Finding John Costello

Finding John Costello – A DNA Journey: The Fried Family, John’s Family, Part 5

Finding John Costello

 

 

The Isidore Fried & Sarah Esther Salzman Family in America

 

Isidore, Sarah, and their oldest daughter Leona arrived in the U.S. in 1905 or 1906.1  In 1907, the family grew when Celia was born in New York City.2  A few months later, Isidore’s sister Fannie and brother-in-law Morris arrived in New York.3

Sometime, possibly after Fannie’s arrival, Isidore served 6 months in prison on Blackwell’s Island.4  By January of 1909, Isidore, Sarah, and the two girls were in Illinois.5  In March of 1909, Isidore was arrested in New York City and then sent back to Illinois to stand trial for larceny.6  His alleged crime?  The theft of $3,200 from Philip Backus.

By the end of June 1909, Isidore was in prison in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet.7  In October of 1909, the third and last child of Isidore Fried and Sarah Esther Salzman was born in Chicago,8 her name was Fannie.9  By April of 1910, Isidore was still in prison in Joliet.10  Sarah, Leona, and Fannie were living in Chicago11 and inexplicably, Celia was living in the New York Infant Asylum.12

In October of 1910, Philip Backus tried to get Isidore out of prison.13  In February of 1911, Fannie died.14  In June of 1911, Isidore was paroled.15  By November of 1911, Isidore had disappeared and a warrant was issued for his arrest.16

 

 

Questions

 

That quick recap prompts so many, many questions.  Here are the big ones.

 

Where did Isidore go when he disappeared in November of 1911?

What happened to Sarah and the girls?

How and why did Celia end up in the infant asylum in New York City?

Did Sarah get Celia back?  How?  When?  Chicago to New York is a very long distance for a destitute woman.

 

Let’s see how many of those questions we can answer by following Sarah and the girls forward in time.

 

 

 

Sarah Esther Salzman and Her Daughters

 

Between November of 1911 and January of 1920 there is not even a whisper of Sarah and the girls.  But on 6 January 1920, Sarah, Leona, and Celia were living together in Chicago.17

Sarah and girls 1920 Census a

Sarah and girls 1920 census b

 

This record offers a few fascinating insights.  Let’s start with Sarah.  She was the head of household, married, her date of arrival in the U.S. was 1905.  Interestingly, her naturalization status is listed as “Un,” for unknown. As is Leona’s.  This was puzzling to me until another genealogist pointed out that in 1920, Sarah could not have applied to be a citizen.  Her naturalization status was the same as her husband’s.

Are those two little letters–”Un”–an indication that Sarah did not know what her naturalization status was because she did not know what her husband Isidore’s naturalization status was?  And if she did not know what Isidore’s naturalization status was, and she listed herself as married, does that mean that she did not know where Isidore was?

Probably.

The law enforcement agencies in the State of Illinois certainly didn’t know where Isidore was.  His warrant was active until 24 April 1964 when it was finally withdrawn with this statement, “A/C old age.”18

The 1920 Census also demonstrates Sarah’s efforts to prepare her daughters for a better future than she herself had.  Sarah was not able to read or write, but both of her daughters were literate. Sarah was not working. Leona, or “Lena” on this record, at age 16, was working as a bookkeeper in an office.  Celia, or “Selia” on this record, at age 12 had attended school during that school year.

Celia’s birthplace is mistakenly listed as “Illinois” when we know that she was born in New York City.19  Sarah and Leona were born in Russia, as were all three women’s parents.

 

 

 

Big Changes for Sarah

 

On 19 March 1922, Sarah remarried.20  Her new husband was Leon A. Rivkin, a 68-year-old,21 seemingly wealthy,22 widower.  If the ages on their marriage record are accurate, he was 28 years her senior.  [Wow! He had at least one child who was older than Sarah.]  Sarah and Leon were married by “Rabbi M. Zenin.”

This marriage brings up many questions.  Assuming that the 1920 U.S. Census was accurate, then Sarah was still married to Isidore in 1920.  But in early 1922, Sarah remarried.  In order to legally remarry in the United States, Sarah had to be single.  In order to be single, either Isidore had to have died, or Sarah and Isidore had to have gotten a divorce.

There is currently no evidence of Isidore’s death prior to 1922.  As far as divorce records go, I haven’t found any, but my search has by no means been exhaustive.  Yet.  But let’s not forget that in 1926, Isidore’s father claimed that Isidore was living in New York.23

But all of that is just dealing with the civil issues surrounding Sarah being able to remarry.  She likely also needed a religious divorce which would have required participation in the proceedings by Isidore.

Whatever steps were taken, Sarah remarried.

 

At this point in the story, we are going to speak in far more general terms because both Leona and Celia have living children.  Even my footnotes will be vague for certain facts to protect the identities of my living cousins.

 

A few months after Sarah married Leon, Sarah’s daughter Leona married.24  Interestingly, Leona and her husband were married by a judge and then almost a year later married by a Rabbi.25

In 1930, Sarah, Leon, and Leona’s family were living together in Chicago.26

Four years later, Celia was married.27

Sarah and Leon would spend almost fourteen years together before his death in 1936.28

Leona and her husband had four children, two of their children are still living.

Celia would marry a few times and have two daughters who were half-sisters, one of them is still living.

Sarah, Leona, Celia, and Fannie all died in Chicago.

Fannie was first in 1911.  Her place of burial is listed as “Forest Park”.29  No headstone image has been found.

Sarah died next in 1957.  Her official cause of death is “Fracture Right Femur.”  The injury description is, “fell from second floor porch to cement.”  Under the section to mark whether her death was the result of an “Accident, Suicide, Homicide,” a handwritten note of “unknown” covers the three choices.30  Puzzling.  What a sad and tragic end to a sad and difficult life.  Sarah was buried at Westlawn Cemetery.  The Hebrew portion of her headstone identifies her as, “Sarah Ester daughter of Yitzkah.”31

Leona was next to go, more than forty years after her mother.  She is also buried in Westlawn Cemetery.  No headstone image is currently available online.

Celia was the last to pass, dying about four years after her older sister Leona.  Her headstone offers the most telling information about how the Fried women felt about Isidore.  The Hebrew portion reads, “Sossel daughter of Sarah.”32

No hint of Isidore on her headstone, despite the fact that his name is on Celia’s birth record, her Social Security Death Index, and her Social Security Applications and Claims Index.  She knew exactly who her father was.  But he was not given the honor of being named on the stone that marks her final resting place.

 

 

My big questions about Isidore, Sarah, and the girls were these:

 

Where did Isidore go when he disappeared in November of 1911?

What happened to Sarah and the girls?

How and why did Celia end up in the infant asylum in New York City?

Did Sarah get Celia back?  How?  When?

 

We’ve only fully answered one so far – what happened to Sarah and the girls.  Their fates, it would seem, were sealed by Isidore’s imprisonment in Illinois and they remained in Chicago for the rest of their lives.

 

Tracing Sarah and the girl’s lives has not answered the question of where Isidore went when he disappeared.  He seems to have left for good in November of 1911.

We know that Celia and Sarah were reunited, but as for the other questions about Celia–well, I have a theory.  We need to go back to 1909.

 

On 9 March 1909, the following article appears in The Sun.33

 

–––––––––––

HIS OWN DETECTIVE

–––––––

Man Robbed in Chicago Trails a Suspect and Bags Him Here.

After trailing for weeks a man who he says had robbed him of all his money Philip Barkus [sic], a young jewelry salesman living at 27 East Thirteenth street, captured his man yesterday in front of 98 Willett street after a hard fight.  In the Tombs police court Magistrate Breen held the prisoner under $5,000 bail for a hearing on Wednesday.

The hunted man was Isidore Fried, 25 years old, who lives at 98 Willett street.  He an[d] Barkus were friends once.  The latter had a store in San Francisco.  He sold it several weeks ago for $3,200 cash.  On his way to New York Barkus stopped in Chicago to look up Fried and another acquaintance, Jacob Bikoff of 149 West Thirteenth street, Chicago.  The three men went to Bikoff’s place and there, Barkus alleges, he was drugged and robbed of his $3,200.

Bikoff was arrested by the Chicago police and is now under $5,000 bail awaiting trial.  Fried escaped and Barkus vowed he would capture him himself.

He traced him through St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Philadelphia to New York  For a week Barkus has haunted the East Side tea houses and other places frequented by Russians, but his first glimpse of Fried was when they met on the street yesterday.

Barkus jumped at his man and the two fought all over the sidewalk.  Fried picked up a piece of board and beat Barkus over the head, blackening his eye and cutting his face, but Barkus held on.  The arrival of the police put an end to the fight.

 

Just three days later, another article of interest appeared in the Oakland Tribune on 12 March 1909.34

 

San Franciscan

Arrested in N.Y.

