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Here I come to find that I have a way to go in the use of the GPS.
I began this series of blog posts with the (unrealistic) hope that I could use the Genealogical Proof Standard(GPS) to determine when my second great grandfather, Yussel Wilkimirsky changed his name to Joseph Friedman.
You might ask, why do I call my intention unrealistic? Easy enough answered. All one needs to do is to look at Step 1 of the GPS: Conduct a reasonably exhaustive search of available data sources. I do not believe I have yet to accomplish this.
I will summarize what I do have as follows:
From these three documents, it certainly appears that the change in his surname occurred between the beginning of 1885 and the end of 1887. I have come to believe that he did not use any legal process to change his surname, as I have searched the State of New Jersey Legal Name Changes 1847 through 1947 database and came up empty. My best guess is that my 2nd great grandfather just started to call himself “Joseph Friedman.”
As I explained in the previous post, I believe Yussel first came to the US in 1872. What name did he use when he first arrived? Did he use Yussel Wilkimirsky or perhaps he used that name only to travel back to Kovno where my 2nd great grandmother Tziril and my great grandmother Hinde waited for him? Is it possible he used “Joseph Friedman” in New Jersey before Tziril and Hinde joined him there in 1886? There are many unanswered questions here, and only the collection of additional data sources will help me to fill in the blanks. It will only be then that my inquiry into this event in my ancestor's will be complete by the GPS. Until then, no final conclusion can be reached.
Thank you for reading! Comments, criticism, and correction of fact always welcome.
End Notes
#1. "Passenger Record," images, FamilySearch.org (http://familysearch.org: accessed 24 Sept 2015), manifest German S.S. Bohemia, 16 January 1885, entry for Jossel Wilkomirsky, age 40; citing "National Archives and Records Administration, microfilm publication M237."
#2. William H. Boyd, compiler. Gopsill’s Jersey City, Hoboken, West Hoboken, Union Hill and Weehawken Directory, 1887-8. Pages 198-201; from “U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995,” Digital Image. Ancestry.com, (http://ancestry.com accessed : 30 December 2016) for Joseph Friedman.
#3. Hudson County, New Jersey, "Naturalization Records, 1749-1986," FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org accessed : 1 January 2017), entry for Joseph Freedman of Russia Poland, 1888; citing Declarations of Intention 1888
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Genealogy Proof Standard Study Group Homework
Chapter Three — Evaluating Records
Reference:
Christine Rose, Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case 4th Edition Revised, (San Jose, California: CR Publications) 2014.
Here I begin to assemble and evaluate additional records as I try to answer my research question and not get “hung-up.”
In Chapter Three of our reference text, the author, Christine Ross likens the set of records we family historians collect about an ancestor to the contents of the kitchen “junk drawer,” and recommends that we “periodically...turn it all out and try to sort and identify each item.” [End Note #1]
So, what items (or records) do I have for my 2nd great grandfather, who started out as Yussel Wilkimirsky in the Kovno District of Czarist Russia and wound up as Joseph Friedman of Hudson County, New Jersey?
I found a Passenger List indicating in January of 1885, a “Jossel Wilkomirsky,” a 40 year-old workman from Kovno, a citizen of Russia, arrived in New York City aboard the S.S. Bohemia. [See End Note #2] I do not have any reason to doubt that this is my 2nd great grandfather, and, given his age, my thought is that this is not his first trip across the Atlantic Ocean.
Although I told you in my last post, that Alan, my cousin and Freidman-Lipschultz family research partner, and I were not able to find the naturalization papers for Yussel, I was wrong. Just as soon as I published that post, Alan alerted me that he had found what he suspected to be Yussel’s Declaration of Intention to naturalize on FamilySearch.org. [See End Note #3]
As you can see from the picture above, the document [See End Note #4] does not contain a lot of information. The petitioner is one Joe Freedman of Russia. This only helpful to me if I can be sure that the petitioner, one Joe Freedman of Russia, is my Joseph Friedman.
