Sunday, January 29, 2012

SHEVAT - My Wife's Ancestors

At least five of my wife's ancestors died in Shevat, all in the last seventy years. Four of those five have their yahrzeits this week. My wife's maternal grandfather, Mendel Baum, died seventy years ago and in reverse order my wife's father, HIS mother, HER mother and HER father - four generations.

MENDEL (Menahem) BAUM was born in Vidrany (Slovakia) in 1867. He went to England a few years before WWI as a widower with no children. His landlady brought her niece from Poland to marry him and they had five children - one of whom died in early childhood.

He was a very learned man and was the study partner of Rav Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook, the Chief Rabbi of Eretz Yisrael during the Rav's WWI exile. (The Rav was the sandak for his eldest son.)

Mendel Baum died 7 Shevat 5702 (25 January 1942). Three of his four children named sons for him.

MORDECAI DIAMOND was in England in time for the 1901 census, where he appears with his wife Beile Gittel (Betsy) and younger daughter Tova. An older daughter was already married and her husband had preceded them. (The husband is the only one for we have documented immigration information.) I am working with a descendant of the older daughter to nail down as much information as we can about the Diamonds. The family came from somewhere near Warsaw, perhaps Plock, and their name was probably more like Diament.

Mordecai ben Pinchas was born about 1851 and died 24 Shevat 5703 (30 January 1943).

TOVA DIAMOND was nineteen in the 1901 census and soon afterwards married Moshe Avraham Schwartz (originally Scharf).  They had four daughters and two sons. Tova died 5 Shevat 5723 (30 January 1963).

Wedding of Jane Schwartz and Harry Silberstein

JANE/SCHEINDEL SCHWARTZ was Tova's eldest daughter, born 5 June 1903. She married Jacob Harry Silberstein and they had three sons, one of whom died just before his twenty-first birthday.

The family was in the restaurant business in London.

Jane died 7 Shevat 5746 (16/17 January 1986).

Wedding of Arthur Silberstein and Esther Baum.
Jane and Harry's eldest son ARTHUR AARON (Alter Aharon) SILBERSTEIN was born 4 Kislev 5684 (12 November 1923). He married Esther Baum on 23 December 1945 and they had three sons and a daughter. He worked with his father and grandfather in the family restaurant, eventually bringing his family and the restaurant on aliya in 1969.

He died in Jerusalem on 8 Shevat 5765 (17 January 2005) and is buried in Kefar Etzion. He was survived by six grandsons and nine granddaughters and was predeceased by one son and one granddaughter. At present there are six great-grandsons and fourteen great-granddaughters.


  1. I think this would be easier to follow if you added a caption describing the relationship of the person in the photograph to your wife. Yes I know you wrote it all out above the photographs, but it's hard to keep it all in my head. I kept going back and forth between the text and the photos.

    Your wife comes by her good looks honestly. A lot of good looking people in these photos. Jane's wedding photo is priceless!

  2. I figured the chart at the top would be sufficient. I certainly didn't want to ID all the people in the photos.

    I was more interested in conveying impressions than facts, though obviously the facts are correct. When I get detailed, people complain about that too!

  3. I didn't mean all the people. Just the people you mentioned in the explanatory text at top.