Posted by Elf Flame Monday, April 22, 2013
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Name: Mindel Hilinger
Called by Grandkids: Possibly Bubbe, but I don't know for certain. I'm not certain she actually met any of her grandchildren, given she died before her children were married, I believe.
Birth: About 1851
Death: 1913, London, England, according to the gravestone record I found for her
Spouse: Leon Seneft
Children: Elias (Alex), Jennie, Annie, Jack, and one unnamed son
Siblings: none known
About: Mindel is a cypher in my family tree, despite being the origin of our surname. Her son, my great-grandfather, was forced to take her surname when he returned to Germany to live because Mindel and Leon were Jewish, and married in a religious ceremony, so their marriage was not recognized by the government, which made him illegitimate.
I know nothing about her early life, or who her parents were, nor if she had any siblings. My knowledge of her starts with my great-grandfather's birth. Mindel and her husband had at least five children in Galicia, which is an old Germanic state in southern Poland and eastern Ukraine. I have yet to pinpoint exactly where they lived, but I know they moved while their children were still young. They settled in London, where her husband was a Rabbi. I am uncertain exactly when they moved to London, nor why, though I can guess. Galicia was a very poor country, and by that time, Jews were once again becoming scapegoats. Not that things improved for them much upon their arrival in England. Luckily Mindel never lived to the first world war, to see what was done to her family, or worse, to the second, to see the hate that was so poured upon her people.
Her gravestone was engraved with "By her loving daughter Jennie," or something along those lines in Hebrew. I have no idea where her husband's stone is, if it even exists at all, but I believe he lived for at least seven more years before dying sometime before Alex's second (and third—they were twins) child was born.