Women are Difficult, Part Two: Rebecca Rosenzweig

I am continuing to search for my grandfather’s first cousins, and I am struggling to find the daughters of Gustave Rosenzweig.  I have tracked Lillian up to 1910 and Sarah up through 1940. My next target was Rebecca, the second oldest daughter.  This is what I have found so far, although I need documentation to confirm some of my conclusions.

Rebecca was born May 27, 1893, in New York (birth certificate on order, but I am quite certain I have found the correct one based on the report on FamilySearch, which includes her parents’ names), and she was living with her family until at least 1910, according to the 1900, 1905,and 1910 census reports.  That is all that I can be certain about at this point.  She is not living with her family in 1915 or thereafter.

Gustave Rosenzweig and family 1900 census

Gustave Rosenzweig and family 1900 census

Gustave Rosenzweig family on the 1905 NYS census

Gustave Rosenzweig family on the 1905 NYS census

Gustave Rosenzweig and family 1910 census

Gustave Rosenzweig and family 1910 census

When I did a search for a Rebecca Rosenzweig on the NYC marriage index for the years between 1910 and 1915, there was only one potential person, a woman who married a man named Frank R. Elkin on March 22, 1914.  I have not yet received the certificate for this marriage, but I am fairly certain that this is the correct Rebecca.  She and Frank appear on the 1915 census, living at 1985 Pacific Street in Brooklyn.

Frank and Rebecca Elkin 1915 at 1985 Pacific Street

Frank and Rebecca Elkin 1915 at 1985 Pacific Street

On the same census one page earlier are the Rosenzweig family, living 1918 Pacific Street.

Rosenzweigs 1915

Rosenzweigs 1915

In 1915, Frank was employed as a tinsmith.

(Also listed on the same page as Rebecca and Frank Elkin is my grandmother Gussie Brotman, living at 1991 Pacific Street with her sister Tillie Ressler and her family; perhaps Rebecca was the cousin who introduced my grandfather, her cousin, to my grandmother, her neighbor?)

Gussie living with TIllie 1915

Gussie living with TIllie 1915

In 1917 Frank Robert Elkin was employed doing sheet metal and had a wife and child, according to his World War I draft registration form.

Frank Elkin World War I draft registration

Frank Elkin World War I draft registration

(Interestingly, the registrar of his draft board was someone named J. Rosenzweig.)  They were living at 1875 Bergen Street.  Frank gave his birth date as May 4, 1891 and his birth place as New York, New York.  I could not search for a child born after 1914 since the NYC birth index to which I have access only goes up to 1902.

When I searched for Frank and Rebecca Elkin on the 1920 census, a number of things confused me.

Elkin Family 1920 census

Elkin Family 1920 census

First, the birth place for Rebecca’s parents is given as Minsk, Russia, not Romania.  I would not be troubled by this since there are often errors on the census, but this one is so specific in identifying not just the country, but the city, which I had not seen on a census report before.  Could I have the wrong Rebecca? Only the marriage certificate will tell me for sure, but I still think that I have the right one.  Rebecca and Frank were now living at 1892 Bergen Street, and the Rosenzweig family was also now living on Bergen Street at Number 1918.  Could it just be coincidence that both the Elkins and the Rosenzweigs had moved from Pacific Street to Bergen Street?

Rosenzweigs 1920 census

Rosenzweigs 1920 census

Frank was now working as a steam fitter in a shipyard, according to this report.  Perhaps this was his war time employment, working at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The second puzzling thing about the 1920 census report is that although it does list a child living with Frank and Rebecca, a boy named Irving, he was only 8 months old at the time of the census, or born in May, 1919.  (The census was dated January 7, 1920.)  Obviously, Irving was not alive when Frank filled out his draft registration in 1917, so who was the child he referred to on his registration back then?

I searched the death index (which runs to 1948, unlike the birth index) and found an entry for a one year old child named Daniel Elkin who died on December 16, 1917.  I will have to obtain that record to be sure, but I fear that the child Frank referred to on his draft registration in 1917 died later that same year.

After the 1920 census I could not find any record for Rebecca Elkin.  There were two Frank Elkins on the 1930 census—one living in Brooklyn and one in the Bronx.  After some confusion based on the fact that both Franks seemed to have sons named Irving, I was finally able to sort through the facts for both, looking backward to see where each had come from before 1930, and concluded that the Brooklyn Frank Elkin was the same one who had been married to Rebecca.

Frank Elkin with his parents 1930 census

Frank Elkin with his parents 1930 census

That Frank was living with his parents and siblings on Linden Boulevard in Brooklyn that year, working as a salesman at an electrical supply company.  His father Louis was listed as the head of household, and living with Louis in addition to Frank was Louis’ wife Ida, his two other sons Matthew and Edward and a daughter Celia and a daughter-in-law Fannie as well as two grandsons, Irwin, age 11, and Stanley, age 4.  I cannot tell from the census who was Fannie’s husband—Frank, Matthew or Edward—or who were the parents of Irwin and Stanley.  They could be cousins or brothers; they are only identified as Louis’ grandsons.

My hunch is that Irwin is the same child as Irving, Rebecca and Frank’s son born in 1919.  He would have been eleven in 1920 when the census was taken.  My other hunch is that Rebecca had either died or was institutionalized; I cannot find her on the 1930 census at all, nor can I find a death record for her.  I don’t know whether Stanley was her son or her nephew.  Unfortunately, I also could not find either Frank or Rebecca on the 1925 census, nor can I find Frank or Irving/Irwin on the 1940 census.  There are a number of Irving Elkins born around the right time, but I have not yet had a chance to narrow down those possibilities.

So pending receipt of the marriage certificate for Rebecca and Frank Elkin and the death certificate for Daniel Elkin, I am putting on hold further research about Frank and Irving.  I want to be certain that I have the right Rebecca before I go further into the lives of the men I assume to have been her husband and son.

And on that note, let me leave you all in suspense. I will be out of town for the next week and unable to do much research.  I will, however, try to post some tidbits and photos I’ve been saving up.

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5 thoughts on “Women are Difficult, Part Two: Rebecca Rosenzweig

  1. Hi Amy, I believe I remember a skeleton in the Rosenzweig family tree. If I recall correctly, one of Joe’s sisters married a non-Jew and was personna non gratis following that choice. I know it wasn’t Ray or Lizzie for sure. and I believe that Joe, Ray and Lizzie all kept in contact with this sister. I don’t remember Rebecca or Sarah, but that only means that I don’t remember them. I remember Jack and Mona really well, too. well, that’s my contribution!

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    • Thanks, Hava. It was Lilly, the oldest daughter, who married someone who wasn’t Jewish. I posted about her last week.

      Do you know if Mona is alive? Do you know her married name or if she had children? I can’t seem to find her.

      Thanks!!

      Like

  2. Pingback: I’m Ba-a-a-ck! With an Update on Lillian Rosenzweig « Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  3. Pingback: My Grandfather’s Cousin Rebecca: Another Life Cut Short « Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

  4. Pingback: A Small Chink in the Wall « Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

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