Showing posts with label Roth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Roth. Show all posts

Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday's Faces from the Past: Remembering Mom, Counting Her Cousins

Remembering my dear mother, Daisy Schwartz (1919-1981), on the 36th anniversary of her death. This 1946 photo shows her looking radiant on her wedding day, just before the ceremony at the Hotel McAlpin in New York City.

Since I'm still researching siblings of her maternal grandparents Moritz Farkas/Leni Kunstler and paternal grandparents Herman Schwartz/Hani Simonowitz Schwartz, I can't yet name all of Mom's first cousins. Here are the 28 whose names I know:
  • George and Robert, sons of her uncle Albert Farkas and Sari Klein Farkas.
  • Edythe and Jacqui, daughters of her aunt Irene Farkas Grossman and uncle Milton Grossman.
  • Ron and Betty, children of her aunt Ella Farkas Lenney and uncle Joseph Lenney.
  • Harry and Richard, sons of her aunt Freda Farkas Pitler and uncle Morris Pitler.
  • Barbara, Robert, and Peter, children of her aunt Rose Farkas Freedman and uncle George Freedman.
  • Richard and Susan, children of her uncle Fred Farkas and aunt Charlotte Chapman Farkas.
  • Michael and Leonard, sons of her aunt Jeannie Farkas Marks and uncle Harold Marks.
  • Hajnal, Clara, Sandor, Ilona, and Elza, children of her uncle Joszef Kunstler and aunt Helena Schonfeld Kunstler.
  • Margaret, Alexander, and Joseph, children of her aunt Zali Kunstler Roth and uncle Bela Bernard Roth.
  • Burton and Harriet, children of her aunt Mary Schwartz Wirtschafter and uncle Edward Wirtschafter.
  • Morton and Eugene, sons of her uncle Sam Schwartz and aunt Anna Gelbman Schwartz.
  • Viola, daughter of her aunt Paula Schwartz Weiss and uncle [first name unknown] Weiss.
Remembering Mom today, with love.

PS: I can name every one of Dad's first cousins--he had only 20. But until a few months ago, I didn't know about all of them, and then I broke through a brick wall!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Genealogy Blog Pool Party: Which Weiss is Which?

Bertha and Bela Roth
Elizabeth O'Neal's July theme for the genealogy blog party is Annoying Ancestor? Push 'Em in the Pool!

Well, I'm too soft-hearted to shove anyone into the pool (especially a long-lost ancestor). Still, I'm swimming in Weiss in-laws. There are a lot of Weiss folks married into my maternal Grandmother Minnie Farkas's family tree.

Trying to connect these Weisses to each other is sending me off the deep end--but I'm convinced they're related.


Herman Weiss
Which Weiss is which?!

  • Bertha Batia Weiss (daughter of Solomon and Rose Hoffner) was the 2d wife of Bela Roth, a cousin to my maternal grandmother. She, like all the other in-laws named Weiss, was born in Hungary. She and her husband visited the Farkas Family Tree from time to time and were known to be cousins, but the exact relationship remains a bit fuzzy.
  • Herman Weiss (son of Chaim Yaakov and Rose Svarcz) was the husband of Ida Farkas, known to be a distant cousin to my maternal grandma. Herman & Ida's son Johnny was a frequent visitor to Farkas Family Tree gatherings.
  • Julia Ida Weiss (daughter of Isador and Fany Roth) was the wife of Herman Wajman. My Roth cousins were aware that the family (renamed Warren after daughter Gloria became a star of stage and screen) were cousins, and my research finally proved the link.  
Other Weiss folks appear in family documents. Sam Weiss was the witness to my maternal great-grandpa Moritz Farkas's naturalization. Weiss was the maiden name of the grandmother of cousin Alex Roth's wife, Blanche Schwartz. 

