Hart Cohen of DC: The Rest of the Story

It’s been a week since I last posted anything new about the DC Cohen family.  I had last written about Solomon Monroe Cohen and his family, the son of Moses, Jr., and Henrietta Cohen.  Although I will continue to try and fill the gaps left in the research of the children of Moses, Jr. and Henrietta Cohen, I am now going to move on to the other children of Moses, Sr., and Adeline Cohen, first focusing on their son Hart, who was born in 1851 in Maryland.

It was this Hart (whom I’ve referred to as Hart DC) who had me confused because of the similarities between some of his biographical facts and those of his first cousin, my great-grandfather Emanuel’s brother, Hart Cohen of Philadelphia.  They had the same name, were born the same year, and were both married to women named Henrietta. It was this Hart who led me to the discovery of the DC branch of the Cohen family. Hart and his wife Henrietta Baer had four children: Frances, Munroe, Isadore, and Jacob.   Their son Munroe was killed in an awful accident while working as a brakeman on the railroad in Kingston, New York, in 1903.  Isadore had married Frances David in 1907, so in 1910, Hart and Henrietta had two children living at home, Frances (32) and Jacob (25). Jacob was working as a chauffeur, and Hart was working in a jewelry store. On August 8, 1914, Hart’s wife Henrietta Baer Cohen died; she was only 62.

Isadore and Frances had had a son Monroe born in 1910, presumably named for Isadore’s brother. In 1916, they had another son, Burton.  In 1917, Isadore was working as a department manager for a hotel according to his World War I draft registration.

Isadore Baer Cohen World War I draft registration

Isadore Baer Cohen World War I draft registration

I found two World War I draft registrations for Jacob.  The earlier one, dated June, 1917, listed Jacob’s business as the concessions business and said he suffered from heart trouble.  His marital status was single, and he was living with his father and his sister Frances at 1802 7th Street NW in Washington.  The second one, dated September 1918, had a number of changes:  he was working in the restaurant business and was self-employed, he was married, and there was no mention of heart trouble.

Jacob M. Cohen World War I registration (first)

Jacob M. Cohen World War I registration (first)

Jacob M. Cohen World War I registration (second)

Jacob M. Cohen World War I registration (second)

According to the Philadelphia marriage index, Jacob had married Rose Serge in Philadelphia in 1918.  He was 33, and she was thirty when they married.   In 1918, they were living at 1802 7th Street with Jacob’s father and sister Frances.

In 1920, Hart and his daughter Frances were still living at 1802 7th Street, but Jacob and Rose had moved to their own place in Washington.  Jacob was still in the restaurant business.  Isadore and his family were also still living in Washington, and Isadore was still in the hotel business.

On August 10, 1926, Hart died at the age of 75.  His daughter Frances continued to live in the same residence at 1802 7th Street, now living alone and working as a retail merchant in the dry goods business, a business she had been working in since at least 1915.  She would continue to work in that business until her death in February, 1941, at age 62, the same age her mother had been when she died.  Frances’ death notice said that she had died suddenly. She was buried at Washington Hebrew Cemetery.  There is no mention of her brother Jacob in her death notice, only mention of her brother Isadore.  Frances never married or had children.

Ancestry.com. Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, & Death Announcements, 1851-2003 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.

Ancestry.com. Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, & Death Announcements, 1851-2003 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.

In 1930 Jacob and Rose were living in Philadelphia, where Jacob was the manager of a restaurant.  I could not find Jacob or Rose on the 1940 census, nor can I find a death record for Jacob, but given that he was not listed in his sister’s obituary and that he had had a history of heart trouble, my guess is that he had died before the 1940 census. He would have been younger than 55 years old when he died.  He and Rose did not have any children.

Although I could not find Rose on the 1940 census, she was still alive in 1949, as I found her on a ship manifest traveling to Hawaii. According to the ship manifest Rose was living at 41 Emory Street in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1949. Rose had lived in Jersey City as a child, and 41 Emory Street is where her mother had been living in 1925 and where two of her sisters were living in 1930. Obviously, Rose had returned to her hometown after Jacob died.  She was still alive in 1952 when her sister Minnie died, but after that I cannot find any mention or record for her.  I tried contacting the funeral home that had handled other deaths in the Serge family, Wien and Wien in New Jersey, but sadly their records for the Jersey City funeral home were burned in a fire fifteen years ago.  I also called the cemetery where Minnie is buried to see if they have any records for Jacob or Rose Cohen, but have not heard back from them.

As for Isadore, in 1930, he and his family were living in Chicago, where Isadore was working as a salesman in the paper industry.  His son Monroe was a clerk in the weather bureau there.  I wonder what prompted the move to Chicago and the career change for Isadore.

Isadore Baer Cohen and family 1930 census

Isadore Baer Cohen and family 1930 census

In 1940, the family was still living together in Chicago, and Isadore was a book salesman. Both Monroe and Burton had changed their surname from Cohen to Coulter, though their parents were still using Cohen.   Although Monroe was now 30 and Burton 24, there is no occupation listed for either of them on the 1940 census.

Isadore Baer Cohen and family 1940 census

Isadore Baer Cohen and family 1940 census

By 1942, Isadore had retired, according to his draft registration.  He gave Burton’s name as his contact person, which I found interesting since his wife Frances was still alive at that time.

Isadore Baer Cohen World War II draft registration

Isadore Baer Cohen World War II draft registration

Sometime between 1942 and 1949, Isadore and Frances moved to California, where Frances died in 1949.  Isadore died in 1958 when he was 77 years old.  He lived a much longer life than any of his siblings or his mother.  His father Hart was the only other one to live past seventy.

According to his obituary in the Chicago Tribune of September 8, 1996, Isadore’s son Monroe Coulter had enlisted in the Army Air Corps before World War II and was an electrical engineer.  He married Fannie Simon on November 25, 1942, in Chicago and appears to have settled in Illinois. They had two children.   Monroe worked on the Air Force missile program and retired from the military in 1970 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.  He was living in Itasca, Illinois, when he died on September 6, 1996, and is buried at Shalom Memorial Park in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

His brother Burton moved to California in the 1950s.  He was married and had two children.  In 1952 he was working as the deputy county assessor in Alhambra, California, according to a directory for that city. Then, according to Sacramento city directories,  from at least 1959 through 1966 he lived in Sacramento and worked as an appraiser for the California Department of Equalization, a state agency responsible for administering the state tax laws.   Burton died in Los Angeles, California in 1978.  He was only 61 years old and thus was another family member who did not live to see seventy.

The family line of Hart and Henrietta Cohen thus is somewhat limited.  Of the four children of Hart and Henrietta, only Isadore lived past seventy, and only Isadore had children. Frances never married, and Jacob married, but did not have children. Munroe, Jacob, and Frances all died at relatively young ages, as did their mother Henrietta.  Although Munroe died in an accident, I do not know what led to the early deaths of Henrietta, Frances and Jacob, but will see if I can find out.

I am hoping that one of Isadore’s descendants will be able to provide a Y-DNA test to provide evidence of the genetic link between Moses Cohen, Sr., and my great-great-grandfather Jacob Cohen, but I am having some trouble making contact with them.  They are the only direct male genetic descendants of Moses Cohen, Sr. and thus my only option for finding that genetic connection between Moses and Jacob.  Maybe one of them will find this blog post and find me.

 

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