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Re: Morris Lam/Lamm Russia or Austria to NYC in 1902
Posted by: Mary Tim Baggott (ID *****0489) Date: April 07, 2012 at 21:00:22
In Reply to: Re: Morris Lam/Lamm Russia or Austria to NYC in 1902 by Cee Leong of 339

You can't take everything on the censuses literally. I have found some very definite mistakes in my own family tree as far as countries of origin. One example is that of Russian-Jewish cousins who hadn't been in the country very long saying that they were from Germany on the 1900 census. (The German Jews were more established and it was considered better to be one of them.)

Information is only as good as the informant in combination with the census taker. The former may not have spoken English well. He may have been fearful that he might be sent back to the country he left & named a country he thought was in better standing with the U.S. Or perhaps the census-taker may not have understood what the immigrant was saying very well or the geography of these old World countries.

Moreover, borders were changing during those years. There were a lot of changes in that area after WWI. Both the Russian and the Austria/Hungary Empires collapsed and disintegrated after this war resulting in a number of independent smaller countries.

I think that Harry was Hungarian because that's what his grandson said my one and only source. Whereas the other information I have points to Austria. I suppose an immigrant could have identified with either Austria or Hungary during the time of the Austria/Hungary Empire. Or perhaps Harry's family was Hungarian but living in Austria.

Then there's the photo of the little boy taken in Austria. I don't see why this photo would have been among the family's photos unless it was a family member. I know for certain that he was not on Herbert's wife's side of the family because they came from Lithuania. And the boy wouldn't have been Herbert who was born in the U.S. So I'm thinking this little boy has to be Herbert's father Harry.

And on the census information I sent you, Harry's nephew Ignot Schaeffer is from Austria.

So I think this family was from the Austria/Hungarian empire, not from Russia.

Do you know what city in Russia your grandmother thinks her family came from? And are you sure it's the Lamm side that is supposed to be from Russia and not the Yanofsky side?

Ask her also if she remembers cousins named Herbert and Leo Lamm. Herbert was born in about 1908 and Leo in 1915. I believe Leo never married.

In the case of Harry, his wife Ida was listed as being born in Russia in the 1910 and 1920 censuses, and from Romania in the 1930 census (after Harry died).

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