As genealogists, we all know how important it is to read the records we acquire and to examine all the details.We also know how important it is to acquire the records. Imagine my chagrin when the other day, reviewing the documentation I had about my great-grandmother, I realized I didn’t have a document that was fairly easy to obtain – her NYC death certificate. I actually hesitated before I went to the cabinet at the FHL in Salt Lake City to get the microfilm reel.
I quickly found the record of Sarah Forman’s 1943 NYC death. I looked at it before I saved it to a USB drive, and then I looked again. Unlike most of my relatives of that generation whose birthplaces only said “Russia,” Sarah’s actually included a town name – Kurnitz.
A !Eureka! moment: Sarah’s husband, Levi Selig Forman had died in 1935, also in New York and had left a detailed will. In the will was a bequest to a “Talmud Torah of the city of Kurnitz.” Wow and double wow. I had wondered ever since I first read his will, about why he chose to make a bequest to that city.
My grandmother had told me her parents had come from Vilyeyka. Well, Kurnitz is a city in Vilyeyka.
Reminder to self – if a date or place is entered into records as a result of a family story, always try to obtain the documentation no matter how much it seems like that might be overkill.