Thursday, January 4, 2024

The Heidenfelds

Years ago, when I was collecting names but not really doing genealogy, my paternal grandmother mentioned that her mother, Regina Bauer, had some cousins. First cousins, second cousins, it wasn't clear. Nana knew four names - Johanna Imber, Ethel Orkin, Stephanie Juhasz and Markus Pogany. She thought the four may have been siblings but wasn't really sure.

She knew that Mrs. Imber and Mrs. Orkin had lived in Pittsburgh (where we lived) and that Stephanie Juhasz and her daughters Vilma, Anna and Olga had lived in Paris. She wasn't sure about Markus Pogany, but perhaps he had remained in Hungary.

Eventually I began to work on the genealogy of the Bauers and one of my first steps was finding the Imber and Orkin death notices in the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle. Ethel Orkin, who died in 1963, was survived by her husband Harry and her sister Johanna Imber - so we know they are sisters. No children. The Orkins are buried in the same Poale Zedeck cemetery where Regina Bauer, and indeed my grandparents, is.

Johanna Imber died in 1980 and is described as "aunt of Olga and Edward Szabo, Rego Park, NY." I assumed that Olga is the daughter of Stephanie Juhasz, so Stephanie and Johanna are sisters, making three. No children mentioned for Johanna and no place of burial either.

Later when Ancestry made Pennsylvania death certificates available into the 1960s, I was able to see from Ethel's that her parents are Joseph Hydenfeld and Lina Leavy. That should be correct since her sister Johanna was the informant.

By this time, I had the names of Regina Bauer's four grandparents and I saw that neither Hydenfeld not Leavy was among them, so I began to suspect that she may have been further than a second cousin to these other women.

What I knew was that Regina's maternal grandparents were Salomon (Yehoshua Zelig) Stern from Paks and Bluma Grunwald from Perkata. They lived in Kalocsa. Regina's paternal grandfather was Lasar (Eliezer) Bauer, who lived in Kunszentmiklos.

I had a record showing a Lasar Bauer about the right age, married to Rosa Lowinger, but I had nothing to prove that this was the same Lasar. This Lasar lived in Kunszentmiklos but had been born in Apostag, about halfway from Kunszentmiklos and Kalocsa. (Many of the Bauers in Kunszentmiklos had been born in Apostag.) In the meantime, I was comfortable with Lowinger as a probable surname for Regina's grandmother.

I revisited all of this about eighteen months ago as part of my preparation for a cemetery trip to Hungary, where I founds ancestors and siblings of Regina in Kunszentmiklos, Kalocsa and Paks. I knew I would need some assistance and received it from my friend and colleague Beth Long, who is quite the expert in Hungarian Jewish genealogy, records and geography. Our joint efforts gave us the following.

1. Jozsef Heidenfeld of Osweicim Poland and his wife Magdolna (Lina) Lowy of Szecseny Hungary had six children. Stephania (1883), Eszter (1886), Johanna (1887), Markus (1888), Samuel (1890) and Hermina (1893). All the children were born in Budapest.

2. Magdolna/Lina's parents were Herman Lowi and Zilli Steinberg. But her 1912 death record calls her "Karolina" and her parents Armin Lowi and Czeczilia Brodi (I think).

3. Eszter became Ethel (Orkin), Markus changed his surname to Pogany, Samuel changed his name to Harmat.

4. Hermina married Iszak Rosenfeld of Munkacz. Samuel married Celia Braun of Arad (Rumania). Markus married Sara Sebok of Kalocsa. They certainly did not seem to be restricted to the Budapest area!

5. Markus died in 1969. We found neither death information nor children for Samuel and Hermina, which my be why my grandmother had never heard of them.

None of this helps me identify a connection with my great-grandmother. Unless perhaps Lowi is a variation of Lowinger. Lina Lowi was from Szecseny, which is north of Budapest and about 160 km on today's roads from Kunszentmiklos where Rosa Lowinger lived.

I recently joined the Facebook group Hungarian Jewish Genealogy and perhaps someone there will know something about this family.

1 comment:

  1. Beรกta Nemeth30 January, 2024 21:20

    Hungarian Jewish cemetery, Kozma street, Dear Israel, I was in this cemetery many times in the last year, I know it very well, I found a lot of Graves There. I like to walk and Research some Graves. I was many success in this cemetery, I found some ancestors here. PLS WRITE me If you have any questions!๐Ÿ˜Š
    We wrote to EACH other ON H13a1a4 page ON FB
    I am Catholic, but I guess I have some Jewish ancestors too๐Ÿ˜Š
    BEST regards, Beata