As at January 2015
(with repeated and renewed apologies for it being updated so infrequently - it does involve quite a lot of work!)
In this latest version (as at January 2015) of the Web listing of the members of our families we now have varying amounts of detail on as many as 3,514 people related directly to us spanning 10 generations - and an additional 3,701 people over 12 generations on our son-in-law Marc Abraham's tree (see below). When we started on this odyssey we both believed we came from very small families!!
We hope you will enjoy looking through our data as much as we are still enjoying the process of finding out about our families!
W ith just three exceptions for very close family, we have only included blood relatives of ours and their spouses in our own tree and we therefore apologise to anyone whose details are limited by this necessary decision. The exceptions to this 'rule' are 1) the family of Marika (Kocsis), wife of Wendy's late brother Peter (Eden) 2) the immediate family of Tanya (Carus), who married our wonderful son Perry and 3) the immediate family of Marc Abraham who married our equally amazing daughter Tracy.
The detailed material relating to the entire family of Marc Abraham, our son in law, is now included separately on this site although only in the second of the two formats below as they are not blood relatives of Wendy or I. These have, however, been included as they make up parts of the trees of our gorgeous grandchildren Oscar and Zac Abraham.
If you find any information in our family tree which is incorrect or incomplete then we readily apologise - we'd be extremely pleased to hear from you to put it right for the future - we cannot get too much detail! Do always bear in mind that the spelling of names could easily have altered over time and that people will have had names in multiple languages such as Yiddish, Hebrew and the language of the country of residence.
The information we have collected is presented in two formats:
First: a 'tree' structure showing ancestors of each person and listing immediate family members. This is the best way to locate an individual or to trace a specific surname and includes a lot of detail on each person. Look out also for the cross reference to additional notes.
You can search through this information in two different ways:
a) From a list of names of individual family members on the Tree OR
b) From a list of all the surnames of family members on the Tree
Second: an 'outline descendent' format of listing showing everyone in the specified branch. Whilst harder to find an individual person and much less detailed, overall this format is easier to follow and to print. This presentation is limited to specific family branch and therefore does not include everyone in the overall database - it only includes people who are linked to one of the individuals at the 'top' of each relevant branch. Where there are a number of family trees in a group, there will be overlap - this means that individuals will be repeated on each branch at and after the point where these branches merge though marriage.
Branch a) (Allan - paternal line) TATZ FRIEDMAN-BLACHER VINNIK KULVINSKI
For those in this family group I have included a very moving account of the massacre of family members during World War II and two long and descriptive memoirs of the family and life in Lithuania. I have also received a most interesting memoir from Ekhiel Zilberman recounting his expulsion from Lithuania in June 1941. The towns in Lithuania where these families are concentrated are in and around Girkalnis, Veliuona, Rasein, Ariogala, Cekiske and Seta.
In 2009, with the help of my relative Ekhiel Zilberman in Israel, we made another major breakthrough. Previously, on my late father's branch of this tree, we had made an interim assumption that there were four brothers with different surnames - Tatz, Blacher, Friedman and Vinnik. We have now discovered a large volume of evidence to prove that Blacher and Friedman were not just related but were definitely one and the same and that they didn't change their surname but used both surnames at different times. My own great grandfather, for example, was Girsh Blacher as well as being Girsh Friedman. This has expanded that part of the tree with new data which is included in the material below where, in addition, the Tatz and Vinnik lines are, for the time being at least, shown separately.
Branch b) (Allan - maternal line) TABAKIN TRUSFUS/TROPE
The most common surnames are Tabakin, Klavan/Klavansky, Trusfus/Trope and Rosenthal. The Trusfus list includes many additional Trusfus/Trope families and excludes the Klavan/Klavansky and Rosenthal families. This family group are centred in and around Pasvitinys and Gruzdziai in Lithuania.
In March 2013, thanks largely to the amazing work of Sara Manobla in Jerusalem, three Lithuanians were honoured by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for hiding and saving Batya Trusfus and other members of her/our family. A fascinating description is attached. Sarah has now published a book which includes the full story - it is available in paperback from Amazon entitled Zagare - Litvaks and Lithuanians Confront the Past. ISBN-13: 978-9652296573
A significant breakthrough in the Trusfus/Trope tree was added a while ago to this website. With really valuable help, especially from Alex Plotkin in Texas who provided much of the information and the clues with which the link has been made, an entire and substantial branch of the Trusfus/Trope line has been added to the tree. Whilst the origins of this branch are in and around Pasvityn in Lithuania, almost all the families on it are, or were, in the USA - predominantly in Columbus, OH. This branch starts with Yitzhak Meir Trusfus and, although we are not 100% certain of the accuracy of his place on the tree, we are absolutely certain of it being a part of this family line.
