Samuel Williams of Ashbourne, pig dealer and publican

One of Ari’s 5x great-grandfathers was Samuel Williams, born on 21 May 1810 in Ashbourne, Derbyshire.

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Samuel was the son of William and Frances Williams. He was baptised on 27 December 1810 at St Oswald’s church.

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Helpfully, the baptism record gives his exact birth date.

No records of Samuel have been found until his marriage, which took place on 20 April 1840 at the same church. His bride was Eliza Grace Potter. The marriage bond is in the collection of “Staffordshire, Dioceses Of Lichfield & Coventry Marriage Allegations and Bonds, 1636-1893” on Findmypast, and shows that Samuel was a pig dealer.

In the 1841 census the couple are living in Ashbourne with Emily’s parents, George and Ann Potter.

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Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal 04 December 1846

In 1849, Samuel appears in the Derbyshire Post Office Directory:

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In 1851 they are still living at Pig Market, with children Anne Eliza, Samuel, Emily Fanny,  and William George.

On 17 Feb 1854, this notice appeared in the Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal:

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In 1861 Samuel and Eliza are living in the same place, now with four more children: Louisa Maria, John, Frederick and Lucy. By 1870 Samuel is also working as a publican, at the Royal Oak. A lodger, also a pig dealer, is living with the family in 1871.

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Derby Mercury 29 May 1850

Samuel died in 1878 and was buried on the 1st of May at St Oswald’s. His abode at that time was given as Crown Yard.

Ari, this is how you are related to Samuel:

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Mary Ann Brewell

Mary Ann Brewell was Ari’s 4x great-grandmother. She was born on 21 May 1846 in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, the third daughter of Ann Land and Joseph Brewell. Her father registered the birth and was unable to sign his name. His occupation was recorded as chimney sweeper. Mary Ann’s baptism took place on 14 June.

In the 1851 census Mary Ann is listed as a scholar, age 4, and ten years later she is still at school. The family live in the Dale, Wirksworth.

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At 18, Mary Ann married Henry Pearson, a labourer. Both gave their residence as Cromford. The wedding took place at St Mary’s church in Wirksworth. Mary Ann was unable to sign her name.

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St Mary’s. Norman carved fragments built into the north wall of the interior of the north transept

Their first child, Robert, was born in 1865 and baptised on 20 August. A daughter, Elizabeth, was born in 1867. Between these two births it seems that the family had moved to Scarthin Nick in Cromford, and this is where they were living in 1871. No occupation was given for Mary Ann in any of the censuses.

By 1891 they had moved to Bolton in Lancashire, where Henry was working in a cotton mill. Mary Ann was now 45. Robert and Elizabeth were living with them, and Robert was working as a carter to a coal merchant. Ernest Pearson, a ‘nurse child’ aged 2, born in Bolton, was also living with them. Was he related or had he just been adopted and taken their name?

In 1901 they were back in Derbyshire. They were living at 3 Bowling Green Lane, in Wirksworth. Both children had married by this time.

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Bowling Green Lane is a narrow ‘jitty’ or ‘ginnel’.

By the 1911 census they had moved to the almshouses in Wirksworth. Mary Ann was now 65, and they had been married for 46 years. They had nine grandchildren. Henry died a few months later, and Mary Ann lived until 20 August 1923, when she died at 23 Dale Street, of atrophic degeneration of the heart. She was 78. Her son Robert was present at her death. No will, burial, or death announcement has been found yet.

Ari, this is how you are related to Mary Ann:

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Judith Constance Katz

Judith (Judy) was Ari’s great-great-grandmother.

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She was born on 30 September 1910 at 6 Gore Road, Hackney, the daughter of Maurice Katz and Rachel (Raye) Cohen. The family can be seen there in the 1911 census. When Judy was 3, her sister Rosalind was born.

This is a photo of Judy with Harry Loshak, taken to mark their engagement, which was announced in October 1930 in the Jewish Chronicle.