So which Weiss is which? Are any of them cousins or otherwise related to each other and/or to my Farkas family beyond intermarriage? A deeper dive is in my future if I want to figure out which Weiss is which.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"Uncle Joseph Roth" Links the Wajman and Weiss Families

For two years, I've been searching for the link between the Weiman family, Roth family, and Weiss family. My Roth cousins knew they were related to the Weiman family, and vice versa. But how? And we all wondered how my Roth cousins are related to me!

Part of the answer was on page 2 of a passenger manifest showing Hersch Wajman, wife Ida, and daughter Magda, sailing from Liverpool on the "Carmania" on 18 February 1921 and arriving in New York City on 28 February 1921.

On line 6, shown above, Hersch (Herman) Wajman (later Weiman) said the family was going to "Uncle Joseph Roth" at an address in New York City--an address that appears on Joseph Roth's passport application. This is an exact match for the Joseph Roth who was the brother-in-law of my great-grandma, Lena Kunstler Farkas.

It's complicated--Joseph Roth's brother was Bela Roth, and Bela's first wife was Zalli Kunstler (sister of Lena, my ggm). Gets even more complicated: Bela's second wife was Batia Bertha Weiss.

If you're still with me, the maiden name of Hersch/Herman Wajman/Weiman's wife was Ida Julia Weiss, known as Julia. We have other Weiss in-laws in my Farkas family, some who are married to Roths.





I did a search for Herman and Julia's young daughter Magda, who arrived at Ellis Island as a one-year-old, and this turned up a second manifest. The family was originally booked to sail from London to Boston on the "Saxonia" on 17 February 1921, arriving on 2 March 1921. They were crossed off that passenger list, as shown above. How and why the Weiman family switched from the port of London to the port of Liverpool and chose to land in New York instead of Boston, I just don't know.

The manifest is readable enough to be sure this is the correct Wajman/Weiman family. Hersh named his mother, "K Wajmann" as the nearest relative in Opatow, Poland, where he was from. Hersh was a watchmaker who spoke Polish, Russian, Yiddish, and Hungarian.

On page 2 of the "Saxonia" manifest, not shown here, the family says they're going to join--"Uncle Joseph Roth," a manufacturer, at his business address in New York City. MY Joseph Roth!

Wait, there's more: Julia Weiss Weiman's Soc Sec application lists her parents as Isador Weiss and Fany Roth. So "Uncle Joseph Roth" appears to be Julia's uncle. Therefore: Joseph Roth's children are first cousins of Julia Weiss Weiman, and Joseph Roth's grandchildren are second cousins of Julia's children. Now we know!

Next, I'm going to look for Julia's siblings/parents and also try to learn more about Batia Bertha Weiss's siblings. If there's any overlap, then as they say in Britain, "Bob's your uncle." Or, in this case, "Joseph's your uncle."

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sibling Saturday: The Kunstler Family from NagyBereg

Great-grandma Leni KUNSTLER Farkas (1865-1938), born in NagyBereg, Hungary (now Velyki Berehy, Ukraine) had at least four siblings.
  • Sally/Sarah/Zalli KUNSTLER married Bela Bernard Roth and had three children with him: Alexander (Sandor), whose Social Security application is shown above--Alex married Blanche Schwartz, a cousin of Tony Curtis; Margaret, who married Herman Mandel; and Joseph/Joszef, who married Evelyn Goldman. When my sweet cuz B visited Ukraine, she located Zalli's gravestone and also that of the Kunstler patriarch, Samuel Zanvil Kunstler (died in 1869), plus other Kunstlers.
  • Hinde KUNSTLER died in 1881, according to her gravestone. I wish I knew more about this sister of Leni and Zalli.
  • Yehudit KUNSTLER died in 1879, according to her gravestone, and I know nothing more about her.
  • Joszef Moshe KUNSTLER (1869-1935) married Helena Schonfeld and was a successful businessman in his time, employing many in his town.
Because Great-grandma Leni's mother's name was Toby Roth, and her sister Zalli married a Roth, I've been interested in learning more about the connections between the Kunstler and Roth families. Some of the descendants have names that echo the names of the Kunstler siblings, following Jewish tradition, and that gives me clues to the past.

