22 January 2015

Jewish News (Phoenix, AZ) publishes beginning Jewish genealogy article

Jewish News has posted my recent article. I'm hoping to snag those who are considering genealogical research, but don't know how to get started. The article also lists resources for Jewish genealogy education both in the Phoenix metro area through the Bureau of Jewish Education (two courses by yours truly) and online via JewishGen.

Treasure Chest Thursday: First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association 25th anniversary, Part 3

A few months ago I acquired copies of several pages of a publication printed in honor of the anniversary of the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association (FLPBA), a landsmanshaft (community organization) in New York City. Earlier posts on this publication may be found here and here.

I have been most excited about seeing, for the first time, photos of some of my relatives.  This post concerns a possible relative by marriage (Isidore Bauman) and his leadership message (in Yiddish) to the FLPBA membership.[1]



I uploaded this image of Isidore's text on ViewMate - a wonderful service provided by JewishGen and its awesome volunteer army. Within a few hours I had three volunteer translators collaborating to complete the translation.[2]


A greeting from the Vice President
Twenty-five years have flown by since I was still a young and joyful youngster, when destiny had thrown me with my whole being into this organization which celebrates its 25th jubilee.[3]

25 years! How quickly the years flew by!

The idealistic dedication and readiness to make sacrifices of those who are not with us anymore, the true devotion with which we all have put the foundations stone by stone and turned this organization into what it is today.

25 years ... quick! It was a long chain of happy, warm days, and also - sleepless nights, standing on guard for the interests of the members. I hope that none of us will stop his activities, and we all will continue to be devoted to the society and we will not forget our sisters and brothers who are still in Lubin. 

From the bottom of my heart I wish all the members and their families to live to celebrate the 50th anniversary.

Itzkhak Bauman
Similar to many such landsmanshaft (countrymen's) organizations, the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association provided benefits for the welfare and burial of their members. I, unfortunately, do not have any society papers documenting their many good works in the United States. In a later post I will discuss one of their projects for improving the lot of their brethren left in their home town Lubin.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Notes:
1. Isidore, from Lubin, married fellow Lubiner Ida Molthman. Ida was the daughter of Benjamin Molthman, whose surname in the old country had been Malzman. All of my Myers relatives were also Malzmans from Lubin. Benjamin was also in the glass business for a short while with my great grandfather Isidore Morris, whose wife (my ggm) was Sarah Myers (Malzman) Morris. So, the relationship between Molthman and Myers was close, but still not completely understood.
2. Special thanks to Emma Karabelnik, Ite Doktorski and Ann B. Lnder for generously sharing their Yiddish skill and understanding and to JewishGen for starting and maintaining ViewMate.
3. Emma Karabelnik, in her translation, above, explains this idiom, noting that it directly translates as "with all my 248 organs." The Jewish Virtual Library discusses Jewish anatomy and says that 248 actually refers to bones in the body and follows rabbinic tradition in the Talmud.

20 January 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Selma Alperin, Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, NY

The First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association, a New York City landsmanshaft group for immigrants from the town of Lubin (Yiddish name), also known as Labun, Russian Empire, purchased two burial plots in Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, NY and one in Beth Moses Cemetery, Pinelawn, NY.[1]

Because many of these people constituted my Lubin relatives' friends, acquaintances and neighbors, I have recorded these burials and submitted them to JewishGen where they are online in the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry. For inclusion in that database, I translated the Hebrew names on the tombstones. I did not, however, translate any epitaphs. In posts about burials in these plots, I will provide translations of any epitaphs and information about those interred.
~~~~~~~~~~
I hate seeing burials for those who died young. One can only imagine the pain this brought to their families and friends - pain, doubt and guilt about whether more could have been done to keep this person alive.


Our Dear Child
-----
Here lies
Kayla Hentze
Sussie Rivka daughter of Yakov
Died 1st day of Rosh Chodesh Adar 1 5700
May her soul be bound in eternal life
SELMA
ALPERIN
Died Feb 9, 1940
Age 18 yrs
 -----
Beloved
DAUGHTER
and SISTER
~~~~~~~~~~ 

Selma was the only daughter and youngest child of Jacob and Dora Waxenberg Myers Alperin. This tombstone is interesting because it provides four Hebrew/Yiddish names for Selma: Kayla Hentze Sussie Rivka. Usually people have a maximum of two of these names. 

Dora's grandson, Peter, has told me that he recollects Dora as superstitious and wary of modern medicine. His take is that Selma had pneumonia and Dora did not provide enough medical care for her daughter. It is only fair to note, however, that penicillin, the preferred treatment for pneumonia, was still being researched in 1940 and was likely not available for treatment.

Selma's four Hebrew/Yiddish names, however, fit with Dora's allegedly superstitious nature. In "Jewish Given Names," an article in the Avotaynu Guide to Jewish Genealogy, Warren Blatt discusses names given in light of Jewish superstition that began during medieval times and continues to the present day. The Angel of Death apparently maintains a list of names. If he seeks a child with that name and cannot locate them, the child might be spared.[2] Additional names might be added to a child's name to help them hide from the Angel of Death.

