Sunday, March 24, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Birth Order in Your Line

For Saturday Night Genealogy Fun this week, Randy Seaver has us looking at birth order in our families.  Not much to be gained from this, I suspect, but an interesting exercise nonetheless.

For this week's mission (should you decide to accept it), I challenge you to:

(1) Pick one of your ancestral lines — any one:  patrilineal, matrilineal, zigzag, from a famous ancestor, etc.  Pick a long one if you can.

(2) Tell us which position in the birth order your ancestor was in each generation.  For example, "third child, first son."  Also list how many children were born to these parents.

(3) Share your birth order work with us on your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, in a comment on Facebook, etc.


Since Randy recommended choosing a long line if possible, I started with my father, zigged to his mother, and then zagged to her father, because I know I have several generations of Gauntts documented.  I could go further back with them, but I haven't entered all the information I have into my database.  I also could have gone further with the Sellerses, but just not emphasizing them anymore.

1.  Janice Marie Sellers (1962– ):  first child, first daughter of Bertram Lynn and Myra (Meckler) Sellers (2 daughters, 1 son)

2.  Bertram Lynn Sellers, Jr. (1935– ):  only child, only son of Bertram Lynn Sellers, Sr. and Anna Gauntt

3.  Anna Gauntt (1893–1986):  second child, first daughter of Thomas Kirkland and Jane (Dunstan) Gauntt (5 sons, 5 daughters)

4.  Thomas Kirkland Gauntt (1870–1951):  eighth child, fifth son of James and Amelia (Gibson) Gauntt (3 daughters, 6 sons)

4.  James Gauntt (1831–1889):  second child and first son of Hananiah Selah and Abigail (Atkinson) Gaunt (5 daughters, 4 sons)

5.  Hananiah Selah Gaunt (1795–1852):  fourth child and fourth son of Hananiah and Rebecca (Mulliner) Gaunt (5 sons, 1 daughter, but not sure all children have been documented)

6.  Hananiah Gaunt (1762–1799):  first child and first son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Borton) Gaunt (5 sons, 3 daughters)

7.  Joseph Gaunt (1740–1806):  second child and second son of Hananiah and Ann (Ridgway) Gaunt (2 sons, 2 daughters, again not sure all children have been documented)

My averages are:

• child number:  3
• number of children:  7.14

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: A Favorite Family Photograph

I've missed the past couple of weeks, but I'm catching up with today's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver.

For this week's mission (should you decide to accept it), I challenge you to:

(1) Show us one of your favorite photographs of your family — a group, yourself, your mom, your dad, your sibling(s), your grandparents, etc.  Tell us about it — the date, the event, the setting, the persons in the photograph.


(2) Share it on your own blog, in a comment on this blog, or on Facebook.


The photograph I've chosen is definitely one of my favorites, even though I still don't know who is in it.


This is a photo of a family celebrating a bris.  I'm pretty sure the mohel is the man in the middle wearing a white jacket.  The man to his right is probably the rabbi or possibly the male relative given the honor of holding the child for the ceremony.  I'm guessing the bris has already taken place.  The table is loaded with food, ready for the party.

I've always particularly liked the matching dresses on the two women in the lower left corner of the photo, plus the girl on the right side of the photo.  You can see that several people in the photo resemble each other, supporting the idea that it's a big family get-together.

Yet I have no idea who these people are!

I received the photo from the widowed husband of my cousin.  About a year after she had passed away, he wrote to me.  He had gone through the photos in the home and had set aside those that were not from his side of the family.  He was asking if I wanted them.  Of course I said yes.

Most of the photos were unlabeled.  I was able to figure out some because the people in them were named in other photos.  I also did a massive scanning project and shared the images with cousins from that side of the family, and they were able to identify a good number of the rest.  But no one knows who the people in this photograph are.

Because of the cousin it came from, I believe the people are on the Novitsky side of my family.  I'm hoping one day to learn the names of these cousins.

But I love the photo anyway.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Wordless Wednesday


Lillyan E. Meckler, March 6, 1919–October 17, 2006

Today is the 100th anniversary of my maternal grandmother's birth.  Esther Lillian Gordon was born at 1575 Madison Avenue, Manhattan, New York.  She knew the address becaue that was the home of her maternal grandparents, Morris (Mendel Herz) and Rose Dorothy (Ruchel Dwojre) Brainin.  The reason she said that she and her two older brothers were born at her grandparents' home was because for her parents' first child, a boy, her mother had gone to the hospital, and the child was stillborn.  Blaming it on the hospital, my great-grandmother then had all of her children after that in her mother's home.

