Saturday, November 18, 2023

Solving the Blatyta Wajman (Blatt Wyman) Conundrum

I’ve written before about a conundrum between records uncovered and family lore in my Blatyta/Blatt line. I’ve uncovered a possible explanation behind the conundrum.

Family lore:

  • Morris Blatt (Moshe son of Jacob) and Belle Wyman were married in Łosice, Poland.  
  • They had two daughters: Blanche and Annie. 
  • Belle died of a bee sting in Poland, but likely after Morris and Belle had separated/divorced. 
  • Morris, Blanche, and Annie immigrated to America (St. Louis, Missouri). 
  • Morris married Mollie Kellner in St. Louis, and they had two more children. 
  • Blanche married Joe Wyman, and there were family jokes about whether she married a cousin.

Earlier Research:

Early in my research, I received well-cited research done by a cousin stating a Moshe (son of Yankiel) Blatyta married Chaia Beila Boksern in Losice. Yankiel is a common nickname for Jacob. When I uncovered the actual marriage record, it confirmed that this was the first marriage for both individuals.

How could Chaia Beila’s daughters be confused about their mother’s maiden name to the point that a family joke developed? Perhaps there were Wymans in her family tree, but there seemed to be some certainty that Belle was a Wyman herself. Could there be two Moshe sons of Jacob? We did not have birth records for Blanche or Anna. The records for their years of assumed birth do not appear to have survived. Even for years that records survived, the records are likely not complete.

Morris arrived in America in September 1889. In 1900 he, Blanche, Anna, his second wife, and their one son, are all living in St. Louis. (Morris and Mollie’s second child, a daughter, would be born in 1903.) Additional records uncovered there was a son of Morris and Molile who died as an infant in the intervening years.

Of course, there's an 11-year gap between 1889 and 1900. The missing 1890 census rears its ugly head.

Recent Research:

Recently I uncovered the immigration records for Blanche and Annie – in 1899. Ten years after their father. They were traveling under the Hebrew names of Breine and Chana, with Esther Winterman and her children, Yankel (Jacob), Abram, and Masche (Mary).

The manifest records them all as meeting a B. Winterman in St. Louis, with him identified as Esther’s husband, and the father of both the Winterman and Blatt children. In 1900 Esther and her children are living in St. Louis with Henry/Harry Winterman. (Confusion of first names isn’t impossible. Multiple names are common.)

We were familiar with the Winterman family. We knew them as some sort of Wyman cousins. We hadn’t yet identified how.

It’s possible if Morris and Belle really did separate as family lore suggests, the children remained with the mother. After Chaiia Bella died, it appears Blanche and Annie were raised by the Wintermans. So they could easily have viewed Esther as sort of a mother figure, even if they knew it wasn’t biological. 

According to her death certificate, Esther’s maiden name was Wyman. 

With the assistance of the cousin I mentioned in the first paragraph, we have uncovered Esther Wajman’s birth record in Polish archives, along with the birth records for two of her three children on the manifest. 

It isn’t difficult to hypothesize confusion – not on the maiden name of their mother – but a confusion of details between biological and adoptive mothers.

I still need to figure out how Esther Wyman Winterman and Chaia Beila Boksern Blatyta were related, if they were. But absent birth records for Blanche and Annie, I am more confident Chaia Beila was their mother. We may never be able to find those records, so we need to do the best we can with the records that have survived.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Timeline for Samuel Joseph Newmark 1862-1940

Timelines can be a great tool. They can illustrate what records have been obtained, and what might be missing. Gaps of knowledge can sometimes be better seen. Last year I posted timelines for three of my four paternal 2nd great-grandfathers. I actually created the below timeline back then as well, but didn't post it. There may have been some dates I wanted to look up.

For Sam, and his wife Rose, most of the records I have, beyond passenger manifests, are dates pertaining to the life events of his children. The dates for all events in Poland are based on when anniversaries were observed, or dates recorded on later records.

