Sunday, June 30, 2019

Who Was Bela Roth Working For? Part 2

In my most recent post, I wrote about receiving the 1924 New York City voter registration ledger for my maternal grandma's uncle and aunt, Bela Roth and Batia Bertha Weiss Roth.

Bela said his "business connection" was "Hisckowitz," at 350 E. 67 St. in Manhattan. Bearing in mind that this was NOT Bela's handwriting on the ledger, I was prepared for some other creative spelling as I searched the 1925 New York City directory.

First Stop, HeritageQuest Online

I used my library card to access the free HeritageQuest Online genealogy databases, including the 1925 New York City directory.

I entered "Bela Roth" and "Bertha Roth" as my initial search.

Surprisingly, Bela was not listed at all (not even under his sometimes Americanized name of "Bernard").

Bertha was there, at the same address as on the 1924 voter registration--328 E. 19th Street in Manhattan.

That is a bit odd, since both Bela and Bertha are at that address in the 1925 New York state census.

Creative Spelling: Haiskowit 

Next, I searched the same directory for the business connection listed by Bela Roth. I entered "Hisckowitz" but when there was none, I browsed the H section.

And as shown at top of this post, I found his employer under a creative spelling: Haiskowit.

Specifically, the listing was for Haiskowit, Myer, slsman, h. 350 e. 67th St., Apt 10. That is the exact address listed as Bela Roth's "business connection."

What kind of business? Well, in the 1925 New York Census, Bela Roth listed his occupation as "salesman," without naming any industry. He had the same occupation in the 1930 U.S. Census. And Myer "Haiskowit" says he's also a salesman. So far, no idea what kind of business they were in.

I've found several families in New York City headed by Meir or Myer Hiskowitz/Haskowitz/Huskowitz. I can't tell which might be Bela's employer, at least not yet. I'm going to try a few more research angles, including New York newspapers.

This process showed me how voter registration records can add more to the bare bones of my ancestors' lives. Thanks again to Reclaim the Records for pushing to have these documents be made more accessible.

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