First, we have known for many years that the name of Morris was probably not the birth name. The reason is simple, Morris is not a Polish name, but the Anglicized form of Moses. To this day I have been through the records of hundreds of Jewish communities in Poland and not once has the name Morris appeared.
Second, it is very important to remember that prior to 1821 Jews were not required to have surnames, in fact even after the 1821 decree, the records of Fordon show that most had not taken a surname as the records such as birth were for the most part still listed in patronymic form, that being the surname actually being the father's first name. In our case, that would have been Morris son of David, or using the Polish form Moses son of David, or Moses David.
Keeping this in mind, lets look at the data. In work that he submitted in 1884, Morris David provides us with a few interesting clues about his family that will help us uncover his record. In the record (posted above) he provides vital information on 6 relatives, including his father, a great grandfather, 2 grand parents and 3 uncles. Lets begin with the uncles. The first, Simon J. has a death date listed as 23 Jul 1840. The age on that record would give a birth date of the early 1770's. The next uncle, A.M. has a death date of 10 Jan 1871 at age 70. Therefore his birth date would be about 1801. Joseph, the other uncle lists his age as being 25 when he was married in 1824 (that record will be shown later). The death record of David Rosenbaum, Morris David's father, which has been posted on this blog at an earlier date gives a birth year of about 1797. I believe David, Joseph and A.M. are brothers, with Simon J. being a great uncle, one generation previous.
To further show the relationship between the three, lets start with with the death of A. M. in the records of the Jewish people of Fordon (FHL film #'s 814573-575). On the date listed as his death the record is for Abraham Rosenbaum. If we keep in mind the patronymics he would have been born as Abraham son of M.
From the record of Joseph's marriage in 1824 to Rachel Samuel (above) we find his full name is given as Joseph Moses Rosenbaum or Joseph son of Moses. Also, his father is listed as being Moses Abraham without the surname of Rosenbaum.
One problem with this thought is that all records of David, not one has shown any second name. In trying to verify this I found the birth records of all siblings of Morris David, which I will post in a later entry. In one in 1829 he is listed as David M, or David son of Moses. I believe all three are sons of Moses Abraham. In fact I believe that Jude, the grandfather is actually the great grandfather, he being the father of Moses Abraham. We may not be able to totally proof this as the records do not go back that far, however if that is true the Great Uncle Simon J. would be Simon son of Jude. Since we don't know what the full name of Jude was we can't determine if Moses Abraham was indeed the son, but it is possible that Jude was actually Jude Moses.
Now for the fun, the birth of Morris David Rosenbaum. In all of the records of his siblings, the parents are always David as the father with the mother either Sara or some form of the that name. With that knowledge, as well as the knowledge that many of the records are using patronymics the search begins. Using the name of Moses, as it would have been when he was born, I searched again through the records of Fordon. In various sources, Morris David listed a couple of different dates for his own birth, but usually they were always about 1831. Going through the record for the hundredth or so time over the last 30 odd years I found on the 12th of Jun 1831 the following record, which states that:
In Fordon, David Moses and his wife Sara had on 12 Jun a boy named Moses.
Further going through the records, I was also able to identify the marriage of a daughter of Moses Abraham. Her name is Esther and in 1831 at the age of 44 she married. She would be an aunt of Morris David. In addition at the same time there are two brothers, Gumpel David Rosenbaum and Jacob David Rosenbaum who are married and having children, these two most likely the cousins, through a father named David Abraham, brother of Moses. The information on all these will be included in blog entries in the days to come.
An important note, all of these early generations probably lived their lives without ever taking a surname, so it would not be correct to add the Rosenbaum to them. That is not how they lived nor how they were known. Just because some of their families took names does not mean they would or should be included.
I have tried to be complete as possible with this write up, but please excuse me if I left something out, I do welcome any feedback anyone may have. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.