Showing posts with label Shuham. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shuham. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday: Jacobs in the Plungianer Unterstutzungs Verein plot

Pauline Jacobs, daughter of Joseph Jacobs and Eva Michalovsky, was buried on the last day of 1907 in the family's plot in Mt. Zion Cemetery in Queens. Joseph Jacobs (1864-1918) was my great-great-uncle, brother of my paternal great-great-grandma Rachel Shuham Jacobs (?-1915). Pauline would have been my 1st cousin, 2x removed.

Both of Pauline's parents and my g-g-grandma Rachel are also buried* in the plot of Plungianer Unterstutzungs Verein (Plungianer Support Club). Others on my father's side of the family were born and brought up in or near Telsiai, Lithuania.

The Plungianer Support Club is listed in the American Jewish Yearbook 1900-1901 as a New York-based organization, and it was incorporated in 1890.

There were two such organizations in Manhattan, listed on the Ackerman & Ziff Family Genealogical Institute pages. More research is in my future to learn about these groups, which may still have records in existence at Jewish genealogical societies.

Name: Plungianer Unterst├╝tzungsverein
Address: 26 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002
Borough: Manhattan
Associated Towns: Plunge (Lithuania)



Name: Plungianer Unterst├╝tzungsverein
Address: 66 Essex Street, New York, NY 10002
Borough: Manhattan
Associated Towns: Plunge (Lithuania)
*PS: I just linked Pauline with her family on Find A Grave. Every time I post for Tombstone Tuesday, I'll make sure I've edited those relationship links. It's a good way to keep up with my resolution to flesh out the Find A Grave memorials for ancestors. I previously linked everyone else in Joe & Eva's family, but Pauline slipped through the cracks.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Blogiversary #8: Still Finding Cousins and Connections


Happy blogiversary to me! My very first blog entry, on August 25, 2008, was about the family of my father, Harold Burk (1909-1978). As a result of that day's research, I learned that Dad was less than a year old when his maternal grandfather, Meyer Elias Mahler (1856?-1910), died of stomach cancer.

Fast-forward 8 years and I'm still researching his family--and enjoying new connections with my cousins across North America and across the Atlantic!

Visiting with cousins this summer in Manchester, England, we discussed one of the genealogical mysteries in Dad's family. How, exactly, was my paternal grandfather, Isaac Burk (1882-1943), related to the cousins' maternal grandparents, Isaac Chazan and Hinda Mitav? We have lots of evidence that there is a definite family link...but we don't know the exact person connecting our branches of the family tree. Yet.

By the time blogiversary #9 rolls around, we may have a better idea.

Thank you, dear cousins, for sharing what you know to work on our family trees together! This means you, cousins from my side of the family (Weiss, Schwartz, Roth, Markell, Mahler, Kunstler, Farkas, Chazan, and Burk) and cousins from hubby's side (Wood, Steiner, Shank, McKibbin, McClure, Larimer, and Bentley). 

And thank you, dear readers, for being part of this genealogical journey.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Gen Go-Over: Eyes on the Prize

Yesterday, my cousin (found through genealogy, of course) said something profound that applies to this year's Genealogy Go-Over. My cousin is a brilliant businesswoman and has keen insight into people. When she talks, I listen.

She was talking about a friend who played golf very, very well. This man was a perfectionist. When he was in a tournament, he would agonize over every swing and analyze every shot afterward, going over and over what he should have done and how he could improve.

While this gentleman was trying to perfect each shot, his competitors were playing golf. And winning. His obsession with perfecting technique derailed his ability to win.

My cousin's point: Keep your eyes on the prize. She was reminding me not to miss seeing the forest by being distracted by all the trees. Every tree is important (just like every ancestor is important) but the big picture is equally important. Stepping back to see the big picture is every bit as vital as checking, sourcing, and documenting every last detail.

One of my goals is to find out about ancestors who are known only by name, like Rachel Shuham and Jonah Jacobs, who were my paternal 2d great-grandparents from Lithuania. We know Jonah died some time before Rachel and their two children and grandchildren came to New York City in the 1880s. Lots more to learn there!

So for me, the Genealogy Go-Over is really about carefully reviewing what I know and using that info, plus new cousin connections, new techniques, and new data, to move ever closer to the prize of understanding who my ancestors were, where (exactly) they were from, and whether we have other cousins out there, still to be found!

