Showing posts with label Weiss. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Weiss. 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!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday: Ida Farkas and Herman Weiss

Ida Farkas, a cousin of my Grandma Minnie Farkas, was born in Botpalad, Hungary (where many Farkas ancestors were from).

She married Herman Weiss and, with four children, they came to New York just after the turn of the 20th century. Soon they had two more children together. Herman worked as a presser in the garment district.

Unfortunately, Ida died of pneumonia in 1924, at the age of 52; Herman lived another 19 years.

Ida's stone shows a candelabra, which is often included on a Jewish woman's headstone. Herman's stone shows a pitcher, which is associated with the Levi tribe. More on Jewish symbols and reading headstones here

Both are buried in Montefiore Cemetery ("Old Montefiore") in Queens, NY. Thinking of these cousins on Tombstone Tuesday.


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.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

110 Years Ago Today, Great-Grandpa Farkas Became a US Citizen

Moritz Farkas (1857-1936), my maternal great-grandpa, was born in Botpalad, Hungary. He arrived alone at Ellis Island on August 8, 1899, seeking to escape debts after hail destroyed his crops, and make a fresh start in NYC for his growing family. Great-grandma followed him a year later, temporarily leaving her children in Hungary with their Kunstler grandma.

Although it was great-grandpa's fond wish to have a more rural life (by farming in the Midwest rather than living in the concrete canyons of New York City), great-grandma Lena Kunstler Farkas (1865-1938) knew she had daughters to marry off. She insisted they live near a ready pool of suitable suitors in the big city. So they stayed put in NYC, moving from Manhattan to the Bronx, which was then a suburban-type area.

Great-grandpa took the oath of US citizenship on June 21, 1906 and his naturalization was filed on June 22, 1906. His witness was Sam Weiss, a real estate dealer. The Weiss name is intertwined with the Farkas and Schwartz families of my mother's family tree, as well as with the names of other cousins like Weiman and Roth, but whether Sam was a relative or an in-law or a colleague, I don't yet know.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Saluting Relatives Who Served Our Country

For Veterans' Day 2015, I wrote (again) about my father and uncle, Harold and Sidney Burk, who served in the US Army during WWII. Also my aunt, Dorothy Schwartz, who was a WAC in WWII, and my uncle, Fred Shaw, who was in the US Army in WWII.

Now I want to honor other relatives who served our country during the world wars.

Let me start with my great uncle Louis Volk, whose service seems particularly dangerous because he was in munitions factories during 1918. Louis married my paternal great-aunt Ida Mahler in 1920 and was a close member of the family, helping my father get a leg up on his career before WWI.


My maternal grandma Farkas's cousin, Johnny Weiss, was also in WWI. His service "CAC" stands for US Army's Coast Artillery Corps.

My two Farkas great-uncles, Julius and Morris Farkas, were in WWI, even though Julius registered as a conscientious objector. Julius served as a cook in the war, while Morris processed new recruits and discharged vets for the US Army.

Farkas in-law Milton Grossman (who married great-aunt Irene Farkas) served in the Infantry during WWI. Farkas in-law Morris Pitler (who married great-aunt Freda Farkas) was also in the Army Coast Artillery Corps during WWI, serving as a radio sgt.

Farkas cousins and cousins-in-law who served in WWII included George Farkas and his brother Bob Farkas, Abe Ezrati, and Harry Pitler.

On my maternal grandfather's side, his nephew, Morton M. Schwartz, served in WWII.

Thank you to these relatives who served during wartime.

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, 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!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Those Places Thursday: In Search of Farkas Connections in Botpalad

My maternal great-grandpa, Moritz Farkas (1857-1936), was born in Botpalad, Hungary (shown circled in red with a black arrow, above). This is an area still considered part of Hungary but very close to the borders of modern-day Ukraine and Romania (two red arrows at far right).

Moritz's parents were Ferencz Farkas and Hermina Gross. Farkas is a common name in Hungary, but we know we're definitely connected in some cousiny way with another branch of the Farkas family.

The young granddaughter of Ida Farkas Weiss (1873-1924) was at my parents' wedding in New York City and she vividly remembers attending Farkas Family Tree meetings in NYC during the 1940s and into the 1950s. She and her parents were known to be cousins, but nobody told the younger generation exactly how we were related.
Today I want to look at Ida Farkas's niece, Gizella Steinberger, who was the daughter of Josephine "Pepi" Farkas and Noe Steinberger and the granddaughter of Elek and Roszi Farkas. I'm guessing that Elek Farkas was the brother of Ferencz Farkas. That would make Gizella my 2d cousin, 2x removed.

Born in Botpalad on November 6, 1898, Gizella Steinberger arrived at Ellis Island in December, 1923, and applied for U.S. citizenship in 1926.

In 1929, Gizella married Irving Huppert (1900-1982). They were living at 1821 Davidson Ave. in the Bronx when she became a naturalized U.S. citizen, as shown on this index card.

Gizella and Irving had two children and lived into their late 80s. They are buried at Mount Hebron Cemetery in Queens. I'm going to "edit" the relationships of each on Find A Grave to show husband and wife, and include their dates and places of birth.

Still searching for more Farkas connections from Botpalad, Hungary!

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?

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.