29 May 2014

IAJGS solidifies bonds with both FamilySearch and Ancestry

The last few months have included so many amazing new cooperative efforts among genealogy giants that I only spent some short passing moments wondering where the Jewish genealogy community was in all this.[1] In the last two weeks, however, the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) has announced two new appointments that seem to solidify relationships with both FamilySearch and Ancestry.[2]

IAJGS Advisor

Shipley Munson, of Sandy, Utah, has been appointed IAJGS Advisor to assist the board of directors in refining and implementing its strategic plan.[1] Munson comes with a history of great success in both the private sector (including Frito-Lay, Gillette, and Apple Computer) and non-profit sphere (FamilySearch). He is Chief Marketing Officer and Director of the Outreach Division for FamilySearch and was creator of the largest nationwide genealogy conference in the United States, RootsTech.

Last year FamilySearch provided the technology and expertise to online video stream some IAJGS 2013 (Boston) presentations in IAJGS Conference LIVE! This was a joint production of IAJGS, and FamilySearch, with generous support of Harvey Krueger. As a result, those who were not able to attend the conference in person were able to to participate virtually, selecting from among 50 presentations. IAJGS and FamilySearch will do the same for the IAJGS 2014 conference in Salt Lake City (27 July-1 August 2014). 50 presentations will be streamed for at-home viewing. Go to the following link to register for either the conference and/or IAJGS Conference Live! : https://conference.iajgs.org/2014/registration_form.cfm.

It looks like Munson will be advising IAJGS on technology integration and marketing efforts for its member societies. For this he will draw on his experience with over 500 genealogy societies and recruitment of over 170,000 volunteers for the 1940 Census indexing project. This sounds like Jewish genealogists could be in for some very exciting times with Munson on-board.

IAJGS Board Member

The IAJGS FaceBook page included an announcement of the appointment of Quinton Atkinson, of Orem, UT, as IAJGS Director-at-large. Atkinson is North American Director of Content Acquisition and Partner Development at Ancestry.com., has been with the company for 16 years and has participated in ten IAJGS annual conferences. He has many years experience working internationally with repositories in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Mexico, and China and has developed cooperative relationships with organizations such as United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, JewishGen, The American Jewish Historical Society

IAJGS Early-Bird Registration

As long as we're speaking about the conference, don't forget that early-bird registration ends on 31 May 2014 for this year's 27 July - 1 August IAJGS conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. Why pay more?

1. See: the Ancestry Insider blog. Also this infographic.
2. Special thanks to James Tanner's Genealogy's Star blog and to the FamilySearch blog for alerting us about these announcements.

Treasure Chest Thursday: Joe Wilson's WWI Draft Registration

I have very few relatives who served in the military during World War I. As far as I can tell, they all, in compliance with the law, registered for the draft. But, nearly all of them, apparently, had valid reasons not to serve (mostly involving being the sole source of support for family and parents), and most did not. My grandfather, Joseph Wilson, registered in on 5 June 1917. And did not serve.

"World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 March 2008), card for Joseph Wilson, no. 59, Bronx, New York; citing NARA microfilm publication M1509.

Items in red will be discussed further, below.

No. 59
1. Name in full  Joseph Wilson
2. Home Address 2086 Vyse Ave N.Y. N.Y.
3. Date of birth  October 11, 1889
4. Are you (1) a natural-born citizen, (2) a naturalized citizen, (3) an alien, (4) or have you declared your intention (specify which)? 1
5. Where were you born?  Kazan Russia Russia
6. If not a citizen, of what nation are you a citizen or subject?  ------
7. What is your present trade, occupation, or office?  Salesman
8. By whom employed?  Empire Knitting Mfr
    Where employed?  10 Varet Bronx NY
9. Have you a father, mother, wife, child under 12, or a sister or a brother under 12, solely dependent on your support (specify which)?  Father Mother Wife
10. Married or single (which)?  Married
    Race (specify which)? Caucasian
11. What military service have you had? Rank, branch, years, Nation or state  -------
12. Do you claim exemption from draft (specify grounds)?  Yes Dependant

I affirm that I have verified above answers and that they are true.
/S/ Joseph Wilson      
31-9-15-A                                    REGISTRAR'S REPORT 

