Julius Rabinowitz is buried in a Landsmannschaft plot for Jews from Keidan, Lithuania

Julius Rabinowitz is buried in a Landsmannschaft plot for Jews from Keidan, Lithuania

So I went back to see what we had on the death of Julius Rabinowitz, in order to confirm that he hadn't led a secret life as a Philadelphia lawyer. 

No, he was a Bronx bookkeeper and dry-goods store manager. From the extracted New York death record that we have had for some time, we see that he died in the Bronx on November 8, 1940. (Jules Robbins died in Philadelphia February 17, 1939.)

But from two other records, one newly available and the other previously overlooked, we learn several new bits of important family information. 

Now, on Ancestry, in addition to the extracted death record, there is a database record of the detailed death certificate. It has an error in that the  name of the informant, also the son of the deceased, is given as "Alver J. Pobberi." However, most of the other details except for this mysterious name correspond to our ancestor. 

Looking again at the name, I see that Alver J. Pobberi could be a transcriber's mangling of Abner J. Robbins, which was the name of the deceased's son. If so, then this must be our Julius and all the other details in the record pertain, including the cause of death, which was gangrene and other complications of diabetes mellitus. 

Who knew? That's a new fact for the Ruby family medical history. (It also disproves my theory from yesterday about the timing of Abner's name change. He was evidently already going by Robbins before his father's death.)

But that wasn't the biggest surprise. There is a record for Julius Rabinowitz in the JewishGen Online Worldwide Burial Registry (JOWBR) that had already been collected but not fully interpreted. We knew that Julius and his wife Annie were buried in Montefiore Cemetery in Queens. But on further inspection, we see they are in the cemetery plot belonging to the Keidaner Association, Block 76, Gate 379/S. 

This could be important since burial in a landsmannschaft cemetery plot suggests that Julius was a member in a town association for former Jewish residents of Keidan (today it is Kedainai), a village in Lithuania 30 miles north of Kovno (Kaunas).

Could Keidan be the ancestral town for the one branch of our family that we have not definitively traced?

A quick study of Keidan reveals that it was a center of Jewish learning. Emigrants from there established Keidaner communities in Palestine, South Africa, New York and elsewhere. 

Other than his wife, no other family members are buried in the Keidaner plot at Montefiore. His parents Joseph and Lena, who would have had the stronger connection to their native town, are buried at Mt. Zion Cemetery, elsewhere in in Queens, without any connection to a town association.

There will be more work to do to verify that Julius Rabinowitz’s resting place is a tell to his family origin story, but it feels like it might be a fruitful lead in our long quest to learn about the roots of our Rabinowitz branch..