I should have done this long ago, but I've just now submitted our nine family names and towns to the JewishGen Family Finder. Of course I have used this useful resource numerous times to locate other researchers, several of whom have turned out to have helpful information. Now other people looking for our names will find me. It will be interesting to see how many queries will be sent my way.
One connection I made yesterday showed me the benefit of this kind of listing. The conference provided a similar capability for registrants to list their family names, and that data was made available to other full-conference attendees. Unfortunately, since I paid for three conference days instead of the week, I didn't get a copy of the conference binder, but my data is in there for others to access.
Monday morning I got a call from a Sigrid Belinkoff, who wanted to talk to me about the Wohlgemuth name. We arranged to meet up the next morning to compare notes. She was a lovely lady from Los Angeles who is researching her Shandling family, which includes an ancestor Minna Fluegeltaub, who appears to be related to the Wohlgemuths of Memel. According to Sigrid, Fluegeltaub was derived from Wohlgemuth, both having to do with winged flight.
That was new to me. I had Wohlgemuth as "well-being" or something similar. A quick name search I ran later did not confirm a connection between the names, but it is something to follow up on later. Sigrid said that her Fluegeltaub was also related to a Wing family in Portland OR, and that she is in contact with several researchers in Oregon who have more information about them.
All of that was interesting but a seeming tangent until she began to focus more on Minna from Memel. I revealed to her the results of my recent interaction with Eli Wohlgemuth, with whom she was unfamiliar (other than having read Walter's account of meeting Eli in Kaunas). When I called up the email I had from Eli, I began to read it aloud to her. There in the first paragraph were the facts that Rabbi Yeshaya Wohlgemuth of Memel had two Minnas in his life—a sister and a daughter. It was not immediately clear which if either of these Sigrid's Minna could be, but it definitely seems to be a likely clue.
Sigrid left me with at least three important contacts with Wohlgemuth knowledge to follow up with. I'll be doing that in the days ahead as we continue to make some progress on our ancestors, the Wohlgemuths of Koenigsberg.