Brainin family (as "Brennan"), 1575 Madison Avenue, 1920 census

Bubbie (Yiddish for grandmother) told me she spoke Yiddish as her first language and that she didn't learn English until she began school.  I have her Hebrew primer.  I don't think she had a bat mitzvah, and she didn't really remember or use Hebrew later in life.



She did continue to speak Yiddish.  The only time I heard her speak Yiddish, however, other than some random words, was when she turned 80.  She had flown out to California for her birthday and was staying at my uncle's home.  Her best friend (my godmother) had come up from Southern California to help celebrate.  I was listening to them talking, and then their voices got louder, and it sounded like an argument — and suddenly I couldn't understand anything they were saying.  I was mesmerized — they were arguing in Yiddish!  It's still the only time in my life I've heard the language used in a conversation, albeit a loud one.  I wish I had been able to record it.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: How Did You Get Started in Genealogy Research?

This week's challenge for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is a story I've told many times, but apparently never for SNGF.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music!), is:

(1) Jacqi Stevens recently suggested, in her blog post "The Networks of Life", the question "How did you get started in researching your genealogy?"


(2) This week, let's tell our "getting started in genealogy research" stories.


(3) Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook post.  Please leave a comment on this blog post to lead us to your answers.



I started researching my genealogy before Roots appeared on TV, and I've still never read the book.  My journey began at the tender age of 13 with what used to be a common middle school assignment, to research your family tree back four generations.  For some reason that assignment really got me hooked.  I still have the purple mimeographed paper (even though that special scent is long gone).

I interviewed all of my local family members with all sorts of questions, and I still have my notes from those interviews.  I also wrote letters to others who did not live locally.  I have the letter I received from my paternal grandmother, where she responded to my questions about her mother's family.

Over the years I kept adding to the information I had gathered.  Whenever I traveled (I used to average at least one trip per month), I checked to see if I had any family in the area and then arranged to visit.  I asked more questions and offered to share what I had put together.  I've met several dozen relatives this way and become good friends with some of them.

I began to do a lot of volunteer work.  I've been staff at LDS Family History Centers since 2000.  I joined the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society and became the publicity director, then programming director, then ZichronNote editor, and eventually vice president.  I stepped down from the latter position when I moved to Oregon, but I still do all the rest.  I joined the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California, took over editing The Baobab Tree, and was elected to a board position.  I have worked in various volunteer capacities for the California Genealogical Society, California State Genealogical Alliance, Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy, and other sociteties.  I've done transcription and editing work for JewishGen.

Around 2004 I discovered people could make a living being professional genealogists and decided I wanted to do that.  The general recommendation at the time was that first you should volunteer to do research for friends and extended family and see if you still liked it.  I ended up doing the genealogy of everyone in my office; they joked I knew their families better than they did (and I still do).  In 2005 I placed an advertisement as a professional genealogist and got my first client right away; he was a client for five years.

In 2009 Marge Bell of the Oakland Family History Center sneakily conned me into giving a presentation on using online newspapers, and I've been giving talks on genealogy subjects ever since.  Along with lots of local and regional talks, I've been fortunate enough to have presented at some national conferences, such as RootsTech, the Ohio Genealogical Society annual conference, and several International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies' annual conferences on Jewish genealogy.

And all of this started with one mimeographed family tree.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: How Did Your Parents Meet?

For this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, Randy Seaver is recycling a question he has asked before, but he has reworded the challenge:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music!), is:

(1) One of our family stories for our descendants should be how we met our spouses.  Another one should be, if we know it, how did our parents meet each other?


(2) This week, let's tell our "parents meeting" story if we know it.  If you don't know that story, tell us another one about one of your relatives meeting his/her spouse or significant other.
 
(3) Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook post.  Please leave a comment on this blog post to lead us to your answers.


As I mentioned, Randy has asked this question at least once before.  I answered it back in 2015.  I have not added any details to my knowledge of how my parents met (I really need to talk to my father about that), so I'll write about my great-grandparents instead this time.

