The Slawitz family: Feige Slawitz Berman and Chaia Sarah Slawitz Stein

I have to admit that I haven’t had a lot of time for family tree research over the last few years. The result is that progress has been slow.

But as more and more people are sharing their own research on Ancestry.com, I was able to stumble upon some proof that confirmed the theory I posited in my last entry way back in March 2016. (Has it really been that long?)

The crux was that the inscription on the headstone for my third great grandmother (my mother’s father’s father’s mother), Feige or Fannie Berman, included the words “our beloved aunt and grandmother.” At the time, I was unaware of Feige having any siblings. And research was difficult because sources (her son’s marriage certificate and her own death certificate) gave her two different maiden names (Short, and Slobus, respectively). Continue reading “The Slawitz family: Feige Slawitz Berman and Chaia Sarah Slawitz Stein”

Revisiting Feige Berman, my third great grandmother

When I first visited Mount Hebron Cemetery in Queens to find my third great grandmother, Feige Berman, I ran into some trouble., in the spot where I thought she might be interred, the stone was overturned and flat on the ground. There was no way to know whether this was Feige’s location without having the cemetery’s grounds staff reset and repoint the headstone.

I contacted the cemetery administration, and guessing that this was Feige’s headstone, paid for the repairs.

At my next visit, the headstone was properly placed and I was able to confirm that it this was, in fact, where Feige is resting. A few things have bothered me since discovering the headstone. The inscription opened up more questions than it answered. Continue reading “Revisiting Feige Berman, my third great grandmother”

Rabbi Ezriel Yosef Yehuda in Russia

A few months ago while visiting the resting places of my ancestors and other relatives, I suspected a fallen gravestone to belong to my second great grandmother, Feige Berman. I asked for the stone to be reset and repointed and paid the required fee. Having discovered more ancestors buried at the same cemetery, I revisited recently. I paid a visit to Feige Berman to check on the gravestone, and it had been reset.

The engraving offered a new clue, but before I get to that, I had discovered more information about Feige from public records. Her son, Samuel, married Anna Neckameyer in 1919. This was the first marriage certificate I received from the New York Department of Records once I started searching for hard evidence beyond online tools like Ancestry.com. The certificate indicates Feige’s — or Fanny’s — maiden name is Short. That is the information I still have on my family tree, but it contradicts with something else.

Almost 30 years after Samuel was married, and outliving her son, Feige passed away. Her death certificate indicates her father’s full name is Joseph Slobus, and he was born in Russia. The name Slobus has not helped me turn up any additional information about her family. (Update: I’ve subsequently discovered the name is Slawitz.)

Feige Slobus (Short) Berman headstone
Feige Slobus (Short) Berman headstone

Feige’s gravestone, now that it is position upright, provides what could be valuable information. The Hebrew inscription of her name is as follows:

פײגא בת הרב ר’ עזריאל יוסך יהודא

“Feiga bat haRav R. Ezriel Yosef Yehuda.” This indicates her father was Rabbi Ezriel Yosef Yehuda, and as I know from census records and Feige’s death certificate, he is from Russia. Feige was born at 1848, so there is a good chance that the Rabbi was in Russia around that time. I’ve searched the internet and JewishGen, but I have not been able to find any Rabbi with that name.

I’m not sure where to go next. I’ve posted a message on the Ancestry.com message board, looking for some assistance or clues. And I’m publishing this article on my family research blog, to document my research but also to serve as an outpost in the remote chance that someone else happens to be searching for similar information.

Family tree of Feige Slobus (Short) Berman
Family tree of Feige Slobus (Short) Berman