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Michaelson Family Papers

 Collection
Identifier: P-808

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.

Dates

  • undated, 1892-1920, 1943-1944, 1965, 1992, 1994, 1999-2000

Creator

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all researchers, except items that may be restricted due to their fragility, or privacy.

Use Restrictions

No permission is required to quote, reproduce or otherwise publish manuscript materials found in this collection, as long as the usage is scholarly, educational, and non-commercial. For inquiries about other usage, please contact the Director of Collections and Engagement at mmeyers@ajhs.org.

For reference questions, please email: inquiries@cjh.org

Biographical / Historical

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.

Extent

0.75 Linear Feet (2 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Hebrew

Russian

Yiddish

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.

Other Finding Aids

A searchable name index of the birth records is available.

Provenance

The papers were donated by Barbara Appleby and Elaine B. Steiner in July and August 2006.
Title
Guide to the Michaelson Family Papers, undated, 1892-1920, 1943-1944, 1965, 1992-2002   *P-808
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Adina Anflick
Date
© 2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Revision Statements

  • 20130809: Added link to database
  • October 2020: RJohnstone: post-ASpace migration cleanup.

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

Contact:
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States