Monday, December 14, 2015

Sam and Ida Tepper

Sam and Ida Tepper
     I mentioned in my post of March 8 this year that Meier David and Leie Tepper arrived in New York City on December 22, 1907 aboard the SS Lituania with several of their children[1].  Among those was Schlome, age 18, whose occupation was listed as "smith".  The family travelled to Philadelphia and by 1910 Schlome, now Sam, was living with his family, speaking English, and working an ironer in a tailor shop [2].
     Sometime between 1910 and June of 1917 Sam had met and married Ida Karzen.  He registered for the draft on June 5, 1917 describing himself as a fruit salesman, employed by J.M. Biedler.  He was tall, of medium build, with brown eyes and blond hair and he lived at 1519 N. Franklin Street in Philadelphia  with his wife[3].   I have no idea how Sam and Ida met, since Ida was from Cincinnati.
     Ida was born on August 3, 1892 in Cincinnati to Lewis Karzensky and Eda (Edith) Ostrovsky Karzensky [4]  who had arrived in the US in that year[5].  According to City Directories of the time, Louis worked as a presser until about 1914 when he entered the poultry business.  In 1914 the City Directory for Cincinnati shows Ida working as a stenographer in a bank building.  Both Ida and Louis are shown as living at 5305 Brotherton Rd[6].  The 1916 Directory shows Ida as still employed at the bank building.  Eda (or Edith as she was then known) died sometime in late 1916 or 1917.  She had written a will in March of 1914 which was probated on November 7, 1917, and in which she left her estate to her husband and then to her children, Ida and Samuel Karzen[7].
     In 1918 the Cincinnati City Directory shows Samuel D. Tepper living at 5308 Brotherton Rd, just down the street from Louis, who was now going by Karzen. Sam was working as a blacksmith.  Sam and Ida's first child had been born in January, 1918, and was named Edgar for his grandmother[8].  The 1920 census shows the family still living at the Brotherton Rd address, which they owned free of mortgage.  The census shows that the family did not own a radio, an item that was growing in popularity and the the Bureau was tracking as a proxy for urban and rural prosperity.  By this time, Lewis, now seventy-five, was living with them. Sam had gotten work as a tailor of women's garments[9].  Ida was pregnant with their second child, Florence, who was born in June of that year.  The third child, Robert Lee (Bobby), was born in 1924.
     The depression hit starting in 1929, and in 1930 the census found the family still in the Brotherton Rd. house, but now Sam was unemployed.  He had a wife, three small children and his aged father-in-law living with him[10].  By 1931 he had opened a service station at 5314 Brotherton Road, and a grocery at 5312 Brotherton[11].  By 1940, according to the census, Edgar was working as an attendant at the service station owned by his father, and Florence was a clerk[12].  The 1940 and 1942 City Directories show Sam still operating the service station in Cincinnati, but there is no mention of the grocery.  Edgar had enlisted in the armed forces in October, 1940 and Bobby followed in October 1942.
     For some reason, between 1942 and 1945, the family moved to Miami, Florida.  Perhaps it was the cold winters in Ohio, or perhaps it was because Sam's sister Rose and widowed sister-in-law/cousin Celia Zimmerman Tepper were already there (the tangled relationships among the Teppers and Zimmermans will be the subject of another post).  In 1945 Sam, Ida, and Florence lived at 4510 N.W. 10th St in Miami.  Sam was again in the produce business, and Florence was working as a case worker for Traveller's Aid[13].  World War II was still being fought, and Edgar, who had married Norma Abenschon in 1944, and Bobby were both still serving in the armed forces.  Florence married Manuel Mayerson in 1947 and moved back to Ohio.  In 1950, Bobby married Carolyn Dresser.
     The end of the war, and the desire of many of the thousands of servicemen who had trained there to become permanent residents made for a boom in Miami.  The Tepper produce business grew along with the city.  Meanwhile, according to his family, the pickles that Sam had made in his garage for a select few had grown into a business of its own.  According to the family story he would go to nearby Cuba and buy cucumbers in bulk and have them shipped into the port in Palm Beach County.  The 1958 Miami City Directory shows that Tepper's Wholesale Produce was being run by Edgar, while Sam was president of T&P Pickle Products, Inc, with Vivian (Zimmerman) Plasky (another Zimmerman cousin) as the vice-president, and Bobby as the secretary-treasurer[14].  The overthrow of the Cuban government in 1959 would have ended the forays to Cuba for cucumbers.
     Ida died in 1963[15].  Sam's widowed sister Bessie moved to Florida to help him, but in September, 1967, Sam married the recently widowed Pauline Kaufman (nee Stern)[16] and they moved to a duplex at 1176 Marseille Drive in Miami Beach.  Pauline died in 1979[17].  Sam continued to be very engaged with family, children, grandchildren, sisters and brothers.  He regularly came north to attend the annual anniversary parties for his sister Jennie Grosser and her husband Elcon.  He died on March 10, 1987[18], and was buried in Mt Nebo Cemetery.

1., New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2010), Year: 1907; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 1064; Line: 9; Page Number: 133  Record for Meier Tepper.
2., 1910 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2006),, Database online. Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 11, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1390; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 159; Image: 13. Record for David Japper.
3., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2005), Database online. Registration Location: Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1907616; Draft Board: 13. Record for Samuel Tepper.
4., U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index 1936-2007 (Provo UT, USA, Operations Inc., 2015). Record for Ida Tepper.
5., 1910 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2006), Database online.Year: 1910; Census Place: Dayton Ward 4, Campbell, Kentucky; Roll: T624_467; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 47; Image: 414. Record for Louis Karzensky.
6., US City Directories, 1822-1995 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations Inc., 2011, Records for Ida Karzen.
7., Ohio, Wills and Probate Records, 1786-1998 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2015),, Will Records 1792-1918; Probate Place: Hamilton, Ohio. Record for Edith Karzensky.
8., U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 (Provo, UT, USA, operations, Inc., 2015) Record for Edgar Karzen Tepper.
9., 1920 United States Federal census (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2009), Database online,Year: 1920; Census Place: Cincinnati Ward 2, Hamilton, Ohio; Roll: T625_1388; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 34; Image: . Record for Sam Tepper.
10. 1930 United States Federal Census( Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc. 2002), Database online. Year: 1930; Census Place: Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio; Roll: 1806; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 408; Image: 459.0.Record for Samuel Tepper.
11., U.S. city Directories, 1822-1995 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc. 2011) Record for Samuel D. Tepper.
12., 1940 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc. 2012), Database online. Year: 1940; Census Place: Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio; Roll: T627_3187; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 91-19. Record for Samuel Tepper.
13., U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry. com operations, Inc., 2011), Record for Samuel D. Tepper.
14. Ibid.
15.  Ohio, The American Israelite, Cincinnati, Obituary Feb 14 1963. 
16., Florida Marriage Indexes 1822-1875 and 1927-2001 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2006), Record for Samuel D. Tepper.
17., Florida Death Index, 1877-1998 (Provo, UT, USA, The Generations Network, Inc., 2004), Database online. Record for Pauline G. Tepper.
18.  Ibid.  Record for Samuel Tepper.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Finding Pearl Groiskop Shapiro

