The best part of my discoveries of the Goldfarb and Hecht families is that I have found more new cousins, three of whom are my double cousins—Sue, Debrah, and Lisa. They are descendants of Julius Goldfarb and Ida Hecht. Sue’s daughter Lisa shared this wonderful wedding photograph of Julius and Ida.
Julius was the son of Sarah Goldfarb, my great-grandmother’s sister; Ida was the daughter of Tillie Hecht, my grandmother’s half-sister. So I am related to both of them.
Julius and Ida had four daughters, Sylvia, Gertrude, Ethel and Evelyn. Sue, Sylvia’s daughter, shared with me this precious photograph of her grandmother Ida holding her as a baby:
And Debrah shared this photograph of her grandparents, Julius and Ida, with her mother Evelyn:
One thing I wanted to define is how, if at all, Julius and Ida were related to each other, aside from being husband and wife. Hecht/Goldfarb family lore says Julius and Ida were “distant cousins.”
Julius was the son of Sarah Goldfarb. Sarah’s sister Bessie Brotman was the stepmother of Ida’s mother, Toba, as Bessie married Toba’s father Joseph after his Toba’s mother died. Although that makes things complicated, it does not alone create any genetic connection between Julius and Ida since Bessie (and thus Sarah) had no blood relationship with Toba.
But if Brotman family lore is correct and Bessie and her husband Joseph Brotman were first cousins, then Joseph Brotman and Bessie’s sister Sarah were also first cousins. Sarah’s son Julius married Ida, who was the granddaughter of Sarah’s first cousin Joseph, making Julius and Ida second cousins, once removed.
That is, assuming that Joseph and Sarah were first cousins as Brotman family lore reports, Ida and Julius were in fact “distant cousins,” as Hecht/Goldfarb family lore indicates. So maybe together the Brotman family lore and the Hecht/Goldfarb family lore validate each other.
Sue and Debrah, who are granddaughters of Julius Goldfarb and Ida Hecht, thus are both the great-granddaughters of Sarah Brotman Goldfarb, making them my third cousins on my great-grandmother Bessie’s side, and the great-great-granddaughters of Joseph Brotman, making them also my second cousins, once removed, on my great-grandfather Joseph’s side. (Lisa is one more step removed on both sides.) Renee is my second cousin; her mother Jean Hecht was my mother’s first cousin; her grandmother Toba was my grandmother Gussie’s half-sister. And then I’ve also found a cousin Jan, whose grandfather was Harry Hecht, Toba’s son, and my mother’s first cousin.
And, of course, if my great-grandparents Joseph and Bessie Brotman were in fact first cousins, the relationships get even more convoluted. But I think I will skip that calculation. At least for now. Maybe some brave soul out there wants to try and figure it out?
With all this shared DNA, I was very curious to see if there were any family resemblances among the various members of the Goldfarb, Hecht, and Brotman families. My newly found double cousins Debrah, Sue, and Lisa shared some family photos with me, including this one of Toba/ Taube/Tillie Brotman Hecht:
Here is a photograph of her brother Max Brotman that I’d earlier received from his family:
Do you see a resemblance? Unfortunately I don’t have any photographs of Toba’s other full siblings, Abraham and David, to help with the comparison.
But here are photographs of Toba’s half-siblings, Hyman, Tillie (Ressler), Sam, and my grandmother Gussie:
I can see some similarities—in particular in the shape of the noses. But it appears that Max and Toba do not have faces that are as round as those of their half-siblings. Perhaps the shape of their faces was a genetic trait they inherited from their mother Chaye, not their father Joseph Brotman.
Here is one other photograph of the extended Goldfarb and Hecht family.
Standing on the far left is Julius Goldfarb. Seated at the head of the table is Ida Hecht Goldfarb. On the right side of the table starting at the front are two of Ida’s sister, Etta and Jean Hecht. Also in the photograph are Julius and Ida’s four daughters as well as their spouses and a few of the grandchildren and other cousins.
It’s sad to think that in 1917 Julius and Ida were close enough to my grandmother that they came to visit when my aunt was born, as did Ida’s mother, my grandmother’s sister Toba Hecht, but somehow the families all lost touch, and my mother only has a few memories of some of the Goldfarbs from her childhood.
On the other hand, I feel very fortunate that now, almost a century after my aunt was born, I know who the Goldfarbs and Hechts were and I am in touch with a number of these “new” cousins of mine.