Monday, February 24, 2020

Amanuensis Monday: The Petition for Naturalization of Herman Deutsch - 1927

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

Today I transcribe a Petition for Naturalization completed by Herman Deutsch, a first cousin of my maternal grandfather, Martin Deutsch.

United States of America
PETITION FOR NATURALIZATION

To the Honorable the District Court of the United States, Northern District of Illinois:

The petition of Herman Deutsch, hereby filed, respectfully showeth:

First: My place of residence is 1251 Irving Ave., Chicago, Illinois.

Second: My occupation is Upholsterer.

Third. I was born on the 7th day of April, anno Domini 1895, at Bucium, Roumania.

Fourth. I emigrated to the United States from Liverpool, England, on or about the 1st day of March
anno Domini 1921, and arrived in the United States at the port of New York, on the 11th day of March anno Domini 1921 on the vessel Imperator.

Fifth. I declared my intention to become a citizen of the United States on the 29th day of May, anno Domini 1922 at Chicago, Ill. In the Superior Court of Cook County.

Sixth. I am married. My wife’s name is Dora; she was born on the 1st day of May, anno Domini 1893 At Roumania, and now resides at with me, Chicago, Illinois. I have 5 children, and the name, date and place of birth, and place of residence of each of said children is as follows:

Sarah, born 29th July 1914 in Roumania
Sollie, born 22nd June 1916 “
Pearl, born 2nd June 1921 Chicago
Albert, born 31st December 1922 “
Lillian, born 21st May 1924 “
Reside in Chicago, Ill

Seventh. ….. renounce absolutely and forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, and particularly to Ferdinand I, King of Roumania, of whom at this time I am a subject, and it is my intention to reside permanently in the United States

Eighth. I am able to speak the English language

Ninth. I have resided continuously in the United States of America for the term of five years at least immediately preceding the date of this petition, to wit, since the 11th day of March, anno Domini, 1921, and in the State of Illinois, continuously next preceding the date of this petition, since the 13 day of March, anno Domini 1921, being a residence within this State of at least one year next preceding the date of this petition.

Tenth. I have not heretofore made petition for citizenship at any court.

Signature – Herman Deutsch

Declaration of Intention # 14316 and Certificate of Arrival from Department of Labor filed this 21st day of April, 1927.

Affidavits of Petitioner and Witnesses

Witnesses:
Abraham Glick, occupation Tailor, resideing at 1452 Western Ave., Chicago Illinois
And Joseph Schwartzman, occupation Unemployed, residing at 1215 Irving Ave., Chicago Illinois

Subscribed and sworn to before me by the above named petitioner and witnesses in the offices of the Clerk of said Court at Chicago, Ill, this 21st day of April, anno Domini 1927


Notes:

1. Starting in 1922 women had to start filling for Naturalization separately from the husbands, so there is a corresponding petition filled out for Dora (Diamant) Deutsch dated in 1929.

2. The passenger manifest indicates Herman's brother, Joseph, as the contact in America to which they were headed. Until finding the manifest, I wasn't positive Herman was Joseph's brother. I knew he was related, and my grandfather and siblings recalled him as the brother of Joseph in a tape recording they made in the 1970s, but memories of family relationships can be imprecise at times. But due to the petition and manifest I can definitively place him in the tree.

3. Bucium is also the birthplace of my great grandfather, Samuel Deutsch. Though it was part of Hungary at the time of the births for both Samuel and Herman. The border-changing is part of the reason I stick with "Transylvanian" when describing that part of my ancestry.

4. For some reason Sollie is listed on the Passenger Manifest as Bela, and identified as a daughter. I suspect it was a clerical error in reading the information from their Passport Book. I have the passport book my great grandfather's family traveled under in 1913, and I'm sure it was similar. I suspect they would show the book to the ship authorities, who would then transcribe the information.

5. I do not yet know if the witnesses are relatives or friends.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Mineral Wells Texas - What Were Morris & Mollie Blatt Doing There?

Back in 1987, my paternal grandmother was interviewed, and she stated that her mother, Anna Blatt Feinstein, first arrived in the United States in Mineral Wells, Texas. In 2010, when I transcribed the interview, I knew there had to be some story behind this, as no one comes up with the town Mineral Wells, Texas out of thin air.

