|Searching for "no given name" with surname and parents|
My great-grandparents, Tillie Jacobs Mahler (185?-1952) and Meyer Mahler (1861-1910) had 7 children that I knew about, from family photos or Census records or both.
But there were a few gaps between births. One gap (late 1880s) I attributed to Meyer and Tillie arriving in New York City a year apart after leaving Eastern Europe. Were other children born during the gaps?
Checking the 1910 US Census
I returned to the 1910 Census, where Tillie said she was a widow.
As circled on the snippet above, she told the enumerator she had 10 children in all, but only 7 still living. (The 1910 Census is one of my favorites because of this question!)
In the 1900 Census, Tillie said she had 9 children in all, but only 7 still living.
The search was on for these missing Mahler children.
Searching by "no given name"
To look for children that Tillie and Meyer might have had (and lost) in America, I searched the New York City/state birth/death collections of FamilySearch and Ancestry.
These specific databases would be the most likely to have records about babies born/died from the mid-1880s to the early 1900s. The Mahlers lived nowhere other than New York City after arriving from Eastern Europe in the 1880s.
Leaving the "given or first name" field blank, I inserted "Mahler" for the surname and added Meyer Mahler as father, Tillie (no last name) as mother. I also searched for and looked at creative spellings of Mahler (such as "Maler").
The screen shot at top shows the top search results: Two Mahler boys.
Found: Two Mahler boys
The first search result was for a son named Wolf Mahler, born September 10, 1890. Unfortunately, Wolf died at the age of 3 on January 13, 1894, of "acute Bright's" (kidney disease). What makes this particularly poignant is that Wolf's mother Tillie was pregnant with her next child, born in July of 1894.
The second search result was for a baby boy named Sundel Mahler, born sometime early in 1901. He died on April 5, 1901, according to the death index, and was buried (like Wolf) in Mt. Zion Cemetery in New York.
This boy would be #10, born after 1900 (when Tillie told the Census she had 9, 7 still living) and before 1910 (when Tillie told the Census she had 10, 7 still living).
Little Sundel was the last of Tillie and Meyer Mahler's children that I can find. He was born 20 years after their first-born child (that was my Grandma Henrietta Mahler Burk).
Both Wolf and Sundel are now included on my Ancestry family tree, never again to be forgotten.
Still Searching for One Mahler Baby
The other "missing" baby is, for now, still missing, nowhere in the first 150 or so results in Ancestry and Family Search.
I've also searched Mt. Zion Cemetery, where Meyer and Tillie and the two baby boys were buried. Only a few Mahler names are long-shot possibilities. I'm going to check these names by searching for their death certs and parents. The rest of the Mahler names in this cemetery I can rule out due to the burial dates.
My guess is that the missing child was born and died in Latvia before the family left for America, but this is only a guess.
Thanks to Amy Johnson Crow for this #52Ancestors prompt.