Posted in Ancestry, Bronx, Genealogy, Haimowitz, New York

Who Was and What happened to Benjamin Haimowitz

Recently I was contacted by a woman researching her family and stumbled upon the blog. (I love those stumbled upon) She was inquiring about a possible connection to me through the Haimowitz line. I will share right now there was not a connection but I initially thought – lost Haimowitz sister? Since corresponding and helping her with research, I decided to post about this family for her and her father in hopes that just like she did, someone will ‘stumble upon’ this posting and I can connect them. Benjamin was her great grandfather and grandfather to her father.

Our main research question is to try and find out who was and what happened to this man named Benjamin Haimowitz. I began by learning Benjamin had married a woman named Gussie, last name unknown. They had a son named Abraham aka Al. Abraham was an only child. Gussie, at some time divorced Benjamin and remarried a man with the last name of Sherman, his first name was unknown. Abraham eventually either legally or not, took on the last name of his step father, Sherman.

Below are three photos that were graciously shared with me by the Sherman family.

order of names mislabeled on front: Abraham (aka AL), Eddie and Harry Haimowitz (abt 1925-1930)

back of the photo and labeling order appears to be correct

In the two photo’s below both are labeled with Harry, Harry Haimowitz from the picture above.

Their second question is who was Harry Haimowitz to Abraham/Al? That information has been lost. Was he a brother to Benjamin, a cousin? No information on him has survived their family history.

Al & Harry Haimowitz 1940
Harry and his wife Rose (LNU)

Here is what I have discovered about this family

Abraham aka Al was born on 12 Sept. 1910, in New York City to parents Benjamin Haimowitz and Goldie Gussie Steinworzel,(and with a t wotzel) later shortened to Stein. On the few documents I have located for him his last name has been spelled Heimowitz, Hymowitz and Himowitz.

Gussie’s parents were Jacob Steinworzel and Clara Schwartz. The family was from Romania.

According to Gussie’s naturalization records her birth date was listed as 3 Nov. 1882 and from what I can tell she was the oldest child of Jacob and Clara. Her last known address was Vaslui, Romania. Leaving from Hamburg, Germany on the 18 Feb. 1900, she arrived on 5 Mar 1900 under the name of Goldie Steinworzel aboard the SS Pretoria. She was traveling with her mother under the name of Alte b. 1860, with siblings David b. 1889, Israel b. 1891, Frume (Anna) b. 1893, and Gittel (Lillian) b. 1899. Jacob and Clara went on to have two more children born in New York, Jennie b. 1902 and Phillip b. 1904. The connection to this family was proven with a DNA match with a granddaughter of Phillip.

Sometime between arriving in 1900 and 1904 Gussie met and married Benjamin Haimowitz. I have not been able to find a marriage record for them. One of the first records I located for Benjamin was the 1910 census under the spelling of Heimowitz. Listed as Bennie, he was 32, b. abt 1878, Romania. They were living at 306 E. 102nd St. N.Y.C.. Benjamin listed his occupation as tinsmith, he could read and write, Gussie was marked not able to read and write. Gussie had also reported she had had 3 births and 0 were living. Benjamin had arrived in 1900 and had submitted his papers to naturalize. I have been unable to locate his naturalization papers.

Ancestry.com 1910 United States Federal Census
Gussie listed 3 births 0 living which was a confirming clue that I had the correct couple

Using familysearch.com I was able to locate the three births and deaths for the children born to Benjamin and Gussie prior to Abraham being born.

In 1905 daughter Zipora (Heimowitz) was born. She lived for a year and on 17 of Jan 1906 she passed away. She was buried at Silver Lake Cemetery on Staten Island. Her parents were listed as Benny Heimowitz and Gossie Stein. Also noted was the address of 306 E. 102 St. tenement. Interestingly her place of birth was listed as Rochester N.Y. Her death certificate is available for purchase.

8 Oct. 1907 Sarah (Himowitz) was born and died 2 years later on 10 Oct. 1909. She is buried at Mt. Zion Cemetery, Queens, N.Y.. Her father was listed as Benjamin Himowitz and her mother as Gussie Stein.

Their third child was Zudek Lewis (Himowitz) born 4 Apr 1909 and on this birth record his parents are Benjamin Himowitz and Gussie Stein Himowitz. He passed away on 31 May 1909. On his death record (all records from familysearch) his name was written Zudek Lewis and his mother was listed as Gussie Goldy. He was also buried at Mt. Zion and the address was noted as 306 E. 102nd St.

Benjamin and Gussie faced the death of three children prior to their last Abraham (AL) born 12 Sept. 1910 at 306 E. 102 St.

