Showing posts with label Daisy Schwartz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Daisy Schwartz. Show all posts

Monday, May 28, 2018

Write Family History Now, Add or Change Later

Thinking about writing your family history? There's no time like the present. Anything you write will be a real gift to your family and to future generations, whether you write about a special family photo or trace the life of a matriarch or patriarch.

If all you have is a photo and the names of some or all of those pictured, you've got enough to make a good start. The goal is to write as much as you know about who, what, when, where, why, and how. Today, you may only know "who" and "when" but tomorrow, when you discover "where" or "when," you can add that to your write-up or make corrections.

Always ask family members for help. Many times, cousins can identify people we've never seen or met. Photos can also trigger recall of a family story that adds color and personality to the family history.

Here's a photo taken at the NYC wedding of my parents, Daisy Schwartz (1919-1981) and Harold Burk (1909-1978). When I was writing about their courtship and marriage, I asked several cousins to help identify the wedding guests. Unfortunately, we identified only four of my mother's maternal aunts and uncles shown here. Still, I kept moving ahead with my write-up.

A few weeks later, one cousin suddenly remembered the name of the lady seated fourth from the right. Based on this new info, I located the lady's son and ultimately connected his branch to my great-grandma's family tree in Hungary. Because of my cousin's memory, I now have more names, relationships, and stories to add to my family history.

Never give up! Eventually, we identified the last two "unknowns" in this photo as more cousins on my mother's side.

Please, do the "write" thing for the sake of future generations. There's no time like the present for starting on this gift to the descendants of our ancestors.

NOTE: This is part of my series about writing family history:

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Wishful Wednesday: More DNA Adventures Ahead

My mom, about 1939
Yesterday I checked for new DNA matches on Ancestry, and happily, a new match appeared. One I wished for and waited for. Finally!

My cousin L's DNA results confirm the paper trail and photo evidence linking us. He's my 2d cousin, 1x removed. His parents were at my parents' wedding (the photo shows them sitting at a table with other cousins from the Farkas family).

Just as important, he is also a close match with other relatives who I know are from my mother's side of the family.

Next step: Ask cousin L to upload the results to so I can analyze in more detail and look for additional matches. By the time I speak at the International Jewish Genealogy Conference later in the month, I should have a number of kit numbers to compare with other attendees.

More DNA adventures are ahead as I dig deeper into cM values and chromosome details.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend Wedding, Mom & Dad

Above, my mother (Daisy Schwartz) being walked down the aisle at New York's Hotel McAlpin by her father, Teddy Schwartz. She and Dad (Harold Burk) were married on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend in 1946.

Mom wore a gold lame dress, matching shoes, and a simple headdress. At right, she's in her wedding outfit, topped by her stylish new Persian lamb coat.

Dad and all the men wore handsome double-breasted suits, the height of postwar fashion.

After the lunchtime wedding, Daisy's aunt Ella gave a party that included most if not all of the bride's Farkas Family Tree. The tired but happy couple eventually boarded a train for their Atlantic City honeymoon!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wedding Wednesday: Hello to My Farkas Relatives

From the 1946 wedding album of Daisy Schwartz and Harold Burk, who got married at the Hotel McAlpin in New York City, here are some photos of my Farkas side of the family, showing my grand-aunts and -uncles and lots of cousins.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Matrilineal Monday: 1920s School Days in the Bronx

Late in 1984, my aunt Dorothy Schwartz wrote my sis a letter enclosing a newspaper article about her alma mater P.S. 62 at 660 Fox Street, which at the time was "an island of stability in a crumbling neighborhood" of the Bronx, according to the New York Times. P.S. 62 served students in K-4 in 1984 and K-5 today (left), but then it had one of the highest student turnover rates in the city.

My aunt's comments:
P.S. 62 was the elementary school we attended, only then it ran to the 6th grade. I never knew the area was in the South Bronx; I did know it had been renamed Fort Apache. To me, the South Bronx was below 149th St.!
Auntie Dorothy, her twin Daisy (my mom), and their older brother Fred were born in the apartment building across the street from P.S. 62, at 651 Fox Street. Their parents, Minnie Farkas Schwartz and Teddy Schwartz, moved every few years during the 1920s, but always stayed in the neighborhood.

My aunt remembers that after 651 Fox, they lived on Leggett Ave., a few steps away from Teddy's Dairy (my Grandpa's grocery store), which today is a hop, skip, and jump from Bruckner Blvd. Later, the family moved to 712 Fox Street. Finally, they settled at 672 Beck Street, around the corner from Teddy's Dairy store, where they stayed for many years until everyone was grown and my grandparents retired.