However
  • My great grandmother, Anna, was born in 1890, in Poland.
  • In 1893 my great great grandfather Moshe "Morris" Blatt married his second wife, Mollie, in St. Louis.
  • In 1898 their first child, Henry, was born, in St. Louis
  • In 1900 they, and his daughters from his first marriage, Anna and Blanche, are all recorded in St. Louis
  • In 1903 Morris and Mollie's second child, Pearl was born, in St. Louis
  • In the 1910 census they are all still recorded in St. Louis.
So I was left wondering.

Below is a page from the 1907 Mineral Wells, Texas City Directory

There is a Moses (and Mallie) Blatt
And in the next line there is an Annie.

Moses is a tailor, which matches my 2nd great grandfather's profession.

In 1909 Moses and Mallie were still in Mineral Wells, though Annie doesn't appear in that city directory.

City directories prior to 1907 currently aren’t available online.

So, while these could be different Blatts, it is likely I have confirmed they did spend some time in that city, and have an approximate time-span.

But why did they move to Mineral Wells, Texas, and why did they return to St. Louis? Will I ever know?

I will also note I still have not found my great grandmother's immigration records. So it is possible that at some point in time between 1890 and 1900 she did immigrate to the US through Texas, with other relatives perhaps, met up with her father in St. Louis, and then returned briefly around 1907.

Possible record sources for further research might include researching the community to see if there were any synagogues in or near Mineral Wells at the time and seeing if any membership records still exist.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Wordless Wednesday: Advertising Slogans

My second great grandfather, Selig Feinstein, and my great grandfather, Herman M Feinstein, may not have been the best at coming up with advertising slogans for their laundry.

Royal Laundry AdvertisementRoyal Laundry Advertisement Fri, Aug 26, 1910 – 1 · The Jewish Voice (St. Louis, Missouri) · Newspapers.com

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Veterans Day/Remembrance Day 2019

Caption for photo to left: Human Statue of Liberty. 18,000 Officers and Men at Camp Dodge, Des Moines, Iowa. Colonel William Newman, Commanding. Colonel Rush S. Wells, Directing. Mole & Thomas, 09/1918. (source)

Monday, November 11 is Veterans Day in the US, and Remembrance Day in the UK, Canada, Australia, France and Belgium. In Poland it is celebrated as National Independence Day.

Below are the names of ancestors, and their siblings, who I know served their nation's military, either in a time of war, or in a time of peace. I am including my Loyalist ancestors; their nation was Great Britain. Canada became their country after the war. I am including my Confederate ancestors too, despite their desire to form a separate nation. I am also including a Conscientious Objector ancestor since the DAR counts him as a Patriot.

Fifth Great Grandfathers
McGregory Van Every (1723-1786) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers
Michael Showers (1733-1796) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers
Mark Fretz (1750-1840) Patriot (Inactive Duty) Pennsylvania militia

Fourth Great Grandfather
David Van Every (1757-1820) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers (served briefly as a Patriot in the NY militia)

Fifth Great Uncle
Benjamin Van Every (1759-1795) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers (served briefly as a Patriot in the NY militia)
William Van Every (1765-1832) Loyalist/Butler's Rangers
Peter Van Every (1771-bef 1816) Loyalist/Fifth Lincoln and Second York regiments (War of 1812)

Fourth Great Uncles
David Van Every Jr. (1782-1847) Loyalist/Second York regiment (War of 1812)
Michael Van Every (1790-?) Loyalist/Fifth Lincoln and Second York regiments (War of 1812)

Second Great Grandfather
Ebenezer Denyer (1828-1872) (Mexican-American War) (Confederate Army)

Third Great Uncles
Samuel Jennings Denyer (1822-1861) (Gonzales County Minute Men - Republic of Texas -1841)
Samuel T Hartley (1830-1920) (Confederate Army)

Great Grandfather
Samuel Deutsch (1861-1938) (Franz Josef's Austro-Hungarian Army)

Second Great Uncle
Nelson D Van Every (1845-1926) (Union Army)

Grandfathers
Melvin L Newmark (1912-1992), WWII
Martin J Deutsch (1907-1991), WWII

Great Uncles
Jerry Deutsch (1909-1950), WWII
Allen Deutsch (1914-1988), WWII
Harold Newmark (1915-2003), WWII
Mandell Newmark (1923-1945), WWII (KIA)
Bernard Feinstin (1913-1968), WWII
Seymour Feinstein (1917-1999), WWII

Uncle
Stevan J Newmark (1942-1997) Army Reserves

Photographs of those who served in World War II

My grandfathers Melvin Newmark (1912-1992) and Martin Deutsch (1907-1991)


Allen Deutsch (1914-1988) and Maurice "Jerry" Deutsch (1909-1950).


