Monday, October 22, 2012

Mystery Monday ~ Genealogy Time Machine

Nick Gombash recently blogged about his wish for a genealogy time machine. Although I have had the wonderful opportunity to hear my mother-in-law share the family stories, I have often wished I could go back in time and ask some questions to clarify the family lore.

The top three ancestors of my husband's I would like to go back in time to meet are as follows:

Who: Max Levitt, who died May 3, 1935
When: Early 1890's, around when he immigrated
Where: New York City, before he moved to Woodbine, New Jersey
Why: When exactly did he immigrate, and from where, exactly? What are his parents' names and was it Max or his father who changed the family name from Levitas to Levitt because Levitas sounded "too fancy"? When exactly did he find out about the opportunity for jobs in Woodbine, New Jersey, and did he really make the decision to move there so quickly that when his son (Manuel, Emmanuel?) declared that he didn't want to move and ran away, he wasn't able to find him?

Who: Morris Goldstein
When: July 1914, the month he immigrated to America
Where: Iasi, Romania
Why: The family story says that his older brother, Max Goldstein, changed his name from Yancu to Goldstein. I would love to ask Morris (or his brother, Max) to tell me exactly when and where this name change was done. Morris came over under the name Goldstein, so presumably he changed his name in Romania, but did Max change his name before immigrating from Romania, or after reaching America? Also, what was it like to make this trip at the age of 17, with just his older sister accompanying him?

Who: Anna Honenváld
When: 1909-1911, when her daughter married and later left home for America
Where: Bonyhád, Tolna District, Hungary
Why: Her husband was Samuel Holländer, who would also be interesting to speak with. What did she think of her son-in-law, Josef Handler, who married her daughter, Lena Holländer? What were her feelings about their immigration to America? And what about when Lena returned to Hungary for a several-month visit in 1915? Was Lena eager to return to her husband in America?

Thanks, Nick, for this fun idea!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mystery Monday ~ Different Names-Same Person?

My husband's great grandmother on his father's side is somewhat of a mystery, especially since I have found several different names for her. I think they all refer to the same person. This post is to share the several sources I have for her name.

Her son, Sam, married on March 10, 1909, in Cleveland, Ohio. See Sam and Sadie's marriage license where the groom's father is Adolf and his mother is Sali Handler.


Her son, Josef, married on March 10, 1909, in Bonyhád, Tolna, Hungary. See Josef and Lena's marriage record where the groom's father is Aron Handler and his mother is Szoli or Száli Handler.


Several Handler family members arrived in New York City on May 25, 1911. See Handler Family passenger lists where she is listed as Roza Handler.


Her daughter, Regina, who arrived in New York City with her in May 1911, married in Cleveland, Ohio, on December 13, 1914 to Jacob Solomon. Regina's marriage license lists her father as Adolf and her mother as Rozalia Handler.


In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, the household of Regina (Handler) and Jacob Solomon includes a 60-year-old Rose Goodman, listed as mother and having immigrated in 1911. This may be Regina's mother, as Jacob's mother's name is Anna (as listed on their marriage license). Why she is listed here with the surname of Goodman is a mystery, assuming this is Regina's mother.

The biggest mystery is that I don't know when or where Rozalia (Roza, Rose, Szali, Sali) died, and I cannot find Regina and Jacob Solomon in the 1930 U.S. Federal Census to see if Rose Goodman is still living with them. My next task is to explore Cleveland, Ohio, City Directories.

Son, Sam Handler, died in 1952. His death certificate lists his mother as Sally Handler-Yugoslavia


However, she is listed as "Don't Know" on her son Joseph's death certificate in 1947 where his father is remembered as Aaron.

I have not found the Hungarian record for her marriage or her birth. (In fact, I'm not sure where in Hungary she was born, possibly Ilok, which is now in Croatia.) Until I find additional records, I am going to suppose that her name was Rozalia, and she was recorded as Roza, Szoli, Sali, or Sally, depending on the source.

December 10, 2012 update: I found a death certificate for Rosie Goodman and a burial record at JewishGen Online Burial Registry for Sally Handler who I believe is the same person.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Amanuensis Monday ~ Sam Handler's Death Certificate

During this past summer, I learned a lot about my husband's great uncle, Sam Handler. I discovered that he was a successful businessman in Cleveland, Ohio, and that along with his wife, Sadie, daughter, Esther, and son-in-law, David Simon, he moved to California, where he died in June 1954.

His obituary noted that he died at his residence, Sherman Oaks, California, on June 8, 1954. It was very easy to download a form at the website for the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk and send away for his death certificate.

Closeup of the certificate is below: