Posted in Belarus, Bronx, Genealogy, Lifschitz, Lipschitz, New York

Isaac/Ike Lifschitz and Family


A warm sincere thank you to  Jane and Judy for sharing this priceless photo of their parents and grandparents with me; along with permission to share it with you.

In the photo below seated is Isaac/Ike Lifschitz and his wife Rebecca Leff, standing from left to right are their two son’s David Lifschitz, his wife Beatrice and Naphtali (Toli) and his wife Helen.  Ike, as he was known to his family, was a brother to my great grandfather Benjamin Lipschitz. (I have no known photo of Benjamin to compare this to)


This wonderful photo is a wedding picture for Toli (Lifschitz) Lewis and Helen Lillian Block. They were married June 7th, 1936, N.Y.C., at the home of Lillian’s parents, John and Rose (Boorstein) Block, W. 101st St., N.Y.C.

It is important to note that David and Toli both changed their last name to Lewis in the 1930’s. Toli (Naphtali Lewis was an American papyrologist who published extensively on subjects ranging from the ancient papyrus industry to government in Roman Egypt.Wikipedia)

Father, Isaac/Ike Lifschitz was born May 1, 1880, Russia. I have not found any records to identify where exactly in the Russian Empire but all indications points the the Pale of Settlement, Minsk, Belarus (possibly Slutsk but not confirmed) Ike was laid to rest on Sept 15th, 1955 at Montefiore Cemetery. The burial society was listed as the United Minsker Benevolent Society.

lifschitz, r i photo.jpg

Here lies Mr Isar son of Mr. Dovid died 27 Elul 5715 May his soul be bound up in the bond of life

Here lies Rivkah daughter of Avraham Binyamin the Levite died 28 Av 5709 May her soul be bound up in the bond of life

(I am always thankful to the FB group Tracing The Tribe for the help in transcribing the Hebrew for me)

As I continued to put together the story of my great grandfather’s family a very real picture was beginning to come into focus. I was very excited to get the gravestone photo’s. Ike’s father’s name was confirmed as Dovid/David, the same as Benjamin’s just as we had thought.

So far I have learned that David Lipschitz/Lifschitz and his wife Chai/Ida/Edith Paley had 4 confirmed children. Mollie (1872), Simon (1873) Ike (1880) and Benjamin (1883).

Today I am focusing on Ike. The earliest record I located was his petition to naturalize (1902). Ike was residing at 106 Madison Ave N.Y.C.. According to this record he arrived on May 3rd, 1896. This would make him about 16 years of age. Already here was his brother Simon, who had arrived in 1888 and his sister Mollie, having arrived prior to her marriage to Hyman Cohen in 1893. Records collected so far place Mollie here in 1888/89. Jane believes the family had arrived together but I have not been able to find records to confirm this. It’s certainly possible that some arrived together.

Ike’s Petition to Naturalize


On Sunday, March 8th, 1903, Ike married Rebecca Leff at the Grand Lyceum Hall, 83 -85 Forseyth St. Notice that only Mrs. Lifschitz was noted, indicating that David had since passed.

8Document courtesy of Jane and Judy 

A google search for this address brought me to and this amazing 1929 photo of the venue where they were married.


85-83 Forsyth Street, adjoining and south of the S.W. corner of Grand Street. Shown is the Grand Lyceum Palaoe, 2n assembly hall. July 18, 1929.

As I continued to follow Ike and Rebecca my hope was to run into more information to connect him with my Benjamin. Living at 133 Henry St. in 1905, Ike (27) Rebecca (21) were joined by 1st son David (obviously named for his grandfather who had passed) Rebecca’s siblings Louis and Jennie were living with the family. Ike was working as a tailor, Louis a cigar maker and Jennie a dressmaker.

By 1910 the family had moved to 1268 Park Ave and remained there until sometime after the 1915 census. This address is important because Benjamin had arrived (dates differ significantly on all records) and was living at this address at the time of his marriage to Kate Rosen in 1913.  His marriage certificate is the earliest document I have located for him so far. By the time 1915 had arrived both Ike and Benjamin had established families. Ike (35) was working as a tailor – button hole maker which would continue as his occupation into the 1940’s. Ike and Rebecca had had their second child, Naphtali who was recorded as Nathan on this census. The spelling of the last name was recorded with a ‘p’ Lipschitz. What is clearly interesting to me and raises the question, when and why had Benjamin adopted the Lipschitz spelling and his extended family the Lifschitz spelling? Louis (cigar maker) and Jennie (dressmaker) were still living with them. Benjamin and his wife Kate were now living at 50 E. 98th St. Benjam Lipshitz (28) tailor, Kate, listed as (Un) for unknown name and daughter Minnie (7/12), my grandmother had been born. Ike and Ben were around the corner from each other as seen on the street map below.


Continuing to connect Benjamin to Ike was their WWI draft records. Both brothers were working at H & S Cohn at 92-6 Bleecker St.  (I have already shared these records on my last post) Ike however had moved his family to 1379 Franklin Ave, Bronx, remaining at the 1379 address through the 1920 census. Benjamin moved to 69 East 97th Street and remained at this address through 1940 when sometime afterwards he and Kate made the move to 1426 Vyse Ave, Bronx, where he later died in 1948. Kate would go on living passing in 1983.

From the 1925 – 1930 census the family had moved a few doors down to 1377 Franklin Ave. Ike (50) was still working as button hole maker, they were renting, value listed at $40. It was also noted that they had a radio. David was now 26 and working as a teacher at C.C.N.Y.. Naphtali was 18 and under ‘occupation’ it listed none. The census was taken in April so possibly he was completing high school, however school was not listed.

By 1940 Ike (61) and Rebecca (58) were empty nesters. Both David and Naphtali had moved on with their lives. David married in 1932 and Naphtali in 1936. Sometime before 1935 Ike and Rebecca moved to 105 Clarke Place, Bronx. Ike was still working as a button hole maker for ladies clothing. He had worked 31 weeks in 1939 and made $1500. Below is Ike’s WWII draft registration (1942) Notice on this record Ike had listed his birthdate as July 5, 1880. (I have added his WWI document so you can again see the birthdate listed as May 1, 1880) With this difference in date I questioned myself, could this be a different Isaac/Ike but with his occupation and address confirmed on the census, I had the right Ike.



This is as far as my research has taken me with Ike and Rebecca. It is by far not the end of their story. Rebecca passed in 1949 and Ike in 1955. The knowledge that Ike was an older brother to Benjamin has been lost. Difficult to prove conclusively at 100% but I feel positive that I am on the right track.

I have not located a death record for David Lifschitz or for his wife Chai/Ida/Edith Paley. Clearly from the wedding announcement for Ike and Rebecca we know that his mother  was alive in 1903. This will continue to be on my ‘to research list’ In my next post I will look at son Simon and continue to try and locate the other siblings of Benjamin, Isaac/Ike, Simon and Mollie.






Posted in Genealogy, Jewish History, Lipschitz, New York

Benjamin Lipschitz and 3 siblings?

About two weeks ago I noticed a new 3rd to 4th cousin DNA match on my ancestry account. I don’t often pursue these matches. There are way to many unknowns and the % for actually discovering the match is usually pretty low but every once in awhile there is a cousin match that makes you stop and say maybe…

A quick message out and an immediate response back put me in touch with Jane who verified she had a ‘Lifschitz’ name connection. Not my ‘Lipschitz’ spelling with a ‘P’ but as I have discovered the name is interconnected, constantly misspelled, with a ‘C’ with out ‘C’, with a ‘F’ or with a ‘P” and many other transcription errors. Jane and I began sharing information and then Jane invited her 1st cousin Judy to join the conversation.

And as often happens our conversations actually led to more questions than answers.

I am once again on the hunt but closing in on the immediate family of my great grandfather Benjamin Lipschitz b. November 10, 1883, Slutsk, Minsk, Belarus. As a way of family review I am posting the documents relevant to this post.

