Write it down!
This page was last updated in mid 2004. At the time we had been learning
about our family history for 10 months. We knew of around 140 family
members. By the end of 2006 our family tree stood at over 1000 members and
guess what 100's of those are living relatives.
What amazes me is how can so many relatives not know about each other. In
one branch Simon Berman a known ancestor arrived in the UK around 1882. We
learned about the man, found out about his life found a paper trail of
documents that helped tell the story, We traced all his descendants and
interviewed every single one. Each interview was written down and used to
form questions for he next Interviews finally we started round again asking
some of the first family relatives questions based on interviews.
Three separate branch's remembered talk about a nephew called Myer. What
was interesting was that each of the three branch's had not had contact for
many years. we continued researching Myers family and after building his
family tree of nearly 119 family members and finding coincidence after
coincidence we located Myers 84 year old youngest sister, who after me
presenting my research doubted that there was a link BUT like most families
due to war, marriage and many other reasons had lost touch with many of her
uncles and cousins. But the coincidences kept mounting up until recently
when I was put in contact with someone who had encouraged his grandfather to
write down stories about his past and it was because of these stories we
were able to discover that Myers grandfather Mark Berman and my Great Great
Grandfather Simon Berman were brothers.
We also discovered that their family name before they went to the UK was
not Berman but something that sounded like Salkovitz.
By 1893 Simon had got married to a young woman called Katie Berman and
already started a family and when his brother Mark joined him from
Lithuania. When he married he adopted her family name Berman as Saklovitz
was too much of a mouthful. When his brother arrived he too adopted Berman.
This information would NOT be possible to to guess and there were no
official documents showing a name change so it was not written down by an
old man all those years ago we may never have been able to find this out.