The two lives of Sam Schechowitz

A lot of people had questions about Sam. His first family, who knew him as Sam Schechowitz, wondered what happened to him when he disappeared in 1929. His second family knew him as Sam Miller and they wondered about his past. Through DNA and genealogical research, I’ve been able to piece together much of Sam’s difficult history. In this post I’ll highlight the documents that I’ve found, the places I found them, and the questions that still remain. Early years…

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Mike Schackowitz, Satanover Benevolent Society

Michael Schackowitz is the reason I started photographing the Satanover Benevolent Society. My elusive great great grandfather Moses Schechowitz or Scheckowitz (or indeed, about 30 other spellings of this name) was registered in the nearby town of Volochisk, so when I saw that there were several Scheckowitzs and Shackowitzs buried in the Satanover Benevolent Society plot at Mount Hebron, I thought I might as well research all of them, and figure out if they had any connection to my family.…

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Taube Spilka Scheckowitz, Satanover Benevolent Society

Last year I visited Mount Hebron Cemetery in Queens, New York and spent a few hours taking photos of every headstone in the section for the Satanover Benevolent Association landsmanshaft. Mount Hebron has a very useful website where you can search for people by name or by burial society, and I discovered that there are a group of people named Scheckowitz in the burial society for Sataniv, Ukraine. This Scheckowitz family is my great white whale, and the whole story…

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