14 February 2017

Tombstone Tuesday: Morris and Rebecca Berman, Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, NY

Last week I documented Anna Chalewsky. She was the mother of Bertha Myers and, one of this week's subjects, Rebecca Berman.


BERMAN

Here lies
Moshe Aharon son of Naftali
May his soul be bound in the bbonds of the living
MORRIS
DIED APRIL 30. 1988
AGE 100 YEARS

Here lies Votah daughter of Meier
May her soul be bound in the bonds of the living
REBECCA
DIED JAN. 17, 1972
AGE 83 YEARS

REST IN PEACE 

Rebecca, born Votah Chalewsky, came the the United States in 1907 with her widowed mother, Henie, and her sister, Taube (who became Bertha).[1] The town of residence on this manifest is not clear, but it may have been the community where Henie's family resided, rather than where Rebecca and Taube were born. Additional information be required before town(s) of origin may be ascertained.

In 1912, Rebecca married Morris Berman, who worked in ornamental iron.[2] They gave their address as 207 E. 100th Street in Manhattan - the same address given by her sister Bertha and her husband Jacob Myers when they had married in 1911.[3]

They had two sons, Nathan (born about 1912) and Meyer (born about 1918). By 1920, the family lived at 218 146th Street, New York, New York.[4]

In 1925 they lived in the Bronx at 2162 Valentine Avenue.[5] They were in Yonkers by 1929, living in their single-family home at 141 DeVoe Avenue. The 1930 census indicates that they owned their house.[6] According to Zillow.com this home was built in 1927.

The Great Depression was probably not kind to this family. After 1931, they are no longer listed in Yonkers City directories. The 1940 census enumeration found Morris, still providing ornamental iron for the construction industry, renting a room from Louis and Celia Cohen in the Bronx.[7] I have not yet found the rest of the family. Morris' World War II Draft Registration card from 1942 indicated that the "person who would always know" his address was Celia Cohen - not his wife Rebecca.[8] Morris worked for Town Iron Works in the Bronx.

It appears that neither Morris nor Rebecca naturalized until the 1940s. I have not yet ordered their records.

Rebecca and Morris are likely interred in one of the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association burial plots in Montefiore Cemetery because Rebecca's sister, Bertha Myers, marred a Jacob Myers, who was related to people from the community (and may have lived there, a some point, himself).

As noted in the previous post about Rebecca's mother, the family may have lived in Staro Konstyantiniv - a larger community, not far from Lubin/Labun.

Morris' and Rebecca's graves are located in Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, NY, Gate 567W, Block 5, Line 4L. There appears to be a mistake in the Montefiore Cemetery online index. Morris' grave is identified as grave 1 and Rebecca's as grave 21. My guess is that Rebecca's is actually grave 2.

Notes:
1. Manifest, S.S. Vaderland, 3 July 1907, stamped p. 18, lines 28-30, Henie [indexed as Henri] (age 55), Votte (21) and Taube (19) Chalewski; images, "New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 January 2017).
2. New York County, New York, marriage certificate no. 6428 (5 February 1912), Moris Berman and Beckie Cholawsky; Municipal Archives, New York City.
3. New York County, New York, marriage certificate no. 29954 (20 December 1911), Jacob Myers and Bertha Goldman; Municipal Archives, New York City.
4. 1920 U.S. census, New York County, New York, population schedule, Manhattan, enumeration district 1449, sheet 15B, dwelling 26, family 400, Morris and Rebecca Berman family; images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 November 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1225.
5. 1925 NewYork State census, Bronx County, NY, enumeration of inhabitants, assembly district 8, election district 27, page 4, lines 12-16, Morris and Rebecca Berman family; images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 February 2015); citing New York State Archives, Albany.
6. 1930 U.S. census, Westchester County, New York, population schedule, Yonkers, enumeration district 60-381, sheet 2B, dwelling 44, family 44, Morris and Rebecca Berman family; images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 November 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1668.
7. 1940 U.S. census, Bronx County, New York, population schedule, Bronx, enumeration district 362, sheet 3B, household 66, Morris Berman; images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 February 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 2469.
8. Morris Berman, World War II draft card, New York, fourth registration, serial number U 894"U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942," images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 February 2017).

10 February 2017

Know Them at a Glance: Immigrants at Castle Garden

Without a doubt the most common myth in immigrant genealogy is the name change at Ellis Island. Family stories usually include the notion that staff at Ellis Island could not communicate effectively with confused immigrants. When asked for their names, the immigrants might say something odd and the Ellis Island staff member, not knowing any better, would say, "That will be your name from now on!" 