Sometime between 1910 and 1915 Gussie had separated from Benjamin. I located her on the 1915 census listed as Goldie (33) living with her parents Jacob and Clara at 1294 Park Ave. N.Y.C. along with her siblings Lillie, Annie, Jennie and Phillip. She was working as a ‘finisher’. Her son Abraham was not listed with the family. He would have been 5 years old. It just may have been an omission by the census worker but the question is raised where was Al and what had happened to Benjamin? I have not been able to locate any records for either of them in the 1915 census using both Ancestry and Familysearch.

I have searched military records for a WWII draft registration for Benjamin on Ancestry, Familysearch and Fold3 and could not locate anything that even came close to a match.

I feel lucky I found a divorce record for Benjamin and Gussie with her name recorded as Goldie. In this case the defendant was Goldie and Benjamin had filed for the divorce.

Bronx County, New York, U.S., Divorce and Civil Case Records, 1914 – 1995 Ancestry
Name:Goldie Hymowitz
Plaintiff or Defendant:Defendant
Date of Action:15 Dec 1920
Place of Action:Bronx, New York
Other Party:Benjamin Hymowitz
Volume Number:4
Page number:321
File Number:3341
Location:The Office of the Bronx County Clerk

As you will read shortly on Gussie’s naturalization paper’s, the final date for her divorce was Sept. 22, 1921 however on the 1920 census Gussie (37) claimed to be married to Morris Sherman (40). They were living with her parents Jacob and Clara, along with sisters Lillie,Jennie and her brother Phillip. Also listed was grandson Abe (9) under the last name of Sherman. The address was 630 E. 170th St. Bronx. According to the census, Morris arrived in 1904 from Russia and had applied for citizenship. He was working as a tailor in a shop. I have been unable to locate any prior census records for Morris.

By 1925 Morris had moved Gussie and Abraham/Al still under the name of Sherman (14) to 996 Trinity St. in the Bronx. Morris was working as a presser and listed his status as alien. Living with them now was Morris’s three children from his first marriage, Isadore (13) Helen (17) office helper and Sophia (16) With the exception of Helen, the others were in school. I have been unable to discover who his first wife was.

If you remember the photo above, taken at Coney Island, with Al and Harry, there was the friend Eddy (Anthony Eddie) Lo Guercio (15). I was excited to spot Eddie and his parents living at the same address as the Shermans. They were too entries down from the Shermans. Eddie was the son of Andrew and Leonarda both from Italy. From this information I have dated the photo abt 1925-1930. Father Andrew was working as a barber. In the photo below I feel like the boys all appear about in the same age group.

Al, Eddie and Harry

itThe labeling of this photo, 1940 has me a bit confused. Abraham is the younger man with the tie. Believed to be ‘Harry Haimowitz’ could this be the same Harry? They do not look the same to me. Our 2nd question is who was this Harry Haimowitz to Abraham and Benjamin? and I am questioning is this the same Harry?

Getting back to the family

In 1930 on the census Abraham, listed as Al (19) was recorded as the step son of Morris Sherman. His last name was butchered by the census worker and recorded as Howizthy. I am sure my inability to find records for Benjamin is do to this kind of spelling errors. The family was now living at 2011 Mapes Ave, Bronx. Morris was a presser in a tailor shop. Helen was working as a saleswoman in ladies wear, Sophia an operator in leather goods. Isadore (18) and Al were not working. They were renting at $45 a month, they had no radio, and both he and Gussie, listed as Gennie, could not read or write and the language spoken was yiddish.

Abraham/Al Sherman married Blance Weisser on January 21, 1933, Bronx, N.Y.. In 1940 they were living at 3009 Kingsbridge Terrace in the Bronx. The census records they were living there in 1935. Their first child had been born. His occupation was listed as law professional.

Gussie Sherman applied for citizenship on 3rd or 5th of May, 1933 and became a naturalized citizen on 8 August 1940.

The page below gives us some inside into her divorce from Benjamin but unfortunately does not provide enough information to locate him. She initially stated she had remarried in 1918 but this was amended to state it wasn’t until Sept. 22, 1921 with her divorce on Feb. 24 1921. This may explain the confusion with the 1920 census which had then living together and married.

Gussie Sherman from her Naturalization record

At first I was unable to locate Gussie and Morris on the 1940 census. Using the address on Gussies naturalization papers I searched Ancestry with just the 2091 Prospect Ave. address. Morris had been transcribed as Harris. Morris (62) Gussie (56) had been living in the home since 1935. Both said they had no schooling, they were renting – $34 – working still as a presser, Morris had been out of work for 20 weeks and had made $900. Living with them was a widow, female Feinberg (73) she was not working but under the heading of ‘other income’ it said yes.

I was unable to conclusively find any death records for both Gussie and Morris.

While I still have not answered the question of what happened to Benjamin or the question who was Harry Haimowitz, in my next posting I will be sharing about the discovery of a brother to Benjamin Haimowitz.