49°04´ - 26°13´  - 27.4 miles / 44.1 km SSE of Skalat

We have five Pikholz records which refer to Husiatyn, three of which are from the town itself.

Gabriel is an extremely rare Pikholz name, so we are assuming that the Gabriel who died in 1852, is the father of Schaje, Moses and Chancie.  This is not as simple as it sounds, for it requires Gabriel to be only eighteen when Schaje was born and Chancie to be at least forty when Brane is born.

There is also a connection between Husiatyn and Skalat, in the person of the Rebbe of Husiatyn.  This Hassidic leader had many followers in Skalat and spent some weeks every year in Skalat, while on his way from his home in Vienna to his father's grave in Husiatyn, so it is quite possible that a Skalater living in Husiatyn was a folllower of this rebbe, perhaps even a member of his court.  Tonka Pikholz of Skalat writes about the yearly visit in her article "The Husiayn Hassidim in Skalat" and mentions that her father Tuvya ben Moshe Pikholz was a follower of the rebbe.  Although Tonka's experiences were some eighty years after Gabriel's death, the relationship between the towns and the populations may not have changed much.

It is even possible - perhaps likely - that Tonka's grandfather Moshe Pikholz was the same Moses who was born to Gabriel and Sara in Husiatyn in 1851.  So let us look at that family.  The farthest we go back in the Tonka family is Tonka's grandfather Moshe Pikholz and his wife Chana Muhlrad.  (Chana's parents were Tobias and Matel.)

When I met with Tonka's cousin Miriam Reiner a few years ago, she said that Moshe had died young, probably in his forties.  (Fifty wouldn't have been considered young then, even though some people lived much longer.)  She thought that would have been in the 1890's, but wasn't really sure.

Moshe's children were born in the period 1874-1894.

We have a death record for a Moshe Pikholz from Skalat in 1894, which looks like it could be the one from this family.  That record does not list his parents' names, which was a disappointment.  The house number listed for his death is 306, which does not appear anywhere else in our database.  But in any case, a death date in 1894 for someone "in his forties" fits well with someone who had his first child in 1874.

Unfortunately, the death record says that he was fifty-seven years old.  I have tentatively put that death record on the Moshe from the Tonka family, ignoring Miriam Reiner's remark about his being in his forties.  (We have no Skalat birth records before 1859.  Nor do we have any other plausible birth records for Moshe, the grandfather of Miriam and Tonka.)  But it is equally likely that the age in the death certificate is wrong and that the death refers to the Moses born in Husiatyn in 1851.

Of course, 1874 is perfect for the first child of a man born in 1851.  Certainly better than a man born 1837 having a first child in 1874.

It is also significant that Tonka's Moshe had a son named Gabriel - born 1884 and died soon after.  Gabriel is a very rare name in our database.  (The fact that Tonka's Moshe had a daughter named Sara is not significant, because Sara is such a common name.)

I do not know how we might resolve this problem satisfactorily.  It is tempting to say that all evidence points to this as being correct and to add that there is no conflicting evidence.  But that may not be the case.

A new bit of information.Chancie Muhlrad - the wife of Moses from the TONKA family - had a sister Gittel who married a Morgenroth from Husiatyn.  This is one more connection between this family and this town, which strengthens our supposition but does not prove anything.  I was contacted by a great-grandson of Gittel, who provided me with this information.

Gabriel died in Husiatyn in house number 70.  There were quite a few deaths in that house during those years and even in the same weeks - all of whom were members of the Zellermayer family.  And in fact we have a Zellermayer-Pikholz couple, in the Eliezer family.  But in all our logical family groupings, there is no connection between the TONKA family and the ELIEZER family during this period. The most likely scenario to my mind is that the one of Gabriel and Sara who is not a Pikholz, is a Zellermayer and that this second appearance of a Zellermayer-Pikholz couple is but a coincidence.  (None of the living descendants of the Zellermayer-Pikholz couple in the ELIEZER family can shed any light on this matter.)

There is one other family of Pikholz descendants worth mentioning here - the RISS family.  Wilhelm (Gabriel Wolf) Riss was born to Brane Pikholz and Avraham Aron Riss about 1860.  We do not have a birthplace for Wilhelm, but his younger brothers and sisters were born in small towns very near Husiatyn.  Brane's parents are Ryfke Pikholz and Gabriel ???.  It appears that this family is not connected to Gabriel who died in 1852, but there may be some connection.  In any case, these are the only Skalat-area Pikholz families with children named Gabriel.