The immigrant, not knowing any better, would keep the newly assigned name in perpetuity [I do find it interesting that the communication was bad enough to generate new names, but good enough that immigrants understood they had to keep their new American names!].

I cannot count the times I have had to try to dispel this myth with those who heard it from their grandmother or grandfather. I am never quite sure I have been successful. Many people just do not want to believe that Zeidie did not tell the truth about how and when the family name was changed.

We do know that passenger manifests were created by shipping company clerical staff at ports of embarkation and that information for each immigrant was provided when tickets were purchased - whether in the United States, in the immigrant's hometown, or at the port of embarkation. 

Ellis Island staff were told to check information with the immigrant. They were not authorized to change any information on the manifests provided by the shipping companies. I have read that about 45 languages were represented among the Ellis Island staff. And since the staff knew which ships from which ports were to dock on a particular day, the processing center would have had staff with the appropriate skills on hand. 

A couple of days ago I searched for historic articles about immigration on some newspaper websites and located the following 1889 article from the Beverly Citizen on Genealogy Bank.

This article talks about Castle Garden, the precursor to Ellis Island (which opened in 1892). Castle Garden, run by authorities in New York, was known as chaotic place. Ellis Island, a federal facility, was designed to remedy some Castle Garden short-comings as a processing center. So, it is safe to assume that Ellis Island actually improved the processing and experience of immigrants as depicted in this article.


Citizen (Beverly, Massachusetts), 30 November 1889, p. 3; image, Genealogy Bank (http://www.genealogybank.com : accessed 29 January 2017).

07 February 2017

Tombstone Tuesday: Anna Chalewsky, Montefiore Cemetery, New York

I have been documenting gravestones from the three First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association plots in New York cemeteries. Most of the people interred were from the organization's home community of Labun/Lubin, Volhynia gubernai, Russian Empire. And most of those not from Labun can be linked to those who were. Such is the case with Anna Chalewski.
Here lies
Our beloved mother
A modest and important woman
Hentsya daughter of Avigdor
Died
28 Nisan 5686
At the age of 85 years
May her soul be bound in the bonds of the living
Anna Chalewsky
Died April 12, 1926
Age 85 Years 

One would think that with a surname like Chalewsky, that finding her would be a snap. But, I have been unable, thus far, to locate her death record in New York City records. 

Two of her daughters are also in the First Lubiner plot at Montefiore Cemetery: Rebecca Berman and Bertha Myers.

Rebecca's marriage record on 5 February 1912, shows Becky Cholawsky marrying Morris Berman.[1] Her mother is identified as H. Cholawsky and her father, M. Cholawsky. Her gravestone indicates that her father's name was Meier.[2] She was born about 1891.

Bertha's marriage record is a bit confusing. She married Jacob Myers (my great grandmother's first cousin) on 20 December 1911 and identified her parents as M. Goldman and Anne Cholewska.[3] Bertha's maiden name is listed as Goldman. She was born about 1892.

There are a variety of scenarios in which Bertha might have become Goldman. But, so far I have no proof pushing me toward any one of them.

Bertha's death certificate tells a different story. Her father was identified as Meyer Chale and her mother as Anna Chale.[4] Her son, Fred Myers, was the informant. Ordinarily, one would think that Bertha's word was worth more than her son's when it came to her maiden name. But, I am not so sure.

But, back to Anna! She arrived in New York City as Henie Chalewski, age 55, on 3 July 1907.[5] She was a widow accompanied by her two daughters, Votte (age 21) and Taube (age 19). 


In most Jewish genealogy we find that adopted American names usually start with the same sound as the original Hebrew and Yiddish names. That's a tradition, however, not a rule. And neither of Anna's daughters followed convention.  

Rebecca Berman's Hebrew name on her tombstone was Votah (the same as entered on her passenger manifest). Bertha Myers' Hebrew name on her gravestone is Tova. The Yiddish equivalent of that name was Taube (the same as her passenger manifest). Both sisters' gravestones identify their father as Meier. 

Bertha Myers' naturalization record confirms that she was the Taube who arrived with Henie (Anna) Chalewski and sister Votte in 1907.[6]

The 1925 New York State census found Annie Chalewsky living with her son, glazier Isidor Chalewsky, his wife Sarah and their children at 235 East 103rd Street, New York, New York.[7] I believe Anna had one or two other sons who also became glaziers in New York City.

