Why Port Chester?

Celia (Goodstein) Scheshko gave birth to the first of her two children, Murray (the gardener’s father), on 5 June 1921 in Port Chester, Westchester, New York.

If the family lived in Brooklyn, why was he born in Port Chester?

I wish the gardener knew the answer to this mystery.

Celia’s sister-in-law Malka (Molly) and her husband lived in Port Chester, but did Isidore and Celia briefly live there? It would have been about this time that Isidore was working as a house painter (according to the census)

Let’s look at the documentation. On the 1920 census, it seems that Isidore and Celia still lived in Brooklyn, as boarders with the Steinharts.

Then Murray was born in 1921.

On the 1925 NY census the three of them lived at 739 Essex Street in Brooklyn with their own boarders, cousin Rose Goodstein Cohen, her husband, and their child.

I have yet to find the family on the 1930 census. By the 1940 census they were living in the Bronx.

So what did Malka’s husband, Isidor Riskin, do for a living? First I have to say that some of the documents for Isidor are listed under the name Waldimer Riskin. We have no idea why this name is connected with him. The name Vladimir was not a name traditionally given to Jewish sons. Isidor Riskin’s documents say he was born in Moscow, which of course was not in the Pale of Settlement. Maybe that explains the name. So was he Isidor or Waldimer? Isidore was his Yiddish name. Perhaps Waldimer was his Russian name.

In the 1910 census Malka’s husband is listed as a Black Smith in the Horseshoes industry. They lived at 65 Travers Avenue, Port Chester.

In the 1920 census he (called Isiaac here) was a Packer in the Nuts and Bolts industry. They lived at 58 Townsend Street, Port Chester. Their only child, Charlotte, was born in 1919, the year before. This is only a year before Murray was born.

In the 1930 census they lived at 43 Townsend Street, close to where they lived during the previous census time. But now Isidor was a Wrapper in the Hardware industry.

I can’t find them on the 1940 census. But, on his WWII draft registration, I discovered that Isidor Riskin worked for Ruby Golding at 141 Wilkins Avenue, Port Chester.

Amy Cohen so kindly found an obituary for Ruby Golding’s sister RoseΒ here.

What kind of business did Ruby run and what did Isidor do for him?

Another kind Facebook group member provided this information and told me that Ruby Golding’s business was Awnings and Shades:

Ruby Golding n Port Chester in the city directories, and in the 1940 Census that owned an awning and shade business. (below)

FamilySearch Indexing

Ruby Golding
United States Census, 1940
Name: Ruby Golding
Event Type: Census
Event Date: 1940
Event Place: Port Chester, Rye Town, Westchester, New York, United States
Sex: Male
Age: 31
Marital Status: Single
Race (Original): White
Race: White
Relationship to Head of Household (Original): Son
Relationship to Head of Household: Son
Birthplace: New York
Birth Year (Estimated): 1909
Last Place of Residence: Same Place
Household Role Sex Age Birthplace
Yetta Golding Head Female 58 Russia
Ruby Golding Son Male 31 New York

I searched stevemorse.org by address for the Riskins on the 1940 census, but 43 Townsend, the address listed for them on the 1930 census AND his WWII draft registration, is not listed as an address on the census. And I couldn’t find the family anywhere on Townsend Street.

This is not the first time that I have searched for a specific address only to see the address not listed on the census. These are apartment buildings, so there are many families at the same addresses. I think this makes it even stranger because it’s not as if a one-family house was missed.

I even tried searching on the 1940 census for a “Charlotte” in Port Chester, and there is no trace of Charlotte in Port Chester. She would have been 21. I don’t yet have Charlotte’s marriage record, so I don’t know what year she and Danny Vendola married.

Back to the original mystery: why was Murray born in Port Chester? Could they have been visiting the relatives when it was time to give birth? Could they have chosen Port Chester for Murray’s birth for medical or familial reasons? Any ideas on how to find out more information?

28 thoughts on “Why Port Chester?

  1. Another mystery to follow πŸ™‚ Hi Luanne – It appears that the family had some roots in Port Chester. The fact that they were ‘boarders’ at that time and not established in their own home, could that indicate their roots were in Port Chester and simply in Brooklyn due to work ? What about her husband was working in Brooklyn and she was in Port Chester to have her baby with the help of her sister in law? Men certainly were not a part of the birth back then. Just some first thoughts! Great post, hope you can get to the bottom of this.