I was told by my mother that her maternal grandparents, Joe Gordon and Sarah Libby Brainin, met when Joe was boarding in Sarah's parents' house in Manhattan.  It was common for immigrant families to take in boarders, particularly from the same ethnic group, both as a way to help make ends meet and to help new immigrants arriving in the United States.  Apparently my great-great-grandparents, Morris and Rose Dorothy (Jaffe) Brainin, had boarders at various times.

My great-grandfather arrived in New York City in 1909 as Jojne Gorodetsky.  In the 1910 census he had already changed his name and was enumerated as Joe Gordon, living with his uncle Sam Schneiderman (his mother's brother) and Sam's family in Manhattan.

My great-grandmother arrived in New York City also but earlier, in 1905, as Sore Leibe Brainin.  Her father, my great-great-grandfather Mendel Hertz Brainin (he went by Morris and Max in the United States), arrived in 1906.  I still haven't found my great-great-grandmother Ruchel Dwojre Brainin on a passenger list with the three young children she brought with her, but by 1910 the entire family was here and was enumerated in Manhattan also (except for Sarah's brother David).

Joe must have become a boarder in the Brainin household sometime between 1910 and 1913.  Joe and Sarah became engaged in 1913 and married on April 4, 1914 in Manhattan.  The marriage lasted until Joe's death on May 2, 1955.

I have Joe and Sarah's engagement photo, but I can't find the scanned version.  My grandmother told me that this photo of them was taken while they were engaged.


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Wedding Wednesday













Benjamin Louis Kushner married Gladys Shindelman on February 11, 1951 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  Ben is my 3rd cousin once removed on my Meckler line.  I was fortunate enough to meet two of his children, Paul and Gayle, a couple of years ago in San Diego, which was an adventure.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Your Longest Ancestral Marriage

It's Saturday, which means another interesting genealogy challenge from Randy Seaver for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music!), is:

(1) Marcia Philbrick wrote Celebrating 50 Years today on her Heartland Genealogy blog and suggested it for a Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge, so here it is:

(2) How many of your ancestors were married for FIFTY years?  What is the longest marriage of your ancestors in your tree (from marriage to first death of a spouse, or divorce)?  Consider, say, the last six generations to make it manageable!

(3) Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook post.  Please leave a comment on this blog post to lead us to your answers.

I saw this challenge and thought I was going to have only one pair of ancestors who made it to 50 years.  I was wrong about that!  On the other hand, Randy had 52 couples, while I have a total of only 18, and I had to go all the way back to 6th-great-grandparents to get that many.

Parents

• Bertram Lynn Sellers, Jr. and Myra Roslyn Meckler:  16 years (1961–1977)

Grandparents

• Abraham Meckler and Lillyan E. Gordon:  50 years (1939–1989)
• Bertram Lynn Sellers, Sr. and Anna Gauntt:  0 years (They were never married.)

Great-grandparents

• Cornelius Elmer Sellers and Laura May Armstrong:  15 years (1903–1918)
• Thomas Kirkland Gauntt and Jane Dunstan:  59 years (1891–1951)
• Morris Meckler and Minne Zelda Nowicki:  36 years (1900–1936)
• Joe Gordon and Sarah Libby Brainin:  41 years (1914–1955)

Great-great-grandparents

• James Gauntt and Amelia Gibson:  38 years (1851–1889)
• Frederick Cleworth Dunstan and Martha Winn:  15 years (1858–1873)
• Joel Armstrong and Sarah Ann Lippincott:  about 22 years (1878–about 1900)
• Gershon Itzhak Nowicki and Dora Yelsky:  60 years (1876–1936)
• Avigdor Gorodetsky and Esther Leah Schneiderman:  about 19 years (about 1889–1908)
• Morris Brainin and Rose Dorothy Jaffe:  about 39 years (about 1881–1930)

Great-great-great-grandparents

• Hananiah Selah Gaunt and Abigail Atkinson:  about 23 years (about 1829–1852)
• Richard Dunstan and Jane Coleclough:   21 years (1833–1865)

Great-great-great-great-grandparents

• Hananiah Gaunt and Rebecca Mulliner:  about 14 years (about 1785–1799)
• Joel Armstrong and Catherine Stackhouse:  30 years (1823–1854)

Great-great-great-great-great-grandparents

• Joseph Gaunt and Elizabeth Borton:  44 years (1762–1806)

Great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents

• Hananiah Gaunt and Ann Ridgway:  61 years (1730–1792)

The longest marriage I have recorded is 61 years, for my 6th-great-grandparents Hananiah Gaunt and Ann Ridgway.

