Tag: genealogy

The oldest family tree in the world

From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, October 24, 2004 You may not find Dr. Neil Rosenstein’s new book listed on national best-seller lists, but the noted genealogist — with his tongue halfway in his cheek — compares it to the popular thriller “The Da Vinci Code.” Both books, the noted American genealogist and surgeon said, deal in…

Street directory of Toronto’s “Ward” — 1913

Photo: Section of the Ward, ca 1910s, from Louisa & Albert Streets at lower left, the Armouries at centre, and the old University Avenue Synagogue seen from the back (it faced onto University Ave., midway between Queen and Dundas) The neighbourhood known as “the Ward” was one of the most colourful areas in the city’s…

Toronto’s Jewish ‘Unknown Soldier’ from WWI

◊ An item in the Toronto Star from 1936 explains a certain inscription on a tombstone found at the Pape Avenue Cemetery, Toronto’s oldest Jewish cemetery. George Sorblum, Toronto’s “unknown soldier,” died in 1919 but his family only learned what happened to him in 2007.   * * *  From the Toronto Star, November 7, 1936 Some…

Two views of Bristol house, 1911 & 2014

Angell and Janey Lester (nee Alexander) were living in this house at 4 Radnor Rd., Bristol, in 1911 when this photo was taken. Janey is standing outside the house holding her infant son, Lionel Lester, with her four-year-old daughter, Ida, standing in front. Janey’s younger sister, twelve-year-old Dora Alexander, stands beside them in the dark…

A shocker: Mother & babe held at US-Canada border for two weeks

From The London Jewish Chronicle, March 20, 1931 ◊ This shocking tale from  the height of the depression focuses on a poor and desperate mother who, with a helpless infant, was caught in a bureaucratic no-man’s-land between the United States and Canada while authorities argued over which country would take her. Dorothy Cohen, a Jewish girl,…

Lost photos return home after 17 years

Some time in the late 1940s or 1950s, when my aunt and uncle moved from a house on Toronto’s Vaughan Road, they left behind several old family photographs hidden in the rafters of the basement ceiling. Luckily the new owners of the home were considerate enough to save the old photos. Decades went by. Sometime…

Review: “The Juggler’s Children,” by Carolyn Abraham

The late eminent American genealogist Rabbi Malcolm Stern once observed that there is nothing so fascinating to a person as his own genealogical research, and often, nothing so boring as being stuck at a dinner table with a family-tree enthusiast who insists upon endlessly discussing their latest research. With her recent book The Juggler’s Children:…

A concise guide to Krakow — for genealogists

Review of KRAKOW: A Guide to Jewish Genealogy, by Geoffrey M. Weisgard in association with Gesher Galicia. Softcover, 114 pages. Published 2011, www.geshergalicia.org Like JewishGen and Jewish Records Indexing Poland, Gesher Galicia is one of the great success stories of the Jewish genealogical world, offering a wealth of highly useful and easily accessible information and…

An 1839 travelogue through the Jewish world

In the year 1839, had you been a traveller along the road from Rzeszov to Cracow, you would have been obliged to show a passport in Podgorze, the suburb of Cracow on the Austrian side of the Vistula (“Weichsel”) River. After submitting to a cursory inspection from Austrian officials, your vehicle would have crossed the…

TORONTO SAGES: Prominent rabbis of blessed memory

TORONTO SAGES is a booklet compiled and published in 2004 by Mayer S. Abramowitz, a grandson of Toronto cantor Nosson Stolnitz. Its full title is “Chachmei Yisrael of Toronto — Toronto’s Sages.” The booklet presents information about 35 Toronto rabbis from their tombstones, translated into English; some Yiddish and English obituaries are also included. The contents…