Showing posts with label Kossuth Ferenc Hungarian Literary Sick and Benevolent Society. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kossuth Ferenc Hungarian Literary Sick and Benevolent Society. Show all posts

Friday, September 8, 2017

Grandparents Day Challenge: What Surprised Me

Thank you to Dianne Nolin (author of the Beyond the BMD blog) for suggesting the Grandparents Day Challenge for September 10th. My interpretation of this challenge is to write one surprising thing I discovered about each grandparent through genealogical research.
Henrietta Mahler Berk (later Burk) and children listed on 1915 border crossing, Canada to US
  • Henrietta Mahler Burk (1881-1954), my paternal grandma, crossed the border to and from Canada several times with her children as her husband sought carpentry work. The last time was in March, 1915, when she shepherded her four young children back to New York City (ranging in age from 8 years old to 10 months). I was surprised by all this travel while the kids (including my father) were so young. This constant travel helps explain why the family was so close that in later years, three of the four adult children lived in the same apartment building as Henrietta after she was widowed. Saying hello to my Mahler cousins!
  • Isaac Burk (1882-1943), my paternal grandpa, was a bit of a mystery. It took me a long time to learn where and when he died--and then I was surprised to learn the sad news that he had a fatal heart attack in Washington, D.C., while visiting his sister and brother-in-law. That wasn't the only surprise I uncovered through research. Although I knew Isaac was born in Lithuania, I discovered that he stayed with an aunt and uncle in Manchester, England before continuing his journey to North America. I visited my British cousins last year, and DNA testing confirms the connection--greetings, cousins!
  • Hermina Farkas Schwartz (1886-1964) was my maternal grandma. I wasn't aware that her father and then her mother came to America first, leaving Minnie and the other children behind with family in Hungary. Minnie sailed to NYC at age 11 on the S.S. Amsterdam, with her older brother (age 13) and two younger siblings (aged 8 and 5). Imagine being so young and responsible for a lengthy trans-Atlantic voyage with two youngsters. Luckily, the Farkas Family Tree had regular meetings, so as I grew up, I got to know Minnie's siblings and their children and grandchildren. Hi to my Farkas cousins!
  • Theodore Schwartz (1887-1965) was my maternal grandpa. It was a surprise finding out that Grandpa Teddy, who ran a dairy store, was robbed of $50 at gunpoint during the Depression. Also, I didn't know that Teddy was a mover and shaker in the Kossuth Ferencz Hungarian Literary Sick and Benevolent Society, which raised money for charity and helped its members pay medical and funeral bills. Now I'm in touch with several cousins from the Schwartz family--saying hello to you, cousins!


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday: Sandor "Alex" Farkas, Born on Christmas?

Great-uncle Sandor (Alex) Farkas (1885-1948) was born in December 1885, in Botpalad, Hungary to my great-grandparents, Moritz Farkas and Leni Kunstler Farkas. His actual birth record, shown below, says December 12, but Alex always wrote December 25 on all his U.S. official records.*

Alex was married to Jennie Katz (1886-1974) on Christmas Eve, 1914, one of several weddings in my family tree that took place on December 24th.

Both Alex and Jennie are buried in Mt. Hebron Cemetery in NY, within the plot of the Kossuth Ferencz Hungarian Literary Sick & Benevolent Association, which Alex helped to found in 1904.

* Turns out he sometimes claimed a different birth date. In 1918, Alex told the draft board that he was born Jan 5, 1885, suggesting he was almost a full year older than he really was. Hmm.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Family Weddings on Christmas Eve

Here are two stories of Christmas Eve weddings among members of my grandparents' families.


My grandfather's sister, great-aunt Mary Schwartz (1891-1959), eloped with handsome furrier Edward Wirtschafter (1889-1958) mid-day on December 24, 1913.

They were married at City Hall and kept their marriage secret from the family for a number of weeks.

Mary quickly became close to her sister-in-law Anna Gelbman Schwartz (1886-1940), wife of Sam Schwartz (1883-1954), a brother of Teddy and Mary.

The photo at right, courtesy of my 2d cousin, shows Mary and Edward in middle age, still a devoted couple.


My grandmother's brother, great-uncle Alex "Sandor" Farkas (1885-1948), married beautiful, talented Jennie Katz (1886-1974) on December 24, 1916.

Both Alex and Jennie worked in the garment industry. It was said that Jennie could sew a copy of any fashion after seeing it once, without a pattern. In fact, she sewed dresses for the bridal parties of many Farkas relatives.

Alex was one of the prime movers of the Kossuth Society in New York, which helped take care of sick members. This is where he met his future bride.

The photo at left shows Jennie with her husband Alex (at right) and her brother-in-law Teddy Schwartz (at left, hi Grandpa!). Teddy was married to Alex's older sister, Minnie Farkas (hi Grandma!). 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sentimental Sunday: The Christmas Eve Wedding of Great-uncle Alex Farkas and Jennie Katz

On Sunday, December 24, 1916, Jennie Katz (daughter of Elias Katz and Sarah Lindenbaum Katz) married my great-uncle Alex (Sandor) Farkas (oldest son of Moritz Farkas and Lena Kunstler Farkas). Below is the transcribed record from their marriage license, clipped from Family Search. That's how I know Jennie's parents' names and her birthplace of Malomfalva, which is now in Romania but when Jennie was born, it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Alex and Jennie met through the Kossuth Society in New York, where Alex was one of the founders. Alex was in the garment trade and Jennie was a dressmaker who could copy any fashion after seeing it once. Their wedding was quite an event, judging by the above photo. The bride and groom, both about 30 at the time, are at center.

Alex's sister Minnie (hi Grandma!) was the first of his siblings to marry, in 1911. Minnie married Ted Schwartz (hi Grandpa!), who's next to her in this photo, and their 4-year-old son Fred (hi Uncle!) is also in this photo.

Although the people are numbered on the photo for identification purposes, the list of names has been lost over time. All but one of Alex's 10 siblings are here, identified by my cousins. Younger brother Albert Farkas (born May 5, 1888) was in Vancouver at the time and doesn't appear in the photo.

Great-aunt Jennie Katz Farkas died on May 1, 1974, outliving her husband Alex by 26 years. He died on January 18, 1948.

Remembering these Farkas ancestors on Sentimental Sunday.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sorting Saturday: New Mystery Photos from the Bronx and Brooklyn

Four more photos from my "unknowns" box. Please take a look at the mystery tab for more "unknowns" awaiting identification. Anyone look familiar? Thank you!
  • A gent with a cigar and topcoat (top row, right), photographed in Brooklyn
  • Two little girls (left column), both probably photographed in the 1920s, judging by their high-button shoes (both in Bronx studios)
  • A dapper gent with dark wavy hair and a mustache, photographed in Beldegreen studios, where the Kossuth Society was photographed.



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.





Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday's Faces from the Past: Grandma as a Young Lady

Grandma Hermina Farkas Schwartz (1886-1964) arrived in New York City from Hungary two days after her 15th birthday. She was accompanied by her older brother Alex and two younger sisters, Ella and Freda.

The photo at left was taken about 1910, by Gustav Beldegreen, the photographer who served as official photographer for the Kossuth Ferenc Hungarian Literary Sick and Benevolent Society--a group that my Farkas relatives helped to found in NYC.

At right, another Beldegreen photo of my grandma, possibly the same day but certainly around the same time as the photo above.

Given that Grandma was an expert seamstress and made her living sewing silk ties, she might even have stitched the stylish dress she's wearing.

She makes quite the fashion statement with her scarf, hat, umbrella, gloves, and shoes!

These photos were probably taken the year before grandma married Theodore (Tivador) Schwartz (1887-1965), who was from Ungvar, Hungary and who encouraged both his brother Simon (renamed Samuel) and his sister Mary (Marushka) to come to America.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Society Saturday: The Kossuth Society's Cemetery Plot

My Farkas family in New York City was deeply involved in the Kossuth Ferencz Hungarian Literary Sick and Benevolent Society . . . serving as founders, officers, and committee heads over the years.

