1. Tall, medium, or short (specify which)?  5 X 5
    Slender, medium, or stout (which)?  stout
2. Color of eyes  Blue
    Color of hair  Black
    Bald  No
3. Has person lost arm, leg, hand, foot, eye, or both eyes or is he otherwise disabled (specify)?  ----------

I certify that my answers are true, that the person registered has read his own answers, that I have witnessed his signature, and that all of his answers of which I have knowledge are true, except as follows
/S/ HH Kutner        
Precinct  54 ED 34 AD
City or County  Bronx                                     June 5/17
State  NY

The 1 under item number 4 indicates that Joe was a natural-born citizen of the United States. Of course, the item immediately below (birth in Kazan, Russia) contradicts this information. In fact, Joe was a citizen by virtue of his father, Saul Wilson's naturalization. Saul was definitely naturalized - I have found his name on New York City voting lists.[1] But I have been unable to locate his naturalization papers, which likely were filed with a local court (in either Columbia, Albany or New York Counties) before 1906.

This WWI draft card was one of the first records I located confirming my grandfather's birth in Kazan, Russian Empire. The town is actually not the larger, more well-known city of Kazan in the interior of Russia, but a small village, close to the border with Lithuania, also known as Koziany in today's Belarus. At the time my grandfather and his parents and siblings left in the 1890s, Koziany was in the Vilna Gubernia of the Russian Empire.

I do not know what "5 X 5"means under the Tall, medium or short description on the second page. I suppose it could mean he was 5 feet, 5 inches tall - which might be about right.

1. Board of Elections, City of New York, List of Enrolled Voters, Bronx Borough, Seventh Assembly District, 12th Election District, page 16, Saul Wilson and Hattie Wilson; Google Books (http://books.google.com : accessed 17 October 2013).

28 May 2014

His name was changed at Ellis Island!

I have found a name change on an Ellis Island manifest. Yes, I know I have written about how names were definitely not changed at Ellis Island. I have spoken to groups and explained why name changes could not have occurred at Ellis Island.[1] So, what can we make of these two associated emigration records?

My grandmother's first cousin, David, traveled from Hamburg and arrived in New York in 1907 as "Duvid Wenkert." This is a portion of the manifest developed in Hamburg by the shipping line. The red arrow points to his name on the image.

"Hamburger Passengierlisten, 1850-1934," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 May 2014), manifest, S.S. Amerika, Hamburg to New York, departing 31 October 1907, line 1111, David Wenkert (image 267 of 286); citing Staatsarchiv Hamburg; Hamburg, Deutschland; Hamburger Passagierlisten; Volume: 373-7 I, VIII A 1 Band 195; Page: 2829; Microfilm No.: K_1802.

Name detail from Hamburg manifest
Prior to his voyage to New York, Duvid Wenkert, 17, had been living in Uscieczko, Galicia, Austrian Empire (today, Ustechko, Ukraine).

Town detail from Hamburg manifest

The first page of his Ellis Island manifest, however, is a bit different. The red arrow points to the location for the same passenger.
"New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 5 September 2009), manifest, Amerika, Hamburg to New York, arriving 10 November 1907, list 37, line 8, Duvid Ett, citing National Archives Microfilm Serial T715.

Name detail from Ellis Island manifest

The names before and after this entry were the same on both the Hamburg and the Ellis Island manifests: Adam...Markus...Abram...David...Peter. This is definitely the entry for the same passenger, also from Uscieczko, on the Hamburg list.

Town and closest relative detail from Ellis Island manifest
In the name column a surname starting with the letter W had been obscured and "Ett" written in its place. The previously written first name was also blocked out and "Duvid" was written in its place. 

