Sunday, November 1, 2009

Travel Documents - Part One: Affidavits of Support

For several months I have been transcribing the audiotape of family history my grandfather, Martin Deutsch recorded with his brother Ted and sister Berta.

Ted's son recently found, and sent my mother the family travel documents from 1913 for my great grandfather, Samuel Deutsch and his six children. My great grandmother, Helen, had traveled a year earlier. Handling the fragile documents with care, I scanned them in. The passport, issued in Kolosvar, Hungary, is in Hungarian, with a little bit of French. I will discuss the passport in a future post.

There were Affidavits of Support provided from three individuals.
1) My great grandmother, Helen (Lichtmann) Deutsch (image above, right.)
2) Adolf Rosenblum, the husband of Samuel's sister, Sarah Deutsch. (image above, middle)
3) A Samuel Goldberg, who claimed on the form to be a nephew. (image above, left)

Samuel Goldberg is a new name for my database. His address on the form matches the address on Helen Deutsch's form, suggesting that there may have been some truth to his claim of relationship. Nephew could mean several different relationships though. He could be the son of a sister of either Samuel or Helen Deutsch. Or the husband of a daughter of any sibling of Samuel or Helen.

I believe I know all the brothers and sisters of Helen who made it to America and who they married. I'm not confident I know this for Samuel. But I do know that there is a 'mystery brother' for Samuel, who had a son named Herman. (Not the Herman, son of David, who changed his surname to Dexter, but the son of another brother, who didn't change his surname.) And that brother could have also had a daughter who married a Goldberg. That's my best guess as of this moment.

1910-1930 censuses weren't much help. There were about a dozen Samuel Goldbergs in the Chicago area in 1910, none living at the same address as the individual on the Affidavit of Support in 1913. The marriages at Cook County Genealogy only went back to 1916. The records at FamilySearch go back further, and there is a Kate Deutsch who married a Samuel Goldberg in February of 1915. However, this doesn't appear to be a match, unless there was at least a 2-year engagement process. (Perhaps a traditional European arranged marriage?) I'm going to research the Chicago City Directories to see if they lead me anywhere.

The other 'new information' on these forms is the occupation my great grandmother listed. We knew she had been doing some sewing. But she listed 'Mid wife' as her occupation, earning $10/week. Her cash and personal property totaled $300 in 1913. (Adolf Rosenblum earned $25/week and had $800 total, and Samuel Goldberg earned $20/week and had $3,000 total.)

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