From his marriage license (1913) I learned he was residing at 1268 Park Ave, NYC, his parents were recorded as father David Lipschitz and mother Yetta Pallai  


From Benjamin’s WW1 record he was living at 69 E. 97th NYC, his name was listed as Beril Lipschitz, tailor working at H & S Cohn, 92 Bleeker St NYC, wife is listed Clara Lipschitz, and the witness was Laurence Ludner. Benjamin signed his name with his mark  ‘x’  and an additional notation reads “presented letter from his employer that he is deaf and dumb.” Even with the different names this is my Benjamin, as he was deaf (not dumb) and census records confirm this address.


From his social security application (1936) he was still living at 69 E. 97th NYC, as the address above, his name once again is recorded as Benjamin, working for Howard Manufacturing @ Jay High and Sands St. Brooklyn, age 52, Nov 10, 1883, Slutzk, Russia, father David Lipschitz and mother now recorded as Edith Palay. 


From his death certificate (1948) father is David and his mothers name was recorded as Gittel this time.  


The facts I want to bring attention to are: the address of 1268 Park Ave, NYC; a tailor working at H & S Cohn (1918), and his fathers name as David, his mother as Pallay/ Pallai.  

As Jane and I began to correspond she shared with me that she her father was named David and her grandfather was a man named Isaac/Ike Lifschitz married to Rebecca (Leff).  Jane also shared that Isaac/Ike’s father, her great grandfather was named David. That lit a fire in me. She also mentioned that Isaac/Ike had a sister named Mollie Lifschitz who married Hyman Cohen. With these names I was on the hunt and I was able to find a marriage record on family search for Mollie and Hyman. I was so surprised to see Mollies parents recorded as Davis Lifschitz and Ida Paley. Below is the marriage license I sent away for and received almost immediately.


If Molly and Isaac/Ike were siblings then his parents would also be this Davis/David Lifschitz and Ida Paley. The next question was, could Isaac and Mollie be siblings to my great grandfather Benjamin Lipschitz? Was Davis David ? and Ida my Yetta/Edith/Gittel ?

I was unable to find a marriage record  Issac/Ike and Rebecca. From Jane and Judy I learned Isaac was born 1 May 1880 and that their marriage date of March 8th, 1903 which was confirmed with a copy of their wedding invitation sent to me. I still could not fine a  marriage record on ancestry or family search.

With information on Isaac/Ike’s death passed on to me I had hoped to be able to order a death certificate but Isaac/Ike passed in 1955 and his death certificate is not available to me. I did however send away for a photo of his gravestone that I hope will confirm his fathers name. Isaac/Ike and Rebecca are buried together at Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, N.Y. The burial society is the United Minsker.

From census records I discovered that from 1910c through the 1915c Isaac (listed as Ike here and known to Jane and Judy as Ike) was living at 1268 Park Ave, NYC, the same address listed on Benjamin’s marriage license. Jane confirms that the Park Ave address is correct. Benjamin married in 1913. He was not reflected on the 1915c with Ike or on prior census records. In addition all attempts to locate when Benjamin had immigrated has failed. Every census record records a different arrival date for him. I am now leaning toward Benjamin arriving after the 1910c because I can not find him on any record prior to his 1913 marriage license.

On Ike’s 1918 WW1 draft registration, he is working at H & S Cohn, 92 Bleeker St., the same place that Benjamin was working.


Next, I located Isaac/Ike’s Naturalization Index with his witness listed as Simon Lifschitz living at 56 Monroe St.. Who was Simon Lifschitz?


Source InformationTitleU.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 (Indexed in World Archives Project) Operations, Inc.Publisher Date2010Publisher LocationProvo, UT, USA

Let me stop here for a minute to go over a little more information that was given to my by Jane.

“He was born in “Russia” on May 1, 1880. He had 4 brothers and 2 sisters. I only know the names Sam, Manny, Molly and RaeWe do not have Ike’s death certificate. We are quite sure that he died in September 1955. It was a Monday. My family visited him in the hospital Sunday evening. Think the hospital was Montefiore in the Bronx. Ike became a citizen on August 4, 1902 which could be a clue to when they came. He is Ike on his and Rebecca’s wedding invitation for Sunday, March 8, 1903. Only his mother was alive at that time.Correction: Looking at my notes more carefully, I now think Manny is actually FannyBelow is everything that I know about the 4 siblings for whom I have names. Sam was married to Esther. They had 2 sons, George and Sidney. Molly married Hyman Cohen. They had Jack and Joe and possibly others. Rae had 5 daughters and 1 son. Fanny had 2 daughters. One daughter’s last name was Pushkoff.

Back to Simon Lifschitz. I was able to find a record for his marriage to Annie Dinofsky in ancestry but then I hit the jack pot (I think) with a record from

Name: Simon Lipshitz
Gender: Male
Marriage Date: 24 Nov 1895
Marriage Place: Manhattan, New York, USA
Spouse: Annie Dinofsky
Certificate Number: 18491

Source New York, New York, Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014

Name Simon Lipshitz
Event Type Marriage
Event Date 24 Nov 1895
Event Place Manhattan, New York, New York, United States
Event Place (Original) New York (City), New York
Gender Male
Age 25
Marital Status Single
Race White
Birth Year (Estimated) 1870
Birthplace Russia
Father’s Name David Lipshitz
Mother’s Name Chia Paley
Spouse’s Name Annie Dinofsky Or Dynoffski
Spouse’s Gender Female
Spouse’s Age 20
Spouse’s Marital Status Single
Spouse’s Race White
Spouse’s Birth Year (Estimated) 1875
Spouse’s Birthplace Russia
Spouse’s Father’s Name Chalel Dinofsky
Spouse’s Mother’s Name Rachel Ruzoff

“New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch ( : 10 February 2018), Simon Lipshitz and Annie Dinofsky Or Dynoffski, 24 Nov 1895; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York

A few things jumped out at me with this record from familysearch. The spelling of the last name as Lipschitz, fathers name David Lipschitz and mother Chia Paley.

I located Simon and Annie living at 56 Monroe on the 1900 census, the same address listed on Issac/Ike’s naturalization index record for Simon Lifschitz. It appears I have the correct Lifschitz and have confirmed a 3rd sibling.


As the research begins to unfold I am feeling confident that I may have finally located  3 of my great grandfather Benjamin Lipschitz siblings. Isaac/Ike, Molly and now Simon. This is by far and hopefully, truly a huge break in his story and one I have been hoping and working towards for some time. There is much more to be uncovered and processed, and so much more to this story. In my next few posts I will try and lay out one of the more confusing sibling connections I may have found and add more detail to the sibling’s I have found in hopes of continuing to uncover their story and connection to Benjamin.

I would love some feed back and thoughts on this post and your opinion on whether you think Benjamin, Isaac, Molly and Simon could be or are siblings.

It has always been my contention that Benjamin, deaf from a childhood illness (typhoid fever while in Europe)  would not be coming to the United States alone. He would have to be sponsored and supported by someone but the who has been lost. We know that his marriage to Kate Rosen (also deaf from the same illness) was prearranged. Cousin Wendy remembers vaguely that Benjamin (her grandfather) was detained upon arrival due to possibly a cold and was later released to a cousin or Uncle.

My fingers are crossed.



Posted in Genealogy, Haimowitz, Jewish History, Lipschitz, New York

Valentines Day 1938

With February 14th here I wanted to post about Ronald Haimowitz, 2nd born to Myra and Irving Isidore Haimowitz. Ronald was brother to my mother Marlene; who was 4 years at the time of his death. A year after Ronald passed son Sheldon was born followed by Rochelle and Brenda.

I had been checking through some records looking for a specific address when I ran across Ronald’s death certificate. Stopping to take a look, I noticed his death date, February 14th, 1938, which made me pause and think about him. At the time I had begun researching my family, virtually nothing was actually remembered about Ronald, certainly not a name, just a hazy memory by those still here that there once was ‘another child’.


