A Genealogical Study


Goldberg (En)






Goldberg (Fr)










Photo 02-09-01



This photo is one of the most precious I own, and one of the most genealogically valuable. It depicts two young girls, almost certainly sisters, in typically Russian winter dress. However, it is the Russian inscription on the reverse which brings it to life. It reads "For a nice souvenir, to the uncle and aunt, sisters and brother, from your nieces, Gitl and Nyunya Tarakhovskii. Peski, 22 December 1913".


The uncle, aunt, sisters and brother were Myer and Jane and their children, Gertrude, Sam (my grandfather) and Sarah Rebecca (Ruby). However, Gitl and Nyunya are not among the known family members (i.e. the descendants of Solomon Tarakhovskii), and all of this line of Tarakhovskiis had arrived in England some time before 1913. So, these girls must have been more distant cousins, related to a brother of Solomon, who must have been their paternal grandfather. However, the inscription's reference to Myer and Jane as aunt and uncle lends strong support to the rumour that Jane was a cousin of Myer's, and so a Tarakhovskii herself. It is quite plausible that Myer and Jane were first cousins, and Jane's brother was the father of these two girls.


The next point of debate is the spelling of the surname. In England, the phonetic spelling usually began with "Tara...", though there is one instance of "Tera...". Although the origins of the family are thought to lie in Terekhovka, it now seems just about certain that the pronunciation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was "Tara...".


Finally, and most controversially, a place name is given. With the debate about the family's origins still unsolved, the appearance here of the name "Peski" (probably pronounced "Pyeski"), strongly supports the idea that the family, at some point, lived in Chernigov Gubernia, near the towns of Terekhovka, Berezna, Borzna and Bakhmach.

  • Do you recognise these girls?

  • Do you have a copy of this photo in your family?

If you do, you are a cousin of this family! Please contact me immediately at saulmarks@hotmail.com!


Photo from estate of Gertrude Brown. Translation by Keith Munro. Surname and place name translation by Jeff Kaiser.




Photo 02-09-02



This is a studio shot of a young man who I have labelled "The Student", as he looks very erudite. His dress does not give away too much about the period of the photo, though it could be around the 1920s. He bears a resemblance to Sam Black, as shown on Chapel Street station (Photos Page 7) and the gentleman with the group of women, below. If this photo was taken in the mid-late 1920s, it fits that it could be Sam Black, based on his age and on the fact that he has yet to be identified by anyone in contact with the family.

  • Do you recognise this young man?

  • Have you seen this photo before?

If you can answer these questions, please contact me at saulmarks@hotmail.com.


Photo donated by Hillel Harris




Photo 02-09-03




Photo 02-09-04


These photos appear to be of the same boy, taken a few years apart. The oval photo, taken in Liverpool, shows him aged about 3, dressed in an overly long tallis and an old-fashioned yarmulke, and holding a long, thin object of some kind. Another copy of the photo is owned by Hillel Harris. Although both are mounted on the type of card used frequently for prized family photos in the 1910s, the photo itself seems to be printed on more modern paper, typical of a later period.  This could suggest that the copies of the photos were made in order to send to older family members, who would appreciate the more traditional presentation.


The later photo depicts what appears to be the same boy aged about 11, dressed in fairly summery clothes and holding a hat.

  • Do you recognise this boy?

  • Do you have copies of these photos in your family?

If you do, you are a cousin of this family! Please contact me immediately at saulmarks@hotmail.com!


Photo from estate of Gertrude Brown


Photo donated by Hillel Harris



Photo 02-09-05



This appears to be a drawing (rather than a photo) of a boy, perhaps in his early teens, wearing a wing collar. The face does not show enough detail to identify him properly, and the picture seems to bear a number of marks consistent with being rubbed or scratched. It is mounted on a piece of card, with slightly rounded edges.


The picture was examined in 2000 by Audrey Linkman, then of the Documentary Photo Archive in Manchester. She suggested the drawing had been made by copying an actual photo, perhaps after the boy had died. It does seem possible that it could have been made in Russia, and it certainly small enough, and worn enough, to have been carried in a pocket during weeks of travel.


However, it seems that there is simply not enough detail in the picture to make a positive identification, unless there are other copies in existence, and the owners of those copies know more of the picture's origin.

  • Have you seen a copy of this picture?

If you have, please contact me at saulmarks@hotmail.com.


Photo from estate of Gertrude Brown



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