Category Archives: Jacobowsky

Sandberg Records! Part 2: You don’t know Jak(ubowski)

Continuing on with the new revelations in the Sandberg records. This episode: the family – as well as probable relatives – of my great-great-great grandfather, Hirsch JAKUBOWSKI. Continue reading


Big Breakthrough… Thanks to nosy newspapers!

Once upon a time, newspapers – particularly those outside the major cities of the era – had a LOT of copy to fill. It was very common to see information that today we could consider to be trivial or even intrusive. You might see who in town was out for the weekend visiting family, or even the names of recent town arrivals and the accommodations in which they were staying. However, it is because of this detail that newspapers are invaluable tools to retrace the past. Recently, a series of newspaper articles (and previous speculative research) has led me to a huge breakthrough on my JACOBOWSKY / WOLFF ancestors’ side.

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Leigh Hecht (1882-1914) – and Family

Leigh HECHT was the fourth child of Solomon and Rachael FRIEDMAN HECHT, grandson of Caroline JACOBOWSKY FRIEDMAN. Caroline was either first cousin to, or half-niece to my great-great-grandmother, Helena JACOBOWSKY LEVY.

Leigh was born on 15 March 1882 in Norfolk, Virginia, and by his mid-teens was a salesman in his father’s dry goods business. One newspaper article from 1900 said that Solomon HECHT’s business concern had made the family “very wealthy”, but there’s little evidence whether or not that was true.

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Photo Forensics

My Aunt Lillian – technically, my mother’s Aunt Lillian, but we always called her “Aunt Lillian” – was the keeper of the family photographs. I recall visiting her in the early 1990s, and looking at her photo albums while she told me who people were. Unfortunately, at the time, I really wasn’t paying attention to people I had never heard of before, and who had died prior to my birth.

When Aunt Lillian died in 1995, the photographs remained, but for many of them, no survivor knew who they were, nor where, when, and why they had been recorded. This is one reason I am always on the lookout for cousins with family photographs, and hopefully recollections about who they are.

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Project Piaski!

I realized there’s a lot of cousins who originate from Piaski, Poland (Sandberg, Prussia).  Many of them, I know little / have very little to say about individually, but on the whole I know a fair bit about the town they came from and the people there. Possibly worth their own site.

4168_Gostyn_1940 (2)

Prussian Land Survey, 1890, with 1940 topographic survey overlay

If you’re related to me via JACOBOWSKY, PAWEL, WOLFF, or SALOMONSKY, or are otherwise just curious, you can subscribe to  Not too much there yet, but it will grow….

Helena Jacobowsky (1838 – 1915)

My great-great-grandmother, Helena (Lena) JACOBOWSKY was born in Sandberg, Prussia – now in Poland, near(ish) to Leszno – in 1838. Her parents were tailor Hirsch JACOBOWSKY and his wife Taube (Tennie) WOLFF JACOBOWSKY.  I know of two older brothers, Schaie and Moritz, both of whom immigrated to the United States. Continue reading