17 July 2012

Avrum's Women, Part 3: Following Feiga (and Raya), the heartland

Avrum's Women, Part 1: Chana
Avrum's Women, Part 2: Feiga Grinfeld
Avrum's Women, Part 4: The Trouble with Harry
Avrum's Women, Part 5: Finding Feiga 
Avrum's Women, Part 6: Added Confirmation
Avrum's Women, Part 7: Feiga's Family
Avrum's Women, Part 8: Fannie's Story
Avrum's Women, Part 9: Fannie's brother Morris 
Avrum's Women, Part 10: Morris Lederman - Who's you Mama? 
Avrum's Women, Part 11: Garber Y-DNA = Lederman Y-DNA
Avrum's Women, Part 12: Finding Family with Family Finder  
Avrum's Women, Part 13: Bond of Brothers  

Sometimes, the data and the records take one out of one's comfort zone and lead in new and interesting family history directions. Such has been the case as I have chased Feiga Grinfeld, trying to determine who she was and how she is related to my Garber family.

Let's review what we know thus far:
  • On Feiga and Aron Garber's Ellis Island manifest (2 April 1922), Feiga Grunfeld was identified as a cousin living in Warsaw [1]
  • On her Ellis Island manifest (10 Nov 1922) [2] she:
    • is identified as the wife of her traveling companion (and my great grandfather), Avrum Garber (who was otherwise known to my family as a widower).
    • is a housewife
    • is 44 years old (calculated year of birth = 1873-4)
    • has been residing in Wolomin, Poland (likely Volhynia Gubernia)
    • has a sister and a mother (one of whom is named Frieda Liderman) in Baranowka, Poland
    • was born in Baranowka, Russia
    • was joining her stepson (Awrum's son) N. Garber (Nathan Garber) of 242 Madison Street, New York, NY (Nathan's business address)
I'd lost Feiga after her arrival in New York. Since I'd very little information about her background (and manifests did not always accurately reflect the facts), I needed additional information to be able to locate and recognize her in the records. In my last post in this series, we'd located the manifest record for sisters Raya and Leja Grinfeld from Baranovka who had come to Ellis Island in 1921, leaving behind their mother, Feiga Grinfeld.[3] While I wasn't totally sure that my Feiga Grinfeld was their mother, the tie to the shtetl Baranovka made this a clue worth following.

Raya and Leja had arrived at Ellis Island nearly a year earlier on 2 December 1921 on the George Washington which had sailed from Bremen. Raya was 14 and Leja 15. [4] They:
  • last resided in Baranovka, Russia
  • had left their mother, Feiga Grinfeld in Baranowka, Wolynien
  • were born in Baranovka, Poland
Raya was headed to her uncle, "Charles Grinfeld, Johnsohn, Painsville, KY." Leja was going to her uncle "Harry Grinfield, 609 Bonnestow Ave., Lexington, KY." Now I could chase likely candidates for Feiga's Baranovka Grinfeld relatives and see if the trail would lead to her.

I'd been very New York City oriented in my genealogy research. I made some genealogical forays into upstate New York, Chicago, Michigan and Boston records, but Kentucky was the genealogical wilderness. I needed to locate Charles and Harry.

Lucky for me, they were not hard to find in the closest U.S. census to their nieces 1921 arrival: January 1920. I attempted to locate Charles Grinfeld in Kentucky and wasn't surprised when my exact query on Ancestry.com came up empty. I'd expected that the Eastern European surname might have been changed since arrival in the USA. So, I unchecked "match all terms exactly" and located a Charlie Greenfield in Paintsville, Johnson County, Kentucky.[5]

Forty year old Charlie lived on Main Street with his family (wife Flora, age 29, and his son Isadore J., age 10). He was from Poland and owned a general store.

I collected several records created earlier for Charles. He'd married Flora Albert on 26 December 1909 in Boyd County, Kentucky. His birth year on that indexed record is reported as 1880.[6] In the 1910 U.S. Census record, he and Flora lived in Ashland. He reportedly became a citizen in 1904.[7] I have not yet found naturalization records or a manifest.* Charles registered for the World War I Draft on 12 September 1918. He lived in Paintsville, reported his birthday as 15 August 1881, and identified himself as a naturalized citizen.[8] 

Of course all this was before Raya and Leja landed in New York. I have not located any city directories for Paintsville and have not found Raya in the company of Charles. I did, however, locate Miss Ray Greenfield in a 1922 Ashland, Boyd County, KY City Directory.[9] Ashland is about 60 miles north of Paintsville. Ray was the only Greenfield in that Ashland directory.

The same directory indicates that 115 1/2 W Greenup was the home of Isidore and Sadie Levison. Sadie and Isadore Levison are identified in the 1910 US Census for Ashland, KY living her parents, Nathan and Anna Albert.[10] Sadie is Flora Albert Greenfield's sister. So, it appears that Ray was living with Charles' sister-in-law and brother-in-law in Ashland shortly after she arrived in Kentucky.

Kentucky must have been a whole new world for Ray. Likely, she was born after her uncle Charles had left for the United States. She may not have met him at all before showing up on his doorstep.

After the 1922 Ray sighting in Ashland, I'd lost her. So far I'd not found Ray's mother, Feiga (whom I'd hoped would be my Feiga Grinfeld). I would have to continue my search by looking for Ray's sister Leja and their uncle Harry.

Next up: on to Lexington, Kentucky!

1. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 19 June 2012), manifest, Lapland, Antwerp to New York, arriving 2 April 1922, list 7, Feiga and Aron Garber, citing National Archives Microfilm Serial T715.
2. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 18 June 2012), manifest, Aquitania, Southampton to New York, arriving 10 November 1922, list 4, Awrum Garber and Feiga Grinfeld; citing National Archives Microfilm Serial T715.
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. One interesting note, something I'd not noticed until I reexamined the manifest page for this post, was that nearly very individual on the page was between 13 and 16 years old. I'd never noticed a manifest page like this before. I will have to go back and do some more research to see if this is has any significance historically.
5. 1920 U.S. Census, Boyd County, Kentucky, population schedule, Ashland, Enumeration District 29, sheet 4B, house 89, family 87, Charlie Greenfield; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 October 2011).
6. Charles & Flora marriage record (FHL)
7. 1910 U.S. Census, Boyd County, Kentucky, population schedule, Ashland, Enumeration District 23, sheet 1B, house 12, family 13, Charles Greenfield; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 October 2011).
8. "World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," digital images, Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 October 2011), record for Charles Greenfield, no. 1952, dated 12 September 1918, Paintsville, Johnson County, Kentucky Draft Board; citing World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, National Archives and Records Administration microfilm publication M1509.
9. Ashland, Kentucky City Directory, 1922-1923 (Ashland, Kentucky: Piedmont Directory Company, May 1922), page 150, entry for "Greenfield, Ray Miss"; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 July 2012).
10. 1910 U.S. Census, Boyd County, Kentucky, population schedule, Ashland, Enumeration District 23, sheet 4A, house 64, family 66, Nathan Albert; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 21 October 2011).
* Update, now have their naturalization records.

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