Ronald’s death certificate also yielded another clue into the lives of my grandparents Myra and Irving. Documented was the home address for the year 1938. 1 E. 213th St., Bronx. This is the building they were living in. (built in 1923)




While many were celebrating the day of love, Myra and Irving were saying goodbye to their baby Ronald. He passed away at 7:35 pm at 3 months and 4 days old. Ronald died from bronchopneumonia. Preceded in death by his grandmother Rebecca in 1937, Ronald was buried at Mt. Zion the same cemetery as Rebecca. Grandfather Samuel would be buried along with them in 1954.

Mt.ZionI have my homework cut out for me. I will be contacting Mt. Zion to see if a grave stones was placed for Ronald.

May I suggest a click to the link below to Forgotten New York for a fantastic article and tour of the many gravestone pictures. You may even find a member of your family.

Below: The Willard Parker Hospital, 1897 



I was curious about the name of the hospital on the death certificate and discovered from a simply google search that Willard Parker, E. 16th St, NYC, was a communicable disease hospital founded in 1885 – 1958. At its time, it was 1 of 3 hospitals in the city. In 1926 it established a School of Nursing.

Baby Ronald Haimowitz, you are not forgotten  





Posted in Genealogy, Haimowitz

will the Mystery Haimowitz Sister please reveal herself

Progress in learning who the mystery Haimowitz sister was has been slow with little to no head way.  She was the sister to my great grandfather Samuel Haimowitz. A few years back my 1st cousin 1x removed, Arline, shared a fabulous family picture with me. It is from the wedding reception at the marriage of Shirley Haimowitz to Albert S. Kitay. They were married June 13, 1946 in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The mystery is my great grandfather Samuel had a sister but no one remembers her name or who she married. I have been unable to locate any family photo with her in it except this one shared with me by Arline. Mystery sister is in the back row on the left with the glasses, her face partially covered. Next to her, her husband (I actually labeled Sam’s brother in error), Irving Lazar – Arline’s father, Marlene Haimowitz – my mother, Myra – my grandmother – Irving Isidore my grandfather, that’s Arline sitting on her mom’s lap – Fay Lazar, then Ida and Paul Haimowitz.


Haimowitzwedding2Photo curtesy of Arline Covell

I have begun the lengthy task of trying to locate every female Haimowitz in her age group, their marriages and sending away for the marriage certificates. I know their  parents name were Hyman Haimowitz and Ida Greenblatt. I am trying to find a woman with those parents listed on her marriage certificate. I know it is a long shot but it seems to be the only shot I have at this point.

Right now I have a list of 9 woman of which I have received 3 records back. Nope, haven’t found her yet. I am sending away for 1 record at a time and will exhaust my list first, then broaden my search years and start again.



Posted in Dornfest, Genealogy, Goldstein/Kessman, Jewish History

Laying Solomon And Sister Fannie Dornfest To Rest

Yesterday I received the photo’s of Solomon Dornfest and his wife Ida Price/Pries from Mt. Hebron Cemetery, Flushing, Queens, New York. Solomon’s headstone photo was the last puzzle piece in confirming that truly he was the brother of Fannie (Frieda) Dornfest, wife of Isaac Goldstein.


Solomon Dornfest 


Shlomo son of Shimon Zanvel Died 16th of Nissan 5684 

Always appreciative of the help from FB page ‘Tracing The Tribe’ and thank you to David Ellis, Yehudi Atlas and Marilyn Shain Labendz  for the interpretation of the stones.


Comparison photo of Fannie’s  headstone and interpretation to Solomon’s


Here lies buried the modest and esteemed woman of tender years Mrs. Frieda of our teacher and mentor Shimon Zanwil.


Ida Dornfest 


Our dear mother, a modest and important woman, Edel/Adel daughter of Mr. Asher Lemel died the 12th of Tammuz 5704 

When I began this investigation into the Dornfest’s, we were following Rae Goldstein daughter of Fannie Dornfest and Isaac Goldstein. We discovered that Rae had six siblings, Morris, Samuel, Nathan, Dinah/Dorah, Simon and Pincus/Phillip.

Now we have confirmed Fannie had a brother, who also immigrated and his name was Solomon. Our Rae Goldstein had eight 1st cousin’s to share her life with. Samuel, Simon, Lena/Lily, Fannie, Leon, Dorah/Doris, Julius and Benjamin.



Posted in Adoption, Familes, Genealogy, Haimowitz

Busy Birthday Week

This is an extremely busy birthday week. Not in the conventional sense of a Sunday – Saturday week but beginning on Thursday the 18th we celebrated my Aunt Rochelle’s birthday, the 22nd was her sister, my Aunt Brenda’s birthday and the 23rd marks my birth mother Marlene’s birthday.

With these days upon upon us, I have been thinking about my birth family and thought I would like to post a little about my search and finding them.

My birth mother was Marlene Haimowitz, born January 23, 1934 to Irving Isidore Haimowitz (1904 – 1951) and Myra Lipschitz (1914 – 1998)  I do not have many pictures of Marlene but this is one of my favorites. We met once in 2003 and again one more time before she passed away in 2005.


Below, her two beautiful sisters Rochelle and Brenda on Rochelle’s wedding day (1966) to Gil Steinman

Both wedding pictures courtesy of Lisa Gassman

This picture below is of Brenda with their brother Sheldon at Rochelle’s wedding. I only met Sheldon once before he passed away in Feb. 2003. My beautiful Aunt Brenda passed away last June, 2017.


It was  because of Brenda that I connected with my birth family. After a lengthy letter writing campaign that lasted many years she received my letter, called her sister Rochelle and said something like “I just got this letter from some lady who know’s a lot about our family…..” Brenda was only 3 when I was born and new very little about me, especially since I was not coffee table conversation. Rochelle however was 8 years old  and remembered quite well Marlene getting pregnant with me and the events that followed. In fact Rochelle has shared that she remembers going to visit Marlene at the unwed mothers home. Rochelle knew instantly I had found my family. She wasted no time in calling me that November of 2002.

This is LakeView Unwed Mother’s Home on Staten Island where Marlene lived and I was born. LakeviewUnwedMothersHome

I started my search in earnest back in the 1980’s. I actually had been operating on the assumption that my last name was Horowitz. My adopting parents believed either my birth mother or myself had been named Donna. One of the first things I did was to write to the Surrogate court where I was born and requested all the records I was entitled to. I wrote that I wanted to replace all records that had been stolen in a theft of my parents home. (actually that was the truth but I would have used that excuse if I had needed to) I can remember finding the documents as a teenager and actually seeing the last name. In that brief look at the documents in my parents safe, I remembered the name as being Horowitz and my parents confirmed that. To my delight and surprise the court sent my full adoption decree. There, bold as my life itself, my birth name was not Horowitz but Haimowitz. It read “in the adoption of  said child Donna Haimowitz”. Horowitz had been wrong. From this point I went to our local family history research center and ordered the NY birth index for 1953. In N.Y. state when they amend the original birth certificate they use the same certificate number as the original, it is not replaced. There I was in the index, I was truly Donna Haimowitz. My next step was to write to the adoption agency and ask for all my non identifying information. I had been placed with the Louise Wise Agency, a very popular Jewish Adoption service at the time.


From this 1st letter in 1987 I actually got a lot of information to identify the family and it was with this information that Brenda said I knew all about their family. I learned Marlene  was the 1 of 4 children. 1 was 3 in 1953 when I was born (Brenda) 1 was 13 when I was born (Sheldon) 1 was in between and she was Rochelle, 8. Marlene’s father died 2 years prior to my birth so I knew my grandfather had passed in 1951 and that Marlene didn’t finish high school but left when she was 16 to work and help support the family. My next step I decided was to compile a list of all the Haimowitz families in the U.S.. It was with this list that I began a letter writing campaign that would last for years. I sent out letters in batches of 12, then waited for the replies.




The binder above holds all my research starting in 1986 – 2002. I had pages of lists like the above, pages with ages then pages with addresses. * I should add here that DNA testing was not an option yet. The steno pad was sectioned off with the 4 main states I was searching. Looking at my notes and binders now I can see how rudimentary and scattered my research was. I also enclosed a self addressed and stamped post card with my letters asking that it be returned if they knew anything or if they were not the right family. I added my phone number as well and often I would receive a call form someone wanting so much to help. More people than not responded. I had a list for those who did not respond. That list became my possibilities and I would eventually contact them by mail a second and even a third time as a follow up.


I tried again in 1997 to get more information from Louise Wise. The letter below was in response to mine asking for more information. I specifically asked if my birth father was Puerto Rican. I knew  he wasn’t since I had been told he was Italian and I believed that, but, my thought was to ask with mis information which would require them to look again at the records and perhaps some other identifying information would be shared by mistake. Sadly, not.


All the years prior to finding my birth family I had been very guarded in talking with my adopting parents about my search. They were well aware I was searching. As the years went by and their memories were beginning to fail, my hope of locating my birth family was fading too. I felt I had to press a little more. I was feeling desperate and in a last attempt I pumped them for anything that might help me in my search. That is when they suddenly remembered something they had never shared. They told me they remembered being told that there might have been deafness in the family. First of all I was shocked and blown away by this revelation. I couldn’t believe they had never mentioned this. Didn’t they think this might be important to my health or to the health of my children? Was this something genetic? So again I wrote a letter to Louise Wise asking about this.


In fact there was deafness in the family. Both of Myra’s parents had been deaf. But not from birth, but from childhood illness.

During this time in the beginning  of the 2000’s I was using the internet predominently for my search. It was during this time that I was beginning to believe I could not do this on my own. Adoption reunion stories were popular on Oprah and she had a number of shows using the International Locator Service. Yes, I hired them and no they did not find my birth family.


Then there was the World Wide Tracers and I have no idea what I paid them and no they did not find my birth family either.


Next was the Jenkins Detective Agency which was a total internet scam. I even tried to file a federal claim against them but was told there was not enough evidence.


The search continued with the help of wonderful people on the internet involved in adoption search groups and search angels with suggestions and additional help in research and locating addresses and phone numbers. With their help I had narrowed the search down to these 10 woman. Notice that Marlene was #1 on the list.


In June of 2002, as I was fast approaching my self imposed deadline of my 50th birthday, I was truly doubting that finding my birth family would happen. That June I contacted  Mr. Raphael Jr. Attorney, who was the attorney at the time of my adoption. He was so surprised to get my letter he actually called me to talk and tell me that he no longer had any of his records nor did he remember anything. Through this whole process that engulfed and occupied many years of my life I met and spoke with many wonderful people. At one point a woman by the name of Barbara from MA, actually thought her sister might have been my birth mother. With her mom in Florida too, we arranged to meet and compare notes. Her sister was not my mother but we created quite a stir within the family as well as cementing a friendship through this.

Florida was in fact the key to all of this. My adopting parents lived in Del Rey Beach, and just minutes from their home, in Boca Raton, lived my 2 aunts, Rochelle and Brenda. Florida is a wonderful state for records. It was in Florida, in those last few months, with a list of only about 12/15 people left to contacted, I found Brenda’s marriage information listed on line. I was able to locate her mailing address and off went that letter.

On December 25, 2002, instead of a movie and Chinese food, my daughter Marissa and I flew   from California to Florida to meet with my two Aunts and their families along with my Uncle Sheldon, a Christmas Day reunion.



Seated is my adopting mother, Grace Judith Brown, myself behind her, Rochelle, daughter Marissa (7 months pregnant) and Brenda.

Marlene did not join us that day. In fact I would not meet her for another year. She too was in Florida but up in the Orlando area. Due to her health, the long trip down as well as the shock of simply being found was to much for her. Over the course of that first year before we met, we exchanged many letters. I have a binder full of her most secret thoughts and feelings which I never would have had if we had met right away. In fact over the course of that letter writing exchange she revealed who my birth father was, someone no one knew the name of and she had at first refused to tell me as well. I had opened up a very painful past and I had a great responsibility to help heal that for her.



The day finally arrived

Today I write and celebrate the birthdays of three beautiful woman plus one more. The women who gave me life, Marlene, my two incredible aunts, Rochelle and Brenda. They opened their hearts, homes and families to mine. A big thank you and lots of love to you Aunt Rochelle for embracing and including my mother Grace (1926 – 2005) for making her feel loved and welcomed along with myself and Marissa. (Grace celebrated a Feb. 1st birthday)

But before I close I must make one last mention on this post and that is to remember my adopting father, Howard Joseph Brown. He shares this day of January 23rd with my birth mother Marlene. Howard passed away on Jan. 23, 2004









Posted in Austria, Dornfest, Genealogy, Jewish History

The Family of Solomon and Ida Dornfest

It is a new year, and I can hardly believe it is 2018. Before I start on the Dornfest family, I wanted to just briefly mention something else. I am occasionally checking eBay for Judaic photo’s or items, especially wedding photo’s, and spotted this Chai. I have to admit I am somewhat ignorant of Hebrew, my yiddish understanding is limited but I have a few favorite words and expressions. I did know this is pronounced ‘hay’ and is a letter in the alphabet, however I did not equate it with the expression L’Chaim ‘to life’ so often used when raising my glass to cheer.  I went ahead and bought it because it spoke to me, ‘buy me!’  Chai

Then I did a little research and discovered that this letters numerical number is 18 and that this is a spiritual number in Judaism. Gifts are also given in multiples of 18 which, in the reaches of my mind, I had known something about that. So here we are in the year 2018 and I have added this new treasure. I have this strong weird belief in connecting numbers and dates especially with my adopting family and birth family, so many of which seem to be intimately connected. For example my birthmother Marlene was born on Jan 23 and my adopting father died on Jan 23, I was born on Feb 8 and my birth uncle, brother to my birthmother passed on Feb 8 (a little over a month after we met), my daughter was born Nov. 10 the same date as my birth great grandfather Benjamin Lipschitz, who’s story I am obsessed with. Now you might say this is silly, there are bound to be identical dates especially when doing genealogy and opening up the coincidence scale to many similar dates and you could be right.  I could go on with adding a few more examples but this is a post for the Dornfest family and it is time to get back to their story. I’ll leave silly coincidence or spiritual connection to your choosing.

In my last post I feel I very conclusively proved that Solomon Dornfest was the brother of Fanny Dornfest, wife of Isaac Goldstein, parents of Rae Goldstein, the family line I have been working on for the last few months. Finding unknown siblings is so fun and adds so much to a families rich history. I have sent away to Mt. Hebron Cemetery in Flushing, NY for the headstone photo’s for Solomon and Ida. In the last post I wrote a little about the name confusion with Solomon and his father also written as Solomon on some documents along with the name Shimon. Hopefully some clarity will surface with the headstone information. For the sake of this post and in my records for now

Solomon was the son of Shimon (Zalman, Shmuel) Dornfest and Chaela Stacker. He was born 1 Sept, 1872, in the Austrian Empire. He married a woman named Ida Price/Pries.

I first found them in the 1900 census (June) living at 123 Pitt St. NYC. The last name was misspelt as Dornefelt. Solomon (29) had immigrated in 1890 from Austria, was a tailor and had been married 1 year; so that would make their marriage in 1899. Ida was listed as arriving in 1895. 1st son Samuel was born in Feb. (4/12 months old). I was unable to find any marriage record for them. A check with Ancestry, Italiangen, and Familysearch all came up with nothing. I am leaving the question of where they  married alone for now. I decided to take a look at where Solomon was living in proximity to his sister Fanny and her family. According to this map Solomon was just a short distance around the block.


