For the Family History Researcher, the Family of Michael Tilson Thomas Makes It Easy

Our RecordClick family history researcher finds that the family of Michael Tilson Thomas is one of the most colorful in the Yiddish theater and music worlds. Their lives were reported on in newspapers and magazines to such a great extent that it makes the genealogist’s job much easier when searching for their details.

The family history researcher has it is easy when it comes to someone like Michael Tilson Thomas, who turned 70 this past December. That’s because so many of his ancestors have made the news.

Beginning with his great great grandfather, the genealogist will find this ancestor was famous in Europe. Then came his grandfather, the child Cantor Boris Thomashefsky, who in Europe was sought out for his amazing voice and, upon coming to America, began a career that made him famous as an actor and producer in the Yiddish Theatre. The family history researcher can’t miss Boris’s wife, Bessie, who in her own right became famous as an actress and then producer, too. Then, in this amazing genealogy line is Michael Tilson Thomas’s father, the third son of the Thomashefskys, who changed his name to Thomas and became a well-known stage manager.

When the family history researcher begins searching newspaper clips, you’ll see that some of Tilson Thomas’s other relatives—aunts and uncles—were famous for wrongs done. They’ll show up in the archives for having affairs that ended with violence and life-changing injuries.

Such a wide range of publicity makes it easy for the family history researcher to find information on this family. Here are the some of the members of Michael Tilson Thomas’s family who have received a wide range of coverage in the newspapers of the day:

NAME                          RELATED              COVERED

  • Bessie Thomashefsky      GG                   Performances, productions, money issues, marital woes
  • Borris Thomashefsky       GG                   Performances, productions, money issues, marital woes
  • Emma Thomashefsky Finkel GAunt      Affair, attempted murder by the jealous lover, paralysis
  • Harry Thomashefsky       Uncle               Film Director, Dir. father in The Bar Mitzvah Boy,
  • Mickey Thomashefsky    Uncle                Affair, attempted murder by the jealous lover, paralysis

All of this is great for the family history researcher. Why? Because this family is so well documented–all over the archives!

The basics are always there for the ancestry recipe of the family history researcher—the census records, the birth, marriage, death records. Next, add to this ancestry research mix  a few lawsuits, bankruptcies, newspaper articles, court records.

But…when people are famous, as most every family history researcher knows, the documentation opportunities are way more abundant. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming for the genealogist.

He descends from one of the greatest theatrical families in the Yiddish theater world.

The genealogist will find that Michael Tilson Thomas descends from one of the greatest theatrical families in the Yiddish theater. Credit: MTT

Michael Tilson Thomas has been in the public eye his entire career. Since he he began as a young pianist, composer and conductor, he has been getting publicity. The family history researcher will find him in articles way way back to even his birth which was covered in 1944.

Most recently, the family history researcher will find that he married his partner of 38 years. All over their home town, San Francisco, newspapers have covered this story.

Want help finding your family all over the archives? RecordClick family history researchers will help you. Our professional genealogists know exactly how to find the news on your ancestors.