31 October 2012

Avrum's Women, Part 5: Finding Feiga

Avrum's Women, Part 2: Feiga Grinfeld
Avrum's Women, Part 3: Following Feiga (and Raya)
Avrum's Women, Part 4: The Trouble with Harry
Avrum's Women, Part 5: Finding Feiga 
Avrum's Women, Part 6: Added Confirmation
Avrum's Women, Part 7: Feiga's Family
Avrum's Women, Part 8: Fannie's Story
Avrum's Women, Part 9: Fannie's brother Morris
Avrum's Women, Part 10: Morris Lederman - Who's your Mama?
Avrum's Women, Part 11: Garber Y-DNA = Lederman Y-DNA
Avrum's Women, Part 12: Finding Family with Family Finder  
Avrum's Women, Part 13: Bond of Brothers   


When last we met on this family history saga, we were traveling circuitously (but purposefully) trying to find the back door to Feiga Grinfeld's location. I am hoping to to determine who she was and how she was related to my Garber family. I found that, initially, the information I had collected solely from her manifest (her approximate age, her birth in Baranovka, her mother's likely name of Frida Liderman) was not enough to find and identify her in other records in the United States.

I did, however, determine a possible work around. I'd located a manifest for 14 and 15 year-old sisters Raya and Leja Grinfeld who, like Feiga, were from Baranovka. They had identified their mother as Feiga Grinfeld. I was not certain that their Feiga was my Feiga, but I reasoned that if she was one and the same, they might lead me to her.
    In Part 3 of this series I'd found Raya, now called Ray Greenfield, in 1922-23 in Ashland, Kentucky living with her uncle Charles Greenfield's inlaws. After that sighting, I lost her. In Part 4, I had hoped to find Leja with her uncle Harry Greenfield in Lexington, Kentucky, but did not. What I did find was that Harry, before moving to Lexington, had lived, married and had his first two children in Cincinnati. I decided to find out if I might locate additional members of the family there.

    Forty-five Fanny's

    While immigrants had no rules for selecting new American names, practically every Feiga I'd come across in my research had renamed herself Fanny/ie once resident in the USA.  Grinfeld was a no-brainer for transition to Greenfield.  At the outset, I had considered the more direct route for research surmising that Feiga Grinfeld might have taken the name Fanny (or Fannie) Greenfield. But Fanny Greenfield was too common a name, especially when one knows so little about the principal one is chasing. In the 1925 New York State Census there were 15 Fannie Greenfields and seven Fanny Greenfields.[1] And, since I did not have much information about my Feiga from Baranovka, how was I to choose among them?

    Initially, I was focused on New York City, but when no one Fanny seemed correct, I tried more general geographic searches on Ancestry for Fannie/y Greenfield. I'd found numerous suspects (11 Fannys and 34 Fannies) in the 1930 US Census, two of whom were in Cincinnati and one of whom was about the right age.[2] As a result of my research on Harry Greenfield in Lexington, Kentucky, I now saw Cincinnati as a new clue to the whereabouts of Feiga. I reopened the case.

    In the 'Nati

    1930 U.S. Census for Ohio, Hamilton County, Cincinnati
    In 1930, Fanny and her children Robert and Ray Greenfield lived at 442 Prospect Place, Cincinnati.[3]
    • Fanny was a 50 year-old (born about 1880) widow born in Russia. She had arrived in the USA in 1922 and had filed her papers to become a citizen . She worked as a tailoress.
    • Ray was 22 (born about 1908) and single. She had arrived from Russia in 1922 and had filed for citizenship. She worked as a saleslady in a department store.
    • Robert was 23, single and also born in Russia. He had come to the USA in 1921, was already a citizen and worked as a salesman in a tailor shop.
    Based on her age and arrival year in the USA, Ray Greenfield was a pretty good fit for Raya Grinfeld. Fanny was possibly Feiga. Her age was a year or two off from that on Feiga Greenfield's (born about 1878) manifest, but close enough to still be considered.[4] I'd still found no Leja. Mistakes do happen in Census records, but I didn't think Leja had been mistaken for Robert!

    In the 1940 US Census, I found Fannie Greenfield living with Ray, Ray's husband Harry Young, and their son, Sheldon, on 3990 Parker Place, Cincinnati.[5] The 1940 Census also showed Robert with his wife Faye and a son, Sheldon.[6] I found the family in several other records. But I still did not have confirmation that this was my Feiga Grinfeld.

