Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wishful Wednesday: Where Art Thou, Great-Great-Grandma Rachel Jacobs?


At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I wish I could find the death date and final resting place of my great-great-grandma, Rachel Shuham Jacobs.
 Background: Born in Russia (or Eastern Europe) and widowed with two children, Rachel came to New York City in 1886. I found her at 88 Chrystie Street in Manhattan in the 1900 US Census, living with her daughter Tillie Jacobs Mahler and Tillie's family. She doesn't appear in the 1905 New York Census, the 1910 US Census, or the 1915 New York Census (or if she's there, I've been unable to find her--looking for Jacob, Jacobs, or Jacoby, plus looking for her two children). 
According to one of her granddaughters, Rachel died in December, 1916, but so far, I've found no trace of her. I'd like to know more about her and visit her grave. I've checked possibilities at ItalianGen.org and ordered some microfilms from FamilySearch, showing New York City deaths in 1914-16.

Above are snippets from two death certs I viewed on these microfilms today. Neither seems to be MY Rachel, sorry to say. Where art thou, great-great-grandma?

UPDATE: Rechecking my search, Rachel is definitely NOT in the households of either of her two children in 1905. Nor is she with either in 1910. (Of course Joe Jacobs isn't with his wife Eva in 1910, when she and 4 children were living in Brooklyn...she said she was married, and he must have been at work.)

BUT: In the 1905 NY Census I was sad to find a Rachel Jacobs, age 60 (a little younger than I expected), from Austria (not Russia?) in the Manhattan State Hospital on Ward's Island. The area for "where inmate lived before coming to the institution" is left blank for every patient in this hospital. Too bad for me. Even sadder for her.

Is it possible Rachel was in a hospital or institution for years after 1900? And stayed there until her death? Unfortunately, that would explain why she wasn't with either of her children in any of the NY or US censuses after 1900. Still not giving up!

4 comments:

Yvonne Demoskoff said...

It's tough not finding our ancestors, isn't it Marian? Hopefully, you will locate her at some point. I wonder if she belonged to some kind of benevolent society that might have extant records of its members?

Marian Burk Wood said...

Yvonne, there are so many Rachel Jacobs/Jacob/Jacoby entries at NY-area cemeteries! More than once, I've chased her down dead ends, but I'm not giving up. She's not buried in the cemetery with her daughter. Where are you, Rachel?

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

Marian, do you think she left NY City? CT & NJ are both close by.

Marian Burk Wood said...

Hi Colleen, Thanks for the thought. I did a little checking and it's very doubtful she left NYC, given her age and that she was dependent on her two grown children. But it is possible she was buried in NJ rather than in NYC. That still leaves a lot of ground to cover!