Like so many of us, Brad heard the stories of his family from his parents. However, there were unanswered questions and holes in the stories his parents told him. Speaking of these conversations, Brad told us they “were rarely detailed and often hard to parse because it was more about aunts and uncles than about the detailed genealogy.” Among other things, he wanted to learn details about the lives of his great grandparents, including where they were from. So Brad decided to put AncestorCloud to the test.
AncestorCloud community member Rachel, took on the challenge. She has done many past projects and specializes in the United States, Eastern Europe and Jewish genealogy.
Brad provided Rachel with little information about his grandfather but knew that records could be found in New York City. Rachel set out to seek the following information: What part of New York was Jack Feld living in, in the early 1900s? Where could she retrieve the 1935 marriage record for his grandparents, Jacob Schlachtfeld and Pauline Zuckerman? What information is available about the parents and siblings of Jacob Schlachtfeld?
Rachel was able to uncover more information than Brad had expected to answer these questions. She delivered census records from the early 1900s, birth and death certificates, immigration records and city directory entries concerning Brad’s paternal grandparents, great grandparents and great great grandparents. She even discovered a newspaper article providing details about the death of Brad’s great great grandfather.
Birth certificates and death certificates. This was a special bonus – I expected the census stuff, but the detail was fascinating.
A few interesting tidbits found in Rachel’s research:
- Abe and Clara, Jack’s parents and Brad’s great grandparents, were born in Austria.
- Clara was only 38 years old when she died in 1932.
- David, Brad’s great great grandfather, was a ladies’ tailor and in 1909 his shop’s address was listed on Franklin Avenue in Brooklyn.
Not only was Rachel able to provide records with exciting details which provided more insight into the lives of Brad’s family, her research also debunked some inaccurate family lore. When asked which, if any, family stories were debunked, Brad told us about the prior confusion over where his paternal grandparents came from. He said, “while the family history anchored on Germany, it ended up being a very fluid part of Austria/Germany/Ukraine based on country borders of the years.” Brad told us this research also cleared up some ambiguity about his paternal great grandfather.
To make the fruits of her labor even sweeter, Rachel’s research has “generated a really fun set of conversations” about their family history between Brad and his family.
With some new light shed on his family history and some family lore set straight, Brad is continuing his journey to learn more about his family, with further assistance from the AncestorCloud community.
I’m using AncestorCloud to go back a few more generations on my father’s side of the family, as well as do a deep family tree for my mother’s side of the family.