Another family with Brooklyn roots has written a family history for us to display on the site. Anybody related that finds this page should contact the author directly.
England to New York
Robert and Sophia Osborn were both born in 1799 or 1800. They were both from England. They moved to Wales, had a daughter Mary Ann Osborn on August 21, 1830. The family immigrated to America in 1837. They went to Brooklyn to set up house. When they got to America Sophia had another daughter and they named her Anna Maria. I found Mary Ann living in a boarding house in 1850, she was 18. Soon after this she met and married a Mr. Rupert, I have never found anything about him. On September 18, 1858 Robert Osborn Rupert was born in Brooklyn, NY. Shortly after a sister, Elizabeth Rupert was born. I do not have any information about other than her nickname was Libby. She married a man with the last name of Cox they had 2 children, Rupert(whom they called Purty) and Lewis.
Robert Osborn Rupert married Kathryn Leighton Phillips born in Jersey City, NJ on June 3rd, 1859, on June 3, 1884 in Brooklyn, NY. Robert was born at 158 High Street in Brooklyn.
They had a son, Robert Osborn Rupert, Jr on August 6, 1885. Sometime after this the family moved to Indianapolis, IN. Robert married my Great Grandmother, Hazel Fern Trees b. in Warrington, In October 25, 1889 on March 6, 1909 in Indianapolis, IN. They had 2 children. Winifred Jeanette Rupert was born January 16, 1910 and Robert Theodore “Ted” Rupert born June 6, 1911.
The original Robert Osborn that came from England died September 21, 1854, he is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn NY. he was living at 266 8th Avenue, New York He died of Bilious Fever.
Sophia married a Tunstill sometime after Robert died. She was living at 70 Jackson Street, Brooklyn, NY. She died July 4th 1888 and is buried at Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY.
Mary Ann Osborn Rupert ended up marrying a Ewing. She died December 15, 1886 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery. Her last known address was 268 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn, NY.
The rest of the family all lived out their lives and died in Indianapolis. Except for Anna Maria, she married a Leonard Huking. They are both buried in Greenwood Cemetery. Anna had all her Osborn Family buried in her mother-in-law’s lot.
If you have ancestors living in Brooklyn in the 1800’s there is a good chance they are living in Red Hook. This ship building and dock community provided jobs to many poor Irish immigrants including my own ancestors.
The name of Red Hook originates from the Dutch “Roode Hoek” meaning “Red Point” for the Red clay that covered the area.
– Irish Immigrant William Beard lived 1806-1886 and created the Erie Basin. The Beard St Warehouse built in 1869 still stands today. Beards son was Colonel William Beard (1839-1893) was one of the wealthiest men in Brooklyn and a big supporter of the republican party.
– Named after Michael Joseph Coffey (1839- 1907). District leader of the 12th Ward, later became alderman and state senator. Coffey was so popular that supporters called the Twelfth Ward “Coffeyville” an Partition St was renamed Coffey St. in his honor.
– John Conover was an 18th century land owner
– One of earliest families to settle in the Hook. Judge John Dikeman (1794-1879) was author of the 1870 manuscript “The Brooklyn Compendium” and the long time oldest surviving member of the Kings county Bar.
– The “Luqueer” family were a major landowners. Abraham Luqueer (1739-1823) and his son Nicholas was a wealthy Mill owner whose mill stood at Huntington and Hicks streets. They, along with the Van Dyke Brothers controlled good portion of Twelfth Ward.
– Col. Daniel Richards was a leading developer in south Brooklyn in mid 18th century, developed Atlantic Docks and Atlantic Basin as well as Warehouses, factories and first grain elevator in the area.
Van Brunt St.
– The Van Brunt name in Brooklyn extends back to Dutch Slave holding family headed by Rutgert Joesten Van Brunt. A Century later his descendent, another Rutgert Van Brunt was a member of the New York State Assembly for the years 1783 – 1784.
Van Dyke St.
