More on Celia’s Uncle Max and Family

Two weeks ago when I wrote about Uncle Max and Aunt Anna (Neche), I didn’t have anything on Max’s own immigration. This week I’m sharing the info.

The manifest is dated 2 June 1906, and Max is on line 3. He is called Mordche Gudstein from Tiraspol. Age 32, a tailor, headed to a brother-in-law in Brooklyn. The BIL’s name is Max something-or-other. It really looks to me like Bharshus, but of course I’ve never heard of such a surname. And find no record of one online either. He lives at 529 Stone Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. Stone Avenue is now Mother Gaston Boulevard. According to Google Maps, the old buildings in that area are long gone.


What brother-in-law could Max be going to? If it was someone from his side of the family, it seems that Celia’s family would have known about them. Instead, the story has been that her uncle’s family was the only one. So if it was Anna’s brother, his name would be Leibowitz. What seems left is that perhaps Anna had a sister in the United States.

I wondered where Max and Anna were buried. Then I thought about how Max and Anna were from Tiraspol and that their niece Celia and her husband Isidore were buried by the Tiraspol(er) Young Men’s Benevolent Association. What if they were buried by them also?

I decided to search the records at Montefiore since that is the cemetery where Celia and Isidore are buried. No such luck. Then I mentioned to Inna about my theory about the Tiraspol(er) Young Men’s Benevolent Association. A few minutes later she had the info. The reason I couldn’t find them is that in both cases Goodstein had been misspelled–but misspelled differently.

Anna’s name was spelled GOODSKIN. Good grief. That meant that her name was spelled that way on Findagrave as well.

And Max was listed under GOLDSTEIN. Again, spelled wrong on Findagrave, as well.

I’ve ordered photos of their headstones, but no luck yet. I got the names changed on Findagrave and will try to do so on the cemetery records as well.

By looking at the locations of the graves on paper, it seems that Max and Anna are buried quite close to Isidore and Celia.

Anna’s death was caused by Asthenia, which seems to mean weakness. The contributing cause was Carcinoma of the lung.

Notice that her parents, Aaron Leibowitz and Gertruda Yaglovsky (correct spelling here) came from “Russia.” Not too helpful.

Max died on 18 August 1934. I want to point out something about this date. My father-in-law, Murray Scheshko, was bar mitzvah that year (born 5 June 1921). I found a newspaper article with information dated 18 May 1934 about Murray’s confirmation. This is not to be confused with his bar mitzvah, but is related to Shavuot. It reminded me, though, that Max would have still been alive when Celia’s son was bar mitzvah. I’m sure this made him very happy for his sister.


Seventeen young men and women will be confirmed by Rabbi Isadore A. Aaron at the Congregation Mount Sinai, 305 State street, Brooklyn.

The group includes:

Bernard Bernstein, Mildred Dauber, Yetta Finkelstein, Irving Fogelman, Muriel Gans, Natalie Greenberg, Robert Harris, Ruth Katzman, Dorothy Liskin, Mildred Mehlman, Rebecca Pfefferkorn, Maxwell Philips, Helen Sadowsky, Murray Scheshko, Ruth Shapiro, Murray Steinberg and Elsie Strizhak


It appears that Max died of Carcinoma of the Head of the Pancreas. Contributing factor was cardiac failure.

Now look at the names of Max’s parents (therefore, they are Celia’s grandparents):

Aaron Gutstein and Goldi Suskin. From Poland! Now, I am not sure what Poland means. Does it mean Poland? or Belarus? Or somewhere else?

If you think that all these areas are “the same” in terms of Jewish culture, you might be wrong. I’ve heard that there is great variation in the food alone. The common denominator besides religion would be that they spoke Yiddish. In the case of many, including Celia and Isidore, they spoke many languages in addition to Yiddish.


34 thoughts on “More on Celia’s Uncle Max and Family

  1. I assumed you tried to search by that Brooklyn address in the various census records surrounding 1906 and could not find this mysterious brother-in-law? The surname almost looks like Blankship?? Hard to tell as it got blurry when I zoomed in.

