Monday, September 21, 2009

Amanuensis Monday: Cousins, and Coming to America

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

I continue transcribing the tape my grandfather, Martin Deutsch, and his brother, Ted Deutsch, recorded in 1977.


: Well then, here we are now, you’re about 10 or 11 years old say in 1912
Ted: 1912
Martin: 1911, 1911 is when mother came over by herself, am I right about that?
Ted: She had a sister here in Racine
Martin: That’s...what was her name?
Ted: Gold
Martin: I forget her first name
Ted: Bertha. Bertha Gold.
Martin: She was a half-sister. She is Emily Fox’s mother.
Ted: She was from the same father. They had the same father. And she was here in Racine, and she was doing pretty good here
Martin: Had she been here more than a year or two?
Ted: Yeah, because, well she had grown children. Not grown, but she already had children born here. At least two or three.
Martin: I think she had three all together, didn’t she Emily, Bill, and I forget the
Ted: Al. Albert. She must have been here for some time I would say five six years at least
Martin: And there were others in the family I think that came over
Ted: There were, she had also had another sister and she was out here, and she came back to Hungary. Her name was Rose, I believe, Rosa.
Martin: Did Rosa come over at the same time with us, it seems to me
Ted: She’d been here before us. Then she went back to Europe, she went back to Hungary. And she got married, and she stayed there.
Martin: Whose sister?
Ted: Mother’s sister.
Martin: Mother’s sister. I remember her. She came over, but
Ted: She came over. Her husband had two great horses, grand horses he bought after he came back from America. He had money, so he bought himself two horses and called them Chassar and Chular. I remembered that when they visited us they drove a two horse wagon.
Martin: Of course, there were still other relatives too, including Mrs. Newman, Bertha Newman.
Ted: Yeah, well her father was Dad’s brother.
Martin: Her father was Dad’s brother. She was a niece of Dad’s then.
Ted: That’s right
Martin: And she had been here awhile, I don’t know how she came.
Ted: Her father was here.
Martin: Oh, I see.
Ted: Dad’s brother, his name was Dovid Leib, Dovid Leib they called him in Hebrew. His name was David. His brother David was here, and then he went back also. What they did was they came here and they made some money
Martin: A few dollars and went back


Ted: They saved their money and went back. He bought himself a saloon over in Buchem, which wasn’t too far from Varalmash.
Martin: And settled down there
Ted: And settled down there. And then his daughter Newman, Bertha Newman, and his son came out here, and they got married here and stayed here. His son’s name was, changed his name to Dexter.
Martin: Oh, that was Dexter. So that was another nephew of Dad’s.
Ted: Dexter and Bertha Newman were brother and sister, and their father was Dovid Leib they called him.
Martin: That was then the brother of Dad’s. Dexter and Bertha Newman were niece and nephew of Dad’s, they were our cousins in other words.
Ted: Yeah, they were our cousins. They came here and lived here, but the old man went back and stayed.
Martin: That’s what it was. I get the idea now. With all that coming and going, I can see there was in the air the atmosphere a familiarity of the
Ted: That’s right, Dad, had a brother who was here and went back, and they made money. And mother had a sister who came here and went back, and they made money. So mother got an idea. She ought to go because she had a sister here, and Dad was too old. He was twenty years her senior. So she figured it woud be better for her to go. And it worked out that she had Berta at that time – 1911, and soon after Berta - she was born in 1910, I believe, as soon as she was a year old she made up her mind that
Martin: She was going to do it
Ted: She was going to do it, and she wrote to her sister Bertha, Mrs. Gold, and arranged for her to buy a ticket for her to bring her around
Martin: How much do you guess a ticket would cost - $100-$200 for a person to come over in steerage.
Ted: At that time I believe it would cost about $100
Martin: At least that
Ted: In steerage.
Martin: In the steerage of course we all know what that…
Ted: They always bought it on the installment plan, So that it took $25 and the rest a dollar a week. They had these agents.
Martin: It was still a real accomplishment. And took a lot of intelligence and knowhow to leave the backwoods of Hungary and get to wherever you could board a ship and you didn’t know the language.
Ted: Never saw a ship before.
Martin: You still had to cross those mountains to get over somewhere
Ted: Mother had a lot of guts
Martin: She did, there’s no question about it
Ted: No question about it
Martin: And she must have been the prime
Ted: To leave six kids and all, and a one year old child in care of a twenty year old man…a fifty year old man.
Martin: A fifty year old man, and of course
Ted: Of course she had Jean
Martin: Jean was the oldest, she was about 11
Ted: At that time she must have been, If I was 11, she must have been 13
Martin: Which isn’t bad if that’s true
Ted: She was 2-3 years older than I am, she could have been 14
Martin: Well..
Ted: But she took care of the kids at home while she was here.
Martin: There’s a lot of cooking and sewing, of course there wasn’t much washing of clothes or anything
Ted: No, we didn’t need much of that. The cooking and making the dinners and food, was enough.
Martin: That sure should be enough for six or seven or eight kids
Ted: They had to start from scratch when they made something to eat, they didn’t have no place to go to buy it.
Martin: Not only that but you didn’t have the facility of being able to turn on the gas stove, where would you get your heat?
Ted: Every time you had to make a fire you had to go out and get some wood.
Martin: You couldn’t get any canned peas.
Ted: Nothing. Everything came from the garden.
Martin: The garden, and of course we didn’t have any money to go buy anything


Martin and Ted get confused with ages often. It was established earlier in the tape that their sister Jean was likely born in 1899, which means she would have been 13 in 1912 when their mother left for America. Ted, born in 1902, would only have been 10, while Berta, born in 1911, was 1. The rest of the family followed a year later in 1913.

Relatives mentioned:
Sisters of Martin and Ted's mother, Helen (Lichtmann) Deutsch: Bertha (Lichtmann) Gold, and Rosa Lichtmann
Children of Bertha Gold: Emilie (Gold) Fox, Bill Gold, Albert Gold
Brother of Martin and Ted's father, Samuel Deutsch: Dovid Leib (David)
Children of David Deutsch: Bertha (Deutsch) Newman, and Herman (Deutsch) Dexter.

If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post below, or in the comments.

1 comment:

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

That must have been a very hard year for Jean as the oldest. Of course 50 isn't all that old and I imagine that their father did a lot more than they remember.