The Perplexing and Tragic Story of Gertrude Sipp, Daughter of Sadie Bloomfield Sipp

Like her older brother Markus, aka Max, Sara Blumenfeld left for the US as a teenager. Sara, born on October 19, 1873, in Kirchhain, was the sixth child of Giedel Blumenfeld and Gerson Blumenfeld, and she was only seventeen when she arrived in New York on June 30, 1891.1 That was three years after Max had arrived, and I assume she must have first stayed with him, but I don’t have any records that show where she was until she married Albert Sipp on June 9, 1899,2 eight years after she’d immigrated to the US. Albert was just a month older than Sara, born on September 19, 1873, in Jersey City, New Jersey, to George Sipp and Eliza Lighte.3

The date of the birth of Sara and Albert’s first child Gertrude, presumably named for Sara’s mother Giedel, is somewhat of a mystery, and I cannot find a birth record to solve that mystery. The 1900 US census shows Sara (known as Sadie now) and Albert living in Manhattan with two children, Gertrude, one year old, born July 1898 (or does it say 1899?) in New York, and George (presumably named for Albert’s father), born March 1900 and just two months old. Albert was working as a produce dealer.

Albert Sipp and family, 1900 US census, Year: 1900; Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Roll: 1100; Page: 14; Enumeration District: 0394; FHL microfilm: 1241100
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census

The 1905 New York State census shows the family still living in Manhattan and Albert working as a grocer. He and Sara now have four children: Bertha (presumably Gertrude) is listed as seven, George as five, Lizzie as four, and Milton as two. If Gertrude was born in July 1898, she would have been a month shy of her seventh birthday when the census was enumerated on June 1, 1905.

Albert Sipp and family, 1905 NYS census, New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 14 E.D. 10; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 13, Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., State Census, 1905

By 1910, the family had moved to Jersey City, New Jersey, where Albert continued to be a grocer. Gertrude was now twelve, George ten, Lizzie eight, and Milton seven. Again, this would suggest that Gertrude was born in 1898, not 1899. All the children are listed as born in New York.

Albert Sipp and family, 1910 US census, Year: 1910; Census Place: Jersey City Ward 8, Hudson, New Jersey; Roll: T624_891; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0160; FHL microfilm: 1374904
Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census

So when was Gertrude born? If she was born in July 1898, she was born before her parents married unless they had another wedding before the June 1898  date that their New York marriage record suggests. The 1900 census says they were married three years, meaning 1897, not 1898, but where? The 1910 census reports they’d been married 12 years, or 1898 and that Gertrude was 12.

In any event, I cannot find a birth record for Gertrude in the New York City birth databases—not as Sipp, not as Blumenfeld, not as Berha. Even searching by just her parents’ first names did not produce any results. Can anyone else help?

I do have evidence of the births of the other three children. George was born Gustave Sipp on March 20, 1900, consistent with the 1900 census.4 Elizabeth Sipp (or Lizzie) was born on June 6, 1901.5 Milton Sipp was born on March 19, 1903.6 But only George and Milton are listed in the New York, New York, US, Index to Birth Certificates, 1866-1909 database on Ancestry. Maybe Sadie and Albert just didn’t file birth certificates for their daughters.

In any event, Sadie and Albert had four children, and in 1920 they were still living in Jersey City where Albert continued to work as a grocer.7 According to one page in the 1930 census, all four children were still living at home in Jersey City, and Albert now listed his occupation as florist. George, now 27, was working as an electrician, and Milton, 20, was a chicken merchant. Elizabeth was not employed, and Gertrude is listed as married to George Bowker, a butcher. The census indicates that they had been married for about six years since it shows Gertrude to be now 31 and married when she was 25.

Albert Sipp and family, 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 0098; FHL microfilm: 2341088, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

But once again, researching Gertrude has caused me confusion and headaches. If she had been married for six years in 1930, she would have married in 1924. But a different page of the 1930 census shows Gertrude and George living in a separate household with two children, and it shows Gertrude as 30 and married when she was 22, so eight years.

