Brick Wall Update 2012

It's been a while since I updated my brick wall search. While I haven't gotten much further on some branches since my last update, I think they will go on the back burner, so that I can focus more on getting information on my great-grandparents and their parents, and leave any more researched lines out for now.

So here's my Brick Walls as they stand:
The Seneft/Senft/Hilingers
I still haven't determined where exactly Sedziszow, Galicia is. I have a few possible locations, all in various parts of Galicia. I seem to come up with new places in Poland every time I look up the town. At the moment, I'm inclined to believe that they lived in the area north of Krakow (the blue tags are all possible locations that come up when I look up the town name.)

I also don't know if Alec's siblings were all born in that same town as he was, or what his second brother's name was. I do have a couple of relations I should try to get into contact with to see if they have that recorded somewhere.

I do not know when the Senefts moved to England, only that they were there before World War I. I have a record for a gravesite for "Minne Seneft" in London, with a transcription reading "Loving daughter Jennie," which may well be Alec's mother Mindel and his sister Jennie, which means they would have been there before 1913, when the grave marker says she died. This fits in with them having left in the late 1800s sometime, so I'm inclined to believe this is her.

I know the fate of three children if I include Alec. I have a record of Jennie's immigration to the US in 1916. The record also includes the name of her brother, Jack, who I know was also already in New York City at the time, and her father's name (Leon) and his address in London. I also think I have found a gravesite for Jack in New York, though I have not confirmed that grave, either.

Alec was sent to Camp Douglas, though whether he was sent there alone, or others of his family went there as well, I'm still not sure. We currently have three photos of Alec while he was at the Camp (though one I'm less certain of than the other two), both of which are addressed to his brother Jack.

We also have a family book about Alec and Dora's family which includes a few details of their parents' lives, including Alec's mother Mindel, though all it really mentions is that she was last living in London. Leon is not mentioned at all because by the time the book was written up, Alec had reverted to his mother's surname as his parents were married only in a religious ceremony, and their offspring were therefore not recognized as legitimate by the German government.

The last formal record I have of Leon is his name on Alec and Dora's wedding invitation, which means that I know he was alive in 1919, and my grandfather stated he was dead by the time he was born in 1922, so I am still looking for some kind of grave marker for Leon in London, as I believe he lived there until his death. I know he was a Rabbi from family stories, so he may have been buried someplace special, but for now, that's all I have.

I wish I could find more record of the Senefts in London, and even more information about Alec's time in Camp Douglas. I'd love to know more about Alec and Dora's life in Frankfurt, but likely most of those records were lost during the war, and I'm grateful for what I do know, at least.

As for Mindel and Leon, I have no record of them before London. I hope at some point, I'll find something, but for now, I think that's unlikely.

The Kresch/Reich family
Most of what I know about Dora's family, I've learned in the last two years, and comes from a couple of photos and the family book.

I know that Dora was born in Czudek, a small town in Galicia (now Poland) near Rezeszow, and her father seemed to be a teacher according the family book. I know that she had at least one sibling, though relations have mentioned she had more. I only have the name for one, though, her sister Minna, who came to Frankfurt with her shortly after World War I.

I believe their father, Benzion, died before the girls moved to Frankfurt, though not sure when exactly. Their mother, Fiege Golda (not entirely sure what she went by), moved to Frankfurt at some point. Not sure if she moved with her daughters, or later to be close to them. I believe she lived in Frankfurt until she died in the late 20s or early 30s. I do know that she was also on Alec and Dora's wedding invitation, but her husband was not. This means she was alive in 1919 definitely, while he was likely not.

Unfortunately, both Kresch and Reich are far more common than Seneft and Hilinger for this area, so in this case I actually suffer from an excess of too many records, and not being able to narrow things down enough, even with a specific location for Dora's birth.

And like Mindel and Leon, I know almost nothing about Benzion and Fiege Golda before their daughter's birth.

I think my main problem with both families is that names were very fluid in this time and area. Both in writing and in how they were referred to. In formal records, you used one name, in every day life, another, so depending on who was writing the record, you would see a very different name. Not to mention the language barrier of the Hebrew/Polish/German mix, along with other dialects spoken in the area. I'm working on getting it all sorted out, but it will definitely take time to do.

The Rasmus Hansen family
This branch is going on the back burner. I've managed to get a better record of Rasmus's parents. I've found him and his parents in three separate census records, and on Maren Sofie's side, I have both her parents as well, if not precise records at the moment. It's enough for now.

This will probably get some attention anyway, though, because I'm slowly piecing together Oline's life for the book I'm writing about her, so more research will need to be done at some point.

The Park/Curran family
This one is also going on the back burner. While I haven't gotten any further on the Park side, I have managed to get the names of both of Elizabeth Curran's grandfathers. And I'm definitely back before my great-great grandparents, even if not in great detail, so I think I can wait on this branch a little longer.

The Jones family
This is the last of the family branches I'm going to focus on now. Most of what I know of this branch comes from my aunt and my grandmother, and family photos. But I know almost nothing about my great grandfather's parents before his birth.

I have birth dates and locations locations for both. Benjamin was born in 1865 in Caio, Wales, and Hannah was born Hannah Griffiths in 1863 in Newcastle Emlyn, Wales. I believe both locations are in south western Wales, though using Google Maps has not helped much, as each time I look, I seem to find slightly different information, and at least one of the two seems to have more than one possible location. For my current assumptions, click here.

I believe they married sometime before 1882, and at some point the couple moved together to Merthyr Tydfil in South Eastern Wales where they had seven children. I believe all of them were born in Merthyr Tydfil, and that Daniel, my great-grandfather, was the eldest.

Both their first and last names are incredibly common, which makes finding them without more specific information almost impossible at the moment. Trying to narrow down the areas of their birth is nearly impossible, even though I have locations for both. It hasn't stopped me from trying, but it is making it very difficult. I just wish I knew at least one sibling or parent for each of them. It would help narrow things down a lot.

I suppose my next step for this branch will be to get a subscription on a British site to get access to British birth, death and census records.

The Gabriel/Howells/Roberts Family
Another branch that can wait, as I have quite a bit of information on this family. Less so on the Roberts side, but that's still a step further back than I need to go right now.

As always, any help with any of these branches would be greatly appreciated.

About this blog

This blog is maintained by two sisters who have had a life long interest in geneology.
Mika writes here mostly about our family (Hansen, Hillinger, Bordewick, Park, etc), and her search for more information.
Shannon mostly uses this space as a place to make the many stories written about and by her husband's family (Holly, Walker, Walpole, etc) available to the rest of the family, present and future.

Our blog is named Oh Spusch! mostly because Shannon is bad at naming things. The first post I put up includes a story about the time Walker's great grandfather took his whole family out to see a play and the littlest kept saying "Oh! Spusch!" No one ever figured out what she meant by that.