The WikiTree Challenge 2021 Week 28

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: 14 Jul 2021 to 21 Jul 2021
Location: WikiTreemap
Surnames/tags: challenges wikitree_challenge
This page has been accessed 349 times.


WikiTree Challenge Week 28

Guest Star: Louis Kessler

From Louis

I am researching my 4 grandparent lines, my father's stepfather and first wife lines, and my wife's 4 grandparent lines. I have links to them on my profile page.
Here are what I consider my 5 most important brick walls that I think all you WikiTreers might be able to help me with and I really hope you can:
  1. My father's step-father Louis (Kessler) Kesler (abt.1878-1940) and his first wife Sarah (Katkow) Kessler (abt.1876-1929) is a complete roadblock to me. I know so little. Neither had children and I don't know of any living relatives. I can't confirm where Ogec or Dolasoi is. They aren't blood relatives, so DNA doesn't even help. I've added just about everything I know to their profiles.
  2. My father's mother's uncle: Louis Segal (1870-) and his wife Sophie/Shifra and their daughter Sarah. I didn't get around to adding profiles for Sophie or Sarah, but I give everything about them in Louis' profile. The biggest question for the US experts: What happened to them in Florida? And for the England experts: are there any more England records for them than just the 1911 Census? This information is important enough and is such a brick wall to me that I think you should earn bounty points on it if you find that Sarah has a husband and family (Mindy?) But even If not, you'd still be really helping me out. You might, after all, be finding me new living cousins that I never knew existed.
  3. My wife's Rothschild connection: Tsipora Rothschild (1833-) - She was said to be related to the famous Jewish Rothschild family of Europe. I have not been able to find the connection from Tsipora to them. That would be amazing if someone could.
  4. My mother's father Joseph German (1885-1959) came from Mezhirichi, Rivne, Volhynia, in the Russian Empire ... or so I have always thought. The problem is that the records a researcher, Viktoria Chymshyt, has obtained from there (see below) did not include any surnames I recognized, not even any of the surnames of the 100 or so people from that town that came to Winnipeg. So do I have the right town? Some people spell the town name as Miedzerich or Mezerich and say it was in Poland. All towns of that name or a similar name before 1915 were in the Russian Empire, but many of the towns, including Mezhirichi in Volhynia became part of Poland by 1930 for a period of time. In my family tree at MyHeritage, I include all people who were born in Mezhirichi that moved to Winnipeg and their families with the goal of one day piecing them all together. Determining if I have the correct Mezhirichi will go a long way to finding records for my family and the others who came to Winnipeg.
  5. My father's father Leib Braunstein (1889-1924) was born in Romania, but the family moved to a Jewish area near the town of Eskisehir in Turkey before he came to Canada. I have been unable to find any significant information about the Jewish community in Turkey where they stayed and I'd love to know more.
I also have other "Unsolved Mysteries" listed on My Family Research and Unsolved Mysteries page at:
The rest of my lines and my wife's lines are a little more difficult because they go back to Russia or Romania. There are a lot of records available, but very few records are translated, indexed and online. I have obtained Russian and Romanian records on some of my lines from researchers who have photographed collections in the Ukraine and Romania and have provided records to me with their translations. I had started adding links to these records onto my profiles but I have not finished. Below are links to all the records and translations I have obtained which are on my OneDrive. The translations are good enough to give you all the info that's needed. If any of you can read Russian or Romanian, I would not expect you'd find much more than what's already translated. I'm sure these documents will be different from anything many of you have seen before, so I hope you find them interesting:
The remaining families are:
  • my wife's paternal grandfather Ralph Harry Kushner (1883-1927) in the town of Lukashivka, Russia. I figure I will eventually need to find records there as well, but there may be something of interest about his Lerman half-family that should be findable, since they ended up in the United States.
  • my wife's paternal grandmother Yetta Zaslowsky (1884-1926) in the town of Tetiiv, Russia. No records yet on that side. My wife's cousin Terry Lasky wrote the "Zaslawsky Family History" in 2013. It is unpublished and not online because it includes information about living people. I got most of my information from Terry's research. He's doing a DNA study with 55 Zaslawsky descendents from 6 possible Zaslawsky siblings, including Yetta's father. That study is still going on. This is a big family and many descendants ended up in the United States except for Yetta, her brother Jacob and Peter who went to Winnipeg. There should be a lot of information that can be gleaned from those who ended up in the States.
Also, I have two cousins on my Focsaner/Zvoristeanu, Naftulovici sides. We have been sharing our research but do have slightly different trees from different sources. My cousin Joel Koenig has his tree on Ancestry, and my cousin Phil Rodd adds his data to FamilySearch.
If you don't know where to start, I'd suggest starting at the siblings and childrens of my ancestors who emigrated from Russia or Romania. Most would have emigrated to the United States or Canada, some to France, Israel and other places, and you should find good records for them there. I am very interested in the stories of all the siblings and children of my ancestors, and their information may provide clues about their parents who never left.
Have fun. I'm sure you'll find it very different, but I hope you also find it very interesting. And I'm really looking forward to see what you collectively put together.
And I promise I won't peek during my week.



Note: Please check with your captain, Emma MacBeath, if there are any questions about the images being protected by copyright.
  • add image link here


Locations: Romania, Turkey, Ukraine
Unfortunately, the tradition of keeping a lineage and writing a family tree is almost non-existent in Turkish society. The most important reason for this is that oral tradition, not written, dominates in eastern societies. In addition, migrations, wars and epidemics have also caused disconnections between generations and interrupted cultural transmission.
One of the most important resources that should be consulted when extracting a family tree is tombstones. It is possible to learn the names of the grandfathers, their death dates and even their professions and dispositions from the old tombstones.
From Louis:

Tell Us What You Found!!

Interesting Finds

List interesting finds to share with the guest at the end of the week

Free Space Pages

List of Free Space Pages created for or linked to members of this family.

Military Profiles

Did any of the guests family serve in the military or military conflicts?
  • Louis Girman died in WWII (info entered on that page by Louis Kessler, so not news)


Brick Walls

New Relatives

(please add any relatives you added to WikiTree, not already in Louis' tree)

The children of Israel Burstein and Mollie Lehrman were added:

The grandchildren of Rivenu Braunstein were added as well as any missing spouses of his children

Needs Work

  1. This looks like Louis Braunstein, Louis grandfather: - maybe someone familiar with Canadian records can find the actual naturalization records. (Naturalization records were destroyed between 1854 and 1917 were destroyed - [Doherty-2604]


Comments: 1

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Hey! Great job everyone!! All of the above (Interesting Finds, Free Space Pages, New Relatives, Needs Work) is useful and will keep me occupied for some time, with extra leads and new ideas for me to follow. I so appreciate it all!
posted by Louis Kessler