Thursday, October 4, 2018

And Sometimes The Record Is Plain Wrong

We all know that records can be wrong. Census records are based on self-reporting and depend on proper recording by the census taker, not to mention transcription errors before they appear online where we can find them in an index. Passenger lists have much the same problem.

The informant on a death record may have given the wrong parents' names, birth place.or other information. Naturalization records often have errors.

Birth records are less likely to be wrong, but it happens. Marriage records should not be wrong - the bride and groom know their ages, birth places and parents' names - but generally no supporting documentation was necessary so there could be errors. Especially when the bride is older than the groom and takes off a few years. Draft cards should be right, but are not always.

So I am not breaking any new ground in the title of this blog. Nonetheless, it's a story worth telling.

Earlier this week, I received a note from the great Logan Kleinwaks who was looking at Sambor records and came across one of mine.  He wrote:
While examining Sambor marriage records without public JRI-Poland indexes, I found the attached (top) involving Abraham Chaim Langenauer from Rybnik, son of Izak Pickholz and Reisel Langenauer.
The record is from 24 June 1923

I know this couple. I received a large amount of information from the eldest daughter, Mahla, who died nearly four years ago. She also sent me a recording of her recollections of growing up in France and escaping Europe. I have met at least two of the other three daughters and I think they are all still living.

Avraham Chaim died in 1954 and is buried in Raanana. His wife Hinde Lea died in 1983 and is buried in Zichron Moshe Cemetery in Benei Berak. I have been to both graves. Their one son died in France soon after his mother.

The father's grave lists him as Avraham, without the Chaim, though Mahla's grave has his full name. But on the grave, we see that Avraham's father is Yosef, not Yitzhak as in the marriage record.

The grave is correct. Yosef Pikholz was born in about 1865 to Yeroham Fischel ben Moshe Pikholz and Gittel Luftschein. He was named for father's mother's father's father Yosef Steg as were a whole set of Yosefs in that family. Yosef married Reisel Langenauer and the family used the Langenauer name. We know all this every which way.

In Skalat, we have my third great-grandfather Izak Josef Pikholz who was known as Yosef, as were most of the descendants named for him. But there was no such phenomenon with any of the descendants of Yosef Steg.

The Sambor marriage record is plain wrong. Sambor is the bride's town but obviously the groom was there and knew his father's name! It happens. So by all means, find documents - but you cannot assume that any single document is precise.

Lia Landberg pointed out on Facebook that the second note in the far right column of the marriage record says that the birth record had been presented. 

So let me show you that the birth record gives the father's name as Josef, and includes his signature.

Housekeeping notes
I just posted this on Facebook.
I just heard from a known-but-missing branch of one of my mystery Pikholz families. This could be one of those where MtDNA may be very useful.
This is the family. More as it happens.

1 comment:

  1. I have come to the conclusion that my ancestors were much less interested in accuracy and consistency than I am :)