Monday, January 7, 2008

Where was my family in 1908?

Lisa at 100 Years in America began this meme: Where was my family in 1908? Several others have picked up on it. I have found it interesting comparing the several branches of my family, and following the paths that led them all together.

I. The Deutsch Family: Transylvania

Martin Deutsch, was born in 1907 in Transylvania, in what is now Salaj County, Romania. In 1908 his brother Armon would have still been alive. It's not certain, but my best guess is that The Accident I wrote about back in October occurred in 1909. They came to the US in 1913, and settled in Chicago.

II. The Van Every Family: Texas

Myrtle Van Every, was born in 1900 in Texas. In 1908 she was probably in Caldwell County. That's where her father was in 1910, but no one is listed with her father on the 1910 census, which is extraordinarily strange. Her oldest sister, Minnie, born in 1884, was already married. Myrtle wouldn't meet Martin until the 1930s - both of them ending up in St. Louis following jobs. They were married in 1936.

III. The Newmark Family: A Year of Travel

Samuel and Rose Newmark, with children, including my great-grandfather Barney were all over the place in 1908. In 1904, Samuel and Barney traveled to Canada, and had spent 3 years there, crossing the border into America in July, 1907. They claimed they were headed to St. Paul MN to visit a cousin named Joseph. No one knows who this cousin was, or if he even existed. Samuel's middle name was Joseph, and the cousin could have been an invention. The next record has them, and brother Sol, arriving at Ellis Island in October of 1908. So they had traveled back to London, picked up Sol, and returned to NY in that time. Now they claimed they were headed to Memphis. Since the 1909 immigration records for the rest of the family claim they are headed to Memphis too, it's probably likely that Samuel, Barney and Sol really were in Memphis the last few months of 1908 while the rest of the family remained in London., where they had been while Samuel and Barney traveled through Canada and the US. In 1909 Sol's wife, Sarah gave birth to a daughter in St. Louis, and the whole family is in St. Louis in 1910 for the census. What happened to Memphis is unclear.

Update: Samuel and Barney actually arrived in Canada in 1907 and were only in Canada for 2 months. My original error was based on this border crossing document. It appeared they landed in May 04, but that should say May 07.

IV. The Cruvant Family: Flip a coin. Heads: St. Louis, Tails: Chicago.

I really don't know. I hope to figure out through perhaps the voting records. I have a cousin who has done a lot of research on the Cruvants, including going through the city directories. From 1889-1901, for almost every year, I have the St. Louis City address for patriarch Moshe Leyb (Morris) Cruvant - and assumedly the rest of the family. In 1904, Morris is in Chicago, along with his son, Ben. I have no idea where everyone else is. Did they go to Chicago with them? Did they remain in St. Louis? In 1904, Ben marries a woman in Chicago, and then proceeds to have two children. Both Ben and Morris are in East St. Louis in 1910. Ben's wife, and children, are in Chicago in 1910, she is listed as a widow, though Ben is alive, just 600 miles away, waving goodbye to his first family, and marrying wife number two in 1912. This is also about the same time Ben's sister, Bertha gets married to Barney Newmark, and my grandfather is born. My guess is in 1908 Bertha was either in St. Louis City, or East St. Louis. Though her father may have still been in Chicago.

V. The Feinsteins and the Blatts: St. Louis City

In 1908, Anna Blatt, daughter of Morris, is about nineteen years old and living in St. Louis. Two years later she is a lodger in an apartment next door to where her older sister, Blanche, is living with her husband and growing family. Blanche married about 1903. It's likely in 1908 Anna was already next door. They got out of the family house as soon as they could, because they had a stepmother, and the step-family apparently didn't treat Anna and Blanche well.

Nothing at all unusual about the Dudelsack-Feinsteins. They are in St. Louis City as well. The father is in the Laundry business, and the children help. Son, Herman will marry Anna Blatt in 1912, and my grandmother will be born in 1914.

1908: Transylvania, Texas, possibly St. Paul, Atlantic Ocean, London, Ellis Island, Memphis, St. Louis, and perhaps Chicago.

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