Sunday, April 17, 2011

Jewish Relatives part 2 and My Conclusion on How We Became Catholic

Remember when I spoke about finding my Jewish relatives back in January. Well, the gg grandaughter of Fannie Lesser (Morris' daughter and my gg grandfather's sister), contacted me the other day. She told me that Morris and Dora were Jewish as well. Which means my gg grandfather Michael was Jewish. She also told me that Morris and Dora came from Berlin in the 1840's. Morris was a barber-surgeon and Dora was a ladies maid who worked for a wealthy Jewish family. They lived on 40 Cherry Street in NYC and also on West 40th Street in the city, which is now the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel.

So this is my conclusion on how my family became Catholic. Michael Lesser, who was Jewish, married Lavinia Ferris, who was most likely Catholic. They had Henry and gave him to a home in 1900. Since he grew up in a home, he probably took his mother's religion. Which concludes how we became to be Catholic. Now I can only assume why Michael abandoned Henry and Lavinia (one of many reasons I believe). Michael was Jewish and Lavinia was Catholic. That could of caused some tension or problems back then. So it makes sense why he would leave.

On a side note, I think I found Michael on a passport application and married to another women in the early 1900's, after Henry was given to a home. According to the application he was married to a women named Sylvia Goldstein. She was traveling to the Netherlands/Holland to visit Michael who was living there already. According to the application he was a English teacher. Now I can't find a death certificate for Michael in New York nor Sylvia. So I can only guess or assume or conclude that this his him and he and his wife died in the Netherlands/Holland. Who knows, right? Since he abandoned the family and his family didn't like it, he probably did move as far away as he could. As far as Lavinia goes, I'm still hunting for her whereabouts and her death certificate. I'm going to cross my fingers and hope that I find her and hope that this Michael is my gg grandfather.

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