Max Silverstein was one of my paternal great-grandfathers. Displayed here are his citizenship papers which were taken out in October, 1888:
Be it remembered that on the fifteenth day of October, in the year of Our Lord 1888, Max Silberstein appeared in the Superior Court of the City of New York and applied before the said court to [….] become a Citizen of the United States of American pursuant to the several acts of the Congress of the United States of America…
Thereupon it was ordered by the said court that the said applicant be admitted…by the said Court to be Citizen of the United States of America.
My newly discovered second cousin [correction: first cousin, once removed Bob corrects me], Bob Silverstein (son of Harry) writes this about Max and his emigration to this country from Hungary:
My father told me a few things about Max Silverstein but I don’t remember if he said when he came to the US. He was from Szentes Hungary. At the time, it was actually called Austria-Hungary. You can find Szentes on a map. It’s a fairly big city. There was a Szentes “society” [landsmanschaft]. It was made up of Jews from Szentes and they would have periodic get togethers. He also told me that Max was an avid baseball fan. Even though he couldn’t read English, he would follow the standings in the newspaper and keep up on all the statistics.
His mother was named Mary (believe it or not).
Max’s affection for baseball is very interesting. Of course, Ken Burns has told us that baseball was the great equalizer and you could be a fan no matter whether you were a greenhorn or a wealthy baron of industry. I’m sure that explains Max’s love for the game.
My grandfather, Marcy, was an avid fan (Brooklyn Dodgers) as was my father (Boston Red Sox from the Ted Williams era) and my uncle Stan (New York Giants).
Max eventually married Tillie Neustadt. Bob writes further about Tillie’s background:
Other information about Tillie Neustadt according to my father: Her “real” name was Cecilia. I don’t know what it was in Yiddish. She came from Wiener Neustadt, which is a fairly large city about 60 miles west of Vienna. [UPDATE: a reader from the city corrects this information in a comment below saying it has 40,000 inhabitants and is 30 miles south of Vienna] She came to the US when she was 8, so she was educated here.
The next is a little unusual, but I’ll repeat as I remember, Tillie had a brother who ran away from home when he was 12 years old. He ended up in Ohio where he was adopted by a prominent family. He eventually became a high ranking Ohio state official. Something like Secretary of State. He once came to visit the family on Elizabeth Street and he was obviously much better off financially than the Peekskill family.
My mother said she once wrote a letter to the Ohio side of the family, but they never responded. We supposedly have some wealthy relatives in the Cleveland area.
Eventually, Max and Tillie moved to Peekskill where they had six boys and two daughters. One of the boys was Marcy Silverstein, my paternal grandfather.