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Sunday, July 9, 2017
Max Birk Arrived 111 Years Ago Today
I just found Max in the passenger manifest, arriving at the Port of New York from Rotterdam via the S.S. Ryndam. It took a bit of creative searching because the transcription showed his surname as "Brik" rather than "Birk." But knowing the date and name of ship was a big help! Also, Soundex is our friend. If possible, try Soundex searching (note the "620" on the naturalization index card above--the Soundex code for the category that "Birk" fits).
Max told authorities that he was 16 (his math was off), he was a butcher (not an occupation he pursued in America), and he had $1.50 in his pocket.
Most important: Max was being met by his brother "I. Burk" (my grandpa Isaac), c/o "M. Mahler" (my great-grandpa Meyer Mahler).
Max arrived only one month after his brother Isaac married Henrietta Mahler on June 10, 1906. Sounds like Isaac Burk and his bride didn't yet have their own place and remained with her father for a little while after the wedding--along with Max, possibly.
I checked with this gentleman, who told me that Moses Kite worked at city hall in an administrative capacity and was probably a witness because he was on the spot, not because he was a cousin.
Welcome, great uncle Max.