Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tracking the Newly-Discovered Diamond Cousins....

I recently wrote about discovering a manifest for the husband of my grandfather's aunt, which said he was going to his brother-in-law, Leibish Diamond.  But interestingly, there were four other individuals on the same page who also listed Leibish Diamond as their destination.  At least 3 listed him as a relative; one has a relationship that I cannot read.

Ship Manifest, Moses Dorfmann (Line 17); David & Chaim Rosenfeld (lines 18-19); Motel Landsman (line 20); Arye Koruczuk (line 27), Arrived May 26, 1909
Motel Landsman, a 28-year-old butcher, said that he was going to his brother-in-law L. Diamond, and that his wife Ester was his closest relative back in Europe.  My grandfather had said that one of his father's sisters (therefore one of Leibish's sisters) was Esther!  I know know her married name and that her husband came to America.  The question then became, what happened to Esther?  Did she join her husband in America?
I still don't know the answer.  There is an Esther & Max Landsman who appear in the census, but they consistently say that they came to America in either 1905 or 1906, so it doesn't seem to be them.  Perhaps Esther died in Europe?  Perhaps Motel earned money for a few years and then rejoined Esther in Europe?  Or perhaps Esther did come, and I just haven't found her yet.

David and Chaim Rosenfeld, 17-year-old brothers, were both tailors who were going to join their cousin L. Diamond in Connecticut.  I was able to locate both of them (living together, which helped to verify that it was really them) in the 1910 census.
1910 United States Census, Montvilletown, CT; Hermann & David Rosenfield (lines 38-39)
Hermann and David Rosenfield, both 18-year-old weavers in a cotton mill to had immigrated in 1909, were living in Montvilletown, New London, Connecticut and were boarding with a family.

I thought it would be difficult to pick up the Rosenfeld trail once the twins weren't living in the same place, but thankfully David was naturalized (and that naturalization record was online):
David Rosenfeld, Petition for Naturalization, 1925
David Rosenfeld's Petition for Naturalization listed him on being on the ship in question, so this was the right David Rosenfeld.  He was married to Esther and had 3 children: Dora, Sol & Harrietta; all were living in Brooklyn, New York.

Using the less common name "Harietta Rosenfeld" to find the family in census records, I found a hit--but realized the parents weren't David and Esther--but rather Hyman (or Hyman, depending on the year) and Ida Rosenfeld.  The children in that family were Sol, Saddie & Harietta.  So likely this is Chaim Rosenfeld, and the brothers named their children after shared relatives.  Herman Rosenfeld's family was in Brooklyn as of the 1940 census.

I was able to find David's family in the 1920 census and nothing later.  However, I did find an 2011 obituary for Harriet Rosenfeld Cohen, which lists her as the daughter of the late David and Esther Rosenfeld and sister of Solomon and Dorothy Rosenfeld and the late Lillian Rosenfeld.  There was also a daughter mentioned.  I'll need to work on tracking some of the living relatives down to see if they know how the Rosenfelds were cousins to Leibish Diamond (and therefore to me).

And the last remaining link on the manifest was (I think--it is difficult to read) Arye Koruczuk.  I couldn't even make out his relationship to Leibish (ideas anyone?).  And I couldn't track anyone with a similar name in the 1910 census, but he may well have changed his last name

So while I have some answers here, I have many more questions.  Hopefully someone will google a relative's name and find their way here.  Answers are very welcome!


  1. Hi Lara,
    My name is Anna Zundelovitch & my great-grandmother was Rosalia Dimant, born in St. Petersburg, Russia in the late 1870-ies.
    A few months ago I reached out to someone that was looking for Dimants\Diamonds from that area through Jewishgen Family Finder and we managed to restore our common blood line back to the late 1790-ies in Lithuania. If any of this sounds familiar I'd be glad to share more details. My email is moooza@gmail.com best, A.Z.

    1. Unfortunately my family isn't from Lithuania.