I’m off to Poughkeepsie this morning for my first New York genealogical expedition. For the past year, I have done a LOT of genealogical research, but it has all been online in my apartment. I went to the New York Public Library once in the first few weeks after arriving in New York City, but was quickly intimidated. I’m very familiar with the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, but this was all new, and I was still a bit intimidated by New York City in general. I spent a few minutes aimlessly wandering and looking, then left. (I actually just happened to run across the library on a walk around midtown, so I went in. I didn’t have any notes or my computer with me, so I wouldn’t have been able to do much anyway. However, I haven’t been back yet.)
So, anyway….I digress.
I’m jumping on Metro-North this morning to go to Poughkeepsie this weekend to find family graves. I know the cemetery where my great-grandparents, Josef and Jolan (Julia) Schwartz Silber, are buried, and I know that my great-great-grandfather, Ignatz Schwartz, is also buried there. Last September I emailed the genealogist at Congregation Schomre Israel in Poughkeepsie, Sam Wexel, and gave him some basic information. He emailed back two weeks later with obituaries and grave locations, and even pictures of the grave markers. So, finally I’m going up to see them for myself.
My hope for this trip is to find other family members, and answer a few questions. The number one question at the moment involves my great-grandmother’s sister, Sali (aka Zoli, aka Sarah) Schwartz, and her first husband, Izrael (aka Isidore) Silber. Isidore died sometime between 1910 and 1920, and I have a possible death certificate for him. However, as the story goes, Isidore was my great-grandfather’s (Josef Silber’s) brother. I have, however, marriage registrations from Hungary for both Josef and Jolan, and Izrael and Sali. The parents listed on Josef’s and Izrael’s registrations are different.
I have two documents for each “brother” with their parents names. I have a marriage registration and social security application for Josef that both say his parents were Samuel Silber and Cziczilia (aka Tilly) Kupferstein (Cooperstein). I have a marriage registration and birth registration for Izrael that say that his parents were Saji Silber and Terez (aka Teri) Kupferstein. The New York City death certificate that I have says that Isidore Silver says that his parents were Joseph Silber and Gertie Schwartz–way off!
So, I’m hoping that Poughkeepsie will provide some answers for me, or at least open up some new paths for exploration.