Marian L. Smith from United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) prepared (along with Elise Friedman, Flora Gursky, and Eleanor Bien) a JewishGen InfoFile regarding the meanings of markings one may find on manifest records: "Manifest Markings: A Guide to Interpreting Passenger List Annotations."[2] 

Under the section heading "In the Name Column..." Smith provides clues regarding the possible meanings of markings found in the manifest column where passenger names are located. Names may have been clarified by a steamship company clerk prior to departure (in this case, unlikely, since the Hamburg manifest was not also changed); by a ship's purser while the ship was at sea, or by an immigration inspector at Ellis Island. It seems that usually this kind of change resulted in a line through the original name and alternative names or spellings written above or next to the original name. I have found this with, for example, a manifest page with Raya and Leja Grinfeld, a detail of which is shown, below.[3] 

Detail from Raya and Leja Grinfeld manifest

The complete blacking out of the name in Duvid Wenkert's case, does not seem to track with this explanation.

Smith goes on to explain more deliberate name changes (as this one seems to be). A more official correction could have been effected.  This may have included official paperwork perhaps associated with David's naturalization process.[4] Since David Ett's name did not match the name under which he immigrated, he may have applied for a correction of the passenger list. Once approved, a government clerk would officially correct the record by crossing out the old name and writing in the new one.

Of particular interest is the code written above his name on the Ellis Island manifest: VL 151 Leg 223291. According to Smith, the VL stands for "verification of landing." This could have been done if David had requested proof of legal admission to the United States. Unfortunately, the files created during this verification no longer survive. 

But it is interesting, knowing David Ett's military record and convoluted path to citizenship, to consider why and when such verification may have occurred. In summary, he first declared his intent to naturalize on 17 September 1912.[5] Based on his World War I military service (aborted by the federal government because he was from Austria - an ally of Germany), he applied for expedited citizenship on 16 December 1927.[6] That petition was rejected since he had been deemed an enemy alien and removed from military service. On 18 July 1939, he was finally granted citizenship.[7] So, David's landing record may have been verified during his several attempts at naturalization, or associated with his aborted military service.

In a typical naturalization procedure for those who'd arrived after 1906, the information David provided in his declaration of intention (first papers) would have been checked against his manifest stored at his port of entry - Ellis Island.  

We do know from another marking on his manifest (near the occupation column) that his manifest was checked in both 1936 and 1938. 

These checks were associated with his 1939 petition. According to the Smith's Manifest Markings section "In the occupation column," the number starting with 2 would indicate that the processing office had been in New York City. 

The 6-17-36 (corrected from 6-16-36) corresponds to the date his Certificate of Arrival was issued.

But also note that his name on the Certificate of Arrival is shown as Duvid Ett. So, the V.L. check and the complete blacking out of his name occurred before the Certificate of Arrival was issued.

David Ett's 1939 petition does indicate a change of name from Wenkert to Ett. 

Detail from David Ett's Petition for Naturalization [7]

I do not know if additional paperwork may exist in his C-File at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (something I may have to check).

It is also interesting to consider why David arrived as Duvid Wenkert in the first place. Names on manifests reflect the name given when steamship companies sold their tickets for a voyage.[8] On column 15 of his Ellis Island manifest, David indicated that he'd purchased his ticket himself. 

The Austro-Hungarian Empire, at the time David was born, required that marriages be registered with civil authorities. If religious marriages were not registered with the civil authorities, children born of those unions would be considered illegitimate and children's surnames would, for official purposes, be that of their mothers.[9]  

The second page of the Ellis Island record indicates that David had been born in Tluste (now Tovste, Ukraine). While we do not have birth records from Tluste, I do have a birth record for David's younger sister, Jutte in 1894 in Skole. That record indicates that Jutte's parents were married only in a religious (not a civil) ceremony. Her mother was Perl Wenkert and her father Leib Heth [Ett].[10]

Perl Wenkert Ett died in 1895 in Skole. Her husband's name on her death record was Hersch Leib Ett.[11] On the Ellis Island manifest, David's father is identified as Leib Wenkert of Uscieczko. It appears that on the manifest, Leib was given the surname that matched his son's. Wenkert was, in fact, his wife's maiden name.

So, David Ett's name was likely changed at Ellis Island. Exactly when he changed his name from his mother's surname to his father's, is a good question. Based upon what we know about the procedures of processing immigrants as they arrived at Ellis Island, it is unlikely that his manifest record was altered from Wenkert to Ett at that time. But, it was definitely changed, in an unequivocal fashion, sometime later.

