Remembering My Ancestors Lost in the Holocaust

For those of us with Jewish ancestry, an unfortunate reality we must all face is the fact that we all lost some of our ancestors during the Holocaust or Shoah. I myself lost several members of my family during this awful event in history and I hope to keep their memory alive by listing them here for you all today.

Name              Where Held During the War                 Relation To Me

Gershon Glotzer                                   Warsaw                                                    3x great-uncle

Yossel Glotzer                                        Warsaw                                                    3x great-uncle

Rose Glotzer                                           Warsaw                                      2x great grandmother

Rachel Glotzer                                       Warsaw                                                    3x great-aunt

Moshe Grymland                                  Unknown                                                 2x great-uncle

Leah Grymland                                     Unknown                                                 2x great-aunt

Let us never forget the victims of this unspeakable tragedy and make sure that such an event like this never happens again.


Why I Do It: Flexible Prices for Genealogy Services

I have been conducting genealogical research for clients for over a year now and believe me when I say that I’ve learned a lot so far. I’ve learned many tips and tricks to the find elusive records, how to conduct business with clients, and I’ve learned that sometimes, a task that someone gives you to research is outside the realm of your expertise.

But perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned this past year has been how to be more generous when it comes to clients.

Over the past year, I have run into multiple clients who want to break through a “brick-wall” but are afraid to hire a genealogist because they’re under a tight budget. When I come across a client like this, I respond to them with the utmost compassion and I vow to them that I will provide my services to them at a price which will both give them the ability to solve the family history mystery while also not costing them much financially.

You may be asking yourself, why I would do my pricing this way. The answer is simple. I believe that everyone has the right to learn about their family tree because it’s what makes us who we are and you simply can’t put a price on something like that.


Samuel Klionsky: Navy Veteran and Family Man

Samuel Morton Klionsky was born May 13th, 1897 in New York to Barnett Klionsky and Bessie Cohen. He was the oldest of five with his younger siblings Harry, Beatrice, Libby, and Minnie. 

The first record found on Samuel is the 1915 New York State Census where he was 18 years old working as a salesman in New York while he was living with his parents and siblings.

Samuel Klionsky in World War One:

Two years after appearing in this census, the United States entered into World War One and because Samuel was over the age of eighteen, he was required to register for the draft. He would do so on June 5th, 1918.

Samuel Klionsky’s WWI Draft Card

Samuel would end up being drafted into the United States military. He would decide to join the United States Navy as a Seaman 2nd Class. Fortunately for him, he would be stationed at the Navy’s 3rd District Headquarters in New York City from July 15th, 1918, until the end of the War on November 11th, 1918. While he was stationed at Headquarters, Samuel worked as a Storekeeper. Samuel being stationed in New York must have calmed the nerves of his parents not having their son sent off to war. However, if Samuel had the same mindset of many young men during this time, of wanting to see the world, this may have been tough for him to come to terms with. 

Samuel Klionsky After the War

Samuel Klionsky would serve in the Navy for the duration of the war and like many others during this time, he had to adjust back to regular life once the war was over. A few years after the war, Sam would meet Henrietta Ring while he was working as a traveling salesman. He would later go on to marry Henrietta on June 27th, 1922. Over the course of their forty-year marriage, they would have two sons, Stanley and Barton, and would live out the rest of their days in Manhattan until Sam’s sudden death in 1962. 


New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 04; Assembly District: 08; City: New York; County: New York; Page: 50

United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls. Imaged from Family History Library microfilm.

New York State Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917–1919. Adjutant General’s Office. Series B0808. New York State Archives, Albany, New York.


The Short Life of Harry Klionsky

Harry Klionsky was born September 2nd 1899 in New York, New York to his parents Barnett Klionsky and Bessie Cohen. Harry had one older brother, Samuel (1897-1962) and three younger sisters, Beatrice (1903-1996), Libby (1906-2001), and Minnie (1911-1998). 

Harry Klionksy can first be found in the 1915 New York State Census where him and his family where living on Rutgers Street in New York. Harry’s father Barnett was working as a shoe dealer and his older brother was working as a salesman. Harry and his younger siblings were too young to work at this time and were attending school. 

1915 New York State Census

Three years after this census was taken, the United States entered into World War One. Harry was eighteen at the time making the age of enlistment for the military. On September 12th, 1918, just days after his nineteenth birthday, Harry walked down with his father to the local recruiting station, which was just a three-minute walk from their apartment, and registered for the draft. 

Harry Klionsky World War One Draft Card

It is unclear if Harry was called up to serve in World War One but he can be found in records beyond the end of the war. Harry can first be found in a record from October 22nd, 1922 when he married Adeline Schwartz in Manhattan. During their marriage, they would have two boys together, Jesse Heshel (1924-2003) and Herbert (1926-2006). 

Not much is known about the circumstances of Harry’s death other than he was declared dead on November 5th, 1927 and that he was kicked by a horse. His death at just twenty-eight years old left his wife Adeline to raise their two and four-year-old boys by herself. 


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New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 04; Assembly District: 08; City: New York; County: New York; Page: 50

Registration State: New York; Registration County: Bronx; Roll: 1753937; Draft Board: 04

Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.


From Poland to America: The Story of Joseph Greenland

My Great-Grandfather Joseph Greenland was born January 10th, 1903 in Brest Litovsk, Poland (modern-day Belarus) to his parents Avraham Grymland and Rose Glotzer. While living in Poland, Joseph had two sisters, Ethel and Leah and four brothers, Sol, Izak, Aaron, and Moshe. 


The Complicated Road to the United States:

When Joseph was just 17 years old, he made the decision to leave his parents behind in Poland and immigrate to the United States. However, Joseph’s road to the United States would be anything but simple. As the family story goes, when Joseph traveled to the United States, he arrived at Ellis Island. While he was there, he was told that his paperwork wasn’t correct and he would have to go through a different port of entry. 

Since this was the case, Joseph headed north to Canada. Here, he would be able to get his paperwork in order and would enter into the United States from Montreal on July 15th, 1920 via the Canadian Pacific Railway. 


Becoming a Citizen:

Once in the United States, Joseph would take a job as a plumber’s helper and was living with his Uncle Jack Greenland in Brooklyn, New York. Four years after arriving in the United States, Joseph applied to be a Naturalized Citizen on April 30th, 1924 at the age of 21.

Joseph Greenland Declaration of Intention

Three years later, on April 13th, 1927, Joseph would officially become a citizen of the United States. At this point in his life, he was still living in Brooklyn, New York but at this point, he had been promoted from a plumber’s helper to a full plumber. 

Naturalization Record of Joseph Greenland


Marriage to Mollie Kaplan:

Joseph would eventually meet his wife Mollie Kaplan (formally named Minka Kopiesno) and they would be married on June 12th, 1932 in Brooklyn, New York. They would have one child together, my grandfather, and would be married for forty years until Mollie’s death in 1972. 


The Greenland Family During the Holocaust:

Even though other members of Joseph’s family immigrated to the United States, the majority would remain in Poland. All of this would change when the Nazis invaded Poland on September 17th, 1939. During this time Joseph and his relatives in the United States would scramble to try to get their family members out of harm’s way. Unfortunately, their efforts would not be successful as seven members of his family, including his mother, two of his siblings, and four of his aunts and uncles, would perish during this terrible event in history. 


Joseph would eventually move to Missouri, for unknown reasons, where he would live out the rest of his days until his death in August of 1978. Joseph had a life full of changes and challenges of which he was able to overcome during his lifetime. My grandfather has described him as a kind and hard-working man, which can be seen in the actions he took during his life. 


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