I'm awaiting DNA results from Ancestry that I hope will offer a window into a different family story, one about my maternal grandfather's background. The story is about the various tribes that conquered Hungary hundreds of years before grandpa Tivador Schwartz was born in Ungvar. The tribes raped and pillaged their way across the landscape, and supposedly some of that tribal blood found its way into my grandpa's bloodline generations back. Will my DNA results reveal any trace of the conquering tribes? Waiting to see.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Genealogy Blog Party: Time Travel Adventure with Rachel and Mary

Elizabeth O'Neal over at Little Bytes of Life is throwing a Genealogy Blog Party. Thanks, Elizabeth, for the opportunity to blog about April's theme, Time Travel to an Ancestor. I asked hubby who he would like to meet in a time travel adventure, and his answer was his paternal grandma, Mary. My answer is my paternal 2d great-grandma, Rachel.
MEETING RACHEL

My time travel adventure would be with Rachel Shuham Jacobs, shown at right. She was married to Jonah Jacobs and had two children, Tillie Jacobs Mahler and Joseph Jacobs.

As I always do when reaching out to a relative (or someone I think is a relative), I'm going to start by writing Rachel a letter. Of course I'll tell her exactly who I am--what great-great-grandma wouldn't want to know that she's remembered fondly by her family?

Dear GGG Rachel,

Greetings from the future from your great-great-granddaughter! The little girl you're holding in this photo from New York City grew up, got married, and became close friends with a young woman from the Farkas family. Set up on a blind date by these "matchmaker aunts," my parents fell in love, married, and had children--including me. 

So GGG Rachel, I would really like to bring you on a time travel adventure to meet my parents on their wedding day in 1946. Then you can hug your daughter Tillie, who as matriarch was in an honored position at the wedding. Also meet your grandchildren, including my grandma Henrietta and my great-aunt Mary, the little girl who became the matchmaker aunt. 

First, a few questions, please. Where in Lithuania were you born, and who were your parents? What was life like in your home town? How did you meet and marry your husband, Jonah? And how did you feel about leaving Lithuania to live in New York with your two children? 

When I come to pick you up, please wear something a little fancy to the wedding of your great-grandson Harold. Love, Your great-great-granddaughter

MEETING MARY

Hubby would like to meet his father's mother, Mary Slatter Wood, one of two daughters of John Slatter and Mary Shehen Slatter. Mary was born in a poor (really, really poor) area of London but left in the late 1800s for America, where she married James Edgar Wood and settled in Cleveland, Ohio. Sadly, Mary died before her sons were fully grown.

Dear Grandma Mary,

Greetings from the future. I'm the oldest son of your oldest son. I want you to know that the musical ability you brought into the Wood family has come down through the generations. Thank you!

Grandma Mary, there are some questions I wish I could ask you. What was life like growing up in London? Do you remember your mother and father? Did you have an older brother Thomas, who died young? Was your mother's death the reason your father left for America? How did you meet and marry my granddaddy? 

It would be wonderful to meet you, Grandma Mary. My plan is to travel back in time to the summer of 1917, when you and Granddaddy James and your four sons took a road trip in your new Ford auto. It looked like quite an adventure. Let me join you and see my ancestors through your eyes. Love, Your grandson

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Surname Saturday: Another Shuham Connection?

Today I received my paternal grandpa Isaac Burk's Soc Sec application, shown above. Since he was a carpenter, and usually self-employed, I was surprised to see him say he was working for the Better Model Form Company. Then again, since the company was owned by a relative, it's not really that surprising.

The real surprise was seeing that Isaac's mother's full name was Neche Gelle Shuham.

Why is this surprising? Because Shuham is the surname of Isaac's grandma-in-law.

Isaac married Henrietta Mahler, granddaughter of Rachel Shuham, in 1906. Rachel was born in Lithuania and came to New York City with her son and daughter and grandchildren in 1886. Above, the Mahler family around the turn of the century, with matriarch Rachel sitting in the center, holding a granddaughter.

According to the NYC census of 1905, Isaac and his brother Meyer Burk were "boarders" in the NYC apartment of the Mahler family, which is how Isaac met his future bride, Henrietta. Or so I suspected. Now I wonder whether it was actually a cousin connection that brought them together.

In the 1901 UK census, Isaac and his brother Abraham were living with Isaac Chazan and Isaac's wife, Hinda Ann Mitav Chazan, in Manchester. The census-taker wrote that Isaac and Abraham were nephews of the head of the household. Whose nephews? No sign of them in the Chazan family. I thought possibly they were Hinda's nephews, but maybe not, if Isaac's mother's maiden name was Shuham.

More research is in my future. And more Social Security applications for ancestors!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: The Three Death Dates of Joe Jacobs

My great-grand uncle Joseph Jacobs (son of great-great-grandma Rachel Shuham and great-great-grandpa Jonah Jacobs, married to Eva Mikalovsky) was a brick wall for years. Great-aunt Ida (sister to my grandma Henrietta Mahler Burk) kept a notebook of birth/death dates and she wrote that Joe, her uncle, died on November 22, 1919.

