Saturday, July 24, 2010

Surname Saturday: Sauls

My maiden name, the surname Sauls has given me difficulty in my research. This is because there are two distinct possibilities with regard to its origin and meaning. One meaning of the name is English in origin. In this case, Sauls is a possessive form of the Hebrew first name Saul, meaning that the bearer of the surname Sauls is a descendant of someone named Saul. However, I have evidence that the surname Sauls is an anglicization of the German/Dutch name Salz. This form is found in most German- or Dutch-speaking countries in Europe. It means that the bearer of the surname is a dealer in salt, either its production or its sales.

My Sauls family seem to have come from Holland, although this has yet to be confirmed. They settled in South Carolina at some point prior to 1850. This is the earliest certain record I have of the family, but I have a record that indicates the family may have been in South Carolina as early as 1805.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How Bubbe and Pop Came to Live in East Liverpool, Ohio

I call my grandfather, Sandy Lebman, by the name Pop. My Pop's parents, Sam and Pauline (aka "Polly") Lebman, were called Bubbe and Pop by their grandchildren, and they originally came to New York City from Poland. They came separately, which has posed some interesting challenges for me genealogically. They grew up in the same shtetl, Kurow, left Poland as teens, and ended up getting married in New York. During my recent visit with my grandparents, my Pop told me they left New York because Sam did not have a job. They went to Detroit to work in the Ford factory building cars. They hated it. Sam and Polly decided to head back to New York, but they didn't have enough money for a train ticket all the way to New York. Instead, they told a ticket salesperson how much money they had and asked them how far it would take them. The ticket salesperson told them they could make it to East Liverpool, Ohio, and that's where Sam and Polly went. They raised their family there. It is where my Pop and his siblings and my mother and her siblings were born.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Enjoying Some Living Genealogy

My family and I spent some time with my grandparents last week, and we had a really great time! I will probably post several items about this visit, because it was so rich in genealogical and family history material.

Here are some things that I learned during this visit:

~ My younger daughter's unusual eyes come from my grandmother's mother. My younger daughter, Callie, has eyes that can be blue, green, grey, or yellow, depending on what she is wearing at the time. My grandmother, Lois, reminded me that her brother, my great-uncle Jack, also has eyes like this, and so do my aunt, Sherry, and my uncle, Len.

~ My grandmother, whom I have always called "Gran-Gran," would have preferred being called "Bubbe," the traditional Yiddish word for grandmothers. The reason I didn't call her that is because my grandfather's mother was called "Bubbe" and was still alive when I was born. Of course, Bubbe died when I was four months old, so why didn't we call Gran-Gran "Bubbe" at that point? After all, I never would have known the difference.

~ My grandmother kept all of the letters she and my grandfather sent each other while he was fighting during WWII. I want to see those letters!

~ My mother and one of her sisters (I forget which one she said it was) will be compiling a book this summer detailing my grandfather's life. This is particularly important now, because he is losing his memory.

~ My grandfather started talking about his experiences in WWII, and my Mom recorded it without him knowing about it. She got over an hour's worth of interview! I want a copy of the interview!

I'm sure I will post more observations about this visit in the near future.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Oy vey!

I am focusing my current research primarily on my Pop's parents, my great-grandparents, Sam & Pauline Lebman. (Sam & Pauline Feldberg/Falberg Lebman > Pop > Mom > Me)

I am choosing to focus on this line because so little is known about it. Chalk it up to the human capacity to explore the unknown. However, my preliminary research has revealed some tremendous gaps and numerous discrepancies in the data record. This is a problem. However, it has also revealed discrepancies between the data and the family stories. This has opened up an argument between myself and my Pop's family. This is a bigger problem. I was hoping to be able to use my Pop and his siblings to fill in gaps for me, but I don't want them to feel antagonistic toward my research. I must proceed carefully.

However, my hunches tell me that my Pop's siblings will not like the answers I find to certain questions. The questions are: 1) Where and when were Sam & Pauline married? 2) Where did they live prior to getting married? 3) Did Sam come through Ellis Island? 4) Why didn't Pauline ever mention any of her family?

I don't know where my research will take me. I will, as one of my favorite professors said, follow the questions wherever they lead. Will my family follow?

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Brickwall Thursday

Today I am tackling my 2GGrandfather, Frederick S. Sauls. Everything I know about Frederick comes from the 1880 census, the 1900 census, his death certificate, and 2 people: my grandmother and my grandfather's cousin.

Frederick was born 12 March 1853. He first married Caroline Margaret "Carry" Inabinet, who died 22 December 1896. He then married Earnestine Smoak in 1898. He had many children with each wife. (I will be adding the info for these children to my website shortly.) The only clue I have to his parents' identities is on his death certificate. His mother is listed as Sallie Sauls. Given the time period, I doubt Sauls was her maiden name, so I am pretty stuck. However, Frederick had a brother named Benjamin with whom he was living when the 1880 census was taken. My cousin says that the brother's name was actually Joseph Benjamin, and he was born in 1841. Benjamin's wife on the 1880 census was Annie. However, I have no other information about Benjamin. I don't know when or where he died or was buried.

Any suggestions on how to proceed?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

This is the grave of my great-grandfather, Samuel Lebman.  It is located in Mt. Sinai Cemetery in North Miami Beach, Florida.
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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday


This is the grave of my great-grandmother, Pauline (Feldberg) Lebman, whom I discussed in my previous post. It is located in Mt. Sinai Cemetery in North Miami Beach, Florida.
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