08 November 2016

Tombstone Tuesday: Zalman and Rachel Rochman, Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, New York

Tracking the lives of the Rochmans has been a challenge. 

Here lies
Our beloved father
an important and honored man
generous, saintly
Zalman son of Shlomo
Died 11 Iyar 5710
May his soul be bound in the bonds of the living
DIED APRIL 28, 1950

Usually when I do these short genealogies of Labun/Lubin townspeople buried in a First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association plot, I am successful in finding vital records, census records, directories, naturalization records, and the like, to track those interred to their immigration records.

This time, however, I started successfully with passenger manifests and, except for naturalization records for two of their sons, Charles and Aaron, I have been unable to to find additional linking records. 

Here lies
Ruchel Leia daughter of Arye Leib
Died 5 Kislev 56##
May her soul be bound in the bonds of the living
DIED NOV.18, 1931

I have not figured out where Zalman and Rachel died, where their children may have married, or where they lived in the United States - except for addresses shown on the few records I have collected via online access.

My usual sources for this type of quick study, online indexes for New York death and marriage records and census records, have failed me. I have searched Ancestry, FamilySearch, Fold3, indexes from the Italian Genealogy Group and the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper. Despite trying many variations of the surname, first names, dates of death, birth, etc. I have been unable to locate most usual family records. 

I did, however, find out a few things. 

Salomon Roichman, a tailor born in and most recently residing in Lubin, arrived in New York on 10 January 1913 aboard the S.S. Zeeland from Antwerp.[1] He'd left his wife Rochel behind in Labun. He traveled with fellow Lubiners Riwke Ferschman and her children David and Scharje, and Abram Task. The Ferschmans were headed to Riwke's husband (David and Scharje's father), Pesach, who was already in New York City. Abram's wife Leie was in Labun.

Like many immigrants who made the voyage just before the start of World War I, Zalman was in for a long separation from his family. Rachel and the children finally immigrated in 1921. 

Ruchel Rojchman departed Hamburg on the S.S. Mount Carroll on 20 October 1921.[2] She was accompanied by her daughters Ronia (age 19) and Mindla (17), and sons Szika (11) and Aron (9). They were reportedly all born in Lubin.

The address the family had for Zalman was 12 Garrick Street, New York, New York. They were detained until Zalman arrived for them. He was living at 52 Bogart Street, Brooklyn, NY.

I have locate naturalization records and death records for Zalman and Rachel's sons. 

Szika became Charles Rochman in the United States and was living at 158 Boerum Street, Brooklyn when he declared his intention to naturalize (November 1931), and at 262 Montauk Avenue, Brooklyn when he took his oath of citizenship in 1937.[3] He was single when he naturalized.

Aron became Aaron Rockman (note the difference in spelling). He lived at 72 E. 51st Street, Brooklyn when he declared his intention to naturalize in October 1933 and at 281 Fountain Avenue, Brooklyn between his petition (August 137) and oath of citizenship (September 1938).[4] Like his brother, he was not married at that time.

Charles died on 24 February 1993  in Hallandale, Broward County, Florida.[5]

Aaron died on 20 September 1969 in Los Angeles, California.[6] 

I have been unable to track Charles and Aaron's sisters. 

One bit of interesting information: I have located a man who was likely Zalman on a 1912 Voters' List for Labun.[7] My transcription of the entry from the Cyrillic text is for Zelman Duvid Roikhman, son of Leib.  

In 1912, men were only eligible for Duma voting if they were at least 24 years old and were further eligible because they had paid taxes, were in a guild or were professionals.[8] So, although Zalman said he was a tailor on his passenger manifest, he must have been of at least modest means before he decided to emigrate.

Zalman and Rachel are buried in the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association plot in Montefiore Cemetery, block 89, gate 156N. Rachel is in line 4L, grave 3 and Zalman is in line 9R, grave 1. 

1. Manifest, S.S. Zeeland, January 1913, p. 7, line 6, Salomon Roichman, age 40; images, "New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 June 2013).
2. Manifest, S.S. Mount Carroll, November 1921, p. 18, lines 1-5, Ruchla (age 46 [?]), Szika (11), Aron (9), Ronia (19), and Mindla (17) Rojchmann; images,
"New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 April 2011).
3. Charles Rochman, naturalization file no. 227952 (1937), Eastern District of New York; "Selected U.S. Naturalization Records - Original Documents, 1790-1974," images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 24 April 2011).
4. Aaron Rockman, naturalization file no. 236635 (1938), Eastern District of New York; "Selected U.S. Naturalization Records - Original Documents, 1790-1974," images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 29 April 2011).
5."U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014," index, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 November 2016); Charles Rochman, 24 February 1993, SSN 090-28-7210, Hallandale, Broward County, Florida.
6. "U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014," index, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 November 2016); Aaron Rockman, September 1969, SSN 073-20-6581.
  "California, Death Index, 1940-1997," index, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : 6 November 2016).
7. Voter Lists, Labun, Izyaslav Raion, Khmelnitskiy Oblast, State Archives of Zhitomir Oblast, Fond 502, Op. 1.
8. "Duma Voter List FAQ," JewishGen (http://www.jewishgen.org/belarus/lists/duma.htm : accessed 7 November 2016).


  1. I am also looking for information on our relative who immigrated from Minsk with little luck for the online databases. Do you have a tip on next steps on where to look after you exhausted your usual places? Our relatives are buried in mount Hebron in NY and I would love to find their immigration records

  2. My favorite record for getting further clues on naturalization in New York is the 1925 NY State census. If the person was naturalized it may well provide the court and year. Then one can look through Ancestry and ItalianGen indexes and FamilySearch records to try to find it. The alternative, as always, is to broaden the search to include other family members - as I did here.


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