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