Cans of Worms: Two Topics for Discussion
- I'd like to open 2 cans of worms and ask folks to comment.
Unfortunately, the background information may be needed to follow
along, so both are here -- even though they are not related topics
(other than being problematic).
I'm working on a family branch (very loosely speaking) which is a
little difficult to explain, so bear with me.
Moische (Moses) SONIES (SONIS) married two times.
The first time to Breine "Bertha" MATKOVSKY. From this union are 3
children: Jonie "Jack", Schie "Sam" and Chaim "Hyman".
The second time to Rebecca ZACKON. One issue: Goldie.
Rebecca ZACKON was also previously married, to Avdey "Joseph"
DASKOVSKY. They also had 3 children, Yankel "Jack" (my grandfather),
Abel "Al", and Rose "Theodora".
[a] MAKAROW, KIEV Gubernia, Russia
[Makarov, Zhitomir Oblast, Ukraine (50°28'/29°49')]
[b] RADOMYSL, KIEV Gubernia, Russia
[Radomyshl', Zhitomir Oblast, Ukraine (50°30'/29°14')]
[c] KORYUKOVKA, Tchernikov Gubernia, Russia
[Kor'urovka, Chernigovskaya Oblast, Ukraine (51°46'/32°16')]
[d] "RUSSKRY KIEV Russia". Possibly "RUSSKRY" is actually meant to be
"Rozhki" [49°32'/30°18'], or
Breine "Bertha" MATKOVSKY (and her children from Moses SONIES)
last residence before immigration 9/26/1910 to Chicago, IL: RADOMYSL
Rebecca ZACKON (and her children from Joseph DASKOVSKY)
born: RADOMYSL, KIEV Gubernia, Russia
last residence before immigration 08/08/1908 to Chicago, IL:
KORYUKOVKA, shtetl of her in-laws -- however, I have good reason to
believe she had been there only a short time before emigrating and had
been in RADOMYSL until at least late 1907 or early 1908
residence before marriage in about 1899: KORYUKOVKA
residence, ca 1906: RADOMYSL
immigrated before wife, however have never been able to find his
immigrated before wife, however have never been able to find his
Ok. With those folks, places and dates, here's the can of worms.
Actually two of them.
 Who is the father? Who is the child? Is there any way to find out
Joseph DASKOVSKY's youngest brother kept a diary. In this diary, it
states the family didn't want Joseph DASKOVSKY to marry Rebecca
ZACKON, because she had a child out of wedlock.
My aunt, Goldie SONIES (d/o Moses SONIES and Rebecca ZACKON), told
me her parents had an affair. At one time, she told me it was in
Russia; at another time, in Chicago, IL (after immigration).
Rebecca ZACKON's first husband died 5/10/1910, just a few weeks
before their third child was born 7/4/1910, in a train accident. She
was living on Olive St in Chicago at the time of his death, but living
on W Polk St by the time of her daughter's birth. Bertha, Moses' first
wife's destination when she arrived 9/1910, is to 2002 W Polk St
(which I can not find on the census; it jumps from 2000 to 2006).
We do know for a certainty that Moses SONIES abondoned his first
wife and children in favor of Rebecca ZACKON. By the 1920 census, he
was no longer living with his wife. However, I can not find him in the
1910 census, though I did find Rebecca ZACKON, her first husband and
her children. (Note: Moses SONIES and Rebecca ZACKON's daughter born
1922 Los Angeles, CA)
As you can see, the dates and places suggest these 2 people both
lived in RADOMYSL about the same time, while they were married to
other people. Lived very near each other in Chicago 1910.
Does anyone have any ideas how I might find out more about this
mystery child? Of course, my gut feeling is that Moses SONIES probably
parented the child before she married her first husband.
