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Friday, December 2, 2016
Although I don't know which twin was which, it's easy to spot them sitting side by side in the center, with the Buster Brown hairdo so obviously popular at the time.
How did the photographer get these youngsters to sit still long enough to capture the image so clearly? Maybe that's why the kids aren't smiling!*
As the photo indicates, the twins went to school at P.S. 62 on Fox Street in the Bronx. This elementary school was across the street from the apartment building at 651 Fox Street where the family lived (and where the twins were born, at home).
I'm posting a fragment of the 1920 Census, showing the twins (age 0/12) and their older brother "Fredie" (age 7) with their parents, Theodore Schwartz and Hermina Farkas Schwartz, at that address.
With a magnifying glass and a little imagination, this Census confirmed what I already knew--that my Grandpa Teddy was born in Ungvar, Hungary and my Grandma Minnie was born in Bereg (now Berehovo), Hungary.
The Census-taker wrote the town names in parentheses under "place of birth" for all immigrants on that page...later the town names were crossed out but still visible.
By checking the original rather than relying on a transcription, I could see the birthplaces for myself. Faces and places from the past!
*Actually, the kids aren't smiling because the convention of smiling in a photographic portrait was only coming into favor around this time, as Time explains.
Thursday, May 28, 2015
In my box of "mystery photos" was this darling portrait of a beribboned teenaged girl and her younger brother in a sailor suit. The photo folder had a Hungarian inscription naming the two Waldman children with a date from 1918. Below it, in my mother's handwriting, were the names in English.
The photography studio where these children posed was located in the Bronx, not far from where my Hungarian grandparents (Tivadar Schwartz and Hermina Farkas Schwartz) and great-grandparents (Moritz Farkas and Lena Kunstler Farkas) lived.
This photo was in my mother's possession for decades, so I originally believed the Waldmans were family friends. Now I think they were actually cousins.
It all started when I tracked this girl's name through Census records and newspaper clippings and located her daughter. We confirmed that this photo showed her mother and uncle. I mailed her the photo -- because it belongs in her line -- and I continued the research.
On Jewish Gen, I connected with a family researcher also interested in Eperjes (now Presov), the Hungarian town where the Waldman children were born. He very kindly sent me downloads of vital records from that town.
Eperjes and Julia Farkas was born in Tiszaujlak (located at M26, the start of the two arrows on the map below). Tiszaujlak (below) was in Marmaros county, Hungary, then became part of Czechoslovakia when the map changed, and finally part of the USSR and then Ukraine, since 1991.
My Farkas family has roots in Berehi and my Schwartz family has roots in Uzhorod [aka the market town of Ungvar], shown at top left corner of the map. Very intriguing geographical connections.
The 1920 US Census shows a teenaged nephew living with electrician Joseph & Julia & their 2 children in Jersey City, NJ: His name was "Emery Swartch" (probably "Imre Schwartz") and he was an electrician's apprentice. Very intriguing surname coincidence connecting Imre with my Schwartz side. Of course the Census doesn't ask whose nephew Imre is, so I can't tell whether he's related to Joseph or Julia--whether he's from the Waldman side or the Farkas side.
So far, I haven't found Julia Farkas's marriage info or her parents' names. Was she from my Farkas side or my Schwartz side? Stay tuned!
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Kossuth, for whom the society was named, was a politician and a leader of the Hungarian independence movement. According to a Fulbright scholar's research (this link leads to an explanatory pdf), the founders of the society asked permission to use his name (and apparently his likeness, shown above in a chair at the very center of the photo).
The society's goals were to establish a library and reading room; raise money for charitable purposes, especially to help new immigrants; and sponsor sports or other special events. The society also participated in March 15th celebrations every year, remembering the Hungarian Revolution of 1848.
|Hermina Farkas, 1909|
The photographer Gustav Beldegreen, who had a successful studio in New York City's Lower East Side, was obviously a big supporter of the society. He produced the big photo above, along with individual portraits of the members that are included as cameos.
At left, my future grandma Hermina Farkas (born in Berehovo, like her brother Sandor). Two years later, she married grandpa Theodore Schwartz (born in Ungvar, then part of Hungary and now known as Uzhorod, Ukraine).
In my original post, I had photos of two people I tentatively identified as Sam and Anna Schwartz--but my cousin from Philly is almost certainly correct in saying those photos were NOT Sam and Anna.
Also here's a photo of the Kossuth statue that was erected in 1928 New York City (along Riverside Drive) to honor this leader of Hungarian independence.
From the Kossuth Ferenc Society booklet, spelled as in the original and in the order it appeared, I want to include the complete Tagok névsora (list of members):
Beldegreen, Gusztáv (the photographer/printer)
Farkas, Sándor (my family!)
Farkas, Bertalan (my family!)
Farkas, Hermina (my family!)
Fischer, Rosie I
Fischer, Rosie II
Hohenberg, Bérnat dr.
Hartman, Wm. L. dr.
Klein, Jenö I
Klein, Jenö II
Klein, Jenö III
Klein, Isidor I
Klein, Isidor II
Leffkowitz, Rosie I
Leffkowitz, Rosie II
Moor, Max dr.
Schwartz, Theodor (my family!)
Schwartz, Bernath I
Schwartz, Bernath II
Schwartz, Sam (my family!)
Schwartz, Marie (actually MARY, my family!)
Schreiber, J.H. dr.
Weiss, Sámuel dr.