The Chale name, I believe, comes from some of Anna Chalewsky's sons (and their offspring) who, after a time, shortened their surname to Chale.

Isidore's arrival in the United States is recorded in a U.S. border crossing in October 1909 in Quebec, Canada.[8] His name was Itzik Chalewski and he was going to his mother Ensy Chalewski in New York City. 

He had sailed on the S.S. Laurentic from Liverpool on 14 September 1909.[9] His name is crossed off the Laurentic's passenger list with the note "Erased by purser - changed destination to Canada." The crossed-off entry also included this tidbit: Itzik was planning to join his mother Hensya Chalewski c/o Morris Mohlman, 118 W. 3rd St., New York. 

118 W. 3rd Street is significant in my family because it was the address, starting about 1909, of my great grandfather Isidore Morris' and his business partner (and likely relative ) Benjamin Molthman's glass store, called Morris Molthman Glass. So, I think the "Morris Mohlman" on Itzik Chalewsky's passenger manifest was actually not a person, but my great grandfather's store and home address. 

Isidore Chalewsky's death record identified his parents as Meyer Chalewsky and Anna Shukart.[10] The informant for this record was Isidore's daughter, Bessie Taffel.

The town of origin for the Chalewsky family is unclear. A couple of the sons identified Staro Kostyantiniv as their town of birth on manifests. Naturalization documents identified "Volin" - the gubernia, rather than the town name. Staro Kostyantiniv is about 25 miles south southwest of Labun. 

On Sarah Chalewsky's naturalization petition, she identified her husband Isidore Chalewsky's town of birth as Scharovka [11]. The town, today called Sharivka, is located south of Khmelnitsky (Proskurov).

Anna Chalewsky's grave is located within the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association plot in Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, NY: block 89, gate 156N, line 3L, grave 5.

Notes:
1. New York County, New York, marriage certificate no. 6428 (5 February 1912), Moris Berman and Beckie Cholawsky; Municipal Archives, New York City.
2. Rebecca Berman, gravestone, died 17 January 1972, Montefiore Cemetery, Queens County, New York.
3. New York County, New York, marriage certificate no. 29954 (20 December 1911), Jacob Myers and Bertha Goldman; Municipal Archives, New York City.
4. Kings County, New York, death certificate no. 1421 (19 January 1954), Bertha Myers, Municipal Archives, New York City.
5. Manifest, S.S. Vaderland, 3 July 1907, stamped p. 18, lines 28-30, Henie [indexed as Henri] (age 55), Votte (21) and Taube (19) Chalewski; images, "New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 January 2017).
6. Bertha Myers, petition for naturalization (1943), naturalization file no. 393317, Eastern District of New York; Record Group 21: Records of the District Courts of the United States; National Archives - Northeast Region, New York City. 
7. 1925 New York State census, New York County, New York, enumeration of inhabitants, Manhattan, assembly district 18, election district 15, p. 29, Isidore and Sarah Chalewsky family; images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 April 2014).
8. "U.S., Border Crossings from Canada to U.S., 1895-1956," images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 January 2017); passenger list, Dominion, October 1909, sheet 3, line 1, Itzik Chalewski, age 34.
9. Manifest, S.S. Laurentic, 23 September 1909, p. 9, line1, Itzyk Chalewsky (age 35); images, "Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935," Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 January 2017).
10. New York County, New York, death certificate no. 10535 (3 May 1944), Isidore Chalewsky; Municipal Archives, New York City.
11. Sarah Chalewsky petition for naturalization petition (1943), naturalization file no. 431566, Southern District of New York; Record Group 21: Records of the District Courts of the United States; National Archives - Northeast Region, New York City.

15 January 2017

Tziril Liebross of Radautz and Zaleszczyki: New access to Radauti Jewish vital records

2017 is already shaping up to be a banner year for those of us family historians researching Jewish family members from Radautz (or, in Yiddish, Radowitz), Bukovina, Austrian Empire (now Rădăuţi, Suceava County, Romania). Up until recently, the Bukovina Vital Records database on JewishGen did not capture the years of interest to me. Birth records ended in 1879, marriage records in 1878 and death records in 1887. 

My grandmother and all her siblings were supposedly born in Radautz after the mid-1880s and my great great grandmother, Tziril Liebross, died in Radautz in 1891. While earlier Radautz records had been indexed in the "Bukovina Vital Records Database" on JewishGen, later records (during the time periods when my relatives were in the city) had not been accessible to researchers for indexing. Previously, the records office had only allowed researchers to view their family members' records and no others.

