I would like to tell you something unbelievable that happened to me on these last three days. It is about a couple of new family discoveries I have made while visiting here. The first one is related to the photo I published in my first blog post about the Loan and Savings Founders in 1926. I mentioned you then that I thought I have found my “potential” great-grandfather. But actually, I wasn’t totally sure about this fact myself and only hoped that it would be really him. My mother, on the other side, was convinced from the beginning and enlarged the photo in order to find a physical connection between him and my grandmother. Her conclusion was that Asher Kaufman’s eyes expression were the same as the one she remembered seeing in my grandmother Lise. But again, for me, this issues didn’t fully convinced me. In addition, there was another detail in this photo that annoyed me. It was the word written between the brackets next to his name underneath this image: “Froikes“. Let me tell you, that even though I have tried really hard to find this word in a document or so…you know how it is, unfortunately I was unable to find anything that might help me in my search. Therefore, I had to let go this mystery painfully.
But then, last Saturday, I happened to mention Irina Shihova about this photo and this mysterious word coming back from our trip to Orhei Vecchi.
“Froikes means Efraim”, she said.
“Noooo, really??? I can’t believe it, Irina”, I said, “It makes sense! That’s the name of my great-grandfather’s father. That’s it. It’s really him! Now I can really confirm it. Incredible!”, I said.
You should have seen the smile in my face and how big my eyes opened up at that moment. You see what miracles you find when you come to visit your ancestral places? You might even find answers for the smallest of the details you die to know and which you might end finding an explanation for them here. So, since Saturday, I have this mystery resolved and now I know for sure that the man in that photo is my great-grandfather. Incredible, isn’t it?
The other story is related to my grandfather’s side. About half a year ago I was finally able to get new information related to the names of his grandparents. I got it from my mother, his daughter-in-law. She had finally managed to find the names written down in a piece of paper she wrote many years ago. In it I found, that Aron Bronstein was married to Lea Prizensky and that they were the parents of Leib Bronstein married to Dina Fraifeld. Then last week a miracle happened (yes! I do believe in miracles or signs send from above). I found in a Romanian database from JewishGen the marriage certificate record of my great-grandparents Leib and Dina Bronstein. This was the only record that carried both my last names and three names I knew from family records. I read in it information I have never seen before, like the year when they got married, their ages, the names of their parents, how much her dowry was, that Leib was called Leibish, the missing name of Dina’s father (it is Josef), and that he was a widower with a white ticket from Hothyn (I have even managed to find out in this trip what a white ticket is. It means that Leib was excluded from the military service because he was a widower and probably had children from his first marriage). When I found this document and this information I couldn’t believe it. I gazed at it for minutes. Then, after I called my mother I emailed this information to my family researcher Alla Chastina.
“Are you sure they are your relatives?” she asked.
“This is more than probable. I am sure!” I said.
So yesterday, after finally meeting Alla personally, I was able to see for the first time records that supported not only that they were my relatives but also documents that might confirm the birthplace of my grandfather.
“The clue was the connection between Bronstein and Brizensky”, Alla said, “It was the crucial clue. Let me show you what I found”.
And then she showed me all. I couldn’t believe my luck. The results of these discoveries do not mean that I have finalized my research. On the contrary, it means, that I am on the right track and that Alla and I will continue working together in our journey to discover the whole truth. Thank you Alla, from the bottom of my heart.