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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Monday, March 2, 2009

Current Research: Pauline Feldberg

I am currently working on my Jewish great-grandparents: Sam Lebman, Pauline Feldberg, Irwin Schonfield, and Frances Levy.

I started my real genealogy research with Pauline Feldberg. Here is what I have so far:

Pauline Feldberg (a.k.a. Perl Feldberg)
b. 21 Nov 1893 in Kurow, Poland
immigrated 6 Jun 1908 from Rotterdam to New York, NY on the S.S. Noordam*
census: 18 Apr 1910 living in Manhattan, New York, NY**
m. Samuel Lebman in 1920
census: 10 Apr 1930 living in East Liverpool, Columbiana County, Ohio
d. 20 May 1973 in Los Angeles, CA

*Other important information from her immigration records: Her age is listed as 18 years old, when she would have been 14. Her last residence prior to immigrating was Buczacz, Austria. She had a male relative named Fischel Feldberg living in Polowze, Galicia. Her sister is named G. Feldberg, and she lived at 130 Attorney St. in New York City. Her place of birth is listed as Buczacz, Russia. On her Ellis Island detention records, her sister is listed as Gussie, and she lived at 130 Attorney.

**Other important information from the 1910 census: Her first name is listed as Parcliene. She is listed as being the sister of the head of household, Gussie Feldberg. She is listed as being 18, when she would have been 16. She was an operator in a factory that made ladies' shirts.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday


This is the grave marker for my great-grandparents, Sam and Polly Lebman. They were Jewish immigrants who came to America in the early years of the 20th century. They are buried at Mt. Sinai Cemetery in North Miami Beach, Florida.
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Monday, February 23, 2009

Day Trip to Sanford, Florida

I visited my family in Sanford yesterday, and my husband and I spent the better part of the day engaged in family and genealogical activities.

First, a bit of living genealogy. We visited two nursing homes. The first visit was with my paternal grandfather, John Laurens Sauls, Sr. He is not doing well at all, and I am afraid that this will be the last time I see him alive. He had a stroke in 2000 and has been in a nursing home ever since then. When I last saw him, he recognized me and my brother. This time, though, he was not cognizant enough to know much of anything that was going on around him.

The second nursing home visit was with my great uncle Sonny, whose real name is Hamel Tolar Haskins. He is my paternal grandmother's younger brother. He had five heart bypasses a while ago, but he is doing much better now. He enjoys having the time to listen to the music of the old crooners and read Oz books.

We visited the house where my paternal grandmother, Clara Haskins Sauls, was born. (She was also our guide for the rest of the day.) The house is a bungalow built in 1922 on what used to be the Old Orlando Highway. The street is now just called Sanford Avenue. My husband especially enjoyed this part of the trip, since he is very interested in architecture.

We went to downtown Sanford and saw the old city. We saw the old Mayfair Hotel, now the home of New Tribes Mission. We saw the old post office where my Granny's father, Harold Clark Haskins, had been postmaster. We saw the old Pico Building, which used to be the railroad hotel. We also saw the old houses built by Sanford's Swedish settlers. Sanford is only one of a handful of cities in the South whose original settlers were Scandinavian. We visited Evergreen Cemetery on 25th Street. Most of my Granny's family is buried there. We ate dinner at Captain D's on 17-92, then we took Granny home. We finished the day with a tour of Granny's house. She lives in a house that was built immediately after World War II for the returning soldiers and their families. My grandparents moved into this house in 1950, when my Dad was 3 years old. The house is on Escambia Drive, and it has a large camphor tree in front of it. I used to climb in that tree when I was a kid.

It was a good day, but it would have been better if I had remembered my camera! I hope to visit there again sometime soon, and I will take lots of pictures.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Welcome to My Genealogy Blog!

This is just an initial entry to let you know that my blog is up and running.

I am currently in the process of revisioning my genealogy website, which will be called Sauls Ancestry.  My daughter and I are double checking the accuracy of the information before it goes online.  My intention is to put it up in stages, so it won't contain my entire genealogical collection for a while.  Updates to the website will be posted here.