Jewish Immigration to America
“Finding Your Roots” has given me a clearer picture of my husband’s Eastern European Jewish roots, and why it has been so difficult to research them. Thank you for illuminating how dangerous it was to live in then-Russia before WWI. There are no stories of the Old Country passed down through generations, no pride in the family name, no famous relatives to hold up as role models. These facts only make me more curious as to how the 4 Patiky brothers were able to get themselves to America at the turn of the century and why their parents never joined them.
Anyone who has been at this “hobby” for more than a few years has probably had some family secret show up on a document found on the Internet. Our ancestors could never have imagined how their “beans” would be spilled 100 years later! My husbands’ grandfather, David Patiky, one of the 4 brothers from what is now Ukraine, told his youngest daughter that he lost his fingers fighting in WWI. She was surprised when I told her recently that I found his original draft document from 1917 stating he is exempt from serving DUE TO “2 fingers cut off of left hand.”. I believe it was on the Maggie Gyllenhall episode that Dr Gates revealed that men in Russia had been known to cut off their own fingers so as not to be conscripted into the Tsar’s Army.
These historical tidbits are what can bring life and humanness to our story, so thank you for that!