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missing family

missing family

Posted: 5 Jan 2013 1:00AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 5 Jan 2013 1:01AM GMT
looking for a sarah vindright or robert Freibaum. not sure if spelling is right. names sound german but could be from russia. they are the parents of minnie (mary) berns. she married issac berns (bernstein) lived in new york and chicago.

Re: missing family

Posted: 7 Jan 2013 3:25PM GMT
Classification: Query
Anne,

Your query is a bit of a shot in the dark since you cannot even verify a country of origin. Even if they are ethnic Germans, you need a point to start from and that would require at the very least a parish name or better yet a village name of origin. A Google search does not turn up any Vindright surnames. I doubt that it is Germanic.

My best guess is that these families are Jewish. Jews did not use surnames until mandated to do so by Napoleon in the late 1700s. They often adapted or adopted some surname that often sounds ethnically German, Polish, Russian, etc. Therefore you cannot determine a place of origin on the basis of their current or recent surname.

I think you need to do more research this side of the pond before branching out to other countries. If you find they are ethnic German from Russia, return here with more questions. If they are ethnic Germans, you will need to find another forum for their specific point of origin. If they are Jewish, you may find more help at www.jewishgen.org .

Jerry

Re: missing family

Posted: 8 Jan 2013 3:24AM GMT
Classification: Query
i appreciate your help and advice. however i have no family to ask so i am flying solo. the other sides of the family are doable but not this side. names were shortened and first name spellings changed. the name freibaum sounded german to me. sorry. i am not an expert at this.

Re: missing family

Posted: 8 Jan 2013 3:35PM GMT
Classification: Query
No need to apologize. We all started somewhere. Though I had family to ask, they either could not or would not share anything with me. Yet I managed to track my mother's side of the family back to 1560 in Wuerttemberg. It took lots of years to do it.

Freibaum definitely sounds Germanic. However, when I look at all the Freibaum that came in through Ellis Island, I see most of them with names like Berl, Chane, Gemandel, etc. which all suggest Jewish origin. The same applies to Bernstein. I know of ethnic German families with surnames like Czarnecki, Lewandowski, Girschewski, Borkowski, etc. The surname does not always clearly define the origin.

You may be able to track origins through the community in which they lived, the synagogue the attended (or church if my assumption is wrong), passenger ship records, etc. Bernstein might be difficult to track. Over 4000 with that surname came through Ellis Island alone. However, there were only 13 Freibaum. That branch should be much easier to trace though you may have to investigate other ports to find your specific ancestor.

Vindright is so unusual that search results are virtually nil. Windright has a few entries but neither sounds east European. Your family lore about that surname may not be accurate OR this person may not be from eastern Europe.

I encourage you to keep digging. It may take awhile but something may pop up. Sometimes genealogy is relatively simple but sometimes it is hard slogging work. I've been searching for the origin of one branch of my ethnic German family in Poland (historically Russia) for over 20 years and finally found it just before Christmas.

Good luck.

Jerry

Re: missing family

Posted: 8 Jan 2013 9:27PM GMT
Classification: Query
i am unable to find even 'easy' things, i.e. my fathers marriage, high school info and military and i know where he was stationed and when and what high school he went to. the info on this site is so inconsistent. people i have pictures of existed but yet despite the info i have there is little to nothing on them. the name freibaum shows on 2 death certificates. one fretbaum on one and freibaun on the other. go figure

Re: missing family

Posted: 9 Jan 2013 8:28PM GMT
Classification: Query
These names certainly sound Germanic but there is one thing which might be helpful, these appear to be Jewish names and it is important to remember that Jews took "Europeanised" name quite late in history, a lot I believe were simply ordered to toe the line by Napoleon. This meant that instead of being "ben" something = son of, they had to have "proper" family names and in many cases they just used the name of geographical features like Sternberg = star mountain, Rosenfels = rose mountain, Gruenewald = green woods and so on. Bernstein is simply "Amber" in German. Vindright is a bit of a puzzle but "Windrichtung" (W has v sound) = the direction of the wind - it is possible that such a word was used but for simpliocity the "ung" was dropped and the "W" replaced with "V" because everyone assumed it was. Hope this may open up a few new thoughts.

Re: missing family

Posted: 9 Jan 2013 8:31PM GMT
Classification: Query
Sorry - should have added that Freibaum could also fit this pattern. Baum = tree and one of the many meanings of frei (basically free) is something that stands alone, single. This chap could have taken his name because he had just one tree in his garden.

Re: missing family

Posted: 10 Jan 2013 12:51AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 10 Jan 2013 12:52AM GMT
thanks so much for your thoughts. vindright is unusual. the freibaum has been spelled fretbaun, fribaum etc. very hard to work with

Re: missing family

Posted: 29 Mar 2013 9:15PM GMT
Classification: Query
28 March 2013
Dear Jerry,
I don't get the full use of the inernet and it i expensive for me to use it at this Rehab Home. I can verify that the names from Poland were names of landlords. My mother's family came from the castle named Golczewo. And they had the name "Goltz". There are many, many, of them all over. The history says that my great grandmother
's name was Christina "GOltz". It means clearing in the woods. And my grandfather's name was Streichert. One of them means Wood Cutter. They changed their name to Lorin in Detroit MI. Paula

Re: missing family

Posted: 29 Mar 2013 10:15PM GMT
Classification: Query
Your message does not seem to fit the thread in which it is posted but I will try to comment on what you have said. Based on what I found on the Internet, there is no doubt that at least some people with the Goltz surname are connected to German nobility. However, it should be noted that some people who provided meritorious service to their Lord were allowed or given the right to use his surname. You may well be descended from that noble family but you have to trace the lineage to prove it.

I cannot find any verification of the surname translation you have provided. Streicher is the German word for string. However, it is more likely that it derives from Streich which is the German word for a prank or hoax. Streich, Streicher, and Streichert are all valid Germanic surnames. The Goltz surname, as far as nobility is concerned, appears to derive from the Golczewo place name but I have not found any translation for it in either German or Polish. Note that in Polish, Golcz would be pronounced as Goltz.

Jerry
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