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Finding Walter Wicclair

By Peter Vanlaw

“I didn’t learn that my family was Jewish until I was 51 years old. That secret was sustained while I was growing up as an only child, knowing only my parents, and with little knowledge about any relatives living or dead.”

Searching the Past, Finding the Future

By Stella Saperstein

“It was probably a typical story of the day when an older brother, trying to protect the younger one from conscription to the army, switches identity with him, sends him off to America, eventually gets drafted to the Russian Czarist Army, and goes to World War I in his place.”

Finding Sam Bloom

By Carol Clingan

“When I teach an introduction to Jewish genealogy, I always tell students that their very first step should be to check the JewishGen Family Finder (JGFF) to see if anyone else is researching their names and towns … I’ve had my share of successes with this route.”

Reuniting the Maniches Family

By Robin Koerner

“The last time descendants of these families had all been together for a meal, attending synagogue together, and just spending time together would have been in 1914, the year my grandmother left Krynki, Poland.”

EDITORS' NOTE - May 2015

JewishGen’s Family Finder plays a key role in the inspiring stories we present in this issue.

Peter Vanlaw learned that his family was Jewish when he was 51 years old. Through a connection he makes via JewishGen’s Family Finder, he discovers his father’s cousin, actor and playwright Walter Wicclair (Weinlaub), and learns more about the family that had been kept a secret from him all those years.

Stella Saperstein knew nothing about her American family while she was growing up in the former Soviet Union. As she prepares to emigrate in 1979, her father tells her about her grandfather’s brother who left for America before World War I. After several unsuccessful research efforts, she connects with her previously unknown cousin through JewishGen’s Family Finder.

Carol Clingan obtains a copy of Sarah Cohen’s obituary that lists two surviving sons. She knew of one of the sons, but who was Sam Bloom? She contacts another researcher who listed the Bloom name in JewishGen’s Family Finder. It turns out he has the other piece of the puzzle!

Robin Koerner updates her story from January 2015, telling us of the Maniches family reunion in Montevideo, Uruguay. It was more than 100 years ago when the ancestors of these families had been together in Krynki, Poland. Now a connection through JewishGen’s Family Finder brings them together.

JewishGen provides many resources to support you in your efforts to learn about your family history and connect with living relatives. We wish you success and encourage you to send us your stories.

Nancy Siegel, Editor                                                            Anna Blanchard, Webmaster
San Francisco, California                                                  Saint Louis, Missouri


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Updated by AB on May 31, 2015.

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