Monday, August 04, 2008

Genealogue Challenge Update

Deb found some clues, but there's still no answer to the last Genealogue Challenge (which, I admit, was kind of tricky). The interview I linked to in the comments should point you in the right direction.


Sorry this is a little long, but it was a long, complicated (but fun) journey to the answer.

In the interview on You Tube, Herbert Stempel says that he was born Herbert Milton Stempel on 19December 1926 in Bronx, New York, the son of Solomon and Mary Stempel. His father was a postal carrier. He had one sister, Harriet, who was about four years older than him.

I found this family in the 1930 census, although it was a little tricky because Herbert (age 3)is written as "Hebert" on the census form and he is incorrectly listed as female. However, the rest of the family details (see below) indicate that this is the right entry.

1930 Census, Bronx, Bronx, New York
Solomon (transcribed on Ancestry as Lulomas)(age 35, carrier for USPO)
Mary (age 33)
Harriet (age 6)
Hebert (age 3)

Next I searched earlier census records for Solomon Stempel. The 1930 census indicated Solomon was born in New York and his parents were born in Austria.

I found Solomon with his family in both the 1910 and 1920 censuses of Manhattan, New York, New York. (Note: Solomon is listed as Saul in the 1920 census.)

1910 Census, Manhattan Ward 12, New York, new York
Pauline Stempel 43
William Stempel 18
Adolph Stempel 16
Solomon Stempel 15
Yetta Stempel 14
Samuel Stempel 12
Louis Stempel 10
Emanuel Stempel 8
Dora Lillian Stempel 5
Sophie Stempel 3
Max Stempel 1 8/12

In 1910, Solomon's mother, Pauline, was listed as a 43 year old widow with 10 children. Her youngest child was under two years old, so I assumed that her husband had died sometime between 1907 and 1910. I was unable to find the family in the 1900 census, so the husband's name remained a mystery.

Fortunately, the New York City Death Index at covers this time period. A search for Stempel provided only one likely candidate: Herman Stempel, who died 6 Feb 1910 in Manhattan at the age of 42 years.

I next searched for records pertaining to Herman Stempel. Luckily (for me), Herman and his family decided to travel abroad in 1901. His passport application is full of great genealogical information. Most importantly it lists his wife Pauline and three children. The names and ages of these children are consistent with the data in the 1910 census, and suggest that Herman and Pauline were taking only their three youngest children along on the trip.

Herman Stempel, born 4 Mar 1869 in Przemyst, Austria

Pauline Stempel, born 27 June 1869 at Strzhow?, Austria

Yetty, born 11 April 1896 in NYC

Sam, born 4 Jan 1897 in NYC

Lieb (is this Louis?) born 19 Jul 1900 in NYC

Herman's passport application indicated that the family planned to be abroad for about a year. Consistent with this, the 1920 census indicates that Pauline's son Emanuel (born abt. 1902) was born in Austria and came to the US in 1902. All her other children were born in New York. (The 1910 census gives Emanuel's birthplace as New York.)

I was fairly sure at this point that Solomon's parents were Herman and Pauline Stempel, so I searched the NYC Groom index at for Stempel marriages between 1885 (when Herman immigrated to the U.S.) and 1892 (the approximate year that Herman and Pauline's first child was born).

The closest entry I found was Hersh Stempel married Peral (sic) Appelbaum on 13 Jan 1891 in Manhattan. Close but not quite close enough to be sure. So I decided to Google "Herman Stempel". The first hit was for the wedding photo of Herman Stempel and Pearl Applebaum (c. 1890).

Information on this site indicates that Herman and Pearl (Appelbaum) Stempel were the parents of Solomon Stempel and the grandparents of Herbert Stempel. There is also a c. 1925 photo of Pearl and her ten children. I'm still not sure about the Pearl/Pauline discrepancy, but it seems to be the right family.

So to make a very long story short, Herbert Stempel's paternal grandparents were Herman and Pearl/Pauline (Appelbaum) Stempel. They were married on 13 Jan 1891 and in their wedding photo, Herman is wearing a very handsome top hat!


Nicely done, Teresa! I was beginning to think I had stumped everyone.

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