Thursday, 3 July 2014

Kaufman Walder, The Challenge of a Name

Fabulous Records When You Find Them

Kaufman Walder had a particular interest to me because my great grandfather sent money to his cousin in Russia so that he could come to Montreal.

From Kate Newman Mehlman, the oldest woman, going clock-wise:
William Mehlman
Irene Esses Mehlman
Ruby Mehlman
Marian Hartman Mehlman
Sally Mehlman
Yetta Franckel Walder
Kaufman Walder
Unknown man
Mary Mehlman

 I have been finding out so much about the Newman and Walder family since discovering the Family Tree on Ancestry of a grandson of one of my great grandfather's nieces.

I had learned that Kaufman had first stayed in Montreal before moving on to New York

One of the best American records to find for the amount of information it contains is the
Petition for Naturalization Certificate.

I found his certificate under a different spelling of his name, Koffman Wolder. His wife Yetta Franckel's Petition for Naturalization had different information. So even though it is all very valuable, it really reinforces that you can't consider one date in isolation. Each is a piece of a puzzle.

Kaufman Walder's Petition For Naturalization

Born in Stasa, Russia

Last foreign residence: Montreal, Quebec

Lawful entry into the US was at Rouses Point, New York was under the name WOELDER KOUFMAN, 15 Dec 1916 This was a "winner" piece of info not only for the spelling but for the order at which his name was written, surname first. I don't know if the order was a mistake of the person who wrote the Naturalization document. I have yet to find his Border Crossing Record into the US and Passenger Record for his arrival in Canada. This date was given in Kaufman's naturalization Record and differs from the info that is written for him in his wife's Record.

Marriage date, 13 Jun 1925 is the same date as in the actual Marriage Record but different from what is stated in Yetta's.

This record has Kaufman's Date of Birth as 15 Apr 1898 ( different from what is stated in Yetta's Record )

Yetta's Date of Birth is 15 Mar 1904  ( different from what is stated in Yetta's )

Her Date of  Entry into the US is different in Kaufman's Record: 1 May 1920

Kaufman declared his intention to become a citizen, 8 Apr 1931

The witnesses, Jacob Greenberg and Isidor Epstein signed 20 Jul 1934.

Yetta Franckel's Petition for Naturalization

Yetta declared her intention to become a citizen 24 Jun 1929

They lived at 562 Georgia St in Brooklyn, New York

Here Yetta's maiden name is Frankel which is also the name stated in the Census info. However in the Marriage Index Record, her maiden name is given as Greenberg. Interestingly, one of the witnesses in both her and Kaufman's Naturalization Records is Jacob Greenberg

Each of the dates are different from that stated in Kaufman's Record

The Date of Marriage is one year earlier than in the Marriage Index and Kaufman's Naturalization Record.

Kaufman: born 20 Jun 1898 in Podolia, Russia. This Birth Date differs from 15 Apr 1896, in the 1940 Census and his SS Death Index and the 15 Apr 1898 in Kaufman's Naturalization Record

Kaufman immigrated Jun 1916, Russia

Yetta was born 15 Mar 1903 in Kaminetz

She immigrated 3 Jul 1921 on the ship S.S. Berengeria

Her last residence was Hotin, Romania before she immigrated.

The 1930 Census for Kaufman and Yetta has each of their info on consecutive pages. Here the Census takers recorded it completely wrong

For both Kaufman and Yetta, the Surname was written as Kaufman. The Given name was recorded as Walter

His immigration year is given as 1908 which would probably be reflecting the fact that he first immigrated to Montreal. Yetta's is given as 1921

They both lived at the same address in other records, 562 Georgia Ave, Kings, Brooklyn. 

The 1940 Census indicates that they had moved to 564 Bradford St, Kings, New York

They had one son, Henry E Walder, born 7 Mar 1933 in Brooklyn, New York and died 30 Aug 1985 in Huntington Station, New York. He married Harriet and they had 2 children.

Both Kaufman and Yetta are buried in Mt Hebron Cemetery. Kaufman died 30 May 1966. Yetta died 31 Aug 1983.

The translation of Kaufman's gravestone gives more information. I now knew Moshe was the name of the father of Kaufman and his brother  Louis Walder.  He  could be the brother of Benish/ Baynush, the first husband of Rebecca Newman, Jacob Goldberg's niece.

Thanks to the Viewmate, Jewishgen, I received this translation:

 Here lies Koipman Meshulem son of Moshe
 died 11 Sivan 5726
 May his soul be bound up in the bond of  everlasting life

Another one of my favorite resources is the Jewish Given Names Database, also part of Jewishgen. This gave the variations in Hebrew, Yiddish, Yiddish Nickname and US.

 Legal/Hebrew: Meshulam Koyfman    Gender: M    Legal Origin: Chronicles I 5:13

Yiddish: Meshulem / Meshulom / / Kofman / Kokhman / Koyfman

Yiddish Nickname: Meshl / Shalem / Shilem / Shulam / Shulman / / Keyfe / Keyfke / Koftse

US Name: Meshullam

I am hoping to find out more about the Walder Family and the link to my great grandfather and the Newmans. I am wondering if there is a direct ancestral link between the 2 families. All I know now is the marriage link of Benish Walder being the first husband of Rebecca Newman.


  1. Corinne, congrats! Very exciting to see how much you've learned about these families in such a short time. BTW, I also have ancestors in Mt Hebron Cem.

    1. Thanks Marian. I am amazed at how challenging some records are to find. It was a great satisfaction to discover them. I really do love the process, as long as I find them eventually!! Some of the Ocean Crossing and Passenger Records are really elusive. Marian, can you tell me what step you took on my blog to become a follower so you get updates when I do another post? I like what you have on your blog, clear and direct"join this site" Mine has "add to circles" which is not intuitive, at least to me. My new Newman relative works right nearby Mt Hebron Cemetery. The website is great and is organized by societies. What society is your family in?

  2. I am Jamie Newman daughter of Leo Newman who is the son of Sam Newman. I believe that Kate Newman Mehlman was my grandfather Sams sister.

    1. Oh and I remember my father Leo mentioning Kaufman Walder.

  3. I am Reuven Ronald Walder. Kaufman was my great Uncle. My grandfather Louis Walder was his brother. I am named after Kaufman (Kenneth in english; Kufa - or as my father and says, Koifa in hebrew). Thank you for your incredible diligence and research. It means so much to my family.