Enter researcher Edgar Hauster. In August, after some negotiation, Edgar announced acquisition of images of Jewish vital records stored in the Civil Records Office in Rădăuţi. He took digital photos and Martina Lelgemann has been transcribing and indexing the records. 

A few weeks ago, Edgar announced the availability of the expanded marriage database. Thanks to technical skill provided by Bruce Reich using Steve Morse's One-Step Search Tool Generator, indexed Radautz "Marriage Records 1870-1929" are now available and searchable online. Indexing of additional vital records is ongoing and the team plans to roll out searchable databases for births and deaths shortly.

Since I was anxious to see the records and appreciative of the ongoing efforts, I offered to contribute. Since Radautz records are well in hand, I am indexing some other Bukovina records: Campulung Moldovenesc deaths and births (some of the death records are already online). I do not know (yet) of any relatives who settled in Campulung, but this is my way of participating in a good project in a meaningful way.

But the best news: I have acquired my great great grandmother Tziril's (or Zirl's) death register record! 

It's always exciting for me to see what the actual register books look like. The image, above, is the two page spread with my great great grandmother's record, number 115 (third entry from the bottom).

And here is a detail of the entry, acquired courtesy of the Rădăuţi Town Hall/Romanian National Archives.*

Page 112, entry 115.





Page 113, entry 115






While I already know from her gravestone that her father's name was Asher Zelig, I was hoping to learn her maiden name and her mother's name. Unfortunately, no. Tziril's death register record does confirm, however, that the Zirl documented in the record and on her associated gravestone was, indeed, the wife of Mane. Mane was my great grandfather's, Louis', father. The pieces are fitting together.

Perhaps the nicest information is that Mane (and, perhaps, Tziril) was a former resident of Zaleszczyki, Galicia. Family lore only spoke of Radautz as the birth place of my grandmother and all her siblings. My research has been indicating that my great grandparents and their children were originally from the Zaleszczyki area (today in Ukraine). Now I have some additional confirmation that Louis Liebross' parents were from Zaleszczyki.

This is terrific, because I already knew that my great grandmother Bertha's (Louis Liebross' wife) Wenkert family was also from Zaleszczyki. While, due to records loss, it is unlikely I will ever find vital records from Zaleszczyki, if I can place both the Wenkert and Liebross families there, I will have a good notion about where my great grandparents met and started their family. When I visited the Lviv Archives in 2013, I did find other people surnamed Wenkert and Liebross in Zaleszczyki and Usciezko (Ustechko) in the 1850s. I cannot yet directly link to those people, but, again, the pieces are starting to look good.

The record shows that Tziril was 81 years old at death. That means she was born about 1810. I think that is earlier than probable. Rivke Liebross Schaffer, Tziril's eldest known child, was, based upon her records, probably born around 1850. After Rivke's birth, Tziril had at least three additional children: Ruchel, Eliezer (Louis) and Simon. United States records for Louis and Simon indicate they were born in the early to mid 1860s. If Tziril had been born in 1810, she would have been over 50 when she had the last two children. Not likely.

Tziril's death record also identifies a house number in Radautz. The house number will allow me to place her home, no. 1102, on a Radautz map. But, that's another post!

I am now anxiously awaiting birth records, which should include most of my great aunts and uncles. A sneak-peek at a list of names dashed my hope that birth records for Tziril's and Mane's two eldest Liebross children, my grandmother, Tillie, and my great aunt, Rose, will be among the mix. Perhaps they were actually born in Zaleszczyki (I may never be able to confirm that with birth records). But, it does look like I will find birth records for Tillie's and Rose's siblings - my great uncles Max, Sidney, Jerry and Irving and my great aunt Celia. Stay tuned! 

*Citation for this record:
Zirl Liebross, death record entry 115 (19 October 1891), Radautz Deaths, vol. III, 1887-1902, pp. 112-113; Rădăuți Civil Records Office, Rădăuți, Suceava County, Romania. 

09 January 2017

Finding the missing link: the Wilson's in Hudson, NY

My grandfather Joe Wilson once mentioned in my presence that he and his family spent some time in Hudson before moving to New York City. 

