Diana’s Grandmother in NYC

Some time ago I wrote about the process by which my mother-in-law Diana Shulman (Scheshko Castle) gradually moved from Toronto to New York City.

At one point, Diana seemed to be indicating at the border that she would live with her grandmother, Mrs. Isidore Shulman, who appeared to live with the Brands (one of Diana’s grandmother’s daughters) during the mid-forties. 

I’m not sure if Diana actually did live with her maternal* grandmother or if she was just using that address for the purposes of entering the United States.

But I do know that she saw her grandmother in New York. Because here they are! I don’t know what year this photo was taken, but Anna passed away on 17 June 1960 at the age of 97.

We believe that her name at birth was Chana Fleischman, and she was called Anna in Canada (where she first immigrated) and then in the United States. She took on her husband’s surname Schulman.

The family believes she may have been born in Kamanets-Podolskyi or Zinkov. Both are in Ukraine–what was then Russia. I will go into this a bit more in the future, but my information is very limited as so far we have not had any “hits” on documents in that area for the Schulmans or Shulmans. Next up our genealogist will try to search the Fleischmans.

Most of my so-called facts about Anna are “floating” right now–they may or may not be right. For instance, she may have immigrated to Canada from Russia in or around 1906 with her husband and all her children. Then her husband might have died in or around 1912. She then might have immigrated to the United States in 1945 to live with one of her children who had left Canada for the U.S. Interestingly that is around the same time that Diana went to NYC.

What I do know about Anna that is exciting is that in 1955 she was in the Daily News.

Hand raised, Anna Schulman, 92, listens attentively during the ceremonies. She was the oldest person of 7,000 at Ebbets Field to become a citizen.


Way to go, Anna! You’re never to old to make changes in your life!

* Diana’s surname at birth was Shulman, her father’s name. But Diana’s mother’s surname at birth was Schulman, from her father and Anna’s husband’s surname. A bit confusing, yes.

31 thoughts on “Diana’s Grandmother in NYC

  1. That is truly an amazing newspaper photo you have of Anna ~ wow ~ the oldest and out of 7,000 people too. Shulman married Schulman – will the real spelling of Shulman please stand up – lol –

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know. It confuses all of us! And when you figure that people just picked up whatever spelling they wanted to in those days . . . .
      It’s so cool that she was the oldest out of all those people! What a firecracker, huh?!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I found that one of my gg grandparents had the same surname too. It was very confusing for a while. Also every one from the 1800s had the same first names. For the women it was Anna, Mary, Theresia, Stella or Katherina. Lots of same names so you have to be so careful matching documents.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL, I know the repetition of names is just awful for research. And then they would take different forms of first names and nicknames, too. Jewish names are really hard because of the name changes–sometimes multiple changes–but it helps to know the custom of using a deceased loved one’s (often a grandparent) Hebrew name. But Christian names from certain countries (Germany, for one) are bad for using the exact same names because of using the exact same name from one generation to the next! Dutch names can do that but often skip a generation like Jewish naming (whew).

      Liked by 1 person

      • My family name is Ehrets. In the documents it can be Ehritz, Eritz, Eriz. That took time to flush out. Back in the 1800s, people weren’t as concerned with correct spelling and maybe not everyone was literate. Emigration officials did their own interpretation. Very challenging. My grandmother (who was illegitimate on her birth certificate with no listed father) lists one father on her marriage certificate and another on her death cert. Can’t find anything on either of them. Yikes!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I had someone from the Austrian town where she lived research and he couldn’t find anything on either of the two names nor any idea of who the father may have been. Usually it was someone who eventually married when they could afford to but this wasn’t the case here. Her mother died of either typhoid or cholera less the a year after her birth.

        Liked by 1 person

      • OK, but just want to make sure I made myself clear. If you take the DNA test and hire a genetic genealogist, she might be able to isolate a cluster of DNA matches that would be from that branch. But it would be a lot of work and necessitate, maybe, others in your family taking the test–and from what you’ve said I know you were young compared with the rest of your family, so matches might be even further removed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know if you’ve had a chance but I posted a picture of that family with a story on my blog yesterday. You were the inspiration. I’ll probably keep bumbling along but I know that I can go the professional route to try to resolve dead ends.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. While we are discussing surnames—did Scheschko become Castle? Did I miss a generation?

    I cannot imagine 7000 people standing at Ebbets Field getting sworn in. WOW! And how amazing that at 92, Anna decided to become a US citizen. That blows my mind!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is so weird. I could have sworn that I posted about the name change from Scheshko to Castle, but I did not? Murray changed his last name and that of his wife and kids. Now I can’t see where I posted about it so maybe I did not.
      I know–it blows my mind, too. What a cool lady. Keep in mind she hadn’t lived that long in this country. Maybe 10 years. Because she immigrated to Canada at first from Russia and only left for the U. S. after she was also quite old.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I definitely want to hear about the change to Castle. I don’t recall ever reading about it, and somehow I never questioned it before.

        Immigrant strength is something that will always amaze me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I just searched, and I don’t think I ever mentioned it. How weird is that?! OK, I will have to do something about that.
        I agree about immigrant strength. It’s astonishing how tough they were. But people in general could be really tough. Take the case of the family in Joy Neal Kidney’s book Leora’s Letters. Do you read Joy’s blog? She’s written a book about her mom’s Iowa farm family and the five sons who went to war using the WWII letters between family members. I’m halfway through and am really taken with the way she wove the story around the letters. It’s not a novel, but a highly readable “document” of the war from the viewpoint of an American family who made a great sacrifice.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I went to try and buy it, and it’s not available as an ebook. I am really, really trying NOT to buy books in hard copy if I can avoid it. I don’t have the space, I can’t schlep them around when I travel, and I can’t read them in bed without disturbing the other resident. 🙂 But on your recommendation, I will reconsider.


      • I am in the midst of a long non-fiction book right now so it may be a while til I get to it. Reading non-fiction takes me a LONG time, and then I mostly forget the details anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That was all law cases—not the same thing. And rarely more than 15-20 pages a class, usually less. That stuff is dense!

        I don’t read anything law-related any more. This book is about Germany after WWII and how the East v West responded to the evils of Nazism and the Holocaust. The second part (where I am now) is comparing how the US has responded to the evils in its own past.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hmm, sounds fishy to me. Even when I was a student, we rarely were assigned more than a few cases for each class so maybe at most 25 pages per class per course. Of course, over a week that would be a couple hundred pages. But not for each class each time.


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