Pearl and Hyman Shapiro
     One evening, a few days after Mother's Day last year, my husband answered a phone call at the house.  I heard him say "She is my wife." and "Yes, she is trying to contact a Doris Kleiman, who is her cousin."  He had a strange look on his face, and when he handed me the phone said simply, "It's the police!"   That was the climax of my search for Aunt Pearl. 
      When I began my family tree I started with my great-grandparents, Elcon and Jennie Grosser because they were the family that I knew the most about.  I remembered them, their children, and some of their siblings who appeared at every family gathering.  I heard from family stories that Elcon had a sister named Pearl, who had died before I was born.  None of the relatives that I interviewed when I began my tree knew any more about her than that her married name was Shapiro, and her husband was probably named Hyman.  They had come to America, and Jennie's scrapbook that I inherited had a few photos annotated "Pearl's son Abe" or "Pearl's son Max'. 
     My search for Pearl and her family in the records was somewhat successful at first.  I found a record for Hersch Schpaira, from Ostropol Russia, a laborer, age 34 arriving in New York on July 5, 1905 aboard the SS Finland from Antwerp.  He declared that he was going to his brother-in-law, Elkuny Grosser in Philadelphia.[1],  Then I found Chaim Shapira, a 42 year old, married, day laborer from Ostropol Russia, departing Hamburg on Nov 9, 1912 aboard the SS Stockport bound for the port of Grimsby in England and then to Liverpool [2].  He boarded the SS Haverford in Liverpool and arrived in Philadelphia on December 4, 1912, noting on his arrival that he had previously resided in the US for two years.[3].  This second arrival was the one he would use on his petition for naturalization.  The first two of his children followed  him in early 1913, arriving aboard the SS Dominion and stating that their father then living at 1015 S. 2nd St in Philadelphia did not have enough money to bring their mother and siblings from Russia[4].  Pearl and three more children finally arrived on September 10, 1913 in Baltimore aboard the SS Nekar from Bremen.[5]
     The family's naturalization record of 1920 had a wealth of additional information.  Hyman (as he was now known) was born in Ostropol on Feb 10, 1869.  Pearl was born in Lubin (another spelling for Labun where Elcon was born), Dec 18, 1878.  They were married about 1895, and had six children born in Russia between 1896 and 1902 and two more born in 1908 and 1909 after Hyman returned.  Their last child Benjamin, was born in Philadelphia in 1915.[6] 
     Hyman began working as a driver [7] for a bakery company and later was a salesman for the company.  The family moved to Pennsgrove Ave in Philadelphia where they owned their house [8].  Pearl died on June 16, 1940 of pancreatic cancer,[9] and Hyman died a few moths later on Dec 1, 1940 of stomach cancer.  His death certificate gave his parents names as Phillip and Eva Shapiro, but these were probably anglicized versions of their names[10].
     Of course, I didn't find all of this information at first.  In fact, for many years I was unable to find much of anything about Pearl and her husband after their arrival.  I had no luck tracing any of the children or finding any descendants.  Except for the first arrival record, that listed a brother-in-law Elkuny Grosser, I wasn't even sure that the few records I had found were records for the right family.  Every so often I would go back over what I had and see if any new clues had come on-line.  I asked every new cousin that I discovered if any of them knew anything about Aunt Pearl.  No luck for about 15 years.  That's when things went a bit sideways.
     One day I was in my office working on another part of my tree when I went to a bookcase to pull out a reference book.  Fallen behind that book I saw a small white leatherette book that I recognized at once.  It was a prayer book, of the type that is given out at weddings, and I had had it since I was a child.  Someone in the family had given it to me after attending a wedding and I had kept it.  Inside were crayon markings and a note written in the colored fountain pen ink that I favored in about sixth grade. Over the (many) years since then I had opened it many times, but this time my eye was caught by the inscription printed in gold on the cover:  IN HONOR OF THE MARRIAGE OF DORIS SHAPIRO AND JEROME KLEIMAN MARCH 6, 1952.  Doris Shapiro??  I didn't know either of these names, but was it possible that this Doris Shapiro was a descendant of Aunt Pearl?  Some family member had gone to this wedding so maybe she was a relative.  A note handwritten inside indicated that Jerome was a Doctor.  With bated breath I looked for a Dr. Jerome Kleiman in Philadelphia.  I found several listings including one that gave his wife's name as Doris.  I checked the 1940 census in Philadelphia and found a Max Shapiro (Pearl had a son Max) with a daughter Doris who would have been the right age to be married in 1952.  Then I found a recent obituary for Jerome that gave his wife as Doris (nee Shapiro).  I was on the trail!
      My next step was to try to find a current address for Doris.  When I discovered that she had moved to only a few miles from where I now live my excitement was so great that I did something I usually don't do, especially with older folks.  I called her.
     She was very polite, quizzed me about who I was and how I thought we were related but did not confirm that she was a descendant of Pearl or give me any real information about herself.  The questions she asked made me confident that I was on the right trail.  I could sense her caution so I told her that I would write to her and give the information from my tree so that she could look it over and get back in touch when she was satisfied.  I quickly gathered a simple tree and some photos and mailed them off with a cover letter including my contact information.  This was usually my first step when contacting a new relative.  I hoped that since Mother's Day was a few days away that she would share it with her daughters and call me back.  I was so excited that I shared my hopes with my husband who is generally not interested in the details of how I make my discoveries.
     That led to the call from the police.  After questioning me politely for several minutes about my relationship to Doris and my genealogy quest, the officer appeared to be satisfied.  She explained that Doris had recently attended a class about identity theft scams targeting older people.  She had specifically been warned about people calling out of the blue claiming to be relatives and later asking for money.  She and her daughters had decided to have the police check me out. I laughed and told the officer that Doris had been a good student and had not given me any information, but that I hoped she would do so now.
     Two days later I had a call from both of Doris' daughters.  They apologized for calling the police on me (partly my fault for making that quick phone call) and we arranged to meet.  We had a lovely brunch and I enjoyed meeting all of them.  From a genealogy perspective it was a gold mine as Doris had lots of details about Pearl's family, photos of Pearl and Hyman and all of their children, and an audio tape of Doris' father Max telling about their trip from the old country and their early life in the US.  Most of the information cited above was the result of those conversations.  I'm still mining that trove, but that's for another blog post[11].

1. New York Passenger Lists , 1820-1957(Provo, UT, USA, operations, Inc. 2010) Year 1905; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 0597; Line: 10; Page Number: 29. Record for Hersch Schapira.
2.  Staatsarchiv Hamburg, Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations Inc. 2008) database online. Record for Chaim Shapira.
3., Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1945 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2006),, database online.  Roll T840_108; Line 22. Record for Chaim Shapira.
4., Philadelphia Passenger LIsts, 1800-1945 (Provo, UT, UA, Operations, Inc., 2006)., Database online.Roll T840_116;Line 4.
5., Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948(Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2006), Database online. Record for Perl Schapiro.
6. Ancestry, com, Pennsylvania, U.S. Naturalization Originals, 1795-1930(Provo, UT. USA., Operations, Inc., 2011) Databse online.
7., 1920 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Operations Inc., 2009), Database online. Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 24, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1628; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 742; Image: 122.
8., 1930 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Operations Inc., 2002), Database online. Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia.
9., Pennsylvania Death Certificates, 1906-1963 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2014), Record for Hyman Shapiro.
10., Pennsylvania Death Certificates, 1906-1963 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2014), Record for Pearl Shapiro.
11. The story of finding Doris Kleiman is adapted from an article I wrote that was published in the Summer 2015 issue of "Mishpacha: the Quarterly Publication of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington."

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

William and Catherine Ferguson - Part 2

     In my last post, I introduced William and Catherine Ferguson, my husband's second great grandparents, and the trove of information about William that I found in his Civil War pension files.  Now to continue their story.
Affidavit of William Ferguson for Pension Jan 12, 1891

     William submitted his first pension application on Jan 12, 1891. Prior to 1890 the federal pension system for Union soldiers had evolved from something that provided for disabled soldiers and widows and children of those who died in service.  Pension laws established during the war were modified between 1861 and 1874 to provide for medical screenings and included disability that arose subsequent to the war.  Awards were first made up to $8 per month, and increased up to a maximum of $31.25 per month by 1874.  Partial disability resulted in partial pension payments, sometimes for a little as $1.  In 1890 the Disability Pension Act allowed veterans to make claims for pensions even if their disability was unrelated to military service.  This required the Pension Bureau to establish a system to verify claims for pensions through examination of doctors certificates, affidavits from employers, and neighbors, as well as statements from fellow veterans and service record reviews.  By 1891, the Pension Bureau employed over 2000 men and women in Washington to review and process claims. [1]
     When William submitted his first claim in 1891, he listed a disability due to a tumor on his left leg that he said was the result of an injury received during the Civil War battle at Hatcher's Run, VA[2].  This battle took place from Feb 5 to 7, 1865, and was part of the siege of Petersburg.  Over the next few months of 1891, the Pension Department received confirmation from the War Department that William had indeed been present during that battle[3], and an affidavit from a surgeon that he indeed had a disability due to a tumor on his leg.  The surgeon declared that he was eligible for 6/18 disability under the then existing pension law [4].
     In 1900 William and his family were living at 106 Neilson Street in New Brunswick, near the Raritan River.  William is described as a boatman.  Living with them were their sons Andrew and Charles.  Andrew was not employed and Charles was employed as a carriage painter.  Also living with them were William's nephew Phillip, a fish dealer, his wife Julia, their daughter Lizzie, and Clara Ferguson described as a daughter-in-law, but born in 1845 (making her older than William) and Clara's daughter Bertha May, aged 10[5].
     In 1902 William submitted another application related to  "ruptures" that he claimed were the result of an accident that had occurred in 1895 when he was working on repairs to a trolley line in Milltown, NJ, and a pole fell on him.  This was corroborated by several affidavits from those who were working with him at the time of the accident, as well as James H. Ferguson, his employer, who declared that due to the "ruptures" William was unable fully to perform manual labor[6].  The examining surgeon allowed a $10 pension[7].
     In 1907 Congress passed the Service and Pension Act, which granted pensions to all veterans over the age of 62.  Between 1908 and 1920 the rates were increased based on age and length of service[8]. In March 1907, William applied for the increased pension due to age, but as I explained in the last post, he couldn't prove that he was 62[9].  In May 1908, he was granted a pension of $12 based on his age at enlistment[10].
     By the May 1910 census William, Catherine, Andrew, and Charles were living at 20 Schurerman Street[11].  William is listed as a driver for a street cleaning company.  Andrew had not married and worked as a tire maker in a tire factory.  Charles worked as a coal shoveler in a coal yard.  Charles had married Julia McCann in about 1904, and fathered a daughter Sadie.  He listed himself as married for the past five years in the 1910 census, but had only lived with his wife and family for a short time.
     Catherine died on February 25, 1913 [12]  and was buried at Elmwood Cemetery in New Brunswick.  William's pension action record indicates that his pension was increased from $19 to $22.50 per month in May 1916, when he reached age 70, and again to $32 from June 10, 1918[13].  
     William died on March 21, 1919 of chronic nephritis and cardiac problems.  According to the statement for reimbursement provided to the Pension Bureau by his son Charles and his doctor, he was hospitalized at St Peters hospital for a week in early March, and after that he was cared for at home by his daughter, Mrs. Anne Vorhees.  He had no estate except for some clothes. He left two insurance policies, one for Charles in the amount of $72.72, and one for Anne in the amount of $36.60, which had cost $0.35 and $0.15 per week respectively[14].  He was buried at Elmwood Cemetery on March 27.  His funeral expenses were $248.00, to include the casket, embalming, the hearse with horses, and five limousines[15]. The Pension Bureau approved reimbursement of $57.60.[16]

1.  Peter David Blanck and Michael Millender "Before Disability Civil Rights: Civil War Pensions and the Politics of Disability in America" Alabama Law Review, Vol 52, No 1, Fall 2000. pp 1-9.
2.  Soldier's Certificate No. 725160, William Ferguson, Private, Company I, 8th New Jersey Volunteers; Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Veterans Who Served in the Army and Navy Mainly in the Civil War and the War with Spain ("Civil War and Later Survivor's Certificates"), 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives Building, Washington, DC. Affidavit of claimant for Invalid Pension January 12, 1891.
3. War Department Record and Pension Division, Summary of service, March 11, 1891.  Soldier's Certificate No. 725160, William Ferguson Private, company I 8th NJ Vol. Civil War and Later Survivor's  Certificates. RG 15, NAB.
4.  Surgeon's Certificate, Mar 25, 1891. Soldier's Certificate No. 725160, William Ferguson Private, company I 8th NJ Vol. Civil War and Later Survivor's  Certificates. RG 15, NAB.
5., 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc, 2004), Database online .Year: 1900; Census Place: New Brunswick Ward 3, Middlesex, New Jersey; Roll: T623_984; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 40.
6.  General Affidavit May 29 1902, W. Fredrick Stevens, Additional Evidence May 22, 1902, George Gamble, General Affidavit June 9 1902 James Chaplin, Affidavit Jan 14, 1902 James H. Ferguson.  Soldier's Certificate No. 725160, William Ferguson Private, company I 8th NJ Vol. Civil War and Later Survivor's  Certificates. RG 15, NAB.
7.  Surgeon's Certificate Oct 17, 1906.  Soldier's Certificate No. 725160, William Ferguson Private, company I 8th NJ Vol. Civil War and Later Survivor's  Certificates. RG 15, NAB.
8.  Blank and Millender. op.cit.
9.  Letter, Acting commissioner to William Ferguson. January 9, 1908. Soldier's Certificate No. 725160, William Ferguson Private, company I 8th NJ Vol. Civil War and Later Survivor's  Certificates. RG 15, NAB.
10.  Pension Action Record. 1891-1912.  Soldier's Certificate No. 725160, William Ferguson Private, company I 8th NJ Vol. Civil War and Later Survivor's  Certificates. RG 15, NAB..  
11., 1910 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc, 2006), Database online .Year: 1910; Census Place: New Brunswick Ward 3, Middlesex, New Jersey; Roll: T624_898; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 137. Image 857.
12.  Application for Reimbursement. April 24, 1919. Soldier's Certificate No. 725160, William Ferguson Private, company I 8th NJ Vol. Civil War and Later Survivor's  Certificates. RG 15, NAB.
13.  Invalid Pension Record card. Soldier's Certificate No. 725160, William Ferguson Private, company I 8th NJ Vol. Civil War and Later Survivor's  Certificates. RG 15, NAB.
14.  Application for Reimbursement, April 24, 1919.  op. cit.
15.  Invoice.  W.H. Quackenboss, Dr. Furnishing Undertaker and Embalmer. Soldier's Certificate No. 725160, William Ferguson Private, company I 8th NJ Vol. Civil War and Later Survivor's  Certificates. RG 15, NAB. Burial of William Ferguson, April 24, 1919. 
16.  Record of Reimbursement, May 17, 1919.  Soldier's Certificate No. 725160, William Ferguson Private, company I 8th NJ Vol. Civil War and Later Survivor's  Certificates. RG 15, NAB. 17, 1919.  