I was able to review the 1887-1888 City Directory for Jersey City, Hoboken, West Hoboken, Union Hill and Weehawken, New Jersey [See End Note #5] and was able to find only one individual by the name of Joseph Friedman or Freedman or Freeman listed. His occupation is listed as “Peddler” and this is consistent with the information obtained from Bessie’s book. [See End Note #6]
Additionally, on the Intention to Naturalize document, “Joe Freedman” gives his year of immigration as 1872. So, what is the significance of the year of 1872 as the year of immigration? It is the same year of immigration given by Joseph Friedman on the 1910 census.  [See End Note #7]
And how do I know that the Joseph Friedman, living in Bayonne, New Jersey, at 65 West 21st Street, in Bayonne City, New Jersey listed in the 1910 census is my Joseph Friedman?
Using the Google Maps search engine, I can get a photograph of that exact street address as if looks today. [See End Note #8]
I can compare that photo with one of Yussel, Tziril and their grandchildren, taken about 1910. If you look closely, you can see that it is the same doorway. We are talking about the same person.
If nothing else, these records can help me to form a theory about my 2nd great grandfather’s name change: that it occurred sometime between his arrival in New York in 1885 and when he filed his Intention to Naturalize in 1888. At least, this is my current thinking.
Thank you for reading! Comments, criticism, and correction of fact always welcome.
End Notes
#1. Christine Rose, Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case, 4th Edition Revised, (San Jose, California: CR Publications, 2014) page 21.
#2. "Passenger Record," images, FamilySearch.org (http://familysearch.org: accessed 24 Sept 2015), manifest German S.S. Bohemia, 16 January 1885, entry for Jossel Wilkomirsky, age 40; citing "National Archives and Records Administration, microfilm publication M237."
#3. Alan Weinberg, on 1 January 2017, to Barbara Zabitz, email with the subject line: (No Subject), privately held by Barbara Zabitz, Oak Park, Michigan
#4. Hudson County, New Jersey, "Naturalization Records, 1749-1986," FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org accessed : 1 January 2017), entry for Joe Freedman of Russia Poland, 1888; citing Declarations of Intention 1888
#5. William H. Boyd, compiler. Gopsill’s Jersey City, Hoboken, West Hoboken, Union Hill and Weehawken Directory, 1887-8. Pages 198-201; from “U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995,” Digital Image. Ancestry.com, (http://ancestry.com accessed : 30 December 2016) for Joseph Friedman.
#6. Bess Waldman, The Book of Tziril: A Family Chronicle (New York, New York: Adama Books, Second Edition 1988), page 143.
#7. "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MKYH-XTJ : accessed 14 January 2017), Joseph Frieshman, Bayonne Ward 2, Hudson, New Jersey, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 10, sheet 6B, family 112, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 886; FHL microfilm 1,374,899.
#8. Google Maps (https:// www.google.com/maps : accessed 12 November 2016), 65 West 21st Street, Bayonne, Hudson, New Jersey.
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Genealogy Proof Standard Study Group Homework
Chapter Two—Building a Solid Case
Reference:
Christine Rose, Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case 4th Edition Revised, (San Jose, California: CR Publications) 2014.
Here I discover that I am unable to answer my research question with direct evidence.
In Chapter Two of our reference text, the author, Christine Rose, infers that the most straight-forwarded way to answer a research question is to apply data from an original source that supplies primary information and answers the question directly. She says, “Though we must be sure that a broad array of records were examined to assure there are no conflicts…there is nothing further we need to do…except to reduce it all to a coherently written conclusion…” [See End Note #1]
When I decided to participate in this Genealogy Proof Standard Study Group, I selected what I considered to be a relatively simple research question; namely, when did my 2nd great grandfather change his surname from “Wilkimirsky” to “Friedman”? I reasoned that I should be able to find naturalization and census records that would fall into an easily understood timeline and would show the transition from one name to the other, with clear, direct documentation on the naturalization records indicating the legal adoption of the surname of Friedman.
Guess what? Life is never that simple!! I have not yet found his naturalization documents.
