In my genealogy travels, I recently came across a database that has changed the way I look at my close family tree. My grandmother, Sylvia (Michelson) Berson, was the daughter of Max (Menachem Mendel) Michelson (Shtikan) and Ida Goldie (Chaya Golda) Michelson (Shtikan). (No typos here, the family surname was originally Shtikan and they were first cousins!) They had five children, four daughters and a son. The first, my Great-Aunt Mim was born in Chelsea, Mass., while the rest were born in Maine.
We knew that another baby was born from family lore, but I always assumed that the circumstances of the pregnancy did not result in an actual record. The 1910 census informed me that my great-grandmother had 3 children and only 2 living, and I had speculated that this baby must have been born after my Great-Aunt Anna (the second child) because her birth record stated that she was the second child.
While searching for possible probate records connected to my great-grandparents, I stumbled across the J. Gary Nichols Cemetery Collection. The FamilySearch Wiki states, "These records include transcripts of tombstones from various Maine cemeteries for the years 1780-1999. The original records are located at the Maine State Library in Augusta." Lucky for me, the records are available online at Ancestry and FamilySearch.
I decided to look at any Michelsons in this database and found a record for a "Ueine Michelson" buried at Beth Israel Cemetery in Bangor, Maine. Obviously, I had to figure out who this was! Using the date on the card, I immediately looked up Maine death records.
Lo and behold, there she was. Except her name was "Henie" (nickname for Hena, English may translate to Annie among other names), and she was born in Chelsea, Mass. I quickly was able to pull up her birth record.
As mentioned, I had a Great-Aunt Anna (and I'm actually named after her). From what I've gathered, the name was chosen to honor my great-grandparents' shared paternal grandmother, which based on my 2nd great-grandfather's death record, was Hena (Cohen) Shtikan. Clearly the name was important to them since they used it twice and in succession.
So now my grandmother has an added sister in the tree. When I can eventually get to Bangor again, I look forward to visiting her and the rest of the family at Beth Israel Cemetery.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interesting in exploring your family history. Free initial consultations.
Follow me on social media: