Moishe Hirsh Uditsky was born and died in the Russian Empire. Despite pogroms and oppression, he never immigrated to the United States, but at least six of his nine children did, finding a life of freedom and success. They mostly settled in Fall River in the first decade of the 20th century, multiplied and made their mark on the Fall River and Providence communities. The seven generations that followed produced several hundred descendants, who now live in over a dozen states.
In 1937, the family organized a reunion in Fall River, which was attended by over 100 of Uditsky’s descendants. Today, his descendants are far-flung and have new family names, but that didn’t stop some of them from traveling to a family reunion in October.
Several of the family members are active in genealogy and family history. Two, sisters Lois (Silverman) Cohen, of Cranston, and Linda (Silverman) Winkleman, of Connecticut, (Uditsky’s great-great-granddaughters), had the idea of holding this event, which they dubbed the “80th anniversary reunion.”
The group this time was smaller, but 16 family members came from as far as Maryland and Florida to meet in a Warwick restaurant on Oct. 28. Stories were told, third cousins met for the first time, precious old family photos were scanned and swapped
Some couldn’t wait for this reunion – in March, Lois and Linda’s sister Arlene (Silverman) Landesberg, who lives in Delray Beach, Florida, contacted a dozen Uditsky cousins who live in Florida. They met for lunch, got to know each other and shared family stories.
Family research continues, but details about Eastern European ancestors are notoriously difficult to find. Despite this challenge, the 1850 revision list (Russian Census) revealed to Arlene’s daughter, Karen (Landesberg) Steinfeld, of Maryland, and Linda Winkelman that the family was living in Moshny, Cherkassy, Russia, in 1850. The census also listed Moishe Hirsh’s siblings, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. The data also included the dates of birth and two dates of death.
Another of Uditsky’s great-grandchildren, Philip Goldsmith of Florida, is writing a book about the Goldsmith family, 1905 immigrants from Russia to Providence. By incorporating the research of his “newly found” Uditsky cousins, he’s now able to tell the story of his great-grandmother, Basya Uditsky, who remained in Russia.
Submitted by Lois Cohen