My great aunt, Martha Heyman, was married twice, once to Harry Christopher, and once to Leo Metzner. It is fascinating to me that her first marriage to Mr. Christopher lasted less than 3 months:
Fortunately, her second marriage (and final one) to my great Uncle Leo Metzner lasted over 50 years (unfortunately she passed 2 months after their golden anniversary). They changed their last name to "Day" in the 1940's:
So who knows what lies ahead after a wedding, sometimes pain, sometimes bliss, sometimes both!
On this Mother's Day we remember our deceased Braunhart mothers. Some of us knew you and all of us wish we had met you.
Sara Braunhart Bernstein - Mother of Amalie, Ernestine, Cecelia, Hattie, Max and 2 others unknown
Helene Baszynska Braunhart - Mother of Moritz, Jakob, Anna, Martha, Theodor, Carl, Selma, Cecelia, Julius, Philipp, Frieda, Caesar, and one unknown
Anna Braunhart Tulman - Mother of Mildred, Muriel, Stanley, and Helene
Martha Braunhart Sternbach - Mother of Leo, Harold, and Regina
Hedwig Bukofzer Braunhart (Wife of Carl) - Mother of Hanna and Heinz
Ilse Gass Hart (Wife of Jacob) - Mother of Erna, Margaret, and Herbert
Else Schmalenbach (Wife of Phillip) - Mother of Horst, Gisela, and Bernhard
Frieda Braunhart Brunn - Mother of Henry and Miriam
Cecelia Bernstein Markheim - Mother of Arthur, Robert, Minnie, Pauline, Leo, and Edith
Hedwig (Hattie) Bernstein Fried - Mother of Leo
Ernestine Bernstein Heyman - Mother of Celia, Martha, Arthur, Robert, Leo, and Mynette
Dorka Asch Braunhart (Wife of Julius) - Mother of Lothar and Lilly
Unfortunately we do not have photos of the following Braunhart mothers:
Rosa Levison Braunhart – Mother of Harry
Amalie Bernstein Brock - Mother of Teresa, Regina, and Eric
Big thanks to "cousin" Laraine Sweberg, who has shared many new "old" photos of family members, some of which are yet to be unidentified. One of these where we have identified the people in the shot is a family photo of the Heymans at an early age. Laraine got many of these photos from her aunt, Regina Sternbach, who had three bags full of old photos.
This photo includes Isidore Heyman and his wife Ernestine Bernstein Heyman, daughter of Sara Braunhart Bernstein. The children in the photo left to right are: Arthur Heyman, baby Wilhelmina (Mynette) Heyman, Celia Heyman (my grandmother), Leo Heyman, and Martha Heyman. The photo was probably taken in 1908. Wilhelmina (the baby) was born in August of 1907, and the photo was taken in Brooklyn. The Heymans relocated to Oakland, California some time in 1910.
And thanks to Clyde Pound, son of the baby in the photo - Wilhelmina (Mynette) Heyman, for authenticating the photo.
There have been many in the family who have been in the entertainment industry as musicians, actors, writers, magicians, and dancers. Some have actually been in the entertainment industry making a living, while others performed as a hobby or sideline.
My first cousin, once removed, (my Dad's first cousin) Clyde Pound, has been a pianist, keyboardist, arranger, musical director, etc. for over 50 years. He started with the Dukes of Dixieland and through his career has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, Hawaii, Colorado, and now Hot Springs, Arkansas. He was musical director for the Hungry I nightclub in San Francisco and has been musical director for and played with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Liza Minelli, Dizzy Gillespie, and many others.
Another one of my Dad's cousins, Stafford Repp was a television and movie actor, best known for the part of Chief O'Hara on the television series Batman in the 1960s. He started his career in San Francisco repertory theatre after serving in World War II. He moved to southern California where he subsequently appeared in character roles in hundreds of television shows and movies.
Stafford Repp's sister, Elisabeth Repp, was a television writer. She was a writer for the pilot episode of the long running TV soap opera - "General Hospital".
Yet another of my dad's cousins was Gloria Metzner, whose stage name was Gloria Dea. Her father, Leo Metzner was an amateur magician known as "The Great Leo". She started her career as a child magician and performed at The Hotel El Rancho Vegas, the Las Vegas Strip's first casino resort.
Later she danced as part of Earl Carroll's Vanities in Hollywood and the Billy Rose Aquacade at the San Francisco World's Fair. She later was in several movies and serials. She was in the "King of the Congo" serial with Buster Crabbe in the starring role of "Princess Pha".
Although she had small parts in many successful movies such as "Around the World in 80 Days", she also had a small role in what has been called the worst movie of all time - Ed Wood's "Plan 9 From Outer Space". She currently lives in Las Vegas.
The first of Gloria's husbands was Jack Statham, who was a bandleader who also played the accordion. Her second husband was Hal Borne, most famous for being Fred Astaire's rehearsal pianist, as well as band leader for Tony Martin and Ginger Rogers' touring shows. He also wrote the music for one of the last Marx Brothers movies "The Big Store". Here is a photo of Gloria and Hal in 1945.
Clyde Pound's mother and father had a vaudeville show. Henry Pound had a group that was looking for a piano player. Mynette Heyman was hired and they got married shortly thereafter. Myn and her first cousin Edith Markheim Stone played together later in life for senior groups as "The First Cousins".
