Sunday, October 13, 2013

Anna Goldstein's Death Certificate 1918

The story about the death of my husband's great aunt Anna Goldstein (sister of Max Goldstein and Morris Goldstein) is that she was hit by a trolley in New York, and didn't tell her family. Supposedly her untreated injuries caused her death sometime in the late 1910s.

My mother-in-law was named after her father's sister.

I recently obtained her death certificate.

New York, New York, Manhattan Deaths: FHL Microfilm 1322427,
Certificate No. 17223. Anna Goldstein, May 27, 1918.
She died at a private hospital at 41 E. 78th Street in Manhattan at 6:00 A.M. on May 27, 1918. The cause of death is "Carcinoma of ovary; Exploratory operation May 24th." She had suffered from this for two years.

I am guessing that in 1918, family members were not comfortable talking about their sister's death by ovarian cancer and the story about being injured by a trolley was an easier way to explain a young person's death.

Other helpful information on this death certificate:
No specific birthday but a birth year of 1897 (though her passenger list record indicates a birth year of 1895) and she was 21 (or 23?) years old when she died.

She had been in the U.S. (in New York) for three years (actually three months shy of four years; she arrived in August 1914).

She was born in Roumania and her parents' names were Isaac Goldstein and Scheiba Moscowitz. (See a photograph of Scheiba, also known as Sheva, here.)

The place of burial is Highland View, which is now known as Mount Judah Cemetery, located in Ridgewood, Queens County. In exploring burials at Mount Judah, I also discovered her brother, Max Goldstein and his wife Lottie are both buried there, in the same section as Anna.

Update August 30, 2016: I visited the cemetery and took a photo of her gravestone.


  1. So sad that she died so young. You're probably right about cancer being hushed up within the family. Some of the older relatives in my family would never use the "C" word, just talk vaguely about "illness."

    1. Very sad she died young. Both my husband and my mother-in-law distinctly remember a story that she was hit by or fell off of a trolley in New York City, didn't tell anybody, and then she died. They were both very surprised when I told them what I found on the death certificate.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.