1. Vincent Cannato and Marian L. Smith state a strong cases for this conclusion. Vincent J. Cannato, American Passage: The History of Ellis Island, (New York: Harper, 2010), pp.402-403. Marian L. Smith, "American names: declaring independence," Immigration Daily, ILW.com (http://www.ilw.com/articles/2005,0808-smith.shtm : accessed 28 May 2014).
2. Marian L. Smith with the assistance of Elise Friedman, Flora Gursky, and Eleanor Bien, "Manifest Markings: A Guide to Interpreting Passenger List Annotations," JewishGen.org (http://www.jewishgen.org/InfoFiles/Manifests/ : accessed 28 May 2014).
3. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 30 June 2012), manifest, George Washington, Bremen to New York, arriving 5 December 1921, list 8, Raya and Leja Grinfeld, citing National Archives Microfilm Serial T715.
4. Marian L. Smith with the assistance of Elise Friedman, Flora Gursky, and Eleanor Bien, "Manifest Markings: A Guide to Interpreting Passenger List Annotations," JewishGen.org.
5. Kings County, New York, Kings County Supreme Court, digital images, FamilySearch.org (https://www.familysearch.org : accessed 19 August 2013), Declaration of Intent, number 27049, vol. 55, page 49, David Ett, 17 September 1912.   
6. "New York, Naturalization Records, 1882-1944," database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 July 2009), Petition for Naturalization for David Ett, 16 December 1927, New York, citing United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, National Archives and records Administration Series M1972, Roll 551.
7. U. S. District Court of the Eastern District of New York, Petition for Naturalization number 259528, David Ett, 18 July 1939.
8.  Marian L. Smith, "American names: declaring independence," Immigration Daily, ILW.com.
9. Wynne, Suzan F. The Galitzianers: The Jews of Galicia, 1772-1918, Wheatmark: 2006, p. 59.
10. Stanislawow Wojewodztwa, Skole, Birth Record for Jutte Ett, 21 January 1894;  "Jewish Metrical Books, Town of Skole Deaths 1878-80 & 1883-1903," Fond 300, Sygnatura 1149, Akta 6, Archiwum Giowne Akt Dawnych (Central Archives of Historical Records), Warsaw, Poland.
11. Stanislawow Wojewodztwa, Skole, Death Record for Perl Wenkart Ett, 17 August 1895; "Jewish Metrical Books, Town of Skole Deaths 1889-1895," Fond 300, Year 1895, Sygnatura 1871, Akta 47, Archiwum Giowne Akt Dawnych (Central Archives of Historical Records), Warsaw, Poland.

27 May 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Irving Maltman & Esther Goldstein Maltman

Irving Maltman, son of Abraham Maltman and Rebecca Maltman, and his sister Dora continued the family glass business after their father's death in 1927 at the age of 56. Irving was born in Labun (Lubin/Yurovshchina), Ukraine (then Russian Empire) and emigrated with his mother and sister in 1906.[1] 

Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, NY, Block 89, Gate 156N (First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association plot), Line 11R, Graves 1 & 2, Irving & Esther Maltman; photo by Emily Garber, 7 September 2008.

1902     IRVING     1963
Yisrael son of Avraham
1911    ESTHER    1980
Ester daughter of Avraham

Irving married Esther Goldstein on 19 January 1935.[2] Esther, born on 27 January 1911 in New York City, was the daughter of Abraham Goldstein and Molly Pecker.[3] Irving and Esther had two children, Allan and Susan. 

1. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 16 July 2009), manifest, S.S. Noordland, Antwerp to New York, arriving 9 April 1906, list A, line 2, Srulek Malzmann, citing National Archives microfilm publication T715, roll 689.
2. Kings County, New York, Certificate and Record of Marriage no. 1861 (19 January 1935), Irving Maltman and Esther Goldstein, New York City Municipal Archives, New York.
3. Kings County, New York, Certificate of Death no. 156-80-317629 (11 November 1980), Esther Maltman, Bureau of Vital Records, Department of Health, New York City.

25 May 2014

IAJGS 2014 Conference Keynote Speaker David Laskin

David Laskin will be keynote speaker 7:00 PM Sunday evening, 27 July 2014 at the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) annual conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. I have just finished reading his most recent book.


