This blog has a new home, please bookmark it ..

April 5, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve moved this Blog to a sub-domain of my personal web address and you can find it at ghertnergenealogyblog.garyghertner.com; please visit  because as of 14 November 2012 there are twenty new posts with varied information that simply cannot be found on this static website.

I’ve kept the same ‘look and feel’ for familiarity. The most notable changes are robust photo galleries and Yahrtzeit calendar. It displays better on iPhones too. My plan is to make all future updates to the new site although this one will be kept.

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Alven Simon Ghertner (1914-2012)

April 19, 2012 Leave a comment
Alven S. Ghertner (19-Apr-1914 - 25-Mar-2012)

Alven S. Ghertner (19-Apr-1914 - 25-Mar-2012)

Uncle Alven (19 April 1914 – 25 March 2012) was my last male link to the generation of my parents and today would’ve been his 98th birthday. He passed away last month after having lived a very long and happy life. At the end of each day he relished his favorite beverage, a  ‘highball’. Alven and Jean (Fleisman) Ghertner had two children, five grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and five great great grandchildren!

Alven’s father, Simon Ghertner promised his good friend Alvin Friedman that he’d name his first born child, if it was a boy, after him (Alvin). Simon and Alvin had an argument but when the son was born, Simon Ghertner kept his promise but changed the spelling to Alven.

We had a conversation about his grandparents, Abraham/Avram & Pesia Ghertner, and Simon Ghertner’s siblings, whom Alven only knew by name. I jotted down phoenetic spellings as he pronounced the names. One of these (Smil Ghertner) has been identified and I’m “in hot pursuit” of clues to find out if Schmuel Ghertner was also Simon’s brother.

 

Mud-slinging, Mayhem & Murder

March 26, 2012 Leave a comment
Charles de Young

Charles de Young

In January 1865,  teen age brothers Charles &  Michael Henry De Young and an elder brother Gustavus (who were all uncles of Edward Rhine, 1st cousin 2x removed of Jean (Bloom) Ghertner started a San Francisco entertainment slanted newspaper, The Daily Dramatic Chronicle. It grew into a full fledged newspaper, The Chronicle, by 1870 and it was the predecessor to The San Francisco Chronicle.. Bret Harte and Mark Twain were among it’s writers. Michael was the business manager and Charles was a firebrand; his style was yellow journalism and unbridled populism, which the brothers learned sold newspapers.

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The founding of Cullom & Ghertner

March 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Simon Ghertner was working at the Delcher Printing company and Mr. Cullom was the plant foreman. They became close friends and Mr. Cullom taught Simon ‘American money’ , a ‘lot of the customs’ and ‘took a great interest in me’.

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Lynton & Grace Scharff lived here

March 1, 2012 Leave a comment
The Houston, Tx. home of Lynton “Pappy” (my step grandfather) and Grace Scharff (my grand aunt) was 1717 California St. (here).
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Solomon & Mary Block’s memorial stones, Camden

February 23, 2012 Leave a comment
Solomon & Mary Block memorial

Solomon & Mary Block memorial

I found records at Findagrave.com that Solomon Block and Mary Levinson Block (my great great grandparents) and Lena Grace Block, a younger sister of “Bumpa”, were buried at Jewish Rest Cemetery in Camden, Arkansas. (Also see International Jewish Cemetery Project). I was particularly interested in cemetery burial records, particularly for Mary L. Block who had passed in Chicago, Illinois but was buried in Camden, Arkansas six months later (see this).

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‘Circuit Riders’ .. Rabbis that is

February 14, 2012 Leave a comment
Communities with no Rabbi, 1912

Communities with no Rabbi, 1912

Part of the training for American Rabbinical students at all three Hebrew Union College campuses is to travel to under-served Jewish communities to conduct worship services. The Jewish Archives in Cincinnati has letters dated in the 1890s from the Hebrew Union College Administration to local congregations regarding placement of student Rabbis. When the program began, students only traveled for High Holy Day services. I have a copy of an 11 July 1912 letter sent to congregations with no Rabbi (twenty seven are listed  and 5 are crossed off). Camden, Arkansas and Port Gibson, Mississippi are on this list.

Congregations were started in Camden, Arkansas (1870 and named Beth El Emeth “House of God of Truth”) and Pine Bluff Arkansas (in 1866 and named Anshe Emeth “Men of Truth”). These communities flourished but later the Jewish populations declined.

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