Wednesday, November 10, 2010


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!

Beverly Bienstock
New Jersey, USA

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your success. I think genealogy research can be like an impending earthquake (only with good results)...the pressure builds and builds and then BAMM, a landslide of changes and new information. I've been lucky to experience a couple of these thanks to JewishGen and Yad Vashem :-D


Comments are welcome. Please post responsibly.