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.

BROOKLYN EXERCISES

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.

 

What is Closest at Hand?

We do have some information from other relatives about the gardener’s (aka my husband’s) maternal history, but it will need more work in the future. For now, we want to focus on his paternal relatives because we know so little of them.

I wrote to the gardener’s cousin and asked if he had any documents passed down in the family. Unfortunately, he does not. At some point, anything that would help in researching the family history was thrown away or lost.

But I started to think that since both his paternal grandparents immigrated to this country and died here, that the cemetery and their headstones would be the first step.

They are both buried at Montefiore Cemetery in Queens. I was able to confirm that on Find-a-grave. I asked our cousin to take photos of the headstones because I didn’t think it was a good idea to ask my daughter who is not familiar with areas of NYC outside where she lives and works–and she has no car. He was very willing, but then Sharon from Branches of our Haimowitz Family Tree told me that I could just ask the cemetery to take the photos for me for $10! So much easier. It turned out to be quick, too, because the photos showed up in my mailbox seemingly instantaneously. Thank you to Carl!

 

I knew Celia because when the gardener and I got married she was elderly. She traveled from NYC to Michigan for our wedding and brought her own food with her as she was worried that she wouldn’t be able to get kosher food in Kalamazoo.

She was a tiny little lady. Here is a photo of her dancing with her son, my father-in-law Murray, at our wedding.

Since Isidore passed away in 1953, I wasn’t even born yet, so I never met him. But his presence was always a part of the family that I married into.

 

I think these are extraordinarily beautiful headstones–the details are marvelous.

What did we learn from the headstones? We already knew their names and the dates they died. But we might have learned the year they both were born–Isidore’s by taking 1953 and subtracting his 68 years and hers by taking 1982 and subtracting her 89 years. Time will tell if we are right.

By translating the Hebrew we have learned that his father was listed as Shimon, and that Isidore’s Hebrew name was Itzchak Meir (my husband was named for him).

Celia’s Hebrew name was Tziviah Sheindel (Tzivia Shaindel). In fact, our daughter is named for her and for my grandmother–Miriam Shaindel. Several people translated the headstone, just to make sure. This is the one from a kind soul on a Facebook group.

Line 1, [abbreviation]: Here lies buried, L2: Tziviah Sheindel, daughter of , L3: Mr. Baruch Avraham, L4: died 4 Kislev 5743, L5: [abbreviation] May her soul be bound in the bond of life.

 

The “Mr.” is seen in the abbreviation resh (R) followed by what looks like an apostrophe. This is for the Yiddish word Reb (according to the translator above), which is a term of honor closest to mister. Remember in Fiddler on the Roof Tevye is sometimes called Reb Tevye?

It was very helpful to locate the headstones as an initial step, and I’m glad we tried what is closest at hand first. Having the names of the fathers will be a big help in searching in eastern Europe.