Pearl Geringer Brass was born on June 23, 1910 in the city that was then called Czernowitz in the Province of Bukovina in the Austro-Hungarian Empire under Emperor Franz Josef. The primary languages of the city were German, Romanian, and Yiddish. In the period before and after World War I Czernowitz had a significant Jewish population, as much as 32%. After WWI Czernowitz was part of Romania and was called Chernauti. Sine WWII Czernowitz has been called Chernivtsi, and is part of Ukraine.
In 1913, when war seemed close in Europe, Pearl's father Moshe Geringer decided to emigrate to America. He had already served in the Austrian Army, and did not want to do so again. He arrived in New York on June 13, 1913, leaving his family behind. They were to join him on January 28, 1914. Curiously the manifest on record at Ellis Island of Pearl, her mother, and her older sister under the family name of Scharfstein. A probable explanation for this is that although the official records in Czernowitz said that the family name was Geringer, the true family name was Scharfstein. Pearl's father is given on his marriage certificate as "Moshe, illegitimate son of Hinde Geringer in Chernowitz". This implies that Geringer was not his father's name but his mother's name. The birth is officially illegitimate because the marriage of Moshe's parents was performed in a religious ceremony and not registered in the official records. The fact that his name was actually Scharfstein is born out by the fact that the name Moritz Scharfstein is listed in the city directory from 1909 as living at #3 Seiler Street, with the occupation given as Fiakerhälter. A Fiakerhälter is a person who owns a horse and cart for hire.
At first, the family lived on the Lower East Side, at 100 East 3rd Street, according to the Ellis Island manifest. By 1920 they had moved to the Bronx, at 1721 Bathgate Avenue. The family moved to several locations in the Bronx, living in 1940 at 1338 Stebbins Avenue.  On December 27, 1941, Pearl married Harry Brass who was recently widowed and had two sons. The merged family soon added a daughter, Sheila Brass, born on March 23, 1943. Not long after, however, on May 30, 1949, Harry died suddenly, at the age of 42, while on a trip to Danbury, Connecticut for his health. Pearl, who was just 38, was left with three young children and no source of income. In desperation, she was to move back in with her parents, leaving the two boys to be cared for by their mother's relatives and keeping Sheila with her. Pearl took a job and Sheila was cared for by her grandparents. During the 1950s, both of her parents were to die, but by that time Pearl was able to support herself and her daughter and they lived together while Sheila attended school. When Sheila had grown up and eventually moved away to attend graduate school, Pearl lived by herself in a Bronx apartment. She supported herself by working at the American Banknote Company.
In 1975, Pearl was persuaded by her daughter Sheila to retire and to move to Reston, Virginia, where Sheila was living with her husband and family. Pearl took an apartment there where she lived until her death on October 15, 2006 at the age of 96. She is buried at the King David Cemetery, Falls Church, Virginia.
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Pearl is 21 degrees from Johnny Cash, 22 degrees from Patsy Cline, 28 degrees from Gordon Kirkpatrick, 37 degrees from Ruby Hunter, 29 degrees from Reg Lindsay, 22 degrees from Don Messer, 31 degrees from Charley Pride, 19 degrees from Hank Williams, 24 degrees from Tammy Richie and 21 degrees from Laura DeSpain on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.