Farkas & Kunstler Families

Moritz Farkas
From the countryside of Botpalad and NagyBereg to the busy Lower East Side of Manhattan--and then, finally, the suburbs of the Bronx. That was the life journey of my immigrant great-grandparents, Moritz Farkas (1857-1936) and Lena Kunstler Farkas (1865-1938).

Lena Kunstler Farkas
Moritz was born in Botpalad, the son of Ferenc (Fred/Yehuda) Farkas and Hermina Gross...Lena was born in NagyBereg (now Berehi), the daughter of Samuel (Shmuel Zanvil) Kunstler and Toby Roth.

Moritz married Lena in 1884 and as his family grew, so did his responsibilities, helping to supervise the lands and vineyards of the Kunstler family and leasing his own lands to grow crops, as well. His family prospered as the harvests were plentiful. One year, however, Moritz the gentleman farmer failed to insure his crops -- and of course that was the year of devastating hail storms that wiped out the harvest.

By this time, Moritz and Lena had 8 children: Sandor (Alex), Hermina (Minnie, my grandma), Albert, Julius, Peter, Irene, Ilka (Ella), and Freda. To make a new life and keep his sons from mandatory conscription, Moritz set out for New York City in the summer of 1899, intending to send for his family once he was established.

The weeks turned into months as Lena waited. Near the end of 1900, more than a year after Moritz had sailed to America, she left her children with the Kunstler family in Hungary and joined her husband in lower Manhattan. The children crossed the Atlantic later, in two groups (on their own!): Four children came to NYC in 1901, and another four children came in 1903. In New York, Moritz and Lena enlarged their family by three new babies: Rose, Fred, and Regina (Jeanne).

Still being researched: The exact relationships between various branches of the Farkas family, the Roth family, the Weiss family, the Mandel family, the Hartfield family, and the Kunstler family. There were intermarriages between these families in Hungary and later in America.

Some of my posts about these genealogical mysteries and discoveries (and about the Farkas Family Tree) include:
  • Farkas men are witnesses to Bela Roth's naturalization (Bela was married to Lena's sister, Sara/Zolli/Sali Kunstler); 
  • Cousin JW -- who, it turns out, really is a cousin from the Weiss family.
  • Joseph Roth links Weiman/Warren family-Weiss family and possibly more.
  • Identifying the Mandel and Roth cousins at my parents' wedding (and the Hartfields); 
  • The Roths from Nagy-Bereg came to NYC -- and later give my Grandma Minnie a much-needed job in a tie factory. 
  • Great-uncle Alex (Sandor) Farkas marries Jennie Katz on Xmas Eve, 1916, in New York City. Where was Jennie born in Hungary? 
  • Is Julia Farkas Waldman (born in Tiszaujlak, now known as Vylok in Ukraine) part of my Farkas family tree? 
  • Gizella Steinberger (daughter of Josephine "Pepi" Farkas and Noe Steinberger) was born in Botpalad, Hungary. How does her Farkas family connect with mine? 
  • Alex (Sandor) Roth married Blanche Schwartz. Is she a cousin of Tony Curtis (original name: Bernard Hershel Schwartz)?
  • The Kunstler siblings (Great-grandma Leni and other sibs, including Sali/Zalli who married Bela Roth) 
  • Handwritten note of Farkas names/death dates on the back of a Farkas wedding photo provides clues. 
  • Farkas Family Tree Thanksgiving celebrations as described in the association minutes.
  • What the Farkas family did to support its service men and woman in WWII. 
  • Lena Kunstler Farkas's Find A Grave site now has links to her children. 
  • Thanks to the Farkas Family Tree minutes, I can date photos more precisely.
  • What surprised me about my Farkas grandparents.
  • How did Moritz Farkas know when his children's ship came in from the Old World? He read it in the newspaper.
  • My Aunt Dorothy Schwartz (granddaughter of Moritz and Lena) was a WAC in WWII, and one of her letters home is included in a 1945 compilation of servicewomen's letters home.
  • Kunstler in-law Bela Bernard Roth's ancestor timeline. What happened to his son, Imre Roth? 

3 comments:

Linda Farkas said...

Who were the parents of Moritz? And who was his grandfather?

Marian Burk Wood said...

Hi Linda, Moritz's parents were Ferencz Farkas and Hermina Gross. I wish I knew his grandparents' names, but I don't. Perhaps there's a connection between your Farkas family and mine?

Linda Farkas said...

My father-in-law was from Beregovo.