27 July 2014

IAJGS2014: Day 1, Exhibitors

My first morning of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies conference started a little inauspiciously when the first presentation I'd planned to attend was cancelled. But, ever able to make a purse out of a sow's ear (are sows allowed at a Jewish genealogy conference?), I spent some quality tile with some of the venders at the Exhibitors Hall.

Sherlock Cohn (aka Ava Cohn, seated) who analyzes old photographs, chats with Marla Waltman

Family Tree DNA with (L-R) Elise Friedman and Kirsten Lanpi
L-R: Me (your esteemed blogger) with Ancestry's Christa Cowan
I also had a chance to visit with Schelly Talalay Dardashti at the My Heritage booth. 

Stay tuned: later this evening or tomorrow I will be posting a list of bloggers in attendance and their posts about the conference.

IAJGS2014: Preconference FHL activity

The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies conference started this morning in Salt Lake City, Utah. I look forward to reconnecting with past conference attendees and networking with those whose knowledge and skills I may tap for help in my own research. On Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m. (room Canyons C), I will deliver "Beyond the Manifest: Methods for Confirming One's Ancestral Origins." 

I arrived in town late Thursday afternoon and spent all day Friday and most of Saturday at the Family History Library. I have a small, but high priority list of items to acquire. First up was some Jewish vital records recorded in register books for Czernowitz (Chernauti, Ukraine). These records from the Austrian province of Bukovina are in the process of being indexed and may be searched online at http://microtarget.com/czernowitz/CzernowitzBMDindex.htm

While I do not have definite "sightings" of relatives (on my mother's side of the family) in Czernowitz, my Liebross and Wenkert families lived nearby. Thus, I was pleased to find more than twenty indexed records for those names in the database. At the Family History Library I managed to located all but about two. The records often identify the person's mother and father, their parents and the towns in which they lived or were registered. As I expected, some of the Wenkerts recorded in Czernowitz had family registered in Zaleszczyki - the community most associated with my Wenkert family and, likely, my Liebross family.

Else Wenkert birth record, Chernivtsy State Archives, Fond 1245, Opis 15, Delo 25, page 63, record 13; Family History Library microfilm 2395781(2).
These two images of a record documenting the 3 January 1914 Czernowitz birth of Else Wenkert, for example, show her father as Eisig Wenkert, son of Ester Malke Wenkert of Zaleszczyki, and Jutte Wenkert, daughter of Aron and Marjem Fliesler of Zaleszczyki.

I do not know how or if Else or her parents or grandparents are related to my Wenkerts, but these types of records may ultimately be the key to help me push my Wenkert family back a generation or two.

22 July 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Benjamin and Annie Weingart

I first wrote about Benny Weingart last year after I'd visited Kolomyya, Ukraine. On his World War I Draft card, David Ett, my grandmother's first cousin, reported working for Markowitz and Weingart.[1] When I'd looked up the firm in directories of the era, it was clear that the Weingart part of the company was Benny and that they were furriers (as was Dave Ett). 

Benny's surname had been Wenkert - the same as my great grandmother Bertha Wenkert Liebross. Like my great grandmother's family, Benny's Wenkert's started in the Zaleszczyki area of the Austrian Empire. Unlike my great grandmother and her children who were in (what is today) Radauti, Romania before emigrating the the United States, Benny and most of his siblings lived in Vienna.

Photos used by permission of Dyane McIndoe [2]
Here lies
Khane Dinah daughter of David Yitzchak
Died 1st day in the month of Cheshvan 5707
May her soul be bound in everlasting life
DIED OCT. 25, 1946

Here lies
Dov Ber son of Yonah Tzadik
Died 2nd day of Sukkot 5695
May his soul be bound in everlasting life
DIED SEPT. 27, 1934

Benny was the son of Yonah Tzudek (or Tzadik) Wenkert and Khane Altschul.

Benjamin Weingart
Benny, a furrier, arrived in New York Harbor from Vienna in 1899 on the S.S. Statendam.[3]

On 5 March 1904 he married Heni (Anna) Panitzky.[4] Annie was the daughter of David Isaac Panitzky and Khava Orlinsky.

Benny and Anna had five children: 
  • Julia Weingart Kravitz (15 November 1905-11 December 1992), 
  • Ruth Weingart Rosenberg (19 July 1907-25 May 1997),
  • Hilda Weingart Deaner (13 march 1910-21 Apri 2002),
  • Irving Weingart (25 February 1914-14 June 1997), and 
  • Howard Ira Weingart (30 June 1916-23 January 2002).
Annie and Benjamin are buried in Mount Hebron Cemetery, Queens, New York; Empire State Lodge plot, block 25, reference 7, section F, Line 2, graves 8 and 9.

Today, Benny is still one of my "floaters": someone I know is related but for whom I have thus far found no direct documented links.

