Monday, February 20, 2017

Deaths, Divorce and Name Changes

I recently heard that distant cousins had been adopted by their mother’s new husband. They were given his last name, forbidden to have contact with their paternal uncle because he “married out”. I also remember a Steuer cousin and his parents divorced. His mother changed her last name and her son’s last name from her ex-husband’s name, Isaacson, to Ives.

This made me think about all those other cousins I have been trying to find. I put on my Sherlock’s hat and started to dig! Another name change, but this time, his father had died. I don’t know if this was something common in the 1940’s, in both divorced and death of a husband. I can understand the adoption of children by the new husband when the father of the children died, but not when the parents got divorced. I also know many children still kept their father’s last name after he died or their parents got divorced.

I decided to take another look at my dead ends and I did find that Frederick Rudnick disappeared after his birth record because his last name was changed. Frederick’s father, Max Rudnick died in 1942. Millie Rudnick married again in 1945. I discovered that Frederick J Lewis got married and listed on his marriage certificate his mother as Mildred Zucker (her maiden name) and his father was listed as Charles Lewis, not Max Rudnick. I didn’t find any adoption record, but I assume since he was only about 3 years old when his mother married Charles, that he adopted Frederick.

This led me to discover that Frederick married Shirley May Levine on 28 Jan 1967 in Norfolk, VA. Frederick and Shirley had two children and separated on 19 Aug 1978. I'm now trying to find their children. I don't know if they have the last name of Lewis or Handelsman. 

Mollie Zucker Howard
Mollie Zucker Howard's children and grandchildren are still missing in action, as are her brother's, Wilton Zucker, children and grandchildren. I do know both of Wilton's sons were into sports. I'm also still trying to find Wilton Streicher's son and family.

Hoping that Goldie Streicher's grandson will be able to shed some light on other family I haven't been able to find. Maybe he can even identify some unknowns in old photos. 

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