George Bowker and family, 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey; Page: 23A; Enumeration District: 0099; FHL microfilm: 2341088, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census

This is probably more accurate since I have located records that show that Albert Sipp Bowker, George and Gertrude’s first child, was born on December 1, 1923,8 and that his younger brother George Bowker, Jr., was born on October 5, 1927.9 A third son Calvin was born on October 21, 1931.10 All three children were born in Jersey City, New Jersey. An entry in the New Jersey Marriage Index, 1901-1966 database on Ancestry lists Gertrude and George’s marriage date as June 1, 1922.11

George Sipp, Gertrude’s brother, married Evelyn K. Hoff in 1932.12 Evelyn was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, on March 31, 1908, to Herman Hoff and Helene Langer.13 Evelyn and George had two children born in the 1930s.

Milton Sipp, the youngest of the children of Sadie and Albert Sipp, married Minnie Hinz in 1933.14 Minnie, the daughter of John Hinz and Lena Trapp, was born on October 22, 1914, in Jersey City, New Jersey.15 Milton and Minnie also had two children born in the 1930s, bringing the count of grandchildren for Sadie Bloomfield and Albert Sipp to seven.

A terrible tragedy struck the family a few years later. On July 27, 1937, Gertrude Sipp Bowker was killed when an unattended delivery vehicle rolled backwards down the street where she was walking on the sidewalk, jumped the curb, and struck her from behind, causing internal injuries and a fractured skull. She died shortly after being admitted to the hospital. Gertrude was only 39 years old or so and left behind her husband George and three young children. Albert was not yet fourteen, George, Jr., was not yet ten, and Calvin going on six.

“Runaway Auto Kills J.C. Woman,” Jersey Journal, July 27, 1937, pp. 1, 12.

The 1940 census found Gertrude’s widower George Bowker, Sr., and his three sons living in Jersey City with his in-laws Sadie and Albert Sipp and their daughter Elizabeth. Only George was employed out of the house, working as a toolmaker at a shipyard. George Bowker married his sister-in-law Elizabeth Sipp later that year.16

Albert Sipp and family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey; Roll: m-t0627-02407; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 24-218, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census

George Sipp and his family were living in Teaneck, New Jersey, in 1940, where George was working as a butcher.17 Milton Sipp and his family were living in Jersey City, and Milton was the manager of a retail fruit business.18

Albert Sipp died on May 16, 1942, in Jersey City; he was 68.19 My cousin Sadie Blumenfeld Sipp followed five years later; she died on February 20, 1947, at the age of 73.

Sadie Sipp death notice, Jersey Journal, February 20, 1947, p. 12

Unlike her brother Max, who’d also come to the US long before the Nazis took power in Germany, Sadie lived long enough so that she could have known that many of her relatives had been murdered in the Holocaust. But unlike with Max, I have found no evidence that Sadie was in touch with her family of origin. Sadie Blumenfeld/Bloomfield Sipp’s life in America seems to have been a life of assimilation as I found no evidence that she had stayed connected to her Blumenfeld relatives or to her Jewish origins.

George Sipp, Albert and Sadie’s older son died on July 19, 1974, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he had relocated and worked as a real estate broker before retiring; he was 74. He was survived by his wife Evelyn, who died in 1987, and their children and grandchildren.20

Milton Sipp, the youngest child of Sadie Bloomfield and Albert Sipp, lived the longest. He was 92 when he died in Dallas, Texas, on May 10, 1995. He had outlived his wife Minnie, who’d died in Dallas nineteen years earlier on November 9, 1976.21

Elizabeth Sipp Bowker, who had married her sister Gertrude’s widower, was widowed herself just fourteen years after she married George.  He died on July 26, 1954, at the age of 54.

George Bowker obituary, Jersey Journal, July 27, 1954, p. 2

Elizabeth had raised her three nephews, Albert, George, Jr., and Calvin, after her sister was tragically killed, and when she died October 2, 1989, in Charlottesville, Virginia, at the age of 88, her death notice identified Albert, George, Jr., and Calvin as her sons. I don’t know whether she had ever adopted them formally, but in their eyes and presumably in hers, they were her sons. In many ways, she is the heroine of this story.

