Saturday, February 11, 2012

Charles Gordon

So one of the goals of my genealogy research is to try to find out what my Great Grandfather's last name was.  He was born in Russia in the late 1800s and emigrated to New York City.  We don't know if "Gordon" is an Americanized version of his last name or original.  Also don't know if Charles was his real first name, actually.  From family oral history, we know he married another Russian emigre named "Anna Cohen" and died fairly young in an accident.  He had 4 kids: Isadore (my grandfather), Lee, Henrietta and George.

So I've been working on this for a while now, and one thing I've found is that my grandmother's last name was actually Cohn and she usually went by Annie rather than Anna.  Using the wonderful Italian Genealogy group website, I've searched for death and marriage records.  I ordered what I thought was Charles Gordon's death record, but when I received it I realized it was definitely not him based on all the other information on the document.  So that was a learning experience.  But now I've found (and ordered) both a marriage record and a death record that I believe are correct!  Here's the marriage info from the Italian Gen site:

Cohn Annie Dec 21 1907 Manhattan 32926 C500
Gordon Charles Dec 21 1907 Manhattan 32926 G635

And the death info:

Gordon Charles 29 y May 9 1918 15819 Manhattan G635 

I'm more confident this time because of a lot of little bits of information.  But one big bit is that I think I found a couple of newspaper articles about the accident.  Here's a link to the main one from the Chronicling America site.  The article is in the upper right of the page:    

Here's a bit of the OCR'd text from the article, describing the death of Charles Gordon:

Just before it reached Convent A**
nue an automobile owned and drhrei
by Charles Gordon, of 2641 Jeromi
Avenue, turned into 145th Street
ahead of it. Nolan'3 wild clang*?uj of
the gong and the shrieks of the pas
sengers did not reach him in time for
him to pull out of the tracks.
Autoist Is Killed
The car crashed into the auto, de?
molishing it and continued on its way,
pushing a part of the wrecked machine
along ahead of it. The impact threw
Gordon backward from his seat He
burst through the glass of the for?
ward platform of the car, narrowly
missing Nolan, and his body finally
came to rest halfway down the aisle.
He died fifteen minutes after at
reached Harlem Hospital.

The date on the article matches the date on the death certificate, and the address is in the Bronx where I know they lived.  So I'm pretty anxious to get the death certificate in the mail, because it should include his parents names and may include more information about where exactly in Russia he was from.  These docs should arrive in the next couple of weeks. 

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