Re: Trying to break a brick wall to find living relatives in the US... #belarus #usa #general

Diane Jacobs


Based on my past experiences with cemeteries. You need to call them ask if they have name and address for next of kin.
If they do, then ask if they will forward a letter from you.  They will only tell you what state (assuming it is the US).

If someone does not want to be helpful, call them back the next day when someone new is there.

In my experience, Jewish cemeteries are usually helpful. If you don't get what you want the first time, try again

Diane Jacobs 
Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: Gregory Engels <Gregory.Engels@...>
Date: 3/29/20 6:44 AM (GMT-05:00)
To: main@...
Subject: [] Trying to break a brick wall to find living relatives in the US... #general #usa #belarus

This might be the other way around as for the most other brick walls - I do know the historic ancestors here, but I have trouble to connect the dots to the present day.

My Great-Grandmother was a part of big jewish family of 14 siblings. They lived in Minsk, Belarus, Her 10 sisters and the youngest brother have all emigrated to the US and my GGF Basia stayed in Russia with two brothers. (actually my GGM was already "sitting on packed suitcases" when my GGF has left her, so she stayed with five kids in poverty and could not afford the travel). In the Soviet time, nobody in the family have talked about those american relatives, as this could get one in jail or even killed. So it was a big surprise as I interviewed the brother of my grandfather and he came up with this information - but he could not remember any names, even the one of his uncles that actually came to visit in the sixties. That was 12 years ago, and out of those 11 siblings I was able to find four and have met with descendants from two of them and had a little conversation with another one. But the fourth one I am stuck for over two years now.

So here it goes:

My GGGF: Peisakh Gordin b 1851, d 1942 Slaveni, Belarus.

his wife: Frieda Itkin. (he later in life had a second wife Galina)

His Children I know of:

  • Stayed in Russia:

    • Basia Gordin 1878-1942 - married Engelsgelb - my Great-Grandmother, five kids.

    • Isaac Gordin b1870 - d unknown, lived in Minsk, four kids.

    • Aaron Gorind b? - d.~1974, lived in Minsk, two kids.

  • Emmigrated to the US:

    • Isidore (Israel, Izzy) Gordon - b 15 Jul 1895, d 21 Mar 1991 in West Palm Beach, 2 Kids, I have met his grandchild.

    • Fannie (Feiga) Balberor b 15 May 1887, d 10 Mar 1950 Detroit, three kids, I have met her grandkids.

    • Mollie (Malke) Sirota b Apr 1889, d 06 Jan 1953 in LA, three kids, I have some contact on Facebook with her granddaughter.

    • six further sisters I do have nothing on. The birth register for Slaveni has apparently not survived WWII.

so the last sister I know about and try to find out her descendants:

  • Rose (Rane, Rone, Rannie) Gordin born 1885 in Sloveni, Senno Uezd, Mogilew Gubernia, Russia died Sep 20 1969 - buried in Montefiore Cemetery, Queens, NY

    • she married sometime in 1906 one Jacob Etkin b25 Jan 1887 in Minsk, Belarus, d 15 May 1953 in New York

    • Jacob arrived in the US 24 Jun 1906 under the name Yankel Itkin, he stated that he would be joining his Father (according to jacobs gavestone his name would be Abraham) with c/o of a Max Mindlin, Red Bank, NY. Because he had no money, he was detained, and the record list Max Mindlin as his uncle. Manifest Detained list

    • Rose arrived 24 Jun 1907, exactly one year after Jacob, passenger name Rone Itkin (row 18) - she too was detained and picked up by her husband (row 8) - his address being 165 East Broadway, NY

    • 19 Jan 1909 their daughter Annie (or Anna) Atkin was born - address 653 Sackman St, NY

    • 1910 Census Jake, Rosie and Annie Etkin - 401 Powell St, Brooklyn, NY

    • 18 Jan 1912 their daughter Florence Etkin is born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. - Florence died 29 Dec 1975

    • 1915 NY State Census Jacob, Jennie (!), Annie and Flora - they are back in NY: 226 Livonia Ave.

    • Nov 1917 their daughter Sylvia is born in New York

    • Nov 1919 their daughter Lillian is born in New York

    • 1920 Census: Etkin, Jacob, Rose, Anna, Florence and Lillian - Address 1514 St Marks Ave, Brooklyn.

    • 1925 NY State Census surname Atkin, same address 1514 St Marks Ave

    • 1930 Census: and 456 Herzl Street, Brooklyn

    • 1940 Census: They still all live together - address 408 E95th St (that's just a couple of hoses away from Rose's brother Isadore)

    • Anna have married sometime Hyman Lastman

Now, the headstone of Jacob and Rose says that they had grandchildren. I had wrote an email to Montefiore cemetery once using their contact form in june 2019 and once using the email of their director jan 2020, asking them if they would have a next of kin information or a obituary on file, but never got an answer. (I had some success in writing to the cemeteries before - ifact the first hint of Rose was from the cemetery file from Fanny Balberor (died 1950) that listed in the next of kin list: "Str Mrs Jacob ATKIN NYC", and it took me some time to find everything linked above in this message). 

Any ideas where to dig now?

best regards to all you who are in quarantine, as we are here in Germany. 
Gregory Engels

Diane Jacobs

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