I’m going to write a few posts for the record on the various points in my family tree where the trail runs dry.
The first level with gaps is the level of 32 – that is, my great great great (3G) grandparents.
On my father’s side, there’s amazingly just one gap at this level:
Israel Benjamin (b. abt 1816, prob in Kurnik/Kórnik, Posen) married someone, apparently called Rebekka, some time in the late 1840s or early 1850s. They settled in Kieferstädtel, Germany (now Sosnicowice, Poland) where they had sons Joseph and Isaac (my 2G grandfather). I don’t have Rebekka’s last name.
The legend says that Israel’s father was Benjamin Dolziger, shot dead in a forest in Posen, after which time his family took his first name as their family name. Unsurprisingly, I haven’t ever been able to find evidence of this.
My grandfather’s brother Wolfgang Perl wrote a history of our family in which he describes the Jakubowski family as cousins of Israel’s son Isaac Benjamin. I was able to consult the rather wonderful census of the province of Posen and pick up quite a few details. They all seem to have moved from Kurnik to Breslau. Ewald was a chemist. He had a brother called Gustav (whose funeral Wolfgang remembers), and sisters called (if my understanding of the German handwriting is correct) Bertha, Marie and Flora. Flora married Jakob Schottlaender, and her parents are given on her wedding certificate as Louis Jakubowski and Amelie Goeczlig.
The rather amazing Poznan project has a record that seems to add credence to this – Bertha’s marriage record reveals her parents as Ludwig (rather than Louis) Jakubowski, and her mother as Amalie Benjamin.
The strong implication is that Amelie Goeczlig is therefore Israel’s sister. From the birth years of her children, she’s likely to have been born around 1825. If anyone out there knows any more, don’t hesitate to get in touch, as I obviously need more evidence. But it appears that ‘Goeczlig’ had simply evolved in stories told down the line into ‘Dolziger’.
To complicate matters more, when Israel died on 21st September 1874 (it was Yom Kippur, as Wolfgang had recorded), the hebrew documentation seemed to denote his father as being called August (or possibly Abraham/Aron). But it’s hard to interpret! (I’m not a Hebrew reader myself – apparently the person who wrote the note used Yiddish spelling). My next step is to try and get any record of Israel’s father’s name via a death record. Was it Auguste or Abraham or Benjamin? I might also be able to get this via an LDS film if sister Amalie died in Kornik.
As an aside, it’s wonderful to find some ephemera online from your actual family. This is the letterhead of my GG grandmother (Isaac Benjamin’s wife Josefine, nee Wischnitz).