Friday, September 18, 2015

William and Catherine Ferguson - Part 1

Grave of William and Catherine Ferguson
showing military service inscription
     For some time, my tree has included my husband's maternal second great grandparents, William and Catherine Ferguson.  I knew little about them except what his grandmother had told me; that they lived in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and that he and/or his brother had served in the Civil War.  I had been unable to find any record of them after the 1910 census, and my search of civil war record indexes had turned up several William Fergusons from New Jersey, but nothing to help me see which one might be him.  I was recently reviewing his records and found this new photo on[1].  It was from Elmwood Cemetery in New Brunswick, NJ, and although badly worn, it appeared to show a William and Catherine Ferguson.  The record said that William's date of death was 1919.  Catherine's date was unreadable.
     What really excited me was that the stone also appeared to show a partial inscription about military service.  I saw "Priv?? Co I", and "8 ?? Reg't???? Vol"  Further Civil War records search confirmed that there was a William Ferguson in Company I, 8th New Jersey Volunteers.  This was worth a follow-up.  I made a quick trip to the National Archives.  (I am so lucky to live nearby)  What I found was a treasure trove of information.  After a short wait, they handed me two folders, one small and one containing nearly sixty pages of original documents.  The details about his family allowed me to confirm that this was the right William Ferguson.
     William had both served in the Civil War and received a pension from the government as a result of his service.  The smaller folder was his service record, and the larger contained ten years worth of correspondence, affidavits, and records related to his pension.  Combined, these allowed me to document quite a bit about William's life and his family.  He was illiterate, but each of the documents carried his mark and a statement of the writer and witnesses where needed.
     William was born on February 14, sometime between 1841 and 1848, in New Brunswick, NJ.  The exact year of his birth was a matter of importance to the pension board and they documented no fewer than 22 documents that he had submitted showing different birth years between his enlistment and his death[2].  He submitted a letter [3] on the subject detailing his parents names ( Philip and Maria) and the names of his siblings (James, Edward, Mary Ann, Margaret, and Philip) so that the census bureau could search the 1850 and 1860 census for for Middlesex County to find the family and determine his age at that time.  They were unable to find the family in the census [4].
     On Sept. 1, 1864, declaring age 19, William, a fisherman, was mustered in as a private to the New Jersey Volunteers.  He was a substitute for a John Runyon of the 3rd Congressional District [5].  The Draft or Enrollment Act passed in 1863 allowed men who were drafted to hire a substitute to take their place in the Army.  The substitute could ask for substantial payment.  I have not found a record of what William received.  A history of the Regiment indicates that "At different times during the years 1864 and 1865 the strength of the regiment was augmented by the joining from Draft Rendezvous, Trenton, N.J., of large numbers of substitutes." Between his mustering-in date and his discharge, the regiment participated in at least nine engagements including the capture of Petersburg, and Lee's Surrender at Appomattox, VA.[6]  William's service record does not indicate that he was absent at any time during this period so one may assume he participated in those engagements[7].  [8]
William Ferguson's Muster-Out Roll 1865
Along with most of his comrades, William was mustered out of the service on June 4, 1865 near Alexandria, VA.  He made his way home to New Brunswick, presumably with the items for which the Army had withheld $63.82 from his pay: a knapsack, canteen, two greatcoat straps, a gun sling and wiper.
     According to the papers he submitted for his pension, on March 11, 1868, William married Catherine Cavalier in New Brunswick[9].  They quickly had several children.  In 1870 the census shows William and Catherine living in New Brunswick with a son John (age 5), and daughter Annie (age 8 mos)[10].  A son William, who had been born in 1867, had died in January of 1870[11].  William is listed as a laborer.  In the 1880 Federal census the family, now consisting of William, occupation fisherman, Catherine, no listed occupation, and three children, Annie (age 11), Andrew (age 10) and Charles (age 7) are still living in New Brunswick[12].  John is not listed and may have died as I have found no further record of him.  The 1890 Federal census was destroyed, but in the 1895 New Jersey Census, William and Catherine are found in New Brunswick with three children, Annie, Andrew, and Charles[13].

End of Part 1.

1., U.S., Find a Grave Index, 1600s-Current (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc. 2012) Record for William Ferguson
2. Handwritten List of documents, dates and ages. Soldiers Certificate File 725160, William Ferguson, Private Company I, 8th New Jersey Infantry; Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Veterans Who Served In the Army and Navy Mainly in the Civil War and the War with Spain ("Civil War and Later Survivors' Certificates"), 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives Building Washington, DC.
3.  Letter from William Ferguson to Civil War Division, 17 April, 1916. Soldiers Certificate No. 725160, William Ferguson, Private, Co. I ,8th, NJ Inf, "Civil War and Later Survivors Certificates, RG 15 NAB.
4. Letter Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census to The Commissioner of Pensions, May 12, 1916.  Soldiers Certificate No. 725160, William Ferguson, Private, Co. I ,8th, NJ Inf, "Civil War and Later Survivors Certificates, RG 15 NAB.
5.   Certificate of Enrollment No. 473, Elizabeth, NJ. record for William Ferguson 1 Sept, 1864 . Company I, 8th New Jersey Infantry.  Civil War Compiled Records of Military Service in military units of Union volunteer organizations.  RG 109. NAB.
6. New Jersey State Library  New Jersey Civil War Record, p. 366 New Jersey Volunteers. Eighth Regiment- Infantry- Volunteers. Record on-line
7.  Civil War Compiled Records of Military Service. RG 109 NAB. Record for William Ferguson, Private, Co I, 8th  Reg't, NJ  Inf.  
8. Detachment Muster Out Roll. Record for William Ferguson, Private, Co I, 8th  Reg't, NJ  Inf.  Civil War Compiled Records of Military Service. RG 109 NAB.
9. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions,  Questionnaire to William Ferguson Certificate No. 725160 Reply May 3, 1898. Soldiers Certificate 725160, William Ferguson, Private, Co I, 8th NJ Inf. " Civil War and Later Survivors Certificates" RG 15, NAB.
10. 1870 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2003) record for William Ferguson.
11., U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2010) record for William Ferguson.
12. Database online. Year: 1880; Census Place: New Brunswick, Middlesex, New Jersey; Roll: T9_789; Family History Film: 1254789; Page: 30.4000; Enumeration District: 120; Image: 0487. Record for William Ferguson. 
13. Ancestry. com, New Jersey State Census, 1895 (Provo, UT, USA. The Generations Network, Inc., 2007) database online. Record for William Ferguson.   