Now that Ancestry is posting many SSA index files and transcriptions, I'm finding more clues and sending for original applications (like the above) to confirm parentage and relationships. On Alex Roth's SSA, as you can see, his birth place is Hungary, N.B. (meaning NagyBereg).

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: Josef and Julia Roth, Buried in Mt Moriah Cemetery

Earlier this month, I visited Mount Moriah Cemetery in New Jersey to pay my respects to cousin Josef Roth (abt 1858-1945) and his wife, Julia Gutfried Roth (1862-1937).

Josef was probably an older half-brother of my Farkas cousin Bela Roth (1865-1941).

Josef's inscription confirms he was the son of Shlomo (Solomon).

Julia's inscription says she was the daughter of Menacham Dov, the Cohain (priestly tribe).

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Was Cousin Alex Roth's Wife Blanche a Cousin of Tony Curtis?

Tony Curtis (Bernard Schwartz) was born in Mateszalka; my Roth cousins were born in Vasarosnameny.
Maybe one glamorous star of stage and screen isn't enough for the Roth branch of my family tree. We know that the 1940s Broadway and Hollywood star Gloria Warren  (original name: Gloria M. Weiman, daughter of Herman Weiman and Julia Weiss Weiman) was a cousin. She was related through the Farkas-Kunstler cousin Bela Roth (1865-1941), who frequently visited the Farkas Family Tree meetings--my mother's side of the family.

Cousin Alex "Sandor" Roth (1892-1949) was the oldest son of Bela Roth, born in Vasarosnameny, Hungary. The Roths came to New York in the early 1900s. While living in the Boston area and working in a car dealership (a family occupation in the Roth line), Alex married Blanche "Blanka" Schwartz (1897-1986). I've sent for Alex's Social Security application, and hope to have it before the calendar clicks over to 2016.

Meanwhile, I'd heard a whisper that Blanche Schwartz was some kind of cousin of Tony Curtis, whose original name was Bernard Hershel Schwartz. So I've been trying to find out more.

Parents of Blanche Schwartz
An experienced researcher interested in the Schwartz connection to Tony Curtis shared with me the following information:
  • Blanche Schwartz was very likely the daughter of Frank (Ferencz) Schwartz and Frieda Frimet Klein. We will know for sure once I get a copy of Blanche's Social Security application in January.
  • Blanche was born in Mateszalka, Hungary, which is close to Vasarosnameny, the home town of the Roth family (see map at top).
  • Blanche had 3 sisters who lived to adulthood: Elaine (married name was Stern), Violet (married name was Winton and then Fidel, and she was an actress), and Elizabeth
Because this researcher suspected that Blanche's parents were buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery in New Jersey, I took a field trip and photographed their stone, shown above. Translating, Frank is the son of Shalom, Frieda is the daughter of Dov Ber.

The researcher also discovered that Frank Schwartz's mother's maiden name is Weiss. Remember Weiss? That's the maiden name of Gloria Warren's mother. Coincidence? Very possible, given how many Weiss families lived in that area of Hungary. But then again, there were a number of intermarriages with the Weiss family on my mother's side.

To discover the connection between Blanche Schwartz and Bernard Hershel Schwartz will require investigating older ancestors in the Mateszalka records. This is going to be quite a challenge!

Friday, October 31, 2014

52 Ancestors #46: Lojos the Tailor from Budafalu, Hungary

Lojos Mandel (1861?-1914) was the father-in-law of my cousin Margaret Roth (1892-1967). I've been tracing him back in the hope of learning more about the Roth family's history before they arrived in New York City.

Soon after Lojos (or Lajos) sailed into New York Harbor in November, 1890, he Americanized his name to Louis. In 1896, he filed his first papers for US citizenship and 10 years later, he took the oath of citizenship.