The lengths of the marriages range from 14 to 60 years.  Two of the marriages were ended by divorce; the others ended with the death of one spouse.

The average length of the 18 marriages is 33.5 years.

Four marriages of the marriages lasted 50 years or longer.  That's 22.2% of the marriages.  Randy had 15 of 52 marriages last 50 or more years, which is 28.9%.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Russian Rubles

My second former daughter-in-law and her current boyfriend (I have mentioned that my family tree is complicated, right?) recently were looking at some books being given away for free and found several pieces of paper money tucked into one of the volumes.  After we determined that, unfortunately, none of them was valuable because they were all in such extremely poor condition, they allowed me to keep two of the bank notes, which are in Russian rubles.






The first note is for 25 rubles.  The front (I think it's the front) shows Tsar Alexander III, who ruled the Russian Empire from March 13, 1881 until his death on November 1, 1894.  The back shows the year of the bank note, 1909.

The second bank note is for only 3 rubles.  The front is highly decorative, and the back shows the note is from 1905.

Why would I care to keep these?  All of my mother's family lived in the Russian Empire for many generations prior to some of them immigrating to the United States in the early 20th century.  I have almost nothing from their time in Russia — a grand total of three photographs.  This is probably the type of money they would have used over there.  Kind of like collecting photographs of towns where family lived, this gives me a little more information about their lives.  It makes me feel a little more in touch with them to have these bank notes.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Super Bowl LIII (2019) Sunday

Randy Seaver has an annual tradition of focusing Saturday Night Genealogy Fun the day before the Super Bowl on the big game, and this year is no exception.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is:

(1) What is your favorite National Football League team?  [For those who are not American football fans but fans of other sports teams, substitute your favorite team.]  Why are you a fan of this team?  How long have you been a fan of your favorite team?

(2) What is the genealogy of your favorite team?  When did it start playing, what leagues has it played in?

(3) Have you worked for the team in any capacity, or attended games?  What is your best memory of your favorite team's history?

(4) Predict the score of the Rams-Patriots game on Sunday.

(5) Tell us in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook.


Here's my contribution.

1.  My favorite NFL team is the Minnesota Vikings.  Way back when I was very young, I remember watching a football game and thinking, "I should really have a favorite team."  I picked the Vikings, who were playing in that game, because I liked their helmet logo better.  That was about 1969 or so, so I've been a fan for almost 50 years now, the great majority of my life.  I have stuck with them through all four Super Bowl losses, which was a record, for most times going to the Super Bowl and not winning a game.  In fact, I was upset when the Denver Broncos broke the record with five losses and no wins; it was a lousy record, but it was ours.

2.  According to Wikipedia, the Vikings joined the National Football League in 1960 and began playing in 1961.  It was in the stand-alone National Football League and then became part of the new National Football Conference after the AFL-NFL merger in 1969.  Something I just learned from reading the Wikipedia page is that the Vikings were the last (old) NFL champions before the merger.

3.  I have never worked for the Vikings.  I have attended only one game, when they played the Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans), on December 21, 1980.  That was my mother's big surprise Christmas present to me (and the rest of the family) that year.  My parents were living in San Antonio, and I was going to visit over Christmas break from college.  My mother told me that she had a very special present for me.  I read in the newspaper that the Vikings were going to be in Houston and managed to correctly guess that was the present.  I was very excited to go to the game (my first NFL game attended) but dismayed (not surprised, unfortunately) when the Vikings lost.

I know one person who played for the Vikings.  I met Joey Browner when he was at the University of Southern California.  I was thrilled when he was picked by my favorite team.  I also met Fran Tarkenton, the great Vikings quarterback, once, at a golf tournament in Monterey.  He was grumpy and snapped at me when I wished him a happy birthday (but did recover and apologize).

