Posted by Elf Flame Friday, February 15, 2013
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Name: Mindel Hilinger
Birth: about 1851, likely in Germany, Austria or Galicia
Death: 1913, London, England
Marriage: before 1883, probably in Galicia
Relation to me: Mindel Hilinger is my paternal grandfather's paternal grandmother, which makes her 5th generation before me.
Alias(es): According to the grave entry I found for her, it seems she may have gone by the name Minnie. But Mindel is a very Jewish name (I have it on the other side for one of my great-grandmother's brothers), and Hilinger/Hillinger (the English spelling) is very common in Austria, and there is a Jewish branch, according to someone I spoke with on the Hillinger Name facebook page.
Children: Alex, Jennie, Annie, Jack, ?
Other Family: No other direct family known.
Details: While I have a few details for Leon, I have almost nothing on Mindel. But I do have more exact dates for her, unlike him. I am uncertain where she was born, but I do have a likely source of information for her birth and death dates, so I have that, at least. Unfortunately, beyond that, I have little else about her. I know that she came to London with her husband when he emigrated from Galicia, and that she died there, but beyond her having at least five children, I have almost nothing else about her.
I would probably know even less if it weren't for the fact that my great-grandfather, her son Alex, was forced to take her maiden name by the German government when he moved to Frankfurt after the war because they did not recognize Mindel and Leon's marriage because it was a religious ceremony. So since my great-grandfather, the family surname has been Hillinger (the English spelling) instead of Seneft.
1) Like Leon, Mindel has always been part of my family tree that was given to me by my grandfather. Unfortunately, aside from the name-change story, she was still just a name on a chart to me.
2) My second piece of proof on Mindel is in the letter my grandfather wrote to Belgium. She is mentioned even less than her husband, but she is mentioned, reinforcing the information I have from the family tree.
3) She is also mentioned in the Hillinger family book, though far more than her husband, given she is considered his only legal parent by the German government. She is not one of the entries in the book any more than her husband was, but it gives details of her life as reference for Alex.
4) The last piece of proof I have of Mindel's life is a gravestone marker for a Minnie Seneft. While not an exact match, I am fairly confident it is hers, because the writing on the stone says "Loving daughter Jennie," and is in a Hebrew cemetery. I think it likely that this is my Mindel, as it fits the other facts I have of her life.
While I have a vague birth and an exact death date for Mindel, I cannot be certain they are right until I receive more exact BMD information. The information from her grave seems right, but I've no other way to determine those dates, so they are still only tentative until I can find something more on her. I imagine her birth records are either non-existent or in Hebrew, but I keep looking. I also need to know her emigration information, just like Leon. I imagine those records must be somewhere, in England if nowhere else.
Beyond that, I have no clue where to even start looking for Mindel. I don't know if she worked or not. It seems unlikely, but then again, they were immigrants, so you never know. She did have five children, and I imagine most or all were quite young, so a job seems unlikely to me, but I'm not going to assume anything until I have more info.
But that means I still have nowhere to even start, really. I have no clue how long they lived in England, so I'm not even sure where to begin to look. I can look for a death certificate, but that might be in Hebrew, too. And who knows if anything else on her exists at all?
And that is all I have on Mindel. Again, if you've any information on her that is not listed here, please contact me. I'd love to get further on this branch of the family.