Tag Archives: finding family

UpDate: I Could Not Decide What To Do…But I Made The Right Choice!

26 Apr

On January 11, 2016, I published a post about finding the family of one of my mother’s best friends, “The I Cannot Decide What to Do. Really.”

Mom’s friend had passed away in her 50s to cancer, and my Mom, who lived until her early 80s, always wondered what happened to the family.  Her friend had moved to Texas and Mom lived in New Jersey.

Thanks to Tracing the Tribe members, I found out that the husband had also passed away, and an address.  So I sent a copy of a photo I had to that address with a note.  I also published the blog with the names in it hoping that would help as well.  And I waited.

In August 2016, I received an email from her youngest daughter.  I was so excited.  But it was just a few weeks to my daughter’s wedding.  And I had a lot on my mind.  We emailed back and forth a bit, and she told me more about her family.

She told me that I had spelled her Mom’s maiden name wrong. Once she told me , I had a revelation. There are my parent’s wedding list, were not only family members from her Dad’s side, but also her mother’s family.

I found out that her father’s family owned the poultry market in West New York… I went there often with my grandma! And her Mom’s family owned the meat market!  I had been there as well as a child.  My grandparents owned the bakery.  It made sense that they were such good friends.

I promised to send her the original photo of her Mom from December 1945.

But the wedding came and went.  And life got busy.  Most important, I had forgotten to write down her email address.  To be honest, I could not remember her name.  I knew it began with a J.  And that was it.  Every once in a while I would try to find it.

Last week I saw the photo again.  My guilt overwhelmed me.  I began a massive searched through my email using different search terms.  Finally I figured out the right one.  She appeared!  I emailed her immediately and apologized.

She does want the photo. And sent me her address.

Mom and Evelyn

Evelyn on left, and Fran, my Mom.

To make up for my long delay,  I also mailed her the original photo of our mothers together from that same day in 1945.  Yesterday they went in the mail.   I hope it brings her joy!  I also hope that if they travel from Texas to Kansas City, I have a chance to meet her.

 

https://wordpress.com/posts/zicharonot.com?s=What+to+do

Finding Katie!

13 Jun

When my maternal grandmother immigrated to the United States in 1922, she was sponsored by her father’s sister: her Aunt Gussie. I wrote about this in another blog, which I will reference at the end.

Grandma became very good friends with her first cousin, Katie L. They remained friends throughout their lives, even though they did not live near to each other. But the letters and phone calls seemed to keep their love for each other in tact.

Katie’s married name was Katie Alexander. That is the name we always heard, and this was the name we thought of when we spoke of Katie. It was so ingrained in our lives.   Grandma loved her cousin, Katie; she spoke of her often!

I think my sister was the most in love with the name.   She named her son, Alexander. And four years later, she named her daughter Katherine, or Katie. My Mom at first said, “How can you name her Katherine?” My sister was naming her daughter after my grandmother, whose name was Thelma in English/ Tova in Hebrew.

My sister reminded my Mom that Katie was Grandma’s friend and cousin. And since she did not want to name her daughter Thelma, she thought she would use Tova as the Hebrew name and Katie, Grandma’s cousin’s name for the English.

I laughed. I often tell my sister that she named her children for Katie Alexander. And so the name stays alive in my family.

Album

Last summer, while we were cleaning out the attic of the Catskill’s home that had been both our grandparents and parents, we found an old brown leather photo album. It was filled with photos from the 1920s. Many had no names. Some had Yiddish or Hebrew writing on the back. Some had just an address or a place.

Grandma:Katie

But within the photos was a photo from 1924 of Grandma and Katie. That was it. I decided I had to find out what happened to Katie Alexander’s family. Thanks to the Tracing the Tribe Facebook group, I now have that information. The wonderful members of the group found members of Katie’s family for me. And then I contacted them.

I have been in touch with one of her sons, a niece and a granddaughter. I have found out that another name we often heard in our home was Katie’s brother. We never knew Katie’s maiden name. She was always referred to by her married. But I realized after I send them some photos, that the Sam L. that my grandmother spoke was Katie’s brother. WOW!

I am hoping that they will be able to identify more of the photos in the album so we can put names to those nameless young men and women who were so important to my grandmother. I am so happy we were able to find Katie.

https://zicharonot.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/grandma-thelma-knows-what-she-knows/

https://zicharonot.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/old-photographs-bring-memories-to-life/