1. "World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 May 2008), card for David Ett, no. 283, Kings County Draft Board 68, Precinct 164; citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917 - 1918, National Archives microfilm publication M1509; imaged from Family History Library microfilm roll 1,754,596.
2. Benjamin Wenkert & Annie Wenkert, grave, Mount Hebron Cemetery, Queens, New York; digital images, Find A Grave (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 25 May 2012), photographed by Dyane McIndoe.
3. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 10 November 2013), manifest, S.S. Statendam, Rotterdam to New York, arriving 18 June 1899, List 47, number 3, Berel Wenkert; citing National Archives Microfilm Serial T715, microfilm roll 71.
4. New York County, New York, Certificate and Record of Marriage no. 5130 (5 March 1904), Benj. Weingart and Heni Panitzky, New York City Municipal Archives, New York.

17 July 2014

Join a JGS and go Live!

Now is a good time to acquire an extra perk with your Jewish genealogical society membership. The International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies is offering a 10 percent discount to member societies on Live!: 60* live-steamed and recorded sessions from the up-coming 2014 IAJGS conference in Salt Lake City. So far, more than 20 member societies are offering the discount to their members. My society, the Phoenix Jewish Genealogy Group (a part of the Arizona Jewish Historical Society), is offering the discount. Is yours?

IAJGS Live! is terrific opportunity to continue your learning in Jewish genealogy without the expense of traveling to Salt Lake City for this year's conference (watch a promo here). Sixty presentations, including the keynote address by David Laskin will be live-streamed and video recorded. Live! attendees may ask questions during the streamed sessions via Twitter. Speaker handouts may be downloaded.

Through Live! one may purchase the opportunity to watch 60 presentations on your computer via the Internet as they are delivered at the Salt Lake City conference and/or watch them later (or again) when it's more convenient. Recordings will be available for replay for 90 days after the conference (until Monday, 3 November 2014, I think).

Those attending the conference may purchase IAJGS Live! for an additional $99. There is no further discount on that price. The price for those not attending the conference is $149. With the JGS discount, however, one may acquire access for $134. Each member society has a different discount code. If your society has not yet shared the code with its membership, contact them and ask for it. If they are not offering it, ask them to do so, or find one that is.
* FYI: my presentation, "Beyond the Manifest: Methods for Confirming One's Ancestral Origins," to be delivered Tuesday, 29 July 2014 at 10:30 A.M., was not selected to be among the 60. I'm (mostly) over being miffed about that. There will be plenty of good presentations on Live! To hear me you will either have to be in the room at the conference or, better still, invite me to speak to your group later this coming year. In the past, the conference has also sold audio recordings of all the sessions. I hope they will be doing so this year, but I do not see indications of that on the current conference webpage.

Treasure Chest Thursday: Citizens' Credit Union

Considering Max Liebross' troubled life, I was surprised to see him listed as an officer of the Citizens' Credit Union, which was led by his relative, successful businessman Louis Cohn. In the Jewish Communal Register of New York City, 1917-1918, Max Liebross is listed as Secretary and Louis Cohn, Max's first cousin by marriage, as President of the fledgeling enterprise started in 1916.[1]

Citizens' Credit Union . 115 Manhattan Ave., B'klyn. Organized 1916. Pres., Louis Cohn, 680 Flushing Ave., B'klyn. Vice-Pres., Harry Lapatkin, 36 Johnson Ave., B'klyn. Sec'y, Max Liebross, 14 Lewis Ave., B'klyn. Treas., Charles Forstadt, 680 Flushing Ave., B'klyn.
I have not located any index information in the New York State Corporation and Business Entity Database, but I have found three additional references to this credit union in publications of the New York State Legislature in 1918, 1919 and 1922.[2]

The Credit Union grew from 167 shares in force in 1917 and $ 2,206.33 in assets to 710 shares as of 1 January 1921 and $ 11,660.05 in assets. By the 1922 report, all the officers of the organization had changed except for Louis Cohn, who was still president.

1. The Jewish Communal Register of New York City, 1917-1918, second edition (New York: Kehilah of New York City, 1918), p. 730; digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com/ : accessed 17 July 2014).
2. New York Legislature, Documents of the Senate of the State of New York, 1918, vol. 6, nos. 12 & 13 (Albany: J.B. Lyon Company, 1918), pp. 485-486; digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com/ : accessed 17 July 2014).
New York Legislature, New York Legislative Documents, 1919, vol. 1, nos. 1-5 (Albany: J.B. Lyon Company, 1919), pp. 494-495; digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com/ : accessed 17 July 2014).
New York Legislature, New York Legislative Documents, 1922, vol 10, nos. 22023 (Albany: J.B. Lyon Company, 1922), pp. 416-417; digital images, Google Books (http://books.google.com/ : accessed 17 July 2014).