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Other Roths - a happy story

     In my last post, I discussed some families who were related to me on the Roth side, although I'm still not sure exactly how.  In preparation for that post, as I always do, I went back to the information that I have about that person or family, and reviewed how I know what I think I know.  At that time I also look for new records that might have become available since I last looked.
     In this case, I was looking at the Lavinthal Family.  The head of the family was Samuel Lavinthal, and his wife was Fannie Roth Lavinthal.  They had several children, among whom was a son, Bennie.  I knew that Bennie had married, and had a daughter, but he and his wife were divorced before I came on the scene.  Bennie and my father were very close growing up and as adults, and I remember him from my childhood.  I never knew his wife Rhoda, or his daughter Charlotte (or Charie as she was known).  I had no records for Charie except one census record from 1930, when she was a child.  A cousin had told me that she had lived in Washington, DC, and had died young and childless.
     When I looked at her record, a "hint" told me that there were new records for me to review.  The first was an index of Social Security applications and claims.  This index does not cover all SSA applications, so I was surprised when I examined it, to find that indeed it was for my Charlotte Lavinthal. It listed her parents (Ben Lavinthal and Rhoda Green) Check.  Her birth date.  Check. And a married name!
     When I entered the married name into my tree, more "hints" appeared.  First was a Virginia marriage record, which upon examination proved to be hers, but more interesting was a link to someone else's tree that had a person of that name in it.  When I looked at the tree, I wasn't sure that  it was the same person.  None of the other names in the tree were familiar to me.  Living people were only indicated by blank boxes, and there were a lot of those, but most intriguing was a blank box that came from Charlotte.  Everyone I had spoken to had said that Charie had no children, but I thought I'd ask anyway.
     I wrote a short note to the (unknown) owner of the tree explaining that if this was the same person, and there was a child, I would like to chat with him or her if they were interested.
     I quickly received an answer.  The owner of the tree was the child in question (I'll call her E.).  She explained that Charie had given birth to her when she was 18 and unmarried, and had given her up for adoption at birth.  Only Bennie and Rhoda had known about the child.  They were already divorced, and the pregnant Charie went to live with her mother in Chicago.  E had always known that she was adopted, but under the laws of the time could get no information about her birth family.  Subsequently, the laws were changed and the agency had told her what they knew, and had performed a search, determining that her birth mother was dead. Her marriage had ended in divorce after only a few years and she had not remarried.  E had made efforts to contact her mother's heir with no success, but she held out hope that she would find her other family.  She had entered her birth mother's name into her family tree along with her adopted family so that her children and grandchildren would know where she came from.
     The details of her story matched what I knew about Charie, but I am a distant relation and couldn't give her the details she longed for.  Making no promises, I contacted the few cousins from that family that I knew and told them what I had found.  They at once got in touch with her and they began trading photos and family stories.  Everyone is very happy, and I get to add a whole new twig onto my family tree.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Other Roth Family - Part One

     In my post of April 17, 2015, I mentioned that I knew little about the family of my grandfather, Armin Roth.  I had documents that indicated that his father was Dov Roth, and his mother was Minna Prinz, and he came from the area of Kosice (yid. Kassa) now in Slovakia.  I also knew that there were other families in Trenton who were his cousins, but I did not know exactly how they were related.
Sam and Fanny Lavinthal
     These cousins, (the other Roth family) were the children of Isidore Roth and Esther Prinz[1], and they came from the town of Felso Mislye (today Vysna Mysla near Kosice Slovakia)[2].   Although I have no confirmation of the relationship, the name similarity between the two sets of parents sets up the possibility that this was two brothers marrying two sisters.  Five siblings arrived in the US between 1892 and 1913, and all ended up in Trenton, NJ, where they married and raised their families.  As a child I knew some of the children of these cousins, and their names recur in newspaper reports of our family events.
     The first of the siblings to arrive in Trenton was Fanny Roth.  She was born about 1870, and came the the US on 5 September 1887 aboard the Sorrento from Hamburg, Germany[3].  In December 1893, she married Samuel Lavinthal, a shoemaker, in Trenton[4].  She died in 1944, but I have fond memories of Uncle Sam from my childhood.  Fanny and Sam Lavinthal are the only members of that generation of whom I have photos.  (Hint: If you have photos of any others, I'd love to see them)
     The next to arrive was Minnie Roth (born betw 1878-1881).  I haven't found her arrival manifest, but census records indicate that she came to the US between 1892 and 1895.  She married Nathan Saaz, a milk dealer, and later saloon owner, about 1895[5] and they lived at 839 S. Clinton St.
     The first brother to arrive was Bernath Roth.  He was born in 1877 and arrived in New York on August 25, 1898 aboard the SS Sale from Bremen[6].  He moved in with Sam and Fannie Lavinthal at 191 Broad Street and also worked as a shoemaker[7].  In about 1902, he married a woman named Fannie and moved to 84 Pennington Ave[8], next door to my grandparents, Armin and Mary Roth at 86 Pennington Ave. Fannie died in August, 1918.
     Next to arrive was Agnes (Anna) Roth, born in 1884.  She came on August 21 1901 aboard the SS Grosse Kurfurst from Bremen[9].  She married Joseph Greenberger, a retail fruit merchant, in about 1906.  In 1910 they lived at 6 Third Street in Trenton, with their first child, Benjamin, and Joseph's brother Jacob[10].
     The last arrival was the youngest, Adolph Roth.  He was born in 1887, but didn't come to the US until June 4, 1913 when he arrived in New York aboard the SS Cleveland from Hamburg Germany[11].  Adolph was still single and a self employed butcher when he registered for the WWI draft.  He was living at 266 Jackson, in Trenton.[12]
     In later posts I will continue the stories of each of these families, or as much as I know of them.  Most stayed in Trenton until late in the 20th century and some remain in the area today. As more records become available from the area of Kosice, I hope to nail down exactly how all of these folks are related to me.

1., Pennsylvania Death Certificates, 1906-1963 (Provo UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2014) www.ancestry.comRecord for Bernath Roth. 
2. Diacritical marks have been omitted as this program does not support them. Felso Mislye is listed as a birthplace on several records including Bernath's WWI draft registration and naturalization, Agnes Roth's arrival manifest, and Adolph Roth's WWI and WWII draft registrations.
3., New York Passenger LIsts, 1820-1957 (Provo UT. USA, Operations Inc., 2006) www.  Record for Fanny Roth
4. "Social Calendar" Monday, December 3, 1917. Trenton Evening Times.(Trenton, NJ) p. 10. " Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Lavinthal entertained a number of friends and relatives at their home, 266 Jackson Street, last evening, in celebration of their twenty-fifthwedding anniversary." accessed at
5. 1920 United States Federal census(provo UT, USA, Operations, Inc 2009) record for Winnie Saaz, and 1930 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Operations Inc., 2002)record for Minnie Saaz.   Both www.
6., New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2006) Database online, year: 1898; Arrival, Microfilm serial 15, microfilm rollT715_ 29 Line 15. Record for Bernath Roth.
7., 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2004) Record for Bert Roth
8. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2005) record for Bernath Roth
9., New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 (Provo UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2010), year  1901, New York, New York.; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll 0217; Line 24; Page number 272. Record for Anna Roth
10., 1910 United States Federal Census (Provo UT, USA, Operations, INC., 2006) Year 1910; Census place : Trenton Ward 4, Mercer. New Jersey; Roll T624_896; 19B; Enumeration District: 0059; FHL Microfilm 1374909 Record for Joseph Greenberger.
11., New York Passenger LIsts, 1820-1957 (Provo UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2006)  Database online. Year: 1913; Arrival: , ; Microfilm serial: T715; Microfilm roll: T715_2095; Line: 15 Record for Adolf Roth.  
12., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (Provo UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2011), www. Database online. Registration Location: Mercer County, New Jersey; Roll: 1754443; Draft Board: 2. Record for Adolf Roth   

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Meier David and Lena Tepper

Lena Tepper
     In a post on 3/8/15, I described the arrival of Meier David and Lena Tepper along with several of their children to New York in 1907, aboard the SS Lituania.  They were going to their son-in-law, Elcon Grosser, in Philadelphia.