Finding the family in 1905 and 1910 took some real detective work. I had given up locating them for some time but while working on this post I tried one last thing. I entered the searches using simply first names Solomon, Ida, son Samuel, son Simon.

It worked. In 1905 they were listed with the last name spelled Dorryfest. Solomon (30) has been here 16 years and was now a citizen. That means he arrived some time around 1889. He was working as a tailor and Ida (27) also a citizen and was now mom to two more, Simon (3) and Lena/Lilly (1). Living with them at 55 Broome St was Fishel Stecher  (65) tailor, boarder. There is something very familiar about Fishel’s last name Stecher/ Stacher makes me say hmmmmmm. It’s awfully similar to Solomon’s mother’s maiden last name of Stacher.

In 1910 their last name was spelled Doengfest living at 63 Lewis St. Solomon (38) had been out of work for 12 weeks with his trade still listed as tailor. His immigration year was  listed 1890, and he had naturalized. He was able to read and write. They had now added two more children. Joining Samuel (10), Simon (8) Lena (6) were Fanny (4) and Leon (2). Living with the family was a different boarder named Leon Needle (44) also a tailor in a shop, he too was out of work for 12 weeks. Life must have been extremely tough at this point and I can’t imagine what they were doing to survive. Perhaps the family was doing piece work in their home to survive.

SWcornerLewisEastHouston_GeorgeArata_March1902_MCNYSource: Museum of the City of New York. Photo by George Arata, March 1902. SW corner Lewis/EastHouston

LewisSt3rdSt_ArnoldEagle_1935_MCNYSource: Museum of the City of New York. Photo by Arnold Eagle, 1935. (same corner)

Maplowereastside1857 Perris & Browne fire insurance index map. Source: New York Public Library digital collection.

This is a great map which really helped me see the pattern of movement for this family from Pitt to Lewis to 135 Goerck St., where they were living by 1915 census. Solomon with the spelling of ‘Dornfest’ (thank you census worker) does not tell us much but did list him as a tailor and a citizen. All the children are in school which seemed curious to me with son Samuel (15). Many children at that age were working already. One more child had been added to the family as well, Julius (1).

By 1920 three of the children were working now. Samuel (19) was a peddler of vegetables, Simon (17) was an errand boy for a dress house and Lena (15) was working in a thread factory.  Benjamin (2 3/12) joined Leon (11) Doris/Dorah (9) Julius (5) at home. Nothing was listed for the children not even ‘school’. Solomon Dornfest (50) was working as baster for boys clothing. While still on Goerck St the number was 134. It was either an error or a move. I am leaning towards error. Solomon’s immigration year was recorded as 1892, naturalized 1902, Ida immigration 1897 naturalized 1902. As you see with the dates from the naturalization records, the census records; errors with dates and names and addresses was common. Language and memory was a huge barrier.

Below are the records found pertaining to Solomon becoming a citizen

Index to Petition for Naturalization 


Source Citation:National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Soundex Index to Petitions for Naturalizations Filed in Federal, State, and Local Courts in New York City, 1792-1906 (M1674); Microfilm Serial: M1674; Microfilm Roll: 65


Solomon’s Petition of Naturalization Sept. 1896 




Because this is not a direct line for the Steinman family, I decided to limit some of the information I could be looking for. I was unable to find immigration records for Solomon  or Ida. I had hoped to so that I could learn more about where this family was actually from. I had reached out to a researcher on Jewishgen with an interest in Dornfest – Sokol/Galicia. Below is my query and his reply.

Hello~I have been researching a Dornfest family narrowed down to possibly Sokol area Galicia. Specifically Fanny and brother Solomon Dornfest imm. NYC late 1800’s. Parents were Shmuel/Shimon/Solomon Dornfest and Chaela/Katie Stacker. Curious if perhaps there is a connection with your family that can be shared. Trying to determine where this Dornfest family is actually from. Look forward to hearing from you…happy, healthy coming new year. Sharon

I was curious where Isaac Goldstein and his 2nd wife Annie were living in 1920. (Isaac was married to Solomon’s sister Fannie who passed away in 1905) After all, Solomon was the uncle to the 7 children of his sister. Isaac was living at 92 (rear) Willet Street, just a few houses from where Solomon had started out at 80 Willet Street. Solomon did not live much longer and passed away on

April 20, 1924


I am currently waiting for the photo’s of the headstones for Solomon and Ida from Mt. Hebron Cemetery. As we can see on this certificate there was yet another error regarding Solomon. I am excited to see what we can learn from them and anxious to show you the pictures.


Posted in Austria, Dornfest, Genealogy, Goldstein/Kessman, Jewish History

Solomon Dornfest revealed

On Dec. 9 I headed a post ‘Dornfest Family of Austria’ and shared the death certificate for Fanny Goldstien nee Dornfest, 1st wife of Isaac Goldstein, along with her head stone photo from Mt. Zion Cemetery.  I wrote about that wonderful fun rabbit hole we sometimes fall into when researching and that was exactly the case. I had found a record for a Solomon Dornfest and wife Ida. The age of Solomon was close  to Fanny’s age, many family names were similar or the same. I started to wonder could he be Fanny’s brother and off I went to try and prove or disprove.

Could Solomon Dornfest, born about 1870, Austria, be the brother of Fannie Dornfest born about 1862, Austria? I now believe the answer is yes. I think I also may have discovered where this family  hailed from, other than the huge catch all of “Austria”.

Fanny Goldstein headstone


Here again is Fanny’s head stone. The inscription on it reads: Here lies buried the modest and esteemed woman of tender years Mrs. Frieda of our teacher and mentor Shimon Zanwil. (With many thanks to the FB group Tracing The Tribe and the responses to my query)

Fanny Dornfest nee Goldstein death certificate


Taking another look at the death certificate of Fanny – spelled Fannie here, we learned her fathers name was Solomon Dornfest and her mother, I had read as Stickio. I was mistaken with that.

Solomon Dornfest death certificate 



Recently received is the above death certificate for Solomon Dornfest. (just to clarify at this point we are looking at two men named Solomon, Fanny’s father and this Solomon I believe is her brother) At first glance I was really thrown by this document and had to re think and sleep on it.  First, his birthplace of Russia was wrong, what not Austria? His father’s name was listed as Samuel and mother Katie Stacker? Oh wait, Stickio is not Stickio but Stacker and Chaela was known as Katie here, at least by wife Ida Dornfest; who is on the 2nd page of the documents and most likely the reporting person.  Below you can compare the last name. I had clearly read the last name wrong. I also took another look at the 1920 census record for Ida. She spoke yiddish and could not read or write although it does indicate she could speak English. Had she made the reporting errors? perhaps

Now there wass the question of the fathers name of Samuel on Solomon’s death cert. and Solomon on Fanny’s death cert. I wondered if the fathers name of Solomon on Fanny’s document could be a reporting error since the head stone interpretation was Shimon. And why was Samuel on Solomon’s certificate? Had Shimon really meant to be Samuel?  Then I remembered the complete interpretation from my post on TTT for  Fanny’s headstone which I have reposted below.

L1: [abbr] Here lies buried, L2: the modest and esteemed woman, L3: of tender years [she [passed away young], L4: Mrs. Frieda, daughter of , L5: [abbreviation, honorific] our teacher and mentor, Shimon Zanwil, L6: died, L7: 21 Tamuz 5665, L8: [abbr] May her soul be bound in the bond of life.”

Robin Meltzer went on to write “The honorific before the father’s name, “moreinu ha’rav,” translates to “our teacher and master” or “our teacher and mentor/guide.” “Rav” does not always mean rabbi, it depends on the context. Here, it is an honorific, and does not in any way mean he was a rabbi.” The reason for the clarification was because Rabbi had been used in another translation, which I had questioned. “Zanwill” is the father’s second given name. It shows up with “Shlomo” as a secular version of “Zalman.” It is also often paired with Shmuel. Also spelled “Zangwill” and “Zangwell” Robin continued. (Shmuel being Samuel) I am very convinced that the recording of the names all add up to the same person.

