Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sympathy Saturday ~ Reisner Twins

I would like to take this opportunity to remember twin sisters, one of whom died due to being born prematurely and the other who died as a teenager.

These girls were first cousins to my mother-in-law.

Manhattan (New York City) Death Certificates, 1919-1948. Certificate no. 1066 (1921), Sarah Reisner,
FHL Microfilm 2027054, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Sarah Reisner died on January 11, 1921, after having been born on January 9, 1921, to Jacob Reisner and Rebecca (Levitt) Reisner (half-sister to Rose (Levitt) Goldstein). The ONLY reason I knew to look for this death certificate is, again, thanks to the wonderful memory of my mother-in-law, who told me that her sister, Naomi Reisner, had a twin who died as a baby.
Photograph of Naomi Reisner
Courtesy: Jeff Kontoff

Sadly, Naomi Reisner died a couple of weeks before her 17th birthday, in Springfield, Massachusetts.

See Naomi's FindAGrave memorial here. Although her gravestone indicates that she died at 17 years old, she was actually just two weeks shy of her 17th birthday.

And Naomi's stone includes a photograph of her.

Thank you to Find A Grave volunteer, Jeff Kontoff, for all his work in the Jewish Cemeteries of West Springfield, and for giving permission to share this photograph here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wedding Wednesday ~ Morris Moskowitz Marriage License

I recently requested a marriage license via the Family History Library's Photoduplication Services for one Morris Moskowitz (no bride listed) in Manhattan in 1904, hoping it was the great uncle of my mother-in-law whom I've written about before. Census records for 1910 and 1930 indicate a marriage date of about 1904-1905. Their first child was born in June 1905, so a marriage date in 1904 was likely.

I found the following at Steve Morse's website (Accessing the New York City Marriage Indexes in One Step), searching on Morris Moskowitz in 1904:

When I click on "get bride," I get a "bride not found" message, so by requesting this image, I was just hoping that it was "my" Morris Moskowitz. This time I had success.

This is one of those cases where researching a collateral line gives me additional information about my husband's direct line.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

William Siegel's death - 1941

Rachel Segal Siegel
I have written several posts about my mother-in-law's Segal family. Her grandmother immigrated with her father and three siblings and I have shared a picture of the four siblings. Her great aunt Rachel had married William Seigel (or Siegel) before immigrating; I have blogged about the extended family's immigration from Hamburg to Glasgow to New York in 1891. has recently made Pennsylvania Death Certificates for 1906-1944 available. Because they are indexed, it has made it much easier to look for names of people that I think died in Pennsylvania and see if I can add to family records for some extended family members.

Following is the death certificate for William Siegel, Rachel's husband and a second great uncle of my husband., Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1924 (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2014),, Death Certificate No. 34287 / 7013. Record for William Siegel, died 27 March 1941.
William Siegel (in past records he was Seigel) died on March 27, 1941 at 75 years old, (born about 1866), leaving a wife named Rachael. He lived at 1610 N. 52nd Street and worked as a tailor.

I do learn here that his father's name is Isaac and that he and his parents were born in Russia. He was buried on March 28, 1941, at Montefiore Cemetery (Jenkintown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania). The website offers a burial search so I could obtain his plot location. I have added a memorial for him at FindAGrave and hope someone will take a photo of his gravestone.

Stamped on the cause of death section is: "Information supplied by coroner's office on this certificate (not official) inquest pending!" An inquest is required to investigate the circumstances surrounding any "sudden or violent" death. This includes suicides, homicides, and accidental deaths in addition to certain disease-related or simply unknown causes of death.

Since he was buried the next day, presumably the inquest was completed quickly, but it would be interesting to know more about his cause of death.

July 8, 2014 update: My mother-in-law remembers hearing that he was hit by a car when walking to synagogue.

I have never researched in coroner's records so if anyone can point me to a resource for coroner's records in Philadelphia County, I'd be greatly appreciative!

October 21, 2014 update: It turns out there is a subsequent image in the Pennsylvania Death Certificates that shows the result of the inquest. Read about it here.