I mentioned yesterday that I signed up for a 14-day trial period with It has proven very useful so far, turning up various census and death records. If it continues to be useful, I will have to consider paying the very expensive membership fee--more than $300 a year or about $40 a month for access to their worldwide databases. I'm going to try to get as much use of it as I can in the trial period.

Two things of note I discovered today. I was doing searches on some of the Ratner children and was able to follow George and wife Emma to Englewood Cliffs, NJ, in 1920, where he was listed as a grocery proprietor. Household members were wife Emma, daughter Marjorie (age 2) and Emma's mother Louise Paeglow. From there I can follow Marjorie into her marriage with Robert K. Decker, evidently known as Ken. Marjorie and Ken appear to still be living at age 89 and 91 at 20 Willow Dr. in Delmar NY, outside of Albany. The phone number listed is 518-478-0208. We know that Marjorie (Stan's first cousin) and Ken had two sons, Kurt and Ronald, but I have not yet been able to find them among the many Deckers with those first names.

But much more exciting than any of that is this morsel, Walter Ruby's draft registration card from June 5, 1917, apparently filled out in his own hand. He lists his name as Walter Ruby Rabinowitz. It provides an exact birthdate for him, October 15, 1893, a datum we may not have had. He lists his occupation as "salesman" with (as best I can make out) Lenox Novelty Co., located at 109 Lenox Ave. in New York City. He is 23 years old and writes that he is a "natural born" citizen.

Here's the image.


Dan, this is more than terrific. I would be willing to call Ken and Margie this week, as soon as I finish a deadline thing due Monday. I also think we could do a group purchase of Ancestry, or I could do a trial period after you finsih and then maybe Jo. By the way, is there any way to blow up these images you have been putting on the blog? I find the writing a little too small to read, which is frustrating.


I am saving many of the pdfs, which can be zoomed in on for easier reading. I would put the links to them in the posts, but only Ancestry members would be able to open them.

Let me know which ones you want and I can email the pdfs. I'll send the WR's draft registration as an example. Check your email.

Joanne looked at this yesterday when I was overwhelming her with all the new information as she was scrambling to pack for her trip. She made the point that the handwriting on the left page looks the same as that on the right page. If she is right, and I tend to think she is, then that is the writing of the draft registrar. The only writing that is by Walter would be his signature, which is also done with a flourish.

Another comment here. Walter asked how come he registered in Boston and I had answered that the draft board must have been based out of Boston. Now that we know there was a specific date, June 5, that you had to register, it makes sense that Walter Ruby Rabinowitz must have been visiting Boston on that day. I'm not sure why he might have been in Boston.

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