Friday, June 28, 2013

The Genealogy of Sarah Schwartz Gerstein

Sarah Schwartz Gerstein

Sarah Schwartz Gerstein was born in Berdychev, Russia, now Ukraine in 1882, the daughter of David Schwartz and Fanny Kessler. She has interested me from the first time I learned about her from my father-in-law, Dave Gerstein. Her daughter, Rose Gerstein Endliss gave me more information about her, and Sherry Berkman Endliss, her grand-daughter sent me the family pictures. Although she died in 1929 at the age of 47, she had a great impact on her family.  All her grandaughters are named for her, Sandra, Sheila and Sherry.  Since I have more images of Sarah as a young person than of all the other older members of the Gerstein family, I am devoting a post to her and her immediate family.

Sarah was born in Berdychev, one of the most important Jewish cities in Russia. The city originally was a part of  the Polish-Lithuanian Kingdom, but became part of the Russian Empire in 1793, in one of partitions of Poland.   Sholom Aleichim, the writer, lived in Berdychev, and Joseph Conrad, author of The Heart of Darkness, was born there to a family of the Polish nobility. When it was the commercial center of Eastern Poland it was owned by the Radziwill family.  In the 1850's, Jews were 70% of the population of  Berdychev and by 1861, it was the second largest Jewish community in Russia. Most of the Jewish population were merchants or artisans.  By 1897, with the building of a railroad link in 1870,  Berdychev became a center of light manufacturing.  Like many of the Jewish families of Berdychev, Sarah's family moved to Odessa, and eventually to the United States.

http://www1.tau.ac.il/humanities/ggcenter/images/stories/Smilovitsky/fcard%2030.jpg
Berdychev in the early 20th century
 Sarah Schwartz was the daughter of David Schwartz and Fagie Kessler.
There were four children, Sarah, 1882-1929, Baile ( Becky) 1887-1963, Avrom(Abe) and Nathan. Sarah and Becky lived in Chicago, I do not know where where Abe or Nathan lived.


Nathan and wife, Simma Schwartz


Sarah and her parents, David and Fagie Schwartz




Baile,  Simma,  grandmother, Fanny Kessler, and Sarah Schwartz

Sarah's children, David, Rose and Philip Gerstein

Sarah and her brother Nathan.