Finally, after almost two months, the Family History Library is back in service. I’ve received a couple of documents that I will post about. First, I received Hyman and Sophie Brotman’s marriage certificate. Although it provides no new information, it is nevertheless an interesting document. Hyman (who was using Herman by this time on official documents) was only 22 when he was married in 1904; Sophie was only 18. Sometimes I am amazed by the fact that people who married so young were able to have such long marriages. Sophie and Hyman were married 64 years.
What I found particularly interesting about this document is that Hyman used his father’s middle name, Jacob, on the certificate. I have never seen Joseph referred to on any document as anything other than Joseph. But, as you may recall, Hyman also referred to his mother as Fanny, her middle name, on his Social Security application, a reference no one else ever used. Here he uses Pesel Broht as his mother’s name, not Fanny. Perhaps he was being somewhat secretive, or perhaps there was some family use of those middle names. After all, Hyman was Herman and Chaim, so he had a flexible attitude towards names. (I’ve also never seen Broht spelled with an H.)
Edit: I just realized that the front of the form has the groom’s name as Haimy!
The other thing that I find interesting about the marriage certificate is the spelling of “white” as “weit” and the spelling of Manhattan as Manahten. It looks like the rabbi might have filled out the entire form since it seems to match the handwriting of his signature. I also think the rabbi filled out the form because Weiss is spelled with one S on the front of the form, but Sophie spelled it Weiss in her signature. Whoever filled out the form also did not understand the box that asks for number of marriages, as the blank area is filled with an address, not a number. I have no idea what that address refers to, as it is not the address of the bride, the groom or the rabbi. At any rate it does indicate that this was someone who was still learning English.
Also of interest is that we now have a record of Sophie’s father’s name, listed as Moses, later changed to Morris, and her mother’s maiden name. It looks like Linz or Livy Gabler? Does that sound right to any of her grandchildren? Can anyone help decipher the handwriting? Later records have her name as Lena, so Liny or Linz might make sense.
Finally, the one thing I cannot decipher at all is Hyman’s occupation. Can someone please help me read what that says? On the 1900 US Census his occupation was reported to be a button hole maker, but this looks like something different. If you can read it, please leave your response in the comments below.
Edited: The prize goes to my brother Ira, who deciphered the occupation to be a phonetic spelling of “operator.” Often those who worked in the sweatshops on the Lower East Side were referred to as operators (i.e., machine operators). Since Hyman had been working as a button hole maker, it makes sense that this was what he was doing when he married Sophie in 1904. It also makes sense that someone who spelled white “weit” and Manhattan as Manahten would spell operator phonetically as well.