Now for some class photos of Daisy and Dorothy at P.S. 62 during the 1920s. Sorry, no notes about which twin is which. Note that the kindergarten class, in a photo taken around Halloween, has more than 30 students. Looking at the other photos, the classes are even larger!
Kindergarten: Daisy and Dorothy are in identical outfits and haircuts with bangs, center of 2d row, with a jack o'lantern between them

Second grade: Daisy and Dorothy at left of center, in matching outfits and haircuts again. Poster at far right is for American Junior Red Cross.
The twins were apparently separated during fourth grade. This is class 413--the twin is in closeup, below.
Dorothy or Daisy in class 413

Class 407, with the other Schwartz twin (along left wall, see closeup below).
Daisy or Dorothy in class 407

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sentimental Sunday: Mom & Dad's Bermuda Honeymoon

Mom (Daisy Schwartz) and Dad (Harold Burk) were married in late November, 1946, and immediately went on honeymoon to Bermuda. No swimsuits on that trip: It was cool, as you can see from my mother's warm coat, but good weather for a horse-drawn carriage ride and a honeymoon hug.

Below, Mom getting her flowers ready for the wedding ceremony. Wish I had even a small bit of her gold lame dress as a keepsake, but it fell apart many, many years ago (well before today's preservation techniques!).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Twins in Two Generations

Above is a photo of my mother Daisy Schwartz and her twin sister Dorothy Schwartz, taken when they were almost 3 years old. No notation of who's who...or where it was taken.

And below is a photo of me and my twin sister, taken when we were a year old. Again, no notation of who's who, but by family tradition, it's assumed that the twin with her mouth open must be me :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Matrilineal Monday: Daisy's Ticket to College (unpunched for 30+ years)

My mother, Daisy Schwartz, graduated from James Monroe High School in the Bronx, NY in January, 1936, at age 16. She didn't get this "college entrance diploma" until June, 1936, because (1) she had to pass statewide exams in certain subjects and (2) the state education department had to certify her coursework.

In those days, an academic diploma was required for college entrance in New York state. To get such a diploma, the high school grad had to have passed exams representing 4 years of English, 3 years of a language (hers was French), and intermediate algebra, plane geometry, and American history. Notice that no science was required, luckily for Mom. She went straight to work to help the household (this was, after all, during the Depression) and so her twin, Dorothy Schwartz, could go to Hunter College in New York. (Her older brother had already graduated college by that time.)

Nearly 35 years later, Mom returned to college to accumulate credits and earn raises, as a school secretary. She enjoyed the literature courses, in particular, but often said she would not go for a degree because she could never pass the science or math courses. Working during the day, going to classes in the evening, and studying at night was no picnic but she did it! And she insisted that every one of her children go to college (which we all did, and then some).

Daisy's matriarchal line: Daisy Schwartz's mother was Hermina Farkas Schwartz (1886-1964); Hermina's mother was Lena Kunstler Farkas (1865-1938); Lena's mother's name in NagyBereg, Hungary (now Berehi, Ukraine) was Toby Roth.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mystery Monday: Daisy at the Revlon Dance, 1941

On May 17, 1941, Revlon Products Corp. held its 4th Annual Dance at the Hotel Roosevelt in New York City. Art Paulson & his orchestra entertained.

Here's the mystery: My mother saved this panoramic photo for decades, rolled up in a tube as it was mailed to her from DK Relopf (or D Krelopf), 444 E. 98 St., Brooklyn, NY. I've cropped the photo in half so the faces can be seen a bit better.

Sure enough, Mom (Daisy Schwartz) is in this photo. Like nearly every other lady, she's wearing a flowered dress. She also has on a corsage. Did she come as the date of someone who works at Revlon? (Maybe the light-haired young man on her left side?) Did she work there for a time? She was a typist, stenographer, and secretary during these years. At 22 years old, she had been earning a living for several years while her twin sister Dorothy attended Hunter College.

Reading through the letters written to Mom by her friends during this time period, I have only one possibility for a boyfriend, "Dave." That would fit the first initial of the person who sent Mom this photo (alas, no readable postmark on the mailing tube).

Below, an excerpt from a letter to Mom, dated in August, 1941, about Dave (who seems to have squired Mom around town to some nice places). My guess is that the "Dave" incident was a kiss. It's a mystery!

