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).

15 July 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Rose Liebross, 1913-1928

Rose Liebross, was the eldest child of Max Liebross and Anna Berkowitz Liebross. She was born 26 March 1913 in New York City.[1]

Photo by E. Garber, 8 Sept. 2008
Here lies
Reisel daughter of Mane haLevi
Died 14 Av 5688
May her soul be bound in everlasting life
JULY 31, 1928
AGE 15

The broken tree trunk motif is often used for someone who had died before they'd had a chance to live. Also, note the rose motif below the main epitaph and the "R." This stone was obviously designed and crafted with great care and love for young Rose.

Rose's short life was likely difficult. Her father left the family in the 1920s.[2] Her mother supported herself and her four children as a seamstress.

Rose's death certificate and the inscription on the lower portion of her gravestone are of interest. She passed away at 291 Stuyvesant Avenue, Brooklyn. This apartment was the home of her grandparents (Louis Liebross and Bertha Liebross), aunts and uncles in both the census records of 1925 and 1930.[3] It is not clear who the informant was on Rose's death certificate, but the second page indicates that the funeral home was hired by her father.  

The stone reads: "Beloved grandchild and niece." At the time of her death she was a daughter, as well, but that is not mentioned on the stone. This may indicate that her grandparents, Louis and Bertha Liebross and her father's siblings paid for her burial and stone.

Rose died of "chronic valvular disease of the heart (mitral stenosis)."[4] She had been under doctor's care from 4 November 1926 until her death in July 1928. She is buried in Mount Lebanon Cemetery, Glendale, Queens, New York, Workmen's Circle Block, section D, line 12, grave 8.
1. Kings County, New York, Certificate of Death, Number 16457 (31 July 1928),  Rose Liebross, Municipal Archives, New York, New York.
Max Liebross Petition for Naturalization (1924), Volume 262, page 173, petition number 65273, Supreme Court, Kings County, New York.
2. Max is enumerated with his wife and children in the 1925 New York State census, but not with then in the 1930 U.S. census enumeration. His son, Harold, told his children that his father had abandoned the family when Harold was 6. If so, that would have been about 1922. 
1925 New York State census, Queens County, New York, population schedule, Arverne, Enumeration District 68, page 37, 228 Beach 72nd Street, Max Leibross; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 September 2012), New York State Archives, Albany.
1930 U.S. census, Bronx County, New York, population schedule, Bronx, Enumeration District 3-302, page 4B, family 73a, Anna Lebrose; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 May 2008), citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1471.
3. 1925 New York State census, Kings County, New York, population schedule, Brooklyn, Enumeration District 11, page 4, lines 37-44, Louis Liebross family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 8 January 2013), New York State Archives, Albany.
1930 U.S. census, Kings County, New York, population schedule, Brooklyn, Enumeration District 24-276, page 16B, family352, Louis Liebross family; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 July 2008), citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1502. 
4. Mitral stenosis is usually a complication resulting from rheumatic fever. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitral_valve_stenosis

10 July 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Louis Cohn's manifest

Louis Cohn, husband of Sarah Ett Cohn, left the port of Hamburg on the S.S. Batavia on 25 May 1903 and arrived in New York Harbor on 8 June 1903. Louis' naturalization papers confirm this arrival record.

"New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 10 November 2013), manifest, S.S. Batavia, Hamburg to New York, arriving 8 June 1903, List 31, number 13, Lewys Kohn; citing National Archives Microfilm Serial T715, microfilm roll 365.

Lewys Kohn is listed at number 13 on the page.

detail of manifest page
[Items in red will be discussed further, below.]
Name: Lewys Kohn
Age: 20
Sex: m
Married or Single: s
Calling or Occupation: ? smith
Able to Read: yes
Able to Write: yes
Nationality: Austria
Race or people: Hebrew
Last residence: Kazmiowa
Final Destination: Brooklyn, N.Y.

detail of manifest page

Whether having a ticket to destination: yes
By whom was passage paid: cousin
Whether in possession of $50: $25
Whether ever before in the United States: No
Whether going to join a relative or friend: 
          cousin Max Wolkowicz
          Brooklyn, NY 223 Lynch Str
Louis was a tinsmith in the United States and became a successful businessman dealing in sheet metal. He apparently brought some skills as a smith to the United States. It is unclear to me what the first word may be in his occupation information on the manifest. It is likely "tinsmith."

Austria is noted as Louis' nationality. He is likely to have been born in Kamyanets Podilskyy - at that point (in about 1883) within the Russian Empire, but very close to the border with Austria. Family stories suggest he may have been born in Kamyanets Podilskyy, but grew up in Czortkow (Chortkiv, Ukraine), which, at the time, was in the Austrian Empire.

As best I can decipher, the community of last residence was written as Kazmiowa. I am unable to find a community in eastern Europe with that name. Louis' Declaration of Intention to naturalize (the first papers he filed for naturalization on 27 January 1921), indicated that his last residence was in Kazimierz, Austria.[1] Kazimierz is today a suburb of Krakow, Poland. Prior to World War I it was within the Galicia province of the Austrian Empire. It is quite far from Chortkiv and one may wonder, if this is the correct town of residence for Louis, what he was doing so far from home.

Louis reported on his manifest record that his cousin purchased his ticket for passage and that he would be heading to his cousin Max Wolkowicz residing at 223 Lynch Street, Brooklyn, New York.

The X to the left of Louis's name on the manifest indicates that he was detained by immigration officials. Louis' detention page (found near the end of the manifest pages for the Batavia voyage) shows he was met by his cousin Max who then resided at 188 Middleton, Brooklyn.

Detail from: "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 10 November 2013), manifest (Record of Detained Alien Passengers), S.S. Batavia, Hamburg to New York, arriving 8 June 1903, page 184, number 8, Lewy Kohn; citing National Archives Microfilm Serial T715, microfilm roll 365.
I have not located Max Wolkowitz at Lynch Street or Middleton in Brooklyn directories from the early 1900s. However, I have found Max Wolkowitz, a tinsmith from Austria, married to Clara and living on Ellery Street in the 1910 U.S. Census.[2] While I am not certain this is Louis' cousin Max Wolkowitz, this man's World War II Draft Registration record indicates he was working for a metal roofing company and was originally from Jagielnica, Austria.[3] Jagielnice (today Yahilnytsya, Ukraine) is six miles from Chortkiv. Further research may identify Max as a relative Louis Cohn and shed further light on Louis' origins.

1. Louis Cohn Declaration of Intention no. 51717 (1921), Eastern District Court of New York, filed with Petition for Naturalization no. 81039, volume 325, page 189, Supreme Court, Kings County, New York.
2. 1910 United States census, Kings County, New York, population schedule, Brooklyn, Enumeration District 480, page 17A, line 11, Max W. Wolkowitz; digital image, FamilySearch.org (https://www.familysearch.org : accessed 9 July 2014), citing NARA Microfilm publication series T624, roll 968.
3. "U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 July 2014), card for Max Wolkowitz, no. U-65, Kings County, New York, National Archives record group 147, Saint Louis, Missouri.