Serendipity Wins In Finding a Family Connection!

27 Jan

Serendipity is when events happen by chance and cause success or benefit the person who the events occur around. Today, a few days after my birthday, my life was ruled by serendipity!

For about a year now I have belonged to a Facebook group entitled “Tracing the Tribe.” I joined it mainly to see if I could find anybody related to my maternal grandparents. And last summer I did make contact with a family member through this group.

Recently I began thinking about my paternal grandparents, and wondered if I could find anything out about them. A few days ago someone started a comment asking people to put up the names of the families they were searching for on to the site. I did not do this. But I was watching. They then put all the names into a spreadsheet.

GG Grandparents

So this morning, I checked. And there was a name I knew, Wolf or Wolff, or Wolfe. That was my great great grandparents last name. So I put up a post on the page addressed to the woman who had posted about the name Wolf. I just wrote, “ My gg grandparents were Victor and Esther Wolff. Does that match your search?” She was not related to me.

However, soon another man posted, EW. He had some interesting facts and names. Names that were familiar. We soon realized there was a connection. It was a distant one. But it seemed possible that his three times great grandfather was the brother of my two times great grandmother. If so, I would have much more information for my family tree.

And so we sent emails back and forth throughout the day. I sent him a photo of my great great grandparents. He sent me a photo of his great grandfather. And there were some similarities.

And through these emails and looking into my family information that I had gathered from my Grandma Esther in the 1970s, it was definite. We were related.

His three times great grandfather Israel Lew was the brother of my great great grandmother Esther Wolf.   And I now had the names of her parents, Jankiel and Mindel Lew/Lewin/Levin (who were cousins) from Ciechanowiec. I also now had the names of more of her siblings, including Israel Lew, there was Azriel Aharon Lew, Fedjda Perlowicz, Betzalel Lew, Abram Boruch Lew and three more!

WOW! I always knew that my Grandma Esther was named after her grandmother, but I now learned that my Great Aunt Minnie was named after her great grandmother Mindel. That was exciting.

Not only all this. But I found out that Victor’s Hebrew/Yiddish name was Awigdor/Avigdor, which I had not known before now. Although I knew he had to have a Hebrew name. And that Esther was also known as Etka, which was probably the European name.

EW also found the date that my great grandparents, Louis and Ray, married: January 28, 1894, almost exactly 121 years ago! What serendipity that I was finding this all out now. Right near their anniversary! I was a bit stunned. All by chance. By one little message on a Facebook group’s page!

There was so much information in the multiple emails my new relative sent me, I think I had an information melt down. As I read each email it made more and more sense, and I could see the lines making the connections.   It was like a mini revelation!

I cannot explain the glow and the excitement that went through me! One little posting and I learned so much!

I was so glad that I had sat with my grandmother 40 years ago to get this information so that I could now say with certainty, I can go back one more generation in my family’s lineage.

And perhaps more! My sister and I have been trying to find out where our great grandparents were buried. There in all the emails was information on Beth David Cemetary in Elmont, NY. If other relatives were buried there, I believe there is a good chance our great grandparents are also there.

Serendipity, Chance and little guts to put a post up on Facebook.   What a win!

 

 

Update.  Found out my great aunt and uncle are in Beth David Cemetery, but my great grandparents are in Washington Cemetary in Brooklyn.

Update 2:  Thanks to another distant ‘Lew’ relative, AB,  I have now seem my family tree of my great great grandmother Esther Lew Wolf and have seen my ancestor back to my seven times great grandparents…back to an ancestor born in 1720!  For a Jewish family that is quite amazing.  And I can do that in my maternal side as well!

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4 Responses to “Serendipity Wins In Finding a Family Connection!”

  1. Schelly Talalay Dardashti January 27, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

    Thank you for the shout out for our great community at Tracing the Tribe!

    • zicharon January 27, 2015 at 1:50 pm #

      I am so happy I joined this group Schelly. It has helped me find connections on both my maternal and paternal family! And it also connected me to you and our wonderful Catskill memories.

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