Thanks to Ross and Eileen Klavan I have been able to add two wonderful audio files to this site. The first is a conversation between Shirley (Klavan) Parnes and her nephew, the well known US broadcaster Gene Klavan. It was recorded around 1975 when she was about 72 years old. The second is Shirley's sister, Fanny (Klavan) Olshaker talking to her grandson, Mark Olshaker. This was made in 1972 when Fanny was about 76 years old. Each recording lasts around 45 minutes. Shirley, Fanny and Eugene are, sadly, no longer alive so it is especially moving to listen to their own voices describing parts of their lives. It can take a couple of minutes for these files to "load" so please be patient.
I have recently received a family tree and photos from the Trusfus family in Kazan, Russia but, so far, I have not been able to find anyone to translate it for me. If you know someone who might be able to help, please let me know!! There is not a huge amount of work involved and I can't use this wonderful material until it is translated.
Branch c) (Wendy - paternal line) EISGRAU - BOTKNECHT
Wendy's late mother, Gertrud Levy (Eisgrau), wrote an account of her life in Vienna and then moving to London. We have now transcribed as much of it as we have found and this life story is attached. There are some Botknecht and Eisgrau families with whom we are in contact with whom a link has yet to be firmly established.
This family group originate in and around Dobrotwor near Lvov in what is now Ukraine.
Branch d) (Marc Abraham lines) SALOMONS HIRSCH ABRAHAM RAPHAEL ABRAHAM MEIR GULDSCHMIDT
This is the tree of our son-in-law Marc Abraham. The most common surnames in the Salomons file are Shochet and Souget which are from Marc's maternal line. This line goes back to the mid-1600's in Holland with a surprising amount of extremely interesting detail available from that time. The PC version of this tree also includes many other maternal lines which cannot be seen in this current presentation. The Guldschmidt branch is Marc's paternal grandmothers' line and my thanks especially to Bev Blum for this data.
Three documents telling some of the history of the Salomons family group have been joined into one file and are attached. These are not necessarily correct in some of their detail but are interesting.
Over the past few months we have put more photos on this site. Do have a look!
Aside from our immediate family, we have broadly limited the photographs we have included to people on the tree who are no longer alive - this has been necessary in order to keep the photo album to a manageable size.
On our PC files we also have a large number of photos (around 100) we have taken of family gravestones from Muiderberg Cemetery near Amsterdam which are from members of Marc Abraham's family.
At the heart of this whole process is the collection of information. Our software program, Family Tree Maker, is incredibly versatile and is able to hold and manage a huge amount of detail and, as you will see, we are still missing a lot of that detail - particularly full dates (dd/mm/yy) and places of birth, death and marriage. Some of the data we are able to show on this site includes only a part of the detail we are able to collect on each person - we have set out below a full list of the information we are trying to gather wherever it is available.
This is really important to all those involved in our Tree - both now and for the future - do help us if you are able to fill any of the gaps or if there are marriages, additions, deaths or other changes.
If you want to contact us or if you can add any information to the Tree, just send your message to us, Allan or Wendy Blacher, in London, England at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would really like to hear what you thought of this site!
The information we are collecting:
also include nicknames, former names and also-known-as
maiden names of all wives marrying into the family
male or female (if not obvious from the name)
Hebrew name if any (written phonetically in English is fine)
- Date and place of Birth
full date - day/month/year. If actual date not known then approximate date is still helpful
place to include town/city and country if not well known
- Date and place of Marriage
full details as above i.e. full date and place
name of synagogue/church etc
details of divorce / remarriage if relevant
- Date and place of Death
full details as above i.e. full date and place
even if details are unknown, then confirmation that person is no longer alive
name of cemetery where buried and plot location if known
- Where resident
postal and email address and phone/fax
principal occupation currently or during working life
- Free Text
any information of interest e.g. dates of immigration, name change etc.
- Photographs and other documents
Old photographs can be very cheaply and successfully photocopied so long as a very good quality copier (such as those in print shops) is used. The image can also be enlarged (up to A4) size and in many cases this has enhanced the picture considerably. Please mark the identity of people on the back of the picture.
Photographs of gravestones are also especially valuable as they have often revealed previously unknown dates and relationships.
I have an excellent scanner and would very quickly return any photos sent to me.