The "literary" part of the title was represented by a lending library. The "sick and benevolent" part of the title included the group purchase of plots at Mount Hebron Cemetery in Flushing, NY.

When I visited Mt. Hebron, I took a close look at the society's pillars and gates. The left gate reads: "Kossuth Ferencz" and the right gate reads: "H.L.S. & B. Ass'n."

See the small plaque in the center of the right gate? It's dedicated to my great-uncle Alex Farkas, Chairman of the Cemetery committee, August 1929. He was one of the society's organizers in 1904.


One more thing I learned from visiting the Kossuth plot: My great-aunt Jennie Katz Farkas, who met her husband Alex Farkas through Kossuth, was enough of a mover and shaker to get her name listed on the pillars of the plot gate--separate from her husband. Way to go, Aunt Jennie! She also thought up the idea of the Farkas Family Tree--thank you, Aunt Jennie.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sorting Saturday: More on the Kossuth Ferenc Society

My Farkas grandparents and their siblings were involved in the Kossuth Ferenc Literary, Sick & Benevolent Association--in fact, great-uncle Sandor (Alex) Farkas was among the founders in 1904.

Above, a photo of the officers as they appeared in 1930, during the 25th Anniversary year. According to the caption, my great-uncle is seated one in from the right. The entire 1930 Anniversary booklet is available by appointment at the YIVO Archives in New York City* so perhaps one day I will see this photo in person (and get a better copy of it). Grandpa Teddy Schwartz, married to Hermina Farkas, was an officer at one point and was honored for his activities by the Kossuth Society some time after the 25th Anniversary.

Sandor/Alex Farkas was the oldest of 11 siblings. After Alex came Hermina (Minnie), my grandma; Albert; Julius; Peter; Irene; Ella; Freda; Rose; Fred; and Regina. Julius and Peter were known in the family as the "bachelor brothers" or "the boys" even when they were at retirement age (and beyond).

* Also at YIVO: Some records from the Sons of Telsh benevolent society, the group to which some of my Mahler relatives belonged. Others belonged to the Independent Harlem True Brothers and therefore were buried in a different cemetery.

Note: The Farkas family also rented meeting rooms from the United Order of True Sisters in New York, a benevolent society started by German Jews that today is devoted to charitable activities related to cancer care.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wishful Wednesday: Meeting the Kossuth Ferenc Society

How I wish I could have seen my Farkas and Schwartz ancestors at a meeting of the Kossuth Ferenc Hungarian Literary Sick and Benevolent Society, founded in New York City in 1904. Above, a photo from the group's fifth anniversary jubilee. My great-uncle Sandor (Alex) Farkas (born in Berehovo, Hungary) was one of the founders! He's in the picture, along with other relatives (see below). This society reached its peak in 1924, when it had more than 600 members.

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)



