Sunday, May 18, 2014

Uncle Jachiel Had Three Children

My father did not know much about the family history, but he did pass on two tidbits that no one I
Unsigned undated note, written late 1973 or early 1974
spoke to later had ever heard. He told me that his grandfather Hersch Pickholtz, who died when my father was eight years old, had an uncle Selig Pikholz whom I discussed here about thirteen months ago.

And he told me that his grandfather Hersch Pickholtz had a brother Jachiel, who had three children and that his family "never left Europe."

I have no idea why my father knew of these uncles.

My great-grandfather Hersch Pickholz arrived in Baltimore in 1903 and travelled to Pittsburgh, where he added the "t" to his surname.  His older sister Leah Braun and her family had been in Pittsburgh since the mid-1880s. Another sister Bessie was married to David Lozel Frankel and they too lived in the US with the surname Franzos and later some became Francis. According to the 1910 census, Bessie and her husband arrived in 1890.

Based on my father's information, I recorded the brother Jachiel with a wife and three children, in addition to Hersch and the two sisters. I could only guess where Jachiel fit in age order.

It appeared that the four children were born in Podkamen, where we have no records, and Bessie was sent back to Skalat to be married. We knew that Hersch lived in Zalosce, near Podkamen, and when JRI-Poland received access to Zalosce records (births 1877-1890, deaths 1823-66, 1877-97) we saw that Jachiel lived there as well. We see no births for Leah's three children, so they may have lived in Podkamen.

We located a death record for eighteen year old Wolf Pickholz, who died 6 April 1892, identified as the son of Jachiel and Sime. So Wolf would have been born 1873-74. I assume that he is one of the three children of Jachiel whom my father had mentioned, though it is possible that because he died young, he was not included in this count.

I saw no other births or deaths for children of Jachiel, so I assumed that the other children were either born before 1877 or elsewhere - Podkamen, for instance.

JRI-Poland also had a death record for Sime, 6 December 1894, at age forty-six. If she was born in 1848, Jachiel was likely the eldest sibling.

I moved the record next to the headings for clarity. Columns 3 & 4 are missing in the archives' scan.

In column 5, you can see her name on the first two lines. The last four lines tell us that she is the daughter of Aron and Ester Schapira of Skalat. The third line begins with "Ehegat" which Vienna-born Henry Wellisch tells me is an abbreviation for Ehegattin which means "married wife" and that is followed by the name of her husband Jachiel Pickholz. If Jachiel had predeceased her, we would expect the record to say "wdowa" (widow in Polish) or the German equivalent.

On the other hand, there are three choices in column 8 - single, married and widowed - and it's the third box which is checked. So we have conflicting information on this record, but it is more likely that she was a widow.

Then about sixteen months ago, I received an email from Pamela Weisberger asking me this:
Do you know this Pickholz from Zalosce?  Card File of Landowners 1880 in
Lviv archive:  #168/1/2081
Zalosce Card#  29 House # 31 Pickholz Jachil heirs Residential Parcel #95
This card was discovered by Natalie Dunai. I do not have a copy of the card itself, just the transcription.

The card refers to house 31, which we see is where Sime died. Jachiel's son Wolf had also died in house 31. The property was owned in 1880 by Jachiel's heirs, so he must have been dead by then but perhaps not long as the owners were not named.

In any event, it seems clear that Jachiel died before 1880 and the fact that his sister Bessie had a son named Jachiel in 1878 probably means he was dead by then. So he seems to have been in his thirties.

There was nothing else in the Zalosce records telling us anything about Jachiel's other children.

But something else had turned up between finding Sime's death record and Natalie's discovery.

I moved the record next to the headings for convenience.

On 16 December 1899, Jechiel Jakob was born in Loszniow to Arja Meier Tunis and his wife Sara, the daughter of Jechiel and Syma Pikholz of Zalosce. Loszniow is near Trembowla.

Child number two, Sara.

Jechiel Jakob died in 1900 and a daughter Syma Ester who was born in January 1901 died a few months before her second birthday. Another son Moses was born in February 1907 and died later that month.

Two other sons lived to adulthood. Chaim Benzion was born 27 October 1902 and Layzor Izak was born 2 May 1904. My grandfather's first cousins.

The marriage of Arie Meier Tunis and Sara Pikholz was recorded in Trembowla 25 June 1918. It  gives Sara's date of birth as 15 July 1876.

I found Pages of Testimony at Yad Vashem for both sons. One set was submitted by Stanislav Domnovsky of Tel Aviv in 1957. He wrote that he was a "relative." Stanislav died in 1976 and is buried in Kiryat Shaul. I have not followed up who this might be, but he is on my cemetery list for next month.

Stanislav calls Layzor Izak "Leopold" and he was a lawyer, married to Ada Weinberg. Chaim Benzion he calls "Chaim Karol." He was a physician and was killed in Lwow. Stanislav says his wife is Anna Kahane and that they had a four year old son George.

I found this in early 2005. That matters.

At the same time, I found three Pages submitted by Anna Weinfeld of Rehovoth in 1999. One Page was for "Leopold (Layzor)," an attorney, married to Ada Weinber. They had two children, whose names are not mentioned. Children of my father's second cousin. She writes of Leopold "Shot in a group of professionals in Lwow." Her relationship - SISTER-IN-LAW.

Another Page was for "Chaim (Mondek)," a physician with one child. She writes that he served in the Polish army and was taken to the camp Pelashov, near Krakow and that he was "shot to death in the back by a Ukrainian policeman." Her relationship - WIFE!

The third Page was for six year old "Jerzy (Jurek)," born March 1937. This must be Stanislav's George. He was hidden as a Gentile.  She writes further, "He was placed with a Gentile woman and after neighbors told the authorities, he was taken to Skalat  and executed." Six years old. That was July 1943. Relationship - MOTHER!.

I have written before that timing is everything.  Here too. I found these Pages in May 2005. Anna Kahane Tunis Polsiak Weinfeld died in Rehovoth in November 2004.

I should really get to her grave as well.

I spoke with Anna's daughter (from a later marriage) who sent me to a woman named Marta (83 at the time) who knew Leopold and Mondek. She was able to tell me that Leopold had a son living in Wroclaw. I had someone in Poland check and we learned that my third cousin Stanislaw Tunis died in Wroclaw the previous year. I don't yet know if he had children, but I have someone on it.

Anna also submitted a Page of Testimony for Arie Meier Tunis. I assume that Sara died before the Holocaust.

Uncle Jachiel had three children - Wolf born 1873-4, Sara born July 1876. There is another one out there somewhere. Probably born in the early 1870s. My grandfather's first cousin.


  1. Do the names "Lazar Isaac" often go together (like Aryeh Leib, for instance)? My gggf was known as Lazar Itzi, which I presume was Lazar (=Eliezer? Elazar? Yitzchak).

    1. No. There is no relation between the two. However it is also my father's name (and my second son's), but from the other side of his family. Not the side of this one.