Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Happy 9th Blogiversary!

I have been blogging at A Jewish Genealogy Journey for nine years, but sadly, not very much in the past year.

The few posts that I wrote this year actually didn't involve much writing! I shared several photographs from my mother-in-law's Romanian-Israeli family. I had a brief email conversation with a relative in Israel who is my husband's fourth closest DNA match at AncestryDNA sharing 184 cM, which is a lot of shared DNA, even in an endogamous Ashkenazic Jewish population.

I hope he sees this message and gets back to me - his mother recognized some of the names from my 1960s snapshots from Israel and I would love to confirm the relationship.

I can report that I have done my best to identify all of the descendants of my husband's great-grandparents; that is, all of his second cousins. This helped me identify a second cousin match at AncestryDNA with 228 cM of shared DNA, even though my mother-in-law had never heard of the name.

The Oceanic from Ancestry.com.
Passenger Ships and Images
[database on-line].
I am working on a series of posts about Moritz / Morris Stern, a cousin who met Josef Handler when he arrived in New York in April 1910. There may not be records to confirm his cousin relationship to Josef, but they likely are cousins: Josef's grandmother was a Stern.

For those of you still reading my blog, thank you! I will try to post a little more often in the coming year.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Morris Stern's Immigration

Morris Stern, the man that my husband's grandfather, Josef Handler, indicated on his passenger list as his cousin, himself had arrived in America about 15 months before Josef. The 1910 census reported that he had immigrated in 1909.

I easily found the passenger manifest for Moritz Stern, arriving in January 1909, and this handwriting is much better than most!

Moritz Stern Passenger List
Manifest for Moritz Stern, age 34 (line 7), arriving in New York 9 January 1909 on the S. S. La Savoie; "New York, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1820-1957," Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 May 2020).

Detail from line 7 for Moritz Stern:


Moritz Stern, age 34 [born about 1875], was married, and his occupation was baker. He was able to read and write and he was from "Ungary" [Hungary] and of the "Hebrew" race. His last permanent residence was Ilok, Hungary. His closest relative in Hungary was his wife, Sidonia Stern, and his final destination was New York.

Moritz didn't appear to be traveling with anyone: there are no others from Hungary on this list.

And since this is after September 1906, when much more information was required, there is a next page and here is the information for Moritz from the following page:


Moritz had a ticket to his final destination and paid for his own passage. He was in possession of $12 (though $50 was crossed out). He had never been in the U.S. before and was on his way to join a friend, Simon Broder, at 105 E. 3rd Street, New York. The remaining columns full of ditto marks basically indicate that he was a responsible person and in good health. He was 5'4" with brown hair and brown eyes.

He reported that he was born in Ilok, Hungary, where Josef Handler was from.

Another interesting observation is that on his passenger list, Josef reported that his occupation was baker. The family story is that he was a delivery driver for a bakery, so perhaps he did that for his cousin Moritz before he immigrated to America.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Cousin Morris Stern in 1910

So who was the cousin whom Josef Handler was going to meet when he arrived from Hungary on April 14, 1910?

Morris Stern, of 193 East 3rd Street was enumerated on April 25, 1910, at 191-3 Third Street in Manhattan, New York, New York.

1910 U.S. Census, New York County, New York, population schedule, Manhattan Ward 17, enumeration district 919, sheet XVIIIA, dwelling 38, family 470, Morris Stern; image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 April 2020); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 1033.

Detail from above census record.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Josef Handler Passenger List

One of my very early blog posts was about finding my husband's Handler grandparents on passenger lists in the 1910s. (It's one of my favorite posts: Tuesday's Tip ~ Passenger Lists and Following Up on Family Stories.)

The Oceanic from Ancestry.com. Passenger Ships and Images [database on-line].

Josef Händler arrived in New York City on the Oceanic on April 14, 1910, which sailed from Southampton, England on April 6, 1910. I noted at the time the importance of looking at the second page of the passenger list, but only more recently did I figure out the name of the relative who was meeting him in New York.

Ancestry.com, New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, Year: 1910, Microfilm: T715_1453, Page: 82, Line: 14, record for Josef Handler.


Josef Händler, age 26, with the occupation of baker [family story said he was a baker's delivery driver], was able to read and write. His nationality was Hungary and his "race or people" was Hebrew. He last lived in Ilok, Hungary, and his nearest relative was [his wife] Lina Händler, of Ilok Hungary. His final destination was New York.

The details from the next page:

Page 2 of Josef Handler's passenger list record


Josef had a ticket to his final destination, paid for his passage, and had $15 with him. He had not been in the U.S. before and he was going to join his cousin Morris Stern, 193 East 3 St, New York. He had never been in prison or an almshouse, was not a polygamist nor an anarchist, and his mental and physical health was good and he was not deformed or crippled. He was 5' 9" tall with brown hair and brown eyes.

At the time, I thought the cousin's name was Morris Levin and I noted that I should try to find out who he was. Well, it's Morris Stern, which makes sense because his maternal grandmother was Anna Stern. (See his mother's second marriage record at Great-Grandmother Handler Married Twice.)

Monday, January 27, 2020

Jacob Reisner Family in 1930

I have recently been spending time researching the descendants of Rose (Levitt) Goldstein's half-sister, Rebecca (Levitt) Reisner. I do this to help me possibly identify second cousin and third cousin DNA matches if they don't happen to reply to my messages.

Rebecca Levitt arrived in America in 1891 or 1892 and was living in New Jersey by 1900 with her father, Max Levitt, and his second wife, Goldie Segal. See Levitts in Woodbine for several early census records and Jacob Reisner in the Census, 1910-1920 for the Reisner family.

Jacob Reisner, after living in New Jersey in 1910 as a boarder in the Levitt household, moved to New York City by 1911, where he and Rebecca married. However, in 1921, according to Jacob's obituary, they moved to Springfield, Massachusetts, where their growing family was living at 14 Hollywood Street in 1930.

1930 U.S. census, Hampden County, Massachusetts, population schedule, Springfield, Ward 6, enumeration district 84, sheet 10A, dwelling 116, family 178, Jacob N. Reisner; image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com: accessed 16 January 2020); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 911.

Following are closeup images of the Reisner family, which is the second-to-bottom family on the page.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Wedding Wednesday ~ Suzi and Sigi 1952

Another wedding photo from my mother-in-law's collection of photos from her Romanian father's side of the family.


The back of the photograph includes my mother-in-law's note "Cousin Israel" indicating that this was one of her cousins who went to Israel from Romania.


The translation of the Romanian on the right is from Theo Rafael in the Genealogical Translations group on Facebook. (Thank you Theo!)
We offer you (plural) with much love and pleasure this photo from our part.
Suzi and Sigi
3 November 1952

The photographer's stamp reads:
Photo Kleinman, Haifa, 62 Jaffa street, 4 July 1952

This suggests that this cousin was married in July 1952 and sent the note to my mother-in-law's family in November 1952. If you think you know who Suzi and Sigi are, please let me know in the comments or send me a message via the contact me form on the left.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Wordless Wednesday ~ Unknown Wedding Couple

Another image of unidentified people from my mother-in-law's collection that she believes is from her Romanian side (Goldstein, a.k.a. Yancu from Iasi, Romania).

It looks like a wedding photo (bride in white, with a veil, groom in a suit with white bow tie and top hat), but they look so serious.

Could this be in the early 1930s and times were tough? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. 


Unfortunately, the photo appears to have been cropped and the back doesn't provide much information at all, except that it's more likely Romanian than Hebrew or Yiddish.