–––––––––

NEW YORK, March 12.––Philip Barkus, of San Francisco, who came to this city two weeks ago and caused the arrest of Isadore Fried on a charge of stealing $3,200 from him, was taken into custody on a charge of extortion, preferred by Fried’s sister.

Police Inspector McCarfordty today requested the magistrate to dismiss the case against Barkus and asserted that he would make charges against the detectives who caused Barkus’ arrest.  The case was dismissed.

–––––––––––––

 

So Isidore was found by Philip Backus on 8 March 1909 in front of his home on 98 Willett Street in New York City.  Philip engaged Isidore in a fight until police arrived and they were both arrested.

In a previous article, we read a statement from Philip Backus that after Philip’s release from the Tombs, Isidore’s sister came to him and offered him $50 to, in Philip Backus’ words, “buy me off.”35  Then three days later, an article explains that Isidore’s sister was able to bring a charge of extortion against Philip Backus.  He was arrested, ultimately released, and the charges were dropped.36

But here is the really interesting part to me––Fannie was able to get Philip arrested.  That would require evidence of some sort.  Evidence that was credible enough that a non-English speaking immigrant who was not yet a citizen and was a woman was able to get Philip arrested.

I already thought the Philip Backus story was a bit fishy, now I think it stinks to high heaven!  What really happened three months before in Chicago between men we previously believed were strangers and now read “were friends once”?37

What if, there is a lot more to the story?  What if, Isidore, Sarah, and Fannie believed this was a mess that could be sorted out without Isidore going to prison?  And if they thought that, what if they thought that Sarah was following Isidore back to Chicago for some legal proceedings with the intention of returning to New York very soon?

In March of 1909, Celia was 20 months old.38  Leona was almost six years old.  Sarah was pregnant.  A quick, but long trip with a 20-month-old, especially one that involved legal proceedings, would be exceptionally challenging for a non-English speaking young mother.

What if Isidore, Sarah, and Fannie all decided that Celia should just stay in New York with Fannie, Morris, and their daughter Sarah who was only two months old?39  But then that quick trip did not end as planned.  Fannie’s efforts to get Philip charged with extortion failed. Isidore was found guilty and imprisoned.  Sarah was left in Chicago with her six-year-old, pregnant and destitute.

Fannie was a young mother with her first baby.  What if after a while she couldn’t handle raising Isidore and Sarah’s daughter Celia?  Or couldn’t afford to?  What if that is how Celia ended up in the New York Infant Asylum?

Then Fannie was born while Isidore was still in prison.40  Then Philip Backus was so overcome by guilt that he tried to secure the release of Isidore from prison.41  Then Fannie died.42

Finally, Isidore was released from prison.43  But he was on parole and only earning $6/week.44  Assuming that Sarah had not been able to collect Celia from New York yet, what if Isidore’s disappearance in November of 1911 was one last act of love for his family?  What if he left Chicago bound for New York, got Celia from the New York Infant Asylum, returned to Chicago, reunited Celia and Sarah and then just kept heading West?  Alone.

 

Maybe?

 

There are certainly other possibilities.  But if I am right about what led Celia to be placed in the Infant Asylum, it stands to reason that Isidore would feel guilt about Celia and Sarah’s separation.  If so, he may have wanted to do something about it.

 

No matter how it happened, Celia and Sarah were reunited at some point before 1920.

 

And no matter who collected Celia from New York, there is no trace of Isidore in the lives of Sarah and the girls after November of 1911.

 

 

So then the question becomes, did Isidore Fried change his identity and become John Costello?

 

 

to be continued . . .

 

 

 