Timeline for my 2nd great grandfather, Samuel Joseph Newmark
    • 1862 - Samuel Joseph Newmark was born to Israel David & Leah in Warka, Poland 
    • Dec 17, 1880 - married Rose Cantkert 
    • Sept 15, 1882 - Son, Solomon born in Warka 
    • March 25, 1886 - Son, Barney born in Warka 
    • Dec 25, 1886 - Daughter, Nellie, born in Warka 
    • March 4, 1890 - Daughter, Bella, born in Warka 
    • Aug 16, 1892 - Son, Meier/Max, born in Warka 
    • 1893 - Family immigrates to London, England 
    • October 1893 -- Nellie and Bella enroll at Westminster Jews Free School in London. (Boys records did not survive)
    • Nov 27, 1894 - Daughter, Kate, born in London 
    • Aug 16, 1896 - Daughter, Cecile, born in London 
    • August 1898 - Nellie and Bella leave Westminster Jews Free School (Reasons given: Required at Home/Work) 
    • Aug 31, 1902 - Son, Solomon, marries Sarah Nathan at the Great Synagogue in London
    • Apr 3, 1903 - Son Israel David born in London 
    • Nov 30, 1903 - According to a passenger manifest, Samuel may have traveled to the US. 
    • March 9, 1904 - Granddaughter, Minnie Bertha, born to Sol and Sarah in London
    • March 21, 1905 - Grandson, Israel David, born to Sol and Sarah in London
    • Aug 27, 1906 - Grandson Moses (Maurice) born to Sol and Sarah in London
    • May 11, 1907 - With son, Barney, visited North America. Landed in Quebec. Crossed the border to the US in July. Returned to London.
    • Oct 14, 1908 - With sons, Sol & Barney, arrived in the US
    • March 21, 1909 - Rose and the remaining children and grandchildren arrive in the US.
    • April 19, 1909 - Granddaughter Esther born to Sol and Sarah (dies as an infant)
    • Jan 30, 1910 - Daughters Nellie and Bella marry Morris Fudemberg and Charles Cohen in a double wedding in St. Louis
    • Feb 7, 1911 - Granddaughter Bess born to Bella and Charles Cohen
    • Aug 27, 1911 - Son, Barney, marries Bertha Cruvant
    • April 27, 1912 - Granddaughter Sylvia born to Nellie and Morris Fudemberg
    • Aug 27, 1912 - Grandson, Melvin, born to Barney and Bertha
    • Feb 6, 1913 - Daughter Kate marries Phillip Jacobs in St. Louis, MO
    • Feb 7, 1913 - Son, Max, marries Dora Neustetter in Chicago, IL
    • Dec 16, 1913 - Daughter Natalie born to Kate and Philip Jacobs in Chicago
    • About 1914 - Daughter Cecile marries Hyman Gold in St. Louis
    • April 14, 1914 - Grandson Adolph Abraham (Andy) born to Bella and Charles Cohen
    • June 27, 1914 - Grandson  Nelson born to Max and Dora Newmark
    • Dec 23, 1914 - Granddaughter Nellie, born to Sol and Sarah
    • Sept 26, 1915 - Granddaughter Bernice, born to Cecile and Hyman Gold in St. Louis
    • Dec 17, 1915 - Grandson Harold Carl, born to Nellie and Morris Fudemberg
    • July 27, 1916 - Grandson Harold Irving David born to Kate and Philip Jacobs in Chicago
    • April 6, 1918 - Grandson Harold born to Max and Dora Newmark
    • Oct 11, 1918 - Grandson Paul William born to Nellie and Morris Fudemberg
    • Feb 24, 1923 - Granddaughter Minnie Bertha dies.
    • Feb 27, 1923 - Grandson Irving born to Nellie and Morris Fudemberg
    • July 13, 1923 - Granddaughter Bernice born to Bella and Charles Cohen
    • Jan 1927 - Son Israel David marries Clara Rubin 
    • Sept 25, 1928 - Grandson Victor born to Cecilie and Hyman Gold, in East St. Louis, IL
    • Dec 9, 1928 - Grandson Philip born to Israel David and Clara
    • Jan 31, 1931 - Son, Max, died. (Shot by burglar) 
    • March 28, 1932 - Grandson, Mark, born to Israel David and Clara
    • Dec 4, 1934 - Son, Sol, died. 
    • 1936 - Grandson, Melvin, marries Belle Feinstein
    • 1938 - Great Grandson, ___, born to Melvin and Belle 
    • July 20, 1940 - Samuel Joseph died.

    1) Samuel Joseph and his wife, Rose, were my only 2nd great-grandparents to live to see a great-grandchild. (I tend to leave out names and dates for living kin.)

    2) February 6th and 7th 1913 was a Thursday and a Friday. Did Sam and Rose manage to attend both of their kids' weddings, one in St. Louis, and one in Chicago, one day apart? What about the siblings? It's a six-hour drive, and there were trains, so it's not impossible. Couldn't the couples have arranged that better for the family?