Thursday, August 14, 2014

52 Ancestors #31: Beautiful Rose Lebowitz Markell Died Young

For years I've tried to find out what happened to Rose Lebowitz Markell, wife of Barney (Barnhart) Markell and mother of Joseph Markell. Joseph married my great-aunt Mary Mahler, who is one of the matchmaker aunts responsible for introducing my parents.

Earlier this summer, I spotted an Ancestry family tree that included the name of Rose's sister Ella, and I contacted the tree owner. He responded and now that we know he's my Left Coast cousin, we've been exchanging info. The family story was that Rose was quite beautiful and she died young. Details were sketchy, however.

Thanks to Ancestry posting and indexing thousands of Pennsylvania death cert images, my search this morning turned up Rose Lebowitz Markell's death certificate. The informant was Barney and he didn't get everything correct (Rose's father was Samuel, not Solomon) nor did he know his wife's exact birth year.

Still, this is undoubtedly our beautiful Rosie, who left behind a husband and a school-age son. Barney remarried in 1914 to Esther, who had a teenaged daughter from a first marriage. When Barney and Esther had a daughter in 1918, they named her Rose.

Unfortunately, teenaged Joseph didn't get along with his step-mother (according to family lore) and he ran away. As soon as he was old enough, he joined the Navy, serving on a ship that was anchored off the coast of Mexico during the "Tampico Affair" right after WWI.

Happily, Joseph didn't lose touch with his Lebowitz relatives. My Left Coast cousin says that his wife Mary made sure their children got to know their Lebowitz cousins.

My next task is to locate where Rosie the beauty was buried. She's not in Find-a-Grave, but I'll keep looking!


  1. It is always sad when we learn about a short life. We can't help byt wonder how things would have different if they had lived longer.

    1. Colleen, you are so right. If Rosie had lived longer, her son Joseph would probably not have run away, joined the Navy, and met the lady who became his wife. And of course MY life would have been different in that case!