Was glad to hear from you again and doubly happy to hear about the “Dave” incident. How does it stand now? Do you feel any differently to him now? Evidently he does to you! Hold on to him for the present anyway. The Spanish Gardens and Radio City aren’t to be laughed at, you know.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sentimental Sunday: The Salad Scoopers That Returned Home

Fourteen months ago, my 2d cousin Lois found me through this blog. We saw each other twice this year, both times at happy family occasions (one in her immediate family and one in mine). It has been such a joy getting to know her and her family!

Now I'm going through my photos looking for connections between our branches of the family tree, and here are two, along with the story of the salad set that went from my part of the family to hers and back again.

Lois's grandma was Ida Mahler Volk, shown above at far left with my mother, Daisy Schwartz, who was then engaged to marry my father, Harold Burk, Ida's nephew. Ida (my great-aunt) is shown alone in the photo at the right, quite a glamorous lady IMHO.

Both of these photos were taken in July 1946, when Daisy and Harold, then engaged for six months, flew to Washington, D.C. to visit with the Volks. (They flew because Harold was a travel agent and this was one of the perks at the time.*)

Ida was extremely close to her sister Henrietta Mahler, my father's mother, and Lois has several stories about the sisters' love for and generosity toward each other.

Lois also told me that Harold and Daisy brought a house gift to Ida and Louis when they visited: A lucite/stainless steel salad set with a big bowl and a serving scooper, very "mid-century modern" in today's language of style. That set was used and enjoyed for many, many years and Lois inherited it, along with the story.

Now fast-forward to my niece's wedding last month. Lois gifted the happy couple with this very set of salad utensils, a wonderful, sentimental reminder of the ties that connect the generations of our family.

My niece never met her grandparents, Daisy and Harold--they died long before she was born--but now she's the delighted caretaker of this salad set, which has come back to the Burk part of the family after 65 years. Thank you, Lois!

*How do I know they flew? These photos were in a photo album in a series that starts with a photo of Daisy and Harold on the staircase leading off a plane. That photo is marked "July 1946, Washington, D.C." The photos with Ida are only a page or so beyond. Thank you, Daisy, for marking these so clearly!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

52 Weeks of Genealogy: Clothes--Double Trouble!

My mother, Daisy Schwartz Burk, was a twin (see the toddlers in the older photo below, in which Mom is probably the smiling girl on the right side, next to her older sister, Dorothy Schwartz). She was often dressed exactly like her fraternal twin, not just for photos. Not surprisingly, Mom wasn't a big fan of matching outfits, because they seemed like a gimmick to show off "twin-ness."

That's why Mom rarely dressed me and my fraternal twin alike. The exception was on special occasions such as when we were going to be photographed by a pro (see the pony-tailed youngsters at right, below). The 99% of our wardrobe that we wore to school and for play did NOT consist of matching outfits--which meant we could share clothing and mix and match from a much larger selection. 

As children, my twin and I would (once in a while) dress like the other and try to fool people, just for the fun of it. Usually we got away with it for an hour or two. Growing up, we valued our separate identities and made separate friends. We remember our mother and aunt talking on the phone every night, so it's no wonder that my twin and I call each other just about every day.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Military Monday: A WWII Officer Answers Mom's Note

On Memorial Day, my thoughts turn to family members who've served our country in the military. Looking for a photo to scan and post, I chanced across this letter written to my mother (the then-unmarried Daisy Schwartz) on April 17, 1945. 

The writer, Major A. Schn___(illegible), showed a return address of Northington General Hospital in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Although the hospital no longer exists, it was a major war-time medical center specializing in plastic surgery. 

I don't know whether AS was recuperating or on staff, but he clearly knew Mom from an office job she had during the war. This is the only letter AS ever wrote her (if there were others, they haven't survived), but it speaks volumes about his longing for an end to the war and his knowledge that my mother hoped to settle down and marry some day soon. She was 25 at the time AS wrote, and her first date with Dad (Harold Burk) was still six months in the future.

Here's what Major AS wrote:

Dear Daisy,

What a pleasant surprise it was to read your most welcome note at the end of your boss' letter. And to learn that you still like me made the outlook in this war-torn world much brighter for me. Now wouldn't these words sound swell if they came from a single, unattached fellow? Trouble is there are too many men off to war, and the rest haven't been lucky enough to meet you yet. Perhaps at your new job there'll be plenty of eligible men around to recognize your charm. Then you'll need a bat to keep them in line.
     So you're really going to leave Charlie Phillips? He'll surely miss you, I know, and the office just won't be the same. But you must know what you're doing. So good luck! Let me know where you locate and what happens to you. Maybe I'll find your Prince Charming for you and I won't know where to send him.
     Best regards to you, Charlie, and Freddie. Here's hoping you have a swell vacation. Take a rest for me too. 

     Cordially,  AS