Tag Archives: Miller

1940 US Census – Second Success

While the NARA site is still dragging along (and word on Twitter is they just took it down to make some changes to try to improve performance), I’ve been watching Ancestry and FamilySearch. FS is uploading states that are of no use to me in 1940. Even if I have a few stray entries in my database who might be there, I would need the index to find them.

Ancestry, on the other hand, is keeping me happy today. One of their earliest states to be uploaded was Maine. I have people from Maine. Unfortunately, by 1940, most of them had left for California. But I did find Bernard Wolfe in 1942 still in Maine. I looked up the ED but didn’t find him. Using their 1930-1950 records, I found that he was in Boston from 1930-1939. His trail ran out in the Boston directory for 1940. Was he back in Maine? I searched about six EDs around the one and still didn’t find him.

Onward… they were adding New York. I saw Bronx county and checked my database. Noticing some people in the Bronx around the right time, I switched over to the NYPL 1940 phone directories and found one address among the surnames. I had one other 1941 document for Rose Tabashnick with an address, so I took those over to Steve Morse’s ED Finder, then headed back to Ancestry. But the EDs weren’t listed. And so I waited and refreshed as they added more. Eventually one showed up, and I found the listing that matched the phone book, but he didn’t match my person.

Finally the other ED showed up. I started scanning the pages for Tabashnick. I found Miller. Pesach Miller, with wife Rebecca, daughter Rose, daughter Larry (daughter?), son Eddie, daughter Bella Blumenfeld, and her husband Joe. Also notable is that this is a rare family where no one is marked as having given the census information. So who was the informant?

Pesach Miller Family
Family, Page 2

Of interest is that in 1941, Rose was married. This certainly narrows down her date of marriage, which I don’t have. Also, this saves me from searching for several of Pesach’s kids, as they are still living with him, including one married daughter.

Other things I noticed included that everyone had only an eighth grade education, save for Eddie, and an interesting mix of aliens, naturalized citizens, and those with papers. This entire family was born in Poland.

It also further reinforces that the birth order I had for the kids was wrong. Though I had an order, I didn’t even have estimated dates for many. By the way, Pesach is the brother of my great-grandfather, so we’re getting a bit distant.

I will likely keep looking for people this way, but I don’t have that many 1940 addresses. I’ll see who I can find in the NYC phone directories, and look for them bit by bit as I can get the images, but beyond that, I think I’d be more productive indexing. I just saw on Twitter that indexing should get going around 10pm tonight. I hope Ancestry keeps working on New York until then.

Did you find anyone yet? Or are you waiting to index?

The URL of this article is http://idogenealogy.com/blog/2012/04/02/1940-us-census-second-success/.

Another Reason Why You Need To Organize Your Genealogy Files

I started by cleaning up my sources; I left off in the middle of the job. My cousin asked for access to the new web site, quickly asking, “where are the photos?” Uh oh, the new web site didn’t have photos on it yet. So I switched to organizing those.

I decided to retry an organization method similar to what Philip Trauring proposed on his blog, Blood and Frogs. The first time I tried that, my first folder name was too long for Windows, so I gave up quickly.

I tried again anyway, with less information in the folder names. Also, I didn’t necessarily use the furthest back ancestor to start since I knew I wouldn’t have pictures. The trouble came when I got closer to my own family and people were in two different folder structures. I still haven’t really straightened those out yet. Also, as I got to more recent generations, my file names became too long (in addition to all the folder names) and I had to adjust them. So I’m still not thrilled, but for now, I’m leaving it until I come up with something better.

Once I started setting up those folders, I started organizing. I had scanned pictures from relatives going back to 1999 and still hadn’t completely organized them. I did a lot of cropping and renaming files. I figured out who was in all the group pictures and set up text files to match each group photo with all the names. I created a “source” folder, to keep photos scanned from each source together. Then I duplicated the photos. Each person (or each couple) has a folder and every time I saw them in a photo, I put a copy there. Some of my photos have 20 copies on my hard drive now.

The more I did, the more trouble I had with file names that were too long. I had to adjust them, but I didn’t completely wreck my naming scheme, so like I said, I’m leaving it until a better idea comes along.

A cool thing happened while I was doing this. I found duplicates.

I had actually seen this phenomenon before. I was scanning cousin Barbara Sands’s photos which her daughter Debra Rudolph (now Berman) inherited. Barbara was interested in genealogy, though she didn’t get much into the research part of it. However, she had the forethought to label the group photos.

So, in 1999, I scanned this photo from Debra.

