Matrilinial Monday – Feiga Golda Kresch

The sole photo we have of Feiga
Name: Feiga Golda Reich
Called by Grandkids: Likely Bubbe. I know she lived in Frankfurt at the end of her life, so at the very least, she knew my grandfather and most of his siblings before her death.
Birth: about 1870
Death: about 1929, Frankfurt, Germany
Spouse: Benzion Kresch
Marriage: unknown
Children: Naftali Mendel, Dora, Minna, and possibly two or more unnamed
Parents: unknown
Siblings: unknown
About: I know only a little more about Feiga because of a few extra documents and because we have photos of her, not to mention the fact that Grumpy knew her as a boy. But truly, it's not a whole lot more in the larger scheme of things. I do not know for certain where Feiga was born, though I suspect she may have been born in the same town as her daughter, Czudek, Galicia. She married Benzion sometime in the late 1800s, and they had at least three children there, though I assume she lived there until moving to Frankfurt to be closer to her daughters after her husband's death.

Feiga was able to attend at least one of her childrens' weddings, as she is listed on Dora's wedding invitation to Alex in 1919. Beyond that, I know little more. She died in the late 1929s, shortly before things began to get bad for Jews in Germany. I know that three of her children survived the Nazi regime, though I speculate that any others likely died in the camps, or even before, during the round-up of Jews in the German-controlled areas. Her descendants now live in the US and Israel, and we may also have distant relations somewhere in South America, where Mendel's family escaped to right at the beginning of the war.

Brick Wall People – Part 13 – Ellen Pugh (or possibly Griffiths)

Ellen and Hugh Roberts with a grandchild
Name: Ellen Pugh
Birth: unknown
Death: after 1885
Marriage: before 1846
Location(s): Northern Wales
Relation to me: Ellen Pugh was my maternal grandmother's mother's maternal grandmother, which makes her 6th generation before me.
Alias(es): None known at this time.
Parents: unknown
Spouse(s): Hugh Roberts
Children: Selina Roberts
Other Family: none known
Details: I know little about Ellen or her husband, aside from their names and the photo I have of them. I assume she, like her husband, was born sometime in the early 1800s, probably somewhere in Northern Wales. We have a picture of her holding one of his daughter's children. We believe it is our great-grandmother Eliza. Aside from that, I really know very little else about either of them. Their daughter was born in Northern Wales, which likely means they were from that area as well, but as I have no absolute information on their lives, I simply can't be sure.
1)      Ellen has been in my family tree from the first, which was pieced together with the help of my grandmother, her uncle Ted, and my father. None of whom knew her, unfortunately, which makes the information on her sketchy at best.
2)      Then there is the photograph of Hugh, Ellen and the child we believe to be Eliza back in Wales. I am uncertain of the actual date of the photo, but fairly certain of the two Robertses's identities.
3)      However, my best proof of her identity and her surname as Pugh is their daughter's death record. It is there she is listed as Ellen Pugh, which is a slightly more valid proof than from family stories, where I had always heard her referred to as Griffiths.
Again, like many of my other brick walls, I have absolutely no BMD info for her. As I said above, I know she was alive around the 1880s, but I have no clue when she might have died. I would love to know the names of her parents, and if she had siblings, and where she was born. I would also love to know when and where she married Hugh, and whether or not they had any other children.

As always, if my family or anyone out there has any more information on this family, I'd love to talk to you about them. I'd love to learn more on any of them, if at all possible.

Matrilinial Monday – Mindel Seneft

No Known Photo

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
Marriage: unknown
Children: Elias (Alex), Jennie, Annie, Jack, and one unnamed son
Parents: unknown
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.

Brick Wall People – Part 11 – ? Dunlop

No Known Photo
Name: ? Dunlop
Birth: unknown
Death: unknown
Marriage: unknown
Location(s): Ireland
Relation to me: Miss Dunlop was my maternal grandfather's mother's paternal grandmother, which makes her 6th generation before me.
Alias(es): None known at this time.
Parents: unknown
Spouse(s): John Park
Children: Robert James Park
Other Family: none known
Details: Like John Park, I only recently learned that Miss Dunlop was my great-grandfather Park's mother. I am currently unaware of much else about her, though I do speculate that my great-grandmother Mary Dunlop Park might have been named for her, which would make her name Mary, but as of yet, I have no proof of this, so it is only speculation at this time.
1)      My only true proof of Miss Dunlop's existence is her son's death record in Vancouver, BC.
2)      However, unlike her husband, I do have a secondary source for her family name. Even before finding Robert's death record, I had speculated that I would find Dunlop as a surname on one side or the other of this branch, as both my great-grandmother and her younger brother's middle names are Dunlop.
I have absolutely no BMD info for her but I am at least sure she was alive in 1851, as that is about when her son was born. I also know she was in Ireland at the time, whether or not she was born there, as he is listed as having been born in Antrim. Beyond that, I know absolutely nothing about her. I do hope to find more records on her, but without a first name, I've almost nothing to go on, and her husband's name is nearly as useless, as John is literally the most common name in the British Isles. All I can do at this time is to keep looking and hope that I find more.

If my family or anyone out there has any more information on this family, I'd love to talk to you about them. I'd love to learn more on any of them, if at all possible.