– Jan Thomasse Van Dyke was an Dutch Settler who settled in Brooklyn in 1640. His descendents Thomas and Nicholas Van Dyke were major property owners until they were both dead in 1834.
– Oliver Wolcott, lived from 1726 -1797, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Delegate to Continental Congress, Brigadier General and Governor of Connecticut. His son, Oliver Walcott Jr. succeeded Alexander Hamilton as secretary of the Treasury.
The Bowery Boys
A great podcast by The Bowery Boys outlines much of Red Hook’s history in this fantastic audio presentation.
Anybody with a Brooklyn Genealogy in the 1800’s stands a good chance of having a family member connection to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Ship builders, Iron Workers and other tradesmen found work in high numbers all the way up to its closing in 1966, employing upwards of 70,000 during it’s peak period of production during WWII. My own Great Great Grandfather was listed as an Iron Worker, Engineer, and Ship Builder in both the New York and US Federal Census reports throughout his entire adult life. His Son in law (my great grandfather) was listed as an Iron worker at the age of 16 on the 1900 census, until his death certificate in 1937 lists him as lifetime Iron Worker in the Navy Yard. My 2x Great Grandfather lived to be 84 years old, and outlived both of my Great Grandparents, and at least one of his Grandchildren, killed in Normandy. To illustrate how unique this was for the time, my other 2x Great Grandfather died in 1890, over 54 years earlier, leaving behind 5 children under the age of 10. I mentioned earlier my Great Grandfather was an Iron Worker by age 16, (as was his 17 year old brother) and knowing that he grew up right next door to the woman he would marry, it is entirely possible that my 2x Great Grandfather took a fatherly roll in the neighbors life and helped them acquire a job that would support them both until their deaths many years later. By all accounts the
Brooklyn Navy Yard plays a tremendous roll in my own family history, so I think it important to mention a few points for anybody interested in their family history, the history of Brooklyn, or America in general.
Brief History of the Brooklyn Navy Yard
The Brooklyn Navy Yard opened in 1801 on Wallabout Bay, part of New Yorks East River. It is on the site of the first European inhabited land on Long Island. Joris Jansen Rapelje first purchased over
300 acre’s of land at this location from the Canarsee Indians in 1637.
The site encountered it’s most disturbing period during the time of the America Revolutionary War when the British docked several ships in Wallabout Bay that housed many thousands of prisoners between the years of 1776 – 1781. The conditions the continental soldiers were kept in on board these ships led to the death of over 10,000 soldiers. While combat casualty numbers for the Revolutionary War are only estimates, it is generally thought that the 10,000 soldiers killed on these prison ships is more then the 8,000 total Continental Army combat fatalities.
Following the war the location was used for new ship construction. The land was purchased by the federal government in 1801 and soon after became an active Navy Shipyard as a result of President John Adams push for a strong Navy.
On January 1st, 1808 the United State made the importation of slaves Illegal, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard provided no fewer then 10 ships that patroled the waters off the coast of Africa starting in
1820 and ending with the U.S. Civil War.
In later years the Navy Yard saw it’s greatest boom during WWII, and finally closed in 1966.
Ships Built in the Brooklyn Navy Yard
There are many ships built in the Brooklyn Navy Yard worth mentioning, and this list is certainly not going to cover all of them, but instead will include just a few of the more notable and historic vessels built there.
Launched in February 1855, the USS Niagara was used to lay the Transatlantic telegraph cable over the years of 1857 & 1858
The USS Monitor constructed in just 3 months during the winter of 1861 – 1862, was the first Ironclad Warship commisioned by the US Navy. It is most famous for surving several key battles during the civil war. It’s new design however, was not perfected and the ship sunk during a storm in the waters off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina on December 31st, 1862
The USS Maine was launched from the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1890. An exposion aboard the Maine caused it’s sinking in Havana Harbor on February 15th 1898. This event led to the U.S. entering what would become the Spanish American War, even though the explosion was, and is still widely believed an have been an accident
The USS Missouri, currently a museum in Pearl Harbor, was constructed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard between the years 1941 – 1944. It became the site of the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender in Tokyo Bay on September 2nd, 1945. Signed by then Japanese General Yoshijirō Umezu, as well as represenatives of at least 9 Allied Nations.
