Re: Mount Sinai Cemetery - Is that Machpelah and, if so, how do you find a grave? #general

A. E. Jordan

First off thanks to everyone who sent me messages in my search for the missing
cemetery. It's an interesting saga.

A few people have had a closed mind and because the cemetery name does not show
on the modern databases have said no it does not exist ...that I am wrong. But
many are also looking at the records and confused like me. Complicating the
saga are other cemeteries with the same name outside the New York City area.

The mystery starts with a 1912 death certificate that shows the burial as Mount
Sinai Cemetery. The family lived in Brooklyn.

None of the modern databases show the cemetery so I ended up going to the
newspapers of the era and sure enough I find a number of burials and articles
mentioning Mount Sinai Cemetery. But it seems to vanish in the papers or get
lost with the others of the same name.

I found the local authorities authorizing the cemetery operations in the 1880s
and that even gives a street name and a name of farm they would be converting.
I find mentions of the cemetery when the Triangle Shirt Waist Factory burns
because the union buys plots there for the victims and later puts a monument up
there. (I know that sounds like Mount Zion which has the burials and a memorial
to the fire.)

The best clue is I found a prominent rabbi buried at Mount Sinai in 1887 as well
as the names of various other people buried there. But I also found a newspaper
article talking about a city development and it says it is just behind Mount
Sinai Cemetery but the event it is describing happened at Mount Zion Cemetery.

I called Mount Zion and confirmed the rabbi is not there and they do not know of
a section or such being called Mount Sinai. I tried a few of the other names I
have and they do not show up in the database at Mount Zion either.

An online search points to the rabbi at Machpelah Cemetery and I called the
office there this morning and they confirmed his grave is in Machpelah but they
can not find the family I am looking for in the cemetery listing. They admit
that the various cemeteries sort of run together in that area of Queens.

Odd story of a forgotten cemetery. I don't have a final answer but I am closing
in on it. I will also check maps >from the era to see if there are any
indications on them, but the missing link is what happened in the management of
the cemetery which the online newspapers seem to miss.

Allan Jordan

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