Matrilinial Monday – Eliza Anne Jones

Name: Eliza "Bessie" Anne Howells
Called by Grandkids: Nain (Northern Welsh for grandmother)
Birth: 1885, Penrhiwceiber, Wales, UK
Death: 1980, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Spouse: Daniel Thomas Jones
Marriage: 1911, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Children: Marjorie Grace, Edwina Hannah, Merle Tydfil, Ivor Howell
Parents: Gabriel Howells and Selina Roberts
Siblings: Ellen Catherine, Howell Gabriel, Selina Jane, Gwen Mary, Hugh Cadvan, Catherine, Edward Gabriel
About: Bessie was the sixth child born to her parents, though the eldest two died in a Whooping Cough outbreak before they were out of toddlerhood. She was the first of their children to be born in Southern Wales, where they had moved after Gabriel chose to make a living as a mason. He worked for the mines building support structures, which was only mildly better than being a miner, and so he decided to move his family again when Bessie was still small, this time across to the ocean to Canada, where they settled on his brother's farm in Saskatchewan for a time. Unfortunately, the farm was simply too small to hold so many adults and children, and Gabriel had no interest in farming, having already chosen to give up the family farm back in Wales to move south, so the family moved for a third time, this time to Winnipeg, where they stayed until all the children had left home.

Bessie made a living as a hat maker, and travelled across Canada, and even down into the states, going to the Alaska Yukon Exposition in Seattle with a group. She also joined a choir in Vancouver, and it was there in Vancouver that she met the man she would marry, a fellow Welshman who had come to Canada on holiday with friends. Upon meeting Bessie, though, he chose to stay. The two married and settled in Vancouver. There they raised four children, and continued to live together in Vancouver until Daniel's death.

Bessie continued on for many years after, surrounded by her ever-growing family of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. By the time of her death, her four children had given her twelve grandchildren, including two children by marriage. And those children had given her nineteen great-grandchildren, a number that only increased after her death. All of her family remember her fondly even today, as scattered as we are throughout Canada and the US.

Bessie with her daughter, granddaughter, and two great-granddaughters, ca 1976

Brick Wall People – Part 10 – John Park

No Photo

Name: John Park
Birth: unknown
Death: unknown
Marriage: unknown
Location(s): Ireland
Relation to me: John Park was my maternal grandfather's mother's paternal grandfather, which makes him 6th generation before me.
Alias(es): None known at this time.
Parents: unknown
Spouse(s)? Dunlop
Children: Robert James Park
Other Family: none known
Details: John is a fairly new discovery, and I have almost no information on him, and even less on his wife. According to my great-great grandfather's entry on a Northern Irish census before the family moved to Canada, he was born in Antrim in Northern Ireland, so I could assume that that is where they lived, but as of this moment, I certainly can't assume John was ever there, because there's no way of telling where he was or even if he was alive when his son was born. So all I know is that he was Irish and has a rather Scottish/English surname.
1)      My only current proof of John's existence is his son's death record in Vancouver, BC. At this time, all I have for him is a name, and his wife's surname, and where his son was born (from another bit of proof, but since John's not mentioned on it, I won't use it as proof for him at this time). Unfortunately, John Park is all too common a name. All I can do is hope to eventually find more about him.
I have absolutely no BMD info for John, and only a vague notion that he was alive in 1850 or 1851, as that is about when his son was born. Irish records are far more spotty for that sort of information, especially when the family is Protestant, which mine was. At this time, all I can think of to do is keep trying when I find new sources on his son, and hope that more information will reveal itself.
If my family or anyone out there has any more information on his family, I'd love to talk to you about him. I'd love to learn more if at all possible.

Matrilinial Monday – Mary Dunlop Bordewick

Name: Mary "May" Dunlop Park

Called by Grandkids: Granny
Birth: 1891, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Death: 1982, Des Moines, Washington, USA
Spouse: Bjarne Bordewick
Marriage: 1917, Vancouver, BC, USA
Children: George & Henry
Parents: Robert James Park and Elizabeth Curran
Siblings: Jennie (unconfirmed), Helen (unconfirmed), Robert Curran, Elizabeth, Rhoda, Margaret, George, Florence
About: May Park was the fifth child of Robert and Elizabeth Park, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as all of her siblings were. Her parents had immigrated to the US shortly after their marriage in Northern Ireland (somewhere around the county of Antrim, possibly Belfast), and settled there in 1883 or so. She grew up there for the first ten years of her life, before things became too difficult for her father to continue do business as a cabinet maker, so they returned to Ireland. They lived there for five or so more years before one of their eldest children moved to Canada, and wrote back glowing letters about the country, so the family moved again, this time settling in Vancouver, BC.

In Vancouver, May met the man who became her husband, Bjarne Bordewick. He was a recent immigrant himself, having made several stops between Norway and Vancouver, and soon the couple married. Their eldest son was born a year later. They settled in Vancouver and raised two boys there before the war broke out in Europe. Both sons went to war. Only one returned. But George, their eldest, had married before heading off to the front, and they had a new grandson to console them while he was away. After his return, the Bordewick clan grew again, two daughters born to George and his wife. May doted on them all.

Unfortunately, after a move in 1950, Bjarne was struck by a car, and died, and May was left alone. Her younger sister Marge moved in with her, and the two kept house together until both grew too frail to live on their own. By this time, George's family had expanded by another son, a daughter-in-law, and two sons-in-law, not to mention May's first great-grandchild. George and his family had moved to Washington state in 1960 when he'd needed a new job, and so he moved her down to be closer to the family, and so that he could keep a closer eye on her. He got a place for her in a Masonic Home, and she lived there until her death.

Merle, May, and May's granddaughter and great-grandaughters ca 1977

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.