lifetime. Samuel Denyer was killed by an "Indian" April 30,1861.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Amanuensis Monday: Selig Feinstein and the Progressive Order of the West - Unity Lodge 104

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

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

Today I’m sharing lists of names of delegates to several annual conventions of the Progressive Order of the West - a Jewish fraternal organization that was founded in 1896 and headquartered in St. Louis Missouri. My maternal great grandfather, Samuel Deutsch, was buried in the Progressive Order of the West section of Waldheim Cemetery in Chicago in 1938. I knew my second great grandfather, Selig Feinstein, was a member of a fraternal order from his son's wedding announcement,  however I didn't know which ones, until finding his name in these lists. While there may have been multiple lodges in the St. Louis area, since I don't know the locations for all of the lodges, I am going to focus on just the lodge Selig was a member of: Unity, 104.

Progressive Order of the West 7th Annual Convention Delegates
The Jewish Voice, Jan 24, 1902, page 3

Unity, 104
A. Rosentreter, Dr. M.I. DeVorkin, H. Elbert, Jos. Lehr, S. Feinstein, H. German, H. Maizner

Progressive Order of the West 9th Annual Convention Delegates
The Jewish Voice, Jan 29, 1904, page 6.

"Unity" 104


Dr. M.I. DeVarkin
Rev. A. Rosentreter
H. Elbert
J. Lehr
S. Feinstein
M. Zuckerman
A. German
J. Becker
H. Bearken
W. Schwartz
M. Pearl
M. Laski
A. Kristel

M. Weiselman
D. Roodman
H. Hirsch
L. Roodman
S. Cohen
I. Reifler
S. Honeck
A. Rosenfeld
W. Grassblatt
J. Davis
G. Elbert
I. Rosen
J. Sheffer

Grand Lodge Officers - 1913
The Jewish Voice, July 25, 1913, page 8

Following is the list of Grand Lodge Officers for the past term: 
B. Frank, Grand Master. 
H. L. Brody, 1st Deputy Grand Master. 
Abe Levy, 2nd Deputy Grand Master. 
J. Zuckerman, 3rd Deputy Grand Mas. 
N. Koffman, 4th, Deputy Grand Mas. 
Michael Sack, 5th Deputy Grand Mas. 
Morris Shapiro, Grand Secretary. 
Jacob Lasky, Grand Treasurer. 
Sam Kranzberg, Beneficiary Treas. 
Ben. E. Cohen, Grand Counsellor. 
Dr. M. I. DeVorkin. Grand Med. Ex. 
Chas. Schneider, Grand Chaplain. 
D. Reichman, Beneficiary Chairman. 
Adolph Cohen, Chairman of Finance. 
Harry Specter, Committee on Finance. 
Mike Novack, Committee on Finance. 
Ed. Lasky, Chairman on Supplies. 
Max Levy, Chairman of Appeals. 
M. Rubin, Chairman on Reserve Fund. 
Chas. I. Mahler, Chair. State of Order. 
B. Stein, Chairman on Propaganda. 
M. Lowenstine, Chairman of Rituals. 
Philip Fishman, Chair on Disability. 
S. Goldman, First Trustee. 
S. Feinstein, Second Trustee. 
J. Guttmann, Third Trustee. 
J. Jacobson, Grand Sentry.


The above indicates my second great grandfather was at least a member from 1902-1913. Selig died in 1915, and was likely a member at his death. M(ax) Weiselman, who was an alternate delegate in 1904, was Selig's business partner. Max was from Zhitomir, Volhynia, and I know the Feinsteins were from Volhynia as well. I do not know if the Weiselmans and Feinsteins knew each other in the Old Country.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Do I Have Cousins in Burlington, Vermont?

 In the 1880s a group of immigrants to Burlington, Vermont founded Chai Adam Synagogue. These immigrants came from Čekiškė, Lithuania - the same shtetl my Cruvant ancestors came from. Do I have kin in Burlington?

