Posted in Ancestry, DNA, Familes, Genealogy, Haimowitz, Hyamovitch, Jewish History, London, New York, Romania

The 4th of July 2019

As I welcomed today, this 4th of July,  2019, it began as all others, the usual morning routine; I knew there would be no holiday picnic, no family close by to gather with. There would be late night tv mixed with the dread of bombs bursting in air over our evening sky and we would be up consoling our fur baby and keeping him calm. Then another thought began to surface.

This was the first 4th of July since finding my English ancestors, the first, knowing I had actual family who made their life there in England, the first time to think about the importance and impact of my ancestors choices on mine and my families lives. The first time I would be thinking of and looking at our separation and independence from Great Britain in a totally new light.

My great grandfather Samuel Haimowitz immigrated, arrived and settled in the United States of America sometime between 1900 and 1902 while his brother Marks Hyamovitch arrived in England in 1901 where he settled and established his family. Both of them immigrating from Romania.


Samuel and Marks

There are so many questions regarding these two brothers and their choices.  The most obvious for me is why had Samuel chosen America and why had Marks chosen England? Had they traveled from Romania together before Sam left for America? If so why had Marks remained? What had influenced their choices? Was it a financial or personal preference? What had been their relationship prior to their decisions? Both men were carpenters and perhaps they worked together at some point. Their age difference is about 5 years. Sam the oldest born about 1875 and Marks in 1880. It appears as with many families with great distances between them that over the years and generations information and contact between these two families was lost. All these questions and more remain now for those of us who have come after them.

Just last month a cousin, Arline, traveled with her husband from California to London to meet for the first time this branch of cousins. It has been about 70 years since a member of the English branch traveled here to New York. It had been through one lone photo taken at this meeting, that survived with the English branch, that connected us all together again. In just a couple of weeks, Arline, who I too have never met, will travel from her home to mine in Washington state and we will meet.

This 4th of July has taken on a very new and special meaning for me…the 13 colonies may have separated and declared their independence back in 1776 but I am declaring and my proclamation is no amount of time and distance or declaration by our forefathers can separate or divide me from my extended family. We are forever connected not only through DNA but the bond of humanity.




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, 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 Hanft?

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.

Posted in Familes, Genealogy, Jewish History

A Vintage Rosh Hashanah

As I reflect and look back on this last year and welcome the new year with all its possibilities, I thought perhaps a look at some vintage Rosh Hashanah photo’s seemed appropriate considering this is a blog about our past. Through these images I can truly imagine the lives and picture those I have blogged about over this year, those I have come to love so dearly. I can hear the shofar being blown… it calls for me to reflect and think about at all I have done this past year. I am reminded to make amends and right any wrongs I feel need to be addressed, I am reminded to look within, to rededicate myself to preserving and honoring the memory of those who came before me, to those who are responsible for who I am. I am reminded to keep the faith, do simple acts of kindness whenever I can…simply be the best person I can be.


Moses Weiser, president of Congregation Chasam Sopher, 8 Clinton St. on lower East Side, blows the shofar to usher in Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year 5741.


Praying on the Brooklyn Bridge 1909 






The Bowery Boys: New York City History800 × 509


To all my family, to all the new friends I have made through this blog, I wish you all a beautiful fruitful and sweet coming New Year – May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year



Posted in Familes, Jewish History

9/11 – A very sad day indeed

Today is an interesting day for me as well as our nation. Today we remember the tragedy of 9/11 as well as watching the devastation of Hurricane Irma on our tv’s. Below I have posted a picture to honor the life of

CATHY JAFFE  – I honor and remember you today along with your family and close friends, those so close to you that 9/11 will always feel like today to them. You are not nor will you ever be forgotten.



Above picture is from 1956 @ Maplewood Nursery School, Wantagh, New York. I am in there along with Cathy on the end middle row. I began my school career with Cathy and we continued through our school years together. I am thinking of many of Cathy’s very close and intimate friends today. My heart and prayers are surrounding you.



And ‘Irma” who has played such havoc and brought such heartache and devastation to so many of my family and friends in Florida. Thankfully you are all safe and ok. We will never forget this day as so many of you begin to figure out how to move forward and rebuild. Continued prayers and much love to you all.

Posted in Familes, Genealogy, Haimowitz, Jewish History

Harold Haimowitz document update

Some time back I wrote about Harold Haimowitz. Harold is my first cousin 1x removed, son of Hyman (Herman) Haimowitz and Sadie Cantor. Herman is the older brother to my grandfather Isidore, and siblings Paul, Fay and Mollie.

InfantIsidor3   Herman Paul Isidore and Fay

This wonderful picture was shared with me by 1st cousin 1x removed Arline. I am so thankful for this beautiful family heirloom

I have been researching for the descendant’s of Hyman (Herman), information on his son Harold, for anything I can find on a first marriage to a woman named Pearl. I recently received some documents I had sent away for that I would like to share. Below is the marriage license for Harold to Pearl Beer.


This clearly gives us the names of Pearls parents and we also learn that this was not her first marriage. Note the name Alfred Losseff.


They were married at the ‘Queens Boro Hall’ with witnesses Jack and Berth Braunstein


For all my 2nd cousins and 2nd cousin 1x removed, descendants of Herman and Harold,  I hope this helps in rounding out and providing some more answers regarding Harold and his 1st marriage. It has been a wonderful year connecting with so many of you and I look forward to continuing the friendships that we have begun to form.

This summer there has been an added cousin bonus for myself and daughter and family. We met for the 1st time with a 2nd/3rd cousin 1x removed and his family. As so many of us are still living and privacy is an issue I will not mention or show any pictures at this time. However it was a great honor to connect and bring full circle the meaning and purpose of my genealogy quest…the continued connection and reconnection, the cycle, the circle, the meaning behind who we are.

Posted in Familes, Genealogy, Jewish History, Rosen

The Tragedy of Roza Rosen

I would like to wrap up the story of the tragic death of my 2x great grandmother who fell to her death from the 1st story window of her home at 54 103rd St NYC. I had tried using google earth to see if the building was still there, but sadly it had been torn down and replaced with, to me, an ugly modern high rise. Her story needed to be told and the building itself seemed to be important enough to tract down a photo of. Today I received the below tax dept photograph of the building and home of Selig and Roza Rosen.

Rojza Ruchel (Roza) Bibrowsky/Beberofsky


BIRTH 1873 Sompolno, Koninski, Greater Poland Voivodeship, Poland

DEATH 23 MAY 1940 Manhatten, New York, USA    




May her memory be a blessing to and for all those who follow