The USS Arizona launched from the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1916 and was sunk on December 7th, 1941 during the attack on Pearl Harbor Hawaii.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard Museum
Today, you can visit the museum located in Building 92. Check for a schedule of bike and walking tours, and for museum hours. From the Bldg 92 website:
BLDG 92 is located at the intersection of Carlton and Flushing Avenue at 63 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is located on Brooklyn’s waterfront between the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges and surrounded by DUMBO/Vinegar Hill, Fort Greene and Williamsburg sections of Brooklyn.
Green-wood Cemetery hours:
Main Entrance – 7:45am to 5pm
Other Entrances – 8am – 4pm
500 25th Street
Brooklyn, New York 11232
You can locate the cemetery your ancestor is buried in from their Death Certificate. Contact our genealogist if you have decided you need our help, or if you just don’t want to waste time trying to put all the pieces together.
We always welcome and Brooklyn or Genealogy related guest posts on the site. Enjoy the following:
My grandfather, Murray Fox, fell in love with Edie Zebrak in the summer of 1947. Newly home from the war, Murray and his friends spotted Edie, a friend of a friend, at one end of Coney Island Beach with tuna fish sandwiches. My grandfather promptly went back for seconds, and the rest as they say is history.
I started recording music under the pseudonym “Here Comes Brooklyn” in 2011. According to an infamous family story, my grandma Edie’s cousin used to say at the sight of my grandfather, “Ay! Here comes Brooklyn!” in her low, scratchy, Yiddish ridden accent. My grandfather always found it vaguely irritating, but the story has since become an integral part of the Fox-Tepper family oral history, and has resonated with me ever since.
As three of my four grandparents are from Brooklyn, I find myself living an eerily parallel existence to my grandfather in his 20’s. Originally from Rockville, MD, I moved to New York for college and soon found myself attending concerts in the deep end of the dried McCarren Park Pool where my grandpa Murray and grandma Edie swam in as children.
I wrote the song “Bluebirds” using a very repetitive, circular musical phrase to represent the circular nature of generations, specifically my parents growing up, becoming adults, having children of their own, and watching their children, my sister and me, grow up.
After the song was finished, my mom found old reels of 16mm film in our basement and realized they were long lost home films dating from the late 40’s to 1963. My grandma Edie died of lung cancer when I was only five and, as those were the days before Facebook, Instagram, and iPhones, I had not seen real film footage of my grandmother at any age or of my grandfather as a young man. I had at least pictures of my mom and uncle as children, but up to that point only grainy black and white renderings of my grandparents.
Eventually I took the film and cut it up to “Bluebirds,” superimposing the song on a generation earlier so the boy and girl depicted at the beginning were my grandpa and grandma, and their kids my mom and uncle. Out of everything I’ve done as Here Comes Brooklyn, this is the most personal.
My grandfather grew up on Siegel Street where his family owned a housewares store called Fox’s Trimmings, and my grandmother on McKibbin Park where her father was the neighborhood’s kosher butcher. While my grandmother sadly is no longer with us, my grandfather at 85 has not matured a day since his goofball days in Brooklyn.
Finding Obituaries, New York or otherwise, can be tricky. Usually during genealogy you will be wanting to find historical records, not modern day ones. Still, I will be doing my best to compile a list of Obituary sites that you may find useful. Please let us know if you have a site you would like included to this list. Visit our page of New York Newspapers if you do not find a local Obituary page here.
Many of the Synagogues on this list are not current. The order of the list is alphabetical by street name, so if you have an ancestors address, you can locate what would have been the closest Synagogue to their home.