Then we have the death certificate for Solomon reporting his place of birth as Russia – that bothered me especially I take things quite literally and could not look outside the box. In addition there is an confirmed ‘error’ on this death certificate. The cemetery listed for his burial is wrong. It states Mt. Zion. Solomon was buried at Mt Hebron, Flushing, New York as well as for his wife Ida. ( I also want to point out that not only are they buried here but so is their oldest son Samuel and his wife Fay and by the same burial society)

Search Results – Showing all 1 matches.
Name Location Society Date of Death
Search Results – Showing all 1 matches.
Name Location Society Date of Death

I decided to go back to and take another look at records for Solomon. Amazingly or not, missed at first, were two documents linking Solomon and Fanny that I could have compared. Below from

New York, New York City Municipal Deaths
Name Solomon Dornfest
Event Type Death
Event Date 20 Apr 1924
Event Place Manhattan, New York, New York, United States
Address 134 Goerck St.
Gender Male
Age 54
Marital Status Married
Race White
Occupation laborer
Birth Year (Estimated) 1870
Birthplace Russia
Burial Date 21 Apr 1924
Cemetery Mt. Zion Cem.
Father’s Name Samuel Dornfest
Father’s Birthplace Russia
Mother’s Name Katie Stacker
Mother’s Birthplace Russia
Spouse’s Name Ida Dornfest
 Citing this Record

“New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch ( : 20 March 2015), Solomon Dornfest, 20 Apr 1924; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,031,491.

Fannie Goldstein

New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949

Name: Fannie Goldstein
Event Type: Death
Event Date: 24 Jul 1905
Event Place: Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States
Gender: Female
Age: 42
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Occupation: Housewife
Birth Year (Estimated): 1863
Birthplace: Austria
Burial Date: 25 Jul 1905
Cemetery: Mount Zion
Father’s Name: Solomon Dornfest
Father’s Birthplace: Austria
Mother’s Name: Choela Stecker
Mother’s Birthplace: Austria

Solomon Dornfest

Find A Grave Index  does have him buried at Mt Hebron
Name: Solomon Dornfest
Event Type: Burial
Event Date: 1924
Event Place: Flushing, Queens, New York, United States of America
Photograph Included: N
Death Date: 20 Apr 1924
Affiliate Record Identifier: 77475307
Cemetery: Mount Hebron Cemetery

I began to dig a little deeper into who was Solomon, his family and life here in New York after feeling I answered the question that Solomon Dornfest and Fanny Dornfest were in fact brother and sister.

All the records for Solomon from 1900 forward, on all census records, all list ‘Austria’ as his place of birth, nothing else said Russia.

According to the New York State Naturalization record for Solomon Dornfest he was born the 1st of Sept., 1872. He arrived sometime between the 10th and 17th of Sept. 1888. (dates differ on docs) On page two of the document it states he is from the Empire of Austria, not in fact the country of Austria.

New York, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1940


32955_2421406261_0530-00079National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, DC; ARC Title: Index to Petitions for Naturalizations Filed in Federal, State, and Local Courts in New York City, 1792-1906; NAI Number: 5700802; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts:

 U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 (Indexed in World Archives Project)


But before I go further, where did Solomon actually come from in the Austrian Empire? Fellow blogger and friend Amy Cohen of the Brotman blog  had pointed out previously that I had overlooked the possibility that Austria could very possibly be referring the area known as Galicia, in the Hungarian Austrian Empire. I believe in fact that is exactly the case. With out going into to much detail in this post while researching Solomon and his 8 children, I found 1 references to Solomon and Ida having been born in Galicia on the birth record for their son Leon.

Name Leon Dornfest
Event Type Birth
Event Date 05 Jul 1908
Event Place Manhattan, New York, New York, United States
Gender Male
Race White
Father’s Name Solomon Dornfest
Father’s Birthplace Galicia
Father’s Age 40
Mother’s Name Ida Preis Dornfest
Mother’s Birthplace Galicia
Mother’s Age 32                                                                                                                              

“New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909,” database, FamilySearch( : 20 March 2015), Solomon Dornfest in entry for Leon Dornfest, 05 Jul 1908; citing Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, reference cn 40830 New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,992,212.

Going back to the burial record from Mt. Hebron, the burial society listed for Solomon and Ida was the Sokol Lezaynsker Cong.  I think this may be another clue to where they came from.  Could they be from Sokol, Galicia or very close to this town? In doing some research one Galicia I discovered there were over 6000 small towns in 1900. A simple google search for Sokol brought up many wonderful sites with fantastic information. I have shared a few links below. It was easy to see why Russia may have been listed for Solomon on his death certificate. With the borders continually shifting it would be easy to use either or.


Sokol pinpointed today 


I would love to hear your thoughts on my conclusion that Fanny and Solomon are indeed siblings. Have I barked up the wrong tree or proved beyond doubt or does some doubt still linger and I should dig deeper?

As we begin to say goodbye to 2017 it is not farewell to the Steinman family. I will pick up in 2018 with Solomon and Ida and continue with their story. A very happy and healthy New Year to all of you following this adventure. See you in 2018.
***This is an add on to this original blog posting. A quick look at Jewishgen, after a suggestion from a Amy Cohen, warranted some additional information on Sokol. Still trying to unravel the confusion of the area and town caused by Austria and Russia on records. After finding the clue of Galicia on the birth record for son Leon Dornfest, I have discovered there are actually 2 different towns Sokal and Sokol. They are within 43 miles of each other, west of Kyyiv, Ukraine. c. 1900 Before WWl Sokal/Galicia/Ukraine/Austrian Empire and Sokol/Lutsk/Volhynia/Russian
information from Jewishgen



Posted in Austria, Familes, Genealogy, Goldstein/Kessman, Jewish History

Questions abound around Isaac Goldstein

In my last post I wrote about the discovery of a document I had overlooked in researching Isaac Goldstein. At the age of 21, he was initiated in the Independent Order of the Sons of Benjamin. A letter stating to this fact was part of his naturalization papers. I had discovered this entry while going over documents in preparing to write this post to share the most recent delivery of documents ordered; the marriage certificate of        Isaac Goldstein and his 2nd wife Annie Ammer. Isaac’s first wife, Fanny Dornfest had died three years after giving birth to their last of their 7 children. Three years later, Isaac married Annie, 17 years his junior in 1908. And the fact the marriage certificate states that Annie was 22, she was just 2 years older than Isaacs oldest son Morris Goldstein.

Marriage certificate of Issac and Annie   


In receiving this document I had hoped to discover the home town for the Goldstein family but once again simply ‘Austria’ was indicated leaving me with that still nagging question. But this marriage certificate was a gold mine of information into the family.

The parents of Isaac Goldstein were Nathan Goldstein and Charny Fluarbauch. 


I have blown up Isaac’s parents names specifically to see the spelling of his mothers last name. From the original it looks like the 4th letter may be a ‘d’ , which is possible, but I am leaning towards an ‘a’ with the line a smudge error. * Lisa Gassman, meet your 3x great grandparents *  Also on this certificate we have the entries with the names of Annie Ammer’s parents and her married name prior to her marriage, Annie Kirschenbaum.   

Isn’t it interesting that Annie at age 22 was already a widow. I could not locate a 1st marriage for her to a Kirschenbaum using Ancestry or Italian Gen (which is a very good listing resource for marriages in the 5 boroughs) I don’t want to spend to much time on Annie as she is not directly related to the Steinman story.  Annie and Isaac would go on to have 3 children together; Leon/Leo (1912), Molly (1914), Clara/Claire (1920)

I am still waiting on a death certificate for Isaac Goldstein which I am hoping will shed some more light on his life, specifically where in Austria he was from. Keeping in rhythm to questions continually coming up when researching, another interesting question came up while looking into Isaac for this post. Who exactly was Jennie Hauft?

