Sunday, December 19, 2021

Three Brick Walls Smashed by Remarkable WikiTreers

This past Wednesday, the remarkable WikiTree volunteers who worked tirelessly on improving my family tree were able to break three challenging brick walls. 

Overall, they improved many branches of my tree, adding people, lots of background, detailed sources, and dozens of clues for me to investigate! 

If you want to see the reveal as it unfolded during the WikiTree broadcast, take a look here

And here's a link to learn more about WikiTree's collaborative family tree. WikiTree is free, the emphasis is on connections, and it's a very friendly place!

Breakthrough on my Burk line

The WikiTree broadcast led with the news of an important breakthrough on my Burk line. 

When I first ventured into genealogy, my goal was to discover the where, when, and how my paternal grandfather Isaac Burk (1882-1943) died. In the process, I learned about my paternal great-grandfather, Solomon Elias Burk--but that was as far back as I could go.

Until now. The WikiTree team was able to discover the name of my great-great-grandfather, Meyer Burk, in Gargzdai, Lithuania, the place where my grandpa Isaac and his siblings were born (see WikiTree image at top). An exciting breakthrough! Because the name Meyer has been carried down in the Burk line through multiple generations, he is a most welcome addition--among the earliest of my ancestors on the family tree.

Breakthrough on my Farkas line

Yet another brick wall was busted when the WikiTree team uncovered a brother for my great-grandfather, Moritz Farkas (1857-1936). 

Digging really deep, the WikiTreers found evidence of Simon Farkas (b. about 1852), who is almost certainly Moritz's older brother. The names fit, the dates and places fit--Botpalad, Hungary was where a number of Farkas ancestors were born. 

This is an intriguing breakthrough because Simon's father was Ferencz, as was Moritz's father, according to the official birth records. Now I hope to learn more by tracing Simon's line, starting with the research notes provided by WikiTreers.

Breakthrough on my Kunstler line

One more breakthrough was the discovery of a possible brother for Samuel (Shmuel) Zanvil Kunstler, my great-great-grandfather. A little background (corrected): More than 20 years ago, a cousin visited this ancestor's grave and saw that the stone lists Josef Moshe as the father of Samuel.

This week, the WikiTreers found records pointing to innkeeper Herman (Hersko) Kunstler, in NagyBereg, as a possible brother to Samuel. The Kunstlers did, in fact, operate an inn, which confirms some kind of connection! 

Updated: Herman's father is Josef M., according to the records uncovered by the WikiTreers. Samuel's father, according to his gravestone, was Josef Moshe, whose father was Hillel. I'm going to take a closer look, but this is extremely promising.

Clearly, more research is in my future, a happy prospect for 2022. 

It was truly an honor to be a featured guest during the WikiTree Challenge.

I want to thank the many WikiTreers who worked so hard and dug so deep to improve my family tree.

This is my week #50 post for Amy Johnson Crow's #52Ancestors challenge. 

I've already signed up for the 2022 edition of #52 Ancestors! Follow this link if you want to sign up, too.


  1. Wow how cool. What a lovely Christmas present.

  2. I finally had a chance to watch last night. It was great to see how excited you were. I also lived that you weren't just provided with answers but also with clues to help you continue your own research.

  3. What fun to have them find not one, not two, but three brick wall cracks!