JGSMD group members are invited to contribute suggestions and pointers for resolving the problem—but should not do the research themselves. If you’d like to offer
a research suggestion, please see instructions here.
When responses are received, they will be forwarded to the person who submitted the problem. Questions and responses will also be edited for publication in the next
edition of our quarterly newsletter, L’DOR V’DOR, so that we can all share the learning experience. Contributors’ email addresses will not be published.
[For those who would prefer to receive help in a more personal and private setting, please consider our Mentoring program as an alternative. Contact Laya Bitman
(JGSofMD@gmail.com) for details.]
What Ever Happened to Dreske/Dora/Thelma?
I am looking for a first cousin once removed on my father’s mother’s side. She immigrated as ‘Dreske,’ appears in census reports as ‘Dora’ and has always been known to her family as ‘Thelma.’
Here is what I already know about her:
Probable match on ship`s manifest shows Eva Leah (Chava Leie Lewin) arriving on the Netherlands-American Line Obdam from Rotterdam on November 11, 1897. Accompanying her are Josef Elie (Albert?) aged 10, Dreske (Dora/Thelma?) age 8 and Mendel (Victor Emanuel) aged 6. If Dreske is Thelma her age and Mendel`s age may have been switched.
1900 US Census shows her name as Dora living with parents, Israel and Eva and brothers Albert, Emanuel and Samuel at a rented apartment at 423 Delancy Street, New York City. Shows her date of birth as December 1885, shows she immigrated in 1897, that she can read, write and speak English and that she is in school.
1905 NY State Census shows Dora living with her parents and 4 brothers and my grandmother, Lena Levine, at 60 E. 98th Street in NYC. Her age is given as 19 and her occupation, milliner.
[From Barbara Levine, her niece] Struck and killed as a young woman in a car accident. Was always known to the family as Thelma. "When Dad [Irving (Abraham Levine) Levine) - b.NYC 1902] moved to Baltimore he told me this story: He was a kid living in New York. Previously he had told me they lived on the Lower East Side. He was coming home from school and other kids yelled at him "Hey Levine, Your sister`s dead". He then found that she had been struck by a car near their place. Information from the Ivy Dall Family Tree
1910 US Census shows Dora's parents and two youngest brothers (including Irving/Abraham) living at Lincoln Park and Boonton Turnpike in Pequannock, NJ. Dora is not
1920 US Census shows parents and Irving/Abraham living at 390 Berraman Street in
Possible match: Dora Levine, died 28 October 1915, age 26, buried in Bayside Cemetery,
Possible match: Washington Cemetery, 5400 Bay Parkway,Brooklyn, NY, 11230, 718-377-8690. Dora Levine, died 12/30/1918 on Grant Street in Manhattan, Cemetery 1, Post 19, Row 7, Grave 5. Sent for photograph 6/7/13. NO this Dora was 54 years old per death record.
I have done the following research:
Looked at Italian Gen for deaths of all Dreske/Dora/Thelmas (regardless of last name) who died between 1905 and 1930. Obtained death certificates for any candidates born around 1885.
Looked at all Jewish cemeteries in NY area that had location finders.
Looked at Brooklyn Eagle and NY Times data bases for reports of a car accident involving a Dreske, Dora, Thelma or Levine.
Questions: Could Thelma have lived separated from her parents as a single Orthodox Jewish woman? Could she have living in NY with a relative or at a boarding house when her family lived in NJ? Could Irving have remembered incorrectly and his sister actually died in NJ? I haven’t been able to search local NJ papers for the accident. Irving was born in 1902. If he was coming home from school he must have been at least 6 years old. But sometime between 1905 and 1910 he was living in NJ. Could he have remembered incorrectly where he was living when his sister died?
I would appreciate any suggestions you can make to track down this elusive relative. Thanks!
Bessie Klivansky – Great-grandmother
Bessie Klivansky was born around 1866 in Russia to Samuel Klivansky and Frada (or Freda) Levine. I believe she arrived in the U.S. around 1886 or 1887, but I am not sure what city or port she arrived in. I have a feeling she lived with a cousin when she first arrived in Baltimore; however, I have no information to confirm this theory.
She lived in Baltimore around 1887 and married my great-grandfather, Morris Friedlander, about the same time. They had four children between 1887 and 1895. Her children are as follows: Rose Friedlander, born May 1887; Minnie Friedlander, born July 1889; Bessie Friedlander, born July 1891; and Israel Friedlander, born June 1895.
I found an 1897 death certificate for her. The certificate had no information about her spouse or parents. She died in childbirth at 1144 East Lombard Street and was buried in the Mikro Kodesh Synagogue Cemetery on Philadelphia Road. The undertaker was J. Gittlesohn of 800 East Lombard Street. The gravestone no longer exists, and there is only an empty plot, per Beth Israel.
She is not listed on any census or city directory from 1887 to 1897. Unfortunately, there is no 1890 census, either. I did find her brother, Jacob Kline, in Raleigh, Wake Co., NC.
His obituary in 1925 did not mention his parents’ names or his deceased siblings’ names.
I am trying to find out: 1) what country she came from, 2) when she arrived in Baltimore, MD, 3) the ship she arrived on, and 4) if she has any living family members who were told any stories about her. Where would you research next?