Genealogy, part 0
I, of course, am Andrew Greene. My father was Gerson Greene, and his father was Abe Greene. Abe's parents came over in the late 19th century from Russia; as far as we know, they took the name Greene when they arrived in the United States and we don't know what it was in the old country. While we used to be in touch with some of Abe's side of the family, we've drifted apart over the years, and I really don't know any of them. (Or didn't when I started this project two months ago.... spoilers!)
My father's mother was Rose Wertheim. Her parents were Leo Wertheim and Anna Allweiss; they are buried next to her in the Greene family plot at New Montefiore Cemetery on Long Island. Rose had two sisters and a brother, and this side of the family has stayed in touch over the years.
My mother's maiden name was Edna Bissinger. Her parents, Louis and Frieda Bissinger, fled Germany in August 1939, as I've recounted previously on this blog.
Louis was born in Ichenhausen, a small town in Bavaria; he had two brothers and a sister. The Bissinger line goes way back in Ichenhausen, but shortly after my grandfather's birth his parents moved to Munich. Louis's parents were Max Bissinger and Jette Heller. Louis's brother Hugo moved to New York in the 1930s, but no one else from his close family escaped the Holocaust.
My grandmother was born Frieda Friedmann, the daughter of Hermann Friedmann and Ella Erlanger of Nurenberg. I know nothing about the Friedmanns, but there are Erlanger cousins in Australia, Israel, England, and Philadelphia; they go by the names Erlanger, Hoenlein, Nachmann, Hines, Callman, and others. My mother has maintained contact with the extended family.
Returning close to home: I have one sister; both she and I have one son and one daughter. My mother is an only child; my father's brother also has two children. So growing up, I thought that, with the exception of the Erlanger branch, which was reserved for special occasions like weddings and reunions, our family was small.
It turns out I was wrong.