Tag Archives: Kurlender

Vexations from Wizna

All of the Kurlenders in the town of Wizna are related. I know this because I collected everything indexed by JRI-Poland, including the records that had to be ordered from Poland, and they all fit together into one large family. Also, Wizna is a small town, that I have now witnessed first-hand.

All of the people in the records fit together except for one family, which I refer to as the “floating family”. I have the birth certificates of two twin sisters, but their father’s patronymic is not included. I have no other records for him, birth or marriage, so I don’t know where he fits into the family. But I’m sure that he does because he carries a family name that I’ve rarely, if ever, seen elsewhere.

Thus, the family of Azriel Srol Kurlender, his wife Rochla Glodsztein, and their daughters Marim Sora and Ryvka, had nowhere to go until I found more information.

I hoped to find more when I went to Poland.

I was able to find more Kurlender records in addition to what was already indexed. Among them, a few that caused problems.

First, there’s the birth of Freida Leya, daughter of Joszk Gerszkowicz Kurlender and Ryvka. The problem? No Joszk Gerszkowicz in the family. There were a couple of first cousins named Joszk. Could there have been a third brother named Gerszk who also has a son named Joszk and this is the first I’ve seen of him? Totally possible. The two brothers I know about, Srol and Zorach, are born about 15 years apart; plenty of room in between for more kids. I still need to go through the earliest Wizna records (the unindexed ones, including the Catholic records), so maybe I’ll find a clue.

I then have a marriage record for Leya, though not Freida Leya, who is probably the same person. Her age is a few years off, but it’s still possible. At least those two records work together.

A marriage record for Mariem Sora Kurlender stumped me next, as her parents were not listed anywhere. However, her date of birth was unusually listed and matches exactly to the Marim Sora of the earlier “floating family”. So again, a record I’m not sure where to add into the family, but at least it matches something else I have.

The next stumper was a birth record for Mortek Berek, son of Abram Itzyk Kurlender and Rywka Spektor. I have Abram Itzyk and Rywka in my tree already, with three kids. Mortek is not one of them. However, their son Dov is born the same year. Was Mortek another son that my cousin didn’t know about when he told me about this family? Did Mortek become Dov? Dov Ber is a typical double name, so that’s entirely possible. So I’m not sure what to do about this one yet either.

I did find a few Kurlender records that were not problematic. Still I have some more work to do on this family, in earlier records and later ones. A lot of Kurlenders came to America. I still have to match them all up to the Polish families.

The URL of this post is http://idogenealogy.com/blog/2013/05/23/vexations-from-wizna/.

Jedwabne, Poland

I had no ancestors in Jedwabne, but I believe there were some cousins. Few records, or perhaps only one, indicate my family was in Jedwabne. Kurlender has appeared on surname lists.

This town is a sad tale in Poland’s history. Most of the atrocities brought against the Jews were committed by the Nazis, but there were some Poles who took it upon themselves to also contribute. In this village, already under some German influence, they rounded up the Jews into a barn by the Jewish cemetery and burned it down.

I saw three stories about the fate of the Jews in Rutki. In one, they were sent to Łomza. In a second, they were marched out to the forest and killed. (It was along the way to Łomza, so maybe both of those stories are the same.) In a third, they were sent to Jedwabne.

I knew where the synagogue used to be in town, but I just drove by the spot quickly. I went out to the memorial and the Jewish cemetery.

You can read more about the Jedwabne pogrom.

The URL of this post is http://idogenealogy.com/blog/2012/10/02/jedwabne/.
All photos and content Copyright 2012 by Banai Lynn Feldstein.

Wizna, Poland

After the interesting time I had in Rutki, and backtracking some of my journey to find that memorial, I went back to Rutki and followed that sign to Wizna.

I knew the road would take me through a few even smaller villages. One of them was Grądy Woniecko, the birth place of the earliest Mularzewicz ancestor who’s birth record I have. I only stopped long enough to take a picture of the sign. It seemed like the only thing in town was a prison, which Polish Wikipedia confirms opened in 1999.

The earliest Mularzewicz record I have so far is the for a marriage for Moszko in 1838 in Wizna. However, Wizna is primarily known to me as where my Kurlender family comes from. My great-grandmother Sorka was born there in 1865. When I first got her Polish birth record, I was not sure it was hers because I lacked more information about her. But I was just being hesitant. After retrieving all of the indexed Kurlender records, I was able to put them all together into one large family tree.

As I did with Rutki, I tried to find where the synagogue used to be, but while I found some pictures online, I could find no address or other details. So I just went to the center of town. There was a sign pointing for information, but when I followed it, I got to a one way street out of the center of town and could never find where it wanted me to go.

And to be a good genealogist, the names inscribed on the monument in the Wizna park:

  • Dobronski Jozef
  • Glinski Jan
  • Grzeszczyk Marceli
  • Konopko Franciszek
  • Krasnowski Jozef
  • Lipinski Jozef
  • Markfart Boleslaw
  • Olszewski Teofil
  • Ostrowski Stefan
  • Pruszko Jozef
  • Piotrowski Andrzej
  • Ptaszynski Edmund
  • Radziwon Antoni
  • Renkiewicz Apolinary
  • Szulc Antoni
  • Trepanowski Jozef

The URL of this post is http://idogenealogy.com/blog/2012/09/23/wizna/.
All photos and content Copyright 2012 by Banai Lynn Feldstein.

Europe 2012 – Day 4 – Small Towns

Today was the reason I really needed a rental car. I visited my ancestral towns.

From Lomza, I headed south through Zambrow where I found what is left of the Jewish cemetery. Some of my Rutki ancestors were likely buried there, from what I’ve read.

Zambrow Jewish Cemetery

I drove on to Rutki, where my Mularzewicz family is from. Going farther back in the family line, some were born at other nearby small towns too.

In Rutki, I looked for the building that used to be the synagogue. My difficulty was because the address was on one street but the building was set so far back that they’d changed the access to the other street. I spoke to a couple men for a few minutes. My cousin had been there a week earlier and they had the family names written down.

Former Synagogue of Rutki

With my limited Polish, it wasn’t a long conversation. After messing with my cell phone for a minute, one man waved me back in and spoke some English after all. He told me where to find a memorial. I’d previously found GPS coordinates online that were far from correct. Whenever I think of the expression “off the beaten path”, I will now think of this location.

Memorial to Jews Killed by Nazis

Onward to Wizna, driving the minor roads, I went through Grady Woniecko, the earliest known birthplace of a relative in that family.

In Wizna, where my Kurlenders were from, I had other minor setbacks. I was not able to find online the location of the former synagogue and the GPS coordinates I had for the cemetery were far off too. I didn’t feel up to asking the locals. At least in Rutki, I had some information to build on.

Another minor road took me farther north to Jedwabne, and another memorial at a Jewish massacre site, right across from the Jewish cemetery.

Memorial to Jews of Jedwabne

Back in Lomza, I visited the Jewish cemeteries, first the older and smaller one, then I found the secret back way into the newer one. But the weeds were tall and thick and I didn’t feel comfortable walking such a distance through them by the end of the day, so I took some general and far away pictures.

Back at my hotel, I fell asleep quickly. I guess the lack of sleep finally caught up to me a bit. Now, if the WordPress app would cooperate more, these blog posts would be even easier. I’m sorry to write that if future posts give me as much trouble as this one, they may be without photos until I return home. I hope it doesn’t come to that.