Can this be a new meaning for "family circle" [closed]

+11 votes

I feel like I'm trapped in a carnival shell game.  Please follow closely here it's all according to a gedcom!

Selma Daniel had two husbands -

​​Now the fun begins - Gertraud married Clement Weinstein and Grede married Clement Weinstein.  Please note - these are 2 different profiles with the same name.  Gertraud had a son with Clement, but the only other information is that he died in Fresh Meadows, NY (in Queenss County, which is part of New York City).  There is absolutely no information for Grede's Clement.

I have found only a little bit of information for this entire collection of people, which is currently in Research Notes on their otherwise untouched gedcom created profiles.  The exception is Selma, whose profile was adopted by another member - I added sources in comments on that one.  The only significant tidbit I found is that Selma's last name was Rindsberg when she immigrated from Germany to the United States with Gertraud in 1939.

I just don't know what to think!  Is it within the realm of belief that these two half-sisters married different men with the same name?  Is it possible that the 2 half-sisters are really the same person and the 2 Clement's are duplicates?

Can anyone else find any more information than I have for this family?  Please note that there is a second Selma Rindsberg who is 4 years older than this one and died in the Holocaust - please don't let that add to the confusion here!  THANX!!!!.


WikiTree profile: Selma Hohenstein
closed with the note: THANX for all the wonderful help - I just finished writing Selma's profile and turned it in for review - please check it out!
asked in Genealogy Help by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (535k points)
closed by Gaile Connolly
Any scenario is possible, and I've encountered many that have turned my brain to mush.  Maybe there is one Clement and he first married one sister, she died and he married the other. Or one Clement is the father, uncle or cousin of the other.  Some families have a small selection of favored names and every family group uses those same names over and over.
I have no help to offer, Gaile.  I just want to express my admiration for you, taking on that gedcom.  Bless you.
There is a passenger list for Walter Peter and Selma Hohenstein in 1950, leaving New York for Liverpool, and they were planning on being abroad for 8 months. If Grede was their daughter, she would be younger than 10. 8 months seems an awfully long time to leave your young daughter. I'm betting Gertrude and Grede are the same person.

Probably the same Walter Peter?
There are quite a number of records in but nothing to confirm or deny the existence of Grede.  Though I agree with Jamie that they are the same person.

In the 1940 Federal USA census, Gertrude, age 12, is listed with the surname of Hohenstein, and as daughter of Walter and Selma Hohenstein though there are enough other records to confirm her surname was Rindsberg.  Perhaps someone has seen that and got confused?

When I was looking for records I found a death notice for Emmy Rindsberg (which I now can't find again) where she is the sister-in-law of Sue Hohenstein and aunt of Gertrude and Clement Weinstein.  Perhaps Sue was Selma's nickname?  (Or the newspaper got it wrong again?)
Hmmm I have no idea what this is for but it lists the following:

Weinstein, Emmalee, Clement & Rosalyn

Gertrude Weinstein

Sadie Weinstein

Samuel Weinstein

Selma Hohenstein

Emmy Rindsberg

Bianca Rindsberg
Jamie, You made 2 great finds.  The gedcom has Selma's 2nd husband named Peter, but I found what I thought likely to be their 1940 census record - it is for Walter, Serma, and Gertraud, with the right ages for Selma and Gertraud.  Your passenger list for Walter Peter is good enough for me to accept that census record now.

I'm going to need a translation of that paragraph in the book you found (it's a google book but google translate refuses to do that page of it), but it puts the final nail on the Walter Peter thing.

Your theory of Gertraud and Grede being the same person also makes a lot of sense to me, but I don't know if making sense to me is sufficient for the real genealogists to advise merging the profiles, as well as the profiles of the 2 husbands with identical names.

John, The fact that you agree about Grede and Gertraud being duplicates really confirms it beyond a doubt, as far as I'm concerned.  All I now need to hear is that you consider it OK now to merge them (and their husbands).  You're the kind of "real genealogist" I mentioned above!

I had found that 1940 census record, but wasn't sure if it was them until Jamie made the connection between the names Walter and Peter.

I tried to check on Emmy Rindsberg and found several records, although not the death notice that mentioned the "Sue",  Gertrude, and Clement.  The immigration record I found says she traveled here with her mother in 1941 and they were headed for (in her mother's case) her son named Dr. that is definitely Selma's first husband's sister and mother.

One thing I didn't mention originally is that, from the gedcom, Selma married Peter/Walther/whoever in 1939, which was the same year she came here as a widow named Rindsberg so it must have been quite the whirlwind courtship!

Thank you both so very, very much.
Oh my, Jamie - I know EXACTLY what that is and what it means - you have hit the jackpot!!!!

That is a temple program for their Yom Kippur service.  That is a Jewish holiday that translates as "Day of Atonement" when people are supposed to reflect upon their sins of the past year and includes particular attention to mourning dead family mambers.

That program is obviously for the temple attended by Emmalee, Clement, and Rosalyn Weinstein and the dead relatives whom they wanted to recognize in 2014 were all the rest of the names you listed.  I now recognize all those names and know all the relationships, after the last half day I have spent on this family!!!
Jamie, I am truly astonished at the things you are able to dig up.  I had all I needed with that Yom Kippur program, but in addition to more confirmation of everything else the obituary also identifies all the descendants I didn't know about, although I won't be adding their profiles because they're living.

Thank you so, so much for this treasure chest of information!  I'm going to roll up my sleeves and get to work now - have about a half dozen bios to write!!!
I can't read the Google book I posted above but I'm pretty sure that is says Walter was born in Wien/Niederösterreich on December 17, 1908, he was a chemist, and his parents were Adolf Hohenstein and Amalie Balsam.