I had assumed that he had been naturalized in Hudson County, New Jersey sometime between 1880 and 1890. Family Search does not have a digital index of that record set, but there is an image of the hand-written index. [See End Note #2] This past November, I took the time to browse the image; checking Friedman, Wilkimirsky/Wilkomirsky as well as Vilkirmsky/Vilomirsky, finding nothing. More recently, my cousin Alan, who shares Yusel as a 2nd great grandfather, informed me that he had contacted theHudson County Clerk’s office to request a search for Yussel’s naturalization records, but that no records where found at that court.
My search for naturalization records is nowhere near exhaustive. As Elizabeth Shown Mills tells us, “Prior to 1906, U.S. residents who met legal requirements for naturalization could obtain their citizenship through any court at any level.” [See End Note #3] Mills tells us to search not just county court records, but records of city, district circuit and appellate courts as well.
Not only that, but there is the possibility that I may never find direct evidence that Yussel Wilkimirsky ever went through a legal process to change his name.
Phillip Sutton, writing ina New York Public Library blog post, tells us that it was not uncommon for new immigrants to change their names at will, without being compliant with legal procedures [See End Note #4]. After all, at the turn of the century, there was no such thing as a driver’s license, a social security number, or a credit card.
For the moment, at least, it appears that I will not be able to utilize that straight-forward path using primary direct evidence to answer my research question. But, as Rose advises us, direct evidence is not always available, and we, as family history researchers, should not let the lack of direct evidence get us down. Rose tells us to “consider your case solid when (after negating any contrary evidence) the evidence points in the same direction and no other conclusion can be reached.” [See End Note #5]
Guess I will be searching for as many pertinent records as I can find to answer that simple research question.
Thank you for reading! Comments, criticism, and correction of fact always welcome.
End Notes:
#1. Christine Rose, Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case, 4th Edition Revised, (San Jose, California: CR Publications, 2014) page 13.
#2. Hudson County, New Jersey, Index to Petitions for Naturalization, 1881 to 1890, images, FamilySearch.org (http://familysearch.org : accessed 14 November 2016).
#3. Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace Third Edition (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2015) page 405.
#4.  Phillip Sutton, “Why Your Family Name was Not Changed at Ellis Island (and One That Was),” (nypl.org/blog/2013/07/02/name-changes-ellis-island : accessed 17 December 2016)
#5. Rose, Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case, 4th Edition Revised, page 18.
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Genealogy Proof Standard Study Group Homework
Chapter One--What is the Genealogical Proof Standard?
Reference:
Christine Rose, Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case 4th Edition Revised, (San Jose, California: CR Publications) 2014.
Here I endeavor to establish the reliability of family stories as a genealogy data source.
My mother’s mother, my maternal grandmother, the late Bessie Lipschultz Waldman (1891-1991), left her descendants a treasure map; treasure not of money, jewels or gold; but treasure in the way of family history. Bess Waldman wrote down the story of how her mother and her grandparents left Czarist Russia in the late 19th century and immigrated to America, the new world, in a book she called “The Book of Tziril: A Family Chronicle,” hereafter referred to as “Grandma’s (or Bessie’s) Book.”
Like the conventional kind of treasure map, the one left to me by my grandmother does not directly tell me where to find the buried treasure, but provides me tantalizing hints and clues about my ancestors. I have decided to use my newly developing skills as a family historian to research Grandma’s stories and determine fact from fiction.
The first piece of buried treasure I am setting my sights on, came to me as a result of writing two previous blog posts, What’s in a Name and The Myth of Ellis Island Part 1. The buried treasure, also known as a research question, was to determine when my second great grandfather, Bessie’s grandfather, officially changed the family surname from Wilkimirsky to Friedman. According to Bessie’s book, Yussel, her grandfather, changed the surname sometime before her mother and grandmother left Kovno in Czarist Russia. In her description of Yussel’s last visit back to Kovno, before my great grandmother and her mother joined him in Jersey City, my grandmother wrote, “Later in the day…Yussel showed his citizen papers. He was now an American citizen…He had officially changed his name to ‘Joseph Friedman,’ and so his visa and papers read.” [See End Note #1]
I would direct the reader to the previous blog posts for details.
