Pearl (Geringer) Brass
Privacy Level: Private with Public Biography and Family Tree (Yellow)

Pearl (Geringer) Brass

Pearl Brass formerly Geringer
Born 1910s.
Ancestors ancestors
Sister of [half], [private sister (1900s - 1990s)], [half], [private sister (1910s - 1980s)] and
Descendants descendants
Died 2000s.
Profile last modified | Created 2 Apr 2014
This page has been accessed 372 times.


Pearl Geringer Brass was born on June 23, 1910[1] 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.[2]

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,[3] 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.[4] 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".[5] 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.[6] 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.[7] The family moved to several locations in the Bronx, living in 1940 at 1338 Stebbins Avenue. [8] 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.[9]

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.[10] She is buried at the King David Cemetery, Falls Church, Virginia.[11]


  1. Image-3 and Image-4
  2. [ Wikipedia article on Chernivsti.
  3. Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation: Search for Moses Geringer
  4. Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation: Search for Perl Scharfstein
  5. Copy of Marriage Certificate from the Book of Jewish Marriages in the City of Chernowitz, 13 Nov. 1904, in possession of Henry Chadwick
  6. City Directory for Czernowitz - 1909,
  7. 1920 Census, ED 264 NY. Geringer Morris, Morris Age: 40 Year: 1920 Birthplace: Austria Roll: t625_1136 Race: White Page: 1A State: New York ED: 264 County: Bronx Image: 1022 Township: Bronx.
  8., 1940 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Operations, Inc., 2012),, Database online. Record for Pearl Geringer.
  9. Personal recollections of Henry Chadwick
  10., Social Security Death Index (Name: Name: The Generations Network, Inc.; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2008;;),, Database online. Record for Pearl Brass.

More Genealogy Tools

Only the Trusted List can access the following:
  • Pearl's formal name
  • exact birthdate
  • birth location
  • exact deathdate
  • death location
  • images (6)
  • private siblings' names
  • private children's names (1)
  • spouse's name and marriage information
For access to Pearl Brass's full information you must be on the Trusted List. Please login. See the Contact section of the Tree & Tools page.

Sponsored Search

Is Pearl your relative? Please don't go away!
 star icon Login to collaborate or comment, or
 star icon contact private message the profile manager, or
 star icon ask our community of genealogists a question.
DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Pearl by comparing test results with other carriers of her mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondrial DNA test-takers in the direct maternal line: It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage (beta) of DNA with Pearl:

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Comments: 1

Leave a message for others who see this profile. If you prefer to keep it private, send a private message to the profile manager. private message
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
Geringer-86 and Geringer-49 appear to represent the same person because: same name and dates, same sister
posted by S Stevenson

G  >  Geringer  |  B  >  Brass  >  Pearl (Geringer) Brass

Categories: Migrants from Austria to United States