Showing posts with label Wirtschafter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wirtschafter. Show all posts

Friday, February 2, 2018

My Schwartz Ancestors Married for Love

Mary Schwartz and Teddy Schwartz (circa 1909)
My great aunt, Mary Schwartz (1891-1959) and her older brother, my grandpa Tivador "Teddy" Schwartz (1887-1965), both married for love after they came to New York. There were some bumps in the road to matrimony, but both stories (pieced together from family legends and official documents) ended with love winning the day, despite the family's initial feelings.

Teddy Schwartz met his future bride, Hermina (Minnie) Farkas (1886-1964), in a Hungarian deli on the Lower East Side. Both Teddy and Minnie had been born in Hungary and came to New York as young teens.(1) Although Minnie's family objected to the match (they thought he was a "peasant"), she insisted on seeing Teddy, then a clerk for steamship lines and insurance firms. Minnie used a signal (putting something on the clothesline) to let Teddy know that the "coast was clear" to meet.

Meanwhile, Minnie's parents tried to arrange a "more suitable" marriage. Minnie refused and threw the suitor's engagement ring out the window. After she wore her parents down, the couple was married at the Clinton Street Synagogue on Sunday, October 22, 1911. Teddy and Minnie couldn't afford a honeymoon until the late 1940s, when they retired. My grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1961.

Teddy's sister Mary Schwartz also married for love. It seems Teddy's Farkas in-laws were arranging a marriage for Mary with one of their cousins. Late in 1913, before any formal engagement, Mary met a handsome furrier, Hungarian-born Edward Wirtschafter (1889-1958). Since he was living on the Lower East Side and she was living in Jewish Harlem but working as a shirtwaist maker, I imagine they met in Manhattan's garment district (or possibly in that Hungarian deli where Teddy and Minnie met?).

Mary and Edward fell in love and within weeks, they decided to elope. On Christmas Eve of 1913, just two days before Mary's 22nd birthday, they went to City Hall and signed all the paperwork. That night, even though they were married, they went back to their own apartments and told no one. At least that's what their daughter told me.

What she didn't tell me (maybe she didn't know) was what happened four days later. On December 28, 1913, Mary and Edward had a second wedding ceremony.(2) This time, they were married by a rabbi. And this time, Mary's older brother Sam Schwartz was one of the witnesses. Possibly my grandfather Teddy was present, as well. But I don't know whether my grandma Minnie was there. She might have been miffed that Mary married a man of her own choosing rather than the Farkas cousin favored by the family. Mary, like Minnie, was determined to marry for love!

This post celebrates the Genealogy Blog Party's February theme of LOVE.

(1) According to City of Dreams by Tyler Anbinder, the Lower East Side neighborhood where Teddy and Minnie lived was a particular enclave of Hungarian Jews in the early 1900s. Teddy was from Ungvar, Hungary, and Minnie from Berehovo, Hungary. No wonder they met in a Hungarian deli.

(2) I only know about the 2d wedding ceremony because I sent for the complete set of marriage documents after learning about their availability through Reclaim the Records. Read all about it here. Well worth the $15 fee to know the full story!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Family History Month: TUVWXYZ Surnames

Edward Wirtschafter, Mary Schwartz Wirtschafter (front left), and her friend
In this last of 5 posts listing surnames being researched, I'm highlighting T-Z names in hubby's McClure/Wood tree and my Farkas/Schwartz (maternal line) and Mahler/Burk (paternal line) trees.

McClure/Wood tree:
  • T is for Taber
  • T is for Traxler
  • V is for Van Roe
  • V is for Velpel
  • W is for Welburn
  • W is for Wilt
  • W is for Wood
  • W is for Work
  • W is for Wrona
  • Z is for Zollinger
Farkas/Schwartz tree:
  • W is for Weinberger
  • W is for Weiss/Weisz
  • W is for Wirtschafter
Mahler/Burk tree:
  • V is for Venezky
  • V is for Vinokur
  • V is for Volk
  • W is for Whitelaw
  • W is for Wilner/Willner
  • W is for Wolf

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!

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!). 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday's Faces from the Past Go Home with a Granddaughter

Edward and Mary (left) with friend at Coney Island
My grandfather Teddy Schwartz and his older brother Samuel Schwartz scraped up money to bring their younger sister Mary Schwartz to New York City from their hometown of Ungvar, Hungary in November, 1906.

In 1913, Mary married Edward Wirtschafter, who founded a furrier business in the Big Apple.

More than 80 years after the photo below was taken, my cousin Harriet still remembered sitting beside her brother Burton in the studio and wearing a lovely pink chiffon dress made by her mother. They're Ed and Mary's children.







Now all these wonderful faces from the past are going home with Mary and Ed's granddaughter.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday's Faces from the Past: Mary and Edward in Coney Island

My pretty great-aunt Mary Schwartz eloped in New York City on Christmas Eve, 1913 with Edward Wirtschafter, a dapper furrier who reportedly swept her off her feet.

This photo is obviously from a different season--a season for going to the boardwalk.

Great-aunt Mary is shown at left in the front row. (Years ago, my mother identified Mary and my sis wrote a note below the photo.) Philly Cuz has positively identified Edward as the lucky man with the two gals. Alas, we don't know the other lady.

Because Philly Cuz wondered where and when the photo was taken, I dug it out and turned it over. And guess what?

It was taken at the Elite Studio in Steeplechase Park, Coney Island, NY. (Click on the link to read about the park's fascinating past.) Judging by what people are wearing, we suspect this was taken before 1920.

In searching for Mr. Goldberg, who owned the Elite Studio, I stumbled upon a post from a gentleman whose father owned the first studio on the Coney Island boardwalk. We've had an e-mail conversation and he says his dad's studio was not in Steeplechase. I'll keep looking!