Beth El of Borough Park
4050 12th Avenue
Yeshiva Etz Chaim
5000 13th Avenue
Tifereth Israel of South Brooklyn
385 14th Street
B’nai Jacob 651
B’nai Israel Benevolent Association
154 17th Street
Chesed Shel Emeth of South Brooklyn
157 17th Street
19th Street & Fifth Avenue
Machzikei Talmud Torah
1315 43rd Street
Yeshiva Toras Emes
1315 43rd Street
Young Israel of Boro Park
1349 50th Street
Shulamith School for Girls
1349 50th Street
Beth Israel Talmud Torah
1755 63rd Street
2025 64th Street
Mapleton Park Hebrew Institute
2024 66th Street
Congregation Ahava v’Achva
2028 66th Street
Ahi Ezer Congregation
2165 71st Street
85th Street & 22nd Avenue
232 Ainslie Street
Chevre B’nai Abraham
348 Alabama Avenue
Beth Sholom Tomchei Harav
455 Alabama Avenue
The Brooklyn Synagogue
332 Albany Avenue
Albermarle Road & East 21st Street
B’nai Israel of Brownsville
97 Amboy Street
Chevre Torah Anshe Radishkowitz
139 Amboy Street
Agudath Achim Anshe Sfard
196 Amboy Street
Arlington & Bradford Avenues
Chevre Chaye Adam
336 Ashford Street
344 Ashford Street
Crowning Glory of Israel
481 Ashford Street
Atereth Tifereth Israel
528 Ashford Street
Talmud Torah Anshei Zedek
308 Atkins Avenue
Talmud Torah Beth Jacob Joseph
368 Atlantic Avenue
Ocean Avenue Synagogue
1721 Avenue J
Temple Ahavath Sholom
Avenue R & East 16th Street
Chevre Atereth Zvi of East New York
482 Barbey Street
89 Barret Street
8669 Bay 16th Street
Sons of Israel
79 Bay 22nd Street
Young Israel of Bensonhurst
48 Bay 28th Street
Congregation Beth Hillel
6420 Bay Parkway
Knesseth Israel d’Bath Beach
Bay Parkway & 85th Street
1835 Bay Ridge Parkway
Tifereth Israel of Bensonhurst
11 Beaver Street
260 Bedford Avenue
491 Bedford Avenue
559 Bedford Avenue
563 Bedford Avenue
Young Israel of Brooklyn
620 Bedford Avenue
904 Bedford Avenue
2059 Bedford Avenue
Judea Center Synagogue
2170 Bedford Avenue
Young Israel of Prospect Park
2252 Bedford Avenue
Bedford Avenue & Church Avenue
Brooklyn Talmudical Academy (TA)
Bedford Avenue & Church Avenue
Bais Rachel Girls Yeshiva
Bedford Avenue & Dean Street
United Lubavitch Yeshivoth
Bedford Avenue & Lafayette Avenue
Temple Israel (1893: A. H. Geismar)
Bedford Avenue & Snyder Avenue
Central Yeshiva High School for Girls
961 Bergen Street
1902 Bergen Street
368 Berriman Street
35 Blake Avenue
Kenesseth Israel Beth Jacob
142 Blake Avenue
318 Blake Avenue
Hassidic Rabbi Stetin
502 Blake Avenue
Yeshivath Rabbi Hersch Leib Berlin
522 Blake Avenue
Zhitomir, Ukraine Zitomer Chevre
537 Blake Avenue
Beth Israel Talmud Torah
662 Blake Avenue
Chevre Mishnayes Beth Jacob
Boerum Place & State Street
172 Boerum Street
Chevre Anshei Tov of Brooklyn
345 Bridge Street
17 Bristol Street
Neshvizh, Belarus? Anshe Neshwitz
49 Bristol Street
113 Bristol Street
115 Bristol Street
Agudath Achim Anshe Homb Tzerougon
215 Bristol Street
First Deshower Anshe Sphard
219 Bristol Street
Niewesser Old Friends of Brownsville
361 Bristol Street
Kiyev, Ukraine Kiever & Homler Congregation
375 Bristol Street
Ostrolenka, Poland Ahavath Israel Anshe Ostrolenko
176 Brooklyn Avenue
285 Buffalo Avenue
270 Buffalo Avenue
1032 Carroll Street Machne Chodosh
1419 Carroll StreetLancut, Poland Lanzuter Congregation Beth David
1612 Carroll Street
28 Chester Street
31 Chester Street
123 Chester Street
Dokshitsy, Belarus Anshe Dokshitz
167 Chester Street
Agudath Achim Anshei Homel
169 Chester Street
182 Chester Street
Lubaczow, Poland Bikur Cholim Anshei Libishov of Brownsville
324 Chester Street
Kol Israel of Brownsville
427 Chester Street
Anshe Zedek Nusach Ari
436 Chester Street
Chevre T’hillim Kesser Torah Israel
Chester Street & Riverdale Avenue