Lojos was a tailor, according to multiple census records, living on Avenue D in the Lower East Side of Manhattan for years. He and his wife, Rose Moskovitz Mandel, moved to the Bronx sometime after the 1910 Census period.

Lojos and his wife Rose returned to Europe in late 1911 and sailed back to New York in January, 1912 on the same ship that brought Joseph Roth, brother of Margaret Roth. In other words, Lojos's future daughter-in-law's brother was on the same ship from Hamburg to NYC. Coincidence? Hardly.

When Lojos died suddenly of a heart attack in 1914, at about 54 years of age, the family buried him in Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn. But that's not where he's resting today. His gravestone is in Mt. Hebron Cemetery in Queens, inside a large family plot.

Only by looking up his NYC death certificate on microfilm (thank you, Family History Center) did I learn that his hometown was Budafalu, Hungary, which is now Budesti in Romania, not far from Bucharest.

Was his wife Rose born near Budafalu? And did either have siblings who also sailed to America? Did the Mandels meet the Roths in New York or were they acquainted in Hungary before they left?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Workday Wednesday: Horsman Dolls and the Roth Connection

Cousin Joseph Roth and his son-in-law Lawrence Lipson were involved with the Horsman Doll Company, headquartered at 200 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, with a factory in New Jersey. Above, one of the beautiful dolls made by Horsman in 1956.

Horsman was founded right after the Civil War to manufacture baseballs and toys, as well as to distribute sporting goods like archery sets and croquet. There really was a Mr. Horsman (Edward I. Horsman) who established the company in 1865, when toy wholesaling businesses tended to locate in the Maiden Lane area of lower Manhattan. Mr. Horsman died in 1927 and is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

Just before the great stock market crash of 1929, the company narrowed its focus exclusively to doll manufacturing. I don't know how or when my Roth family became part of this business, which passed out of Horsman control a few years after the market crash. I do know that when Joseph Roth died in 1945, his son-in-law Lawrence Lipson told authorities that Joseph had retired from the toy manufacturing business in 1930. Lawrence was the president of Horsman during the 1950s and he remained in charge when the company was bought by Botany Mills in 1957.

My Roth cousins remember being gifted with Horsman dolls for birthdays and holidays. One cousin remembers going to the Fifth Avenue showroom and being dazzled by the stunning displays of one gorgeous doll after another!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

52 Ancestors #29: Cousin Jennie Hartfield and the Roth-Mandel-Farkas Connection

The gentleman second from left is "Hartfield." That's what my mother's Farkas family always called him, never by his full name--Isidore Hartfield.

His wife (next to him, in the white hat with black trim) was "Cousin Jennie." They lived in Brooklyn and often attended Farkas Family Tree meetings, even hosting on a few occasions.

This photo was taken in November, 1946, at my parents' wedding. The Hartfields are seated with members of my Farkas family and with Margaret Roth Mandel (in dark hat, third from right) and her husband, Herman Mandel (just visible behind the lady with a spoon in her mouth).

Margaret is definitely a cousin, but I wanted to learn more about the Hartfields.

I read through Isidore Hartfield's Declaration of Intention to become a US citizen and learned his marriage date and place: November 26, 1916 in New York City. (Isidore and Jennie celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary two days before they attended the wedding pictured above.)

Look at the above screen shot, and you'll see why I just sent for this marriage document. It shows Isidor Hartfield's bride's name as "Jennie Maudel." Very likely this is actually "Jennie Mandel." When this cert arrives, I'll know Jennie's parents' names.

Since Jennie was born in NagyBereg, Hungary, where my Roth relatives were born, it seems that she must be related through the Roth and Mandel cousin connection. More cousins!

UPDATE: Six weeks ago, I sent for this marriage cert. It arrived yesterday (see left). Now I know the family connection was through my great-grandma Lena Kunstler, who was related to Jennie Mandel's mother!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Matrilineal Monday: Where Grandma Minnie and Cousin Margaret Got Married

In 1911, my maternal grandma, Hermina Farkas married my grandpa, Theodore Schwartz, at the 8-10 Clinton Street Synagogue on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.