My favorite memory of the Vikings is from when they played against the Oakland Raiders (coincidentally my second favorite NFL team) in Super Bowl XI in 1977.  As I had already been through three Vikings Super Bowl losses, I was anticipating the worst, so while I made some bets with friends for the Vikings to win, I also made several other bets to mitigate my losses, in particular that the Vikings would set a record.  While that was the year that they set the record for most Super Bowl losses without a win, I knew going in that they would have a record for the oldest starter in a Super Bowl, which was Alan Page.  They also set the record for most Super Bowl appearances that year, as they were the first team to go to the big game four times.

4.  I have read that the Patriots are favored in the game.  I have no idea what the score will be, but I will predict a Rams victory because I absolutely do not want the Patriots to tie the Steelers for all-time Super Bowl wins.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Photographs through the Generations

This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun exercise from Randy Seaver is a fun one!

Your mission this week, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music!), is:

(1) How many generations do you have photographs or portraits of your ancestors and descendants?  It can be any line—it just can't be broken!

(2) Tell us the line, or better yet, show us the unbroken line.  Provide birth and death years, and the approximate date that the photograph or portrait was made.

(3) Share your generation photograph line in a blog post of your own, in a Facebook post, or in a comment to this post.


I thought I wouldn't be able to compete with Randy on this, but I found one of my Jewish(!) family lines with eight generations of photographs.  It doesn't include me, because I don't have any descendants, but has my sister instead.

1.  3x-great-grandfather Gersh Wolf Gorodetsky, unknown birth and death dates, probably from Podolia gubernia, Russian Empire (now in Ukraine), maybe from Kamenets Podolsky or Orinin, no idea when photograph was taken.  (At least I'm pretty sure this is Gersh Wolf Gorodetsky.)



2.  Great-great-grandfather Victor Gordon (originally Avigdor Gorodetsky, Hebrew name Isaac), ~1866–1925, from Kamenets Podolsky, Podolia gubernia, Russian Empire, photograph from about 1890 (on the left in the photo).



3.  Great-grandfather Joe Gordon (originally Joine Gorodetsky), ~1892–1955, from Kamenets Podolsky, Podolia gubernia, Russian Empire, photograph from about 1914 (on the right in the photo).



4.  Grandmother Lillyan E. (Gordon) Meckler, 1919–2006, originally from Manhattan, New York, photograph from 1937.



5.  Mother Myra Roslyn (Meckler) Sellers Preuss, 1940–1985, originally from Brooklyn, New York, photograph from about 1972.



6.  Sister Stacy Ann (Sellers) Doerner Fowler, living, originally from La Puente, Califorina, photograph from 2019.



7 and 8.  Nephew Garry Travis Doerner, 1982–2012, from San Antonio, Texas; and grandniece Natalie Desiree Doerner, living; unknown date for photograph.


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

And the 8th Blogiversary Rolls Around

Wow, it has been eight years already?!  How time flies when we're having fun!  Lisa Hork Gorrell and I started our blogs the same day, after attending Craig Siulinski's class on blogging held at the California Genealogical Society.

My primary focuses are Jewish, black, newspaper, and forensic genealogical research, but I've posted about a lot of other subjects over the years, randing from Africa to Ypres (France), Aaron Lansky to Zooey Deschanel, Abell to Zook (family surnames), and abolitionists to Zundapp (motorcycle).  I'm close to 1,500 posts at this point!

I've been having some health problems, so I wasn't as productive last year as I wanted to be.  My project to document the births, marriagees, and deaths in my family tree fell off at the beginning of June (also caused by my hard drive failing), and I've missed the past two seasons of Who Do You Think You Are?  I don't know if I'll be able to catch up on the latter, but I'm hoping to restart the former this June and pick up where I left off.  I also really need to return to the saga of Emma Margaret (Shaefer) Petit La Forêt, whose file I finally have found after my move from Oakland.  There's always so much to write about!

Well, it is a new year, which means new opportunities to try again.  So off we go!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Where Were They 150 Years Ago?

This wee's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is an "encore" theme, but moved forward in time a few years.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music), is:

(1) Determine where your ancestral families were on 12 January 1869:  150 years ago.

(2) List them, their family members, their birth years, and their residence locations (as close as possible).  Do you have a photograph of their residence, and does the residence still exist?  How many do you have in each generation living in January 1869?

(3) Tell us all about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status  post.


So Randy posed this question almost four years ago, on May 16, 2015, but since we're now looking at 1869 instead of 1865, one additional ancestor of mine might have been alive.  One thing that has changed since 2015 is that I learned that my grandfather was a Sellers through informal adoption, so this time I am not posting about all the Sellers family ancestors.