     By 1909, they were living in Philadelphia at 306 North Front Street near the docks along the Delaware River.  "Myer D. Tepper" is shown as a huckster in the 1909 City Directory[1].  By 1910, they had moved to a rented house at 312 (Rear) North Front Street.  Their children Sam, Abe, Bess, Harry, Celia, and Mary lived  with them. They also had a boarder, Louis Gefler, a 28 year old, single, express driver.  In the census, Lena's occupation is listed as "none".  I imagine that she kept the house, did laundry, and cooked for all of those people, which is hardly being unoccupied!  Meier David is listed as being a retail merchant of fruit.[2]  The City Directories for 1916 and 1918 still list him as a huckster at that address [3], so he probably sold from a cart rather than a store.
     By 1920 Meier David and Lena were still living at 312 (Rear) North Front Street.  All of the
Meier David Tepper
children had grown and moved out, but their daughter Rose and her son Hyman lived next door at 300 N. Front. (see post of 6/5/15 for more about Rose)  Meier David is listed as the proprietor of a restaurant, and Lena is shown as the cook. [4] Their granddaughter remembers hearing that they made food that they sold to the immigrants arriving at the docks nearby.  These photos, taken at about that time show them as moderately prosperous.

     In 1930 they had retired from business and moved to a small three story brick home at 1921 North 31st Street, a few blocks from Fairmount Park.  They rented the home, and had a lodger, a widow named Sarah Ginsberg. [5]

     David died on March 14, 1940 of a strangulated right hernia and heart congestion. [6]  His death certificate shows him living at 1825 N. 31st St.  After David's death, Lena moved in with her son Abraham, his wife Sarah, and daughter Bertha at 4924 17th Street.[7]   In June 1941, following a cardiac incident, Lena moved to the Bellavista Home in Springfield PA where she died on February 1, 1942,.[8]

     The ages of both David and Lena are open to question. When they arrived in 1907 they gave their ages as 56 and 53. Three years later in the 1910 census they said that they were only 55 and 51.  Ten years later, in 1920, they had aged fifteen to twenty years, and were listed as 70 and 70. In the 1930 census they give their ages as 80 and 75.  David's death certificate in 1940 has two ages, 91(crossed out) and 79.   In the 1940 census, taken just after David's death, Lena is listed as only 77.   David's headstone at Har Nebo Cemetery gives an age at death in 1940 as 91.  Lena's headstone says she was 90 when she died two years after the census, but her death certificate says 85. A final determination will wait for the discovery of birth records.  Lena's will be particularly hard to find as I don't know her maiden name.  I have found marriage records for three of her children that have a mother's maiden name filled in.  Unfortunately, they are all different.  One says Zelbsman, one says Zotsman, and one says Kaplan.  Yet another mystery to add to the pile.

1.  Philadelphia City Directory., U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc. 2011) Record for Myer D. Tepper.
2.  Ancestry. com, 1910 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Operations Inc, 2006) Database online. Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 11, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1390; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 159; Image: 13. Record for David Japper.
3.  Philadelphia City Directories 1916 and 1918. op.cit.
4.  Ancestry. com 1920 United States Federal Census.(Provo UT, USA, Operations Inc. 2009)Database online. Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 11, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1619; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 220; Image: 977. record for David Tepper.
5. 1930 United States Federal Census (Provo UT USA, Opertions Inc. 2002)Database online. Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2116; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 741; Image: 1013.0. Record for Meyer Tapper.
6. Pennsylvania Death Certificates, 1906-1963 (Provo UT USA, Operations Inc. 2014) Record for David Tepper.
7. 1940 United States Federal Census (Provo UT USA, Operations Inc. 2012)Year: 1940; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T627_3752; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 51-2120. record for Lena Tepper
8., Pennsylvania Death Certificates, 1906-1963 (Provo, UT USA, Operations Inc. 2014) Record for Lena Japper.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Elcon and Jennie Grosser - 50th Anniversary

Jennie and Elcon Grosser 50th Anniversary
Sept 8, 1946
     Elcon and Jennie Grosser celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Sunday, September 8, 1946.  Family and friends were invited to a formal dinner with dancing at the Lorraine Hotel, Broad and Fairmount Ave in Philadelphia.  A five man orchestra and girl singer (extra $15) under the direction of Maurie Swerdlow were hired to perform from 7PM to Midnight at a total cost of $130.[1]  The dinner was preceded at 6 PM by a second wedding.  Photos of the event help to reconstruct the evening.  Grandchildren Elynore Lieberman and Phyllis Lieberman Schlesser, Morton and Richard Grosser (sons of Al) helped the bride with her corsage and crown. The bride was brought to the Chuppah (wedding canopy) by her daughter and son-in-law Ida and Nat Lieberman, walking between rows of her sons Sam, Jack, Herman, Al, and their wives. A Rabbi performed the wedding ceremony .

Back (L-R) Herman Grosser, Sam Grosser, Nat Lieberman, David Schlesser, Phyllis Lieberman Schlesser, Elcon Grosser, Morton Grosser, Al Grosser, Jack Grosser
Front (L-R)  Mrs Fanny (Jack) Grosser, Mrs Esther (Al) Grosser, Mrs Ella (Herman) Grosser, Richard Grosser, Jennie Grosser, Ida Grosser Lieberman, Elynore Lieberman, Mrs Florence (Sam) Grosser
     Following the ceremony, the bride and groom, flanked by their children and grandchildren were seated at a raised head table decorated with floral centerpieces.  Many round tables served groups of family and friends, including Elcon and Jennie's many brothers and sisters and their families.  Dancing included traditional Jewish dances as well as ballroom dancing.  The event was well remembered by all who attended it.

Elcon and Jennie at Rainbow Inn
Sept 17, 1946
     A few days later, the couple went on a second honeymoon to New York City.  They had dinner at the Rainbow Inn at 82 E. 4th St in Manhattan, a newly renovated dinner and dancing restaurant with a floor show featuring "all the Jewish staples and delicacies, elegantly prepared, as well as steaks and chops. The portions are on the large side.  We recommend particularly the chopped liver and kosher steaks."[ 2].  They also tried Chinese food at the Singapore restaurant at Broadway and 50th Street, which advertised "Exotic Chinese and Island Foods, made to order" and recommended if the diner is in a hurry to make a show.[3]  

Altogether a memorable celebration of an important event.

1.  Contract between Maurie Swerdlow Theatrical Agency, Suite 514, 1001 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, 7, PA, and Mr. Elcone Grosser, 338 South Street, Philadelphia PA. dated 4 September 1946.  From papers of Jennie Grosser.  Original held by Mary-Jane Roth
2.  "Brooklyn and Broadway Night Life", Al Salerno. "The Brooklyn Daily Eagle" Brooklyn NY, Sept 27, 1947, p. 6 . accessed Jun 29, 2015.
3.  Advertising card for Singapore restaurant with handwritten note 9/17/1946. From papers of Jennie Grosser. Original held by Mary-Jane Roth

Friday, June 19, 2015

Owen McGorman and Rachel Winslow

Marriage Record for Owen McGorman and Rachel Winslow
July 24, 1865, Castleblaney, Ireland