Bessie loved idea of “story-telling,” and did quite a bit of writing as a young woman. Bessie used the name Tziril Gordon, the name of her maternal grandmother, as a pseudonym. Although I knew this as a child, I had never seen confirmation of anything she had written; but that changed with the advent of the internet search engine. When I entered the phrase “Tziril Gordon,” I was truly delighted when Google returned the following results:
In Chapter One of our reference text, the author, Christine Rose, reminds us that in the application of the GPS to answer a research question, we must evaluate the data we collect by asking three questions. What is the source of the data? Does the data provide us with primary, secondary or indeterminate information? And, does the data provide direct, indirect or negative evidence for our research question? And so, I must evaluate my treasure map.
My evaluation of Grandma’s book is as follows:
What is the source of the data? I am calling Grandma’s book an authored source. I can best describe it as a work of fiction, based upon her recollections of stories told to her by her mother and her grandparents regarding their life in Czarist Russia (think “Fiddler on the Roof”).
Does the data provide us with primary, secondary or indeterminate information?  The information is secondary, as the book was written late in Bessie’s life, committed to paper a very long time after my grandmother first heard the stories.
Does the data provide direct, indirect or negative evidence for the research question? I evaluate the data to be indirect to the research question. My grandmother certainly implies that Yussel had changed his name in the process of naturalization, but to me, this is not stronger that an inference.
My evaluation of Grandma’s book as a data source makes it very clear that I cannot depend upon it alone if I wish to uncover any of that buried treasure. I have plenty of work to do!!
Thank you for reading! Comments, criticism, and correction of fact always welcome.
End Notes
#1 Bess Waldman, The Book of Tziril: A Family Chronicle (New York, New York: Adama Books, Second Edition 1988), page 139.
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In my previous blog post, “What’s In A Name,” I used the example of my second great grandfather, Yussel Wilkimirsky (also known as Joseph Friedman) to illustrate a challenge faced by genealogists and family historians when researching an immigrant ancestor who changed their name (sometimes very drastically) upon coming to the United States. After placing the URL to this blog post on several Facebook pages, I was taken back when I was chastised by a competent, well-known and respected Jewish genealogist, who commented that I was “keeping alive the myth about having names changed at Ellis Island…never happened,” when I quoted  a passage from “The Book of Tziril: A Family Chronicle,” written by my late grandmother, Bessie Lipschultz Waldman. In her book, Bessie relates how her grandfather Yussel chose the surname of Friedman, because “In America, he [Yussel] was a free man. The inspector at the immigration center had advised him to change his name [to Freedman] and he [Yussel] had never regretted [changing] it [from Wilkimirsky to Friedman].” [See End Note #1]
While it is not my belief that Yussel had his name changed at the point of his immigration into the United States, I understand where that competent Jewish genealogist was coming from with the comment. It is not uncommon for the average person to believe that an immigrant ancestor, whose surname had somehow been transformed, had his name changed at Ellis Island. If one puts the phrase "name change at Ellis Island" into an internet search engine such as Google, one of the first returns will be a 2013 New York Public Library blog postwritten by Philip Sutton, that address this easily made but erroneous assumption.
I pondered the comment offered by the competent Jewish genealogist and decided that it should be taken as an opportunity to develop a research question; namely, when did Wilkimirsky officially become Friedman?  I intend to use this research question to participate in an upcoming study group using the book, “Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case,” 4th Edition Revised, (San Jose, California: CR Publications) 2014, authored by Christine Rose and I hope to publish the results of my efforts in the study group here on Genealogy! Just Ask! blog.
In preparation for my research into this question, I decided to turn to an old favorite of mine, “A Dictionary of Jewish Names and their History,” written by Benzion C. Kaganoff.  [See End Note #2]. Kaganoff lists several factors that could account for name changes, including the fact that legally, in the United States, to change one’s name was a very easy process.  There was always the potential for misunderstandings of the name due to language and alphabet (for example Cyrillic or Yiddish) transliteration issues; the desire to assimilate; and, of course, the immigrant's embrace of their new country, to truly become an American. I tend to believe that my grandmother’s story is mostly true, that when Yussel came to appreciate the freedoms he enjoyed in his new country, he could hardly help but to declare himself a “free man.”
Thank you for reading! Comments, criticism, and correction of fact always welcome.
End Notes
#1 Bess Waldman, The Book of Tziril: A Family Chronicle (New York, New York: Adama Books, Second Edition 1988), page 101.
#2 Benzion C. Kaganoff, A Dictionary of Jewish Names and their History (New York, New York: Schocken Books, 1977) pages 67—68.
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Genealogy Just Ask by Barbara P. Zabitz - 8M ago
What IS in a name? We all remember learning this famous line in high school English, written by Shakespeare, uttered by Juliet Capulet, after she learns that she has fallen for Romeo, the son of Montague, her family’s sworn enemy. Juliet, most likely, was not into genealogy. If she was, she would then know that a name could mean the difference between “this is my guy” and “this is NOT my guy.”
Case in point: in my post, Finding the Fraimans, I noted that my contacts in the Fraiman family informed me that their great grandfather’s name was Mendel Fraiman. The documentation I found on FamilySearch.org was for Max Fraiman. Max, not Mendel. What I have here is conflicting evidence which needs to be resolved, according to the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS), before I can claim Max Fraiman to be “my guy.”
Many immigrants who came to the United States, especially those from non-English speaking countries, were known to assume more American-sounding names. Jews, fleeing the discrimination they faced in Eastern Europe and the forced conscription into the army of the Tsar, were even more-so eager to “fit in.” In the late 19th century, my maternal great grandmother and her parents left Kovno (now known as Kaunas, in Lithuania) and immigrated to Jersey City, New Jersey. My second great grandfather, Yussel Wilkimirsky, like many others, preceded his family to America, to earn money for their passage. In fact, he made multiple trips back to Kovno, before my great grandmother and her mother joined him. During one of his visits back to Kovno, he surprised his family by telling them that in America, he was known as Joseph Friedman. According to my grandmother, Bessie Waldman, Yussel told his family, “In America, he [Yussel] was a free man. The inspector at the immigration center had advised him to change his name [to Freedman] and he [Yussel] had never regretted [changing] it [from Wilkimirsky to Friedman].” [See End Note #1]
I plan to write more about the Wilkimirsky-Friedman family in future posts.
Meanwhile, back to the “Max” vs. “Mendel” issue. In my earlier post, I did not mention that I had questioned my Fraiman family contact, Yedidya Fraiman, Mendel’s great grandson, about the name discrepancy. Since I had the 1910 census [see End Note #2], I knew the names of Max’s children and was able to ask him about his grandfather’s brothers and sister.
Here is how the conversation, conducted via an exchange of email messages [see End Note #3] went:
Me: “I was able to find (from FamilySearch.org) Max Fraiman and his family in the 1910 census, which I have attached to this email. Family Search also has an index for his death, listed as 2 March 1920. His father's name is given as Philip Fraiman (this would fit with Fayvish, IMHO) and his mother is named as Rachel. Do the children's' names fit your family? Thanks!”
Yedidya Fraiman: “Pretty amazing coincidence. My English name is Philip. I don't think my parents knew anything about my father's great-grandfather (or at least never mentioned it), but I'll ask.”
Me: “Are the names Hyman, David, Jacob, Rose (and Fannie, Max's wife) familiar to you???”
Yedidya: “My great aunt (i.e., my father's father's sister) was named Rose.”
Me: “What was your grandfather's name?”
Yedidya: “Herbert (I don't know his Hebrew name, as he emphasized his American-ness - but it may have been Chaim (not sure)”
While I am still not absolutely sure that Max is indeed “my guy,” this is another piece that fits fairly well into the narrative that Max or Mendel Fraiman was the brother of my great grandmother, Shayna Fraiman Zabitz. I will continue to evaluate this information in context with the rest of the data I have collected. Thank you for reading! Comments, criticism, and correction of fact always welcome.