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And this is their wedding, which took place on 26 July 1931 at Cricklewood Synagogue.

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A translation of the Hebrew ketubah (marriage contract).

Judy and Harry had two children, David and Ruth. On 20 July 1940, Judy travelled to New York from Glasgow on the SS Cameronia, with the two children, who were 7 and 4 at the time. They did not return to England until June of 1945. The letters that we have show how hard this time of separation was for them. Here is an extract from the first one written to Harry on the ship:

“There is neither ink nor paper on board but somebody has lent me this. I hope you will be able to read it. We are all quite well. I am alright except that I don’t sleep well. Our cabin is really not too bad. We found it impossible to change; unfortunately, we have a German refugee in with us, which makes a terrible squash, but we will survive. The food is plentiful and quite good and we are allowed more or less anywhere on the boat. We have to carry lifebelts all the time; we were pleased to give our gas masks up before coming on board, but it was a bad exchange. We didn’t get on board until 4.30; it was dreadful standing squashed like sardines. but it only took a few minutes after I’d got through to get my luggage seen to; they were not opened. It’s a calm journey so far but the weather is very changeable, fine in the morning and wet in the afternoon. 90% of the people are German refugees. It’s not necessary to tell you how much I’m missing you, I can’t imagine living without you for any length of time.”

I have lovely memories of time spent with my grandma Judy in Cambridge, learning to tie shoelaces and sticking pictures into scrapbooks with that glue that came in tubs with a little spatula – I remember the smell! What was it called?

Judy as a baby:

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Ari, this is how you are related to Judy:

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Another sad story: Joseph Phipps

Joseph Phipps was Ari’s 4x great-grandfather. This is the only photo we have of him.

Joseph Phipps

He was born on 25 October 1848 in Holbrook, Belper, Derbyshire, the son of William Phipps and Mary Taylor. He was baptised on 6 October 1850.

In the census of 1851 we can see him aged 3 with his parents:

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By 1861 he is working as a cotton mill hand, with his older brother John and younger brother Francis.

On 30 December 1867 he married Ellen Boothby at St Alkmund’s church in Duffield, and by then his occupation was collier. The 1871 census shows him as a coal miner, and the couple have two children, William and Joseph. They are still living in Holbrook.

By 1881 he appears on the census as a labourer, and three daughters have been born: Mary Ann, Elizabeth and Emma.

In 1891 he is a quarry labourer, and they are living in Holbrook St.

In 1901 he has a new occupation, that of newsagent, and in 1911 the description “Nottingham Guardian” is added. He is now 63. Two sons, Joseph and John, are living with him and his wife, and the census shows that they have had eleven children altogether, with five having died before 1911.

Now we come to the sad part of the story, discovered through newspaper accounts. Joseph appeared in the newspapers a few times during his life.

This was in 1885:

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Derby Daily Telegraph, 30 Jan 1885

This episode was from 1896:

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Derby Daily Telegraph, 5 Nov 1896

On 23 July 1915, the Belper News reported:

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An inquest was held the following day.

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Let’s do a happy story next! Ari, this is how you are related to Joseph:

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Fanny Briant of Corfe Mullen

Ari’s 5x great-grandmother Fanny Briant was born in 1816 in Corfe Mullen, Dorset.

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I don’t know who her parents were (no baptism record has been found, and the space for father’s name on her marriage certificate is blank). The 1816 baptism records for Corfe Mullen seem to be missing, and there are no other Briant or Bryant baptisms in neighbouring years.

I have not been able to find her in the 1841 census.

Fanny married William Thomas Butt on 10 September 1844 at St Hubert’s church in Corfe Mullen.

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Their daughter Elizabeth was born on 29 July 1846. Sadly, Fanny died just over a year later, on 26 October 1847, in Christchurch, at the age of 31. Her death certificate gives the cause as intussusception. This happens when a part of the intestine folds into the section next to it. She was suffering for three days before she died. No burial has been found.

