Recently, I have been looking into the records of a prominent Jewish family from the St. Louis, Missouri area. In many ways they were like so many other families who had settled in the United States looking for somewhere to raise their growing family without the restrictions of their homeland.
In the 1920 United States Census we find the family of Max and Mary Cohen and their 6 children. Max, a shoemaker and Mary his housewife were both Russian Jews, who had made their home on Carr Street in St. Louis. The record of the family is shown below.
By 1940, the family, now including 9 children had moved to a new home, at 1453 Hamilton Avenue, still in St. Louis. The children in the family were making their living by working in pharmacy's, both as Registered Pharmacists or Clerks working in the pharmacy. The 1940 United States Census lists on the family over two pages, as shown below.
The records above are nice to establish the family unit and to place them together in St. Louis, however other than names, ages and occupations they really don't tell us their individual histories. However, thanks to a database found at FamilySearch.org, we may be able to add some nice information to at least one child. That database, Missouri, Reports of Separation Notices, 1941-1946, are the records of those leaving the military after World War II. The original records are held at the Missouri State Archives in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Searching this collection, which includes almost 350,000 records, I searched for the son, Julius. In the 1920 census he is listed as being an infant, less than 1 year old, and in 1940 he is shown as being 21 years of age, which tells us he was likely born 1919 or 1920. The other clue we have is that in 1940 his occupation was listed as being a stock clerk.
Using that information, with the knowledge of name, age and occupation, searching the database identified the following record.
If there was any doubt that this Julius, who gives his date of birth as 25 Aug 1919, the clincher is that he gives his address as 1453 Hamilton Avenue, the same address as the 1940 U.S. Census. The additional history that we learn about Julius, tells an incredible story. During his service in World War II, he is listed as serving the the following battles, Normandy, North France, Rhineland and Central Europe. From this service to his new country he was awarded various medals, including an amazing 6 Bronze Stars. What an incredible example of providing service to your country and to those in other countries that you may never had met before. What a great example.
A special thanks to the Missouri State Archives for making these records available.