First, a few comments about my last post about the Schwartz family. My mother pointed out to me that David Goldschlager’s wife Rebecca was always called Becky, not Rebecca. Richard, her grandson, confirmed this, so from now on I will refer to her as Becky. Also, both my mother and Richard described Becky as a warm, outgoing person with a wonderful laugh (and a great apple strudel, according to Richard.) Looking at the wonderful pictures below, I can see that Becky came from a large, but close family, and that despite losing two brothers and overcoming the adjustments to living in America, there must have been happy times in their childhood here.
Thanks to Jon Schwartz, Becky’s nephew, I have some wonderful documents and photographs to share of the Schwartz family. First, Jon has shared the marriage certificate of his grandparents Solomon Schwartz and Louise Schwartz, or Solomon Svarti to Luisa Svarti in Romanian. Here is the English translation:
Two things are interesting here. First, Jon wonders whether his grandparents were cousins since both had the surname Sfarti before they married, just as we believe that Joseph and Bessie Brotman were related, both sharing the same surname before marriage. It was apparently not uncommon for families to arrange marriages between cousins. Also, note that Solomon was from Jassy (Iasi), and Luisa from Berlad. According to Google Maps, the two cities are about 80 miles apart and would take even today two hours to travel between. It seems unlikely that Solomon met Luisa without some prior arrangement so a family connection makes sense.
It’s also interesting that Solomon came from Iasi. Perhaps he knew the Goldschlager family growing up, which might explain how David Goldschlager ended up marrying Solomon’s daughter Becky. What makes this seem a bit more possible is the fact that Solomon was a hatter even in Romania. Although David was born after Solomon had married and left Iasi, it is interesting that David, a hatter from Iasi, ended up marrying the daughter of Solomon, a hatter from Iasi.
Jon also sent me the birth certificate, both in Romanian and in English, for Rebecca (Becky), Solomon and Luisa’s first child, born in April, 1889, ten months after their wedding. Here is the English version below:
Jon also has some wonderful photographs of his father’s parents and siblings. My favorite is this one, depicting the Schwartz family probably a year or so after they arrived in Newark.
From left to right, they are Sophie, Annette, Louise (sitting), Becky, Abram, Solomon, Meyer, Etta and Rose.
Jon thought that the baby was Jennie, the Schwartz’s youngest child born in 1907, but since the picture does not include the other child born in the US, Meyer, who was born in 1904, I think the baby is Meyer. Also, the ship manifest said Abram was two at the time they left Romania(1903), and in this picture Abram (the little boy leaning on his mother’s knee) looks too young for him to be six or seven, which he would have been when Jennie was a baby in 1907. I would date this picture between 1904 and 1905, and I believe that the baby is Meyer, the poor little boy who died of a burst appendix when he was nine years old.
The other Schwartz children all grew to adulthood, Abram becoming Arnold, the only brother among six sisters. He had a painting business for some time, but when it failed during the Depression, he became a route salesman. He had two sons, Stephen and Jonathan. The sisters all married except for Sophie, and all but Jeanette had children. Here are two pictures of the Schwartz sisters, courtesy of their nephew Jon.
Sophie (aka Sherry), Jeannette, Rebecca, Etta, Rose, Annette
I find it interesting in those days that people didn’t smile for family portraits. Wonder what the photographer said. ” look like you hate me?” Today, we all try to look as happy as we can. Big smiles all around or is it that we’re all happy now and they weren’t? Do a study on that Amy.
I think they wanted to look serious and not frivolous. Life was more serious. Kids were not indulged like we were or our kids were. Or they hated the photographer! I also think they wanted to look successful. Happiness was less important. Look at those clothes!