    And those misspelled names at the cemetery! How awful! Inna has a good eye even for US records!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, no luck so far with the census. How well are you able to zoom in? I am never quite sure how to make the images available. Do you use “attachment”? Or another way when you put in an image?
      Yeah, that was awful to see those names spelled that way. Interestingly, when I glanced quickly at one of the census documents, the name for a moment did look like Goodskin because of the handwriting! But if people would slow down and use their brains when they transcribe some of these errors would never happen. I still haven’t heard from the cemetery, so I think I need to contact them directly instead of through the email of the employee who helped before.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s interesting that they both died from cancers. My grandparents all died of heart/respiratory issues. I never thought of looking at people’s origin by food. My ancestors all came from Austria/Germany and we can regionalize it by the dialect of their language.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It can be so difficult, especially if the records have not been especially made available. They are somewhat user-friendly in the U.S. They are very user-friendly in the Netherlands. But in more eastern European countries, much more difficult. You have language hurdles, and then the archives are more hit or miss.


  3. Always fascinating, Luanne. I was trying to zoom in to read the name, but I couldn’t get it very big.

    I think there are lots of food variations–Polish/Russian. We always call the noodle pudding “kugel,” with a sort of oo sound, but my dad called it “kigel,” but I’m not sure where that came from. Maybe it was more Ukraine? My mom’s first cousin, who lives in the same building as my mom, started a Yiddish Club. I think that’s fascinating. From what she said, they remember a lot of the same songs from their childhoods.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amy Cohen gave me the idea to crop the document when I have a question like this. I will next time, and I might even do it for this, if I don’t get any leads! I thought kugel had the sound of the ou in could! I made some gluten free kugel for Hanukkah, and because it has to be gluten free I ordered some egg noodles that were gluten free. You can only get them online. Man, were they were sticky! That stuff was heavier than if it were with gluten. Good tasting, but heavier than I would like. A Yiddish Club sounds great! What a way to remember and hopefully pass on those memories to others.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, the ou in could is how I say kugel. I’m glad yours was tasty, if heavy. Do you beat the egg whites separately? That’s how I make it, and if you don’t, try it to see if it makes it lighter next time. There is also potato kugel, which I’m not a big fan of. 🙂


      • I have made it both ways (eggs separated and not). This time I did not, but it might have helped a little. Although those gf noodles seem to be made of superglue. I LOVE potato kugel, but then I am a big potato lover (except French fries).

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Well done getting the names corrected on Findagrave. Spelling mistakes are so common in genealogy. I have ancestors with the surmame Bromfield but I have found them in documents with many spelling variations or mistakes ie Broomfield, Brunfield, Brounfield etc etc. When my great Uncle Cecil Hodgson died, his widow allowed his headstone to be carved with the surname Hudson intead of Hodgson! I think one of the first things I painfully learned was to expect the unexpected when it comes to surnames. An good post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Robert. I am not surprised at those misspellings actually. it seems that any name with more than one syllable is liable to be written incorrectly!!! The headstone error though is really inexcusable!!!! I’d like to say I would never sit by and let a document spell someone’s name wrong and not speak up, but when my daughter got her black belt in Tae Kwon Do, they mistakenly made it out in her dad’s name (which is similar). We didn’t make a fuss because she was eight and quitting to focus on dance, and we could tell that it was going to be an expensive hassle for the dojang. I regret not making them get it changed.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I really enjoyed this with the mysterious brother in law of Max. I have been spending sometime looking at the manifest and on the census trying to find a clue. Stumped. I am not sure it is a B for the first letter. It doesn’t match the other B’s on the census but I just don’t know. Glad you could find their grave sites too. I am waiting for photo’s as well. I remember last year there was a long delay from a cemetery and they said it was due to snow and they were waiting for better weather. Which reminds me to make a reminder call 🙂 Great post Luanne


    • Amy gave me the idea that in cases like this that I should crop to the section in question so that it’s easier to read online. Duh. I wish I had done that, and I might still do it. It’s very frustrating. I’m going to try to do more searching on the address, too. I still haven’t heard from Montefiore. Getting annoying! I hope you have better luck! Thanks, Sharon.


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