24 April 2015

NY MUNI on digitizing band wagon (and Hell has not yet frozen over)

Every time I hear about a fire in a record repository somewhere, I worry about New York City records. Yes, vital record certificates have already been microfilmed, but sometimes not very well. And there is so much more stored at the Municipal Archives (and their warehouses) and the Old Records Office. 

So, I am thrilled to report that the New York City Municipal Archives is digitizing (in full color) birth, marriage and death certificates in their possession.[1] The first article in the most recent issue of The New York Researcher, the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society's quarterly magazine, describes the project and the process.[2] [Frankly, I'm not sure how I missed this one earlier. It seems like this information should have been floating the blogs before April 2015!]

The contractor's team has already completed all marriage certificates and Manhattan death certificates through about 1896. They expect to complete all city death certificates by early fall and will then begin digitization of birth certificates.

Each of the 10.6 million vital records certificates have 2 sides. The project, targeted for completion in June 2016, will create 21.2 million full-color, high-resolution images.

I have previously written posts regarding New York City vital record indices at ItalianGen, Ancestry and FamilySearch. And I had previously seen MUNI's January announcement about their new digitization project to place historical records online. This is wonderful news. No mention in the January news release or the NYG&B article, unfortunately, of putting images of NYC vital record records online.  

The New York Researcher article does note, however, that the City may not make a profit from making copies of their digitize images for patrons and that, as a result of the vital record digitization project, they expect costs to go down and service to speed up. One may hope, at some point, they will also see that the best and most cost-effective customer service would include online images of their vital records.

One side note of great interest to NYC researchers: there may be a hint of thaw in the records frozen at the New York City Department and Health. No records have been transferred to MUNI since 1992. And the Department of Health has been very protective of their records (beyond, some genealogists believe, the protections of NY State law). 

MUNI seems dedicated to public access. One may only hope that attitude will somehow warm the cockles of the hearts of those at the NYC Department of Health. Apparently, MUNI and the Department of Health are conferring. While I am not optimistic, considering the current national climate regarding records access, that they will err on the side of great liberalization, any thaw is welcome.

Notes:
1. These include births (1866-1909), marriages (1866-1937) and deaths (1862-1948). Records in some boroughs start a bit later in date.
2. "Digitizing New York City's Vital Record Certificates," The New York Researcher, Spring 2015, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 4-5.

23 April 2015

Treasure Chest Thursday: Samuel Schwartz advertisement, FLPBA 25th anniversary publication

More Sam Schwartz! In my last post I spoke about glazier Sam Schwartz married to Eva. Today we learn about Sam Schwartz, a glazier married to Fannie.

"Mr. and Mrs. Sam Schwartz and Sons," in this case, are Sam and Fannie Schwartz and their sons Harry and David. 

Sam arrived in the United States on the S.S. Grant on 1 August 1912. He was 27, married, a bookbinder and had left his wife, Peisie, behind.[1] He reported that he would be meeting his cousin Louis Myers in New York City. It is possible that Sam was a cousin to Louis (my great great uncle), but that name is, thus far, not a known name in my family. At least, Sam and Louis were from the same town: Labun.

I do not actually have any records of Louis Myers either living or working at that address. His brother, Myer Myers, however, had his glass store at that address from about 1913 to 1916.

Sam and his family lived in their home in Queens for several years.[2] After his death in 1936, Fannie, Harry and his wife Miriam and David continued to live in the house.[3]

Notes:
1. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 22 August 2010), manifest, S.S. Grant, Hamburg to New York, arriving 1August 1912, p. 7, line 29, Sische Schwarzmann; citing National Archives Microfilm Serial T715, Roll 1906.
2. Queens County, New York, 1930 U.S. Census, populations schedule, Queens, enumeration district 519, sheet 11A, dwelling 155, family 207, Samuel and Fannie Schwartz family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 August 2010); NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1068.
3. Queens County, New York, 1940 U.S. Census, populations schedule, Queens, enumeration district 41-1697, sheet 11A, household 250, Fannie Schwartz family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 April 2015); NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 2751.

21 April 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Sam and Eva Schwartz, Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, NY

There are three immigrant men named Sam Schwartz interred in the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association plots in Montefiore Cemetery. And all three (!) became glaziers in New York City. Fortunately, they all married women whose first names help differentiate them.


Here lies
Chava daughter of Tzvi Leib
Died 8 Nisan 5702
May her soul be bound in eternal life
EVA SCHWARTZ
DIED MARCH 28, 1942
AGE 69 YEARS
-------------
Here lies
Yoel son of Moshe Chaim
Died 13 Tishri 5703
May his soul be bound in eternal life
SAM SCHWARTZ
DIED SEPT. 24, 1942
AGE 70 YEARS
-------------
IN OUR HEARTS YOU LIVE FOREVER
-------------
BELOVED MOTHER - BELOVED FATHER

I have not located his manifest or naturalization record, but according to census records, Sam Schwartz arrived in the USA about 1913. His wife and four daughters made the voyage in about 1921.[1] That gap coincides with World War I and the Russian Revolution which curtailed emigration to the United States from Eastern Europe.

New York City directories from 1913 on list a Sam Schwartz glazier operating out of 330 1st Avenue in lower Manhattan. The 1925 New York State Census lists the Sam and Eva Schwartz family at that address, as well.