 MATKOVSKY: Jewish Surname or Not
Happily found the passenger manifest for Bertha MATKOVSKY (her
maiden name gleaned from this record, as her mother is listed as Chaie
MATKOVSKY). Her mother's place of residence at the time of immigration
(9/1910) is annotated as (and clearly readable) "RUSSKRY KIEV Russia".
Then, I found a reference to this surname on the "Radomyshl 1913
Business Directory, All South-Western Region. Gazetteer and Addresse
Book of KIEV, Podolia and Volhyn Gubernias"
(http://radomyshl.lk.net/bdir1913.html), where it has the following
Pharmacy: Kavenbach Fr.N.
Director: MATKOVSKY Vladislav Alexander
and the annotation, this is clearly not a Jewish name. Could the
translator be in error? If the problem is with the names Alexander and
Vladislav, then I am more confused than ever: I have several instances
of Alexander in my DASKOVSKY tree, and know of an instance of "Vlad"
in a ZACKON branch! (of course, this is the 2nd wife's husband's
family and the MATKOVSKY's are the first wife's family ... )
- Can't help with the first question, but the second question is easy.
Matkovsky means "someone who came from Matkov", the _sky is the
common Russian-language toponym suffix. So, someone who came from
Matkov could be either Jewish or not. Obviously Vladislav was not
Jewish and is probably not a relation to your family.
--- In jewishgenealogy2000@y..., digging4roots <no_reply@y...> wrote:
>  MATKOVSKY: Jewish Surname or Not
> Pharmacy: Kavenbach Fr.N.
> Director: MATKOVSKY Vladislav Alexander
> and the annotation, this is clearly not a Jewish name. Could the
> translator be in error?
- --- In jewishgenealogy2000@y..., digging4roots <no_reply@y...> wrote:
>  Who is the father? Who is the child? Is there any way to find
> more information?This is how I'm reading your problem: You think Rebecca fooled around,
either in Radomysl or the shtetl, and had a baby out of wedlock with
Moses SONIES or some other guy. You want to know the name of the baby
and verify the identity of the father.
a) Finding the baby: I think it's probably pretty easy to give a
baby away even today without leaving much of a paper trail, so it was
probably even easier in Radomysl. But it could be that there's a
record of the birth in Radomysl or the shtetl where Rebecca moved.
Have you tried looking to see if the Family History Libraries have any
Radomysl records on microfilm?
Keep in mind that the likelihood that the baby died in childhood, or
in infancy, is huge, so finding the baby might not have much effect on
your family tree.
b) Finding the father: It seems to me the only way you can find the
name of the father is to either find it in the original birth record,
or to find a patrilineal descendant of Rebecca's paramour who'd be
willing to send a cheek cell sample to Family Tree DNA.
Plus you'd need a sample from some clear-cut, patrilineal descendants
of SONIES, to verify whether the the paramour was in fact SONIES. (Or,
at least, a close relative of SONIES who had the exact same Y
Keep in mind that there could have been some hidden hanky panky
elsewhere in the tree, so the "clear-cut" patrilineal descendants of
SONIES could, in some cases, be patrilineal descendants of the
butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker.
c) MATKOVSKY - Russian serfs often took variations of the surnames of
their masters (maybe "Rozovsky" for the serf, if "Rozov" was the name
of the master), just as U.S. slaves often took the surnames of their
owners. I know that Jews had a different sort of relationship with the
landowners, but maybe in some cases they also got their surnames from
As for Jews having non-Jewish relatives: my sense is that there must
have been a lot of Jews who converted to Russian Orthodoxy, just as
there are plenty of Jews who drift away from Judaism today. But we
Jews don't like to think about that subject because it makes us feel
sad, and the descendants of the converts aren't going to think much
about the subject, because, no matter how enlightened they might be,
chances are their grandparents and great-grandparents saw keeping any
Jewish roots secret as an important security measure. So, who knows,
maybe the Jewish and non-Jewish MATKOVSKYs really do share a common
ancestor, but my suspicion is the only way you could ever support such
a connection is with DNA evidence.