Isaac and Annie married in 1908. In 1910 the family was living at 73 Taylor Street in Brooklyn. Isaac was working on his own account as a tailor. Daughter Rae (who this ancestry line follows) was 21 and working as a stone setter in a jewelry shop. Annie and Isaac had not added any children to the family.

In the year of 1910 I discovered a census record for a Jennie Hauft. (this was after finding a 1915 census that led me to her name but in order to follow in chronological order I will introduce this record first)

1910 Manhattan census from 



Living at 61/63 Cannon Street was a listing for Jennie Hauft (60), widow, Austria, living with her daughter Millie Morgenheim (32), widow, Austria, working as a wash woman for a private family. Also listed are Jennie’s ‘grandchildren’, Edward (14) Tinie (11) Helen (9) Milton (7) and Abraham (5). Living in the apartment next to them was Morris Goldstein (49) Russia (not Austria ?) tailor, his wife Rebecca (48) Russia as well, and their children Abraham (19), Jacob (15) Hannah (11) Jessie (7) and Nathan (13)

* I want to point something out about the 1900 Manhattan census for our Isaac and 1st wife Fanny before I move on. 5th child born, a daughter known as Dinah/Dina and on this census was her name was recorded as Tini. Coincidence that these 2 daughters would be known as Tini/Tinie?

 1915 Brooklyn census for Isaac and 2nd wife Annie from 



Here on this 1915 census, 5 years later, after living in the home of daughter Millie Morgenheim, Jennie Hauft was living in the home of her son Isaac Goldstein. (Her age listed again as 60, is not that unusual to see as ages were often misreported and correctly unknown, however the age difference makes it impossible to be Isaac’s mother if intact he was 49 and she 60) My first thought was, was this actually Annie’s mother? mis recorded and not listed as mother in law?

If we look at these 2 census records and take into account the many age errors made it would appear that Isaac had a sister name Millie who had married a man named Morgenheim.

I was able to locate on a birth record for Millie’s son Abraham, her last son born in 1905. Millie’s husbands name was Henry Morgenheim, and her name was recorded as Millie Heuft Morgenheim. Both Millie and Henry born in Austria with no other indication to actually where. Idid find a death record for a Henry that I believe is Millie’s husband.

Name: Henry Morgenheim
Age: 35
Birth Year: abt 1872
Death Date: 19 Apr 1907
Death Place: Manhattan, New York, USA
Certificate Number: 13569

I am absolutely thrown by these 2 census records along with the marriage certificate for Isaac to Annie Ammer. Where in the world and how did Charny Flauerbauch become Jennie Hauft? The only explanation I have come up with is that Charny had become a widow herself sometime back in ‘Austria’, she had remarried a man with the last name of Hauft and went on to have more children. Millie Hauft Morgenheim was younger than Isaac by about 12 years so it is very possible that she was the 1/2 sister of Isaac, born to Charny/Jennie’s through a 2nd marriage. And lets not forget Morris and his wife Rebecca living next door to Millie and her mother Jennie in 1910. Who is this Morris Goldstein? His age makes him about 5 years older than Isaac, consistent with Morris possibly being an older brother when Jennie was a Goldstein (?)

I am still working on locating immigration records for this family which may help with answering some of these questions. In the meantime I leave you with the question:

Was Jennie Hauft really Charny Flauerbauch, the mother of Isaac Goldstein, 1/2 brother of Millie Hauft Morgenheim? I am leaning towards yes. Was Morris Goldstein the older brother, son of Jennie or simply a coincidence to totally complicate matters?

Before I end this post I took one more look at and for our Jennie Hauft and found something quite telling and exciting. A death record for her

Source Information New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1948 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.

Name: Jennie Hauft
Age: 81
Birth Year: abt 1852
Death Date: 20 Nov 1933
Death Place: Kings, New York, USA
Certificate Number: 22816

Record Collection: from

New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949

Jennie Hauft

New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949

Name: Jennie Hauft
Event Type: Death
Event Date: 20 Nov 1933
Event Place: Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States
Gender: Female
Age: 81
Marital Status: Widowed
Race: White
Occupation: housewife
Birth Year (Estimated): 1852
Birthplace: Austria
Burial Date: 21 Nov 1933
Cemetery: Mt. Zion
Father’s Name: Isaac Loderbach
Father’s Birthplace: Austria
Mother’s Name: Dina Goldstein
Mother’s Birthplace: Austria
Spouse’s Name: Nathan

And I did find her in a Mt Zion internment search under the misspelling of Haupft

HAUPFT, JENNIE 39R-10-2-2-665 FRYMICER 11/21/1933

So we see that Jennie Hauft was married to Nathan – and from the looks of names she was possibly related to her husband as her mother was named Dina Goldstein (cousin marriage?) Look at her fathers name carefully; Loderbach ~ drop the F on the marriage certificate for this last name and you have Lauderbauch….ahhh so that mysterious ‘d’ I thought was an ‘a’ could and mostly was a d.

I am anxiously awaiting the death certificate for Isaac Goldstein!



Posted in Austria, Familes, Genealogy, Goldstein/Kessman, Jewish History

Isaac Goldstein ~ Information Overlooked on his Petition for Naturalization

As I continue to work on the Steinman history for my cousin Lisa Glassman nee Steinman, her Uncle Allen Steinman and extended family, records that I have sent away for are continuing to trickle in. Each document received adds another layer to their story. This past week I received the marriage certificate for Isaac Goldstein for his 2nd marriage to Annie Ammer. 17 years his junior, Isaac married Annie on January 11, 1908 following the death of his first wife Fanny Dornfest. I have still not been able to locate immigration records for either Fanny or Isaac nor have I found any documents to reveal where in Austria, if in fact Austria proper,  which all documents state. Isaac’s birthdate differs slightly but seems to consistent between 1865 – 1869. The Austrian – Hungarian Empire formed in 1867 and dissolved in 1918.

Austria-Hungary Map

But in receiving the marriage certificate for Isaac and his 2nd wife Annie Ammer I took another look at the documents I already had for Isaac to see if I had missed anything of importance or that would lead me to learning where in Austria they were from. While doing this I took another closer look at his Petition for Naturalization dated December 4th, 1903. I had in fact missed something extremely important and interesting that I would like to share before moving on to the marriage certificate.

I had missed page 3 of the record with a letter in evidence. It appears as if our Isaac Goldstein was a member of  Freemasonry or some form of Fraternal Organization. He became a member at age of 21 in the year 1888, just 4 years after the year most documents agree when he immigrated, 1884.





I have recopied the above portion from the document as best I could make it out.

“I herewith certify that Mr. Isaac Goldstein was initiated as a member to the Emanuel Lodge on the 12th December 1888 at the age of Twenty-one year. The loges former name was Bresel Loge no 64  Ind. Order Sons of Benjamin and changed the name on the 21st of November 1898 in to Emanuel Loge no 20  Ind. Order Abrams Israel and said Mr Isaac Goldstein is still a member to the above named loge. New York 1st December 1903, Signed and sealen, Mr (?) Herz, Secretary, 365 East 10th

Independent Order of the Sons of Benjamin

This Jewish men’s fraternal order was first established in New York City in 1877. It utilized a secret ritual form of initiation for new members, and was headquartered in New York City. It was founded by members of the Order of
B’rith Abraham, the Masonic Fraternity and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and incorporated some of their ceremonial into their order.
The order also established lodges strictly for women. The order is now defunct.


From the web site:                              Under the heading of Sons of Benjamin, I found the copied below so interesting and decided to post.

