Where in New York did my relative go? #general

Apollo Israel <apollo@...>

Hello everyone,

I recently found a document that indicates that a previously unknown brother
of my great-great-grandmother went >from Poland to New York via Antwerp early
last century. The document, which comes >from the so-called "Belgian police
files" (indexed in one of the large commercial sites), is in French and
dated 1908, and states that his foreign address ("foreign" being outside
Belgium) was "93 Pietstreet, New York, America." It does not give the name
of anyone he might have been going to at that address.

The handwriting on the document is very clear and I am sure I read the
street name correctly. So, I tried Googling "Piet Street" New York, but that
turned nothing up. I did find a Pitt Street in Manhattan and looked at it
via Street View, but do not know if that is the right street. There don't
seem to be any signs of Jewish life in the area now, and, in fact, there is
now a Catholic church and school right where no. 93 would have been. Thanks
to Steve Morse's excellent ED finding tool, however, I managed to find the
Pitt Street pages in the 1940 U.S. census, and realized that it must once
have been a very Jewish area, as there were many Jewish names there then.
However, there were no names similar to my relative's or his wife's at no.
93 or elsewhere in the street.

I also searched JewishGen's and JRI-Poland's various databases very
thoroughly (including JOWBR and Family Finder and every other possible
JewishGen database) but found nothing. Similarly, I searched the U.S.
immigration, naturalization and census records online (in the big commercial
sites), and various grave-finding websites, but also found nothing. I also
tried Facebook and U.S. directories to find people with that surname, but
couldn't find anything likely. I did get some hits for people with similar
names, but other details (widely differing dates of birth, for example)
eliminated them.

So, at present, the only lead I have to this relative is this doubtful
street name ("Pietstreet," which may or may not be Pitt Street, Manhattan)
from the Belgian document. I'm stumped. I would welcome any suggestions on
how to proceed!

For those interested, the document names my relative as Sender KRYSKA, born
in 1873 in Sieradz (son of Juda KRYSKA and Reisel GABELSKI), husband of
Fanie GENKOWSKY (born in 1882 in "Belgartow, Russia"). It was not clear from
the document whether Sender was in Antwerp on his own or whether his wife
was with him.

Thanks in advance,
Raanana, Israel.

Deborah Barr

Hi Miriam,

93 Pitt Street is in the very heart of the Jewish immigrant
district of the Lower East Side, so I think it's a very good
bet to be the actual address.

Have you looked at the 1905 and 1910 census records for 93 Pitt St?

Deborah Barr

Researching ELSTER Chelm, HOLTZMAN, ABRAMCZYK/ABRAMSON, Pultusk, Wyszkow

Ira Leviton

Dear Cousins,

Miriam Bulwar David-Hay found her relative Sender KRYSKA in a
1908 Belgian police file of foreigners who had to register,
with an address of 93 Pietstreet in New York City. There's
no Pietstreet in New York City, she thinks it's Pitt Street,
but she was unable to locate anybody with the right surnames
there in the 1940 Census.

I think she has the right street. Pitt Street is in the heart
of the Lower East Side, and though there are barely any Jews
around Pitt Street nowadays, the area was teeming with Jewish
immigrants around the turn of the century. She should definitely
look at that address in the 1910 U.S. census, using the Steve
Morse tools to determine the Enumeration District for that year.
Even if she can't find him at that address, the name Sender KRYSKA
or its variants (Alexander for the first name, Kriska and others
for the surname), is unusual enough to look for without restricting
it to a specific address in the census, and also to look in various
naturalization databases, in case he returned to the U.S. >from
Belgium and became a citizen. The 1905 New York state census may
also be worth a look.


Ira Leviton
New York, N.Y.