Tim’s great-grandfather, Moritz Kalman Flanzer, was born 15 September 1874 in Austria and died 8 December 1950. He married about 1895 in Austria, Sadie Roth, who was born about 1877 in Austria and died 17 February 1963.
Moritz was a watchmaker and Sadie was a homemaker. Moritz and Sadie arrived in America with their small daughter Rose in 1901, and settled in New York City. In 1918 Moritz was employed by a jeweler, James McCreary & Co., 34th St. & 5th Ave., New York. By the time of the 1930 census he is recorded as being the proprietor of his own jewelry store and his 20 year-old son Harry also became a watchmaker.
Moritz’s draft registration card says he was of medium height and slender build with brown eyes and brown hair. The 1930 federal census states that Moritz and Sadie’s mother tongue was Yiddish.
Moritz lies buried in Mount Zion Cemetery in Maspeth-Queens (Queens) New York and Sadie rests in Mount Lebanon Cemetery in Glendale-Queens (Queens) New York.
Moritz & Sadie were the parents of seven children:
1. Rose Flanzer, born about 1898 in Austria, died 19 July 1956 in Manhattan (New York) New York. She was a public school teacher. She married 4 April 1931 in (Kings) New York, Samuel Semerik, who was born 14 March 1895 in Russia, and died 19 September 1972 in (Broward) Florida. Rose & Samuel were the parents of two daughters.
2. Joseph Asher Flanzer (Tim’s grandfather), born 22 December 1901 in Manhattan, died 28 January 1997 in Willimantic (Windham) Connecticut. He married (as his first wife and as her second husband) 27 May 1929 in Manhattan, Lenore Naomi (Raven) Ladd, who was born 26 July 1907 in Jackson (Jackson) Michigan, and died 6 November 1961 in Middletown (Middlesex) Connecticut, daughter of Marion Case and Catherine Alta (Verplanck) Raven. Joseph & Lenore were the parents of two children and were then divorced. Joseph married (as his second wife), Marion E. Lucey, who was born 13 June 1923, and died 3 December 2013 in Windham (Windham) Connecticut. Joseph adopted Marion’s daughter and Joseph & Marion were the parents of two sons.
3. Sophie Flanzer, born about 1904, died 19 March 1905 in Manhattan. Sophie is also buried in Mount Zion Cemetery.
4. Reuben Flanzer, born about 1906, died about 1912. Reuben was six years old when he succumbed to an infection due to a simple scraped knee. He had been running around playing, scraped his knee, and didn’t tell anyone anything. Within weeks, he was very sick, and the infection had spread, and he died shortly thereafter.
5. Harry Flanzer, born 18 August 1908, died 1 April 1998 in Coram (Suffolk) New York. He was a watchmaker. He married 15 February 1938 in Brooklyn (Kings) New York, Naomi Shapiro, who was born 1 June 1913, and died 3 December 1981 in Brooklyn, daughter of Philip and Sarah (—) Shapiro. Harry & Naomi were the parents of two children.
6. Frances Flanzer, born 22 October 1910. She married after 10 October 1939 in Brooklyn, Irving Laschever, who was born 3 October 1903, and died 24 May 1996 in Woodmere (Nassau) New York. Frances & Irving were the parents of a daughter.
7. Miriam “Mamie” Flanzer, born 20 May 1914 in Brooklyn, and died 29 June 2002. She married after 21 March 1938 in Brooklyn, Morris Sagman, who was born 14 December 1910. Miriam & Morris had no children.
The information on this family is very sketchy, partly because it is difficult to obtain vital records from the city of New York and partly because of a rift in the family. Tim’s mother was estranged from her father after her parents divorced, so Tim didn’t really know this grandfather. But Tim, Toby and Larisa went to the grandfather’s funeral in 1997 and met Joseph Flanzer’s youngest sisters, Frances and Miriam. They kindly gave Larisa the names of their parents (Tim’s great-grandparents), the fact that their father was a watchmaker, and a basic outline of their siblings, all with no dates. Bit by bit in my research I’ve found a few dates and places but I hope in the future to find more. While Frances and Miriam knew about Sophie, who died in infancy, they didn’t mention Reuben, who I found on the census and who also must have died young.
Update: Frances’ granddaughter has contacted me and has told me the story of Reuben she heard from her grandmother.
Last Revised: 18 September 2021