     The marriage record above is for my husband's great-great-grandparents, Owen Gorman (McGorman),  and Rachel Winslow.  This record was the first I found firmly putting his mother's family in a town in Ireland.   I had identified their names when I found the marriage record for his great-grandparents, Joseph Gorman and Julia Connolly, during a research trip to the New Jersey State Archives.  One of the difficulties of Irish research is that many of the names are common, John, Joseph, Mary, Bridget etc., and surnames often use or drop the prefixes "Mc" or "O'" at random, and his family was no different.  Here, however were two names that seemed more uncommon.  When I entered the two names into, I at once came up with an index to marriage records showing these two names.  An index to birth records later showed children of this couple.  The names, although common, matched the known brothers of Joseph Gorman.  Later, when I was researching at the huge Family History Library in Salt Lake City, I was able to acquire this image of the actual marriage record, and the names of the bride and groom's parents..
     Owen Gorman, a laborer, son of Patrick Gorman, was born about 1845.  He married Rachel Winslow, daughter of Nilsen Winslow, on July 24, 1865, in the town of Castleblaney, county Monaghan[1], Ireland.  They had six sons and a daughter born in towns near Castleblaney,  John (Oct 23, 1865 in Kilmore)[2], Joseph W. (Jul 22, 1867 in Kilmore)[3], Owen (April 27 1870 in Ballyhay)[4], Thomas (Jul 10, 1872 in Ballyhay)[5],  Patrick (Apr 29, 1875 in Monaghan)[6], James D. (April 1877[7], and Mary (about 1878)[8].  Thomas died in 1874 in Castleblaney.[9]
       Owen, Rachel, John, Joseph, David, and James all seem to have emigrated to the U.S. in the early 1880s, according to various census records.  John Gorman appears in the 1885 census of Warwick, Rhode Island as a boarder[10].  According to his family, he married Mary Keenan there on November 15, 1887, and lived in Warwick until his death.   In 1895, the New Jersey State census[11] shows Owen, Rachel, David and James living in Somerville, Somerset county, New Jersey, along with Joseph and his wife Julia who had married on November 6, 1894[12].  

1.  Marriage Records 1845-1870 in the General Registry Office of Ireland.  Digital copy FHL film # 101479. Record page # 576 for Castleblaney District, County of Monaghan. Record for Rachel Winslow.
2 , 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Ireland: Select Births and Baptisms 1620-1911. (Provo, UT. Operations Inc,  2011) records for John McGorman, Joseph Gorman, Owen Gorman, Thomas Gorman, Patrick Gorman, James Gorman, and Mary Gorman.  Records online.
9. Ireland Civil Registrations Deaths Index 1864-1968 (Provo Ut Operations Inc. 2011) Record for Thomas Gorman. Record online.
10. Rhode Island State Censuses 1865-1935. (Provo UT. Operations Inc. 2013) record for 1885, John Gorman. Record online.
11. New Jersey State Census 1895 (Provo UT. Operations Inc. 2007) record for Owen Gorman.
12.  State of New Jersey Marriage Return for Joseph Gorman and Julia Connolly Nov 6, 1894. New Jersey State Archives, Trenton, NJ.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Tepper Arrivals: Feige/Rose?

Rose Tepper and her husband about 1910
     Continuing the story of the Tepper Family arrivals.  I have posted about Meier David and several of his children arriving together, and about their son Abraham.  My story of the next child, Rose Tepper, is filled with quirks and mysteries.  There are few records that I can unequivocally state refer to her.  She did not arrive in the US with her parents and siblings in 1907. I have not been able to find a record of her arrival.  On the other hand, there is a record of another person, Feige Tepper, about the same age, a seamstress, from Baranivka (the departure point for the rest of the family) departing Hamburg on July 5 1902 aboard the SS Barcelona[1], and arriving in New York on July 21[2].  She states that she is going to her brother-in-law "Coln" (Elkunah) Grosser in Philadelphia, the same person who sponsored the rest of the Tepper family.  This Feige was almost certainly a child of Meier David and Leie.  Did she become "Rose"?  Although Feige to Rose is not a common name change, is is certainly possible, and there are no other records of this Feige that have surfaced so far.  Also, if Feige was another child, and not Rose, then the number of children claimed by Leie on her arrival and in later census records is off by one.
     The photo above is of Rose with her husband.  It was in the scrapbook of her sister Jennie Grosser.  The husband is un-named.  I have spent much time and energy trying to find a record of her marriage in the Philadelphia City Archives with a few candidates, but no firm conclusions.  I have not found her under the name Feige or Rose in the 1910 census, although I am certain that Rose was in the United States.  She was not living with her parents.  Rose had a son Hyman in about 1911 (although I haven't found a record of his birth either despite hours going through index cards in the Phila Archives).  Rose's granddaughter tells me that her father said that his father deserted the family early on, that Rose took the name Cohen after trying to trace him as far as South America, and began calling herself the widow Cohen.  In 1920 she and Hyman were living at 300 North Front Street, next to her parents at 312R.  She was the proprietor of a notions store[3].  The business directories of 1919 and 1921 list a Rosa Cohen as the owner of a cigar store at 820 S. 8th Street[4], but I am not certain that this is her as that would be two miles from her home.  Her granddaughter tells me that during Prohibition, Rose was a bootlegger.  Hyman remembered growing up among liquor bottles and ran away at thirteen, using his Bar Mitzvah money to go to California to live with his mother's sister Bessie and her husband Harry Nitt.  Both Rose and Hyman drop from the records again after 1920.
     By 1945, Rose was living in Miami, Florida and had remarried to Lewis Adelman[5].  She died sometime after August 1967 when she attended her sister Jennie's 70th anniversary party in Philadelphia.
Rose Tepper Cohen and her brother Sam Tepper
August 10, 1967
1.  Staatsarchiv Hamburg, Hamburg Passenger Lists 1850-1934 (Provo UT, USA, Operations  Inc. 2008) Record for Feige Tepper July 5, 1902 SS Barcelona.
2.  New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 (Provo UT, USA, Operations Inc, 2006)Database online. Year: 1902; Arrival: , ; Microfilm serial: T715; Microfilm roll: T715_290; Line: 20; List number: . record for Jeige Tepper.
3., 1920 United States Federal Census (Provo UT, USA, Operations Inc, 2009Database online. Year: 1920; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 11, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1619; Page: 13B; Enumeration District: 220; Image: .for Cohen Rose
4. Philadelphia Pennsylvania City Directories 1919 and 1921. database online.
5, Florida State Census, 1867-1945 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations Inc. ,2008) Database online. Record for Rose Adelman

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Moishe and Esther Malka Kandel

