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Biography

Sep 1946
Brooklyn, New York


Michael and Ida Lasky at the wedding of their son Sam
by his grandson Steven Lasky


My grandfather Michael Lasky (Laski) was born in 1872 in Zambrow, Poland. I know this because this is was what was written by my grandmother Ida's Petition for Naturalization that was issued for her in 1948.

Unfortunately, both of my grandparents passed away a few years before I was born and I never got to know them. All I was ever told about my paternal grandfather before I became interested in genealogy was that I was named after him.

I've learned much more about my grandfather since. It's assumed that he had an arranged marriage, a shiddach, in Lomza, Poland in 1901. Through my research, I discovered that he immigrated through Ellis Island way back in 1902, with another landsmen, no doubt in order to get settled in the United States, in order to pave the way for his younger bride of approximately fifteen years, and his newborn daughter. Ida and daughter Sheindel followed Michael two years later, also entering the United States through Ellis Island.

Like so many immigrants during this time, they initially took up residence on the Lower East Side of Manhattan before eventually moving to Brownsville, Brooklyn. As for the type of work they did, for the most part while living in the U.S., Michael's wife Ida was the breadwinner. She was the hard saleswoman who would sell clothes that she would carry on her back and sell for cash on the streets
(this was known as "I Cash Clothes.") Later, she would make money conducting estate sales. Michael, on the other hand, was a very religious man and could often be seen davening many times every day. At some point, when Ida opened up a clothing store on Prospect Place in Brooklyn, she would be the salesperson and Michael would do a little tailoring. At home his job was simple-- cook potatoes and beets every Friday night for the family.

All I know is that Michael's father's name was Joseph; it is possible that his mother's given name was Rachel, but I am not certain of this. He also had at least one brother named Israel, who too lived near his brother in Brooklyn for many years, though there is no real mention within the family of any occasion that they might have met in New York. I have met some of Israel's relatives, but they know little about their grandfather Israel's early life in Europe, not even if he was born in Zambrow, though it is known that he was born somewhere in Lomza Gubernia.

My grandfather Michael passed away in Brooklyn, New York in Feb 1948, his wife Ida two years later. They were the parents of six children.

 

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