13 August 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Nathan and Yetta Garber

Here Lies
Nachum son of Avraham Aba
Died 2 Av 5723
May his soul be bound in the bonds of eternal life
DIED AUG. 2, 1963

Here lies
Etta daughter of Levi Yitzchak
An important and righteous woman
[Descended from?] Reb Pinchas Koretzer
Died 16 Shevat 5710
May her soul be bound in the bonds of eternal life
DIED FEB. 2, 1950

Nathan Garber, my grandfather Jack's older brother, was the eldest son of Avraham Aba Garber and Chana Mazewitsky Garber. He was born in Labun, Russian Empire (today, Yurovshchina, Ukraine) in  September or October, likely in 1883 or 1884, but possibly as early as 1879.[1] He left Rotterdam on the Uranium on on 4 June 1910 and arrived in New York Harbor on 16 June 1910.[2] 

Nathan left behind his wife, Yetta (Ette), and two daughters, Rae (Ruchel) Rosenheck and Lillian (Leah), who followed him more than two years later (under the surname "Arber"), arriving in New York on the Birma from Libau on 2 September 1912.[3]

On 25 December 1916 Nathan and Yetta had a third daughter, Sarah, who died at the age of 2 (9 February 1919).[4] Their only son, Irving, was born on 26 January 1920.[5]

Sarah's death certificate indicates that Yetta's maiden name had been Shapiro.[4] The sixth line of Yetta's stone provides some fodder for future research. It may indicate that she was a descendant of Rabbi Pinchas of Korets a colleague of the Baal Shem Tov (the founder of Hasidic Judaism). JewishGen's Rabbinic Special Interest Group page indicates that Rabbi Pincha's name had been R. Pinchas b' Avraham Aba Shapira and that he lived from 1720-1790. However, the path of descent from R. Pinchas to Yetta, if true, is not, thus far, clear.

Yetta's and Nathan's graves are located in one of the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association plots at Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, New York: Block 89, Gate 156, Line 12R, Graves 1 and 2.
1. Nathan's birth date varies from record to record. His manifest (see note 2) indicates he was 30 years old on 4 June 1910. If he was born in September or October, then he would have been born in 1879. Other USA records, however, indicate birth in 1883 or 1884.
October 1883 "World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 March 2008), card for Nathan Garber, serial number 1262, Order Number 2528, New York County, New York.
15 October 1884 - Petition for Naturalization of the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 1865-1937, for Nathan Garber, 1 July 1919; Microfilm Image, Family History Library, Microfilm 1,451,074; from National Archives microfilm Publication Number M1879.
15 September 1883 - "U.S. World war II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 March 2008), card for Nathan Garber, serial number U2645, Kings County, New York; citing Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Fourth Registration. National Archives and Records Administration.
5 September 1884 - Social Security Death Index, Rootsweb (http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com : accessed 17 July 2009), Nathan Garber, SSN 052-09-7165, Death date August 1963, New York.

2. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 7 February 2009), manifest, Uranium, Rotterdam to New York, arriving 18 June 1910, p. 10, line 30, Nuchim Garber; citing National Archives Microfilm Serial T715, Roll 1501.

3. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 7 February 2009), manifest, Birma, Libau to New York, arriving 2 September 1912, p. 4, line 17, Itte Arber; citing National Archives Microfilm Serial T715, Roll 1926.

4. New York County, New York, Certificate of Death no. 5897 (9 February 1919), Sarah Garber, New York City Municipal Archives, New York.

5. Beth Moses Cemetery (Pinelawn, Suffolk County, New York), Irving Garber marker, Block 24, First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association, digital image taken by and in possession of author, 2012.


  1. Emily, I just recently discovered your blog, so I'm not sure if you've previously stated how you are related to Nathan and Yetta Garber. If you're a direct descendant (and even if you're not), you may be interested to know that tonight begins the yahrzeit of Yetta's ancestor, R' Pinchas of Koretz. I'm not a descendant of his, but I feel a close spiritual kinship with him because my ancestor, R' Raphael of Bershad, was his disciple. In fact, I have a web site devoted to the two of them, Two Tzaddiks, where you can learn about their lives and teachings.

    I would be interested to know where Yetta was born and what progress you've made in tracing her ancestry. I was recently contacted by another person named Shapiro who is also researching his connection to R' Pinchas, and I had a few suggestions for him, which I'd be happy to share with you also. If you're interested, my email address is posted on my web site.

  2. Susan:
    Thank you for your comment. I am related to Nathan who was my grandfather Jack's older brother. I have not done much research on Yetta (an inlaw). I know she and Nathan were married before emigrating. Both Nathan's and Yetta's manifests indicate they were living in Nathan's birth community (Labun, now Yurovshchina) before emigrating. Yetta's indicates she was born in Zaslav.

    I have not previously had any interest in Rabbinic genealogy. In working on this post I did a little searching on the web for R. Pinchas of Korets family history. I did not see any obvious tie. I think I did check your website, but will do so again.

  3. I understand. But just in case you decide, at some future time, to pursue this question, here's a lead:

    According to Men of Silk by G. Dynner, one of the sons of R' Pinchas, Rabbi Jacob Samson of Zaslaw, married a daughter of Rabbi Dov of Zaslaw. So Yetta might be a descendant through his line.

    1. Susan:
      Just located some other records that conflict with the thought that Yetta's surname had been Shapiro. It is possible that it was Chajtman. Still trying to sort through all of this. http://extrayad.blogspot.com/2016/01/tombstone-tuesday-morris-and-dora.html

  4. Hmmm. Will check it out. Thank you, Susan!


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