65 Christopher Avenue
Chevre B’nai Aaron
100 Christopher Avenue
Kol Israel of Brownsville
141 Christopher Avenue
Tifereth B’nai Jacob
199 Christopher Avenue
Zhitomir, Ukraine Ohel Abraham (Zitomer)
199 Christopher Avenue
Hachnosath Orchim Hagadol Tifereth Zion u’Jerusalem
228 Christopher Avenue
Radoshkovichi, Belarus? Achim B’nai Israel Anshei Radish Konitz
349 Christopher Avenue
Beth Israel of Brownsville
9102 Church Avenue
Yeshiva Rabbi David Lubowitz
109 Clara Street
Cleremont & Willoughby Avenues
Fort Greene Jewish Center
464 Cleveland Street
Chevre Anshei Chaye Adam
1343 Coney Island Avenue
Jewish Communal Center
Coney Island Avenue & Neptune Avenue
Beth Jacob of Brighton Beach
13 Cook Street
18 Cook Street
Chevre Beth Aaron Koydinow
44 Cook Street
Cook Street Synagogue (1893: Philip Feldblum)
48 Cook Street
71 Cook Street
Chevre Agudath Achim Anshei Brooklyn
103 Cook Street
Bukowina, Galicia Chevre Rabenu Chaim Hager Anshei Galicia Bukowina
1618 Cornelia Street
Agudas Israel of Ridgewood
2310 Cortelyou Road
Kesser Torah of Flatbush
310 Crown Street
Yeshiva of Crown Heights
377 Crown Street
K’hal Machzikei Hadas
765 Crown Street
822 Crown Street
Tifereth B’nai Jacob
514 Dahill Road
First Congregation of Kensington Tifereth Israel
Like most of you, genealogy is a hobby of mine. I think we all would like to have more time to build our family tree, and we would like to more easily track down our ancestors. With Ancestry.com recently updating their 1940 U.S. Census to make searchable Brooklyn, New York City and in fact all of New York State, we have just had our job made much easier.
That was something we had been expecting, and waiting for. What was not expected, was the release of the 1892, 1915 and 1925 New York State Census’s. As I am sure most of you can relate to, I have a branch of my family tree that has remained a mystery for years. When I hear Ancestry.com has indexed the 1940 census I immediately type in that same name I have typed in a hundred times before – John N Murray, Born 1882 in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York. The results this time however, were very different. There was no immediate match in 1940, but at the top of my search results, right next to my saved records from 1900, 1910, and 1930 were 2 perfect matches that I had never seen before. The 1915 and 1925 New York State Census Reports.
There has been a New York Police Census of 1890 out for many years, but it is basically useless, this State census is however, the opposite. Including such information as address, names of all family members, ages and profession, this report is every bit as informative as the U.S census, and in fact appears to be modeled after it. It includes everything you would expect to find, except the birthplace of each parent (which I have found is incidentally not included in the 1940 U.S. census).
In this specific case of John N Murray Sr, Born 1882, I knew who he was married to in 1910, a Miss Catherine Twyford, a clothing store saleslady from the same Red Hook neighborhood (I have spent many hours searching all her siblings descendants) and I know they had 3 children, 2 of which were boys with the very common names of William and John, and the oldest, a female named Agnes. These 3 children were my grandfather’s cousins. I also had a very likely match for him in 1930, living with a different wife, Anna, and a young daughter, Mildred. I used the fact that he was exactly the right age, holding the same profession as an Iron Worker, and having both parents birthplaces of Brooklyn and Germany being correct as the “proof” needed to make this match.
