Sunday, April 15, 2018

Esther Rutner's Actual Birthdate

My great grandmother was Esther Rutner Joshowitz; my middle name is Esther in her memory.  She used various birthdates both in European documents as well as in American documents, ranging from 1881 to 1889.  Birth months were all in the winter but spanned the period from December through March.  I assumed that the actual date would be closer to 1881, since women tend to make themselves younger than their actual age.  I was wrong.
Eszter Rutner Birth, March 1889

According to her birth record, Eszter Rutner was born to "Smil Mozes" Rutner and Ruchel Fuksz on March 6, 1889 in Darva, Hungary (today's Kolodne, Ukraine).  This was the latest of all of the dates I have seen her give for her birthdate--it was the date on her marriage record as well.  Dates on all other records were all in 1881 or 1882.
An 1881 birthdate for Esther on her husband's naturalization petition

So why did she make herself so much older (older than her husband, who was born in 1883)?  I don't know.  But now I do know her real birthdate.  And that she was not vain about her age!
Esther Rutner Joshowitz; McKeesport, Pennsylvania

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