The first Krakauer of our family to arrive in the United States was my great-grandfather Philip Krakauer, shown in the photo below with his wife Sarah and four of his five children. Samuel was born in Bielsk, Poland, but Fanny, Abraham, Bella, and Pauline were all born in the United States. Pauline is missing in the photo, which is believed to have been taken around 1897 or 1898. I assume she had not yet been born.
Most of my information about Philip comes from Steve Krakauer, who, among my cousins, is the most interested in our family's history. Philip Krakauer and his family were from a town called Bielsk. At the time he emigrated from there, January, 1888, Poland had ceased to exist as a country, having been subsumed by Prussia and Russia. His naturalization papers stated that he was from "Rusland", which apparently was a way to refer to that area in the Pale. Bielsk is now called Bielsk-Podlaski, as there is apparently more than one town with the name Bielsk. It is in very eastern Poland. Philip's wife's maiden name, as noted in the photo caption, was Sarah Resnick.
My sister Phyllis was named after Philip, being born almost exactly two months after he died on May 3, 1946 (Sarah lived until February 8, 1957). Steve thinks he knows what boat Philip arrived on, except nobody appears on the passenger manifest under "Philip (or Phillip) Krakauer". Ellis Island records are of no use, because Ellis Island wasn't used to process arriving immigrants until 1892 (recall Philip arrived four years earlier).
My great-grandfather seemed to spell his name inconsistently, with either one L or two. In 1928, he spelled it "Philip" in a commemorative program of the Bielsker Bruderlicher Unterstitzungs Verein ("BBUV"). But in the same year, a patent was granted with the name spelled "Phillip", as it was spelled in the page from the patent of his that hangs on my office wall.
Steve wrote about Philip's name, "I've seen it both ways. On his citizenship papers, the clerk filled in his name as 'Philip'. However, in the three places he signed it, he spelled it with two L's. He also spelled 'Krakauer' as 'Krakouer', though the clerk wrote it as 'Krakauer'. In the one family tree sketch that Grandpa [Abe] drew, he also spelled it with 2 L's."
Here are some of his family members in a photo estimated to have been taken around 1935:
The photo shows Philip and Sarah, three of their five children (Fannie, Abe, and Pauline, missing Samuel and Bela), some of their spouses, and some of their children. With the names of people in the photo underlined the first time they are mentioned, and leading off each family with the name of one of Philip and Sarah's children:
Abe married Ida (Epstein), and their children Edwin George and Joseph William ("Bill") are in the photo. Bill was born in 1926, so if the picture was truly taken in 1935, he would have been nine (he looks a bit older to me). Abe and Ida's other two sons, Charles Leonard and Daniel David (my father) are not in the photo.
Pauline married Leopold Zirinsky, and their daughter Leonore Zirinsky is shown. Leonore later married Milton Krasilovsky, who only recently died on October 5, 2013 at the age of 92. As of this writing, Leonore lives in Florida.
Fannie married Samuel Marcus. Their son Mortimer married Isobel Lesser, and they are in the photo with their son Victor. Fannie and Samuel's daughter Laura married Henry Ellenhorn, both shown. Fannie and Samuel's daughter Ruth married Joel Dolkart, but neither is in the photo.
If you count the underlined names above, that accounts for the sixteen people in the photo.
In the future, I'll write more about Philip and Sarah's estate in Tannersville, NY, where I suspect the large family photo above was taken.
Note 1: For the record, you can click the next link to see the original scan I received of this photo. Note that this is a 7 Mbyte file, and may take a while to download. In most browsers, you can then click on it again to make it really big. Return here with your browser's "Back" button. [return to text]
Note 2: I've mentioned Philip in quite a few previous blog entries. Some of these: I first wrote about his Patents, and then mentioned him in an essay on our family name Krakauer. I mentioned his Tannersville, New York estate in my essay entitled Oldthink, and I'll write more about Tannersville in the future. There's a picture of him circa 1942 in my entry on his son Abe. [return to text]
For the record, you can click the next link to see the original scan I received of this photo. Note that this is a nearly 6 Mbyte file, and may take a while to download. In most browsers, you can then click on it again to make it really big. Return here with your browser's "Back" button. [return to text]