I have identified 5 unique family groups and 1 additional person all living in Tuckums, Courland with the same surname in 1871. I have no idea if these are related to each other. I have tracked two of those families to Michigan, US. Well, let me rephrase that – I tracked two of these families from Michigan back to Courland. Why you might ask did I do that, especially since I just commented that I could not tell if they were related to each other.
Well, therein lies the tale. These two families settled in a part of Michigan which was not, at the end of the 19th century, densely populated, nor is it now. Three men, sons of Israel and Hanna settled in one small town, and three men, sons of Chaim Solomon and Chasse settled in another small town not too far distant. There were no other people in the area with the same surname. Through time and generations both families spread out. Today they live in CA, MA, NY, FL, and all over Michigan, just to name a few places.
Thanks to probate documents I have now identified and verified all of Chaim Solomon and Chasse’s children, some of whom remained in Europe, some of whom came to the US in the years after their brothers did. I have found no such papers for Israel and Hanna’s sons, but I admit, have not YET looked for them. This is something which will be remedied over the next couple of weeks (of course).
I have found that Chaim Solomon’s father’s name was Marcus and Marcus’ father’s name has been transcribed as Heyman. I haven’t seen the original but it’s probably Chaim. Heyman/Heiman are an Anglicized (but maybe Gemanicized name, too?) version of Chaim. So what do I have?
I have still not discovered a common ancestor. I know there has to be one. I have two brothers who both name their sons Heiman but who I have to yet connected to Marcus’ father. Could Marcus, whose son Chaim was born in 1828, have been a brother to Israel and Judel? Israel’s son Heiman (based on Israel’s grandson’s age) was born around 1810, and Judel’s son Heiman was born around 1828.
One of Israel and Hanna’s sons, Sam, moved to go into business with one of Chaim and Chasse’s sons. Sam also moved to Detroit at about the same time as his business partner did, although it does not appear that they remained in business together in Detroit.
I know that feelings do not create documentation and proof. I am definitely not at a point where I can say that the evidence is incontrovertible and that I have met a proof standard (only a guess standard and perhaps not even that). Searching through records, and attempting to draw those lines of proof closer together until I either prove or disprove my hypothesis that these two families are related.