Well, not exactly, but now I understand why that date stuck in her mind.

Only last month, I located Joe in Mount Zion Cemetery, Queens, NY, with a death date of November 3, 1918 (Findagrave #81028376). That death date was confirmed by his New York City death cert. 

Today the cemetery sent me a photo of Joe's headstone, which says he died on November 22, 1918.

Why three death dates for Joe Jacobs?

The answer has to do with the Hebrew calendar. Elsewhere in Great-aunt Ida's notebook, she records death dates according to day and month in the Hebrew calendar. So I checked two of the death dates of Joe Jacobs (Nov. 3, 1918 and Nov. 22, 1919) and it turns out that both are the 29th of Cheshvan. That's what the stone says, too (on the line just above Joe's name in English).

Because of the tradition of erecting the gravestone one year after someone passes away, Great-aunt Ida apparently used that later date as Joe's date of death. And the stonecarver who created Joe's stone was obviously given the Hebrew calendar date in 1918, not the secular date, which is why the stone says November 22nd.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sympathy Saturday: Sad Times for My Jacobs Family, 1915-1923

A few weeks ago, I was able to locate the final resting place of my 70-year-old great-great-grandma Rachel Shuham Jacobs plus her 65-year-old son Joseph Jacobs, his 70-year-old wife Eva Michalovsky Jacobs, and Eva & Joseph's 30-year-old daughter Flora Jacobs. All were buried at Mt. Zion cemetery in Queens, NY.

Rather than go to NYC or send to the Municipal Archives for their death certificates, I ordered the microfilms from the Family History Library--half the price and much faster than going the official route.

Now I know that my Jacobs family had a stretch of sad times from 1915 to 1923. First, in 1915, the matriarch (Rachel Shuham Jacobs) died of liver problems. (Her death cert, above, also tells me her parents' names were Moses ___ and Sarah Levin, new info.)

In November, 1918, Rachel's son Joseph, a tailor by trade but later a janitor, died of paralysis agitans (Parkinson's disease) at Montefiore Home & Hospital in the Bronx.

Meanwhile, Rachel's grandson (Joseph's son) Frank Maurice/Moritz Jacobs had been serving in WWI since he enlisted on April 18, 1917. He participated in a number of fierce battle engagements in France, including Toulon, the Aisne Defensive and Aisne-Marne Offensive, and the Battle of Chateau-Thierry (under the overall command of "Black Jack" Pershing, see map at right). Corporal Jacobs was wounded in France on July 19, 1918 and brought to New York for treatment on August 20, 1918. Probably Frank was able to attend his father's funeral that November because he wasn't sent to Virginia for additional recuperation and treatment until 1919. 

According to the 1920 Census, Frank Jacobs was at home with his widowed mother Eva and his two sisters, Hilda and Flora. Frank's "occupation" was "wounded soldier" (see excerpt above). His sisters, both in their 20s, were breadwinners for the family, Flora working as an operator on knitted goods and Hilda as a stenographer in insurance.

Sadly, in 1923, Flora (aka Florence) died of rheumatic endocarditis (infection of the heart after rheumatic fever). She was buried in the same plot as her father Joseph and her grandmother Rachel. Eva Michalovsky Jacobs lived on until 1941, and is also buried in the same plot.


So 1915-1923 was quite a difficult period for the Jacobs family.

With all this new info, I decided to create a new ancestor landing page for Rachel and Jonah Jacobs. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Surname Saturday: GGGM Rachel Jacobs and the Plungianer Unterstutzungs Verein

Finally, I've located where in Lithuania my great-great-grandma Rachel Shuham Jacobs (1840s-1915) came from and where in NYC she spent her last days.

Both Rachel's early years and her whereabouts after the 1905 NY Census have been mostly a mystery. In 1905, Rachel was living at 88 Chrystie Street with her daughter, Tillie Jacobs Mahler (and her son Joseph lived in the same tenement).

The only clues to her death (and those of her son) were dates listed in my great aunt's notebook. Alas, those dates weren't exactly correct, as I learned by plugging them into various sites (including the usual suspects like Ancestry, ItalianGen.org, Family Search, and Findagrave).

