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."


  1. This reminds me of my mother-in-law knowing that the Singers were related to the Segals (her maternal grandmother's family). It wasn't until I connected with a DNA match that I figured out how. See Connecting with a Segal Cousin.

  2. Just read your post and it is very much like my situation! Did you ever check the gravestone to confirm the name?? Thanks for your comments, always appreciated.

    1. We (4th cousin and I - here in Massachusetts) are looking for someone to fulfill a FindAGrave photo request at Har Nebo Cemetery in Philadelphia. (Or one or both of us will plan to visit Philadelphia to find the gravestone to see her ancestor's father's name)

    2. Sadly, I'm nowhere near or I'd help you! I see on F-A-G that more than 100 photo requests are outstanding for this cemetery. Oh, dear.

    3. Elizabeth:
      Have you considered calling Har Nebo? I have found most cemeteries are willing to take a photo of a stone for a nominal fee (about $10-15). Often it's worth it.
      Another alternative is to ask, via the JewishGen Discussion Group, is anyone will be heading to Har Neb and would be willing to take a photo for you.

    4. Yes Emily, I should just call Har Nebo (or ask in a few of the FB groups I belong to). If this stone has the father's name I'm hoping for, it will merit a blog post!

  3. Marian, we never know where we will find that link, that missing piece of the puzzle that will answer our questions. We just keep trying every source we know till the answer reveals itself. Great research!

    1. So right, Colleen! This is a breakthrough but only one step in figuring out how these folks are related to ME! Loving the journey, even if I never reach the "destination." Thanks for your comment!