New Database, New Great-Aunt

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.


One of my favorite photos I've shared many times of the Michelson sisters (with their mother on the far left). Marcella, Anna, Sylvia, and Mim.

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.


1910 census for the Michelsons in East Livermore, Androscoggin, Maine. You can see the 3 was edited. I imagine that information was shared with a heavy heart.

Great-Aunt Anna's birth record. You can see under No. of Child it said "2d."

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.


Card of interest found in the J. Gary Nichols Cemetery Collection.


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.


Death record for Henie Michelson on 5 September 1906 in Newport, Maine.

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.


Birth of Annie Michelson on 25 July 1906 in Chelsea, Massachusetts.

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.


My first Great-Aunt Anna has now been added to the tree.

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 adina@myfamilygenie.com if you're interesting in exploring your family history. Free initial consultations.


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