As part of the Genealogy Do-Over, I tried not only different spellings (Jacob/Jacobs, Rachel/Rachael, etc.) but also different years of death, sometimes using the same month as my great aunt listed.
Rachel Shuham Jacobs with a Mahler granddaughter

Findagrave came up with a hit for Rachel Jacobs in Mount Zion Cemetery in Queens, NY, with a burial date that was only one year off from the family notebook

Happily for me and other genealogy researchers, the cemetery has a handy-dandy interment search linked from its home page. And that's where I located GGGM Rachel, buried in the Plungianer Unterstutzungs Verein [translation: Plungianer Support Club] plot. She's there along with her son Joseph Jacobs (d. 1918), daughter-in-law Eva Michalovsky Jacobs (d. 1941), and granddaughter Flora Jacobs (aka Florence, d. 1923).

Now it seems clear that GGGM Rachel was born or  brought up in the Plungian district of Telz, Lithuania, close to the border with Poland. That area had a Jewish population of nearly 2,200 when she was born in the 1840s, according to the informative Lithuanian Jewish Communities. We have other evidence linking Rachel and family to Lithuania, just nothing that gives us a specific town.

Of course I called the cemetery and received scans of the burial cards, which gave me exact dates and, in some cases, death cert numbers for the Jacobs family. Rachel's card says that her last address was 47 Allen Street in Manhattan, a now-gone tenement on the Lower East Side (see map at top). This is only 3 blocks from her Chrystie Street address in 1905, also on the Lower East Side.

Next, I ordered the death certs on microfilms from the Family History Center. Before the month of March is over, I should know more about my Jacobs ancestors, thanks to New York's vital records. And when the snow finally melts, I'll have photos of the Jacobs headstones!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wishful Wednesday: Where Art Thou, Great-Great-Grandma Rachel Jacobs?


At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I wish I could find the death date and final resting place of my great-great-grandma, Rachel Shuham Jacobs.
 Background: Born in Russia (or Eastern Europe) and widowed with two children, Rachel came to New York City in 1886. I found her at 88 Chrystie Street in Manhattan in the 1900 US Census, living with her daughter Tillie Jacobs Mahler and Tillie's family. She doesn't appear in the 1905 New York Census, the 1910 US Census, or the 1915 New York Census (or if she's there, I've been unable to find her--looking for Jacob, Jacobs, or Jacoby, plus looking for her two children). 
According to one of her granddaughters, Rachel died in December, 1916, but so far, I've found no trace of her. I'd like to know more about her and visit her grave. I've checked possibilities at ItalianGen.org and ordered some microfilms from FamilySearch, showing New York City deaths in 1914-16.

Above are snippets from two death certs I viewed on these microfilms today. Neither seems to be MY Rachel, sorry to say. Where art thou, great-great-grandma?

UPDATE: Rechecking my search, Rachel is definitely NOT in the households of either of her two children in 1905. Nor is she with either in 1910. (Of course Joe Jacobs isn't with his wife Eva in 1910, when she and 4 children were living in Brooklyn...she said she was married, and he must have been at work.)

BUT: In the 1905 NY Census I was sad to find a Rachel Jacobs, age 60 (a little younger than I expected), from Austria (not Russia?) in the Manhattan State Hospital on Ward's Island. The area for "where inmate lived before coming to the institution" is left blank for every patient in this hospital. Too bad for me. Even sadder for her.

Is it possible Rachel was in a hospital or institution for years after 1900? And stayed there until her death? Unfortunately, that would explain why she wasn't with either of her children in any of the NY or US censuses after 1900. Still not giving up!

Friday, September 5, 2014

52 Ancestors #34: Rachel Shuham Jacobs--Granny of 13, Great-Granny of 8+

Rachel and a Mahler granddaughter (before 1910)
My 2d great-grandma, Rachel Shuham Jacobs (?-1916), was the Russian- (or Latvian-) born matriarch of my father's family. She lived to see 13 grandchildren and at least 8 great-grandkids--with even more great-grandkids born after she died.

Rachel and her husband Julius/Jonah Jacobs had two children (that I know of): My great-grandma, Tillie Jacobs (1857?-1952), and my grand-uncle, Joe Jacobs (1864-1919). Joe left home in 1882, arriving in New York to scout out possibilities for the family.

Rachel was widowed sometime before 1886, when she came to New York with her daughter Tillie Jacobs Mahler and Tillie's growing family. 

If only the 1890 Census hadn't burned up, I'd know a bit more about Rachel and her children and grandchildren. The first and only Census record I have for Rachel is in 1900, when she's living in the 88 Christie Street apartment of her daughter Tillie and son-in-law Meyer Mahler. Down the hall, in the same building, lived Rachel's son Joe Jacobs and his family.

I'll keep looking for Rachel in the 1905 NY Census, but so far, no luck. Another avenue to explore is the New York City directory for Manhattan. Maybe her name will be listed for some year between 1887 and 1916?

