About Bessie Cordelia Ainbinder
How did Bessie meet Albert Ainbinder from New York? Here is that story as told to me by my grandmother around 1965 or 1966 (when I was a teenager): My grandmother said that she lived across the street from a boarding house with her father and two brothers, Harry and Clarence. Her older sister, Lillian, had already gotten married and moved out. She said that her mother "disappeared" when she was very young - maybe around 5 yrs old, and she didn't remember her mother. My grandfather was from Brooklyn, NY, one of the few kids in his family born in the United States - the others had immigrated from Russia in 1891 to escape the Czar's pogroms against Jews. My grandfather said he was about 17 years old; my grandmother was about 16 yrs old. He had a horse and cart and would travel down from New York to Maryland and West Virginia buying and selling things. He stayed at the boarding house across the street and they met each other. It seems that they were mutually attracted. They talked with each other. He asked her to go out to the movies with him - she said this was the day of silent movies and a live piano player. They were sitting in the movie theatre together. She told me that somehow her father found out that she had gone to the movies with my grandfather. She said that he (her father, Isaac) was drinking and came into the theatre, drunk, and shouted at the top of his lungs: "Bessie Cordelia Whiteman, are you in here with some damn Yankee?" He pulled her out of the movie house and home, forbidding her to have anything to do with the "damn Yankee." Well, my grandmother said, we then ran away together and got married. She said they went over the border into Maryland where they were allowed to marry at their young age with no permission. This was September 22, 1917. My grandparents then went up to Brooklyn and my grandfather introduced his new wife to his family -- his parents did not speak English, (and chances are that my grandmother had never heard of Jews before). Samuel and Eve Ainbinder were Orthodox Jews and kept a kosher house. My grandmother learned all about this and she said that she got along very well with her new in-laws. She said that they welcomed her and loved her. She and Albert were married for over 50 years. So, that, according to my grandmother, is how she met my grandfather!
From Mike Morgan (in West virginia) 10/15/2009: Read your emails this morning and talked a little to Mom. Mom spent weeks during the summers with Uncle Al and Aunt Bessie when she was young until she started dating Dad. She stayed with them in Brooklyn, she recalls their place was on Ocean Parkway or similar. She said they owned a corner building and Uncle Al had his cafe below. She remembers that Jimmy Durante entertained there quite a bit for Uncle Al, as well as in the in the Catskills - she thought near Tannersville? Jimmy Durante was a friend of Uncle Al and Aunt Bessie and gave her a pair of skates. Mom went to summer school once when she stayed with them. She said Aunt Bessie got a kick out of Mom bragging to her that she got "demoted." I guess Mom thought that was a good thing - hence the summer school. Aunt Lillian and Aunt Glen also went pretty often as well...Mom thought our Uncle Harold Wamsley lived only a couple of blocks away and I'm not sure if I understood correctly, but I think he went to the school where she attended her summer school that year. Must have been close by since he found Aunt Glen. Grandad worked for the B&O so the kids could ride the train free. Uncle Ock has some good memories of Uncle Al and Aunt Bessie's visits to town. Mom remembers seeing Great grandad Isaac only once or twice and never met her grandmother Hattie. Hattie left before Mom was born in 1917 and Mom doesn't know why - at least as far as I could determine.
Date of Birth: The birth certificate says August 29 1901 but the Register of Births says Sept 4, 1901. Bessie always used August 29th. At the time of Bessie's birth, her father was a "saloon keeper". At other times he stated that his occupation was "farmer".
More about Bessie's family: Isaac died in June of 1925, and Clarence was married to Effie Britton in December 1925. Harry also married sometime in 1925 to Lillian Mae McClaren (known as Mae).
In 1930, Clarence and Effie were living in Brooklyn, New York (Supervisor's District 31) and had two children, Gerald, age 3 and Juanita, age 1. Both of the children had been born in West Virginia. so it looks like they moved to New York in 1929. Harry was a motorman on a street car.
Bessie and Albert were also living in Brooklyn (Assembly District 21) and had one child, Bernice, who was born in 1929. Al was a shareholder in a cafe. They had been in Brooklyn since 1917, when they married. Al's parents were both born in Russia, but Al was born in Brookyn.
Interestingly, Harry and Mae were also living in Brooklyn (Assembly District 7), with Mae's parents (Thomas and Lillian McClaren, and their adopted 8-year old son, Thomas). Harry and Mae had a 5-yr old daughter, Lillian J. Whiteman. Harry was working as a chauffer at this time. Thomas McClaren was a ferry boat captain on a steam boat whose father was from Scotland and mother from Ireland, although he was born in New York. His wife was born in England, her father was from Ireland and her mother from England.
And, I do not know if this is a coincidence or not -- but in 1930 Carrie Whiteman is also living in Brooklyn, New York. (I am pretty certain this is the same Carrie as she and her parents were all born in West Virginia.) She is listed as a widow and her widowed daughter-in-law, Florence Cecil, age 22, is living with her, as is Florence's son, Glenard B. Cecil, who is 10 months old, and was born in New York. Florence and her parents were all from England and had immigrated to the U.S. in 1923. Carrie is head of household and worked as a forelady in manufacturing. They also had two boarders in their home; one from the "Irish Free State" and the other from Norway; they probably needed the income.
So, in 1930, many members of the Whiteman family were in Brooklyn, New York. Lillian West Whtieman Hartman was the only sibling who had stayed in West Virginia.