My Grandfather’s Mysterious Family is Slowly Unveiling

3 Nov

I recently wrote a blog about my Grandfather’s sister Celia.  In it I call her my grandfather’s younger sister.  That might or might not be true.  Her date of birth ranges from 1890 to 1895.  She could be a year older or perhaps four years younger.  But then my Grandfather’s birth dates range as well from 1890 to 1892.  Who knows?  What I do know is that keeping records was not that easy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

That blog brought a response from Amy, one of my friends, who I met through Tracing the Tribe.  She recommended that I go to Family Search, part of the Mormon genealogy sites to try to find my great aunt Celia’s death certificate. 

Although I have used JewishGen and Ancestory, I never used Family Search on my own before. It was wonderful. Although I already had my Great Aunt’s, death certificate, someone had found it for me, I did not have a photo of her head stone. Family Search had it! Celia’s Hebrew name is Tzipa Gittal. (Thank you to Robin of Tracing the Tribe for figuring out the first name for me.) Like those of many who die young, the stone is in the shape of a tree cut down. There are palm leaves engrave on it along with the words, Beloved Daughter and in big letters SISTER. (I plan to put this photo on the other post as well!)

I found my grandfather’s family on the 1910, 1915, 1920 and 1925 Census.  In the 1915 Census, the last name was misspelt as Rosenbery.  In the 1920 Census, I found out that my great grandparents had divorce before then.  I knew that they were divorced, but somehow knowing they divorced before Celia died made me a little sad.   In the 1925 Census only five of her children were still living with Sarah.  Samuel disappeared after the 1915 Census, Celia died before the 1920 one, and my Grandfather married before the 1925 Census.  All four daughters: Bertha, Edith, Hattie and Minnie, who in this Census was renamed Muriel, were stenographers.  Jacob was already a lawyer.  (See blog below.)

Finding success with Celia, I decided to look for more information on my grandfather’s other missing sister, Minnie/Muriel. I found her as well. She also has a number of birth years ranging from 1904 to 1910. On the census from 1910, 1915, 1920 and 1925, it was either 1904 or 1906. But then I found her marriage license, there she is listed as being born in 1910. It makes sense, even with using 1910 as her birth year, she was still two years older than her husband. In reality, she was about 5 or 6 years older.

Muriel got married May 26, 1934, to a man named Harry Moskowitz in Kings, New York.   She and her husband had four children, three boys and one girl.  Since some of them are still alive, I will not name them.  Muriel died in the New York City area in January 1991.  That actually made me sad.  It means that my Grandfather did not live far from his sister, but he had no contact with her.  Why?  I honestly wish I know the answer!

He did have one sister who he did stay in contact with and whom I knew, Aunt Hattie and Uncle Lenny.  I wrote about them in the blog below.  I also found their marriage license. Besides seeing several birth years for her, 1901 to 1903, I found out that her legal name was not Hattie, even though that is what everyone called her.  On. December 16, 1934, Ethel H. Rosenberg marred Levert Greenberg, the son of Joseph and Rebecca (Schneider).  Uncle Lenny served in WW 2.  They never had any children.  But I remember them fondly.  Although over the years, Aunt Hattie made my Dad crazy at times.

Using Family Search was easy and helpful.  I am glad Amy suggested that I use it.  I do not know why I have never used it before now.  However, I know that I will continue to use it as I double my efforts to find Samuel, as he is the only sibling I have been unable to find.

10 Responses to “My Grandfather’s Mysterious Family is Slowly Unveiling”

  1. Amy November 3, 2021 at 5:28 pm #

    I am so glad that I could help. FamilySearch is great—it is free, and in some ways its search engine is better than Ancestry. Plus it has databases that Ancestry doesn’t have, and vice versa, so using both is always a good idea. For example, sometimes I can’t find a family on a census on Ancestry, but FamilySearch’s search engine finds it.

    I haven’t seen gravestones on FamilySearch except through FindAGrave or BillionGraves. Is that how you found this one?

    There are also tons of unindexed databases, and I am still a novice in navigating through those.

    • zicharon November 3, 2021 at 5:38 pm #

      It was one of the grave sites. I am not sure which. It was easy to use, but I know there is more info there. For example I know she had three other babies who died in infancy. How do I find them? Do you go to birth records somehow and enter the name of the Mother?
      In any case thank you for your help!!

      • Amy November 3, 2021 at 7:03 pm #

        If they were born in New York before 1902 and their births were recorded, they should be indexed on FamilySearch with the parents’ names. But I’ve found that many birth certificates were never filed. If you need more help, feel free to email me or pm me on Facebook.

      • zicharon November 3, 2021 at 7:20 pm #

        Thank you. I will check. In the meantime I got contacted on an older blog about a different grandparent from a first cousin twice removed!
        So exciting. Take care

      • Amy November 4, 2021 at 7:29 am #

        Wow! That’s terrific!!

      • Amy November 4, 2021 at 7:29 am #

        Oh, and that should have said 1909. I think that’s the cut off, but it may be later.

      • zicharon November 4, 2021 at 7:33 am #

        She was definitely not have children after that I hope. I have a document somewhere that she had 11 births. And I know of 8 who lived to adulthood. But the other three do not show up in any census from 1910 or on. So must have died young. She had all her children from 1888 to 1906.

  2. Sharon November 5, 2021 at 9:28 pm #

    Great post and research. Familysearch has been my go to for years. Its a great site and I use it in conjunction with Ancestry. I am so glad Amy recommended it and you followed up. It has solved quite a few mysteries and added unknown finds to my research 🙂

    • zicharon November 5, 2021 at 9:38 pm #

      It was amazing how quickly the information came up. I have been searching Ancestry for years, no exaggeration!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] https://zicharonot.com/2021/11/03/my-grandfathers-mysterious-family-is-slowly-unveiling%ef%bf%bc/ Update About My Grandfather’s Mysterious Brother Jacob The Littlest Gambler: Learning about Horse Races in the Catskills […]

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