The Feldstein One Name Study Begins

For years, I have collected data on any Feldsteins I came across. I have been contacted randomly by other Feldsteins asking if we were related. I even collected all Feldstein censuses at one time, leaving off somewhere in 1930; there were so many.

I’ve wanted to do a one name study for a long time, and I have finally just begun only two days ago. I felt the inspiration to get started, so I used it.

Actually, I’ve been in the middle of another one name study, since everyone named Mularzewicz is related to me. I still have quite a lot to go on that one, but I just added a big chunk of distant family and I’m in the middle of gathering NYC vital records for them.

But Feldstein is different because we’re not all related. I have no illusions that I will find we are related. I’m just hoping to find some families that are, even if they’re not related to me. I know of only one group of Feldsteins that are alleged cousins, but I have yet to prove it.

And so, I began with the US Federal Censuses. The first Feldsteins to show up were in 1860. And then they vanished. I have found no trace of that family in the next two censuses. There is a possible death certificate for the wife in NYC that matches her birth year, but I haven’t gotten it yet to know.

First Feldsteins, 1860 US Federal Census, New York City
First Feldsteins, 1860 US Federal Census, New York City

For a few months now, I’ve been collecting NYC vital records, beginning with marriages. I have a lot, and I think at least a few match up with the families already in my new database. I usually scan them at the end of the day after I’ve finished client work, so it goes slowly.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. So far, I have entered the families from the US Federal Census from 1860, 1870, and 1880. There is a family in 1895 Iowa and a couple women in 1892 New York. There appears to be a couple in 1890 New York City.

I thought most Feldsteins would be in New York, but in 1880, there seemed to be more in Pennsylvania; maybe it was about half of them. I was able to connect just a few people between censuses; most information didn’t match. Most of the Feldsteins who showed up new in Pittsburgh were from Poland, so I wonder if some of them are related.  One family was in Chicago, and one Feldstein was out in West Virginia. He was married, but his wife was not listed with him.

It disturbs me that the people from 1860 were not found later and even some from 1870 were not in 1880.

I could nearly pinpoint the immigration of two families by the children suddenly being born in the place where they were enumerated vs. Russia or Poland.

I already have confounding information. I have found two Theodore Feldsteins — they both appear the same census year, so I know they’re different. But in searching for 1890, I came across a record of 1890 Veterans Schedules for Theodore — I don’t know which one it was.

I’ve decided to go systematically rather than research each family individually, for now. Obviously I’ve begun with US Censuses, but I’ve been gathering NYC Marriages as well. I haven’t decided if I should start to integrate those records or wait a little longer.

By 1900 there are significantly more Feldsteins in the US Census, and in several more states than I’ve seen so far. Maybe it would be good to deal with the vital records that I have prior to that date before I get to those records.

I’m using my usual database for this project, the one I programmed myself, so I’ll be able to transfer it to a web site easily enough when I’m ready. My only trouble will be merging people — my program doesn’t do that yet. I may have to add that functionality just for this project. I’ve added more features to the program over the years as I’ve needed them. With a new kind of project, there may be some more programming in my future.

Current database count: 72 people.

On a personal note, I realize that I haven’t blogged anything for a while, so I figured it was beyond time to come back. I was pretty busy in November with NaNoWriMo. I ended up organizing genealogy for over 40 hours during the month (plus I wrote over 20k words of an actual story), and then I got more done in December. I’ve had a blog post waiting to be finished for about three months that I need to get back to and finish. I’m still keeping busy doing genealogy for myself and clients. I just realized I’d been neglecting my blog and thought, hey, I started a new project, that should be on my blog. Did you miss me? :-)

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