Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday's Obituary - Isaac Burk

When paternal grandfather Isaac Burk died suddenly while visiting his wife's sister and brother-in-law in Washington, DC, the obit in the New York Times was quite terse, with nothing more than the basics. It read:
BURK--Isaac, on Oct. 8, 1943, husband of Yetta, father of Millie, Miriam, Harold and Sidney. Funeral 3:15 pm Sunday, Oct. 10. 1943.
This obit appeared on the day of the funeral service, which took place in New York City where Isaac lived, with the burial in New Jersey. "Yetta" was actually Henrietta, and "Millie" was Mildred, Isaac's oldest daughter. Since Isaac's sons Harold and Sidney were fighting in Europe at this point, having enlisted early in WWII, it must have been a very small group that attended the funeral, unfortunately. I've never uncovered any evidence of Isaac having siblings, so I suspect that only his daughters, widow, and widow's family were in attendance.

Isaac's name was recorded as "Birk" when he arrived as an immigrant, but he changed it (or the spelling was changed for him) sometime during his early years in New York City and Montreal, moving between the two places as a carpenter looking for work.

When Isaac married Henrietta MAHLER (my grandmother) in June, 1906, he listed his father's name as Elias (L. or S.) Burk and his mother as Necke (or Neche) Burk, although the "Burk" last name was clearly corrected on the marriage cert so it may have actually been spelled "Birk" or "Berk" the first time through the clerk's hands. Isaac said he was 26 and Henrietta said she was 19 at the time of their marriage.

Any BIRK or BURK relatives out there?

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