Elizabeth Bowker death certificate, Virginia Department of Health; Richmond, Virginia; Virginia Deaths, 1912-2014, Certificate Range: 34000-34499, Ancestry.com. Virginia, U.S., Death Records, 1912-2014

The Observer, Charlottesville, Virginia, 05 Oct 1989, Thu • Page 14

 

 

 

 

 


  1.  Sara Blumenfeld, Gender: Female, Ethnicity/ Nationality: German
    Age: 17, Birth Date: abt 1874, Place of Origin: Germany, Departure Port: Bremen, Germany and Southampton, England, Destination: USA, Arrival Date: 30 Jun 1891
    Arrival Port: New York, New York, USA, Ship Name: Ems, Year: 1891; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Line: 44; List Number: 958,
    Ancestry.com. New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 
  2. “New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24ZN-7QT : 10 February 2018), Albert Sipp and Sadie Blumenfeld, 09 Jun 1899; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,504,064. 
  3. Albert Sipp, Gender: Male.Birth Date: 19 Sep 1873, Birth Place: Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey, Residence Place: New Jersey, USA, Father: Geo Sipp
    Mother: Eliza, FHL Film Number: 4209000, Ancestry.com. New Jersey, U.S., Births and Christenings Index, 1660-1931. See also Note 2. 
  4. Gustave Sipp, Gender: Male, Race: White, Birth Date: 20 Mar 1900, Birth Place: Manhattan, New York City, New York, New York, USA, Residence Address: E 10th Street 420, Certificate Number: 12065, Father: Albert Sipp, Mother: Sadie Sipp, Mother Maiden Name: Blumfield, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Birth Certificates; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1900, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Index to Birth Certificates, 1866-1909 
  5. Elizabeth Bowker, [Elizabeth Sipp], Gender: Female, Race: White, Birth Date: 6 Jun 1901, Birth Place: New York City, New York, Death Date: 2 Oct 1989, Father: Albert Sipp, Mother: Sadie Blumenfeld, SSN: 140284066, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 
  6. Milton Zipp, Gender: Male, Race: White, Birth Date: 29 Mar 1903, Birth Place: Manhattan, New York City, New York, New York, USA, Residence Address: E 16 S 430
    Certificate Number: 26450, Father: Alberto Zipp, Mother: Sadie Zipp, Mother Maiden Name: Blumerfeld, New York City Department of Records & Information Services; New York City, New York; New York City Birth Certificates; Borough: Manhattan; Year: 1903,
    Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Index to Birth Certificates, 1866-1909 
  7. Albert Sipp and family, 1920 US census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Jersey City Ward 8, Hudson, New Jersey; Roll: T625_1046; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 199,
    Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census 
  8.  Albert Bowker, Social Security Number: 072-18-1103, Birth Date: 1 Dec 1923, Issue Year: Before 1951, Issue State: New York, Last Residence: 22911, Charlottesville, Albemarle, Virginia, Death Date: 3 Mar 2007, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  9. George Edwin Bowker Jr, Race: White, Age: 18, Birth Date: 5 Oct 1927, Birth Place: Jersey City, New Jersey, Residence Place: Jersey City, Huson CO., New Jersey
    Registration Date: 15 Jul 1946, Registration Place: Jersey City, Hudson CO., New Jersey, USA, Employer: Enemployed (Just Recently Disc. U.S.Navy), Height: 6” 2″
    Weight: 200, Complexion: Ruddy, Hair Color: Blonde, Eye Color: Brown
    Next of Kin: Mr George Bowker, National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for New Jersey, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 62, Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 
  10. Calvin Henry Bowker, [Calvin H Bowker], Gender: Male, Race: White, Birth Date: 21 Oct 1931, Birth Place: Jersey Hudso, New Jersey, Death Date: 15 Sep 2003, Father:
    George E Bowker, Mother: Elizabeth Sipp, SSN: 149240274, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. (Note: Elizabeth Sipp was considered Calvin’s mother for reasons discussed above.) 
  11.  Gertrude Sipp, Maiden Name: Sipp, Gender: Female, Marriage Date: Jun 1922
    Marriage Place: New Jersey, USA, Spouse: G B, New Jersey State Archives; Trenton, New Jersey; Marriage Indexes; Index Type: Bride; Year Range: 1920-1929; Surname Range: P – S, Ancestry.com. New Jersey, U.S., Marriage Index, 1901-2016 
  12.  George Sipp, Gender: Male, Marriage Date: 1932, Marriage Place: New Jersey, USA, Spouse: Evelyn Hoff, New Jersey State Archives; Trenton, New Jersey; Marriage Indexes; Index Type: Bride; Year Range: 1930-1935; Surname Range: E – K; Reel Number: 31, Ancestry.com. New Jersey, U.S., Marriage Index, 1901-2016 
  13.  Evelyn Sipp, Social Security Number: 162-52-3202, Birth Date: 31 Mar 1908
    Issue Year: 1973-1974, Issue State: Pennsylvania, Last Residence: 18103, Allentown, Lehigh, Pennsylvania, USA, Death Date: Apr 1987, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Herman Hoff, Gender: Male, Marriage Date: 13 Feb 1898, Marriage Place: Manhattan, New York, USA, Spouse: Helene Langer
    Certificate Number: 2664, Ancestry.com. New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937 
  14.  Milton Sipp, Gender: Male, Marriage Date: 1933, Marriage Place: New Jersey, USA, Spouse: Minnie Hinz, New Jersey State Archives; Trenton, New Jersey; Marriage Indexes; Index Type: Bride; Year Range: 1930-1935; Surname Range: E – K; Reel Number: 31, Ancestry.com. New Jersey, U.S., Marriage Index, 1901-2016 
  15. Minna Hinz Sipp, [Minna Hinz Hinz], Gender: Female, Race: White, Age: 62
    Birth Date: 22 Oct 1914, Birth Place: Jersey, New Jersey, Residence: Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA, Death Date: 9 Nov 1976, Death Place: Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA
    Father: John Hinz, Mother: Lena Trapp, Certificate Number: 82598, Texas Department of State Health Services; Austin Texas, USA, Ancestry.com. Texas, U.S., Death Certificates, 1903-1982 
  16.  George Bowker, Gender: Male, Marriage Date: 1940, Marriage Place: New Jersey, USA, Spouse: Elizabeth Sipp, New Jersey State Archives; Trenton, New Jersey; Marriage Indexes; Index Type: Bride; Year Range: 1940; Surname Range: A – Z, Ancestry.com. New Jersey, U.S., Marriage Index, 1901-2016 
  17. George Sipp and family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: Teaneck, Bergen, New Jersey; Roll: m-t0627-02315; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 2-347, Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  18. Milton Sipp and family, 1940 US census, Year: 1940; Census Place: Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey; Roll: m-t0627-02404; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 24-129,
    Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census 
  19. Death notice, Jersey Journal, May 18, 1942, p. 12. 
  20. “George Sipp, 74; Sold Real Estate,” The Morning Call, Allentown, Pennsylvania
    20 Jul 1974, Sat • Page 9. Evelyn Sipp, Social Security Number: 162-52-3202, Birth Date: 31 Mar 1908, Issue Year: 1973-1974, Issue State: Pennsylvania, Last Residence: 18103, Allentown, Lehigh, Pennsylvania, USA, Death Date: Apr 1987, Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA; Social Security Death Index, Master File, Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 
  21. Milton Sipp, Death Date: 10 May 1995, Death County: Dallas, Gender: Male, Ancestry.com. Texas, U.S., Death Index, 1903-2000. Also, see Note 15, above. 