Arthur Heyman was a "smoothie dancer" and won several awards for his dancing later in his life.
My great grandfather Joseph Marks was a vaudeville agent and my great great uncle Isaac Marks was a stage manager for several San Francisco musical theatres in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
For some reason I have been "obsessed" with finding out more about the Braunhart family over the last three years. I first found out about the family when reviewing the death certificate of Sara Braunhart Bernstein, my great great grandmother. My cousin Clyde Pound made me aware of Sara's brother Samuel, who was a very successful (and outspoken I might add - but more about that in a future post) politician, when I first talked to him about genealogy about three years ago.
In a recent post I talked about the life of Levin Jacob Braunhart, the "patriarch" of the Braunhart family. So far it appears that he and his wife Minnie Zadek, had at least four children that I can name.
The first, Bernhard Braunhart, immigrated to America in 1857. He married Rosa Levison and had one son, Harry.
Sara Braunhart, my direct ancestor, married Aaron Bernstein, and it appears that after his death, she immigrated to America in 1898. She had seven children, 5 who lived to adulthood.
The next Braunhart was Samuel Braunhart, the San Francisco politician - he immigrated to America in 1862. He never married.
The last of Levin and Minnie's children (that I know of) was Alex Braunhart. I do not believe that he immigrated to America - but at least one of his children - Anna did - in 1909. She married Harry Tulman and had at least 4 children - Mildred, Muriel, Stanley and Helene. I have not as yet been successful in tracking this family to find out more about Anna Braunhart. She had a sister Sara Selma Braunhart, who immigrated to America in 1946 at the age of 51. I do not know as yet what happened to her.
There are a few "stragglers" that I know are related but have not been able to place as yet. Brother and sister Jakob and Martha immigrated to America in 1904. I do not know what happened to Martha but Jakob ended up in San Francisco. He was the primary heir to Samuel's fortune when Samuel died in 1906 right after the San Francisco earthquake and fire. I know that he was there from 1910 to 1913 because of Census and City Directory info. He was implicated by the FBI as a German sympathizer during World War I when he joined the U. S. Army. He also was married but that is all I know about him. I do not know who Martha and Jakob's parents are - my suspicion is Alex Braunhart, but that is just a hunch from reading Samuel Braunharts' probate file.
There also was a Carl Gustav Braunhart who was born in Schubin - but I have no info at all as to his relationship to "our" Braunhart family.
There have been several inventors in the family, many with patents -unfortunately, most didn't get rewarded for their ideas.
Some of their stories and ideas follow:
Louis Marks (my great great grandfather), was the first - he invented some carburetion techniques, and a pre-light bulb illumination machine called the "Eureka Gas Machine". All of these inventions received patents before 1875. One invention should be recognizable by many and that is his "Improved Door Securer". Its picture is below:
Isidor Heyman, my great grandfather, invented several items, only one patented. He was not a great negotiator, so was unable to capitalize on them. The first was a set of stairs that would hinge out to let passengers step up and down on and off a train. Family stories indicate that he presented the invention to Southern Pacific and they built them for their trains and left him with no compensation.
A subsequent invention that was patented was a valise hinge for a doctor's bag or "Boston Bag". Here is the picture:
My cousin, Clyde Pound has told me that when he was a young boy, living with his grandfather, that Isidor went to his room for three days, and emerged with a clip on tie type device, where there was an interchangeable tie knot in different colors.
Arthur Heyman, my great uncle, and Isidor's son, was a seamster, and invented the "Trik Skirt", which was a pleated, foldable skirt. He patented the skirt, yet like the others was unable to capitalize on his invention. This was unfortunate, since Koret of California, who bought the patent, ended up selling a million dollars worth of the skirt in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Contrary to Koret's claim that Stephanie Koret designed the skirt, she did not. In fact, the 1941 patent was assigned by Arthur Heyman to Joe Koret in 1943. This was accomplished by Arthur's wife Bess (nicknamed Babe), who needed the money during World War II, since Arthur was off to war. This was of course enviable on Arthur's part, except that Arthur had also served in World War I, and Babe thought that serving in one war was enough.
Mervyn Harvey Marks, who was an excellent golfer in his time (and who will tell you that he probably played more golf than he should have), invented the doohickey that attaches to the post on a walking golf cart that enabled the golfer to place a few tees, a scorecard and a pencil on it. Like his grandfather Isidor, who had shown his invention to Southern Pacific, Merv showed his invention to Bag Boy and they promptly stole the idea.
The most successful inventor was my father, Robert Joseph Marks, whose realm of patents (about a dozen) were all eyeglass or spectacle cases. In another blog post I will discuss how Isidor Heyman started the Bay City Bag Company, and his son in law started California Optical Leather Company, making key cases prior to WW II, and eyeglass cases during and after the war. His sons Mervyn H and Robert J took over the company in 1948 - Merv Jr. ran the factory, and Robert designed and sold.
Some pictures of the case designs from the patent applications are below - the oldest being the "777" with a clip, and the "Hideaway", both patented in the early 1950s.
The Hideaway was innovative because it was collapsable for "hiding" in a pocket when it did not have eyeglasses in it.
Robert also had several other patented eyeglass cases in the 1970s and 1980s.
If you think you might be related, even remotely - email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't be shy!!!
Check out the entire
Letters from Germany Series
The Ancestor Hunt
My family history research info site