Tag Archives: Silber

Take a second look: How revisiting old research can lead to new insights

Once in a while, it’s a good thing to go back and take another look at past research. With the passing of time and additional research, a second look over notes from past research can spark new insights.

Several years ago when I lived in New York City, I jumped on Metro North’s Hudson line and took a trip to Poughkeepsie. My great grandparents settled there after immigrating from Hungary in the early 20th century, and my grandfather was born and raised there. I’d never been (that I remembered, anyway), and wanted to see what the town was like and where they lived. I also knew that my great grandparents, Josef and Julia Silber, were buried in the Schomre Israel Cemetery near Vassar College, and I wanted to see who else might have been buried there and what information I could gather from their gravestones.

Silber plot

Visiting my ancestors at the Schomre Israel Cemetery in Poughkeepsie, NY

I was thrilled to find that there were several relatives buried in the same cemetery. Many of my grandfather’s siblings and aunts and uncles were also there. I was especially pleased to find the grave of my great-great grandfather, Ignatz Schwartz, there was well. I took lots of pictures of gravestones, including many that might be connected to my family even though I don’t know how they might, or even IF they might be.

Like many Jewish gravestones, all of my relatives graves had Hebrew inscriptions as well as English. A friend graciously translated the Hebrew for me on several of them, and I kept that in a document with my other genealogy research notes. Most helpful in these inscriptions was the listing of their Hebrew names, which include the names of their fathers. This confirmed a couple of things that I had found earlier, in particular that my great grandfather, Josef, was actually called Simon before coming to America. (His Hebrew name was Shimon Yehuda, and all records show his first name as Simon until the 1920 U.S. Census–his first in the United States.)

The other day I was looking at those translations for the first time in a while, and I noticed a name that instantly made a connection in my mind–one that I hadn’t made before. Before going to Poughkeepsie, I knew from my great grandparents’ marriage record in Hungary that his parents were named Samuel Silber and Czeczilia Kupferstein, and that his brother’s (Isidore’s) marriage record says that his parents were Saji Silber and Terez Kupferstein. (Read more here.) But I still couldn’t find anything to verify if these two couples were the same couple.

Gravestone of my great grandfather, Josef Silber

Gravestone of my great grandfather, Josef Silber

Here’s where taking another look at the gravestone translations led to a minor breakthrough. Josef’s and Isidore’s gravestones both listed them as sons of Isaiah. And the gravestone of one of Josef’s sons, Samuel, lists his Hebrew name as Shaia.

For some reason it immediately occurred to me that “Saji” in Hungary would be pronounced the same (or very close to the same) as “Shaia”. And “Shaia” is a alternate version of “Isaiah”. While this isn’t definitive proof of anything, it’s certainly provides a strong indication that Saji Silber and Samuel Silber (my great-great grandfather) may indeed be the same person–Saji/Shaia being his Hebrew name and Samuel being his Germanic name–and that my grandfather’s older brother, Shaia/Samuel Silber, was named after his grandfather, Saji/Samuel Silber.

Gravestone of Samuel Silber

Gravestone of Samuel Silber

I don’t know why I didn’t make this connection before. I had all the records and information. The important part is that what sparked this realization was revisiting old research notes.


Joseph James Clausse, Jr., 1919-1972

From The Ogden Standard-Examiner, Thursday, February 3, 1972:

Joseph James Clausse, Jr. obituary

Joseph James Clausse, Jr. obituary

Joseph J. Clausse Jr.

NORTH OGDEN — Joseph James Clausse Jr., 52, of 469 E. 3100 N., died this morning at the McKay Hospital of a heart ailment.

Mr. Clausse was born Feb. 11, 1919, in Ogden, a son of Joseph James Sr. and Maude Wiegel Clausse.

On Sept. 28, 1940, he was married to Helen Blackinton in Ogden.

He was manage of the Island Park Lodge in Island Park, Idaho.

During World War II he served in the Navy. He was a former member of BPO Elks 719 and a member of United Commercial Travelers.

Surviving are his widow of North Ogden; four daughters, Mrs. William (Sharon) Noice, Idaho Falls, Idaho; Mrs. Robert (Gayle) Jones, Ogden; Miss Susan Clausse and Miss Jill Clausse, both of North Ogden; one grandchild; his mother of Ogden.

Also surviving are four brothers and one sister, Lewis J. Clausse, Harold A. Clausse, both of Sacramento, Calif.; Gerald E. Clausse, Ogden; Kenneth L. Clausse, Orem; Mrs. John (Barbara) Silber, Silver Springs [sic], Md.

Funeral services will be announce by the Myers Mortuary.

Source: “The Ogden Standard-Examiner”, 3 Feb 1972, p. 7D; digital image online at Ancestry.com <www.ancestry.com>.