The first few pages of David Laskin's book, The Family: Three Journeys into the Heart of the Twentieth Century, start as any other family history might: with a family tree. Most of us do not wish to read about someone else's family history, especially if it will be a recitation of dates and events. David Laskin's family history, however, balances the intrepid genealogist's need for credible sourcing with the reader's desire for a compelling and well-written story.

Laskin tracks three parts of one family from Volozhin and Rakov (today in Belarus), the descendants of Shimon Dov HaKohen, from the nineteenth to the twentieth centuries. One group became immigrants to the United States; one made aliyah to Palestine; and one stayed in Eastern Europe. The U.S. immigrants were successful in business - in one case, incredibly successful as founders/owners of the Maidenform Company. The ones that made aliyah struggled to reach their vision in the new land. One only need look at Laskin's family tree to see the outcome for the Eastern Europeans well-before the last chapters describe the expected.

Laskin was fortunate in that he had access to family members' memoirs,  interviews and, best of all, letters. Still Laskin colors his story with details and impressions that spring from his writerly instincts. He is careful to identify where information was scant, where recollections of other witnesses help furnish his family story with first-hand perspectives. He uses the historical record to advantage, but uses it as a story-teller should - to not only provide the setting and feel of the times, but also to help us understand how participants may have perceived and experienced the events.

Interestingly, he provides no footnotes in the text. It is not until one reaches the back of the book that one finds chapter notes. This is a welcome technique: it provides the background sourcing of the text, while also identifying where the author was indebted to the historical record and where he may have taken license.

From this book, one may learn something about how to use historical background information in portraying one's family history. Laskin uses the historical record so masterfully, it's almost imperceptible.


In a prior work (The Long Way Home: An American Journey from Ellis Island to the Great War) Laskin wrote about U.S. immigrant experiences in military service to their adopted country during in World War I. In keeping with the World War I centennial theme of the IAJGS conference, Laskin intends to speak during his keynote address about the Great War and the experiences of Jewish families in Europe and the United States. He will place individual family stories within the context of historic events in both the new and the old world. His thesis is that the processes started during the Great War affected the future of Jewish experience and identity on both sides of the Atlantic.

Based upon his success in telling his family's story in The Family, I expect that Laskin's talk will be one worth hearing.

24 May 2014

Gen Podcasts: "My 15 Grandmothers" on the Forget-Me-Not Hour

Genie Milgrom has taken a feeling and parlayed it into genealogical gold. The most recent episode of the Forget-Me-Not Hour podcast features an hour-long interview with Milgrom that describes her journey and her two books: My 15 Grandmothers and How I Found My 15 Grandmothers.

Born in Cuba to a Catholic family, Milgrom emigrated to the United States with her family when Fidel Castro took power. Educated in Catholic schools through college, she always felt something missing in her spiritual life. Orthodox Judaism seemed to fill that void and she worked through the lengthy and complex process of conversion. It was only after many years of genealogical research that she found that she had been Jewish all along! She has successfully proved that she is from a long line of Crypto-Jewish maternal ancestors - Converso Jews traced to before the Spanish Inquisition. Her family lived outwardly as Catholics while privately continuing their Jewish traditions as they could.

Milgrom conducted her own research, hired genealogy professionals in Spain and Portugal and consulted with historians expert in Crypto-Jewish history. Church and Inquisition records (family members did not always escape suspicion) helped tell the tale. Ultimately she was able to track her maternal line (the line through which Jewish descent is traced) back 15 generations.

Jane E. Wilcox interviewed Milgrom on her 21 May 2014 BlogTalk Radio show. One may listen to it on one's computer or download it from this BlogTalk Radio link. Or one may find and download the show on iTunes. Search on "Jane E Wilcox."

Milgrom's books are available via Amazon for both My 15 Grandmothers and How I Found My 15 Grandmothers.

22 May 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Dave Ett & Bessie Hasner Marriage Certificate

Family lore says that my grandparents introduced my grandmother Tillie's first cousin, Dave Ett, to his future wife, Bessie Hasner. Unfortunately, I have not been able to determine how they knew her.

