Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Emanuel Levitas in Census Records, Part 2

This is a continuation of the census records for the family of Emanuel Levitas, my husband's second great uncle. See the family in 1895-1915 census records here.

1920 U.S. Federal Census

Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, Roll 1168, E.D. 945, Page 3A
2036 65th Street

Mathew Levitas is head of household, age 27, single, born in New Jersey. You can't see it in this image, but his occupation is Doctor.
Emanuel Levitas, father, age 55, born in Austria (mother tongue: German). His occupation is listed as a manufacturer of garters.
Sarah Levitas, mother, age 50, born in Russia (mother tongue: Jewish). Both Emanuel and Sarah are listed as having immigrated in 1888 and having been naturalized in 1891.
Hana Levitas, Mother-in-law (sic), age 85, born in Russia (mother tongue: Jewish). She is listed as widowed, having immigrated in 1870, and having been naturalized in 1875. She wouldn't be Mathew's mother-in-law, as he is not married, and I believe she is Sarah's mother, since she was born in Russia.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Emanuel Levitas in Census Records, Part 1

As I noted, once I learned about Emanuel Levitas (brother of Max Levitt), I was able to find his family in just about every census record between 1895 New Jersey State Census through the 1940 U.S. Federal Census. There are a few discrepancies, but the following censuses show the basics of the family. All of the following census records were found at, except for the 1905 New York State Census, which was found at

1895 New Jersey State Census

Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, page 23, Family 148

Herman (sic) Levitas, age between 20-60, considered "Male, German"
Sarah Levitas, age between 20-60, considered Female, all-other nationalities (not Irish or German)
Marain Levitas, age under 5, white male, native-born
David Levitas, age under 5, white male, native-born


1900 U.S. Federal Census

Manhattan, New York County, New York, Roll 1082, E.D. 53, Page 22B

Emanuel Levitas, head, born Oct 1864 in Austria, age 35, married 13 years
Sarah Levitas, wife, born Jun 1865 in Russia, age 35, married 13 years. Mother of 3 children, all living
Muse Levitas, son, born April 1892 in New Jersey, age 8
David Levitas, son, born Jan 1894 in New Jersey, age 6
Lena Levitas, daughter, born May 1896, age 4

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Emanuel Levitas Naturalization in New York Eastern District

Interestingly, the surname of Levitas is not that common, so once I found Max Levitt's brother, Emanuel Levitas, in New York City, I was able to find quite a bit about him by searching for the surname Levitas.

Since I shared Max Levitt's Cape May County, New Jersey, Naturalization records, I thought I would share Emanuel Levitas' Naturalization records.

I found these records at, and they're available on as well. The source information is Petitions for Naturalization, Eastern District, New York, New York, 1904; Petition Volume: 60. Petition Number: 246, for Emanuel Levitas.

Emanuel arrived in the U.S. before his brother Max, and he lived in Newark, New Jersey, for a short time. It was here that he first filed a Declaration of Intention to become a citizen.

On July 3, 1893, in Essex County, New Jersey, Emanuel Levitas declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce his allegiance to the Emperor of Austria.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Max Levitt's Naturalization in Cape May, New Jersey

As I have mentioned before, one of the family stories is that my mother-in-law's grandfather, Max Levitt, changed his name from Levitas, because he thought it sounded "too fancy." I have been trying to find proof of this, but in the late 19th century, there wasn't always a requirement that someone making a name change had to do it officially through the courts.

So I'm trying to see if he ever used Levitas, but I have only ever found him as Levitt, starting in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. (See Levitts in Woodbine. And I have not found him in the 1895 New Jersey State Census.)

More recently, I found that he became a naturalized citizen using the name Max Levitt. Sometimes naturalization paperwork will indicate a name change, noting that the person used another name previously, but not in this case, so I'm guessing that he had been going by the name of Levitt by the time he filed the following paperwork.

On, I recently found New Jersey, Cape May County, New Jersey, County Naturalization Records, 1749-1986, which is not indexed, so I had to browse to find Max Levitt. I was pretty sure he was in Cape May, New Jersey, and sure enough, he was the only Levitt in Declarations of Intention 1896-1906.

This Declaration of Intention, made at the Court of Common Pleas in Cape May County (New Jersey) tells me that on October 20, 1900, Max Levitt, a native of Austria, now residing at Woodbine, Cape May County (New Jersey), age about 35, renounces his allegiance to the Emperor of Austria. This is his first step to becoming a U.S. Citizen.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Max Levitt's Brother is Emanuel Levitas

For some reason, the most viewed post on this blog is Amanuensis Monday ~ Max Levitt's Death Certificate. His father is listed as Moses L. Levitt, born in Austria.

The family story is that Max Levitt (d. 1935) changed his name to Levitt from Levitas because he thought Levitas "sounded too fancy." My mother-in-law remembers that her maternal grandfather Max Levitt had a sister, Sophie, who married Samuel Litwin, (I wrote about one of their sons here) and a brother, who ran a garter manufacturing company in New York City. I am collecting more information on these siblings with the hope of finding out more about Max Levitt's origins.

Since my mother-in-law couldn't remember Max's brother's given name, I started by searching census records at for the surname Levitas in New York City (all boroughs), no first name, born in Austria in 1865 +/- 5 years. The top results show a given name of Emanuel (or a variation on the name):

Sure enough, when I looked at a couple of the images, the occupation is Manufacturer of Garters:

1910 U.S. Census, Brooklyn, NY: occupation for Emanuel Levitas

1920 U.S. Census, Brooklyn, NY: occupation for Emanuel Levitas

So I've started with census records (Federal census records, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, N.Y State census records for 1905 and 1915, and New Jersey State census record for 1895) and pieced together this family. Soon I hope to share more of what I have found on this Levitas family beyond census records.

See the family in a variety of census records from 1895 to 1915 here. And see them in more census records from 1920 to 1940 here.