Harold Newmark (1915-2003) and Mandell Newmark (1923-1945).


Bernard "Benny" Feinstein (1913-1968) and Seymour "Babe" Feinstein (1917-1999)

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

AncestryDNA Ethnicity Results

DNA Ethnicity results aren't an exact science, and in some respects, are mostly for entertainment purposes. A large number of genealogists will tell you they do the DNA tests in order to find living relatives to communicate with, not for ancestral ethnicity. For that knowledge, we research the records.

In 2012 AncestryDNA described my Ethnicity like this. I knew I should be about 75% European Jewish, if I inherited exactly 25% of my DNA from each grandparent, but 53+17 came pretty close.




In October of 2013 they updated their results, and the Uncertain amount disappeared.

The trace amounts of Pacific Islander surprised me. Caucasus can include Russia, so that wasn't too surprising. Though I later learned that the Caucasus was on my maternal line, which meant either some of my Transylvanian Jewish ancestors came from Russia originally, or there were some Caucasus roots elsewhere.

The breakdown has remained pretty consistent at Ancestry. At some point in the past 7 years, they  added their information on Communities, but the overall ethnicity breakdown has remained the same for me. Until a recent update:



No more Caucasus. No more Pacific Islander. And I am 79% European Jewish. (That's actually the high end of a 66%-79% range. So I think it's a pretty good estimate. And illustrates how useless DNA ethnicity charts are for most European Jews. Yes, the community information is nice, but Ancestry is unable to currently tell us how much from each.) The composition of the remaining 21% of my ancestry doesn't divert much from my research. 5% is almost one second great grandparent, so that feels a little high for my Irish/Scottish ancestry, but I know I have some. I don't know who my Finnish ancestors are.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Labor Day Weekend 2019

As you light up your barbecues this weekend and enjoy your day off from work Monday (those who have the day off) - take some part of the day to consider the advancements we have made in workers' rights over the last century - Many of us may have ancestors who worked in the coal mines or sweatshops.

Also, consider in what ways the struggles aren't over.

Here's a playlist of songs which may help.



A Pict Song - Rudyard Kipling (1917)

Rome never looks where she treads,
Always her heavy hooves fall,
On our stomachs, our hearts or our heads;
And Rome never heeds when we bawl.
Her sentries pass on—that is all,
And we gather behind them in hordes,
And plot to reconquer the Wall,
With only our tongues for our swords.

We are the Little Folk—we !
Too little to love or to hate.
Leave us alone and you'll see
How we can drag down the Great!
We are the worm in the wood !
We are the rot at the root!
We are the germ in the blood !
We are the thorn in the foot !

Mistletoe killing an oak—
Rats gnawing cables in two—
Moths making holes in a cloak—
How they must love what they do!
Yes,—and we Little Folk too,
We are as busy as they—
Working our works out of view—
Watch, and you'll see it some day!

No indeed ! We are not strong,
But we know Peoples that are.
Yes, and we'll guide them along,
To smash and destroy you in War!
We shall be slaves just the same ?
Yes, we have always been slaves;
But you—you will die of the shame,
And then we shall dance on your graves.

We are the Little Folk, we ! etc.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Missouri Historical Society Library and Research Center databases

I received my copy of the Missouri Historical Society’s Genealogy and House History monthly eNewsletter yesterday.

They too mentioned the ongoing digitization of St. Louis area newspapers by Ancestry.com, which was announced back in April. Apparently they also have a subscription to the ProQuest version of Newspapers.com, and visitors can access it at their Library and Research Center.
.
I go to the St. Louis County Library headquarters for most of my library-based genealogy research, but I have a nostalgic fondness for the Library and Research Center building. It used to be a synagogue. The reading room is the former sanctuary where I became a Bar Mitzvah in 1982, and where my grandmother was confirmed in 1930.

I decided to see what other subscription databases they might offer

1) America: History and Life
2) Ancestry.com (the library edition)
3) Fold3
4) Frontier Life (includes the journals of Lewis and Clark)
5) JSTOR
6) Newspapers.com (library edition)
7) WorldCat Discovery (with links to full text results from America: History and Life, and JSOR)
8) World’s Fairs: A Global History of Expositions

St. Louis County Library has Ancestry, Fold3, and Newspapers.com, however it doesn’t have America: History and Life, or JSTOR. Access to these is definitely worth making the 7 mile trip to visit my childhood sanctuary on a more regular basis. They don’t have evening hours, but they are open on Saturdays.