Thursday, January 20, 2011

Brian Arnell

My first husband, Brian Robert Arnell
born 10/22/50
city Brooklyn? NY

"My genealogy totally dies on my fathers side.  Both grandparents were refugees and had no willingness to talk about or connect to the past.

On my mother's side, both her parents came from the same village in Poland.  We have some pictures and their Ellis Island info, but nothing further back than that.  I assume all records got wiped out in WWII, but I've never checked.

Arnell was a name picked out of the phone book by my parents.  My grandfather was given the name Aronowitz at Ellis Island, his bother was given the name Aronov.  Both mean "son of Aaron", which could be the name of my great-grandfather or the name of a more distant patriarch.   In Russia, where they came from, last names were not in common use.  Actually, they still aren't.  Other than formal documents, etc., people in Russia are called their Christian name, followed by daughter or son of.  For example, Mikhail Gorbachev's dad was Sergei, so he is normally caled Mikhail Sergeyavitch."

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