When I was a young boy, during a much simpler time before the digital information age, I loved reading tales about the days of yore. Mystical kingdoms inhabited by noble kings, fair queens, and gallant lords and knights in armor captured my imagination. Their heraldic coats of arms – bold symbols of family importance, legacy, and pride, handed down from one generation to the next – fascinated me. I was in awe of these kings and knights, and the noble families from which they descended.
The limit of my knowledge regarding my own family’s ancestry stopped at the doorstep of my grandparents. Beyond that, there was a vast emptiness. I daydreamed about how incredible it would be to come from a family of history and legend that could trace its lineage back to ancient nobility. Never did I dare to imagine that one day, as I approached my sixth decade, these dreams would become a reality. Even now, it’s difficult to describe the feelings that accompanied the remarkable discovery that I do indeed belong to such a family – one that descends from a lineage every bit as ancient and noble as any I had ever dreamed of.
Please accompany me on an incredible journey, as we explore our family’s lost heritage – a truly fascinating journey of discovery that spans over one thousand years of Jewish history, and connects us to some of the most illustrious rabbinical lineages and Jewish families in all of Europe. This millennial history is divided between two books.
This, the first book, A Noble Heritage: The History and Legacy of the Polonsky and Paull Family in America, begins with a brief overview of our family’s rabbinical history and lineage. It explains how our ancestors migrated across the continent of Europe in their search for the simple freedoms that we take for granted today. It also presents the all-important clue left behind for Nathan Polonsky’s descendants which made the discovery of our noble history and ancestry possible.
The primary focus of this book is our family’s history since immigrating to America. It tells the story of the Polonsky family, beginning with the patriarch, Nathan Polonsky, and includes all of his known descendants within each of the eight branches of the family. We follow our ancestors’ departures from Russia, gain a deeper appreciation of their experiences as new immigrants in America, and learn of how they loved, embraced, and defended their adopted homeland. Read More..