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The Myth of Ellis Island, Part 4

Hudson County, New Jersey, "Naturalization Records, 1749-1986," FamilySearch ( accessed : 1 January 2017), entry for Joe Freedman of Russia Poland, 1888; citing Declarations of Intention 1888

Genealogy Proof Standard Study Group Homework

Chapter Three — Evaluating Records


Christine Rose, Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case 4th Edition Revised, (San Jose, California: CR Publications) 2014.

Here I begin to assemble and evaluate additional records as I try to answer my research question and not get “hung-up.”

In Chapter Three of our reference text, the author, Christine Ross likens the set of records we family historians collect about an ancestor to the contents of the kitchen “junk drawer,” and recommends that we “periodically...turn it all out and try to sort and identify each item.” [End Note #1]

So, what items (or records) do I have for my 2nd great grandfather, who started out as Yussel Wilkimirsky in the Kovno District of Czarist Russia and wound up as Joseph Friedman of Hudson County, New Jersey?

I found a Passenger List indicating in January of 1885, a “Jossel Wilkomirsky,” a 40 year-old workman from Kovno, a citizen of Russia, arrived in New York City aboard the S.S. Bohemia. [See End Note #2] I do not have any reason to doubt that this is my 2nd great grandfather, and, given his age, my thought is that this is not his first trip across the Atlantic Ocean.

Although I told you in my last post, that Alan, my cousin and Freidman-Lipschultz family research partner, and I were not able to find the naturalization papers for Yussel, I was wrong. Just as soon as I published that post, Alan alerted me that he had found what he suspected to be Yussel’s Declaration of Intention to naturalize on [See End Note #3]

As you can see from the picture above, the document [See End Note #4] does not contain a lot of information. The petitioner is one Joe Freedman of Russia. This only helpful to me if I can be sure that the petitioner, one Joe Freedman of Russia, is my Joseph Friedman.

I was able to review the 1887-1888 City Directory for Jersey City, Hoboken, West Hoboken, Union Hill and Weehawken, New Jersey [See End Note #5] and was able to find only one individual by the name of Joseph Friedman or Freedman or Freeman listed. His occupation is listed as “Peddler” and this is consistent with the information obtained from Bessie’s book. [See End Note #6]

Additionally, on the Intention to Naturalize document, “Joe Freedman” gives his year of immigration as 1872. So, what is the significance of the year of 1872 as the year of immigration? It is the same year of immigration given by Joseph Friedman on the 1910 census. [See End Note #7]

And how do I know that the Joseph Friedman, living in Bayonne, New Jersey, at 65 West 21st Street, in Bayonne City, New Jersey listed in the 1910 census is my Joseph Friedman?

Using the Google Maps search engine, I can get a photograph of that exact street address as if looks today. [See End Note #8]

I can compare that photo with one of Yussel, Tziril and their grandchildren, taken about 1910. If you look closely, you can see that it is the same doorway. We are talking about the same person.