Googling his name brings up some patents and this:
I haven't looked at your new link yet, but I was able to figure out that he was a highly educated physical chemist and worked in the US as a professor at my alma mater, Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, but I don't have any memory of his name as a faculty member when I was there between 1958 and 1962.
The 1940 census also states that he was born in Vienna (Wien in German).
Jamie, That new link adds still more information - the fact that Selma and Walter were divorced, apparently with a good deal of animosity remaining many years afterward on the part of Selma's daughter and granddaughter.

THANX for everything!

I forgot to also thank Becky Wright, who added me to the trusted list for Selma during all this.


1 Answer

+3 votes
Best answer

The cited passenger list gives Selma Rindsberg, age 41, widow, born Berndorf and last residing in Milan, Italy. Her daughter Gertraud K, age 11 is born at Nurnberg. They sailed from Havre 30 March 1939.

Selma gives her closest relative/friend in her country of origin as her Mother-in-law, Mrs. Rindsberg, at Komturci 2, Wurzburg, Germany. Her U.S. destination is given as Bellemead, NJ, where she plans to join her brother Lutz Daniel.

The Social Secuity Death Index gives Selma as born 27 May 1897 and her death as May 1984. User contributed information indicates she died at Jamaica, Queens, NY.

Second husband Walter Hohenstein, per SS Death Index, was born 17 Dec 1908, and died Feb 1987. User contributed information gives place of birth as Vienna, Austria, and death as Floral Park, Nassau, NY.

Gertruad Weinstein according to SS Death Index was born 11 Jun 1927 and died 14 Feb 2009. User data gives her death at Flushing, Queens, NY.

According to the 1940 Census that John already mentioned, in 1935 Selma and Gertraud were living at Bayreuth, Germany and Walter was still in Vienna. (Walter's occupation is given as a chemist).

I think chemist is uncommon enough of an occupation to say the Walter Hohenstein, age 30 and single, chemist, who arrived on the S.S. Champlain that sailed from Southhampton (England) on 16 May 1939. His residence at the time is given as Lausenne, Switzerland. His nearest relative is mother S. Hohenstein of 74 Hasnerstr[aße], Vienna. His destination is given as Paterson, NJ where he will be joining his uncle Hyman Peller of E. 22nd St.

Walter Peter & Selma Hohenstein are both naturalized early in January 1945.

Walter makes frequent trips over to England (and elsewhere) usually on his own - I would presume this is for work. In 1947 he is listed as a chemist on arrival in the U.K. but starting in 1948 he is listed as a "professor of chemistry" or in some records just as a professor.

According to court proceedings in Gertrude Weinstein et al., Appellants, v. Walter P. Hohenstein, Respondent, et al., Defendants [available here] Selma and Walter separated in 1954. This court record also gives a middle name for Selma of 'Sue'.

As to gertrude, reproduced an obit that appeared in the New York Times on 28 July 2015 for Clement Weinstein which says "predeceased by his beloved wife Gertrude, he leaves his loving sister, Ruth..." it continues to name children and grandchildren which I will omit here. The same website also has an obit from the New York Times dated 17 Feb 2009 which says in part "WEINSTEIN--Gertrude, on February 14, 2009. Beloved wife of Clem, devoted mother of..." and again names children and grandchildren. This appears to confirm the user contributed information I listed above.

The impression I get from the various records is that 'Grede' is a nickname for Gertraud (as given on this individuals' website) and that the two profiles, as well as the two husbands named Clement Weinstein should be merged.

answered by Rob Ton G2G6 Pilot (272k points)
selected by Gaile Connolly
Rob, Thank you for the full analysis of the whole mess and putting everything in such splendid order!  The additional source about the continuation of the legal action is an eye opener, but the one from the George Stockschlader website is the final word on the duplicates.  You're fantastic!

Ancestry also has German Personnel rosters from WWI records with a Fritz Rindsberg of Bayreuth - without being able to read German my guess would be that this is Selma's first husband, born 29 June 1898 - and I speculate other records, naming an Adolf and a Max Rindsberg with birthdates a few years different from Fritz's, are his brothers.

There is also a record on Ancestry citing Reiner Strätz. Biographisches Handbuch Würzburger Juden 1900-1945. {Würzburg: Ferdinand Schöningh, 1989.) for a Clementine Emma Rindsberg born 9 Aug 1896 at Bayreuth, daughter of Josef Rindsberg and Rosa Friedmann. Her German address is given as Komturei 2 (Johanniterplatz), allowing for translation errors this is the same address Selma gives for her mother-in-law when she arrives in the U.S., making Clementine the sister-in-law of Selma. This record also indicates Clementine died in the USA at Kew Gardens, NY - the same place Selma and family had been living.

Just spotted an error in my original answer above - Walter and Selma separated in 1979 and NOT 1954 as I gave above. 1954 was the year they leased the apartment at Beverly House that was the object of the lawsuit.

Based on examining user contributed trees on other sites I also believe future research will be able to connect Gertrude to a Wikitree profile that I believe is her 3rd Great Grandfather. Gertrude > Fritz > Josef > Feist > Meier > Feist


​That is going to connect about 1200 people who are now unconnected!!!  I don't know if I'll be up to the job of making all these connections, though - I will probably come back to G2G screaming for help when I'm trying to do that.

THANX a million, Rob.

Related questions

+3 votes
4 answers
115 views asked Jul 31, 2015 in Genealogy Help by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (535k points)
+6 votes
1 answer
+15 votes
1 answer
50 views asked Nov 26, 2017 in The Tree House by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (535k points)
+7 votes
1 answer
+10 votes
1 answer

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright