26 September 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday: Hoda Wilson Death Certificate

Bronx County, New York, Certificate of Death number 9086 (21 November 1930), Hoda Wilson, New York City Municipal Archives, New York.
Hoda Wilson died on 21 November 1930 in the Bronx. She had been living at 2086 Vyse Avenue with her youngest child, Esther, and her grandchildren Winnie and Victor Herman.[1] Her husband Saul had passed away in 1923.

There are a several items of interest in this record. 


2086 Vyse Avenue, Bronx, NY: Hoda and her family moved to this address in 1917 and lived there for the rest of her life.[2] This is significant in that it seemed that earlier the family had moved frequently.[3] So, it's nice to know there ultimately was some stability.

Arrival in USA and NYC

The entries under item 9 indicate that Hoda lived in the United States for 34 years and in New York City for 24 years. The 34 year number is close, since I've located an arrival manifest from June 1897.[4] The 24 is good because it seems to corroborate my findings that the Wilsons moved to New York City from Albany in about 1906.

Parents' Names

Hoda's tombstone indicates that her father's name is Shabtai Yitzchak. This death certificate, however, indicates his name was Israel. Often, one sees that the informant was likely the same person for the death certificate and the tombstone. In this case, however, there is disagreement in the information provided regarding a critica piece of the tombstone inscription: Hoda's Hebrew patrinymic. Of course, in Jewish cemeteries, the tombstone is not set until about a year after death at the unveiling. So, it is certainly possible that the informants were either different individuals or someone who mis-remembered at some point in the process for the death certificate and the tombstone engraver. There is also the possibility that the engraver mad a mistake on the tombstone.

Usually there is a second page for the death certificate. In this case, when I ordered this record, I did not receive it. While I don't think knowing the informant in this case will necessarily resolve the issue, it would be nice to see who acted as informant.

Hoda's mother is identified as Sarah Cohen. Since there is a discrepancy in her father's name, this calls the validity of the mother's name into question. One thing I've noted in my research is that sometimes the name Cohen crops up when the informant knows the family were Cohanim (members of the priestly caste), but cannot recall the actual surname. So, I'm reserving judgement.

Cause of Death

Hoda died in Fordham Hospital after a fall in the street. An autopsy was performed. The Coroner found that Hoda had hypostatic pneumonia and stomach cancer. She also, presumably as a result of her fall, had a broken femur. There may be additional information I can acquire regarding the Coroner's report.

1. 1930 U.S. Census, Bronx County, New York, population schedule, Bronx, Enumeration District 3-508, sheet 23A, family 500, Hoda Wilson, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 4 January 2009), citing Family History Library microfilm 2,341,217.
2. New York County, New York, Certificate and Record of Marriage no. 31607 (31 May 1917), Jos. Wilson and Tillie Libross, New York City Municipal Archives, New York.
3. See Hudson posts for:  8 September 20127 October 2012, 8 October 2012, 9 October 2012, 10 October 2012, 14 October 2012, and 18 October 2012.
4. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 September 2009), manifest, Pisa, Hamburg to New York, arriving 1 June 1897, list 7, Hode Wilensky; citing National Archives Microfilm Serial M237, Microfilm Roll 579.

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