Wednesday, August 1, 2012


A few contacts I made in the past months didn't help me much to put some pieces together in this genealogical puzzle that can never be totally solved - only improved. But gave me more information to investigate.

The first was Francisco Wexler, descendant of Jewish Bessarabians who settled in Brazil, like my grandparents. In a conversation with my father, he said that in the village of Oliscani, in order to keep warm in the harsh winter, the houses were built with double walls. People would light the fireplace and the heat would be stored in the space in between walls - hence warming it up.

Jackie Talpalar in Israel shares an extremely similar last name, but we haven't found a connection yet. However, he said when he saw the picture of my great-grandparents grave in the Mamaliga Blues website, it was the only time he's read "Tolpolar" written correctly in Hebrew. And that is actually "Talpalar". Am I a Talpalar now...?

I don't know, but when I spoke to Semion Hinkis, also in Israel, he convincingly explained that Talpalars and Tolpolars are not directly related, coming from different villages in Bessarabia. A long time ago, Jews didn't have a surname. When the time came that the Tzar obliged them to have one, it was just a coincidence that two different families chose similar - and very uncommon -  last names. The same way all "Stein", "Kaufman", etc. may not be related. And in addition, he said "Talpa" in Romanian is not related to the shoe sole as we thought, but to a bat. Yes, the animal bat.

So it's possible that my family liked the flying rodents?

More food for thought.

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