Sam was born 4 July 1873 in the Russian Empire to Moshe (Anglicized as Morris on his death certificate) and Shirley Simon (also likely Anglicized).[2] 

Eva was reportedly born on 10 February 1873 in the Russian Empire. Her father was Hirsch Leib Kelman and her mother, Sarah Rosen.[3] 

Sam's and Eva's four daughters, all born in Russia, were: Bertha (born ca. 1902), Ida (ca. 1904), Ruth (ca. 1910) and Gertrude (ca. 1913).

Since I have been thus far unable to locate records that might shed light on Sam's and Eva's origins, I do not know which, if either, of them were from the community associated with this landsmanshaft plot: Labun (aka Lubin), Volhynia Gubernia, Russia.

The couple's tombstone is located in block 89, gate 156N, line 6L, graves 2 and 3. 

Notes:
1. New York County, New York, 1925 New York State Census, Manhattan, Assembly District 12, Election District 5, page 26, entries 14-19, Sam and Eva Schwartz family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 April 2015); New York State Archives, Albany.
  New York County, New York, 1930 U.S. Census, population schedule, Manhattan, enumeration district 31-580B, sheet 28A, family 504, San and Eva Schwartz;
digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 April 2015); NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1561.
  New York County, New York, 1940 U.S. Census, population schedule, Manhattan, enumeration district 31-1098, sheet 11A, household 126, Sam and Eva Schwartz;
digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 April 2015); NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 2650.
2. New York County, New York, certificate of death no. 18983 (24 September 1942), Sam Schwartz, New York City Municipal Archives, New York.
3. New York County, New York, certificate of death no. 6825 (26 March 1942), Eva Schwartz, New York City Municipal Archives, New York.

16 April 2015

Treasure Chest Thursday: Joseph Myers advertisement, FLPBA 25th anniversary publication

I shared a short biography and photograph of Joseph Myers (1889-1945) in an earlier post about the 25th anniversary publication for the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association. He was a glazier who had joined his brothers (Myer and Louis) in the United States, arriving in 1906.[1]

He married Rose Adler on 25 March 1913.[2] By 1936, when the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association celebrated its 25th anniversary, Joe and Rose had lost their second born, Marvin. They had a daughter Lillian (born 15 February 1914) and a son Eugene (born 10 August 1918).

Their home in 1936 was just around the corner from Joe's glass and picture framing shop at 590 3rd Avenue. Unfortunately, the buildings now at 155 E. 39th Street and 590 3rd Avenue are of more recent construction.

Notes:
1."New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 19 June 2009), manifest, Batavia, Hamburg to New York, arriving 16 November 1906, p. 18, line 10, Jossel Malzmann; citing National Archives Microfilm Serial T715, Roll 798.
2. New York County, New York, Certificate and Record of Marriage number 5284 (25 March 1913), Joseph Myers and Rose Adler, New York City Municipal Archives, New York.

15 April 2015

Yom HaShoah: Remembering

I really did not anticipate this when I started my genealogical research, but the greatest benefit, by far, has been discovering and honoring the memory of those whose lives were cut short by hateful people. 

I recall asking tentative questions of my parents. They seemed fuzzy, themselves, on who had been left behind in Europe and who had succumbed during Hitler's rampage.

For some who died, all I have is names. For others, there are bits and snatches of recollections from other family members or information I have gleaned from records. For just a few, we have recollections of those who knew and loved them.* 

My relatives did not die in concentration camps. Some were removed from their homes and sent to ghettos in nearby towns. How long each lived before being shot and dumped into a ditch is unknown.

Today is Yom HaShoah. We honor their memory on this day. I have yet to find all of my family members with connections to the Holocaust. I hope my research continues to uncover their stories.

Killed in/near Labun, Ukraine (ca. July-September, 1941):
  • Perl Garber Zabarsky (born about 1888, age 53 at death), daughter of Avraham Garber and Chana Mazewitsky. Sister of my grandfather Jack Garber.
  • Chana Zabarsky (b. 1 August 1926, age 15) , daughter of Perl Garber and Isseck Zabarsky.
  •  Shmulik Mazewitsky (b. ca. 1915, age ca. 26), son of Monia Mazewitsky and Tzipa. Monia was (likely) the brother of my great grandfather Isidore Morris. 
  • Sonia Weisman Mazewitsky (b. ca. 1916, age 25), wife of Shmulik and daughter of Liba.
  • Aron Mazewitsky (b. ca. 1935, ca. age 6), son of Shmulik and Sonia. 
Died during service in the Russian military:
  • Leib Bebik (Ber) Zabarsky (b. 8 December 1916, d. 17 January 1941) 
  • Motel (or Mark) Zabarsky (b. 19 December 1918, d. 7 June 1943)
Both men were the sons of Perl and Isseck Zabarsky.

Died near Tluste, Ukraine (July 1943):
  • Jutte Ett Barath (b. 21 January 1894), daughter of Hersch Leib Ett and Perl Wenkert. Perl Wenkert was my great grandmother's sister. 
  • Moshe Efraim Barath, husband of Jutte Ett.
May their souls be bound in everlasting life.
------------------------------------
* Records include: