The Mielec Family Tree
It is with great pleasure that I announce the re-launch of the “Mielec Family Tree” with a new, online copy hosted by MyHeritage in July 2022. I have given a lot of thought into how and where to launch the new tree, and I am confident that this new home will serve us and our children well for years to come.
If you are already a member of the new tree, you can simply go there from this button:
If you are new here, or wish to learn more about the tree, please read the information further down on this page.
To reach out to me directly to gain access to the tree, ask questions, or anything else, please click this button below.
The “Mielec Family Tree” is an ongoing project to accurately record, catalog, and preserve the history of every Jewish family from Mielec, and their descendants. Currently the Mielec Family Tree has over 34,000 people on it, spanning over ten generations and every corner of the globe from Argentina to Australia. The tree is a collective effort of hundreds of people and thousands of hours of research. It is not a static tree, but rather one that grows endlessly in all directions, every day.
The Online Copy on MyHeritage.com
The true tree in its entirety lives on my computer (I use Reunion for Macintosh v. 13.0) and is backed up constantly on Dropbox.com with full versioning of every change. This is for two very important reasons:
- A large number of entries in the tree consist of people who are still alive. In order to protect their privacy, I do not wish to post their information anywhere online. This is also why you may notice there are fewer people on MyHeritage than what is stated here – all living people have been filtered out.
- I spent a monstrous amount of time trying to get the tree right. If I published the main tree online and opened it up for edits, etc., it would end up like every other online family tree – a mess. Every entry on my tree is vetted and sourced to the best of my ability.
It is my hope to publish new copies of the Mielec Family Tree on MyHeritage at least twice per year. Hence again please understand that information on MyHeritage could be out-of-date vs what is stored locally on my computer.
Main Tree and Islands
The Main Tree consists of approximately 11,000 people who are all connected to each other, somehow, some way. The remaining 23,000 people are in an “island”, currently disconnected from the Main Tree. It is a goal to ultimately connect every “island” to the Main Tree.
Due to the many, many ways that people spelled names over the years, I use a method where anyone born before WWII (and sometimes after) is recorded with their “standard/most common Hebrew names”. It makes it a LOT easier to match people whose names could be spelled many different ways.
So what do I mean by “standard/most common Hebrew names”? For the most part, I use the reference guides by Dr. Alexander Beider:
- For given names, I generally use Handbook of Ashkenazic Given Names and Their Variants (Avotaynu, 2009)
- For family names, I generally use A Dictionary Of Jewish Surnames From Galicia (Avotaynu, 2004)
However I have taken some liberties in modifying the listings in Beider’s books based on 20+ years of researching Jews from Mielec.
For given names, I put what Beider generally considers the standard Hebrew name first, then followed by all spellings found in parentheses. For example, if a person’s name was “Anna”, I record this as “Chana (Anna)” because “Chana” is the standard Hebrew name for Anna. If the standard Hebrew name is not clear, I will put a question mark like this: “Esther? (Etel)”. I do not do this generally for people born after 1945 .
For family names, I always list the family name from birth, and use the most common spelling found in the Mielec powiat. If the family spelled it differently, I put it in an “Alias/AKA” category. For example, the family name “FISCH” is used for all names with similar spellings such as “FISH”, “FISCHMAN”, “FISHER”. “FISCHER”, etc…
Sometimes I am wrong and have grouped names together that are different. It is not a perfect science. And it is quite possible that you will disagree with what I use for “standard/most common Hebrew names”. I can only say that this is only used to manage a massive 34,000+ person family tree and not to disrespect any particular spelling of a family’s name.
Maternal vs Paternal Naming
Many Jews from Mielec carried their mother’s surname as opposed to the common Western standard of carrying their father’s name. The reason for this that the local (P0lish) government did not recognize Jewish weddings. In order for a marriage to be “official” in Poland, Jews had to go to a local office and pay fees. Many Jews chose not to do this.
In other cases the local (Polish) government would use Latin designations for maternal vs paternal given names: false (f) for a child born from an unregistered marriage, and recte (r) for a child born from a registered marriage.
“Aba Isak HELLER f NUSSBAUM” and his wife “Blima Reizel OFFEN” are recorded in the Mielec Birth Register as having a son on August 25, 1901 named “Szymon Hersch NUSSBAUM”.
I enter this information in the tree as follows:
- Mother: Given names are standardized; surname is kept as it is the usual spelling.
- Blima’s Tree Entry ➡ Bilha Roza (Blima Reizel) OFFEN.
- Father: Given names are standardized. Surname “HELLER f NUSSBAUM” contains connector “f”. The order of the names is usually “father f mother” but not always true and hence cannot be assumed. “HELLER” is not the normal spelling so it is changed to “HALLER” with the original spelling “HELLER” entered under alias. Hence Aba’s father is entered as “HELLER or NUSSBAUM”, Aba’s mother is entered as “NUSSBAUM or HELLER”.
- Aba’s Tree Entry ➡ Abraham Isaac (Aba Isak) HALLER f NUSSBAUM; HELLER in alias/aka
- Aba’s Father Tree Entry ➡ [unknown given name] HALLER or NUSSBAUM. HELLER in alias/aka
- Aba’s Mother Tree Entry ➡ [unknown given name] NUSSBAUM or HALLER. HELLER in alias/aka
- Son: Given names “Szymon” is standardized; other given name “Hirsch” and surname NUSSBAUM are kept because they are already standardized.
- Szymon’s Tree Entry: Simon (Szymon) Hirsch NUSSBAUM.
If you have the financial means, I would greatly appreciate a donation to help maintain this site, and this tree in particular. I work on it every day and expend my own money for hosting, purchasing original documents, requesting high-resolution scans from Yad Vashem (they cost $30 each!), and many other small items. All donations are greatly, greatly appreciated. If you do not have the financial means to donate, you are very welcome here at no cost.