Opening of the Lodge

President calls the Lodge to order.
President: Officers, you will please take your respective stations.
Inside Guardian, close the door, and observe this as a part of your duty.
Bro. Ex-Pres., you will please examine the brethren in the Lodge.
The Ex-President then reports.
Bro. Inside Guardian, you will please let the O.G. enter, and meanwhile take his place.
Inside Guardian retires and Outside Guardian enters.
Outside Guardian, what is your duty to the Lodge?
Outside Guard:
It is my duty to keep the outside door locked and to refuse permission to enter to those not entitled thereto, also to see that the property of the Lodge is properly taken care of and preserved.
Please return to your station, arid let the Inside Guardian enter.
After Inside Guardian has entered.
Bro. I.G., what is your duty to the Lodge?
Ins. Guard:
To demand the password from each Brother before entering the Lodge, and to refuse admission to any Brother who is not in possession of the same without the permission of the President or Vice-President.
Bro. Ex-President, what is your duty to the Lodge?
To examine the brethren and determine if they are in possession of the proper password at the opening of the Lodge, and to open and close the Lodge with prayers, and lead it the initiation of candidates for membership.
Bro. Conductor, what is your duty to the Lodge?
To prepare candidates for initiation, and obey your commands.
Bro. Recording Secretary, what is your duty to the Lodge?
Recording Secretary:
To keep correct minutes of the proceedings of the Lodge, and conduct the correspondence.
Bro. Financial Secretary, what is your duty?
Financial Secretary:
To keep a correct account between the brethren and the Lodge, receive all moneys, deliver the same to the Treasurer, and take a receipt thereof.
Bro. Treasurer, what is your duty to the Lodge?
To receive all moneys from the Financial Secretary, give a receipt for the same, and pay out all duly attested orders or vouchers.
Bro. Vice-President, what is your duty to the Lodge?
To assist you in keeping order, to see that the brethren give the proper signs, and in your absence to act as the presiding officer of the Lodge.
Officers and Brethren, I trust that every Officer will perform his duty faithfully, and that every Brother will conduct himself respectfully, and give due attention to all transactions of the meeting. It is my duty to decide all questions impartially. I feel confident that we will work with Fidelity, Love and Progress attending us, for on these principles depend our whole success and happiness. We should ever strive to retain the noble sentiments of our Order constantly in our mind, through which we hail each other as brothers, for a strict adherence to these principles will tend to make us honorable and useful members of society.

Brother Ex-President, you will please open the Lodge with prayer.
President calls upon the Lodge to rise. * * *.


Ex-President: Almighty God; we pray Thee to give us Thy aid. We are here assembled to complete the structure which Thou hast given to all mankind to fulfill,—to assist the distressed, nourish the sick, bury the dead, and educate the orphans. Therefore give us Thy blessing, that we may fulfill our mission. Amen.
I now declare the Lodge open for the transaction of such business that may lawfully come before it.
President gives * and the members take seats.

Initiation of Candidates

The Candidate if present, having been conducted to the preparation room adjoining the Lodge. the Secretary then goes in the ante-room and asks the candidate the questions as prescribed, and enters his answers in the took designated for that purpose, to which the Candidate shall affix his signature The Secretary then returns to the Lodge-room and reports.
President: Bro. Conductor, please retire and prepare the Candidate for Initiation.
Conductor retires and thereafter approaches with Candidate at the inner door and gives the alarm.
Inside Guardian, repeating the alarm:
Worthy Vice-President alarm on the Porte.
Attend to the alarm.
Inside Guardian:
What causes the alarm?
I, the Conductor of … Lodge with a Candidate requesting admission.
Inside Guardian:
Is he capable and well recommended?
He is.
The Conductor opens the door slowly, while the Inside Guardian repeats the following:
Inside Guardian:
Then enter, and may the moment be blessed when we receive an assistant in the admirable work of Fidelity, Love and Progress, and may the God of our ancestors bless us in this holy hour; may FIDELITY ever be our guide, LOVE our protection, and PROGRESS our glorious principle.
The Conductor enters with the Candidate, and conducts him to the seat of the Ex-President. The President gives * * * the Brethren rise, and the Ex-President says, as follows:
Almighty and Heavenly Father, grant Thy help and aid to the Brethren present; and grant to our newly initiated friend strength to fulfill the obligation which he is about to assume.

We humbly bow ourselves before Thee, that Thou mayest give us wisdom to unfold the beauties of our great principles Fidelity, Love and Progress, and may it be Thy merciful will, that we may further perform among us our duty of visiting the sick, burying the dead, and assisting the widows and orphans. Amen.
The President gives * to take seats.
My friend, it now becomes my duty to administer to you a solemn obligation.

Are you willing to take this obligation?
The Candidate answers” Yes.”
Then place yourself in this … attitude and repeat after me.
President calls upon the Lodge to rise. * * *.

Formula of Oath

I, …, in the presence of the brethren of the Order here assembled, do solemnly swear that I will never reveal the secrets of this degree to any one who is not legally entitled to receive them; and that I will always remember our great motto, Fidelity, Love and Progress, and that I will never neglect, as long as it is in my power, to carry out the laws of this Lodge and the Constitution of the Most Worthy Grand Lodge of the Independent Order Sons of Benjamin. That I will comply with and obey the Constitution of the Order and the By-Laws of the Lodge and at all times aid and assist the Grand Lodge or its Executive Committee to uphold and enforce the same.
This I promise to fulfill in the belief that a higher being is ever watching over our conduct. Amen.
President gives * and members take seats.
Worthy Conductor, proceed with our friend to our Worthy President for further instruction.
The Conductor leads the Candidate to the President.
Worthy President, by command of our Worthy Ex-President, I present to you the Candidate for further instruction.
My friend, I welcome you among the fraternity of the Sons of Benjamin; meanwhile it becomes my duty to instruct you in the great principles of the same.

The first principle of our beloved Order is Fidelity.
Whenever a hard feeling against a brother should arise in your heart, subdue it at once; and remember that you have given us your pledge by your solemn obligation to show fidelity to all your brethren until you shall be called to give an account of your actions before our highest Judge.
The second principle is Love.
So kindly and brotherly as we have received you this evening as a beloved brother after we found you worthy of belonging to us, so we expect of your love to all your brethren; let it sink deep in to your heart, so that you may never forget it.
The Third principle is Progress.
Progress, the grand principle of our age and therefore included in our motto, tends to shorten our meetings, and keep away idle ceremonies from the same; and now always remember the grand motto of our beloved Order, Fidelity, Love and Progress, so that we may never regret that we have accepted you in our midst.
It becomes now my duty to instruct you in the way of working yourself into any Lodge of the Order.
The President then explains the mode and manner of gaining admission into a Lodge room. Entrance and manner of salutation.
How to retire from a Lodge-room. The way the voting sign is given. The use of the gavel, and such other information as may be deemed necessary.
Without these signs you cannot gain admittance into this or any other Lodge of the Independent Order Sons of Benjamin; be observant, therefore, that you will keep them in your memory.

Remember also that you have given us your pledge of honor not to reveal the secrets, a pledge which is more binding upon you than any you have ever given. We feel confident that you will keep it inviolate.
Remember also our brotherly duties,—to visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead and educate the orphan,— and your mission will be fulfilled.
I now greet you as a brother of … Lodge, No. … of the Independent Order Sons of Benjamin.

Closing Ceremony

President: Bro. Vice-President, what is your duty before closing the Lodge?
To thank the Brethren for their kind attention to the business of this meeting and to express the hope that we may see many more at our next meeting.
Officers and Brethren, you will please rise while the Worthy Ex-President closes the Lodge with the usual prayer.
President calls upon the Lodge to rise. * * *.


Ex-President: Father in Heaven! For this meeting our work is finished, but our duty not yet completed. We have assembled together in peace and in harmony, and are now willing and ready to disperse again into the outer world. Be Thou our guide and leader, so that our harmony may never be disturbed, and may you bring us together again in joy and gladness at our next meeting. Amen.
Bro. Inside Guardian, what is your duty in closing the Lodge?
Inside Guardian:
To open the door and let the brethren depart in peace.
I now declare the Lodge closed.