Sometimes the additional names have amuletic qualities. That is, they have meanings that are tied to long life and good health (for example, Chaim and Chaya - meaning "life").  Whether Selma's names were all given at birth or whether some were added later when she became ill is not known. None of them appear to have intrinsic meaning regarding health or life. 

My guess is that Sussie was her original name. Since Askenazi Jewish people in the United States often gave their children American names that started with the same or a similar sound, Sussie and Selma are likely a match.

I have not been able to locate a death certificate for Selma in any online New York City indexes. It is possible she died outside of New York City - which could be a story in itself since the family lived in the Bronx at the time of Selma's death. 
______________________________________
Special thanks to Israel Pickholtz, Adam Brown, Esther Chanie Dushinsky, Deb Morgan Stern, Fred Leserowitz, Sondra Shira Robins Gold, Robin Meltzer, Brooke Schreier Ganz, Hanita Kossowsky, and Peter L. Myers for the spirited Tracing the Tribe (FaceBook) discussion of the names on this tombstone and when they might have been selected. Of course, any errors in selecting from among the several opinions expressed are my own. 

Notes:
1. Earlier posts about the FLPBA may be found at:
First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association incorporation papers
First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association 25th anniversary publication, Part 1
First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association 25th anniversary publication, Part 2
2.Warren Blatt, "Jewish Given Names," Avotaynu Guilde to Jewish Genealogy (Avotaynu: Bergenfield, New Jersey, 2004), 35-36,

15 January 2015

Treasure Chest Thursday: First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association 25th anniversary, Part 2

A few months ago I acquired copies of several pages of a publication printed in honor of the anniversary of the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association (FLPBA), a landsmanshaft (community organization) in New York City. An earlier post on this publication may be found here.

Today's page is a continuation of the previous list of leaders of the organization during the 25th anniversary year.
Max Garber, Abraham Krakowsky, Abraham Sotskess, and Joseph Myers were covered in the previous post.

Samuel Myers is an example of a likely relative for whom I have yet to find a link. He arrived in the United States with the surname Meyers traveling with my great grandmother Sarah's brother Herschel (Harry), said he was from Lubin, said his father was David, and said he was going to stay with his brother Louis.[1] All these things were not true (except maybe the part about staying with Louis Myers - who was not his brother). 

Like nearly all my Myers relatives he did become a glazier. Louis Myers, my great grandmother Sarah's brother, shows up as a witness to Sam's marriage - so, obviously, the families kept in contact.[2]

Subsequent documents and the fact that no one knowledgeable about the family identified Sam as one of the Myers brothers (Myer, Louis, Joseph and Harry), cast doubt on Sam's manifest claims. His marriage record and his SS-5 (Social Security card application form) identify his father as Elias and his mother as Sarah Mogelevsky (who is buried in one of the FLPBA plots in Montefiore cemetery) - not David Myers and Ida Kesselman. Both his World War I and World War II draft registration cards indicate that he was born in Podolia Gubernia - not nearby Volhynia Gubernia where Lubin is located.[3]

When Meyer Schultz arrived at Ellis Island on 3 July 1913 he stated that he was heading to his cousin B. Molthman.[4] Benjamin Molthman's was Isidore Bauman's father-in-law. Meyer, like many of his landsmen a glazier, was folowed across the ocean by his wife Rose. They later had three daughters.

Isidore Bauman came to the United States at least twice: on 14 June 1910 and on 15 February 1913.[5] He married fellow Lubiner Ida Molthman (daughter of Benjamin) on 8 January 1916.[6] They had four children: Raymond, Shirley, Philip and Rebecca.

Others mentioned on the page:
Abraham Krakowsky
Isidore Bauman
Samuel Myers
Meyer Schultz
Nathan Garber
H. Cohen
Meyer Kargman
Samuel Schwartz
Louis Myers
Myer Myers

Notes:
1. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 23 November 2008), manifest, S.S. Noordam, Rotterdam to New York, arriving 27 August 1912, list 2, line 5, Zise Meyers; citing National Archives Microfilm Serial: T715; Microfilm Roll: 1921.
2. Kings County, New York, Certificate and Record of Marriage no. 2284 (10 February 1917). Samuel Myers and Esther Newman, Municipal Archives, New York, New York. 
3. "U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, " digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 15 January 2015), card for Samuel Meyers, no. 461, Draft Board 087, Precinct 165, Kings County, New York; NARA microfilm publication M1509.
"U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 24 September 2008), card for Samuel Myers, no. U 2868, Bronx County, New York; NARA, Records of the Selective Service System, Record Group 147.
4. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 19 December 2010), manifest, S.S. Potsdam, Rotterdam to New York, arriving 3 July 1913, list 36, line 9, Meier Skaltz; citing National Archives Microfilm Serial: T715; Microfilm Roll: 2121. 
5. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 24 April 2010), manifest, S.S. Noordam, Rotterdam to New York, arriving 14 Jun 1910, list 16, line 29, Itzchok Baumelman; citing National Archives Microfilm Serial: T715; Microfilm Roll: 1500.
"New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 21 November 2010), manifest, S.S. Neckar, Bremento New York, arriving 15 February 1913, list 10, line 17, Iczrok Beimelman; citing National Archives Microfilm Serial: T715; Microfilm Roll: 2014.  
6. New York County, New York, Certificate and Record of Marriage no. 1368 (8 January 1916). Isidore Bauman and Ida Molthman, Municipal Archives, New York, New York.  