Moishe Kandel of Makhnovka, about 1904
     Some time ago I posted about Philip Lieberman and his wife Bella (Beile).  While I know little about Philip before he came to the US, Bella's family is a different story.  Bella's father was Moishe Kandel, and her mother was called Esther Malka.  They lived in the town of Makhnovka in the Berdichev Uzezd, Kiev Gubernia, in what is now Ukraine.  In the late 1890s, Makhnovka was a good sized town with about 5300 inhabitants, of which 2400 were Jews [1].  Moshe was said to be a cantor for the local congregation.
     Moishe and Esther Malka had at least four daughters Pesa, Alte Sara, Chana and Beile.  All four daughters married in Makhnovka, and had children there.  Pesa, the oldest, was born about 1851, and died about 1877 in Makhnovka.  She married Shalom Yosef Keyser in about 1870, and had twin boys, Aaron and Lieb in 1872.  Aaron, who became Harry, came to the US in about 1904.  Lieb, who became Louis, came to New York on June 19, 1904 aboard the SS Etruria from Rotterdam.[2]  They both came to Philadelphia and worked for their uncle, Philip Lieberman, Beile's husband, making men's pants.
     Alte Sarah was born about 1860 and married Yehuda Lieb Apple in about 1879.  They had four children, Samuel (Sholem, 1885), Harry Isaac (Aaron, 1890), Gertrude (Golde, 1899), and Dorothy (Dora, 1901).  Lieb came to the US in about 1901 where he worked as a self employed poulterer or butcher.  On October 2 1902, Samuel arrived in Quebec sailing from Liverpool aboard the SS Lake Champlain[3].  He joined his father in Philadelphia, probably travelling on the Grand Trunk railroad through St Albans NY, the usual route of passengers arriving from Canada.  On January 24, 1905, Sarah and the other three children arrived in Philadelphia aboard the SS Friesland from Liverpool to join their husband and father[4].
L-R: Golde Apple, Moishe Kandel, Harry Apple, Alte Sarah Apple, Dora Apple.  The photo was taken in Makhnovka in 1904 before Sarah and the children left for Philadelphia to join her husband and son.  This is the original from which the photo above of Moishe Kandel was restored.
      Chana Kandel, the next oldest sister was born about 1876.  She was married three (or four) times over the years and had five children.  Her first marriage was to Shlomo Friedman.  They had a daughter, Lillian in about 1892.  Chana's second husband, was Alter Diamond.  They had a son Jossel in about 1896.  Jossel and Lillian both later went by Chana's third husband's name, Aron Goldenberg.  Aron, Chana, and Jossel came to the US on the SS Pretoria which docked in New York from Hamburg on January 2, 1901[5].  Aron was a tailor and reported that he was going to his brother-in-law, Philip Lieberman in Philadelphia.  Lillian came later, according to family lore, after her grandfather had died.  Jossel became Joseph Goldenberg, and later, Joseph Bernard Gould.  Chana became Anna or Annie.  Anna and Aaron had three more children after they settled in the US, first in Philadelphia and then Wilmington, Del.  Leopold and Philip were born soon after the couple arrived in the US, and a daughter, Esther Malka, was born in 1902[6].  Aron died in 1937.  Family lore says that Anna married again, to a man named Eisen, but I haven't found a record of it.  She died March 25, 1945 and was buried under the name Anna Goldenberg.
     The youngest sister Beile, or Bella, who married Philip Lieberman, I have treated before.  Philip and Bella had a large family of six children which I will discuss in a later post.  All four Kandel sisters, their husbands, some children, and other family are buried in Montefiore Cemetery in Jenkintown PA, in a section purchased by the Moishe Maknovker Benevolent Association, founded by them and named for Moishe Kandel of Maknovka.

[1]  The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust vol 2.  Shmuel Spector editor in Chief.2001 New York University Press New York, NY. p. 653, entry for Komsomolskoye.
[2] New York Passenger Lists 1820-1957 (Provo UT, Operations Inc. 2010) Year: 1904; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 0469; Line: 1; Page Number: 11. Record for Lerb Kunher.
[3] Border Crossings from Canada to the U.S. 1895-1956. ( Provo UT, USA. Operations, Inc. 2010)  National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, D.C.; Manifests of Passengers Arriving at St. Albans, VT, District through Canadian Pacific and Atlantic Ports, 1895-1954; National Archives Microfilm Publication: M1464; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Record for Scholem Appel.
[4]  Pennsylvania, Passenger and Crew Lists 1800-1963 (Provo, UT, USA. Operations Inc. 2002) record for Alte Appel.
[5] New York, Passenger Lists 1820-1957 (Provo, UT, USA Operations, Inc 2010) Year: 1901; Arrival: New York, New York; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Microfilm Roll: Roll 0167; Line: 22; Page Number: 23. Record for Fron Goldenberg
[6] 1910 United States Federal Census.  (Provo Ut, Operations Inc. 2006) Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 1, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1385; Page: 17A; Enumeration District: 0006; FHL microfilm: 1375398. Record for Aaron Goldenberg

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Abe and Sarah Tepper

Sarah and Abe Tepper 1966
     Another of Meier David and Lena Tepper's children who came to the US was Awram, or, as he became, Abraham.  On November 8, 1906, his brother-in-law, Elcon Grosser opened an account at the Rosenbaum Bank for a ticket for him, listing c/o Dowid Tepper , Baranowka, Novograd Wolinsky as the passenger's address.  The ticket cost $31.50, and Elcon paid it in three installments.[1]  Awram was booked on the SS Haverford arriving in Philadelphia on January 28, 1907 from Liverpool England.  He is described as single, a barber, standing 5'7" with a fresh complexion and blue eyes.  The manifest says he was going to his brother-in-law, Kune Grosser (Kune is the nickname for Elkunah, Elcon's yiddish name) and he was met by his sister at the dock on arrival.[2]
     In April 1910, the census showed Abe living with his parents and five of his siblings at 312 Rear South Front Street.  He was employed as a blacksmith at a wagon works.[3]  By late 1912 he had moved to 2226 S. 7th Street and was employed as a plumber.  In October of that year he had married Sarah Stine (Sternman)[4]  They quickly had two children, Rubin and Bertha, and by the time he registered for the WWI draft, they lived at 938 Jackson Street, where they lived for about ten more years. [5]  He and Sarah applied for naturalization in 1914, and were naturalized in 1921.[6]  He was briefly unemployed during the depression, so they moved to a rented house at 4924 N. 17th Street[7], but by 1940 he was listed as the manager of a plumbing supply place.  They were still living in the same house, along with their daughter Bertha who was working as a bookkeeper for an apartment building, and his widowed mother Lena,[8] Rubin having married in 1937.
     Abe was remembered by his granddaughter Evie as someone who could build or fix anything.  He was quiet and liked to play checkers with his friends.  Sarah was remembered as a great cook who kept a kosher house and could make the most delicious food, gedempt, stuffed helzel, roast chicken, cookies (mun and orange), honey cake, blintzes, kugels, etc. They continued to live on 17th street until Abe had a stroke in 1963.  Then they moved to the York House, an assisted living facility, and later he moved to the Philadelphia Geriatric Center after Sarah died in 1970.  Abe died in 1978[9].

The photo above was taken in 1966 at the annual anniversary celebration for Elcon and Jennie Grosser.  Sarah and Abe always attended these gatherings as well as many other Grosser family get-togethers.

1.  Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center and Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Philadelphia, Philadelphia Bank Immigrant Passage Records.  Rosenbaum Bank Book #18 1906-1907 accessed at Paley Library, Temple University.
2.  Ancestry. com.  Philadelphia Passenger Lists  Pennsylvania, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1800-1963 [database on-line] Roll: T840_55; Line: 30. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006. Record for Awram Tepper.
3.Database online. Year: 1910; Census Place: Philadelphia Ward 11, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1390; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 159; Image: 13. Record for David Japper.  Accessed from
4.  Affidavit of Applicant for Marriage License No. 286484 Abraham Tepper and Sarah Stine, filed Oct 10, 1912 with Duplicate certificate Filed Oct 16, 1912 citing Marriage of Abraham Tepper and Sarah Stine on 14th day of October, 1912.  Accessed at Philadelphia City Archives
5. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005. record for Abraham Tepper.
6.  Pennsylvania, U.S. Naturalization Originals National Archives; Washington, D.C.; Naturalization Petitions for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1795-1930; Series: M1522; Roll: 197; Record Type: (Roll 197) Petition Nos. 43391-43750 Accessed through Record for Abraham Tepper
7. U.S. Federal Census.Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2136; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 1077; Image: 182.0; FHL microfilm: 2341870. Accessed form Record for Sarah Tepper. 
8.  U.S. Federal Census Year: 1940; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: T627_3752; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 51-2120 Accessed from record for Abraham Tepper.
9.  Comments from Evie Wartell Brezo on records for Abraham and Sarah Tepper in Tepper and Grosser Family Tree on on 28 Nov. 2010.