The new 1925 census confirmed the same household at 285 Himrod St, Brooklyn, including wife Anna Murray (nee. Scholl) and 3 year old daughter, Mildred. No earth shattering revolution there, but as any genealogist knows, a 2nd source to back up every detail from a person’s name, to their age, is very important when searching for ancestors.
1915 New York Census
The real break came from the 1915 census. Before finding that I had the 1910 census and then the WWI Draft Card, badly damaged, for John N Murray. This WWI card from 1918 has his oldest sister listed as his nearest relative, not his wife, Catherine, leading me to believe that the couple had either divorced, or John was widowed. I could not find a trace of John, Catherine or any of the 3 children in the 1920 census (and still have not). What the 1915 census did was to finally provide clarity on this case, and also provided me with the names of 2 new children, born between 1910 and 1915. One was Theresa, born 1912 and Robert, listed as 47 days of age on census date on June 1st, making his birthday about April 12th, 1915. The clarity I mentioned came from Johns marital status as a widow. Rarely in genealogy do you get so lucky as to find out from a census exactly when somebody died, but with a child being 47 days old and the father being a widow, you have that 47 day window for the death of the mother, which is very necessary when searching a common name like “Catherine Murray”.
A quick search of New York Birth, Marriage and Death records provides me with a perfect match, a 34 year old Catherine Murray from Kings County, that died 2 weeks after Robert was born.
Holy Cross Cemetery
Searching Holy Cross Cemetery provided me with her gravesite.
Sometimes the biggest source of genealogical discovery is burial information with the other names on an ancestors tombstone being the children, or other unknown family members. This can provide you with much needed dates of death, and married names of daughters. This is invaluable when you have no clues for ancestors with common names. The bad news in this particular case was that there was only one other person in that grave, Robert, her 47 day old son who did not live very long, dying at 6 month of age on November 15th, 1915.
About a month ago I received notification that somebody was saving some of the same records I had saved on Ancestry.com. I looked at this persons’ family tree, and saw that they added my John Murray section of the family, but not a lot of the information matched. One of the discrepencies was that there was a sister named Theresa. Also, the first born of the family was named Ruth, and not “Agnes”, as in my John Murrays family. After e-mailing this person and asking why they thought our families were a match, she explained that her father had told her he remembers a “Willie” and a John (which are match’s), and that “Ruth” was the Jewish name of the converted Agnes Murray, after marriage. WOW! What seemed to be the case of another ancestry.com member jumping the gun, turned out to be an actual match, and the Great Granddaughter of my John N. Murray.
When I said earlier that there was no match for these children of John Murray in the 1920 census, I kinda lied. There are matches, in Orphanages, and “Asylums”. I never gave those much consideration, because I knew with 95% certainty that their father was living with another wife and raising a daughter born in 1921, in 1930 census. How could he have 4 children between the ages of 8 – 16 in orphanages in 1920’s census, and in the meantime I have his marriage record to Anna Scholl on June 20th, 1920!? The family lore provided from my new cousin on Ancestry.com is that Agnes, or “Ruth” did infact provide that she and her siblings were raised in orphanages for a period of time. It appears my John Murray either had his children taken from him, or he possibly abandoned them.
R.C. House of Good Shepherd
My source did not have much information on brothers William and John, but if her father remembered them, then they had to have lived until the 1950’s at least. Knowing that, and the new details of their childhood, I can begin to find them in the 1920 census and beyond. 16 year old Agnes is located easily as an “Inmate” and a machine Operator in the Roman Catholic “House of the Good Shepherd” located on Hopkinson Ave, in East New York. She was in the Pacific Street Wing, which was the “Juvenile Delinquent Reformatory”.
I hope for the best as I research these 2 brothers. Whatever I find though, I realize that none of it would have been possible whithout the 1915 New York State Census.