However, I do recall the mention of my grandmother's cousin - Eric Brock. All I remember from the few short verbal snippets is that he was an attorney living in New York.
So for this inaugural edition of "Ancestor of the Month" we will salute Eric Brock. Fortunately, because of successful genealogy research, a bit about Eric's life has been discovered in the past 10 years.
Elkan Eric Brock was born in Brooklyn, New York on October 27,1906. Eric as he was called, was the son of William Broch and Amalie (Molly) Bernstein Broch. Amalie was a younger sister of my great grandmother - Ernestine Bernstein Heyman, Isidor's wife.
The surname Broch was sometimes spelled Brock and after the early 1900s it appears that the family settled on the latter version. Eric was named after William Broch's father Elkan Broch from Austria. Both William and Amalie immigrated to America in the late 1890s, and married in New York City in 1899. From census records we find that William was a translator, language teacher, magazine writer, and calligrapher. Family lore states that Amalie was also a magazine writer, yet there is no proof of that yet.
Eric graduated from Brooklyn Law School in the late 1920s. He is cited as a lawyer in the 1930 and 1940 censuses; his older sister Regina a shoe designer, and oldest sister Teresa a stenographer in a bond house.
He married later in his life and was devoted to his mother, caring for her in her later years at their home at 780 Riverside Drive in Manhattan, a place where they resided for many many years. The senior Brock, William it appears was estranged from the family as he is not living with the family in neither the 1930 or 1940 censuses, choosing a different residence. William died in 1943. Amalie passed in 1965 in Manhattan. William is buried at Beth El Cemetery in Westwood, New Jersey. Coexisting in Westwood is the Cedar Park Cemetery, where Amalie and Eric are buried side by side.
Eric was the one and only of the New York Braunharts and Bernsteins who traveled to Northern California frequently to visit his relatives. The bulk of the family had moved to the San Francisco area, starting in the 1860s when Bernhard and Samuel Braunhart had initially located after immigrating. The Heyman families and Bernstein families moved to Oakland starting in 1910, and others made the move over the next 30 years.
Here is Eric with some of his cousins and other relatives in the late 1930s while he was visiting them in Oakland. Eric is the balding man with the suit and tie just behind the older woman in the center - his Aunt Ernestine.
Eric focused primarily on estate law. We know from the will of his first cousin, once removed - Selma Braunhart Gandel, that he was the attorney of record.
Eric met his wife Edith Sternberg Walker in a law office. Twelve years Eric's junior, she was a Holocaust survivor and was divorced from her first husband, with one son and one daughter, who provided me with the information about Eric's last twenty years of life, as well as details about his marriage to Edith. Edith was quite interested in getting married, however Eric, in his 60s, was reluctant. Eventually love won out and they were married in Maryland. Unfortunately the specific location and exact date have not been discovered as yet.
They lived happily together for about 15 years. He retired from his law practice in the mid-1970s.
Eric's final days were traumatic for he and his wife. Suffering from dementia and other mental problems, sadly Eric became abusive, which was not his nature. He had to be institutionalized. Eric died at Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital at age 77 on April 9, 1984. Edith survived for another 24 years.