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The story of Grimes

Underneath you can read the research of our genealogist Karolina, who solved the mystery of the Grimes family name.

“When I got e-mail from a client who was looking for her ancestor Alexander Grimes, I was sure that the case won’t be easy. The name of Grimes does not sound like Polish at all. Adding to it that Alexander was Jewish, it was clear to me that he was born under completely diffrent name. The only information which was very valuable for me was that Alexander was from Sedlitz. I was pretty sure that Sedlitz was Siedlce, a town in Masovian region of Poland.

During my research, we searched thru Jewish records for Siedlce, although we did not find any individual named Alexander Grimes or similar. 

We knew already that we had to take on different path.

I searched thru Jewish database for Siedlce and came across different surnames which could be the ones I am looking for such as Kramarz or Grajoncy.

Later in the process, I found American document (petition for naturalization) for Alexander Grimes with information about his emigration including his original name before coming to US which was Ellie Granat.

Unfortunately, this information did not help us to find client’s main ancestor and I was not sure, if they were actually true.

Fortunately, during the whole process, our client gave us great clue which helped us significiantly. We found out that Alexander Grimes was connected with a person named Grajacy. Going back to the American document, I was sure that to obtain such document Alexander had to give them information to fill the blanks and they just simply find the best match which was Elie Granat at the time.

Granat and Grający sounded pretty similar. Having that information I searched thru ship manifests again and came across individual named as Elie Grajoncy. His last residence place was Siedlce. I could not finish my research there knowing that his wife and son would join him later on. I knew from the client that his wife was Ida Feigenbaum and their son was Jack Jay. Also, I was sure that the names were different so I searched for name Grająca/Grajonca and I was succesful.

I found a woman named Chaia Grajonca who was travelling with a baby Jankiel to meet her husband Elie Grający. Their ship manifest mentioned that Chaia left her father Weiwel Feigenbaum in Poland. That confirmed that Chaia’s maiden name was Feigenbaum and that she was our Ida Feigenbaum and Jankiel was Jack Jay (Elie’s son).

Those facts led me to finding marriage record for Elie and Chaia.”