End Notes:
#1 Bess Waldman, The Book of Tziril: A Family Chronicle (New York, New York: Adama Books, Second Edition 1988), page 101.
#2 "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M5QR-5GS : 29 October 2015), Max Fraiman, Manhattan Ward 7, New York, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 85, sheet 1B, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,375,021.
#3 Yedidya Fraiman, on 7 August 2016, to Barbara Zabitz, email with the subject line: “Cousins?”, privately held by Barbara Zabitz, Oak Park, Michigan
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Genealogy Just Ask by Denise Lemon Knapp - 8M ago
Sometimes all you can find of the woman you're researching is her married name.  I had this happen tonight.  Caldonia Penrod, my 1st cousin 2 times removed, married Emanuel Craig and had 4 children, 3 of them daughters.  The children were all born between 1923 and 1933 making it difficult to find their married names because they wouldn't show up as adults in the 1930 and 1940 censuses.  While I didn't have any luck finding an obituary for Caldonia, which would have hopefully listed her daughters' married names, I did find one of them written about extensively in the social columns in Illinois.  I found "Mrs Ervin Haydon" listed as the daughter of Mrs. Emanuel Craig in a society blurb detailing a shower given for another woman.  But which of Caldonia's daughters married Ervin Haydon? 
Newspapers.com
Alton Evening Telegraph (Alton, Illinois) 12 Jan 1943, Tue • Page 6, Column 2
Newspapers.com
Alton Evening Telegraph  (Alton, Illinois) 22 Sep 1944, Fri • Page 14
I was very lucky that Mrs. Ervin Haydon was very prominent in her city's Junior League and appeared in numerous articles on www.newspapers.com. 
Further investigation gave me "...the former Nancy E Craig..."  listed as the wife of Ervin Haydon.  After that, I was able to find Nancy's Social Security Death Index entry, which gave me her last residence and month and year of death.  She died in 2012 in Illinois, and I found her obituary on GenealogyBank. Nancy's obituary gave me the married names of her two sisters, which will help me find their obituaries:
Don't give up too soon when all you can find is a woman's husband's name in a newspaper.  Her maiden name will likely be in an article at some point and found with further investigation.
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Genealogy Just Ask by Barbara P. Zabitz - 8M ago
There is a photograph that is “famous” in my father’s family. We believe it was taken sometime in the late 19th century in the shtetl (Yiddish for a small town in pre-World War II Eastern Europe with a sizable Jewish population) of Smilavichy, which was then located in the Russian Empire, but currently is in the country of Belarus.  We no longer have the original photograph; we only have a clipping that was cut out of a date unknown issue of The Jewish Daily Forward (known today as The Forward), the newspaper of the burgeoning Jewish Community of New York City in the beginning of the 20th century.   
If you can read the caption, it identifies my great grandfather Abraham Zabitz as the rather handsome gentleman seated in the front row, playing the flute. But who are the others in this band? The caption identifies it as a “family band.” My father’s cousins always believed that Abraham had married into a family of musicians and that these were his male in-laws.
My great grandmother, Abraham’s wife, was Shayna, daughter of Shraga Fayvish Fraiman. Shayna did not accompany Abraham to the United States. She passed away unexpectedly a very short time prior to their planned departure from Smilavichy.  As I had been asking various family members about Shayna and her family, my father’s cousin Doris finally told me that she had been fortunate enough to meet some of the Fraiman family and kindly supplied email addresses for several family members.  When I contacted them, they not only identified their great grandfather as Mendel Fraiman, a musician, but they also had copies of that famous photograph. Their great grandfather is the gentleman in the front row with the trombone.
But really and truly, was Mendel Fraiman the brother of Shayna Fraiman Zabitz, or could that be a coincidence? As a “good” family historian, I decided to find out using source documents to the extent possible.
Using the search engine at FamilySearch.org, I was able to find a census record for not Mendel, but “Max” Friaman and his family living in Ward 7 in Manhattan, New York in 1910 (see End Note #1).
