25 March 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Benjamin & Fannie Molthman

Benjamin Molthman is one of my family history mysteries. Some genealogy researchers call this kind of problem a brick wall. I prefer to think of him as a floater. He's hovering just beyond reach - he's probably related to me via my Myers family, but I've yet to figure out how. I can't quite grab hold of that string that would tie him securely to them.

Here lies
Feiga daughter of Yisrael
Died 19 Shevat 5733
May her soul be bound in everlasting life 
DIED JAN. 21, 1973
Here lies
Dov Ber son of Yisrael
Died 1 Adar 5706
May his soul be bound in everlasting life
DIED FEB. 1, 1946
Berl Malzmann was a 36 year old joiner (carpenter) when he departed Hamburg on the S.S. Graf Waldersee on 23 November 1906 and arrived in the New York on 7 December 1906.[1] He reported that his last residence was Rowno (today, Rivne, Ukraine) and that his place of birth was the same community as my Malzman, Garber and Mazewitsky families: Lubin (once called Labun, now called Yurovshchina, Ukraine). 

Berl's wife, Feiga Bernstein Malzmann (Fannie), and their children, Chusse (Ida), Chaim (Hyman/Herman) and Rochel (Ruth), followed on 4 September 1910 when they landed in New York on the S.S. Cleveland.[2] They all reported residing in and having been born in Labun. Berl, now Benjamin Molthman, took them to his home at 118 W. 3rd Street, New York, New York. 
118 W. 3rd Street was also the location of Morris and Molthman Glass. The "Morris" in that business was my great grandfather Isidore Morris, also from Labun and likely an in-law, since Isidore's wife (my great grandmother) Sarah's maiden name had been Malzmann.[3]
Fannie and Benjamin had their last child on 24 October 1913: Max Molthman (who legally changed his name to Gerald Max Martin on 2 December 1948).[4] 

In 1921, Benjamin and Fannie left New York City to live in the country. They purchased land and a house on Black River Road, Stephentown, Rennselaer County, New York.[5] 

After Benjamin passed away in Rennselaer County in 1946, Fannie moved back to New York City. 

Benjamin's father's name is Yisrael, the same name held by my great great great grandfather (father of David Myers and his brother Zachary Myers). Benjamin is, however, quite  bit younger (b. ca. 1873) than David and Zachary (who were likely born in the 1850s). Benjamin's only known brother was Abram Malzmann, another glazier who also emigrated to New York City and became Abraham Maltman.

1. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 8 April 2009), manifest, S.S. Graf Waldersee, Hamburg to New York, arriving 7 December 1906, page 50, line 8, Berl Malzmann, citing National Archives Microfilm Serial: T715; Microfilm Roll: 807.
2. "New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 7 February 2009), manifest, S.S. Cleveland, Hamburg to New York, arriving 4 January 1910, list 13, line 20, Feiga Malzmann, citing National Archives Microfilm Serial: T715; Microfilm Roll: 1547.
3. "U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989," digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 March 2014), New York, New York City Directory, 1910, page 1035, entry for Morris & Molthman glass.
4. "Legal Notice," Long Island City Star Journal, 4 December 1948, legal notice of 2 December 1946 court proceeding changing Max Molthman's name to Gerald M. Martin; digital image, Old Fulton, New York Post Cards (http://www.fultonhistory.com : accessed 31 December 2011).
5. Rennsalaer County, New York, Grantee Index, 1920-1947, page 1558, entry for Benjamin Maltman; digital images, "New York Land Records, 1630-1975," Rennsalaer County Grantee Index, FamilySearch.org (https: www. familysearch.org : accessed 11 December 2012).


  1. It sounds like he (or she) is a "cousin" of some kind - my mother-in-law has a few of those, but unless (until?) I can figure out the ancestry in the old country (in my m-i-l's case, Ukraine), I'll never know for sure...

  2. Thank you for your comment Elizabeth. I actually have records for Abraham Maltman (that I did not include here - probably next week) that indicate Ben and Abe may have been uncles to Sarah Malzmann Morris and her siblings. What worries me is the difference in age between David and Zachary (b. ca. 1850s) and Ben and Abe (1870s) and the fact that neither family seems to have heard that there were other brothers. Of course I have seen siblings with 20 or more years between them. But, I think you are correct: we may never know until we find some records - and I am not optimistic about finding any vital records for these folks.

  3. Molthman sounds like a good transliteration of how our name was actually pronounced in Ukraine, now that you showed me the tome listing Malzmanns. And also reminds me of my dad's attempt to replicate the original pron. Now I wish I could figure out who my father was referring to as "Uncle Avram" Maybe Abe Maltman. But he was, acc/ to my late father, a "bum". There were so many grudges going on we may chalk it up to some spat or another. Certainly Abe, the first of our Labun' glaziers in the Yellow Pages, was not a bum.

  4. Unless your father had an uncle named Abram on his mother Dora's side, Abe Maltman was the only Abe I know. He died young - not much time to be an established bum. ;-)

  5. Yes,I have a comment,
    I've been trying to locate my Grandparents Internment on my father's side, I know The Funeral Parlar name that took care of the arrangements, Niebergs Funeral, which was located on Ludlow st.
    But they,ve since closed.
    I also know they both Died in there apt on Essex st.Due to a Gas leak.(on Manhattan,s Lower East side. The year was 1956,
    I've never been able to find out more information from my parents.
    Is there some way I can find out where they were laid to Rest?

    1. Brian:
      Sorry not to post your comment or answer sooner. The best bet would be to get their death certificate. Since these are your grandparents and since their deaths were more than 50 years ago, you should be able to acquire the certificates from the NYC Dept of Health. The death cert should identify the cemetery in which they are buried. Also, look closely at the death certs when you get them. If they indicate a coronor's (medical examiner's) review. Request a copy of that, as well.


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