At Play In The Archive
I discovered a genealogical record today that appears to unlock several mysteries at once. I want to pose the evidence to you, my Genealogy People, to see what you think. Am I barking up the right tree? Am I missing anything obvious?
For those who have been following for a while, you know that I’ve been trying to acquaint myself with the least-documented branch of my family, the Spielmanns, my great-grandmother Margaret Spielmann Lessiack’s family of origin. I inherited a mass of photographs, most of which were unlabeled, and through a careful, two-year-long process of comparing genealogical data with the pile of photographs, I think I’ve got just about everybody identified.
But, some mysteries remain.
As I wrote in Meet the Spielmanns:
“At first I thought there were nine children, because the 1900 census also reported a Jennie Spielmann, born in 1882, living with the family in Manhattan. However, examination of the actual document revealed Jennie to be a “sister-in-law.” Though the relationship was supposed to be listed relative to the head of the household, I think that Jennie must have, in fact, been Herman’s sister, and therefore Fanny’s sister-in-law. Otherwise, why would Jennie have the same surname as Herman?”
When my mother and I both did DNA tests through 23andMe, my mother’s results revealed ~25% Jewish ancestry. We were both stunned by this revelation, because neither of us had any idea of Jewish ancestry prior to the DNA results. I pondered this discovery in The Hidden Branch, but the question remains: Where does Judaism reside in my Mom’s family tree? All of her other grandparents are quite well documented going back many generations (did you see that scroll, People?), so Leo and/or Margaret seem like the likely candidates.
Herman and Fanny reported in the 1900 US census that they were married in Vienna, Austria in 1891. While browsing in the GenTeam European database today, I discovered a marriage record from Vienna, Austria from 1891 that I think belongs to them.
Two interesting things:
What do you think, People? How else might I confirm these conclusions? What am I overlooking?
No shortage of mysteries here. Until next time, dear People.