Tuesday, January 30, 2018

#52Ancestors In the Census

Today I want to talk about a brick wall I had that wouldn't let up.

It concerns a young lad, Hersch Oks, of about 17 years of age upon arrival in the United States.

I found his ship manifest by chance looking for something else and it showed he was the son of my husband's great grandfather's brother Moische. He arrived at Ellis Island in Aug 1911 and was supposed to go stay with a cousin, an A. Perlmutter, in Brooklyn NY.

Well I couldn't find him in the 1915 NY State census nor in the 1920 federal census nor could I find that supposed cousin. I couldn't find them in city directories either. I knew that he could not just vanish into thin air. So where the heck was he?

So I decided to look for possible name changes and discovered he changed his name to John somewhere along the line. So I went back and searched the census records for 1940, 1930, and 1920. One found him in Nebraska, another in Detroit, and a third elsewhere. Okay but now I also had him married in two of them and a widower with a 13 year old son in a third. All, by the way, show his age of arrival differently. One shows him as a naturalized citizen.  Also one showed him as Oaks, another as Ocks.

Still working on this but the brick wall has opened up a bit. Any ideas as to where I should go from here? Comment below. Thanks

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