Prisoner A18651 Returns to Auschwitz
Contributed by Tim Gray, chairman of the non-profit WWII Foundation. For more information about the foundation, visit www.wwiifoundation.org The majority of Holocaust survivors have not the desire nor the will to return to the place where they lived through the most disturbing moments of their life and watched others die in ways still not easy to describe more than 70 years later. Today in...
Life Advice…From the Grave
My great grandfather, Abramo Donato Cantelli was born in San Donato, Italy on February 4, 1903. He was only six years old when he boarded a ship headed to America called the Canopic Line with his mother and two brothers. After two seasick weeks they finally landed in Boston where Abramo’s father was waiting for their arrival. Abramo attended school until he was 12 years old, leaving to work at...
Izzy Arbeiter Waves Goodbye to Plock
Israel Arbeiter said his final goodbye today to his home city of Plock, Poland. At 87, Arbeiter will most likely never again be healthy enough to return to the city that gave him life 87 years ago, but is now more remembered as the place where he last saw his mother, father and youngest brother alive. His father’s final words before the Nazis separated his family in the city square were both calm...
Israel Arbeiter Returns To Plock
Contributed by Tim Gray, chairman of the non-profit WWII Foundation. For more information about the foundation, visit www.wwiifoundation.org Israel Arbeiter was 14 when the Germans took over his city of Plock, Poland on September 3, 1939. There were an estimated 10,000 Jews living in Plock (pronounced Plotsk) in 1939. You would be hard pressed to find a handful in 2012, maybe 2 or 3? Where did...
Israel Arbeiter Lands in Poland
Just prior to boarding our Lufthansa flight from Boston’s Logan airport to Munich, Germany and then on to Warsaw, Poland I gave Holocaust survivor Israel Arbeiter a copy of a book I just finished. It’s called “Auschwitz” by British historian Laurence Rees. There is something very inadequate about handing an Auschwitz survivor a book on Auschwitz. What will it say that he didn’t already experience...
Israel Arbeiter Returns to Poland
How much inner strength must a man have to be able to revisit places where he experienced indescribable horrors? Israel Arbeiter has spent the past seven decades keeping a promise. That promise was to tell as many people as possible what it was like to survive and witness, first-hand, the Holocaust. As Arbeiter gets ready to board a plane and return to his native Poland today, Monday, April 23rd,...
Most of my relatives lived in San Francisco in 1940. While looking for a particular address in an ED I scan every name on every page hoping to find someone who’s address is unknown. So far I’ve found three maternal and two paternal families living near each other. Mine eyes have seen the glory! Linda Galley
Prisoner A18651: Israel Arbeiter
“Hitler tried to kill me. I’m still alive. He’s dead”. Israel Arbeiter, the author of those words, turned 87 within the past week. If you had asked him in 1939 whether he would have lived this long he would have said “unlikely”. When the Germans marched into his city of Plonsk, Poland 73 years ago Izzy Arbeiter’s life became more complicated. The middle of five boys, Arbeiter, like most Jews in...
1940 Census Claims Another Victim
I confess, the 1940 census wasn’t that big a deal to me. I know, I know. It’s an unparalleled document, a single, enormous map of the entire United States population. And it will be a doorway for millions of folks just getting started on their family history, a 10-year head start over 1930. But for me, what was there to find? True, it’s the first census that would include my parents, but I...
The Family Neighborhood
My biggest discovery in the 1940 census was something I’d always known, but never understood until I saw it on paper—virtual paper that is. My dad’s stories about his childhood always included his cousins, whether they were climbing trees (and breaking arms) or racing homemade boats in the irrigation canal. My dad (the smallest boy in the front row) with his brothers and cousins ca. 1940 I...
So Many Questions Waiting to be Answered
Anna and Joe Dansbury William Dansbury’s first wife died in 1938, leaving him with three small children. By 1942 he married his first wife’s cousin, my grandmother, Anna Steffes, and had another baby boy. I’m not exactly sure how quickly he remarried but 1940 is a critical year. Were they married yet? Or was my grandmother still working as a teacher? By some standards she was a bit of an old...
Finding My Family in the 1940 Census
In the 1940 census, I could not locate my relatives where I knew they had to be. I had their correct address from a 1940 city directory, so I knew they lived at 4444 River Rd. I had the correct ED and block number, so excitedly I find 4439 River Rd., then 4440, 4442, and then the enumerator went on to the next block, skipping 4444 and 4446! Agh! Disappointedly, I asked my mother (who used to...
The Titanic: Last Port of Call
One of the best parts about my job is how often I come in contact with historic locations. Most of these places I never dreamed I’d be fortunate enough to see outside the pages of a history book. Twice, in the last five years, I have had the opportunity to work with artifacts and locations that were directly linked to the Titanic. My first experience with this infamous ship came when I was brought...
Your Story: 1920 Census Reveals Family Story
My mother was born prematurely in October 1919, in Seattle, Washington. Her mother, Estella, had been under a doctor’s care for a month prior to death per her death certificate. Estella died in the hospital at the age of 28, just two weeks after the birth, of complications typically seen with the notorious Spanish flu. The epidemic struck Seattle in 1918, and a year later was still...
Ask Ancestry Anne: Finding someone in the 1940...
Help Anne! I want to find George Canavan in 1940 in Pittsburgh, possibly on 1919 Warren St. But Pennsylvania is HUGE and I don’t know where to start. I’m impatient and really want to find something. Help me! — Jolene Worth Jolene, Help is on the way. Let’s lay this out in steps, so we can repeat them later. Step 1: Street Address Find a street address if you can. In rural areas...
1940 Census Confirms Family Legend
Throughout my life my mother reminded me what a very bright child I was when I was very young. One story she told was that at 18 months old, I would go shopping for her every day to purchase a bottle of milk. It consisted of walking down a flight of stairs in the apartment building on Ten Eyck Walk in Brooklyn, and going around the building to a grocery store. After her death, I visited the area...
1940s Era Links
Here are a few links that you might find helpful in your 1940 Census searches: 1940 Census Page Livestream Archive-1940 Live Look-ups (Scroll down past the live window) 1940 Research Guide (PDF) 1940s Era Records U.S. City Directories (Beta) U.S. City Directories 1940s Map