Miller Family Photo, Scanned from Debra Rudolph

[left to right, back row] Lila Raifman, Florence Karansky, ??, Marilyn Brick, Louis Miller
[front row] Frank Rosenzweig, Myra, Nettie Brick, Sorka and Zyskind Mularzewicz/Miller, Ruth Brick, Nettie Karansky

Nice big tear in the corner, right? But the important part is that Barbara labeled it — not perfectly, but enough for me to figure out what she meant, leaving only two mystery people. (One person was unlabeled and another could possibly be Frank’s daughter, sitting on his lap, but I don’t know more about that family.) In 2003, visiting Stephen and Sharon Koons, I scanned this one.

Miller Family, Passover 1936ish, Scanned from Stephen Koons

Looks familiar, right? Luckily, I had several photos of Morris Rosenzweig (top left), so he was easily recognizable though missing from Debra’s picture. Also, between the two, not only did I have a picture with a lot of kids identified (they’re the hardest for me to figure out), but I got more information from Stephen’s copy, namely the event and date (Passover, 1936-ish).

I discovered that duplicate years ago, but in this new organization project, I found another one that I hadn’t noticed. In 2006, Bonnie Chait shared a few photos with me, including this photo of the Wolfe family before the youngest two were born.

Wolfe Family, Scanned from Bonnie Chait

[left to right] Sidney, Rose, Nathan, Julius, Moses, Bernard Wolfe

In 2010, visiting Ron Wolfe, I scanned something familiar.

Wolfe Family, 1914, Scanned from Ron Wolfe

Bonnie had given me the names of the kids, but Ron’s had a date. I could have guessed a date by which kids were in the picture, but two of the kids look about the same age, so Bonnie made their identifications easier. But only when I was trying to figure out those two kids from Ron’s scan did I look in their photo folders to see that I already had a better version of the photo. I stopped and emailed the better version to Ron.

The best part is, now that I’ve got the photos organized (I’m finished with scanned-from-relatives photos and almost finished with everything), the next time I visit a relative and scan old photos, I can see what I’ve already got. If I have something better, or labeled, or not labeled, we can compare with what they have while I’m there.

So how is your photo organization going?

Childhood Memory Monday – My Grandparents, Part 1

Week 2 of Sharing Memories is about grandparents. This again is one of those times where I desperately wish I had more memories from my childhood. I had three grandparents alive while growing up, but now I only remember slight bits and pieces. Maybe writing it out will help bring back more, so here goes. I’ve written almost everything I can remember, so I’ve broken this up into two entries.

Dad’s Parents

Mary and Lou Goldfarb

My paternal grandparents were Grandma and Grandpa Lou, partly because my “real” grandfather died before I was born and Lou Goldfarb was her last husband. Grandma, Mary Miller, was married four times, or so I was told. I have still only found names for three of them. Grandma and Grandpa Lou lived in Miami Beach. She and Sidney Feldstein had moved there before he died. He was a smoker who developed emphysema and was told to move out of NYC. My father was stationed at Homestead Air Force Base, so everyone ended up in the same place. I don’t know if that was planned.

I really don’t remember much about Lou, except that he was there. I can still picture Grandma in my mind and hear how she speaks. I remember her condo in Miami Beach that we used to visit. I think I recall a Passover Seder there at least once. Weekend morning visits always had Entenmann’s donuts. If there wasn’t a box when we arrived, or we didn’t bring one, Dad would go get one. (I miss those; they don’t sell Entenmann’s in Utah. Someone ship me a box of donuts please.)

I remember the layout of Grandma’s condo, with a closet in the dining room where she kept some games. I inherited the Chinese Checkers after she died. I remember her kitchen and how my Dad re-did the ceiling just like he did our house with the drop-down opaque ceiling grid, except that our house had the yellow and orange motif while Grandma had the yellow and green.

Grandma’s Maiden Name

I remember sitting down with Grandma and asking her about her family tree, carefully writing what she told me. I was about 12 years old, so I didn’t know the right questions to ask. Still, I learned a lot which gave me a good start 14 years later when I got serious about researching. I remember her telling me that her name at birth was not Miller, and that she had no idea how to spell it. Slowly sounding it out for me, I wrote “Mullerzevich”. I mispronounced it for a few years, but when I found the name Mularzewicz, I knew I had it. Looking back, now that I know how to say the name, my phonetic spelling wasn’t too bad.

My Only Funeral

Grandma and Grandpa Lou died within about a week or two of each other, Mary first, then Lou. His kids came to her funeral in Miami and my parents went to his in New York (he is buried with his first wife). Years later, they told me how much they appreciated my parents attending in New York.

