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John Newmark
  • Male
  • Saint Louis, MO
  • United States
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Profile Information

What surnames are you interested in researching?
Newmark, Cruvant, Kruvant, Blatt, Deutsch, Vanevery, Van Every, Denyer
What countries and other locations are you interested in researching?
USA, Canada, Poland, Transylvania
What is your level of genealogy knowledge?
Intermediate Family History Researcher
For what reason did you start genealogy research?
Family History
Do you have a genealogy website or blog?

About Me

I was born in 1969 in St. Louis, Missouri and have lived here all of my life except for a few years during college. I am a grant writer for a 501c3 by trade, and have been hooked on genealogy research for only the past two years, though I have long been interested in my own family history.

In addition to the genealogy blog linked to above (and which you can read a few recent posts from below) I maintain a personal blog and a site dedicated to the 19th century French author, Victor Hugo.

I write poetry and perform locally at open mics

Tombstone Tuesday: Robert Lee (1895-1971) and Mabel Ada (1901-1991) Gober

 Robert Lee Gober (1895-1971) and Mabel Ada (Fulkerson) Gober (1901-1991) were my wife's great grandparents. The photograph below was taken July 3, 2015.

Amanuensis Monday: 1925 Trip of Myrtle Van Every

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. 

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

Below I transcribe an article found at mentioning my maternal grandmother. It's very brief, but corroborates some photographs I have in my collection.

El Paso, Texas
28 Jun 1925, Sun
Page 13

Myrtle Van Every, formerly of El Paso and now of St Louis, is visiting her aunt Mrs. A.A.. Benold, of 908 Octavia street Last week Miss Van Every visited her sister at Fort Hancock. She will leave soon for California, stopping at the Grand Canyon. She will also go over the Canadian Rockies while she is away


1) Mrs. A. A. Benold (Minnie) was my grandmother's sister. Not her aunt. There were 16 years separating them in age. There were eight years separating my grandmother from her sister, Eva, who lived in Fort Hancock. 

2) I have some photographs from the Grand Canyon. I do not know who her companion was.

3) I also have a photograph I believe is from California. While I suspected she was in Hollywood from the caption, the article confirms she went to California as part of the same trip. I don't know her companions here, either. However, I do know she had first cousins living in California, and there is a good chance these may have been them. (Her father was one of over 20 siblings. While not all lived to adulthood, she had a lot of cousins.)

Tracking Down a Death Record

A search on a local genealogy society website uncovered a burial record for an infant in 1908. No given name, so I knew the child, if not stillborn, lived only a brief period of time.

Unfortunately, while the index survived, the actual microfilm records for the particular month in 1908 did not survive. 

So I contacted the cemetery. Only the book containing names and dates survived. The book with other information, such as parent names, did not. 

That left me contacting the County Clerk. I was trying to avoid that until I verified that the infant was a kin. There are a limited number of potential fathers with the surname in the area, but not all are related to me. And I really do not like spending money on documents for non relatives, even if it is minimal. And in this case it was $20 plus VitalChek’s processing fee, which I do not consider minimal.

I emailed the clerk and asked if they had any other process than VitalChek for non-certified copies. I got a very kind “Not usually, but I checked to see if we had the record, and there’s not much info on it. Here’s the scan. Happy New Year!” (Not exact wording.)

It never hurts to ask. The clerk was correct - there wasn’t much info, but it did have the birthplace for both parents. (Not their names - just the birthplaces.) If that info is correct, the infant was not related to me. Related to somebody, though, so I will save it in my files in case I ever run into a researcher for that family.

Ancestry U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index - App vs Website

The information presented by for the U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index is different depending upon whether you view it on a web browser, or their phone app.

Here is what I see on a web browser (With name and SSN info removed. The individual is a second cousin of a grandparent. I am not in contact with their descendants.)

____ in the U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index 

Gender: Female
Race: White
Birth Date: 26 Nov 1915
Birth Place: St Louis, Missouri
Death Date: 14 May 1986
Notes: Nov 1936: Name listed as ________; Oct 1943: Name listed as _____; : Name listed as _______; 24 Mar 1988: Name listed as _______

Here is what I see on my iPhone app for the exact same record:

U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index 

Gender: Female
Birth Date: 26 Nov 1915
Birth Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Death Date: 14 May 1986

As you can see there are a handful of fields that are completely left off of the record on the app. 
  • Race
  • SSN
  • Notes
There is absolutely no indication on the app that they have expurgated this information from the record. Some sort of warning would be nice - informing the researcher they need to use a web browser to view all available information. (Or even better, include all of the information on the app.)

In this case, the Notes information is critical. This is an index, and transcription errors can occur easily. While there is no reason to call into question the death date when viewed on the app, when viewed on the browser, the Notes section clearly indicates something is fishy. Why is a change in how the name is listed recorded two years after the supposed death?

