Whose Ashes are On My Shoe??

Today’s post is not a birthday post but is related (pun intended!) to my next birthday post scheduled for October 31.

During the summer of 2012, my siblings and I had the difficult chore of emptying our mother’s home after her passing in December 2011. Our family, the original owners of the ranch home, had lived there since 1959. My mother, an only child, had inherited not only her mother’s personal items but her aunt and uncle’s as well. The attic, which ran the length of the house, was chock-full of “goodies.” I had finally worked my way to the section where Tante Vally (see Vally Lichtenthaland Uncle Paul’s boxes lay.

As I emptied the contents, I noticed two handkerchiefs, each tied in a knot.

Not really thinking, I untied one of the knots. Before I realized what I had done, my right shoe was covered in ashes and more had fallen onto the floor! For years and years, someone’s ashes had been carefully kept and I single-handedly had reduced their memory to something soon to be relegated to the trash bin.

What to do? Still a bit freaked out, I swept up the ashes, cleaned off my shoe and decided to open the second knot, hoping to find some answers.

Inside the second kerchief was …..more ashes! However, this time, they were not just loose ashes. The lump was fairly well formed with only a few loose pieces. And…..there was a death notice identifying the “occupant.”

Roughly translated:

Death Notice
With pain we make relatives, friends, and ?
Known the message that our dear wife, mother, daughter, sister, sister in law and aunt
is now gone unexpectedly quickly in her 43rd  year  after a short illness.

Emil Garfunkel
Roger and Denise
Parents, siblings and mourning (?)
Silent funeral Monday, April 22 from 11 am clock 10 Friesenberg cemetery. 
Departure station Selnau 11.00 clock.
It asks you to refrain from condolence.

I knew Denise was Tante Vally’s niece because my mother always referred to her as “Da – Neice”! I figured perhaps Emil was her father and Mania, her mother. It took me a while and I’m not 100% sure but I’m thinking that Mania may be Paul Nebenzahl’s sister. Paul married Vally Lichtenthal, thereby becoming my mother’s uncle.

I searched the following websites with no results: ancestry.com, findagrave.com, familysearch.org and my usual “go-to” http://www.jewishgen.org. Then I remembered about http://www.genteam.at. Genius!! There I found a number of death notices, one of which helped me put the pieces together.

So, it appears that Paul, Rosa and Mania are siblings of Norbert, with Salo and Salomon as the parents.This does confuse me, as I have Paul’s mother listed as Cacilie Jakobsohn. Salo seems too different from that to be correct.

Readers- do you have any suggestions on this? I will try to sort it for my next post: Paul Nebenzahl, my great-uncle.

Oh…and in case you were wondering…I now have Mania “resting” comfortably in my genealogy room! Sadly, I have not been able to determine who the other person was . My guess would be Paul’s mother, as I found a small negative of her headstone in the same box.

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