    Finding Feiga

    The break came in the FamilySearch.com collection, "Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953."

    Death Record for Fannie Greenfield, 30 Nov 1942, Cincinnati
    Fannie Greenfield, who'd been living at 3990 Parker Place, Cincinnati died in 30 November 1942. Her date of birth was given as 6 Jan 1879. Her late husband was listed as Sheldon. Her parents were listed as Levy and Freida Lederman (!). Her son Robert had signed the death certificate.[7]

    At least now I knew that Fannie Greenfield of Cincinnati had been Feiga Liderman Grinfeld who'd accompanied my great grandfather, Avrum Garber, to the United States in November 1922.[8] I still did not know how or if she was related to my family. Fannie's late husband was identified as Sheldon Greenfield. My initial thought that, perhaps, my great grandfather and Feiga were not really married as was stated on their manifest (perhaps they just said they were in an effort to smooth their entry to the United States) is probably correct. My fondest hope would have been that Feiga's mother, Freida Liderman's, maiden name would not have been "unknown" on the death certificate. (I was hoping it would have been "Garber," and I could have ended my search! But, I'm afraid that genealogy puzzles rarely get gift wrapped.)

    Further confirmation of family ties among the Greenfields I'd researched during my Feiga quest came from tombstone inscriptions at the Adath Israel Cemetery in Cincinnati. Information and photographs may be found online at Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati website. Fannie, Ray (14 Aug 1907-23 Nov 1977) and Harry Young (11 Sep 1904-25 May 1989), and Robert (27 Dec 1905-11 Nov 1970) and his wife Faye (19 Oct 1909-28 Nov 1994) are all buried there. Charles Greenfield (22 Oct 1881-20 June 1952) and his wife Flora (10 Oct 1890-2 Apr 1957) are there, as well. Harry Greenfield and his wife Sophia were buried in Lexington, Kentucky and Billion Graves has photographs of their gravestones.

    Hebrew/Yiddish Name
    Father’s Name
    Levi Yitzchak
    Shalom Shachna
    Shalom Shachna

    Next Moves

    While it's nice to know that my hunch about following Raya and Leja led me to Feiga/Fannie, I still have not determined how she is related to the Garbers. The next step is to contact any living family members and try to learn more about Fannie Greenfield of Cincinnati.

    1. "New York, State Census, 1925." Database. Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 2011), search on "Fanny Greenfield" and "Fannie Greenfield."
    2. "1930 United States Federal Census." Database. Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 2011), search on "Fanny Greenfield" and "Fannie Greenfield."
    3. 1930 U.S. Census, Hamilton County, Ohio, population schedule, Cincinnati, Enumeration District 31-151, sheet 23-A, dwelling  223, family 442, Fanny Greenfield; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 October 2011).
    4.  "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 18 June 2012), manifest, Aquitania, Southampton to New York, arriving 10 November 1922, list 4, Feiga Grinfeld; citing National Archives Microfilm Serial T715.
    5. 1940 U.S. Census, Hamilton County, Ohio, population schedule, Cincinnati, Enumeration District 91-208, sheet 65-B, household 100, Fannie Greenfield; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 June 2012).
    6. 1940 U.S. Census, Hamilton County, Ohio, population schedule, Cincinnati, Enumeration District 91-208, sheet 61-B, hoisehold 41, Robert Greenfield; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 April 2012).
    7. "Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XZP6-FVZ : accessed 31 October 2011), Fannie Greenfield, 1942; citing reference fn 69916, Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio. 
    8. For additional confirmation, I've ordered naturalization records for both Fannie and Ray from the National Archives and Records Administration branch in Chicago. I will probably get those in a few days. 


    1. Hi Emily, It's Cousin Ellyn. I love that you are doing this. It's such an amazing journey. How are you?

    2. Thanks, Ellyn! And thank you so much for commenting on my blog. I'm glad you are enjoying this trek. Writing about my research really helps me keep it focused.

      I'm doing well. Hope all is dry and electrified on the East coast.


    Comments on posts are always welcome but will be approved before posting. I actually prefer to just let people comment without going through this rigmarole, but I've recently had to delete some posts that I had not vetted before publication. So, please don't be offended. I love to hear from you!