Here's their marriage cert. Note the name of the top witness: Marcus Aronoff.

This same gentleman witnessed the marriage of Grandma Minnie's first cousin Margaret to husband Herman in 1913, at the same synagogue, with the same rabbi officiating.

How does Marcus Aronoff relate to the family? Or was he a head of the congregation or some other official in the synagogue?

UPDATE: Cousin L noticed a very important detail: My Grandma Minnie lived at 745 E. 6th Street when she married, the same building where his mom (cousin Margaret) lived when she was married by the same rabbi in the same synagogue, just 18 months later. Here's a street view of that building, a 6-story apartment building built in 1900 that still stands today. Yet another indication that the families were close!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mystery Monday: How Was Gloria Warren Related to the Roth Family?

Visiting with my Cuz J the other day, I learned that actress/singer Gloria Warren is somehow a cousin to Joseph Roth and his father, Bela Bernard Roth. Bela was affectionately known as "Uncle Bela" in my Farkas/Kunstler family, even though he was most definitely a cousin.

So how are we related to Gloria Warren?

According to the Delaware Historical Society, Gloria was born in Delaware in 1926 (IMDB says the date was April 7th, in Wilmington). Her birth name was Gloria M. Weiman. Her father Herman, a jeweler/watchmaker, was from Russia and her mother Julia Weiss Weiman was Hungarian (see the 1930 Census snippet, which includes sister June Violet, 3 years older). Both June and Gloria were very beautiful young ladies.

Other cousins have confirmed that Gloria was a relative to the Roth family (and Cousin L briefly dated her, since the connection was distant!). Actually there are connections to two different Joseph Roths, both in my family.


Gloria's breakout role was in the movie Always in My Heart, and she became a singing phenom with the title song. She married Peter Gold in 1946. Cousin L saw her in the Broadway show What's Up? which also starred the popular comic Jimmy Savo.

Gloria made a few more movies, and then settled down to family life, having a son and a daughter in California, where her husband was a successful businessman.

There are Weiss relatives elsewhere in this side of my family tree. Perhaps they're related to Julia, Gloria's mother?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Holocaust Remembrance Day 2014

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, I am honoring the memory of loved ones who perished from these branches of my family tree:
  • My grandpa Tivador Schwartz's family.
  • My great-grandfather Moritz Farkas's family.
  • My great-grandma Lena Kunstler's family.
  • My Farkas cousins, the Roth family.
I've searched for family members using these resources:
Never forget. Never again.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Census Sunday Surprise: Finding Two Farkas Relatives on a Roth Naturalization

Bela Roth--cousin to the Farkas family--was admitted as a US citizen on June 22, 1920. I've been hunting for the exact connection between Bela and my family. When I received a copy of Bela's naturalization petition this week, I was surprised to see the familiar signature of two great uncles: Alex Farkas and Julius Farkas, brothers of my grandma Minnie Farkas Schwartz.

Luckily for me, this petition was dated only a few weeks after the 1920 census, so I was able to cross-check the address of my Farkas relatives to be sure I'm on the right track.

Here are a couple of lines from the 1920 census record of Alexander Farkas, who lived at 828 Dawson St. in the Bronx, with his wife Jennie. Alex's occupation: Cutter. Then I checked Julius Farkas's address in the 1920 Census, and his occupation: 843 Whitlock Ave., Bronx, NY, occupation: salesman.

Both Farkas names/addresses/occupations are an exact match with the information on Bela Roth's petition document! This is another important clue confirming a definite relationship between the two families. Exactly how Bela and his family were related to my Farkas family remains a bit of a mystery.

