August 25th, 2016

storyteller doll

Genealogy Update

The other thing I did when I was up in New York was visit two cemeteries with my uncle Herb. We started at Montefiore, specifically old Montefiore, in Springfield, Queens. That’s where a lot of my mother’s family members are buried and we started with the plot for the Congregation Sons of Jacob Tiktiner Young Men, which is a burial society for people from Tykocin, Poland (which is Tiktin in Yiddish).

My grandfather, Simon LUBOWSKY is buried right in front, with an empty space next to him. My grandmother, Lillian, who died several years before him, is further back. Apparently, the intent was for his second wife to be buried next to Grandpa, but she’s actually in a different burial society (and possibly a different cemetery). According to Herb, she lived to be over 100, but I searched after the visit, and she was only 99 when she died just a couple of years ago. That also shows her as Rose ROSENBERG LUBOWSKY. I am not sure if ROSENBERG was her maiden name or the name of her first husband. The story, by the way, is that a year or so after Grandma died, Grandpa decided he should improve his English so signed up for night school. But he met Rose, who also spoke Yiddish, and they decided to marry and speak Yiddish with each other.

Also in the same area are the graves of Grandpa’s brother, Willi, Willi’s wife, Sarah, and their son, Milton. Then there is another brother, Max. There was a large, overgrown shrub in front of his gravestone, so I couldn’t photograph it. But I could clear enough to learn that his Hebrew name was Mordechai. This proved useful in doing some searching of immigration records.

One of Grandpa’s sisters, the notorious Mary LEHRMAN, is also there. (She is the one who was the subject of a criminal investigation, accused of practicing medicine without a license, for performing electrolysis at her beauty salon in the Bronx.) What’s interesting there is that her gravestone shows her first name as Miriam (most records show her as Mariasha) and indicates that she died in an accident. That seems like a potential subject for more research.

I thought we were done, but Herb said we had another relative there. This turned out to be Sima SLANSKY. She died young – at age 35 – of cancer on 30 October 1953. I have some very speculative ideas about the SLANSKY family. I can find a census record for a Lena and Sam SLANSKY, with several children. Now, Grandpa had a sister named Lena, usually known within the family as Laika. The first problem is that I knew of her husband as Sam WEINER, not SLANSKY. The other problem is that I thought she had stayed in Europe and survived the Shoah, coming to the U.S. later. There are a handful of remaining older relatives, but I don’t know if any of them will know anything.

We also went over to anther burial society, New People’s Synagogue. It was fairly easy to find several of the LEBOFSKY graves. Nathan (another of Grandpa’s brother’s and, so far as I know, the first to come to the U.S.) was near the front. His gravestone indicated that his Hebrew name was Nachman David. His second wife, Jennie, is buried nearby, as is his daughter, Celia. According to Herb, Celia was killed in a train accident in Washington, D.C. That is obviously worthy of some newspaper searching. He believed she came to Washington for work, which makes some sense, since she was a public health nurse. Alas, I completely forgot to look for Nathan’s first wife, Rose, who the cemetery locator says is in the same block.

Finally, we tried to find the graves of another of Grandpa’s sisters, Adele WASSERMAN, and her husband, Max. We failed miserably. A quick search now reveals the problem. They are at New Montefiore, which is in West Babylon, on Long Island. On the plus side, that is quite near Mount Ararat Cemetery, where my parents (and my paternal grandfather) are. I believe that Rose, Grandpa’s second wife, is also at New Montefiore.

We also took photos of gravestones for other people, but there isn’t much to say about that other than it is probably best not to do cemetery visits on days that are close to 100 degrees out. Also, the signs at Montefiore leave a lot to be desired. I still need to make the time to do some photo processing, as the files are too big to email.

Anyway, we went on to Mount Judah in Ridgewood, where my great-grandparents (i.e. Herb’s grandparents), Enoch Ber and Malka Ryfka SCHWARTZBART, are buried. We had some trouble finding the correct section because Herb made a wrong turn and we wandered around quite a long time. Did I mention that it was incredibly hot and humid out? I was getting rather grumpy, but we did find them in the end. It’s worth noting that those gravestones are entirely in Hebrew / Yiddish.

After I got back, I did a bit more work. I finally found Max’s passenger manifest, which was under the name Mottel CHLIBEJOTZKY. He arrived 16 Sep 1913 on the Potsdam from Rotterdam and was going to his brother, Nachman. Who we know is Nathan. I still haven’t found Nathan’s manifest. I am also still trying to figure out the mysterious Icek CHLEBIOCKY, having found even more evidence that he must be one of Grandpa’s brothers because I noticed his manifest has a notation about an inquiry from the American Consulate in Toronto in October 1937 – which is not long before Willi arrived in the U.S. from Canada. (There’s still no info on how he got from Havana to Toronto, however.) Unfortunately, Icek’s manifest is really hard to read. I’d like to find out his occupation and who he was going to (I can tell it’s a half-sister), which may help in solving the mystery. The best guesses I have so far are that he was a tanner and was going to Anna WALEWSKA. Which clears up nothing, of course.

One other thing I’ve found is the record of Willi and Sarah marriage in the Bronx on 21 December 1937. But they entered the U.S. as husband and wife on 10 December 1937. Given that their son, Milton, was born in 1934, that marriage record is particularly interesting.