John Newmark from Transylvanian Dutch Genealogy shares this blog with us as part of our “How I Solved It” series.
His blog is based on a great aunt’s remembrances and previous research. He had thought he had the information on all the family in America, until he found an obituary that opened up more research and added a few more names to the tree.
A Great Great Aunt wrote down the family information years ago. Selig Dudelczak, son of Samuel Harry (Schmuel Hersh) Dudelczak and Gertrude (Gitel) Slupsky, immigrated to America and changed his surname to Feinstein. He had two siblings who also immigrated, Julius and Tillie. We didn’t have surnames for either one. Four siblings remained in Russia: Belle, Gershon, Selma, and Sprinsa.
In my early research I confirmed all the information except for the four who remained. Julius changed his surname to Odelson, and moved to Chicago. Tillie had married an Aaron Oberman, and they remained in St. Louis. Recently I was going through the library microfilm of The Modern View (a St. Louis Jewish weekly newspaper), and I came across Tillie’s 1935 obituary.
I lost the bet.The tombstone on the left is at Chesed Shel Emeth. She is not far from her brother, Selig, and her sister, Tillie.
Daughter of Reb Shmuel Zvi
Below, from left to right:
1) Lottie’s parents, according to her death certificate. The informant was her son, Sam Getz.
Father: Schmuel Hersh Dudelczak (I’ve edited the spelling to my preference. Hersh is Yiddish, and Zvi is Hebrew. Both mean ‘deer.’)
2) Sam Getz’s parents according to his death certificate. The informant was the nursing home.
Father: Aaron Getz
Mother: Lottie Feinstein
3) Sarah Getz Goodman’s parents, according to her registration for Social Security.
Father: Harry Getz
Mother: Lottie Ohtalson (Odelson)
It appears that Lottie (like her sister) never changed her ‘maiden’ name. Both sisters were married in Russia, and their father appears with a variant spelling of the Dudelczak surname on their death certificates. However, both of Lottie’s children, at some point, changed Lottie’s maiden name in their minds, choosing between the two different surnames their uncles had chosen. Proving that they at least were aware of them.
In a fashion, these documents provide a nice wraparound, incorporating all of the surnames.
I have found no evidence that either of Lottie’s husbands made the trip to America. I have no way to judge which document is more likely correct with the first name of their father. (Both could be correct. His Hebrew name could have been Aaron, and Sarah may only have been Anglicizing it with Harry.)
(I’ve updated this chart outlining the Dudelczak descendants for three generations.)
Here’s some of the new names I’ve added:
Children of Lottie and Aaron/Harry Getz: Samuel, Sarah
Children of Frank and Sarah (Getz) Goodman: Harry Goodman, Gertrude (Goodman) Naron, Frances Goodman, Edrea Ann (Goodman) Appleton
If you have a story idea or a blog that you’d like to share as part of this series, please let us know about it in the comments.