Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Rebecca Katz

A wonderful Find A Grave volunteer set up several memorials in the Beth Kehillah Cemetery in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, where I found Rebecca (Blume) and Benjamin Katz.

Courtesy FindAGrave volunteer, Carol Chakurda

Although the tombstone only has the year of death, the Hebrew tells me the date of death. I used the Deciphering Hebrew Tombstone Dates at the Steve Morse website to figure out what the Hebrew said (and then received confirmation from members of the Tracing the Tribe Facebook Group):

Binyamin son of Mr. Meir, who went to his eternal rest on 23 Nisan 5712 (April 17-18, 1952).

Bluma daughter of Mr. Eliezer, who went to her eternal rest on 2 Sivan 5714 (June 2-3, 1954).

I still need to find additional confirmation of the secular date of death. Hebrew dates start at sundown.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Blume (or Rebecca) Katz Siegel Katz

The first wife of my husband's second great grandfather, Simche Siegel (believed to be named Rose), died before Simche immigrated to America. His second wife appears named as Rebecca, Bertha or Blume, depending on the record. Also depending on the record, she was born anywhere between 1865 (passenger list) and 1879 (the 1930 U.S. Census). Considering her first child was born about 1891, it's not possible for her to have been born in 1879!

The extended Siegel family arrived in New York City on December 15, 1891, on the Circassia. I shared the passenger list at Thankful Thursday ~ International Passenger Lists. Simche's wife is listed as Blume Siegel. Where does Katz come from? Keep reading for the explanation for the title of this post.

By 1895, the family was living in Dennis, Cape May County, New Jersey. I shared this New Jersey State Census record at Census Searching ~ Listen to All Family Stories. It is in this census that I first find Rebecca's name.

Simche became a naturalized citizen in 1899 which made his wife a citizen too, though she is not named in this document. In 1900, the family (56-year-old "Samuel" and 26-year-old "Bertha" have two children: Lena and Louis) is again in Dennis Township.

Blume/Rebecca had three children with Simche:
Lena (born about 1891), who arrived as an infant with them from Russia.
Lewis (born 1899 in New Jersey), who went by Seigle.
Edward (born 1903 as Israel in New Jersey), who also went by Seigle.

By 1910, the family was living in Holly Beach, which became part of Wildwood in 1912.

1910 U.S. Federal Census, Holly Beach, Cape May County, New Jersey; Roll: T624_870;
Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 90; Record for Samuel Segal.
Despite misspellings, this federal census tells me a lot: 66-year-old Samuel Segal, head of household and his (second) wife, 38-year-old Rebecca, have been married 20 years and were born in "Rushia." Daughter Lena, is married with a child (but no husband or child listed here), Louis (age 10, born in New Jersey), and "Isereal" (age 7, born in New Jersey). Also listed is a Benjiman Levin, a brother-in-law: is he a brother of Rebecca or possibly of Simche's first wife, Rose?