08 January 2015

Treasure Chest Thursday: First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association 25th anniversary publication, Part 1

Last summer, Marilyn Silverman, another family history researcher and descendant of immigrants from Labun (aka Lubin, in Yiddish), was able to procure photocopies of pages of two publications created in honor of the 25th and 40th anniversaries of the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association (FLPBA). Relatives of hers are the daughters of Julius Reitman, a past president of the the FLPBA, and his wife Sarah Scherman Reitman. Both Marilyn and I had hoped to either get the documents, themselves, or make good color copies of the pages. Unfortunately, the sisters involved had their own ideas, and provided photocopies of their own selection of pages for Marilyn.

In a previous Treasure Chest Thursday post we looked at the 1911 incorporation papers of the landsmanshaft (community support group) for Labun immigrants who had settled in New York City. Today and on the next few Thursdays we'll look at some of the pages copied from the 25th anniversary booklet (presumably from 1936, since the the FLPBA was organized in 1911).
These gentlemen were officers of the FLPBA during the 25th anniversary celebration. Actually, I know that I am related to three out of four of them: Nathan Garber (my great uncle), Abraham Sotskess (who married my great great aunt, Rivka Malzman/Rebecca Myers), and Joseph Myers (my great great uncle and Rivka's brother).

Nathan Garber (1884-1963), son of Avrum Garber and Khana Matsevitsky, was born in Lubin, Zaslav Uyezd, Volhynia Gubernia, Russian Empire (today, Yurovshchina, Khmelnitskyy Oblast, Ukraine). He married Yetta and had two daughters prior to emigrating in 1910. He settled in the lower east side of New York City and his family joined him there in 1912. 

Nathan worked in the butter and eggs business, sometimes as an egg candler. This is an interesting profession, probably most necessary for Jewish people who keep kosher. Fertilized eggs (the ones we may see when we crack eggs and find bits of blood in them) are considered not kosher. So, Nathan's job, as I understand it, was to hold eggs up to the light to see if spots of blood were present.

Abraham Sotskess (1877-1948), was born in Chodorow, located about 33 miles SSE of Lviv, Ukraine and came to the United States in 1910.[1] His wife, the former Rivka Malzman, arrived a few months later. Her most recent residence had been in Lubin. Abraham's and Rivke's surname at immigration was Czaczkes (pronounced Tchotchkiss, meaning "toy"). His manifest notes that he had a glass eye. 

Abraham worked as a glazier in New York City. Abraham's Ellis Island manifest indicated that he was going to a brother, Isaak, in Manhattan. But, when he died intestate (without a will) several years after his wife, Abraham's probate record indicated that he had no relatives in the New York City area.[2] The public administrator of his estate found addresses for three siblings in Argentina: Aida Sotskess and Faiga Sotskess of Allevenida, Argentina and Miguel Chachkin of Buenos Aires.

Joseph Myers (1889-1945), another glazier, was born in Lubin to David Myers (Malzman) and Ida (Chaye Sura) Kesselman. Joseph arrived in the United States in 1910, married Rose Adler in 1913, raised two children to adulthood, and lived out his life in the Bronx and Manhattan. Joseph's 1906 manifest record indicated he was fair-haired with blue eyes. His World War I draft registration differs, showing black eyes.

There are several things about Abraham Krakowsky (1888-1985), that I have yet to determine. He appears, based on his naturalization and manifest, not to have been an immigrant from Labun.[3] It is possible that his wife Rose was the immigrant, but I have not been able to determine her maiden name. He and Rose, as well as their son Murray (aka Morris), are buried in the FLPBA Beth Moses Cemetery plot. 

Notes:
1. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 23 November 2008), manifest, S.S. President Lincoln, Hamburg to New York, arriving 26 May 1910, p.104, line 27, Abraham Czaczkes; citing National Archives Microfilm Serial: T715; Microfilm Roll: 1487 .
2. New York County, New York, Abraham Sotskess probate case file no. 3569-1948, Surrogate's Court, New York City.
3. Abraham Krakowsky petition for naturalization no. 22634 (1920),  page 240, Eastern District of New York.
"New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 8 January 2015), manifest, S.S. Grosser Kurfurst, Bremen to New York, arriving 3 February 1909, list 4, line 15, Pinkus Krakowsky [indexed as Ainkus Krakowsky]; citing NARA microfilm serial T715, roll  1194.