(Joseph James Clausse, Jr., is my grandmother’s older brother.)

Maude Clara Weigel Clausse, 1888-1973

From The Ogden Standard-Examiner, Tuesday, April 17, 1973:

Maude Clara Weigel Clausse obituary

Maude Clara Weigel Clausse obituary

Maude W. Clausse

Mrs. Maude Weigel Clausse, 85, of 1603 Childs, died Monday evening at St. Benedict’s Hospital.

Mrs. Clausse was born Jan 14, 1888, in Adair County, Iowa, a daughter of Jacob and Rebecca Hendricks Weigel.

On Nov. 21, 1910, she was married to Joseph J. Clausse in Salt Lake City. He died in 1965.

She was a member of the Golden Hours Center and had been a resident of Weber County for 63 years.

Surviving are four sons and one daughter, Lewis Clausse, Harold Clausse, both of Sacramento, Calif.; Gerald Clausse, Ogden; Kenneth Clausse, Orem, Utah; Mrs. John (Barbara) Silver [sic], Silver Springs [sic], Md.; 22 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren; one brother, Harry Weigel, Oregon.

Funeral services will be conducted Thursday at 1 p.m. in the Myers Mortuary chapel in Ogden with Bishop Delbert Thompsen of the 3rd LDS Ward officiating.

Friends may call at the mortuary Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. and Thursday prior to services. Burial will be in the Ogden City Cemetery.

Source: “The Ogden Standard Examiner”, 17 Apr 1973, p. 9B; digital image online at Ancestry.com <www.ancestry.com>.

One typo of note–my grandparents’ last name is Silber, not Silver (John and Barbara Silber of Silver Spring, MD.)

(Maude Clara Weigel Clausse is my great-grandmother.)

Joseph James Clausse, 1886-1965

From The Ogden Standard-Examiner, Monday, August 16, 1965:

Joseph J. Clausse

Joseph James Clausse obituary

Joseph James Clausse, 79, of 1603 Childs, died Sunday night in a local rest home.

Mr. Clausse was born May 19, 1886, in Ogden, a son of Joseph E. and Pauline Stern Clausse. On Nov. 21, 1910, he was married to Maude Weigel in Salt Lake City.

He was an iron worker in construction. He was a member of the international Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers, Local 27. He had lived in Idaho six years.

Surviving are his widow, six sons and one daughter, J. Lewis Clausse, Harold A. Clausse, both of Sacramento, Calif.; Gerald E. Clausse, Ogden; Kenneth L. Clausse, Orem; Joseph J. Clausse Jr., North Ogden; Mrs. John J. (Barbara) Silber, Silver Springs [sic], Md.; 23 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, one sister, Mrs. Estella West, Ogden.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the Myers Mortuary with former Bishop Delbert Thompson officiating. Friends may call at the mortuary Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. and Wednesday prior to services. Burial in Ogden City Cemetery.

Source: “The Ogden Standard-Examiner”, 16 Aug 1965, page 7B; digital image online at Ancestry.com <http://www.ancestry.com>.

(Joseph J. Clausse is my great-grandfather. His one daughter, Barbara Clausse Silber, is my grandmother.)

Isidore Silber

I just pulled out the death certificate for Isidore Silver that I have (mentioned in today’s other posting) because I hadn’t packed it with my stuff to take to Poughkeepsie (glad I decided to blog before leaving), and found another piece of evidence that makes me REALLY believe that this is the same Isidore Silber that I’m looking for. There are actually three reasons I think that this is the right person, despite the huge discrepancy in the parents’ names.

  1. Isidore and Sarah Schwartz Silber were living in New York City at the time, which is where this Isidore Silver died. I have census records that confirm this. All census records have their last name spelled as “Silver” which is understandable. Their children match my mother’s recollection of her aunt’s and uncle’s names, so I’m confident that the census records are a match.
  2. This Isidore died during the right time period, and a search of the New York City Death Index doesn’t give any other possibilities.
  3. Despite dying in New York City, the death certificate says that Isidore Silver was buried in Poughkeepsie. Most of the Silbers and Schwartzes (from my family anyway) lived in Poughkeepsie at the time.
  4. The most compelling piece of evidence, though, is something I discovered only yesterday. Isidore Silver was living at 342 East 80th Street at the time of his death, according the the death certificate. His wife’s older brother, William Schwartz, lived at 341 East 80th Street, for more than 20 years–just across the street!! (I found William in the census yesterday after going through some old letters in preparation for today’s trip, and finding a letter that said that “Uncle Willie” had a barbershop on East 79th Street and a son named Mac [who turns out to be Max in the census]).
I was looking forward to this weekend’s trip to Poughkeepsie, but I’m really excited now! I feel like there will be some big finds, and everything is falling into place right now!

On the road to Poughkeepsie

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.