Tublowitzes of Rostov-on-Don

Tulbowitz search

So far, I have not found more than the 1900 census document Walter discovered. Here it is blown up and divided into three panels left to right. The Tulbowitzes (Solomon, Sophia and Edward) are the bottom three rows in each image.

Meet Solomon and Sophia Tulbowitz--our great-great grandparents

Big News! I got a call from Beth Abraham Jacob congregation in Albany today advising me that there are two Tulbowitz (finally the correct spelling) graves in their cemetery on Fuller Street, where Dan and I made a brief stop last month, and they belong to Solomon and Sophie Tulbowitz, who are clearly the parents of Rose Ratner and our great-great grandparents. The lady from the synagogue also told me exactly where in the cemetery to find the graves and I will make a trip up to Albany to photograph them after returning from my overseas trip. I went now to Ancestry.com, typed in Sophie Tulbowitz and was directed to the 1900 census. Here is what I found: a three member household at 244 Pearl Street in Albany occupied by Solomon born in 1848, his wife Sophia, born in 1850 and son Edward, born in 1876, making him Rose's younger brother (by two years). The census had the year that they arrived as 1890, which seems correct for Sophie, who came with her daughter and son-in-law Rose and Abraham Ratner, but incorrect for Solomon and Edward, who were said to have come several years later. Solomon and Sophie were said to have had 5 children, of whom three were still alive in 1900. Both Solomon and Edward were identified as tailors by occupation. What we dont have so far, obviously, is the year of their deaths. I wasnt able to find death records for them on ancestry, but maybe Dan, who is already more of a maven at all of this, can also check to make sure I didnt miss them.

At the moment, I am thinking it would be probably be relatively easy to trace our family if we went to Rostov because the name 'Tulbowitz' is so unusual, and I'm feeling frustrated that I'll be so close to both Rostov and Kovno (Kaunus), Luthuania on this trip to Kiev and Crimea, but not able to go to either this time. Unfortunately, I cant change the date of my flight, without screwing up my freeby flight. In the meantime, though, I'll contact that geneology maven in Moscow to see if he'd be willing to do some checking for us without charge, and, if not, in the near future, I'll have to make another trip to Mother Russia (and Lithuania) to follow the Tulbowitz and Rabinowitz lines. Frankly, I dont need a lot of inducement to go to Russia, a place I love hanging out, just need to secure some funding for the trip. Dan, Jo, you're invited to come along when I go.

a few new findings--The Bloch-Ratners arrived in 1890 or 1891

Dan gave me the password to Ancestry.com and showed me around a little bit, and I managed to make a few findings from the census. The 1900 census lists the arrival date of Abraham and Rose Ratner in America as 1890 (whereas the 1930 census says 1891). Assuming that one or the other is correct it solves the Ellis Island mystery--they arrived shortly before the opening of the Island on January 1, 1892 and were probably processed in the barge office that served as the site between the closing of Castle Garden on April 18, 1890 and the opening of Ellis Island. We see from that census that their oldest child was Peyzer born 1891 followed by Hyman (George?) 1892 and Lillie (probably Til ) 1896 and Sadie (clearly Selma) 1899 and Dora born 1900, who probably died soon thereafter. At that time they lived at 42 Broad Street, are renting their house and Abe is already listed as a soda water manufacturer. The 1930 census, by the way, has Abe, Rose and Thelma (Til) at 16 Cuyler Ave, which has a net worth of $14,000 and mentiones that they own a radio set (one of the few on the this page of the survey to do so). Amazing stuff.
Well, lets collect a lot more of this stuff before I get back to revising the Ruby Family Histories.

Rattner ship manifests

Considering that both Walter and I had spent a good deal of time trying to find the records of our Ratner ancestors' passage to America, the story of how they finally came into our possession is somewhat anticlimactic. Ancestry.com now has a nifty feature of hints that automatically conducts searches and alerts users to information they may not yet have discovered.

Last week I received just such a hint for our great-grandfather Abraham Ratner pointing to an inter-European voyage from Hamburg to the Port of Hull near Liverpool. At first, I was inclined to disregard it: There were many Abram Ratners, and importantly we thought the Ratner name didn't come into use until Abe's arrival in America. Thus, a pre-arrival record for that name would not be him.

The 1890 date was the right year, however, and I clicked through to read more and view the actual document—the "directory" of passengers aboard the Esperanza sailing out of Hamburg on July 2, 1890. My excitement immediately grew as I saw the names of Abram's travel mates, listed as Schifre, age 42, and Rosa, 18. Abram was listed as 20. Exactly the right three names and ages for Abe, his bride Rose and mother-in-law Sophie. Here's the document (click to view close up):

At first, I thought the Esperanza sailed through to New York after a stop in England, but reading closer I realized that they disembarked at the Port of Hull and must have taken a different ship to New York. My quick reading about the Port of Hull supported that thought:

During the period 1836 - 1914, Hull developed a pivotal role in the movement of transmigrants via the UK. During this period over 2.2 million transmigrants passed through Hull en route to a new life in the US, Canada, South Africa and Australia. Originating from Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, Russia and Sweden, the transmigrants passed through the port, from where they would take a train to Glasgow, Liverpool, London or Southampton - the UK ports which offered steamship services to the 'New World' they had dreamed of.

On the document, New York is listed as "the aim of the emigration." But where was the record for the second leg of the journey? Easy. Now having the correct last name, the right month and year and departure port, another Ancestry search quickly came up with this passenger manifest for the July 16, 1890, sailing of the SS Teutonic.

Page 1 is included so you can see the cover information and column headings. Schrifre and Abraham Rattner appear about one-third of the way down on the second page, which is actually Page 3 of the manifest.

You'll see Sophie (Schifre) and Abe have the right ages. Oddly she is shown as a citizen of Finland, but that looks to be a random anomaly. More surprising is that Rose is not listed together with her family members. I've taken a quick scan of the rest of the manifest to see if she is listed elsewhere but didn't find her name.

So that remains as a loose end, but still we've made a big step forward in documenting our ancestors' journey to America, including finding an important clue to their previous lives that Walter follows up on in the next post.

Oh, here's a couple images of the Teutonic and a link to the Wikipedia article. She was a new state-of-the-art cruiser at the time of the voyage.

One last comment on why we hadn't found this information before. First, we weren't searching on Rattner. Second, the Esperanza record was not in any database we searched. Third, Ancestry's ongoing acquisitions in its international collections has exposed more existing records to its excellent search technologies. I'm pretty sure that Teutonic manifest must have been discoverable all along but we had missed it because the tools were not as good then as they are now.


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