Goldstein family - brick wall

Steve Stein

I’m not normally wont to post long items, but in this case, I’m not sure how to state my problem otherwise.


I am having trouble documenting the life and death of the men in our Goldstein family, though I have been working at this for quite some time. Specifically, I cannot find post-1900 census or death records for either of my wife’s Bubbe Mamie Goldstein Fine’s  two brothers, Hyman and Jacob Goldstein, and I cannot find her father Max from after the 1900 census except when he died in 1928.


According to the 1900 census, the father, Max (Avraham Mordechai ben Chaim Zusman), immigrated in 1884, leaving his wife and 4 children (2 girls and 2 boys), then he must have returned to Poland/Russia (Bialystok), where he had another daughter before immigrating with them all to New York in 1887. He and his wife Rachel had two more daughters in the US in the early 1890s. I can find none of the Goldsteins in any NY immigration records. I am assuming that had they come to another port, they would have stayed in that city, or that their name was not originally Goldstein. This is not a major concern, however, neither that I can’t find birth records for the two daughters born in the US.


All these Goldsteins are listed in the same household on the Lower East Side in the 1900 Census, except oldest daughter Bessie. The family is listed as: Max (49), Rachel (49), Hyman (24), Annie (20), Jacob (16), Laura [listed as “Dora”]  (13), Mamie (9), and Sarah (8). Bessie is already married and listed separately. Hyman is listed as a plumber, Jacob a day laborer.


I can follow all 5 daughters with their husbands and children over time, with a couple of missing years, through the US and NY State Censuses. Bessie Goldstein Greenberg – 1900, 1905, 1910, 1915, 1920; 1925 not found (widowed after 1905) . Annie Goldstein Israel – 1910, 1915, 1920; 1925 not found. Laura Goldstein Rosenberg – 1910, 1915, 1920, 1925. Mamie Goldstein Fine – 1915, 1920, 1925. Sarah Goldstein Saperstein – 1915, 1920, 1925. In none of these censuses that I found are any of the men living with them.


Most of the initial family information was obtained by interviewing my mother-in-law, who died in 2005. She was pretty meticulous on this kind of stuff; she knew all about her aunts, uncles, and first cousins. I don’t recall that she ever told me that either Hyman or Jacob had married or had children.


I cannot find Max or Rachel in any US or NY state census after 1900. Rachel died in 1919, while living at 61 Cannon Street on the Lower East Side. Her son Hyman is in the 1917 WWI Draft records, living at 61 Cannon Street and listing his mother Rachel as his closest relative. In 1917 he is still a plumber. I infer from this that Hyman had not married by age 40, and clearly was still alive. I cannot find Jacob Goldstein’s WWI record at all.  I looked at 61 Cannon Street in the 1920 Census, neither Hyman nor Max are still living there. Max died in 1928, his address on his death certificate is the same as daughter Mamie’s 1925 address (the house she lived in for decades after), but he is not living with any of his daughters in either 1920 or 1925.


Max and Rachel are buried together in Mount Zion Cemetery in Queens. Neither Jacob nor Hyman are buried in the same society plot as their parents, nor as their sister Annie who is also buried in Mount Zion, in 1945. Obviously, there are lots of Hyman Goldsteins and Jacob Goldsteins in Mount Zion and elsewhere in the NYC area, but the cemetery sites do not give age information in order to winnow the list of candidates. They are not buried with Mamie or Sarah in other cemeteries, and I have not yet located Bessie’s or Laura’s graves, but doubtful the brothers are buried with them.


None of the deaths listed in for Hyman Goldstein are the right one, as investigated on, either because Hyman wasn’t born in either Russia or Poland, or the age is too far off, or the parents are incorrect. Italiangen goes up to 1937.


I cannot find any Hyman or Jacob Goldsteins in the 1930 or 1940 census that look enough like ours to be sure. I also cannot narrow down the potential naturalization candidates, though Hyman’s WWI record says he is naturalized.


So to summarize, no census records for any of the men after 1900; no naturalization, marriage or death records for either son; no draft record for Jacob. The problem with following leads to try to find these records is that the names are SOOOO common that the disambiguation on Max Goldsteins, Hyman Goldsteins and Jacob Goldsteins, such as naturalization and burial records, is more effort than I am willing to invest. Am I missing some easier tool or record set to help track down what happened to Hyman and Jacob?



Steve Stein
Highland Park, NJ

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