Guide to the Papers of Michaelson Family Papers, undated, 1892-1920, 1943-1944, 1965, 1992, 1994, 1999-2000
 
*P-808

Processed by Adina Anflick

American Jewish Historical Society

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 294-6160

Fax: (212) 294-6161

Email: reference@ajhs.org

URL: http://www.ajhs.org

© 2014, American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY. All Rights Reserved.
Finding aid was encoded by Marvin Rusinek on September 14, 2006. Description is in English.
20130809 Added link to database

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Michaelson family
Title: Michaelson family Papers
Dates:undated, 1892-1920, 1943-1944, 1965, 1992, 1994, 1999-2000
Abstract: The Michaelson family papers include early family correspondence, documents, and ephemera; genealogical research conducted by Ms. Appleby, Anna's granddaughter; copies of New York City marriage certificates kept by Louis/Lewis B. Michaelson, Rabbi, between 1906-1907; and Anna Michaelson's copies of original birth records that she kept as midwife in the Lower East Side in New York City between 1892-1916. The collection is valuable for researchers interested in the Lower East Side between 1890-1920, Russian immigration to the United States, acculturation of immigrant families to America, midwives, the Jewish communities in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Trenton, New Jersey, the Boys Institute in the Lower East Side, and the National Committee for Relief of Sufferers by Russian Massacres. In addition, this collection is rich in genealogy material, for researchers interested in the Michaelson family, births in the Lower East Side between 1892-1916, and marriages in New York City between 1907-1909. The collection contains correspondence, a family tree, birth certificates, memo pads, marriage certificates, meeting minutes, photographs, and a prescription pad.
Languages: The collection is predominantly in English, with some Hebrew, Russian, and Yiddish.
Quantity: 0.75 linear feet (2 manuscript boxes)
Identification: P-808
Repository: American Jewish Historical Society
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Historical Sketch

Anna Shair Michaelson
(1862-1941)

Anna Shair Michaelson was born in 1862 near Odessa, Ukraine in Alexandrvosk. At age 16 she wed Bernard (Boris) Michaelson who was approximately fifteen years her senior. The couple immigrated to New York with their five children and Anna's mother Nachama (Naomi?) Shair in 1891. Soon after they arrived, they separated and by 1906 Bernard was living in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Out of the couple's eight children, six survived into adulthood: Louis/Lewis became a Rabbi, Jacob an engineer, and Max a dentist. Her daughters worked until their marriage: Ida as a nurse, Sarah as a social worker, and Rebecca as a kindergarten teacher.

It is not known how Anna became a midwife, or how she conducted her duties. What are left are her careful records of more than eight hundred infants that she delivered in the Lower East Side. In her later years, Anna lived with her son Jacob near her daughter Rebecca Gladstone. She passed away on April 30, 1941. Grandmother of eleven grandchildren, she is remembered for her regal bearing and her interest in Israel and social justice.

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Scope and Content Note

The Michaelson family papers include early family correspondence, documents, and ephemera; genealogical research conducted by Ms. Appleby, Anna's granddaughter; copies of New York City marriage certificates kept by Louis/Lewis B. Michaelson, Rabbi, between 1906-1907; and Anna Michaelson's copies of original birth records that she kept as midwife in the Lower East Side in New York City between 1892-1916.

The collection is valuable for researchers interested in the Lower East Side between 1890-1920, Russian immigration to the United States, acculturation of immigrant families to America, midwifes, the Jewish communities in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Trenton, New Jersey, the Boys Institute in the Lower East Side, and the National Committee for Relief of Sufferers by Russian Massacres. In addition, this collection is rich in genealogy material, for researchers interested in the Michaelson family, births in the Lower East Side between 1892-1916, and marriages in New York City between 1907-1909.

The collection contains correspondence, a family tree, birth certificates, memo pads, marriage certificates, meeting minutes, photographs, and a prescription pad.

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Arrangement

The collection has been arranged into two series as follows:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers by permission of the Director of Library and Archives of the American Jewish Historical Society, except items that are restricted due to their fragility.

Use Restrictions

Information concerning the literary rights may be obtained from the Executive Director of the American Jewish Historical Society. Users must apply in writing for permission to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection. For more information contact:
American Jewish Historical Society, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011
email: reference@ajhs.org

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Other Finding Aids

A searchable name index of the birth records is available.

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Provenance

The papers were donated by Barbara Appleby and Elaine B. Steiner in July and August 2006.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); Michaelson family Papers; P-808; box number; folder number; American Jewish Historical Society, Boston, MA and New York, NY.

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Access Points:

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

 

Series I: Michaelson family papers, undated, 1895-1919, 1943-1944, 1965, 1992, 1994, 1999-2000

English, Hebrew, Russian, Yiddish
Box 1.
Arrangement:

Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject and format.

Scope and Content:

This series contains original documents and correspondence from early family members, photographs, a family tree, and notes written by Ms. Appleby in the course of her family research.

Box 1, Folder 1 consists of gravesite information and photographs of graves of Bernard and Anna Michaelson, and Louis Shair.