So, early on in my research I determined to find them. (After I figured out that he likely meant Hudson in Columbia County, New York rather than Hudson County, New Jersey) I located a 1900 census record for a Wilson family at 254 Diamond Street that seemed to fit as a puzzle piece - if one dexterously applied a hammer and chisel. [1] 

What I had here was a problem of assessing and determining identity - a classic genealogy research problem.[2]







To be sure, there were some issues -  including the fact that only three of the six first names matched my family. As far as I knew, after his 1891 (not 1871) arrival in the United States, my great grandfather, Selig Wilenski, took the name Saul Wilson.[3] Saul's wife was Hoda Epstein Wilson, not Annie, and she immigrated with their children Nechama (who took the name Nina), Josef (not Daniel) and Benjamin in 1897.[4] Their last child, Esther, was the only one born in the United States.

The ages and birth order of the children were about right on the census form, but that was about it! While there were a few other Wilson families in Hudson at that time, no others were Russian immigrants and no others had the first names for which I was searching.  

I was pretty sure I had the correct family and record for them, but it was only with the recent find of Saul Wilson's 1905 removal sale advertisement in the Hudson newspaper that I can now confirm the identity of the Cyrus and Annie Wilson family in the 1900 U.S. census in Hudson, NY.

Several years ago I scrolled through 1884 through 1912 Hudson city directories on Family History Library microfilm and located a Saul Wilson who first appeared in the Hudson directories in 1898 and no longer appeared there after 1904.

1898 - Wilson, Saul, dry goods, 60 Chapel
1899 - Wilson, Saul, dry goods, 19 Diamond
1900 - Williams, Saul, peddler, 254 Diamond (1900 census shows Cyrus Wilson, clothing salesman, at this address)
1901 - Wilson, Shaw, agent, 14 Union
1902 - Wilson, Saul, agent, 14 Union
1903, Wilson, Saul, clothing, 24 S. Front
1904 - Wilson, Saul - ladies furnishing, clothing, &c, 351 Warren

I was hoping the directory would show Saul Wilson in Hudson in 1900 to help resolve the identity issue, but it did not. The 1900 census showed Cyrus Wilson at 254 Diamond and the city directory showed Saul Williams and no listing for anyone named Saul Wilson at that address. I noted, however, that "Saul Williams" directory listing is at the end of a list of people surnamed Williams and just before Thomas Wilson. My thought is that Saul "Williams" may have been a typographical error and that Saul should have been included under the immediately following Wilson heading.
 
1900 Hudson City Directory, p. 220A
There are other directory errors, as well. Thank goodness this peripatetic family stayed put at 14 Union beyond a year so that the 1901 "Shaw" Wilson directory entry could be corrected in the 1902 edition.

I actually had some strong evidence of the identity of the Saul Wilson family in Hudson from a passenger manifest record of 23 December 1903. On that date, 28-year-old Moses Epstein arrived at Ellis Island and indicated that his ultimate destination was Hudson, New York and his brother-in-law Samuel Wilson, 20 S. Front Street.[5] The 1904 Hudson City directory shows Moses Epstein, peddler, at 351 Warren (the same residence as Saul Wilson in the directory). Hoda's maiden name had been Epstein and I think I have located her brother, previously unknown to me.

Of course, Moses was going to "Samuel" Wilson at 20 (rather than 24) S. Front Street, but it's close to the correct Wilson address in 1903! We know that passenger manifests were created by shipping company clerks at ports of embarkation from records created by ticket agents.[6] So, there were many opportunities, as these records were transcribed and transferred for errors, such as these, to be introduced.

Beyond city directories, which supported but did not definitively indicate that the 1900 Saul Wilson was my Saul Wilson, I can show that children named Nina, Joseph and Benjamin Wilson were in school in Hudson in 1898, 1900 and 1901. The local newspaper printed lists of pupils who had "won promotion" in the Hudson schools. I located these in the Hudson (NY) Evening Register at the library at Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson.
"Pupils Who Have Won Promotion," Hudson Evening Register, 30 June 1898, [no page no.], col 6.
"Have Been Promoted," Hudson Evening Register, 2 July 1900, p. 2, col 6.
"Pupils Promoted in the Public Schools," Hudson Evening Register, 1 July 1901, [no page no.], col 6.

If school children Nina, Joe and Ben Wilson in these news stories are all my relatives, then all three Wilson siblings were in the same classes at Fourth Street School. Ben (probably born in 1891) would have been the only one of the three who was the appropriate age (6-7 years old in first grade; 8-9 in third and 9-10 in fourth). But considering the language barrier (the Wilson family had just arrived in the USA from the Russian Empire in 1897) and the possibility that the children had little or no formal education in the old country, the two older children may have been slightly behind in their studies.