Kings County, New York, Certificate and Record of Marriage no. 10398 (31 August 1919), David Ett and Bessie Hassner [Hasner], Municipal Archives, New York.

 [1st page]

Groom: David Ett
Residence: 949 E. 12 St. Bklyn
Age: 29
Color: White
Single, Widowed or Divorced: Single
Occupation: Fur Merchant
Birthplace: Austria
Father's Name: Harry
Mother's Maiden Name: Pauline
Number of Groom's Marriage: first

Bride: Bessie Hassner
Residence: 13 Summer Av
Age: 24
Color: White
Single, Widowed or Divorced: Single
Maiden Name, if a Widow: ---
Birthplace: Austria
Father's Name: Samuel
Mother's Maiden Name: Clara
Number of Bride's Marriage: first

I hearby certify that the above-named groom and bride were joined in marriage by me, in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, at 949 E. 12 St. Brooklyn, in the borough of Kings, City of New York, this 31st of August 1919.

Signature of person performing the ceremony:
                              Rabbi T. Hager
Official Station: 293 E. 3 St.
Residence: 93 E. 3 St.

Witnesses to the Marriage:
Joseph Wilson

                                        Wolf Liebman

[2nd page]
WE hereby certify that we are the Groom and Bride named in this Certificate, and that the information given therein is correct, to the best of our knowledge and belief.
                              /s/David Ett Groom
                              /s/Bessie Hasner Bride  

Signed in the presence of  /s/Joseph Wilson
and /s/Wolf Liebman

David Ett Anglicized his parents names: neither of his parents had ever been to the United States. His father was Hersch Lieb Ett and his mother Perl Wenkert Ett

The witnesses to this marriage certificate are its most interesting aspects. My grandfather, Joe Wilson, was one witness and Wolf Liebman was the other. I have not been able to find Wolf Liebman elsewhere in New York City records, but I definitely want to. Sally, a relative of mine (and Dave Ett's niece) born in Zaleszczyki, has told me that the family had relatives in the old country whose surname was Liebman. She is not clear on their relationship to her family. Nor is she sure if they were related to her grandmother's (Perl Wenkert Ett) or grandfather's (Hersch Lieb Ett) side of the family. 

I have seen several individuals with the Liebman surname in old records from Ustechko and Zaleszczyki. And recently, I have been in touch with someone who has Liebman relatives from Ustechko, one of the Ett's ancestral villages. So, Wolf Liebman will continue to be a person of interest.

20 May 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Yetta Fell Myers

Yetta Fell married Myer Malzman, eldest child of David and Ida (Chaye) Myers, in about 1897 [1].

Here lies
OCT. 30, 1962

Myer left for New York in 1902.[2] Yetta and their daughter Dwoire followed in 1906 accompanied by Riwke Malzmann (Rebecca Maltman) and her children.[3] The women identified their last residence as Polonne, 10 miles northeast of Myer's home town of Labun (Lubin or Yurovshchina).
In the 1910 U.S. Census, Yetta indicated that she'd had six children, three of whom were living.[4] Myer and Yetta ultimately had four daughters: Dorothy Myers Shapiro (born ca. 1899), Esther Myers Eisenberg (born ca. 1907), Evelyn Myers Paull (9 Oct 1907- 26 Feb 2004), and Mildred Myers Becker (born ca. 1911).

Sometime after 1930, Myer and Yetta retired to the Catskill Mountains in Monticello, New York. Myer died in Monticello in 1936. After Myer's death, Yetta moved back to the city and was recorded in the 1940 census living with her daughter Mildred and son-in-law Arthur Becker in Brooklyn [5].
Yetta is buried in the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association landsmanshaft plot at Montefiore Cemetery, Springfield Gardens, Queens, New York: Block 89, Gate 156N, Line 8L, Grave 4.


1. 1910 U.S. Census, New York County, New York, population schedule, Manhattan, Enumeration District 898, sheet 8A, family 145, Meyer Meyers; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 04 March 2008).
2. "Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed: 20 September 2009), manifest, Lake Ontario, Liverpool to Montreal, Quebec, arriving 31 July 1902, Meyer Myers, citing Library and Archives of Canada. "Border Crossings: Canada to U.S., 1895-1954," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 09 May 2009), manifest, Quebec to St. Albans, New York, arriving 8 August 1902, Meyer Myer, citing National Archives Microfilm Publication: M1464; Microfilm Roll: 14; Record Group: 85; Line: 29; Page: 1.

3. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 16 July 2009), manifest, Noordland, Antwerp to New York, arriving 9 April 1906, Jette Meyers, citing National Archives Microfilm Serial: T715; Microfilm Roll: 689; Line: 05; Page Number: A

4. 1910 U.S. Census, New York Co., NY, pop. sched., Manhattan, E.D. 898, sheet 8A, fam. 145, Meyer Meyers.
5. 1940 U.S. Census, Kings County, New York, population schedule, Brooklyn, Enumeration District 299, sheet 17A, 1565 East 14th Street, lines 37-39, Arthur Becker; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 May 2013).

15 May 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday: Joe Wilson and Tillie Liebross Marriage Certificate

My maternal grandparents, Joseph Wilson and Tillie Liebross, married in New York City in 1917. It took a few tries to locate this record in the ItalianGen.org index because I initially queried on "Joseph Wilson." Since the clerk has abbreviated his first name, no one named Jos Wilson showed up in the results. Thankfully, the person who'd indexed this record spelled Tillie's last name correctly as "Liebross" (as Tillie had signed it) as opposed to "Lebross" (as the clerk had written it) and I was able to locate the record via my grandmother's name.

New York County, New York, Certificate and Record of Marriage no. 31607 (31 May 1917), Jos. Wilson and Tillie Liebross, Municipal Archives, New York.
Items in red are discussed further in this post.

 [1st page]
Groom: Jos. Wilson
Residence: 2086 Vyse Av
Age: 25
Color: White
Single, Widowed or Divorced: Single
Occupation: Salesman
Birthplace: Russia
Father's Name: Saul
Mother's Maiden Name: Hoda Epstein
Number of Groom's Marriage: 1st

Bride: Tillie Lebross
Residence: 171 Melrose Av
Age: 22
Color: White
Single, Widowed or Divorced: Single
Maiden Name, if a Widow: ---
Birthplace: Austria
Father's Name: Louis
Mother's Maiden Name: Bertha Weingart
Number of Bride's Marriage: 1st
I hearby certify that the above-named groom and bride were joined in marriage by me, in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, at MUNICIPAL BUILDING, in the borough of Manhattan, City of New York, this 31st of May, 1917.

Signature of person performing the ceremony:  
                              /s/ M. Junior
Official Station: CITY CLERK
Residence: 172 East 30th Street

Witness to the Marriage:
B.M. Freedman

[2nd page]
WE hereby certify that we are the Groom and Bride named in this Certificate, and that the information given therein is correct, to the best of our knowledge and belief.
                              /s/Joseph Wilson Groom
                              /s/Tillie Liebross Bride  

Signed in the presence of  /s/B.M. Freedman
I'm not quite sure why Joe's age is incorrect. In all records in which his birth date appeared, he very consistently reported that  he was born on 11 October 1889. That would have made him 27 years old on 31 May 1917. 

Tillie's age, on the other hand, like all the Liebross sisters' ages, was another matter. She was 10 years old when she emigrated with her family in 1898.[1] That would mean she had been born between 1887 and 1888 and she would have been about 28 or 29 years old on 31 May 1917. Based on comparisons of her age (she was the eldest sibling) with her brothers and sisters, 1887 would have been about right. My guess is that she didn't want to appear older than her husband.

I acquired this record fairly early on in my research and this was the first record with evidence of my great grandmother's maiden name: Weingart. It turns out that her name was actually Wenkert and I have records of relations that confirm it. I have some tantalizing clues, however, that some possible Wenkert relatives came to the United States and changed their name to Weingart (more on that another time). So, that could be where the "Weingart" in Tillie's marriage record comes from.

1.  "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 13 May 2009), manifest, Britannic, Liverpool to New York, arriving 1 July 1898, page 2, lines 20-28, Libros, citing National Archives Microfilm Publication T715, Roll 25.