  1. Department of Corrections, “Alton State Penitentiary and Joliet/Stateville Correctional Center – Registers of Prisoners,” Record Series 243.200, Illinois State Archives, Joliet Vol. 18, Oct 30, 1908-Feb 2, 1910, entry for Isadore Fried, date received 30 June 1909.  1910 U.S. census, Will County, Illinois, population schedule, Joliet Township, sheet no. 7A (penned), Illinois State Penitentiary, Isadore Fried, prisoner, line 14; image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 May 2019); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 334.  1910 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago, sheet no. 14A (penned), dwelling 72, family 257, Sarah Fried household with Selda Kamin family, lines 45-47; image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 May 2019); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 250.  1920 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago, sheet no. 4B (penned), dwelling 33, family 77, Sarah Fried household, lines 77-79; image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 May 2019); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 330.  1930 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago, sheet no. 13B (penned), dwelling 82, family 257, Leo A. Rivkin household, lines 60-65; image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 May 2019); citing NARA microfilm publication T626. 
  2. City of New York, New York County, New York, Department of Health, birth records, Sarah Freit, 9 July 1907, certificate # 36920 (stamped); image, “State of New York certificate and record of birth (Borough of Manhattan) 1898-1909,” FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9GW-D9W2-C?i=1939&cat=706460 : accessed 26 May 2019), DGS film #4206257, image 1940 of 2528; citing, FHL microfilm #1991706. 
  3. “New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957,” database, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 May 2019), entry for Moses Geier, age 24, and Feige Geier, age 20, arrived New York 10 November 1907 aboard the Wittekind from Bremen. 
  4. Department of Corrections, “Alton State Penitentiary and Joliet/Stateville Correctional Center – Registers of Prisoners,” Record Series 243.200, Illinois State Archives, Joliet Vol. 18, Oct 30, 1908-Feb 2, 1910, entry for Isadore Fried, date received 30 June 1909. 
  5. “Pleads for Man Who Robbed Him,” Chicago Tribune, 29 October 1910, p. 3, col. 1; image Newspapers (https://www.newspapers.com/image/355237987/?terms=isadore%2Bfried : accessed 19 April 2019). 
  6. “Pleads for Man Who Robbed Him,” Chicago Tribune, 1910. 
  7. Department of Corrections, “Registers of Prisoners,” Isadore Fried, 30 June 1909. 
  8. County Clerk, Cook County, Illinois, “Chicago birth certificates, 1878-1922,” Baby Fried, 20 October 1909, certificate #4898; image, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-D52Q-93G?i=1185&cat=229686 : accessed 9 August 2018), DGS film #4297976, image 1186 of 1275; citing FHL microfilm #1288177. 
  9. 1910 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago, sheet no. 14A (penned), dwelling 72, family 257, Sarah Fried household with Selda Kamin family, lines 45-47; image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 May 2019); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 250.  County Clerk, Cook County, Illinois, “Chicago death certificates, 1878-1915,” Fannie Fried, 21 Feburary 1911, certificate #4959; image FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DBLZ-B4?i=391&cat=42925 : accessed 9 August 2018), DGS film #4004922, image 392 of 1425; citing FHL microfilm #1287598. 
  10. 1910 U.S. census, Will County, Illinois, population schedule, Joliet Township, sheet no. 7A (penned), Illinois State Penitentiary, Isadore Fried, prisoner, line 14; image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 May 2019); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 334. 
  11. 1910 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago, sheet no. 14A (penned), dwelling 72, family 257, Sarah Fried household with Selda Kamin family, lines 45-47; image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 May 2019); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 250. 
  12. 1910 U.S. census, New York County, New York, population schedule, Manhattan, sheet no. 17A (penned), New York Infant Asylum, Celia Fried, lodger, line 25; image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 May 2019); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 1046. 
  13. “Pleads for Man Who Robbed Him,” Chicago Tribune, 1910. 
  14. County Clerk, Cook Co., Ill., “Chicago death certificates,” Fannie Fried, 1911. 
  15. Department of Corrections, “Registers of Prisoners,” Isadore Fried, 30 June 1909. 
  16. Department of Corrections, “Registers of Prisoners,” Isadore Fried, 30 June 1909. 
  17. 1920 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago, sheet no. 4B (penned), dwelling 33, family 77, Sarah Fried household, lines 77-79; image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 May 2019); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 330. 
  18. Department of Corrections, “Registers of Prisoners,” Isadore Fried, 30 June 1909. 
  19. New York, NY, NY, birth records, Sarah Freit, 1907. 
