22 November 2016

Tombstone Tuesday: Samuel Stein, Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, New York

Samuel Stein did not immigrate to the United States until 1923 and, as far as I can tell, much of his family remained behind in Ukraine.
Here lies
A simple and honest man
Efraim Shmuel son of Yitzchak ha Levi
Died 28 Av 5708
May his soul be bound in the bonds of the living
DIED SEPT. 1, 1948

Samuel was born on 10 March 1867 in Staro Konstyantiniv to Chaye Sura Solowitz (or Slawitz) and her husband. On his tombstone, his father's name is Yitzchak (Isaac). On Samuel's death certificate his father's name is shown is Israel.[1] 

In the Old Country, Samuel, then known as Szmul Sztejn, married Chava, who had been born in Labun (aka Lubin, in Yiddish). They had nine children in Labun who lived to adulthood: 
Gertrude (b. 20 September 1895), 
Israel (or Asriel, b. 18 July 1898), 
Nochim (b. 5 December 1902),
David (b. 24 October 1904),
Leah (b. 27 December 1908),
Freda (b. 19 September 1910),
Yochanan (b. 29 December 1911),
Henzie (b. 16 August 1913), and 
Shendla (b. 14 May 1915).
In his 10 December 1929 naturalization petition, Samuel indicated that his wife and the three youngest children still resided in "Russia." Gertrude, Israel, (possibly) Nochim,  Leah, and Freda lived in New York. David was in Cuba.[2]

Samuel had arrived in 1923 with his widowed mother Chaja Sura and his 15 year old daughter, Lejka (Leah/Laura).[3]

Szmul's occupation on the manifest was listed as trader. When he declared his intention to naturalize in 1926, he said he was a peddler. His petition for naturalization in December 1929, showed him as a Rabbi and the 1930 U.S. census, in Brooklyn living with his mother, indicated he was teaching at a synagogue.[4] On his death certificate, Dora Rosenbaum, identified as his daughter, said he was retired from selling dry goods.

At this point in my research, it is not clear if Samuel's wife Chava (identified as Eva on his death record) ever made it to the United States. After 1924 it became increasingly difficult to immigrate. We do know that Chava is not buried in the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association plot near her husband. The only other Stein in the plots is Samuel's mother.

I have been able to track Sam and Chava's son Israel Joseph Stein. He married Fanny and had Ida, Lottie and Benny. Israel, a printer, died on 7 June 1995. While he was born and lived in Labun, he is buried in New Montefiore Cemetery in a Konstyantiniv landsmanshaft plot: the New Konstantiner Young and Old Society.  

Samuel Stein is buried in Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, New York, First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association plot, block 89, gate 156N, line 7R, grave 3.

1. Bronx County, New York, death certificate no. 8864 (1948), Samuel Stein, 1 September 1948; Municipal Archives, New York City. 
2. Samuel Stern, petition for naturalization, file no. 130899, 10 December 1929, District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of New York; images, "Selected U.S. Naturalization Records - Original Documents, 1790-1974," Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 November 2016); citing NARA New York Region.
3. Manifest, S.S. Belgenland, 8 November 1923, list 8, line 25, Szmul Sztejn, age 65; images, "New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 November 2016).
4. 1930 U.S. Census, Kings County, New York, population schedule, Brooklyn, enumeration district 24-185, sheet 3A, dwelling 18, unnumbered family, Samuel and Sarah Stein; images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 22 November 2016); NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1518.

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