Promising Yezersky lead

I mentioned that I have been collaborating recently with Shirley Portnoy on sundry Rabbi Spektor genealogy matters. Today, she forwarded to me the report prepared for her in 2013 by Yuri Dorn, the Jewish genealogist from Minsk who had once guided my brother Walter on a roots tour to Rabbi Spektor's birth village. Yuri's research for Shirley proved her connection to the rabbi's lineage through the Yezersky family. It had been long known, as covered on this blog in 2008, that the young rabbinical scholar Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor had been married at age 13 into the family of Eliezer Yezersky, a merchant of Volkovisk in the Grodno province. Liezer's 14-year-old daughter Sora Reisel was the bride, but the whole Yezersky family benefitted by its association with the promising scholar. 

The family included two older twin brothers of Sora's and two other younger boys. The twins were Yudel-Movsha and Abram, born in 1800. Yuri found the vital records to show that Shirley's Harkavy family line descended from the daughter of Yudel Yezersky, Sara-Taibe Yezersky, who married into the Harkavy family. Sara-Taibe was the niece of Sora Reisel, though she was just six years younger. Shirley has family lore that the Kovno Rav visited the Harkavy family in Volkovisk and selected one of the Harkavy family to study in his Kovno yeshiva. This story seems to be borne out by the proven connection between the families. 

All this I knew already. What happened today is that Shirley sent Yuri's research papers including an extensive Yezersky family tree. His chart shows the family of Yudel's twin brother Abram Yezersky. He married Sora Leya and their four children included Berta, born in 1828. This Berta would have been a first cousin to Sara Taibe and a niece to Sora Reisel. The families lived together in the same household in those years. Two years after Berta's birth, the auspicious marriage between Sora Reisel and the future rabbi took place. Yitzhak Elchanan then lived with the Yezerskys for the next six years while finishing his studies under the eminent rabbi Benjamin Diskin. 

Is this Berta Yezersky the same person who appears as Bertha Yezersky Rabinowitz on my great-grandfather's death record? Her name, age and location fit the facts as we know them, and most importantly she provides a believable source for the family legend of a Rabinowitz relation to Rabbi Spektor. At this point, I believe that this Berta Yezersky is, indeed, my great-great grandmother, and that she did grow up in her early years together in the household with the future Gaon. I believe it, but I won't officially claim it to be true until more evidence comes in to confirm it. 

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