The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Monday, March 20, 2006

A Blast From The Past II -or the History of Me

Lost Post 6.
It's my blog so I can post what I like:
Here's a condensed version of a conversation that I've had with a few cousins of mine about the origins of the family.

What I know:
My last name is Lightstone.
It used to be Kasdin.

From a Census 1901 from Montreal.
Louis Lightstone aged 35 years, living in St. Laurent, St. Laurent Ward
T-6535-6536, from Russia arriving in 1896 to Canada, occupation Jeweller
Maly Lightstone, 35, from Russia also arriving in 1896
Morris Lightstone 18, born in Russia, arriving in 1896, a Jeweller
Max Lightstone 16, born in Russia, also a Jeweller
Jacob Lightstone 14 born in Russia, a Jeweller
[ed. my great-grandfather]
Meyer Lightstone 13 born in Russia
Minnie Lightstone 8 born in USA
Louis Lightstone 7, born in USA
Many Lightstone, born in USA
Samuel Lightstone 3, born in Quebec
The name Lightstone/Adelstein may have come about due to the family porfession (An Adelstein is a precious stone i.e. a Jeweler)
Sam: The family name was changed from Kasdan to Adelstein then

Based on the ages in your list Levi and Malka must have been married when
they were 16!

The rumor is that Malka was from a prominent family in St Petersburg. When
she was of marriageable age she was taken tot he local Yeshiva and the most
promising students were lined up for he. She picked Levi.

: As to Kasdin, some of our family remember it as Hasdin, some as Kasdim. As
you know from medieval rabbinic Hebrew final nun and final mem often got
interchanged, since one was the Hebrew masculine plural ending, and the
other was the Talmudic Aramaic masculine ending.

I had either forgotten, or never knew, about Adelstein being an intermediate
name between Kasdin/m and Lightstone. My grandmother, Michael's wife, was A
Kasdin/m; she was my grandfather's first cousin. (First cousin marriage was
quite common among eastern European Jews.) Our family tradition has my
grandfather's hometown being Grajeivo/Grayevo (spelling?)near the Lithuanian
(not Latvian) and Polish boundary-sometimes in Lithuania, sometimes in
Poland. It too is still on the map (now in Poland).
As to where thefamily stood on the Hasidim/Mitnagdim front, I have no firm information, but

I have (perhaps mistakenly) inferred from some things my grandmother, Leah
(who is your grandfather's aunt by marriage and his second cousin, once
removed, by blood) who said that her father (my great-grandfather) was a
Hasid and would travel to visit his rebbe. I do not recall to which locale
she said he traveled, so I cannot infer anything about which Hasidic group
he was associated with.

[Ed. I have since come to believe that they may of been Kotzker Chassidim
(Mendel is a Lightstone name
and the town Grejwo had mainly Kotzker Chassidim)]

In any case my grandmother's brother was among the early Balshevics (well
before the Russian Revolution). Therefore, he presumably was anti-religious
in the Marxist fashion. According to my grandmother, her brother (who was
considerably older than she)was arrested by the Czar's secret police and
sent to Siberia, where he died in a Gulag.

[Ed. I had mentioned that Kasdin is said to stand for 'Kohanim Shluchim D'rachmana
Ninu' -
the Talmudic dictum that Kohanim are the emmisaries of Hashem.
This, despite the fact that the family is not of
Kohanic lineage]

Incidentally, I do not tend to believe the rashei teivot explanation of the
name, since many such can be shown to be ex post facto interpretations.
Something else might help begin to trace the name's significance. My
grandmother was a Kasdin/m, remember. Her mother died when she was very
young, and her father remarried a widowed woman with children. Leah, my
grandmother, was ill-treated by her new stepmother, and her father was
prevailed upon to have Leah live with her grandfather, who lived in Crimea.
I do not know whether it was her maternal or paternal grandfather, but I
strongly suspect it was her maternal one. How would her father, a man from
Poland-Lithunia, have married a woman (Leah's biological mother) from as far
a way as Crimea if the his own family did not already have strong ties in
that region. Perhaps the Kasdin/m family had migrated not too many
generations earlier from the Crimean area. Crimean Jews had stronger ties
(and in some cases older family roots) to Jews in the Middle East and
Turkey. Could the roots of the name be Middle Eastern? Could it designate
whence the family believed it came (a corruption of the Hebrew for Chaldean,
perhaps,)just like names like Ashkenazi, were adopted by families after they
had left "Ashkenaz."


Sefirah said...

awesome! we had a rich family! super!!

maybe i should be a jeweller