I can show that my family was in Hudson on November 10 1898. That is when my great aunt Esther was born.
Her Hudson birth register record shows that her mother was Hoda Epstein Wilson (34 years old) and her father was Saul (35). Both parents had been born in Russia.[7]

All of these records added to the argument that the people in the 1900 census record were my Wilson family, but no one record tied it all together.

When I was in Hudson several years ago, I attempted to locate old synagogue records, since it is likely that my family had been members of one of the Jewish congregations. Unfortunately, a contact in the only current synagogue in Hudson stated that they do not have any records dating to the early 1900s.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about my great grandfather's advertisement in the Hudson, New York newspaper in March 1905.[8] The ad announced that Saul Wilson's store was having a big sale. Saul was planning to close his store in Hudson and open another shop at 196 Pearl Street in Albany, New York by 1 May 1905. 

The advertisement showed that Saul Wilson's Store was at 351 Warren Street in Hudson. This was the same address shown for Saul Wilson in the 1904 Hudson directory. 

While the Saul Wilson directory listings show him, variously, as selling dry goods, peddling, selling clothing, serving as an agent and selling ladies furnishings, clothing, etc, the advertisement makes it clear that Saul's inventory included women's, men's and children's clothing, some name-brand items (for which he could have been considered an agent), miscellaneous items, such as umbrellas, and notions. In short, these items are what used to be considered dry goods. So, despite the different wording, Saul was probably selling the same types of items throughout his time in Hudson.

For current purposes, however, the most important part of the "Removal Sale" advertisement is the first sentence.
 
This provided a link from Hudson to Albany and the 1905 New York State census enumeration of the family at 196 S. Pearl Street, Albany.[9]
 
Here in the 1905 census record is all the family as I know them (and as I have found them in other records, including the 1910 U.S. Census in New York City): Saul, Hoda, Nina, Joseph, Benjamin and Ester. They were all born in Russia except for Ester. Of course, this census enumerated indicated Ester was born in United "School" (adjacent lines indicate the enumerator meant to write "United States"). Compared to the census taker in 1900 Hudson, this 1905 one was a champ.

It is possible that Moses Epstein moved with his sister and brother-in-law to Albany from Hudson. The same 1905 census page shows a peddler of dry goods, Moses Epstein living as a boarder in the building next door to the one in which the Wilsons resided. In addition, the 1905 Albany city directory included an entry for a Morris Epstein then living at the same address as the Wilsons. It is possible that these two records caught an Americanizing name change for Hoda's brother from Moses to Morris (but this will require more research).  

I can now show that Saul Wilson in Hudson in 1904-5 is the same as Saul Wilson at 196 S. Pearl Street in Albany in 1905. And, due to Esther's birth record and school/newspaper records for the other children, I can show that Saul, Hoda, Nina, Joseph, and Benjamin Wilson were in Hudson before and after 1900. Additionally, I can show that Moses Epstein traveled to Hudson and lived in the same house as Saul Wilson and Hoda, whose maiden name was Epstein. 

I think I have nailed it. 

Cyrus and Annie? Welcome to the family!

Notes:
1. 1900 U.S. Census, Columbia County, New York, population schedule, Hudson, enumeration district 19, sheet 24A, dwelling 126, family 172, Cyrus and Annie Wilson household; images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 January 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 1019. 
2. Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, VA: National Genealogical Society, 2013), p. 1.
3. Manifest, S.S. Polaria, 23 November 1891, passenger no. 196, Selig Wilenski, age 28; images, "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 20 October 2008).
4. Manifest, S.S. Pisa, 1 June 1897, list 1, lines 1-4, Hode Wilensky (33), Nechame (9), Josef (7) and Benjamin (6); images, "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 September 2009).
5. Manifest, S.S. Albano, 22 December 1903, list 12, line 10, Moses Epstein, age 28; images, "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 October 2009).
6. Sallyann Amdur Sack-Pikus, "Just How Were Passenger Manifests Created?" Avotaynu 27:1:3-9, Spring 2011.
7. Esther Wilson, Hudson, Columbia County, New York, 1898 register of births, p. 36, record no. 3612, 10 November 1898.
8. "Removal Sale," advertisement, The Columbia Weekly Republican (Hudson, NY), 23 March 1905, p. 7, col. 5; image, NYS Historic Newspapers (http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/ : accessed 13 December 2016).
9. 1905 New York State Census, enumeration of inhabitants, Hudson, election district 1, ward 4, p. 20, Saul and Hoda Wilson family; images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 18 November 2010).