Earlier this week I woke up with a dream that I’d had at the forefront of my mind. For whatever reason, I was dreaming that I had looked at newspaper articles on the Fleckman family in Texas and found some great information. I have heard stories from other genealogists about cases of genealogical serendipity, but had not really experienced it myself. Usually it is a tale of wandering a cemetery looking for a particular headstone for hours and then as they give up and give it one last look and there it is! Whether it is “dumb luck” or our ancestors nudging us in the right direction- who knows. Either way, it’s amazing to experience.
Before I started searching I decided to reread a bit of the biography my maternal grandmother had written about the Fleckman family.
My knowledge of the ancestors starts only with my grandparents on my Mother’s side, and that is more or less from surmises, calculations, and memories. As well as I can deduce, my great-grandmother on my grandmother’s side had been married twice. Grandmother, Dora Fleckman Engle, was born in 1864 in Austria-Hungary probably in the same city as that of my grandfather, Samuel Hirsch Engel, born in 1861. Dora Fleckman must have had two brothers, Philip Sonefeld (changed to Sunfield) and a Fleckman brother. Daughter of Philip Sunfield was Blanche Sunfield Bernstein, who had two daughters, Helen and Amy. The Fleckman brother had grandchildren whom we met Herman, Isadore, and Jeanie when they visited. There are still Fleckmans in New Orleans who had come from Beaumont, Texas. I do not know if Grandpa Engel had any sisters or brothers.
With this in mind, I decided that I’d better hop on GenealogyBank and take a peak at what I could find. I had hoped for maybe an obituary that would have some information about the Fleckman family and some of the contributions they may have made. What a surprise this headline about Adolph Fleckman….
I was shocked to learn that Adolph had lost his grasp on his life and had tried to hurt himself. His family was keeping sharp objects away from him and trying to maintain the family’s paint and wallpaper business while keeping him confined in the home. What a frightening experience for his family!
Apparently this had occurred just a day before Adolph had tried to commit suicide. Part of me wonders if he “lost his mind” or had inhaled too many paint fumes. Impossible to know, but definitely interesting to ponder.
Unfortunately, Adolph’s story is not a happy ending.
This scan of the paper is not the greatest quality, but from what I was able to piece together from it the funeral was held at his home. I can only imagine how his widow and children dealt with this sad turn of events. Perhaps I will track down more news of this family with time. I had no clue that this search would reveal such a shocking story in my family history. And to think if I had not had that dream, I would never have known about this.