The 1910 census asked respondents their occupations. What was entered for Max’s occupation? Musician! At least that fit!
But again, this could be coincidence. I still did not have a drop of evidence that Mendel and Shayna were brother and sister until I found an index (as opposed to a source record) documenting Max’s death (see End Note #2).
While I do not consider this to be “bullet-proof” evidence, at least it is a start. Philip (Max’s father) could be an “Americanization” of Fayvish. And so, my current thinking on the matter is that Max (or Mendel) and Shayna are brother and sister and that I have found some new cousins. Now, who are the rest of the musicians and will I be able to expand my family circle farther when I find out? Thank you for reading! Comment, criticism, and correction of fact always welcome.
End Notes:
#1  "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M5QR-5GS : 29 October 2015), Max Fraiman, Manhattan Ward 7, New York, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 85, sheet 1B, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,375,021.
#2  "New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/2W1F-KSY : 20 March 2015), Max Fraiman, 29 Feb 1920; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,021,316.
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            In these days when we can put a name in a search engine and get dates, links to documents and (purported) family members, is it worth it to read books?  I hope you say YES! 
            Reading histories can give us insight into our ancestor’s lives: where early settlers came from (and why); religions, schools and types of industry in the area; stories about famous (and infamous) folks.  This information can lead us to resources for further documentation as well.
            Lots of books are now online, free to read or download (to computer or e-reader). Others are available for a few dollars, or being re-printed “on demand”.
            Would you like to find a book that contains genealogy research on a surname or area you are researching?
            Read online or download for free:   (Each has their own search engine)
            For a full list with links: EBook Friendly: Sites Where You Can Read Books Online.
My favorites:
            1) FamilySearch.org  (Search: Books)
            2) Google Books
            3) Open Library
            4)  Internet Archive
            5) Amazon – in the Kindle store. You don’t need a Kindle; you can download the kindle reader for your computer. (A LONG list of free older history books – cheap or free.)
            6) Genealogy Gophers - GenGophers.com – a relatively “new kid on the block” for online GENEALOGY SPECIFIC books!  They’ve received their books from FamilySearch.org and many others - but here’s why you want to use their search engine:
            a) It’s more intuitive; it will KNOW to search for “Wm.” when you input “William.”
            b) “Advanced search” narrows to a geographical area.
            c)  Results include a snippet of the page so you know whether it’s something you want to pursue.
            Started in March of 2015 - with over 80,000 books. Here’s their webpage explaining it all: GenGophers. Note: Free, but you do a survey (once daily for full access) for which they are paid. Maybe a nuisance - but worthwhile for the convenience of their search engine - you decide.
            But maybe you really like to hold a book in your hands?
            Worldcat.org helps you find a book in a library; many have lending programs; check with your local library for details.
            Looking to buy?
            Besides the big guys Amazon, Ebay, AbeBooks and Alibris, there a lot of small companies worth checking into too.
            Cyndi’s List: Books: Used Books... lists 69 resources.  (Not all are specifically genealogy, and some links no longer work) See Used Books, Rare Books, and Book Search Services.
            Some of my personal favorites:
            1)  FindUsedBook.com - metasearch of 80,000 book sellers (very useful because not every small bookseller can afford their own website or show up in google searches).
            2)  JanawayGenealogy.com - mostly new, but some used - and a “print-on-demand” service.
            So whether you prefer to read online, download to your computer or e-reader, or love the feel of that book in your hands - there’s a lot to choose from out there!
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What I learned today!
Over and over I re-learn the value of FamilySearch Research Wiki.
How do you locate this great site?
From the home page of Family Search https://familysearch.org/
hover your mouse over the word “SEARCH”. A drop down menu will appear click on Wiki. 
Let’s say the question is "I’m looking for a death certificate in 1933 in Arkansas". Your keyword to type in the search window is Arkansas. Hit enter on your keyboard. 
You will see “How to Find Death Records” click on this.  
You then have your options of time period.
Select the time period of interest. 
It’s a simple as that! I love FamilySearch Research Wiki!
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