The two big question? When did Gus Kaufman arrive in the US and under what name?
Declaration of Intention
Certification # 13-1487
Filed 29th of May, 1931, Beaumont, Texas
Source Citation: Ancestry.com. Dutchess County, New York,
Naturalization Records, 1932-1989[ database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA:
Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. This collection was indexed by
Ancestry World Archives Project contributors.
Original data: Dutchess County, New York, Naturalization Records,
1932–1989. 10 Market St., Poughkeepsie, New York 12601:
Dutchess County, New York.
When I found this Declaration of Intention, I felt as if I hit a jackpot! It's full of wonderful information and even a photo!
The following three pieces of information were news to me:
1. Gus Kaufman was born on September 3, 1904-in Scherschev, Russia! (First time, I heard of this village in the Bloomfield/Pomerantz clan)
2. He immigrated to the United States from Copenhagen, Denmark on the Oscar II, arriving in New York City on Dec 27th, 1904.
3. He entered the United States under the name Boruch Kaufman.
I crossed check the naturalization document with US Census records and confirmed I had the right Gus Kaufman. At the age of seven he appears on the 1910 Census in Gonzales Texas with his parents Alex and Ethel Kaufman and his siblings. According to the next Census the family had relocated to Houston by 1920. By the Census 1930 Gus is logding at same 1117 Lake Short address in Port Arthur, Texas as listed on this document.
One thing really bothered me about this document. The date of arrival in the US did not check. On the 1920 Census it lists the Kaufman children arriving with their mother in 1910. On the 1930 Census, Gus reported arriving in 1908.
Previously, I found what I was quite confident to be their Ship Manifest:
Gus, who would have been known as Gerschon in Hebrew or Yiddish according to this document was about 5 years old when he arrived. Certainly too young to recall the exact information of the trip. But why would he have reported on his naturalization papers, a completely different name of a boat, the Oscar II, arriving from Denmark, to New York, four years earlier? If wasn't sure, wouldn't he have stated as such?
|Ship Manifest Oscar II, Dec 37, 1904 (Click to enlarge)|
[Ancestry.com Source Citation: Year: 1904; Arrival; Microfilm Serial:
T715; Microfilm Roll: 524; Line: 17; Page Number: 13].
Our Alex Kaufman did arrive around 1904. Could he be Elie Kaufman? He was about 28 in 1904. I have not found any other ship manifest for him. Could our Ethel Kaufman be this Eidel Kaufman, rather than the presumed Eidel Kaufman who arrived with her brother on the Wittekind four years later? If so, how many kids would she have had in 1904? According to all the census records, she would have had at least three, Annie, Ben and Gus. Maurice was born in 1904. Also, Annie was the oldest and according to this record, Boruch was the oldest. Gus would have been only a year old in 1904, so there another discrepancy there.
If the Kaufman family from the Oscar II were not our Kaufmans, then why did Gus Kaufman report this information when he declared his intention to become a United States citizen? Where would he have gotten this information?
I am going to let you guys ponder this dilemma for now. I would love to hear some thoughts and promise to provide more documents and possible scenarios on my next post, What To Do with Conflicting Data? Part II