Altman, Sándor
Altman, Rosie
Altman, Bertha
Altman, Malvin
Aurbach, Emma
Ábraham, Isidor
Bleich, Ármin
Blau, Sámuel
Blau, Sámuelné
Berman, Dezsö
Burger, Jenö
Burger, Miksa
Burger, Géza
Burger, Lajos
Burger, Rosie
Burger, Harry
Braun, Ferencz 
Braunstein, Jenö
Böhm, Máli
Berkowitz, Márton
Berkowitz, Sadie
Beldegreen, Gusztáv (the photographer/printer)
Braun, Jakab
Brummel, Frida
Berger, Pepi
Berger, Isidor
Breuer, Márton
Cohn, Sarah
Davidowitz, Jenö
Deutsch, Dezsö
Deutsch, Samu
Deutsch, Ferencz
Diamand, Ignátz
Eichler, Hermina
Ehrenfeld, Bella
Farkas, Sándor  (my family!)
Farkas, Bertalan (my family!)
Farkas, Hermina (my family!) 
Friedman, Jenö
Friedman, Adolf
Friedman, Isidor
Friedman, Annie
Feldman, Herman
Fischer, Sarah
Fischer, Rosie I
Fischer, Rosie II
Fischer, Jenö
Fischer, Harry
Fischer, Julia
Funk, Deszö
Fried, Sámuel
Frank, Mihály
Fábián, Jenö
Fábián, Jenöné
Greenberger, Bertha
Greenberger, Max
Green, Malvin
Green, Cili
Green, Herman
Goldstein, Lina
Goldstein, Márton
Greenfeld, Irén
Greenfeld, Bertha
Greenfeld, Sámuel
Gross, Isidor
Gross, Etel
Gross, Ida
Gross, Jenö
Gross, Márton
Grossman, Jenö
Grossman, Etel
Grossman, Annie
Gerendási, Béla
Gerendási, Márton
Gottlieb, Julius
Grünwald, Albert
Goldstein, Giza
Greenstein, Vilmos
Gellért, Ármin
Gellért, Miksa
Gewirtz, Jenö
Greenbaum, Dávid
Gáspár, Anna
Grünwald, Selma
Hohenberg, Bérnat dr.
Hochheiser, Dóra
Hirschfeld, Jenö
Herskowitz, Máli
Hartman, Ármin
Horowitz, Fáni
Hartman, Wm. L. dr.
Jäger, Sadie
Jungreis, Antal
Klein, Jenö I
Klein, Jenö II
Klein, Jenö III
Klein, Jenöné
Klein, Szerén
Klein, Lajos
Klein, Isidor I
Klein, Isidor II
Klein, Máli
Klein, Bernath
Klein, Vilmos
Klein, Ida
Klein, Regina
Klein, Helen
Klein, Róza
Klein, Mór
Katz, Bertha
Kornfeld, Heinrich
Kraus, Hermina
Kraus, Bernath
Kallisch, Teréz
Kellner, Árpád
Katz, Ida
Kestenbaum, Jack
Klausner, Sam
Kraus, Matild
Lehner, Etel
Leffkowitz, Rosie I
Leffkowitz, Rosie II
Leffkowitz, Helén
Lessauer, Sam
Lebowitz, Max
Lax, Harrz
Leggmar, Sarah
Markowitz, Herman
Markowitz, Hermanné
Markowitz, Isidor
Mayer, Adolf
Miesels, Sam
Moor, Max dr.
Neuman, Vilmos
Oppman, Gizella
Rendler, Annie
Rosner, Dávid
Reschowsky, Lajos
Rosenfeld, Fülöp
Roth, Helén
Roth, Margit
Rosenzweig, Boriska
Radóczy, Irma
Rosner, Bertha
Singer, Szerén
Schwartz, Nathan
Schwartz, Nathanné
Schwartz, Isidor
Schwartz, Theodor (my family!)
Schwartz, Malvin
Schwartz, Alex
Saffran, Bertha
Schwartz, Szerén
Schwartz, Bernath I
Schwartz, Bernath II
Strauss, Eszti
Smidt, József
Schwartz, Eszti
Schönwald, Emma
Schönwald, Rosie
Schwartz, Sam (my family!)
Spitzer, Vilmos
Saffir, Rosie
Süsskind, Pinkusz
Spitz, Áron
Stark, Miksa
Schwartz, Marie (actually MARY, my family!)
Schreiber, J.H. dr.
Selymes, Ferencz
Schwartz, Sarah
Stark, Sándor
Salamon, Rosie
Schwartz, Bertha
Schwartz, Sadie
Schwartz, Hannah
Staub, Matild
Spiro, Annie
Steuer, Paulin
Steuer, Jolán
Tresenfeld, Rosie
Tresenfeld, Ármin
Wolf, Adolf
Weitzner, Janka
Weitzner, József
Wolitzer, Sándor
Weiss, Dávid
Weiss, Harry
Weiss, Sámuel dr.
Weiss, Max
Weiss, Helén
Weiss, Feri
Weiss, Bernath
Weiss, Piroska
Weiss, Sam
Weiss, Margit
Weiss, Ida
Williger, Helén
Weltman, Ernö
Wellner, Henry
Weinreb, Márton
Zimmerman, Harry