29 August 2017

Tombstone Tuesday: Simon and Molly Neuman Smith, Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, New York

Molly Smith's parents, Samuel and Eva Neuman, were profiled in a blog post on 18 April 2017. In that post, I noted that in 1940, Simon and Molly Smith, along with their children Stanley and Herbert, lived with Molly's parents at 647 Sheffield Avenue, Brooklyn.[1] Simon Smith was working as a butcher.

Here lies Malka Batsheva 
daughter of Simcha haLevi


MAY 29, 1911
JAN. 7, 1976
Here lies
Yisachar son of Nachman



MAY 21, 1908
AUG. 21, 1973 

Molly was born Mania Neuman in Labun, Russian Empire on 29 May 1911.[2] Mania and her mother Ryvka arrived in New York on 14 August 1921, more than eight years after her father immigrated to Chicago.[3]

By 1930, Molly, her parents and her USA-born brother Israel, lived in an apartment in Brooklyn at 44 Boerum Street. At that point, Molly was 19 years old and working as a salesgirl.[4]

Simon Smith came to the United States at (reportedly) age 10 as Socher Szmuc (pronounced Shmuts) and landed in New York on 9 July 1921.[5] He and his 8 year old sister Chaje (later, Ida) were accompanied by their 18 year old uncle Szmul (who later also took the name Simon Smith) and heading to Socher's and Chaje's father Nathan Smith at 345 Hancock Street, Bangor, Maine. All three Szmuc passengers were listed as last living in and born in Horodno, Minsk Gubernia, Russian Empire. Today this community is known as Haradnaja, Belarus. 

Simon's father, Nathan (Nachman) had immigrated to Boston in 1913, leaving behind his wife, Sore, and their children.[6] Sore must have died in the old country, because by the time Socher and Ida arrived in 1921, Nathan was married to a woman named Fannie and had started another family.[7] He was a cattle dealer in Bangor. 

Nathan's naturalization petition indicates that he and his children, Simon and Ida, were born in Pinsk.[8] Horodno was in the Pinsk uyezd (district), Minsk gubernia (province). So, identifying Pinsk district as their place of origin is consistent with previous records showing the community of Horodno.

I have to admit I giggled a bit when I saw Simon's original surname. Shmuts means dirt or mud. Alexander Beider notes that the name is common in the Pinsk area.[9]

According to Molly Smith's naturalization petition, she and Simon married in Brooklyn on 27 November 1932.[10] While I have located an indexed marriage license dated 21 November 1932 for the couple within Ancestry's New York City marriage license database, I have not yet located their marriage certificate in indices on Ancestry, FamilySearch or the Italian Genealogical Group.

In 1932, when Simon served as a witness on Molly's naturalization petition, he was listed as a barber. By the time of the 1940 census enumeration (April 1940), he was, as mentioned earlier, working as a butcher. 

The couple's sons, Stanley and Herbert, were born, respectively, in 1934 and 1938.

Simon and Molly Smith's graves are located within one of the First Lubiner Progressive Benevolent Association plots in Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, New York, block 5, gate 567W, line 2R, graves 1 and 2.
1. 1940 U.S. Census, Kings County, New York, population schedule, Brooklyn, enumeration district 24-79, sheet 5A, household 79, Mollie Smith; images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 April 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 2548.
2. Molly Smith, naturalization file no. 300735 (1940), U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York; images, "Final petition and citizenship papers (New York), 1865-1958," FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/988724?availability=Family%20History%20Library : accessed 27 August 2017); Naturalization records, (cert. no. 300301-300759) 16-20 Dec 1940, film 1,573,982, images 1736-1738.
    "U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014," index, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 November 2015), entry for Molly Smith, January 1976, SSN 050-42-4414. 
3. Manifest, S.S. Lapland, 14 August 1921, list 21, lines 11-12, Rywka Neiman, age 32, and Mania Neiman, age 9; images, New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 April 2011).
    Manifest, S.S. Hannover, 13 March 1913, list 17, line 13, Simche Neumann, age 31; images, "Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1964," Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 April 2017).
4. 1930 U.S. Census, Kings Co., NY, pop. sched., e.d. 24-178, sheet 1B, dwelling 2, family 20, Molly Neuman; images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 November 2010); NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1518. 
5. Manifest, S.S. Carmania, 9 July 1921, list 11, line 6, Socher Szmuc, age 10; images, "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 August 2017).
6. Manifest, S.S. Carpathia, 17 March 1913, list 91 [stamped], line 5, Nachman Schmutz, age 26; images, Massachusetts, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1820-1963," Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 August 2017).
7. 1930 U.S. Census, Penobscot Co., MA, pop. sched., e.d. 10-4, sheet 16B, dwell. 242, fam. 304, Natan Smith; images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 August 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 836.
8. Nathan Smith, naturalization file no. 1444 (4 April 1928), Supreme Judicial Court of Maine at Bangor, Penobscot County; images, "Maine, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1990, Penobscot County," FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org : accessed 27 August 2017).
9. Alexander Beider, A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from the Russian Empire (Bergenfield, NJ: Avotaynu, 2008), p. 817. 
10. Molly Smith, naturalization file no. 300735 (1940), U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York.


  1. I found their marriage on Steve Morse with the names Mollie Neuman and Sol Smith. November 27, consistent with her naturalization papers.

    1. Ya know, as I was writing that sentence I thought, "Lara will find it and respond." Thanks for being on my research team!

    2. I'm always up for a fun challenge! :)


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