Showing posts with label 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. Show all posts

Monday, September 8, 2014

52 Ancestors #35: Did Abbie Eliza Bentley Cross the (State) Line to a Gretna Green?

Hubby's 2d great-grand aunt Abbie Eliza Bentley (1832-1893) was born in upstate New York [town unknown] and married Leonard Lucien Curtis (1823-1905) in Cass County, Michigan, in 1848.

Why was Abbie Bentley married in Cass County, when she lived in Elkhart? Cass County (bounded by the red dashed lines) was just over the state line from Abbie's home in Elkhart, as the map shows.

Abbie's pioneer parents, William Tyler Bentley and Olivia Morgan Bentley, left New York for Elkhart, Indiana in 1835, when Abbie was just 3. In 1838, Olivia died, and in 1848, widower William took off for California to join the land rush.

Perhaps Abbie crossed into Cass County because it was a Gretna Green--a place where marriages could take place without lengthy waiting periods, or because her father was already in California and couldn't give his consent to a marriage in Indiana?

The 1850 Census shows Abbie living in Elkhart, with her blacksmith husband Leonard Curtis and their oldest daughter, Henrietta, very near Abbie's older sister Elizabeth and her carpenter husband, Emanuel Light.

By 1851, Abbie and Elizabeth and other siblings (and their spouses) were loading wagons for the long trek west to join their father in California. Sisters Lucy and Lucinda stayed behind in Elkhart.

Abbie died in 1893 in Santa Cruz, CA, having been married to Leonard Curtis for 45 years.

Friday, January 10, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Sandor Farkas from Botpalad, born in 1884 or 1885?

For the second week of Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge, I'm focusing on my great-uncle Sandor Farkas (called "Alex" in the family). He was born in Botpalad, Hungary, in 188_ (4 or 5) and died in Manhattan in January, 1948. His Hebrew name was Shmuel Zanvil, named for his late grandfather.

Here's what Sandor looked like in 1909, when he was photographed for the fifth anniversary of the Kossuth Ferenc Hungarian Literary, Sick, and Benevolent Society in New York City, where he and all his siblings lived.

A few months ago, I posted a query about Sandor's father, Moritz Farkas, on Ancestry's Szatmar/Hungary message board. A kind, knowledgeable respondent told me to check the Family Search microfilm Hungary, Szatmár, Fehérgyarmat - Jewish records. And that's where I found Sandor's birth info, shown below (as well as Moritz's birth info!).

Interestingly, this birth record indicates that Sandor was born in Botpalad on December 12, 1884. (See that handwritten notation in the heading? It translates to "84.")

But Sandor used the birthdate of December 25, 1885 on his draft registration and other papers.

So was Sandor born in 1884 or 1885? My inclination is to believe the document from Hungary, not Sandor's memory.

Here's a photo of Alex on his wedding day, December 24, 1916, when he married Jennie Katz. My Farkas grandparents and uncle are at right in the photo.





Saturday, January 4, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Cousin(?) Ida Farkas Weiss

Amy Johnson Crow has just introduced a fun new blogging challenge: to write about 52 ancestors in 52 weeks. This week's ancestor is Ida Farkas Weiss (1873-1924), possibly my 1st cousin 3x removed.

729 Prospect Ave., Bronx, NY
Ida was born in Botpalad, Hungary, one of three daughters of Elek and Rozsi Farkas (they also had two sons). She married Herman Weiss (1872-1943) in Hungary and gave birth to four of her five sons before coming to New York City in 1902 or 1903.

By 1920, she and Herman and their six children had moved from Manhattan to 729 Prospect Ave. in the Bronx, an area now popularly known as the "south Bronx." Here's what her walkup apartment building looks like today. At the time, it was a safe, family neighborhood where many immigrants moved after leaving the Lower East Side or other crowded Manhattan communities.

Ida and Herman's children were: Benjamin (b. 1897), Eugene (1898-1983), twins Fred & Julius (b. 1901), Otto (b. 1904), and Rose (b. 1907)--finally, a girl!

Ida was only 50 when she died of pneumonia in 1924. Her husband Herman, who worked as a presser in the garment trade, doesn't seem to have remarried, and he outlived her by 19 years. 

Ida is somehow related to my great-grandpa Moritz Farkas, who was born in Botpalad in 1857 and came to New York in 1899. I'm currently corresponding with a possible cousin from the Elek Farkas line, in the hope that we can figure out our actual relationship to Ida, Moritz, and each other. With any luck, the resolution will wind up as one of my later 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks posts.