Catherine (Stackhouse) Armstrong (born 1796–1800), my 4th great-grandmother, may or may not have been alive.  I have narrowed down her death to 1860–1870 (and I have not narrowed it down further since 2015).  If she was alive, she was living somewhere in Burlington County, New Jersey.  I don't know who she might have been living with or if she lived alone.

Franklin Armstrong (1825–after 1870), my 3rd-great-grandfather, was living in Mansfield Township, Burlington County, New Jersey with his son, Joel Armstrong (1849–~1921), my 2nd-great-grandfather.

Abel Amos Lippincott (1825–after 1885) and Rachel (Stackhouse) Lippincott (~1825–after 1885), my 3rd-great-grandparents, were living in Burlington County, New Jersey.  I don't know exactly where.

Sarah Ann Lippincott (1860–after 1904), my 2nd-great-grandmother, was almost definitely living somewhere in Burlington County, New Jersey.  In the 1860 census she was not yet born and in the 1870 census she was not with her parents, however.

James Gauntt (1831–1889) and Amelia (Gibson) Gauntt (1831–1908), my 2nd-great-grandparents, were almost definitely living in Burlington County, New Jersey.  I don't know exactly where.  They likely had three to five children living with them, but not my great-grandfather Thomas Kirkland Gauntt, because he was born in 1870.

Frederick Cleworth Dunstan (1840–1873) and Martha (Winn) Dunstan (1837–1884), my 2nd-great-grandparents, were living in one of the suburbs of Manchester, Lancashire, England.  I don't know exactly where.  They had four children living with them, but not my great-grandmother Jane Dunstan, who was born in 1871.

Zvi (died before 1903) and Esther Mekler, my 3rd-great-grandparents, were probably living in Kamenets Litovsk, Russia (now Kameniec, Belarus), with their son Simcha Dovid Mekler (died before 1903), my 2nd-great-grandfather, and his older brother Eliezer.

Bela (died before 1924) (I don't know her maiden name yet), my 2nd-great-grandmother, who would later marry Simcha Mekler, was probably somewhere in the area of Kamenets Litovsk, but that's just a guess.  She would have been young, maybe between 10–15 years old, and probably living with her parents, but I still don't know their names either.

Abraham Yaakov (died before 1896) and Sirke (died before 1893) Nowicki, my 3rd-great-grandparents, were probably living in Porozowo, Russia (now Porozovo, Belarus) with their son Gershon Itzhak Nowicki (~1858–1948), my 2nd-great-grandfather.

Ruven Yelsky (~1838–~1898) and Frieda (Bloom) Yelsky (~1838–~1898), my 3rd-great-grandparents, were probably living in Porozowo, Russia with their daughter Dora Yelsky (~1858–1936), my 2nd-great-grandmother.

Gersh Wolf Gorodetsky and Etta (Cohen) Gorodetsky (died before 1891), my 3rd-great-grandparents, were almost definitely living in Podolia gubernia, Russia, probably near Kamenets Podolsky (now Kamyanets Podilskyy, Ukraine).  Their son Isaac/Avigdor Gorodetsky (died 1925), my 2nd-great-grandfather, should have been with them; I have approximated his birth year to 1864–1868, so by 1869 he had probably been born.

Joine (died before 1893) and Chane Etta (died before 1891) Schneiderman, my 3rd-great-grandparents, also were likely living in Podolia gubernia, Russia, probably in the area of Kamenets Podolsky.  My 2nd-great-grandmother Esther Leah Schneiderman (died 1908) may have been with them; I have approximated her birth year as between 1868 and 1874.

Solomon (died before 1909) and Yetta Brainin, my 3rd-great-grandparents, were probably living near Kreuzburg, Russia (now Krustpils, Latvia) with their son Mendel Hertz Brainin (~1862–1930), my 2nd-great-grandfather.

I still don't have photographs of any of the residences and don't know if any of them exist today.  I really do want to work on that, though.

Without the Sellers family lines, it appears that I had 29 (maybe only 28) ancestors who were alive on May 16, 1865.  The breakdown is:
• 1 4th-great-grandparent
• 15 3rd-great-grandparents
• 13 2nd-great-grandparents

And still none of my great-grandparents had been born yet, but we're getting closer!