Friday, March 28, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #15: The Roth Family, Entrepreneurs

The Roth family from Vasarosnameny, Hungary--cousins on my mother's side--had an entrepreneurial streak. Adolf Roth, one of several sons of Salomon Roth, arrived in 1897, established himself, and then helped two of his brothers come to New York. Adolf owned a necktie factory in Manhattan (he said he was a "neckwear contractor"). That factory provided work for many of the Roths and relatives as they arrived from Hungary. My grandma sewed fine silk ties for Adolf, for instance. Bela Roth, another of Salomon's sons, arrived in 1907 and he seems to have worked in his brother Adolf's factory.

Josef Roth, a brother or cousin of Bela and Adolf, had two sons, Emil and Peter Roth, who both went into the restaurant business.
From the New York Call, January 6, 1914
  • Peter Roth (1872?-1956) co-owned the Viennese-style restaurant Cafe Monopol at 145 Second Avenue in Manhattan, with his brother-in-law Peter Stern and others (see incorporation note, above, from 1915 publication Polk's New York Copartnership and Corporation Directory, p. 730). The little restaurant ad, directly above, shows my Roth cousin in business 100 years ago!
  • Emil Roth (1887-1965) worked at the Rossoff Restaurant at 152 West 44th Street in Manhattan.
Now all of the above was probably common knowledge in the family, but not passed down to later generations. It took days to piece the info together from passport applications, Census data, obituaries, and--most fun of all--working with two (probable) cousins, one in NY and one in Maryland, who were way ahead of me in tracing our Roth family tree.

Plus I've just connected with another delightful cousin from the Roth family! She tells me that her father (a son of Bela Roth) was highly entrepreneurial. During the summer, he and a brother would drive city dwellers from New York to vacation spots in the Catskills. At the end of the summer, they sold their "cab" and made good money from the sale. Eventually, that led to her father going into the used car business and, ultimately, owning a new car franchise that remains in the family today.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: The Solomon & Adolph Roth Social Society

Yesterday's visit to Riverside Cemetery in New Jersey yielded more names and relationships to check out in my quest to uncover how the Roth family is related to my Farkas or Kunstler or Schwartz families.

Like many cemeteries, Riverside used to have a grave locator function on its website, with an easy e-mail request for more info.

Sadly for family history researchers like me, Riverside removed the online function earlier this year, because it was generating too many inquiries. But luckily, I had already located enough of my Roth cousins to know it was worth a visit.

I did see the burial places of my Roth cousins and check on their next of kin. Just as interesting as the graves were the gates to the Solomon & Adolph Roth Social Society plot, located at the corner of Jesse Walk and Israel Avenue in the cemetery's upper-left quadrant. Among the donors to the cemetery gates were Mr. & Mrs. Bela Roth (my family) and Mr. & Mrs. Peter Roth (son of the other Joseph Roth, not directly related to my Bela Roth).

Thanks to another Roth researcher, who kindly posted the incorporation papers for the Sol & Roth Social Society, I know who founded it (see below), when (incorporated in 1935), and where (NYC). The interim directors appointed until the first annual meeting were: Joseph Roth (not my Joseph Roth); George Rehberger; and Max Roth (possibly Joseph's brother). The officials who signed the certificate of incorporation were: Leon D. Miller, Joseph Roth, Margaret Stern Festinger, Louis Weiss, Louis Spielberger, and Abe Kramer. Leon D. Miller was the attorney who filed the incorporation papers, by the way, on 20 Sept 1935.

The society purchased the plot in Riverside Cemetery for its members and offered other benefits, including access to doctors. My newfound Cousin L (whose grandfather was in this society) says that especially during the Depression, it was a plum position to be the "official" doctor of such organizations.

And who are Sol & Adolph Roth, for whom the society is named? They must be related to the Joseph (not my family) Roth who is on the incorporation papers. Maybe relatives back in the hometown of Püspökladány, Hajdu-Bihar, Hungary?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mystery Monday: Family Stories + Family Trees = Margaret Roth Mandel

My "unknowns" box of photos includes two of this lady, both with the name "Margaret Mandel" handwritten on the back (not in my parents' or grandparents' handwriting). She was a mystery--until today.