Chai Adam founders included: 

  • Morris Levin
  • Abraham Mowsowitz
  • Max Samuelson
  • Joseph Trotchky
  • Hyman D. Segel
  • M.L. Levin
  • Abram Kaplan
  • Isaac Levin
  • Sam Trotchky
  • Lewis Greenstein

Surname Kaplan

  • Hannah Kaplan married a second great granduncle, Girsha Abram Kruvond.  
  • Hannah's brother, Louis, went by Louis Cohen, and he married a first cousin three times removed, Sarah Cruvand.
  • Julius Kaplan married second cousin twice removed, Fannie Cruvand. (I only know he came from Lithuania. I believe they married in the U.S. His father's name was Max.)

While Hannah and Louis definitely came from Čekiškė, Cohen/Kaplan is an extremely common Jewish surname. Further research was required to see if Chai Adam founder Abram Kaplan is related. (More closely related than being a descendant of Aaron, brother of Moses.) 

I found who I believe is the same Abram Kaplan on Geni. While from nearby Josvainiai, Lithuania, his wife is from Čekiškė, so it could be the same individual. I asked Geni to find the shortest connection between us, and I was told it was through his wife. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a connection through him that Geni doesn’t know about yet.

Surname: Greenstein
  • Abraham Greenstein married first cousin three times removed, Rebekka Kroovand. (They were married in New York, and I am not sure where he immigrated from.) If I can confirm he came from the vicinity of Čekiškė, I'll research further to see if he is related to Lewis Greenstein.
Surname: Trotchky
  • No known relatives. Just a small note that Russian revolutionary, Leon Trotsky, was born in Bereslavka, Ukraine about 1200 km (745 miles) from Čekiškė. His surname at birth was Bronstein. He changed his surname to Trotsky after the surname of a Siberian prison warden.
The linked website at the beginning of this post has some great pictures from inside the Čekiškė synagogue I posted about a few years ago.

Note: Senator Sanders was born in Brooklyn, NY and later moved to Burlington. He is not a descendant of the Burlington Chai Adam founders. Alas.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Amanuensis Monday: Mabel Fulkerson is Hit by a Car - November 1961

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

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

Today I’m sharing the transcription of three newspaper articles concerning my wife's great grandmother, Mabel (Fulkerson) Gober (1901-1991). In November of 1961 she was hit by a car, and she remained in the hospital until February of 1962.

St. Louis Post Dispatch, 26 Nov 1961, Page 12 

Mrs. Robert L Gober, 60 years old, suffered fractures of the jaw, ribs and right hip last night when she was struck by an automobile in front of her home, 4111 Jennings Road, Pine Lawn. 

The driver of the automobile, Harry B. Frye, 9834 Colony drive, Bellefontaine Neighbors, said he was driving south in Jennings road when Mrs. Gober stepped into the path of his car from between two cars which were stoped in the northbound lane. She was taken to St. Louis County Hospital. 

Daily Standard, Sikeston, Missouri, 07 Dec 1961, page 3 

Word was received Wednesday from Mrs. Mabel Gober, a patient in St. Luke’s Hospital, St. Louis, that she is still on the Improving List. Mrs. Gober’s room number is 5109. She is a sister of Mrs. Ellis Alcorn, Sikeston; Mrs. Virgie Williams of Sikeston, who is spending the winter in Memphis; and Mrs. John Healy of Dexter. 

Daily Standard, Sikeston, Missouri, 08 Feb 1962, page 6 

Mrs. Ellis Acorn reports that her sister, Mrs. Mabel Gober of St. Louis who was struck by a car in St. Louis, November 25, was released from the St. Luke Hospital, this past Sunday. Mrs. Gober is now able to be around in a walker and wishes to thank all friends and relatives who were so kind and thoughtful doing her stay in the hospital.


I was already aware of the names of Mabel's brothers-in-law so the traditional naming format wasn't particularly frustrating. If I hadn't been, identifying which sister married which man could be my next challenge. Julia Fulkerson married Virgil Williams, Wrista Lou Fulkerson married Ellis Alcorn. Bertha Priscilla Fulkerson married John Healy.

I doubt a newspaper today would print the hospital room someone was staying in. It appears after being taken to St. Louis County Hospital (a 200-bed facility that opened in 1929 and closed in 1986), she was later transferred to St. Luke's Hospital for her recuperation.