Rather than tell the story and show the documents, I am going to do it the other way round. I'll present the documents in chronological order and then discuss the likely scenarios.
No. 1: The June 1893 birth record of Moses Rywen Pikholz in Strzeliska Nowe.
Moses Rywen (Moshe Reuven) was born to Ryfke Fenster and paternity was affirmed (at the far right) by Samuel Pikhoz (sic). We know that several of the children of this Samuel went to Argentina and one ended up in South Africa. One of the descendants told me some years ago that there was a brother Morris, but no one seems to know what happened to him. Two other children in this family are unaccounted for, Jack and Golde and we have neither ages nor age order for any of the three.
No. 2: A 1901 census record
|Line nine: Seven year old Morris Pichols, born in Cape Colony (South Africa).|
No. 3: A 1911 UK census record
|Line 13: Morris Pickholtz, age seventeen, wood carver, born Whitechapel London|
No. 4: Passenger list UK to Canada 1911
|Morris Pickholtz, age 18, Hebrew race, wood carver but stamped "farm labourer"|
No. 5: 1911 Canadian census, June 9, Blandford Township, Ontario
|Line 34, Morris Pickholtz, born September 1892, farm labourer, British race|
No. 6: Record of WWI medal
Morris Pickholtz was awarded this medal. He served in France during the First World War.
I wrote to the Ministry of Defense some years ago to inquire about who he is (birth date, birth place, parents etc.) and what he did to warrant the medal. I did not receive a reply.
No. 7: 1919 passenger list to Canada
|Bottom row - Pickholt Morris, age 29, born in Canada, race British, farmer|
No. 8: The marriage of Morris Pickholtz and Dora Deitch, December 1927
I corresponded with Dora's family but no one was old enough to know anything about Morris. They had no children.
No. 9: The death of Morris, 1933
There is no new information on any of them.
Dora died in 1948 and is buried elsewhere.
So, we have nine items here. a Galician birth record which may or may not be relevant, two UK census records, one Canadian census record, two passenger lists, one WWI medal and the marriage and death records. We are talking here about one, two or perhaps three men with the same name, born in 1892-3.
The marriage and death records are the same person, as the same wife is mentioned in both.
The name of the father on the marriage record matches the Galician birth record (Samuel). Despite the fact that the second given name (Reuven) is never mentioned, I ascribe a high probability to that birth record as being for this man. I have no other candidate among the other Pikholz birth records.
The "one Morris" scenario says he was born in east Galicia, went to Argentina/South Africa and somehow ended up in London before age seven. Then after the 1911 census, went to Canada where he became a farm laborer instead of what he had been before - a wood carver. Back to UK to serve in WWI and back to Canada afterwards. Returned to UK, married and died a few years later.
The holes in that start at the very beginning, his going as a young child to the southern hemisphere. Three of his brothers indeed did go there, but only in the 1920s. So he was unlikely to be the child from Capetown in the 1901 census, even though I note that the South American sons of Samuel have no idea what happened to their Morris.
Then there are the inconsistent birthplaces. I can see if the Canadians mistakenly thought he was born in England, but the 1919 passenger manifest says he was born in Canada. And the 1911 UK census has him born specifically in Whitechapel London. (FreeBMD lists no such birth.)
And would the Canadian census have listed his nationality as Canadian when he was fresh off the boat? I wouldn't think so, but I don't know anything about Canadian immigration policies.
And the differing birth dates bother me a bit. If they were the only issue, that would be one thing. But it's cumulative.
Once "one Morris" breaks down, the options are not clear. Is Morris from cape Colony the same as Morris in Canada? Not likely. But then we have no obvious conflicts in events, only in information. We do not have two marriages or two deaths, for instance, and each one disappears in tandem with the "one Morris" scenario.
I'll have to give this a think. Maybe when we get to see the 1921 censuses for Canada and UK. Ideas and strategies would be appreciated.
1 June 2016, 7:00 – Guild of One-Name Studies, Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain, ORT House, 126 Albert Street, Camden, London, NW1 7NE
3 June 2016, 4:30 – Ontario Genealogical Conference, International Plaza Hotel, 655 Dixon Road, Toronto:
Seminar on Genetic Genealogy, by invitation only
5 June 2016, 10:00 – Ontario Genealogical Conference, International Plaza Hotel, 655 Dixon Road, Toronto:
Lessons in Jewish DNA: One Man’s Successes and What He Learned On the Journey
5 June 2016, 7:00 – Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto, location TBA
Beyond a Doubt: What We Know vs. What We Can Prove:
24 July 2016, 1:30 – JGS of Maryland Hadassah, 3723 Old Court Rd., Suite 205, Baltimore
Beyond A Reasonable Doubt: What We Know vs. What We Can Prove
7-9 August 2016, TBA – 36th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy, Seattle:
Lessons in Jewish DNA – One Man’s Successes and What He Learned On the Journey
GEDmatch.com’s Lazarus Tool As It Applies to Two Kinds of Endogamy
Beyond a Doubt: What We Know vs. What We Can Prove
More in preparation. 'Nuff said.