Baby Elizabeth went to live with her paternal grandmother.

Ari, this is how you are related to Fanny Briant:

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Nisman cousins found – and cousins lost

Earlier this week I was contacted by someone who found me through the JewishGen Family Finder. This is a wonderful resource that allows you to list the names and places that you’re interested in, so other researchers can find you to share notes.

Her query was “I am searching for Nisman family from Parichi. I can go back to my 4 time G grandfather Haim Nisman.” I was pretty sure from this that we were related, and there is a Hayim Nisman in our tree. He was married to Haya Nisman who was the daughter of Ari’s 4x great-grandfather, David Nisman. My notes told me that Haya and Haim were cousins, but I didn’t know who Haim’s father was.

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David Nisman

Further discussion and a sharing of names and stories helped me work out that Hayim’s father Iosif (or Yosel) Nisman is likely to have been the brother of David.

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What we know about David is that he was the son of Girshev Nisman. He was born in Belarus in 1854, married Sarah Volfson in about 1873, and died some time before 1919. (This is based on the fact that his grandson David was born that year and would not have been named for him if he was still alive.)

In 1907 David was recorded in the Belarus Duma Voters List:

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According to his daughter’s marriage certificate he worked as a wood merchant or general merchant. Both Nisman families lived in Parichi, Belarus. Many Jewish people there worked in the timber trade, taking advantage of the abundant forests and the river for transport.

After the two cousins Haya and Hayim married, they had six children – three boys and three girls.

As a result of the new information from my new third cousin once removed, I now know the names of many more relations from Parichi, and some of their stories. But some of the information is so terrible that it’s hard to find the right words.

What happened to the Nismans in Parichi on 18 October 1941 can be seen in the records of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Database:

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From https://yvng.yadvashem.org/

These are all relations whose names come from a “List of Jews from Parichi who were murdered near Vysokii Polk, 18/10/1941”. For example, Riva was born in 1935 to Iosif’s son Godal and his wife Sosya. According to this evidence, she was shot at this murder site along with her family, aged just six. The list contains 18 pages and 840 names.

The entry for Parichi in the Encyclopedia of Jewish Life says that “In 1939, the Jewish population was 1881. The Germans occupied Parichi on 5 July 1941, murdering about 140 Jews in August. Subsequently a ghetto was established and on 18 Oct, 1700 were murdered at the nearby village of Vysokii Polk.” (p. 969)

An article by Wila Orbach called “The destruction of the Jews in the Nazi-occupied territories of the USSR” (East European Jewish Affairs, 6:2, 14-51, DOI:
10.1080/13501677608577241) gives some of the background:

“In many Ukrainian and Byelorussian urban centres Jews accounted for 25-80 per cent of the population. The outbreak of the war and the unexpectedly swift German advance caught the Jews as much unawares as the Soviet command. There was practically no escape for the Jews living in Byelorussia and the Ukraine west of the River Dnepr. Many Jewish families who had attempted to flee eastwards on their own, found themselves, even after having covered several score kilometres, overtaken by the Germans and returned home.” (p. 15)

“Many Jewish families, including for the most part women, children and old people, did not attempt to escape for fear of the hardships of the flight and the uncertainties of life in unfamiliar places. Some of the older people believed that the occupation would not differ greatly from that which they had experienced in World War I. Not even rumours of ghettoes in Poland perturbed them.” (p. 16)

“The Germans began to liquidate the ghettoes as early as the autumn of 1941. … By the end of that year the majority of the Jewish communities ceased to exist.” (p. 28)

It seems that Haya was evacuated to Tashkent (Uzbekistan) and lived there until her death in the 1970s. This is a photo of her with her children:

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There is a database of these evacuation record cards that I need to search (see https://www.jewishgen.org/databases/Holocaust/0136_uzbek.html). Other newly found Nismans ended up in Baku (Azerbaijan), Ekaterinoslav (Ukraine), and New York. So I have some more work to do …

Ari, this is how you are related to David:

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