Chasing a Mystery in Philly, and Looking for Puzzle Pieces: Abraham Louis Snader #usa

Eric Ellman


My wife's family has only recently learned that my wife's grandfather (Abraham Louis Snader) was briefly married before his marriage to my wife's grandmother.  This is a surprise.  The first marriage did NOT end in the death of the first wife.

What I know:
* Abraham Louis Snader sometimes went by A. Louis Snader or Louis Snader or Louie Snader.
* 1928.  First marriage; marriage certificate index.  Abraham L. Snader married Lea H. Fleysher in Philadelphia in 1928.  The marriage license number is 563815.  This marriage has only recently come to our attention.
* 1930.  The 1930 census, Abraham Louis Snader not found; Lea found; they are not together.  I cannot find Abraham Louis Snader in the census for Pennsylvania.  Yet Lea is there and is enumerated elsewhere.  In 1930, Lea was twenty-six years old (b. 1904) and was living with her parents, Hamsey Fleysher (b. 1874) and Sophie Fleysher (b. 1878).  The family lived at 2946 Columbia Ave. in Philly.  Lea, born in Russia, was listed as single.  She immigrated in 1906, was naturalized, and was working as a stenographer in an office.  That she was employed in 1930 is interesting.  
* 1931.  Second marriage.  Abraham L. Snader married Celia Baseman in Philadelphia in 1931.
* 1935.  Death of first wife, Lea Fleysher.  According to an index of obits in the Jewish Exponent, Lea H. Fleysher died Feb. 17, 1935.
* 1935.  Burial of first wife, Lea Fleysher.  According to findagrave, Lea H. Fleysher is buried in Montefiore Cemetery in Jenkintown (Mont. Co.), Sec. 8, Lot 5, Grave 3.  Phila. Lodge Society.  Lea is buried with Hansley Fleysher (DOD April 9, 1934) and Sophie Fleysher (DOD Dec. 5, 1947).  Hansley and Sophie are likely Lea’s parents.  
* 1935.  Lea is buried as Fleysher, so she did not take the Snader name, at least after 1931 and it is likely she did not remarry in the four years from Abraham Louis Snader's second marriage to Lea's death.

What I need:
* Marriage certificate index. I sent a letter to the Philadelphia 
Marriage License Bureau requesting a copy of the marriage record.
* I am still looking for Abraham Louis Snader in the 1930 census.

What I need and where I can use help (I am in DC and not local to Philly)
* Does anyone know how/where to request a death certificate for Lea Fleysher (Feb. 17, 1935)?  In obtaining the certificate, does it matter that she is the first wife of my wife's grandfather and is not directly related to my wife or my wife's parents?
* Does anyone know how/where I can obtain a copy of the obituary for Lea Fleysher (Feb. 17, 1935) from the Jewish Exponent?
* Divorce was quite rare in 1928-1931, of course.  Does anyone know how/where I can learn if there was a divorce and obtain that divorce record for Abraham Louis Snader and Lea Fleysher?  The divorce would have been in or between 1928-1931.
* It is possible that the Depression might somehow be connected to the dissolution of marriage, but I would not likely know that unless there was a divorce proceeding.

Eric J. Ellman
North Bethesda, Maryland

Barbara Rice

Philadelphia marriages are available to view on FamilySearch
Use the catalog and search on place, Philadelphia, keyword marriages
You can browse through the images and it is easy when you have the year and certificate number. You can do this from home for the Philadelphia records.
Marriages earlier than 1915 are in a different set.
I located the divorce record in the 2nd marriage records from 1931 and sent you a private message.

Barbara Rice
Minneapolis MN
Kupferschmidt - Radziechow and Philadelphia
Rusonik - Polotsk, Vitebsk
Rehfeld>Rayfield - Gollub-Dobrzyn
Rohssler - Krakow
Zuchovitz - Stolpce, Belarus and Woodbine, NJ


Hi Eric!   Not all death information is on line.  Look on the PA Death Index for information on Lea Fleysher.  Then request a copy from the State.
To make it easier, I would just say she is a great aunt of your family.  I can't imagine that they check.

You can contact the Temple University Special Collections Library for copies of obituaries in the Exponent.  I don't know if they are open yet.  
Jessica M. Lydon, MSLIS, CA 
Associate Archivist
Special Collections Research Center
Temple University Libraries
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Yes, you can find records of divorces in City Hall.  I know there is an index on microfilm.  I do not know about the actual records.  Check with the Register of Wills.

I guess it is possible that the marriage was dissolved due to the depression.  It is also possible that they got a divorce because they hated each other.  Who knows.  What I do know is that is was more common than you think to get a divorce.  I have a bunch of them in my tree.

Take care,
Marlise Ellis Gross
Cherry Hill, NJ

EdrieAnne Broughton

Ms Lydon,  "I would just say she is a great aunt of your family.  I can't imagine that they check."  Sometimes they do.  It all depends on the rules for privacy in each state.  In Illinois you have to claim direct relationship to the deceased.  I believe in California it's the same and in California I had to have copies of my grandmother's DC to get her mother's DC, plus my father's DC.  At least they accepted xerox copies.                         EdrieAnne Broughton, Vacaville, California


I understand what you are saying Edrie.  I asked for my great great aunt's death certificate from PA by saying that I was her niece, and they sent me the record.  I did not have to provide any documentation.  It was not a problem for me, but it could be for someone else.

Marlise Ellis Gross
Cherry Hill, NJ

EdrieAnne Broughton

About 10-15 years ago many states started restricting who can ask for official documents.  They were worried about stealing identities, though I don't know who would have stolen Great Aunt Fannie's identity since she was born in 1887.  When I talked to the clerk in Springfield she coached me into saying that Fannie was my great grandmother.  The lady was a sweetheart.
EdrieAnne Broughton
Vacaville, California

Charles Zar

You can find the Death Certificate on Ancestry.   Date of Death, Feb 14, not the 17th, back then Montefiore records listed date of funeral...not date of death.  Use the name, Leah Fleysker, that's how it's indexed.