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View Diary: Who Am I?: Not So Irish After All (A Big Genealogy Surprise, Part 1) (89 comments)

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  •  Am I Jewish? (5+ / 0-)

    Does anyone know how I can verify the family whisper?

    It is believed that my mother's, mother's, mother was Jewish.  Her maiden name was Aaje Marie Schurmann, sometimes spelled with one "n"  and sometimes two even on official documents.  She was born in Terborg, Osfriesland, Germany - not to be confused by a town of the same name in Holland.  I also have her parents names.  

    Aaje (anyone know how to pronounce that?) arrived in Illinois in 1884 traveling with her brother Andrew.  She lived there exactly two years, got on a train, got off in the middle of Nebraska and the same day married a local farmer.  She was a good Lutheran called Mary Pollman ever after.  

    She had gotten extensive training as a midwife in Germany and delivered hundreds of babies in rural, central Nebraska.  She gave birth to eight, herself.

    It seems important to add this rich thread to the tapestry of my life - if it is true.

    •  Is Andrew on (4+ / 0-)

      this page, perhaps?

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 07:37:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mail order bride? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      klompendanser, mayim, Naomi Loschen

      In that era there were organizations that arranged marriages -- her immediate journey west and same-day marriage makes this almost a certainty -- and they stayed within the same ethnic group. So if she married a German-American, she was likely German. The other option is that it was arranged by a friend-of-a-friend.

      Her immigration record or the ship's passenger manifest (many available on -- check your local library) will list her nationality. Jews were generally listed as "Hebrew," regardless of where they came from -- but a thoroughly assimilated German Jew might say "German," I suppose.

      Have you checked the Ellis Island database?

      •  Interesting, isn't it? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Land of Enchantment

        I have thought of several possibilities for Aaje's kind of strange move west and quick marriage.  Perhaps Ede and Aaje knew each other in Germany?  Maybe they met on the immigrant ship?  Maybe they knew each other in Illinois? Maybe it was a mail order situation, maybe they knew each other through correspondence?

        Aaje immigrated from Germany in 1884.  I don't think Ellis Island started processing immigrants until 1892.  She may have come through Castle Garden Immigration Center but I've searched their online records and did not find her.  

        I looked around the jewishgen website today.  I found Aaje there in a database made by the Latter Day Saints.  It has a correct place and date of birth for her, correct date of death, her parents names are correct but indicates that she was an only child - she had at least one brother, it lists her as the mother of six children instead of the eight she actually had.  It also indicates that Aaje was christened in Hannover which is about 150 miles from her place of birth in Terborg. As it was normally the custom to baptize infants within a few days of birth it seems odd her parents would make that sort of a trip.  However, if she really was christened as an infant that would put the Jewish question to rest.   Is this a case of the Latter Day Saints christening someone posthumously? No christening date is listed.
        What do you believe when genealogy records are different than family records?

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