I remember going to Grandma’s funeral, which started at a funeral home in Miami Beach and ended up at Mount Sinai Cemetery in Miami. I don’t remember the service, but I do remember being handed the shovel. It is part of the Jewish tradition for each person to shovel some of the dirt over the casket once it’s placed into the ground. My Mom then took me for a short walk to visit my grandfather. They hadn’t thought ahead to buy cemetery plots together, so Mary was buried next to her brother, Alex, and “across the street” from her first husband, Sidney Feldstein.

To this day, it’s the only funeral I’ve ever been to.

Grandma’s Gifts

Grandma once gave me a watch (which sadly I lost long ago) and told me there was a story behind it. She had lost the watch in an ice cream parlor when my Dad was ten, but he went there so often, that the person who found it asked if it was hers. The fact that she lost it once makes me even sadder to know that I lost it and never got it back. How did I lose so much jewelry as a child? Grandma gave me some other jewelry over the years, collected from various trips, usually pins. I still have those at least. She also gave me a doll from somewhere in South America, which I no longer have.

Grandma’s Dishes

Another thing I inherited from Grandma after she died was her dishes. They had been stored in the ceiling that my Dad installed, probably put there by him, so he knew they were there. Not only did I get the Mikasa set, but also some other glasses and plates. They were not my style at all, but I quickly grew to love them. I eventually bought another dish set so I wouldn’t use them so much and risk them (I smashed one bowl to bits). For all I know, they were her wedding set. I haven’t tried to find out how old the design is but I want to. There are some of them with a different font on the back, so it appears that some were replaced over the years — I’m not the only one who has broken some of the dishes.

Anyone have any ideas how I can find out more about these? Easily?

Signature Saturday – Sidney Feldstein

I participated in Scanfest on Miriam Robbins Midkiff’s AnceStories blog last Sunday for the first time. I got an early start scanning, so by the end of Scanfest, I had a lot of documents scanned. I am rescanning old documents because my old scans of them are pretty pathetic.

Inspired by a blog post I saw a week or two ago (which I can’t find again — if I do, I’ll post a link here), I have created another blog theme for myself. Someone created a page of signatures of their ancestors which I thought was an interesting and not-difficult-to-do idea.

Today’s signatures come from Sunday’s scanning of my Feldstein documents. I have three signatures for Sidney Feldstein and one for Mary Miller (from their marriage certificate).

From his Declaration of Intention for US Naturalization, 1924:

Sidney Feldstein Signature, Declaration of Intention

From their marriage certificate, 1930:

Sidney Feldstein Signature, Marriage CertificateAnd from his application for Social Security, 1936:

Sidney Feldstein Signature, SS-5

They don’t quite match, do they? :-)

Cemetery Sunday – Mount Sinai, Miami, Florida

I’ve been watching as many people on Twitter are following the daily blogging themes and making those posts to their own blogs. Not one to do what everyone else is doing (well, except actually start a blog), I’m going to try a theme, but I’m straying from the pack. I first considered Tombstone Tuesday, but I would feel like it goes by too slow, although doing one stone at a time would certainly fill a lot of blog entries.

So I’ve decided to take a crack at Cemetery Sunday. Looking at gravestones depresses my relatives, but I like them and so do other genealogists, so I’m going to share them on this blog.

Today’s cemetery is Mount Sinai located in Miami, Florida. I have four relatives buried there: my paternal grandparents Sidney and Mary Feldstein, and her brother Alex Miller and his wife Blanche. Mary remarried a few times after Sidney’s death, so her stone bears her final surname, Goldfarb.

I’ve included two images of Sidney’s stone just for fun. The first was taken in 1999 before I was using a digital camera. The second was in 2005.

blog - a - Sidney Feldstein

Sidney Feldstein, Gravestone

Sidney has two gravestones. The one below was erected by Mary. But my parents wanted to do better by him and put up the taller one just behind it. Notice the year of birth on the two stones? He was actually born in 1904.

Sidney Feldstein, Gravestone

Mary Goldfarb, Gravestone

Sadly, this family didn’t plan ahead very well. When Alex died, they purchased two plots together so Mary could be buried next to him. Sidney and Mary are both several rows in from the road, on opposite sides of the road.

Alex Miller, Gravestone

My parents question whether Alex served during World War II, which Mary put on his stone. I haven’t researched it yet.

Blanche Miller, Gravestone

Blanche is even farther away from Alex and Mary than Sidney is. They all used to be inline with a tree, as my mother told me to use the tree to find them, but it wasn’t there when I went to visit them. The last time I was in that cemetery before going for genealogy research was in 1990 at Mary’s funeral. I don’t recall going for the unveiling.

My last visit to the cemetery, I went looking for a couple of Gottesmans whom my mother believes are probably our cousins. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find them in the cemetery, even with directions from the office. Someday I’ll have to follow that lead again.