Locating the immigration record for my great grandfather Samuel Haimowitz feels hopeless at times. Am I making progress or just going over the same old records aimlessly?
I have been trying to locate his immigration record for years now with no success. Family lore recounts that he immigrated with his wife Rebecca along with his son Hyman, 2/3 and infant son Pincus, who may have been born aboard ship. Whether that is true, whether they traveled together has not been proved. In an attempt to recap and revisit and possibly discover something I have missed I am sharing what I know and welcome all suggestions, ideas and help 🙂
Before I go further I want to establish the birth date that I am using for Samuel. It is 15 March 1875. This date comes from his WWI draft registration and from his S.S. application.
Last name written as Himowitz above.
Note his handwriting for his last name.
My earliest record for the family is the 1905 c, spelled Heimowitz, Samuel (28) b. 1877, Romania, Rebecca (25) b. 1880, Romania, son Hyman (8) b. 1898, Romania, Pincus (3) b. 1902, U.S., Freda (1) living @ 170 Ludlow, NYC. Samuel’s profession was carpenter and Hyman was attending school.
I believe the two records below for petition for citizenship is for my Samuel Haimowitz. Dated Sept. 24th, 1906, his age was listed as 30 with a birth year of 1876. I have identified this as ‘his’ papers by the occupation listed as Carpenter and the arrival date of 1901 which seems to be the most consistent with the other data found. Since I could find no other Haimowitz or similar name with occupation of carpenter, this led me to believe that this is for him.
His arrival date was recorded as ‘on or around’ 12 February 1901, no ship name was given and the spelling of his last name was Haimovich. This interests me as his brother, Marks, who settled in England spelled his name Hyamovitch. Discussions with family in England has included the difference in spelling of the last name and which might have been the original family spelling. Having recorded on this official document the ‘vich’ sound ending, I am leaning towards the England branch spelling being the more original.
The above 2nd document for Samuels petition for citizenship has a date of 19 February 1904 the name Sam Hymovich, arriving the 12 February 1901, address of 102 Allen St., born in the year 1876. His age was listed as 28. The dates and ages are consistent with the first document. While the name is spelt differently, the arrival day the same, leads me to believe it is the same person. Notice his signature is ‘his mark’ and someone else has spelled the name/written it as Hymovich. The other is 2 year later and it appears he is able to sign his name.
*I have to stop here and report that there are numerous Samuels with birth dates all within a 10 year period along with a variety of spellings. There is another Sam Hymovich born 1877, Russia. I have ruled him out for the above record not belonging to him based on the country of birth and actually locating his naturalization records for the year 1933 along with his wife
Using both the Ellis Island search site, Ancestry, and family search, countless times, using as many spellings and wild cards, more combinations I can think of, I can not find a listing for arrival in 1901, from 1998 – 1905, I can not find any family or single person traveling that could match this family. Using One Step Pages by Stephen Morse, I have identified a number of possible ships arriving the 11th – 13th but that Feb. 12 date could really be outside that box all together. Ships arriving then were the Kaiser Maria Theresia, Havana, Umbria, Potsdam, Tartar Prince & the Capri. Identifying all these dates and ships on FHL Roll 1403921, I haven’t pursued this further.
Before going further I can not settle whether Pincus/Paul was born on board ship but I think I can settle the question of whether Pincus/Paul was born in the US or in Romania. All of the census records differ with where he was born and his death certificate says New York, with the information given by the informant, his daughter Annette which could be wrong information. His marriage certificate, S.S. application states, Romania, Galatz. I am going with his Romania as this information was provided by Pincus/Paul himself on official documents. I have no birth certificate for him.
Now if the family arrived on 12 February 1901 and the birth date on the s.s. applications says 3 June, 1901 there is a conflict. In addition notice the date of birth on the death certificate, 3 June 1902, that is after the 1901 arrival as well.
The original quest or question is the location of the immigration records for Samuel, Rebecca, Hyman and Pincus. Believed traveling together, with no records yet found. My thought was establishing where Paul was born could help me find the family traveling. Was I looking for 4 people or 3? Was I look for Samuel alone and Rebecca with 1 or 2 children?
Let me look at the census information.
The 1910c changes a few of the facts and supports the story that Pincus was born either in Romania or Romania waters, on board ship, as his place of birth was listed as Romania and not U.S. as in the 1905c. The family was then living at 228 E. 99th St, NYC. The immigration year was recorded as 1901 for all 4 of the family, Samuel, Rebecca, Hyman & Pincus. Hyman (10) and Pincus (9). Freda, now under Fannie was 6 and my grandfather Isidore 4, had been born.
My favorite photo shared with me by my cousin Arline
By 1915 the family had moved again living @ 316 100th St, NYC, Pincus (14) listed born U.S.. Samuel, Rebecca and Hyman still Romania. Daughter Mollie (4), has joined the family and Sam Shapiro (43) born Russia, cigar maker, was boarding with the them.
Which brings us to 1920 records and the immigration year was listed 1900 for Samuel Rebecca and Pincus, now using Paul (18), was listed as being born in Romania. Samuel’s naturalization year was listed as 1909 with Rebecca and Paul both identified as naturalized also 1909. If they immigrated in 1900, it appears Paul would not have been born or traveling with them.
Taking a quick glance over at son Hyman in 1920, now going by Herman (21), he was married to Sadie Cantor (20) with an infant son named Harold. His immigration year was noted as 1901 and naturalized 1910. Hermans date of birth, as noted on his WWI draft registration was 22 Sept 1898, Romania. I could not locate a naturalization for Herman or under Hyman. I tried Ancestry, familysearch and Fold3.
1925 c doesn’t give much information but what it did repeat was Romania for place of birth for Paul but if you look under citizenship Samuel, Rebecca and Paul was marked “a” for alien and not C for citizen. see below
1930 c really threw me a curve ball. Sam and Rebecca, both in their 50’s said the immigration year was 1896 and that they were both naturalized. Checking on Paul, now married to Ida Taub and living on their own, his place of birth was listed New York again and checking on Herman, his information has the immigration year as 1902 and naturalized.
Wrapping up with the 1940 c which simply says whether naturalized and gives no date of arrival. Samuels says Romania, Na, Hermans says Romania and is coded 4 which is American Citizen born abroad and Pauls says Romania, Na. I have yet to find any naturalization papers for Herman or Paul nor the final papers for Samuel which may show that Herman and Paul naturalized under their father which I suspect was the case and may give additional immigration information.
When did this family arrive in the states? Did they travel together? Did Samuel arrive first and then Rebecca and the children? Where did they depart from? Had they traveled first to England with his brother Marks and his wife Polly and leave from there?
I have asked these questions before, and scoured the records countless times and still have not found any answers.
The only thing I can add is I have had fun trying and as long as I am having fun I will continue to try and track down the answers to these questions.