Margaret Roth Mandel and Herman Mandel, 1946
My cousin from Boulder and I have lately been on the trail of the Roth family, trying to connect them with our Farkas or Kunstler lines. We began with a couple of family stories and then . . . here's how we teamed up with a fellow family history enthusiast to solve the mystery of Margaret Mandel AND advance our Roth research.

1. Our Farkas family minutes mention the Roth family twice:
  • Bela Roth sent his condolences and regrets after my great-grandma (Lena Kunstler Farkas) died and her gravestone was unveiled in the 1930s.
  • Alex Roth's death was noted, with sadness, in the minutes of October, 1949.
2. My Boulder cuz remembers--definitely--that the lady above, who attended my parents' 1946 wedding, was named Margaret Roth. She also remembers a number of family stories about the Roths, who were cousins in some undefined way. And she remembers a cousin known affectionately as "Uncle Bela Roth." All of these people lived in the New York area.

3. I began a private family tree on Ancestry to experiment with different family configurations of the Roths I was finding via manifests, Census data, and obituaries. As soon as I had four Roths connected in a stand-alone family tree, Ancestry waved its green "hint" leaf at me. There was exactly one hint: A family tree that included my Roths. BINGO! 

4. I sent the tree's owner, D, a note via Ancestry. He invited me to see his tree. There, I found more clues to my Roths--and the two of us took up the hunt, locating obituaries and adding more details to our Roth trees, day by day.

5. This morning, D sent me a note that solved the mystery of Margaret Mandel. In the obit of "cousin Alex Roth," he saw Margaret Mandel's name listed as a sibling. I added Margaret and her family to my Roth family tree--and up popped the naturalization paper of Herman, whose photo is at left, showing a younger version of the Herman in the photo with Margaret, above. I'm also contacting other relatives to ask for more stories and documents. In addition, another Ancestry hint sent me to someone whose family tree includes Margaret and her husband, Herman Mandel.

If I can connect with Margaret's descendants, I want them to have her portraits to pass down through the generations. March UPDATE: I'm meeting with a descendant in two days and will happily give him the two portraits, which belong in his family! Plus I found another Roth researcher (another D) looking at a related branch of this family. We're all cooperating and having a fun time discovering passenger manifests and more. It takes a village to trace a tree :)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #7: The Roth Family, from Nagy Bereg to New York

My great-grandma Lena Kunstler Farkas wasn't the only member of her family to leave their hometown of Nagy Bereg, Hungary and move to New York City. She set sail from Hamburg at the end of November, 1900 and arrived at Ellis Island 20 days later, joining her husband, Moritz Farkas.

Her mother's in-laws (?), the Roth family, also set sail from Hamburg. According to the manifest of the S.S. Kaiser Auguste Victoria (above), which reached Ellis Island in October, 1907, Bela Roth left behind his mother, Anni Roth, in Hungary and was bringing his second wife and his children to join his brother in New York City.

The Roths who made this 1907 journey were:
  • Bela Roth, age 42, occupation: "dealer"
  • Bertha Roth, age 30
  • Sandor (Alexander) Roth, age 15, occupation: shoemaker
  • Jozsef Roth, age 11
  • Imre Roth, age 6
  • Hugo Roth, age 1 year and 6 months
  • Tibar (Theodore), age 6 months
By January, 1920, the Roth family had settled into an apartment on East 19th Street in Manhattan. Bela and his son Alex were working as "operators" in a factory (typically, that meant working commercial sewing machines). Joseph was working in a garage, and the other children were in school.

According to family stories, the Roths (possibly Bela's brother) owned or managed a necktie factory. They gave my grandma Hermina Farkas a job sewing silk ties so she could help support her parents and siblings. I wonder whether Bela and his son Alex were also "operators" in a Roth-owned factory?

Two Roth cousins attended my parents' wedding in 1946, Margaret and her husband, whose name I don't know. Maybe some Roths will get in touch...