Another year is upon us. What genealogy goals do you have for 2009? I'll share mine with you today. But first a little background.
My second great grandfather Jacob FLANDERS was born in Prussia about 1835 and died in Manhattan, New York in 1899. His wife Pauline JACOBSEN was born July 1836 in Prussia and died 6 May 1922 in Queens, New York. They had four children. Three of them were born in England. My great grandmother Henrietta was born in Manhattan.
In 1874 they immigrated from England to New York City on the ship Holland. I have many documents. I have death certificates on Jacob and Paulina. I have the passenger list from the ship. I also have many documents on their four children.
Periodically I would go back to research them as all genealogists do when they come to a point in their research when there is a lull. I knew they were from Germany and I can't tell you how many times I tried to find info on the FLANDERS surname in Germany. Their name had been butchered over the years. On the passenger list it was what I thought was FLALUA. On the 1880 census records it was FLAMDA. Jacob died in 1899 and Pauline moved in with her daughter Henrietta and her husband Max STRETZ. She lived with them until her death in 1922.
My grandmother had told me an interesting story about my grandfather when I was young. She told me that my grandfather was Jewish but apparently hid the fact, for whatever reason. The reason could very well have been that my grandmother was a Lutheran. The only reason she said they found out he was Jewish was because when his mother Henrietta was dying the family sent for a Rabbi instead of a Priest. I'm sure it caused a very big stir in the family back then in 1948.
I sometimes wonder now if the religious confusion of a half Jewish half Lutheran family is why I grew up without any religion. I remember going to a church when I was young. And I also was allowed to go to any church any of my friends went to. My mother believed I should form my own opinion and go from there. I don't think I formed my own opinion. I think I was confused and that is probably why now as an adult I don't claim any religion as my own.
So based on this family lore I recently decided to move along my research on the FLANDERS line. I had joined JewishGen around 2005 or so and have over the years gone to the website and tried to find my FLANDERS family without any success.
At the end of November I went back to the JewishGen site and joined The German Jewish Special Interest Group . It was the best thing I ever did as far as researching my FLANDERS line.
I received a wealth of information from the members of the group. They gave me info that has my mind spinning.
A few of the members helped me with the FLANDERS name. I had wondered over the years if the name had been changed when they came to the United States.
They pointed out to me that what I thought was FLALUA was actually FLATUA. Now this is a German Jewish surname. One of the members found the family in various records in London England with the spelling of FLANTER, FLANDER and FLATER. It was also suggested that the name could be FLATOW. Thanks to the great members of the group I have lots of new info to research.I also have an area of Germany to research.
So my goals for the new year is to try and trace my second great grandfather Jacob Flanders back to Prussia.
Thanks to another gersig member I have a picture of Jacobs headstone from the Washington Cemetery in Manhattan. This wonderful gift has given me Jacobs Hebrew name which was Yakov ben Nachum.
I hope you've found this post interesting. Please feel free to email me if you feel like you may be connected to this family.