The tombstone and obituary for this individual indicate that the date of death was indeed in March of 1988. I fully suspect that something did occur in May of 1986. Possibly the change in name listing that has no date in the notes. And this somehow got recorded as the death date in the indexing. However, without having the additional records to refer to, if I relied solely on the information presented on the app, I would enter the wrong information into my tree, without questioning it at all.

Did my second great grandfather, Samuel Newmark, make up a cousin while crossing a border?

When my great grandfather, Barney, in July of 1907 crossed the Canadian border into the US, the Border Crossings document indicates the following:

Barney Newmark, age 22, Tailor, Citizen of Canada, Hebrew, Last Resided in Winnipeg, Nearest Relative Mother Rosa Newmark in London, Final Destination St. Paul Minnesota, Joining a cousin, Joseph Newmark, on 344 Eagle Land Street, place of birth London England.

Barney's father, Samuel, indicated at the same border crossing that he was:

45, a tailor, citizen of Canada, Hebrew, Last resided in Winnipeg, Nearest relative wife, Rosa in London, visiting the same cousin, Joseph in St. Paul, and place of birth Warsaw, Poland. 

Barney was not born in London. Later, for a local Who's Who of businessmen, he would claim he was born in Dublin, Ireland. It is almost certain he was born in either Warka or Warsaw, Poland, like his father. They were also not citizens of Canada. They had only spent three months in Canada, and I don't believe anyone in the family obtained citizenship in London even though they were there for 15 years. 

Who is the cousin, Joseph, in St. Paul Minnesota? Is he another figment of  imagination? Eagleland is a very curious name for a street since America has an eagle for a symbol, and I am unable to find such a street in St. Paul or its vicinity The only Eagleland Street I can find is in Texas. Samuel's middle name was Joseph.

However - nearby in Minneapolis, in 1907, there were families with the surname: Newmark, Neimark and Naymark. None that I can find with the given name Joseph. I suspect this cousin was an invention. But there remains a possibility that they existed.

Comment Wall (5 comments)

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At 9:54am on September 4, 2009, Leslie Vander Meulen Canavan said…
OHHH, I just found Katie's comment, way at the bottom, perhaps I haven't been looking down far enough? I will try this for the next few to see if it working the same all the time....sorry to bother about nothing! !!
At 9:50am on September 4, 2009, Leslie Vander Meulen Canavan said…
John, I keep getting emails that have links to supposedly recently posted content, but when I click the link I come to the site, NOT the recent post. In other cases, the link goes directly to the new link. Here is what I just received:
Katie Heitert Wilkinson left a comment in Missouri Genealogy on Genealogy Wise

To view this activity, go to:

To stop following this group, go to:

To control which emails you receive on Genealogy Wise, go to:
but that top link does NOT take me to her post, which I can't find by going to the beginning or end of the posts. What gives?
At 6:13am on July 25, 2009, Dixie Jack Halber said…
World's colliding! Saw your name in the Confederate group and was like "wait.... I know him!"
At 4:47pm on July 20, 2009, Johnny said…
John, your comment about ownership on the suggestions discussion was really great. Would you mind re-posting that as a new discussion in the Member Help group?

At 12:32pm on July 16, 2009, Bob Goode said…
Welcome to the St. Louis Genealogical Society group. Add your surnames to the discussion thread: St. Louis Connections

John Newmark's Blog

The differences between the GenealogyWise emails

Posted on July 15, 2009 at 11:20pm 0 Comments

Disclaimer I am not associated in any way with GenealogyWise or FamilyLink.

I have noticed in the groups that I created and participate in some confusion as to the emails that people are receiving automatically announcing comments, discussions, and replies. In the absence of a "help" or "FAQ" document for me to point them towards, I thought I would write up a post on my understanding of them. I spent several years in an IT environment and what seems a lifetime on computers,… Continue

For Group Admins: Disable "Send Message to All"

Posted on July 15, 2009 at 11:47am 0 Comments

If you created a Group - you are the Admin of that group


Under Admin Options you should see "Edit Group"

Click on that, and on that panel you should see "Allow members to send messages to the entire group"

I highly recommend that you uncheck that box if it is currently checked.

What happens with that option is if someone clicks on the link "Send Message to Group" the message arrives in the *email* of *everyone* who is a member of the group.… Continue

Amanuensis Monday

Posted on July 11, 2009 at 5:00am 0 Comments

Amanuensis: a person who writes what another dictates or copies what has been written by another

Perhaps you are lucky enough to have an ancestor’s journal, or a bundle of letters they wrote. Perhaps a grandparent recorded their memories on a cassette tape before they passed away.

Have you considered scanning/digitizing these documents into your computer, and transcribing the contents?


1) Handwriting fades over time. As long as one… Continue


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