Saturday, May 16, 2020

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Your Maternal Grandfather's Matrilneal Line

When I saw the subject for this week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, I knew I was not going to get as far as Randy Seaver did.

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

(1) What was your mother's father's full name?

(2) What is your mother's father's matrilineal line?  That is, his mother's mother's mother's . . . back to the most distant female ancestor in that line.  Provide her Ahnentafel number (relative to you) and her birth and death years and places.

(3) Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment on this post, or in a Facebook post.  Please put a link to your post in the comments here.

See, my mother's side of the family is the Jewish one, and once you get past the most recent generations I don't always have a lot of information.  But I discovered that for this line it wasn't as bad as I expected.  I actually have a few generations AND surnames.

1.  My mother's father's full name was either #6 Abraham Meckler or Abe Meckler (1912–1989); I've been told both.  There is an Abraham Machler listed in Ancestry's New York, New York Birth Index, who appears to have a birth date of July 23, 1912.  If I could get a copy of that birth certificate from New York City (ha!), I might be able to verify that's him, but I'm pretty sure it is.  I called him Zadie ("grandfather" in Yiddish).

2.  Zadie's mother was #13 Mushe Zelda Nowicki, called Minnie in the United States (about 1880–1936), who married Moshe Meckler, Morris or Max here (about 1882–1953).  Mushe was born in the Russian Empire, probably in Porozowo, Grodno gubernia; married in the Russian Empire, probably in Porozowo or in Kamenets Litovsk, Grodno gubernia; and died in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York at approximately age 56.

• Mushe's mother was #27 Dube Yelsky, Dora in the United States (about 1858–1936), who married Gershon Itzhak Nowicki (about 1858–1948).  Dube was born in the Russian Empire, probably in Porozowo; married in the Russian Empire, also probably in Porozowo; and died in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York at approximately age 78.

• Dube's mother was #55 Frieda Bloom, which was probably not really Bloom, but it's the only name I have (about 1838–about 1898), who married Ruven Yelsky (about 1838–about 1898).  Frieda was born, married, and died in the Russian Empire, likely in Porozowo and almost definitely in Grodno gubernia.  Based on the scant information I have, she lived to be about 60.

And that's it.  I have no idea who Frieda'a parents were, and I'll probably never know, since Grodno gubernia is the black hole for Jewish records.

Unlike Randy's line, all these women probably started in the same place, Porozowo.  The two who immigrated to the United States both died in Brooklyn, which is likely the only place they ever went after their arrival at Ellis Island.


  1. Your Jewish line is like my Irish lines--big black holes of few records.

    1. Yup! Southern research can be extremely difficult. I totally understand and sympathize.

  2. Some Eastern European towns are definitely black holes. I am lucky my grandparents' villages in Slovakia have church registers back to the early 1800s, but there is absolutely nothing else to search before that time.

    1. Catholic church? What happened to the registers prior to the 1800's?


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