    • Sharon, what you say about Celia being in Port Chester with family does make sense because Molly had a two year old there when Murray was born. She might have been a big help. Maybe there was a medical issue that has been long forgotten, and it was better to have Molly to help Celia. It IS possible Isidore was back in Brooklyn making a living. Because their roots were truly in Brooklyn, from the looks of the other documents, including the fact that Murray went to school in Brooklyn, etc. Now Celia’s family was in Brooklyn, but maybe they weren’t in a position to help her and Molly was. Or maybe Celia and Molly, being sisters-in-law had become very friendly.


  2. A few thoughts—was the doctor’s name on Murray’s birth certificate? Maybe there is a clue there. Was Murray born in their home or a hospital? And also forgive my bad memory–but how was Celia related to Malka? You said she was her SIL, but I assume she was not Isidore’s sister or you would have said that, yet her husband Waldimer (?) was not Celia’s brother either. What am I missing here?

    Back in 1921 Port Chester would have been a bit of a trek from Brooklyn, so I am guessing that they were probably temporarily living in Port Chester.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If I could FIND his birth certificate! I can’t even find a record of his birth. His sister Eileen’s birth record (not a certificate, at least not at this point) seems to be listed under Irene, as the birthdate is correct and the last name so unique. But Murray’s is still unfound.
      Sorry, I shouldn’t have assumed you would carry all this knowledge around with you hahahaha. Malka/Molly is definitely Isidore’s sister. She was the oldest child in his family, and he was the second oldest. They are the only two who immigrated to the U.S.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, right. I was thrown by you referring to her as Celia’s SIL instead of Isidore’s sister! I am very literal at times….

        That is so frustrating—then how do you know he was born in Port Chester—family lore?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Is family lore that he was born at home? Does Port Chester have birth records on file (they’re part of the town of Rye) or would Albany?

        Liked by 1 person

      • In searching for them on the census, I was struck by the large Italian population in the area. In the areas I was searching I didn’t see a lot of what seemed to be Jewish names. I even wondered if Charlotte growing up in a largely Italian community was what led, at least in part, to her marrying an Italian.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, I will have to copy the text above and sort out who is who and who is where and where on date… my head hurts. You should write a murder mystery book; just put all your blog post in a binder and make up a murder and you are done. Thank You for this Luanne.
    Jose from Clarkston, Michigan

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Could they not just have been visiting Malke before the baby was due and maybe Celia went into labour earlier than expected, while she was still there? So many births happen where they weren’t meant to – like babies that were born on ships, for instance, while crossing to a new country.

    Liked by 2 people

    • My husband and I debated this for awhile. It could have been that they were visiting, most definitely, although I’m pretty sure Murray was full-term so they would have known she was due. We think it’s most likely that Celia stayed with them near the end and Isidore visited on the weekends. He would not have been working as a painter in Port Chester, according to my husband.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Here is the 1930 census… the surname is spelled different that is why you could not find it.

    1930 United States Federal Census

    Name: Isidore Schesko
    [Isidore Schicke]
    Birth Year: abt 1890
    Gender: Male
    Race: White
    Birthplace: Russia
    Marital Status: Married
    Relation to Head of House: Head
    Home in 1930: Brooklyn, Kings, New York, USA
    Map of Home: View Map
    Street address: Essex St
    Block: J
    House Number: 739
    Dwelling Number: 67
    Family Number: 177
    Home Owned or Rented: Owned
    Home Value: 8000
    Radio Set: No
    Lives on Farm: No
    Age at First Marriage: 29
    Attended School: No
    Able to Read and Write: Yes
    Father’s Birthplace: Russia
    Mother’s Birthplace: Russia
    Language Spoken: Yiddish
    Immigration Year: 1913
    Naturalization: Naturalized
    Able to Speak English: Yes
    Occupation: Painter
    Industry: Alteration
    Class of Worker: Wage or salary worker
    Employment: Yes
    Veteran: Yes
    War: W.W

    Household Members:
    Name Age
    Isidore Schesko 40
    Celia Schesko 38
    Morris Schesko 8
    Irene Schesko 4

    Liked by 2 people

    • I got your email, too. You ROCK. This is fabulous. Yes, that misspelling because I can’t trust the “sounds like” apparently, and then also the kids’ names–Morris and Irene instead of Murray and Eileen. Although I noticed that Eileen’s birth record is under the name Irene. And THANK YOU SO MUCH!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It was you who pointed me in the right direction. You mentioned you had tried the address on stevemorse dot org: well I used the 1920 address and looked up the cross streets to be more exact. If you hadn’t mentioned it I might not have thought it. We make a good team.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Your comment that you couldn’t find your ancestor on the 1930 census reminded me of the same problem I had when looking for my relative in 1880. My relative’s name is Lacefield and I found them under “Daufield”. I found them by just looking by first name and age for my great-grandmother. Just a thought!


  7. Pingback: Charlotte and her Father: Late 1920s | Entering the Pale

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