"As far as we can discover, the picture
shows my father-in-law's grandparents. They were left behind in Grodno
when my wife's grandparents came to England around 1902. We have no
idea whether they are the maternal or paternal parents for, when the
grandparents arrived in England because they adopted the surname
Freedman - as in "I am a freed man from Russia." If they are related
through the maternal side, her grandmother's maiden name was Steingart-
according to information on my father-in-law's birth certificate. I am
hoping that someone, somewhere, may have records of the photographer's
clients so that we can chase that angle.
There were seven children in all: Leah
(the eldest, aged about two when she came with her parents to England,
Simon, Yetta, David, Judah, Harry and Jacob (known as Jack) -my wife's
father. He was the youngest, born in 1917, died 1996.
It's his birth certificate that gives his
mother's maiden name as Betsy Steingart, although my wife always knew
her as Booba Balka. She died around the late forties or very early
fifties. The certificate lists his father as Barnett Freedman and, in
the space allowed for his signature, there is an 'X', noted by the
registrar as 'The mark of Barnett Freedman'."