Box 1, Folders 2-4 is composed of family correspondence, primarily that of Bernard, Anna, and their children Rebecca, Louis/Lewis, and Max. Much of this correspondence is in Yiddish and dates between 1895-1919. A few English translations are available.

Box 1, Folder 5 contains a family tree created by Max Michaelson's wife Matilda Kamber Michaelson, and family photographs depicting early to present generations.

Box 1, Folder 6 is devoted to Ms. Appleby's research on her grandparents, Bernard (Boris) and Anna Michaelson. At a certain point, the couple separated and Bernard Michaelson moved to Portsmouth, NH. He owned a dye house and was active in Temple Israel. Copies of minutes of temple meetings, written in Yiddish by Bernard as Secretary of the Temple are included, as well as articles on his untimely death in 1919. Information pertaining to Anna Michaelson consists of a biographical sketch and a letter requesting her to renew her midwife permit with the Department of Health, New York City.

Box 1, Folders 7-8 pertain to Bernard and Anna's son, Louis/Lewis B. Michaelson. Box 1, Folder 8 contains a prescription pad for an L.B. Michaelson in Philaladelphia, PA. It is unclear if belonged to Rabbi Louis/Lewis B. Michaelson. Box 1, Folder 7 includes marriage certificates that Louis/Lewis performed in New York City between 1907-1909. By 1911, Louis/Lewis was Rabbi of Temple Har Sinai, in Trenton, New Jersey (see Box 1, Folder 2). He had to give up his post upon his marriage to Jen, who was not of the Jewish faith. The couple had one child, Louis, Jr. In order to keep the semblance of the tradition of not naming a living relative, Louis respelled his name to Lewis. Box 1, Folder 9 consists of correspondence written to Barbara Michaelson by her Uncle Louis/Lewis and Cousin Louis, Jr.

Box 1, Folder 10 contains miscellaneous items, including a vaccination certificate for Rebecca Michaelson, dated 1898, Louis/Lewis Michaelson's Regents Exam certificate dated 1897, and Ida Michaelson's (another daughter) nurse examination notice dated 1909. The folder also includes a 1907 monthly report for the Boys Institute, located on East Third Street in New York City, and a list of members (Louis/Lewis Michaelson is listed) of the National Committee for Relief of Sufferers by Russian Massacres for 1905.

Box 1, Folder 11 contains undated news clippings, primarily in Yiddish.

BoxFolderTitleDate
11Cemetery, information and photographs of gravesundated
  Contains Hebrew.   
12Correspondence1896-1919
  Contains Yiddish.   
13Correspondence (early)undated
  Contains Russian, Yiddish.   
14Correspondence1965, 1999
15Family tree and photographsundated, 1994
16Bernard and Anna Michaelsonundated, 1908, 1911, 1913, 1919, 1992, 2000
  Contains Yiddish.   
17Louis/Lewis B. Michaelson, marriage certificates1907-1909
18Louis/Lewis B. Michaelson, prescription pad1895
19Louis/Lewis and Louis Jr. Michaelson, correspondence1943-1944
110Michaelson family, miscellaneous1895-1907
111Miscellaneous clippingsundated
  Contains Yiddish.   
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Series II: Anna Michaelson, Birth Records, undated, 1892-1920

English, Yiddish.
Box 2.
Arrangement:

Folders are arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content:

This series is composed of Anna Michaelson's birth records, that she kept as a midwife in the Lower East Side in the 1890s-1920s. Box 2, Folders 1-6 consist of birth certificates filed by date. The certificates include the child's name, sex, father's name, mother's name and maiden name, birth date, address where birth took place, mother's place of birth, mother's age, father's place of birth, father's age and occupation. The records also list the number of previous children born to the mother and the total number still living.

Box 2, Folder 7. includes birth records that were stored separately by the donor. These records consist of a still birth certificate dated 1899 for the family Taurez, six birth certificates that were not forwarded to the Department of Health, two searches for birth certificates performed by the Department of Health, two birth certificates for Menkin children, and acknowledgement cards sent by the Department of Health upon receipt of the birth certificates.

Box 2, Folder 8 contains blank still birth certificates. These certificates are folded and require conservation in order to flatten them.

Box 2, Folder 9 contains two ledgers kept by Anna Michaelson. Recorded in these ledgers is Anna's record of the beginning of her midwife career in the U.S. (on December 8, 1893). These ledgers include addresses of mothers with birth dates and sex of the child, as well as notes on prescriptions, druggists, and doctors. One address is that of a relative, Jacob Lippman in Leeds, England (see Box 1, Folder 2). Some of Anna's notations are in Yiddish.

BoxFolderTitleDate
21Birth Records1892-November 1895
22Birth RecordsNovember 4, 1895-March 19, 1899
23Birth RecordsMarch 22, 1899-August 23, 1902
24Birth RecordsAugust 1, 1902-October 4, 1905
25Birth RecordsOctober 14, 1905-December 1909
26Birth RecordsJanuary 2, 1910-May 17, 1916
27Birth Records1899-1920
28Blank still-birth certificatesundated
29Ledgersundated
  Contains Yiddish.   
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