  20. County Clerk, Cook County, Illinois, “Illinois, Cook County, marriage records, 1920-1950,” 19 March 1922, Leon Rivkin and Sarah Freid, certificate #939307; image FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CS76-8Y3V?i=615&cat=2620697 : accessed 14 June 2019), FHL digital microfilm #101,943,327, image 616 of 1001. 
  21. County Clerk, Cook Co., Ill., “Illinois, Cook County marriage records,” Leon Rivkin and Sarah Freid, 1922. 
  22. 1930 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago, sheet no. 13B (penned), dwelling 82, family 257, Leo A. Rivkin household, lines 60-65; image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 May 2019); citing NARA microfilm publication T626. 
  23. Sam Fried petition for naturalization (27 January 1926), naturalization file no. 76575; imaged in “New York, Southern District, U.S District Court Naturalization Records, 1824-1946,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9HF-97CD?cc=2060123&wc=M5PJ-2NY%3A351680101 : 22 May 2014), Petitions for naturalization and petition evidence 1926 vol 282, no 76351-76750 > image 786 of 1358; citing Southern District of New York Petitions for Naturalization, 1897-1944; National Archives record group 21, National Archives-Northeast Region, New York City. 
  24. This record is a 1922 Chicago marriage record for Leona Fried and her only husband. 
  25. This record is a 1923 Chicago marriage record for Leona Fried and her only husband, although, they were married twice. 
  26. 1930 U.S. census, Cook County, Illinois, population schedule, Chicago, sheet no. 13B (penned), dwelling 82, family 257, Leo A. Rivkin household, lines 60-65; image, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 May 2019); citing NARA microfilm publication T626. 
  27. This is a 1934 Chicago marriage record for Celia Fried and her first husband. 
  28. Illinois Public Board of Health, “Chicago, Illinois death certificates, 1916-1945,” Leon Rivkin, 4 January 1936; image FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9TN-RS9Q-T?i=255 : accessed 2 May 2019), DGS film # 4205872, image 256 of 2926; citing FHL microfilm #1926848. 
  29. County Clerk, Cook Co., Ill., “Chicago death certificates,” Fannie Fried, 1911. 
  30. County Clerk, Cook County, Illinois, death certificate, Sarah Esther Rivkin, 6 October 1957, certificate #72600 [ordered online at https://genealogy.cookcountyclerk.com/ : received 2 Mary 2019]. 
  31. Jewishdata.com, online database, ID #626682, Sarah Rivkin headstone image, 1957, Norridge, IL, West Montrose Ave, (https://jewishdata.com/secure/record_detail.php?id=626682 : accessed 17 June 2019). 
  32. Jewishdata.com, online database, ID #527967, Celia Shapiro Minicker headstone image, 2004, Chicago, IL–Waldheim (https://jewishdata.com/secure/record_detail.php?id=527967 : accessed 17 June 2019). 
  33. “His Own Detective,” The Sun (New York, New York), 9 March 1909, p. 5, col. 2; image Newspapers (https://www.newspapers.com/image/164607869/?terms=isidore%2Bfried : accessed 20 June 2019). 
  34. “San Franciscan Arrested in N.Y.,” Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California), 12 March 1909, p. 9, col. 2; image Newspapers (https://www.newspapers.com/image/72435350/?terms=isadore%2Bfried : accessed 20 June 2019). 
  35. “Pleads for Man Who Robbed Him,” Chicago Tribune, 1910. 
  36. “San Franciscan Arrested in N.Y.,” Oakland Tribune, 1909. 
  37. “His Own Detective,” The Sun, 1909. 
  38. New York, NY, NY, birth records, Sarah Freit, 1907. 
  39. New York, NY, NY, birth records, Sarah Geyer, 1909. 
  40. County Clerk, Cook Co., Ill., “Chicago birth certificates,” Baby Fried, 1909. 
  41. “Pleads for Man Who Robbed Him,” Chicago Tribune, 1910. 
  42. County Clerk, Cook Co., Ill., “Chicago death certificates,” Fannie Fried, 1911. 
  43. Department of Corrections, “Registers of Prisoners,” Isadore Fried, 30 June 1909. 
  44. Department of Corrections, “Registers of Prisoners,” Isadore Fried, 30 June 1909. 

16 thoughts on “Finding John Costello – A DNA Journey: The Fried Family, John’s Family, Part 5”

  1. Your hypothesis certainly is a possible explanation. I can’t think of any way to prove it unless you can get records from the “asylum” where Celia was living. I was able to do that for one of my relatives, and it included information about who had admitted him and to whom he had been released.

    And you left us hanging with the BIG question!!

    1. I tried. They don’t have any records about her time there. I’m hoping that one of her descendants may know or that there might be something in Isidore’s NY criminal records (longshot). I can’t think of another theory for how she ended up there, but there are lots of ways she could have gotten out!

      I KNOW! Sorry!! Monday, I hope. 😉

        1. Yes! I would really like to know when she was checked in and by whom, and when she was checked out and by whom. My mother heart aches for all of them and I want it to be a short stay.

          1. I guess I was fortunate to find the information about my little cousin Billy. Maybe someday something will turn up for you.

    1. Thank you, Su! Yes, I am disappointed about that for sure. Also, the trial records from Illinois were destroyed. I’m hoping the NYC criminal records still exist, I’m working on finding those.

  2. Amazing detective work. You have had to unravel and think about so many things. Can’t wait for the next installment!

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