Thursday, June 30, 2011


Jewishgen is a Jewish geneaological website. On this site, you can search by name, town or type of records.
A search for “Korenbaum” in Poland turns up 377 matches. But most of these are names that sound like Korenbaum (Grynbaum, for example). A search for is exactly Korenbaum gives 33 matches:
1 record from Kielce Gubernia (Kielce administrative district)
3 records from Piotrkow Gubernia
4 records from Radom Gubernia
4 records from Siedlce Gubernia
5 records from Warszawa Gubernia
9 records from Stanislawow Wojewodstwa
6 records in Jewishgen Family Finder (where people can list who they are searching for)
1 record from the Warszawa Gubernia voters lists, 1907

The 6 records for people searching for Korenbaums are two people (distant cousins) we already know, and me.
The other records are from Polish Birth, Marriage and Death records that have been indexed. (I am not sure by whom or when.) I am trying to find birth or marriage or death certificates for Gittel, Leibl, or Kalman.
I have no idea which region of Poland I am looking for. I think we are looking for Korenbaums in either Maloryta, Wlodowa or Warsaw, but I am not sure what provinces these are in. These are the places where we know the family lived. I am also looking for records from Ostrowa Lubelski, where my grandfather’s family was from and where my grandparents lived after their marriage. The years I am interested in are not indexed here. But it seems that most of these records are missing or were destroyed in the war. The Korenbaums that are listed here are people I have never heard of, mostly from the mid-to-late 1800’s.
Then my father tells me that on his mother’s naturalization papers, she listed her birthplace as “Shedlitza”. She told him that she was not born in the town of Shedlitza, but in the administrative district of Shedlitza, which in Polish is spelled Siedlce.
So I look again at the records from Siedlce Gubernia. And I find this:

Miedzyrzec Podlaski PSA BMD1869-1901
Siedlce Gubernia / Lublin Province
(records in Fond 1762 in Lublin Archive)
Located at 51°59’ 22°47’
Last updated May 2008

At first I think – oh my god, I’ve found my grandmother. The place is right, the date is right. But then I look more closely – this is a death certificate (Type: D). And then I realize – this must be the relative my grandmother was named after. (And so, in some ways, therefore, am I.) This Gitla Korenbaum died in 1887 in the town of Miedzyrzec Podlaski (pronounced, my father tells me, Mezrich), Siedlce region, Lublin Province, Poland. My grandmother Chai Gittel Korenbaum was born 2 or 3 years later, in the same region (possibly the same town?). There is also another Chai Gittel in the family, a cousin born around the same time. Perhaps they were both named for this woman. It would fit with Jewish tradition, naming a new baby after someone who had recently died, and adding Chai (life) – so that her name would mean: Gittel lives on.
If we can look at the original document, there may be important information here. But to look at the original document, we need to order it from Poland, a complicated process. This will have to wait. But I start to feel like maybe we will find something, like maybe it will be possible to fill in some of the pieces of story.

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