According to Rachel's granddaughter Ida, who kept a detailed book of names and dates, Rachel died in December of 1916. Alas, I've never been able to find Rachel's burial place or even a death cert. I came close once or twice, and I'll keep looking. Meanwhile, here's to you, Matriarch Rachel!

Monday, January 20, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #3: What Happened to Joe Jacobs?

Great-grand uncle Joe Jacobs (1864-1919?) is one of two children of my great-grandma Rachel Shuham Jacobs (?-abt 1916). Joe was born somewhere in Russia and arrived in New York in 1882, according to his naturalization papers.

But what happened to Joe after 1905? He seems to disappear from official records, although family notes say he died in 1919. Sometimes his surname was recorded as "Jacob," sometimes as "Jacobs," which only complicates my search for Uncle Joe.

In 1900, Joe was living at 88 Christie Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, in the same apartment building as his mother and his brother-in-law Mayer Mahler. Joe's occupation was peddler (above).

In 1905, Joe was still living at 88 Christie Street, now shown as the janitor (at right).

But after that, his wife Eva Michaelovsky Jacobs and the children are shown by themselves, living in Brooklyn, in the 1910 US Census and the 1915 NY Census. No Joe in either of these records.

In the 1920 Census, Eva Jacobs is listed as a widow living in Brooklyn. Where did Joe Jacobs spend the time between 1905 and his death in about 1919? If he registered for WWI, I can't find his paperwork. But I'm still on Joe's trail!

PS Joe Jacobs was naturalized on 25 October 1888 by the Common Pleas Court of New York County (see above image of index). How to obtain his actual papers? NARA doesn't seem to be the right place for a NY state court. UPDATE: These papers were not much help, only saying what the index card said (see below).
*I received an excellent comment from Steve, who says:
"Copies of local court naturalization records in New York City from 1792-1906 are held by the New York branch of the National Archives. So you should be able to order a copy of a naturalization by the New York County Common Pleas Court from the National Archives website.

However, I don't think the Joe Jacobs from the naturalization index card is the same person as your Joe Jacobs.  I checked both the 1900 and 1905 census records mentioned above.  In the 1900 census it says that Joe had only filed first papers and had not become a citizen yet. In the 1905 census he's listed as an alien.  So I don't think he could be the same person who naturalized in Oct. 1888."
Steve has a very good point--and I also appreciate knowing that I can order this naturalization from the National Archives website. I have to investigate further, but since the Joe Jacobs on the index card was living at 49 Clinton Street, and that's the exact address where Joe and Eva were living when they married in 1890, my guess is there's some connection worth pursuing. Thank you, Steve! UPDATE: As shown above, the papers provided no other information, unfortunately, so the hunt continues.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Genealogy Priorities: Birk, Mahler, Jacobs Families

Happy new year! It's time to set new genealogy goals. Here are the brick walls I want to break down in 2013, from my side of the family tree:

Obituary of David Mahler, died 30 May 1964
  • Mahler. Meyer Mahler, my g-grandpa, told authorities that he arrived in New York City on 27 May 1885. Which ship? He's NOT on the manifest of the S.S. Wisconsin, which arrived on that date, I know from "browsing" passenger lists on FamilySearch. But he may have come on a different day in that year, so more research is in my future. (I've started a new "family tab" about Meyer, see just below my blog header.) His wife Tillie Jacobs Mahler seems to have arrived in 1886 with their children, Henrietta Mahler (my grandma) and David Mahler. Again, no luck finding them yet, but I'm gonna keep looking. Speaking of David Mahler (see 1964 obit above), he told Census officials he was married (in the 1940 Census). Who was his wife, and where/when were they married?? This is a mystery. One more Mahler mystery: When/where was David naturalized?
  • Burk or Birk. I'm still on the trail of grandpa Isaac Birk's siblings, and in search of more info about his parents and place of birth (for a summary of Isaac's story, see tab just below the blog header). According to the 1905 NY Census, he and a possible brother, Meyer Birk, were boarders in the Manhattan apartment of Meyer Mahler and family (soon to be Isaac's inlaws, since married Henrietta Mahler). Meyer was listed in the Census as a "cutter" which makes sense, since Meyer was a tailor.
  • Jacobs. Meyer Mahler's wife, Tillie Rose Jacobs, is something of a mystery. According to family legend, she fooled her children into giving her a 100th birthday party early. No one knows how old she really was, a question I want to clear up. Also, what can I learn about her parents, Julius (Jonah) Jacobs and Rachel Shuham, back in Latvia? I'll create a "Jacobs" family tab soon to summarize what I know.