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Category Archive for 'Klebansky'

It’s Thriller Thursday. When I picture the City of Chicago in the 1920s, I think of rum running in the face of prohibition, and gangland slayings under the direction of people like Al Capone. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined finding a family link to the criminal activities of the time. But […]

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In 1905, when my grandma Sophie was 10 years old, her mother (who had been divorced 5 years earlier) remarried Shlomo Zalman Cheifetz. Sophie was the only child still at home, and the family moved to the town of Volkovysk, about 17 miles away from Slonim, her birthplace. Volkovysk at the turn of 19th to […]

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Blintzes. If you’ve never eaten this Jewish delicacy, you have not truly known gastronomical nirvana. It consists of a cheese mixture wrapped in something like a crepe, and is usually served with jam or applesauce. I remember my Grandma Sophie made these treats for me after she retired and moved from Chicago to New York, […]

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This photo is of a small table cloth. My grandma Sophie (now long gone) gave it to me when I interviewed her about the time of her 90th birthday. I asked her if she had anything tangible of her mother. She said, in an offhand manner, “Oh, I have only this white tablecloth of my […]

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I have decided to participate in the Family History Writing Challenge. Lynn Palermo (The Armchair Genealogist), who sponsors this event and encourages genealogists who participate, requests a major commitment – writing about family history every day for 30 days. I started the Kitchen Sink Genealogy blog — as a way of writing my family history […]

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100 Years Ago, Today

December 12, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary since my grandmother, Sophie Klebanska Neff, arrived in the United States on the SS Finland (grandma’s on the lower right, wearing the white head scarf). From New York Harbor she took a train to Chicago. She was 17. Had she not made the decision to leave Slonim, Belarus, […]

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I have finally recovered from the Genealogy Jamboree held June 7-10, 2012 in Burbank, California. I have attended for years (since the event was much smaller, and held in Pasadena), and keep coming back. Wanna know why? Here is what I learned: Cath Madden Trindle’s lecture, “FDR’s Alphabet Soup: Records from the Great Depression,” pinpointed […]

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The 1920 Census Mystery

Genealogists always talk about brick walls, that one family member who is not to be found where you think they ought to be. My brick wall consists of my paternal grandparents, Jack and Sophie Neff. I know they got married in 1917, because I have their marriage certificate. Because of the United States federal census, […]

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Grandma Sophie Immigrates to America

My grandmother, Sophia Klebanskaya, was 17 when she left Volkovysk for the United States in 1912. Volkovysk was in the Polish part of the Russian Empire then, but it’s in Belarus now. She planned to live with her sister, Jeanette, in Chicago. I did two oral history interviews with my grandmother before she died in […]

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