Ratners of Albany

Rose's name in Rostov was Raizel

Just to record here the other wonderful discovery from our visit to the Hebrew Tailor's Assn cemetery--the Hebew inscription on Rose Ratner's grave refers to her as 'Raizel', which is Yiddish for 'Rose'. Some Google accounts say Raizel is actually Hebrew for Rose, but I had always thought of Rose as Vered or Varda, but my Eevreet is lamentably more rusty than it used to be. Anyway, its exciting to have the correct name to go with the young woman from Rostov-on-Don during her girlhood and when she was looking out the upstairs window to check if her would-be suitor Abraham Ratner was sufficiently presentable for her to come downstairs and make an appearance. (He was). The name Raizel tangibly connects us to the mysterious pre-American life of Rose and the whole Tulbowitz clan and that makes it very precious to me.

Thanks, Jo, for providing Mom and Dad's anniversary. June 7, 1947, five days after Helga received her American citizenship. It must have been an incredible week.

Ancestry.com researches

I mentioned yesterday that I signed up for a 14-day trial period with Ancestry.com. 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.

Selma Ruby census for 1940

Access to images of the 1940 census enumerations has just been made available though Ancestry and probably other sources. So far, the records are not searchable by name, but the actual enumeration sheets are browsable by population center.

So, I went to Long Beach in Nassau County NY and found six enumeration districts listed. Using Google Maps, I was able to figure that District 30-207 would include the section of West Walnut St. where the Ruby family resided. Clicking that link leads to 79 pages of image files, but I was lucky to find 138 West Walnut on just the third page. It is below.

 There's nothing very surprising here but interesting nonetheless. The enumeration date is April 3, 1940. Selma, age 40, is the head of household. The other household members are Stanley, son, 15, and Ruth Ratner, sister, 35. Selma is widowed, Stan and Ruth are single. Stan is an active student who has completed his third year of high school. (Is that right, or is he currently in his third year?) Selma and Ruth both finished four years of high school. All three were born in New York. All three have lived in the same home since 1935.

Selma and Stan are not in the work force because one is a homemaker and one a student. Ruth was employed full time as a stenographer for a book printing company and earned $1248 per year. Selma is the owner of the home at this address, and the home is valued at $15,000, which is the highest valued home on the page. Selma was not selected to be asked supplementary questions.

 Zach, as our resident census expert, do you see anything else that I may be missing? How does the 1940 enumeration form differ from the 2010 census you worked on? It seems surprising to me that they get income and home value/rent payment information for every citizen. If I'm not mistaken, this is the first year that used supplemental questions. It appears they are asked of everyone who falls on the 2nd or 6th line of an enumeration sheet, or five percent of all the names on a sheet.

 Click the image to enlarge. Our family members appear on lines 37-39.  


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