My cousin Harry Hecht served valiantly in World War I and returned home safely. In 1920, he was back from the war and living at home in New York City with his parents Jacob and Taube (Tillie) Hecht and his seven siblings at 10 East 4th Street, revealing yet another move for the Hecht family.
The 1920 census reports that Jacob was 57, Taube was 47, and both now said they were born in Poland, a reflection of post-World War I boundary changes. Jacob said he immigrated to the US in 1887, and Taube said she arrived in 1885. Jacob was still an operator in a cloak factory; according to family lore, Jacob was a very talented tailor and clothing maker and made beautiful clothing for his daughters. He and Taube were still not US citizens.
Harry was a department store salesman; when he completed his Jewish Servicemen Questionnaire after his service, he wrote that he was working at Gimbels. David was a clerk for the War Department, and three of the sisters were working as stenographers: Etta, “Augusta” (Gussie), and Sadie. The two youngest children, Rebecca (Rose, later Ruth) and Eva, were in school. The siblings now ranged from eleven year old Eva up to 27 year old Harry.
Hecht family, 1920 US census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 2, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1188; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 226 Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census
So Taube and Jacob still had a very large household in 1920. Fortunately by this time most of their children were working and Jacob no longer had to provide for them all on his earnings as a cloakmaker in a sweatshop.
In December 1924 Etta Hecht, the second oldest daughter and fourth child, married Nathan Louis Schwartz. Nathan was born on May 27, 1893, in Romania, the son of Joseph and Esther Schwartz. They immigrated to the US in 1901 and settled in New York. Nathan was an artist; his World War I draft registration listed his occupation as “Jappanar.” From what I can find, it means that he created works that were varnished like works of Japanese art. His draft registration, however, says he was taking courses in medicine at Columbia as well.
By 1925, the family had once again relocated, this time to Jersey City, New Jersey, where Taube and Jacob’s oldest daughter Ida was living. Ida and Julius now had four daughters, Sylvia (1915), Gertrude (1917), Ethel (1923), and Evelyn (1925). Perhaps the lure of all those grandchildren was too much for Jacob and Taube, so they left New York and moved to New Jersey. Family lore is that Julius and Ida bought a house for Ida’s parents.
The 1925 Jersey City directory shows that Jacob was working as a tailor and Jean (formerly Gussie) and Shirley (formerly Sadie) were stenographers; they were living at 306 4th Street in Jersey City, presumably also with Taube and the younger children.
Hechts in 1925 Jersey City directory, Title : Jersey City, New Jersey, City Directory, 1925 Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995
Harry was also living in Jersey City, but at a different address, 364 Newark Street; most interesting to me is that he was working for my great-uncle and his first cousin, Herman Brotman. Herman is also listed in that 1925 Jersey City directory, and his place of business was at the same address Harry gave for his residence, 364 Newark Street.
Two years later Harry married Sophie Slotnick in New York on May 9, in 1927. Sophie was born on April 25, 1894, in Russia, to Chaim Hersh Zolonitsky and Hadassah Hodes Levin. She arrived the US on August 21, 1911, as Shifre Zlotnitsky and said she was meeting her brother Alter (later Arthur) in New York. In 1915, she was living in New York with her sister Rose, and in 1920 she was living in Victoria, Texas with her brother Ed. But after Ed married in 1925, she returned to New York and in 1927, married Harry Hecht.
Here is a photograph of Harry and Sophie, courtesy of their granddaughter Jan:
Harry Hecht and Sophie Slotnick. Courtesy of Jan Lisa Huttner
Sophie and Harry had their first child Helene on October 4, 1928, in Brooklyn. They would have two more children in the next several years. In 1930 they were living in Brooklyn, and Harry was the proprietor of a store.
Harry Hecht and family, 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Brooklyn, Kings, New York; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 1357; FHL microfilm: 2341257, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census
Jean Hecht also married around this time. She married Louis Gross, and the 1930 census indicates that they had been married two years at the time of enumeration so presumably in 1928. Louis was born Lieb on October 22, 1895, in Bojanow in what is now Poland to Herz (Harris in the US) Gross and Chave (Eva in the US) Zuckerbrod. Louis and his mother and siblings immigrated to the US in 1906. Like Jean’s father Jacob, Louis’ father was a tailor. When he registered for the draft in 1917, Louis was working as a clerk for the Hy Grade Wine Company. In 1920, he was working in a candy store and living with his family in the Bronx.
After Louis and Jean married, they settled in Jersey City, and in 1930, Louis was the owner of a luncheonette. They had one daughter who was born in 1930.
Gross family, 1930 US census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey; Page: 38B; Enumeration District: 0076; FHL microfilm: 2341087, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census
Shirley Hecht was the third Hecht child to marry before 1930. According to the 1930 census, she’d been married to Louis Tuchinsky (later spelled Tushinsky) for a year when the census was enumerated. He was born in Kiev, Russia (now Ukraine) on May 4, 1900, and had immigrated when he was ten with his parents Jacob and Rose Tuchinsky. In 1920 Louis had been working as a spinner in a cotton and silk business and living with his parents on the Lower East Side.
After they married, Shirley and Louis were living in Brooklyn. Louis was an operator in a shirt factory, and Shirley was doing clerical work in an office. Shirley and Louis had one daughter born in the 1930s.
Louis and Shirley Tushinsky 1930 census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Brooklyn, Kings, New York; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0211; FHL microfilm: 2341254, District: 0211, Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census
Thus, by 1930, four of the children of Jacob and Taube Hecht were married: Harry, Ida, Jean, and Shirley. Harry and Shirley were living in Brooklyn, and Ida and Jean were living in Jersey City where Jacob and Taube also continued to live. Still at home living with their parents were David (34), Rose (24), and Eva (22), now called Evelyn. Jacob and Taube were still not US citizens, and Jacob was no longer employed. David was working as a real estate broker, and Rose and Evelyn were stenographers.
Jacob and Tillie Hecht 1930 US census
Year: 1930; Census Place: Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey; Roll: 1353; Page: 22A; Enumeration District: 0100; Image: 602.0; FHL microfilm: 2341088
I decided to track all the places Jacob and Taube had lived since they married. Between 1892 and 1930 they lived in at least nine places.
Finally Jacob and Taube seemed to have settled in one place, Jersey City, and Jacob was no longer responsible for supporting all those children. In fact, now it appears that their children were supporting them.
But unfortunately Jacob did not get to enjoy that luxury for very long.