Sunday, November 9, 2014

Which Markus? And How Many Daughters Did Lot Have?

It sometimes sounds as though this is a blog about DNA in genealogy, but it really isn't. Sometimes I write about records. This is one of those times.

This is a Vienna death record from 1915.

And here are the important parts, a bit larger.

Markus Pickholz died 1 May 1915 (Shabbat) and was buried Monday.
He came from a town called Gaje Wielkie and he was twenty-four years old.

There is no further identifying information.

But we have someone who pretty much fits the description.
I moved the record closer to the headings for convenience.

Markus Pikholz born 15 March 1889 to Sussel Gruberg and Josef Pikholz in Bereszow Wielkie, which is very close to Tarnopol. This is probably a grandson of Uncle Selig, as I discussed two months ago.

He would have been nearly twenty-six at the time of the death in Vienna, but we needn't quibble about that.

Except for one thing. We have another candidate.

This Markus Pickholz was born 6 November 1892 to Esther Zellermayer (who had a Pikholz grandmother) and Isaac Pickholz in Gaje Bereszow, also quite near Tarnopol. He would have been twenty-two when the Vienna death occurred.

So one is between one and two years too old and one is between one and two years too young.

We want someone from Gaje Wielkie - the two we have are from Bereszow Wielkie and Gaje Bereszow.

I consulted with Alexander Sharon, JewishGen's expert on small towns in Galicia but none the towns he came up with are near Tarnopol.

So which of these two Markus Pickholz died in his early twenties in Vienna? And perhaps more important, what happened to the other one?

There is one possibility that comes to mind. About seven months ago, I wrote about Zisl Kling, whose parents are an unknown couple named Mordecai and Sarah Pickholz. At the time, I suggested that Zisl's mother Sarah was the Pickholz and that her father's surname was Ladre or Laderer. But what if that is wrong and Mordecai is the Pickholz? Zisl was born 1920 and she had a sister a few years older, so one of these two Markus could be her father.

In fact, we have a DNA test from the grandson of the 1889 Markus, so a test by Zisl's daughter might clear that up. I'll have to approach her about that.
Lot's daughters
This past Shabbat, we had a kiddush in shul for the hattanim from Simhat Torah, of which I was one. Each of us spoke briefly and I took on a question based on two of my favorite subjects - genealogy and Biblical punctuation.

The week's reading included the rescue of Lot from Sodom.

There is some debate among the commentaries about whether Lot, Abraham's nephew, had two married daughters in addition to the two unmarried who are mentioned specifically both before and after the destruction of Sodom.

There are three relevant verses: 12, 14 and 15.

(There is also a suggestion by the Midrash that the reason Abraham stopped bargaining when he reached ten righteous people, was because he figured that he had ten - Lot and his wife, the four daughters and their two husbands and two fiances.)

In verse twelve, the mention of son-in-law, sons and daughters seems to imply the existence of grandchildren from daughters, for if it referred to Lot's sons, they would have been mentioned before the son(s)-in-law.

Verse fourteen mentions "his sons-in-law the takers of his daughters" and there is some debate about whether that means "and the takers" or "who took."

Verse fifteen verse says "Take your wife and your two daughters who are here," perhaps implying that there are specifically daughters who are not present.

The Biblical puntuation on verse fifteen clarifies that it does not specifically mean additional daughters, but does not rule it out. The Biblical punctuation in verse fourteen comes down pretty clearly on the side of only the two unmarried daughters.

The above is based on a piece by my teacher Michael Perlman.

Housekeeping notes
The Israel Genealogical Society is planning to resurrect the Jerusalem chapter with a two-day program on 3-4 December. The program will include the IGS annual meeting. I am not sure how involved I will be in that.

The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies has issued a Call for Papers for the Conference that is planned for next summer, here in Jerusalem. It will be five days instead of the usual six and the presentations will be forty-five minutes including questions, instead of seventy-five minutes including questions. I think I am going to pass this year.

No comments:

Post a Comment