18 thoughts on “The Perplexing and Tragic Story of Gertrude Sipp, Daughter of Sadie Bloomfield Sipp

  1. If Gertrude had been born in July, 1899 it would have been a pretty quick turnaround for her brother to be born in March, 1900. I know it’s possible but probably not as likely as July, 1898. Seeing that the driver was eating reminds me of driving and texting in today’s world. So tragic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think he was in the car—I think he got out to eat. But maybe I am reading it wrong.

      That’s a good point about July 1899 to March 1900. I think she was born before they were married.

      Like

  2. The 1900 census does say Gertrude was born in 1898. Out-of-wedlock births have always been a thing. Seems that’s how this went.

    How awful to not know a rolling car is coming at you from behind. I wonder if the owner served any time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My sense from the articles was that it was considered an accident. It was the 1930s—different times. It sounds like he left the car in neutral. Were there even emergency brakes then? Did the brakes fail? Hard to find criminal fault here. I’d think.

      The 1900 census also says they’d been married three years so….

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Amy – I tried looking for Gertrude for you and came up with really nothing accept checking in on familysearch for the 1900c they do have her birth year transcribed/read as 1898 and listed 2 year old on the bottom notes even with the census record written as 1 year old. Enumerated on 7 &8 of June with her birth month July technically she was still 1 shy a month of 2 yrs. Hopefully that may help with some of that confusion.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Hermann Blumenfeld II and His Family: Leaving Germany in Time | Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

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