Posted by Beverly Bienstock Margolies
Thanks to JewishGen Family Finder and my parents’ old family photos, three separate connections have been confirmed within six weeks! This is BIG, a Triple Header—after 10+ years of researching on JewishGen!
May 3, 2010: I discovered that JewishGen researchers Marc from Virginia, Lorraine from the UK, and I share a common ancestor, Henri Abramowitz. He was in my dad's 1928 family photo from Paris, France. When I received the Abramowitz family photo from Marc I knew it was the same man in my dad's photo (just 10 years younger). I thought that his family had perished in the Shoah, but they all survived.
May 30, 2010: Yael, a researcher from Israel, contacted me about my Bienstock-Bedzin connection. When she sent me a photo I was floored. It was a photo of my brother's Bar Mitzvah (he's now 65!). I had the identical photo in my album. We discovered that we were cousins. The next day was Memorial Day and my family was coming to celebrate my son's college graduation. I set up a Skype call and introduced Yael to my parents, children, siblings, and niece. It was an incredible experience! I had been seeking my Bienstock cousins for more than 10 years and found nothing. I thought that my dad's extended family perished. But Yael is proof that some survived. It was only Yael's second week on JewishGen.
June 10, 2010: I have been helping my mom search for her surviving Gelkop cousins. She did not have any first names or dates—all she had were places and photos. Through another JewishGenner, I connected with Marc, who was also researching the Gelkopf name (slightly different spelling). He seemed skeptical when I contacted him, but as soon as he said his grandfather came from Wuppertal to Belgium, I knew it was a match! I sent him the photos, including one with my grandparents side-by-side with his grandparents on the beach in Belgium in 1947!!! Now Marc is a believer. I can't wait to meet him in person; though he lives in Israel and I'm in New Jersey—maybe someday.
Thanks again, JewishGen!
New Jersey, USA