Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Keep Redoing Searches--New Ancestors May Pop Up!

Transcribed death record for Sundel Mahler
Knowing that new info is constantly being transcribed, indexed, and posted on genealogy websites, I regularly redo searches on my ancestors. Not every name, of course, but definitely those in my direct line and sometimes aunts or uncles or cousins or even in-laws whose lives I'm trying to flesh out.

Finding New Members of the Mahler Family 

Last year I was redoing searches for my great-grandma Tillie Jacobs Mahler and great-grandpa Meyer Elias Mahler, and their children. That led me to find on FamilySearch.org a death record for their three-year-old son, Wolf, who died of "acute Bright's disease" (liver problems). Neither I nor any of my Mahler cousins had ever heard of Wolf. But the death cert (visible only at a Family History Center) was quite clear and proved that Wolf was, indeed, a son of my great-grandparents.

Today, I redid that search for Tillie and Meyer--and found yet another death record for a previously-unknown son who died at an even younger age. The transcription is shown above. I have to get to the FHC to view the death cert in person, but based on the transcribed info, not just names but also the street address, little baby Sundel* Mahler would have been my great uncle if he had grown up.

Sadly, the baby died within weeks of his birth. He's buried in Mount Zion Cemetery, with a burial date of April 7, 1901, in the Sons of Telsh plot. That's where my great-grandparents were laid to rest. Another strong piece of evidence in favor of Sundel being part of my Mahler family.

Baby Is Buried in Telsh Plot--Somewhere


Search of Mahler interments in Sons of Telsh plot, Mt. Zion Cemetery, NY
I've visited Meyer and Tillie Mahler's graves in Mt. Zion Cemetery. The headstones are very crowded and it's not at all easy to navigate to and between plots. So it's not surprising that I never noticed baby Sundel somewhere in that plot.

As shown above in the interment search results, he is in the plot but he is not in a designated grave. Sometimes infants were buried with either a tiny marker or in a part of the plot where other babies are buried. This is very likely what happened in the case of Sundel Mahler.

More Evidence: Census Data 

In the 1900 U.S. Census, Meyer and Tillie said they had 9 children in all, but only 7 were living at the time of that Census. Wolf was one of the two who died. The other child who died may have been born in the old country, during the multi-year gap I noticed between the births of early children and the time the family arrived in America. That's my working hypothesis.

In the 1910 U.S. Census, Meyer Mahler had died a few days before the enumerator came around. Widow Tillie told the Census that she had 10 children in all, but only 7 were living at the time of the Census. Now I can account for that one more child--baby Sundel Mahler, born and died after the 1900 Census but before the 1910 Census.

Never Give Up! 

Keep redoing searches--new ancestors can and do pop up as more records are added to online collections, transcribed, and indexed! That's how I found baby Sundel and baby Wolf. More ancestors are certainly waiting to be found if I continue to redo my searches. Never give up.

* I'm told "Zundel" in Yiddish means "small boy."

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