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1902 Park Avenue Tunnel Collision

—A New Rochelle Tragedy—

Research Journal for Oscar W. Meyrowitz

This page was last updated: Saturday, 09-Mar-2013 17:40:24 MST


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Oscar Meyrowitz [See Photograph section below.]

Genealogy: Oscar W. Meyrowitz


According to various newspaper articles of the day, the body of Oscar Meyrowitz was placed on a train for transport up to Albany for burial. His death certificate did not identify any cemetery. Up until recently I was unable to identify any cemetery for his final resting place.

Earlier in 2007, I had placed a query on the Albany County Message Board on Rootsweb and Ancestry asking if anyone could look for a newspaper article in Albany county which identified the cemetery. I received a reply from Mary Anne in Albany with some information which I already had. However, she also checked a listing of lot owners for the Albany Rural Cemetery which she had ascertained was in existence in 1902. She said that Oscar was not listed as being a lot owner for this cemetery.

Next Steps: Begin looking for the death date for his wife, Jessie (née Waterman) Meyrowitz and locate her death certificate. Maybe she was buried in the same cemetery as Oscar. Assuming that she died in New York State and not New York City (NYC) or some other state, a trip to the National Archives in NYC will need to be made to review the NY State Vital Records Index located there. If she is not found in the NY State death index, then a search of death index for NYC will need to be made to determine whether or not she died in that city. A partial index for NYC can be found at the web site of the Italian Genealogical Group.

Notes: The vital records index for New York State is located at several repositories within New York, the nearest to me is the National Archives in New York City at Varick and Houston streets. [For additional repositories holding the NYS Vital Records Index, see the Upstate New York Genealogy Blog at: Also, be sure to read the additional, related articles which are linked from the bottom of that web page.]

Cemetery Found! While I have been unable to travel into New York City lately to look for Jessie's death record in the NY State vital records index, in 2012 I happened to search for Oscar once again on This time I was surprised to see his name come up with a burial. Persistence paid off! had recently added a new database to their web site that included the interments to the Albany Rural Cemetery. Both Oscar and Jessie Meyrowitz were included in this list. Why did Mary Anne of Albany (see above paragraphs) not find him when she searched earlier? Because she had searched only the listing of lot owners and not a listing of interments! According to this new database on Ancestry, the lot owner was a Charles Easton. So, keep up the dogged perseverance!

Land & Property

Oscar Meyrowitz's cottage in New Rochelle A search of land records in Westchester County needs to be made to determine whether or not Oscar Meyrowitz owned his own home pictured here. If so, deeds should be searched to learn when the house was acquired and also when it was sold. Census records (perhaps the 1900 Federal Census) should identify the street address. According to newspaper articles, he resided at 18 Bancker Place. Once the address has been confirmed, a look at the location today may be warranted to see whether or not the house is still standing.

This picture of his house appeared in the New-York Tribune published on Sunday, January 12, 1902, main page. While the newspaper labeled this house a "cottage" it certainly seems to be a large house.

There was a brief article in New Rochelle Pioneer published on 22 July 1911 in New Rochelle, Westchester county, New York which could relate to their house. Further research will need to be done to determine if this is correct.

13 Real Estate Transfers (From the Real Estate Records) City Realty Co to Jessie W. Meyrowitz of Troy, N. Y. Map of Beechmont, prop (1) lot 12 bk Q. Sept 23, '07; July 15,'11.


Further research into probate records at the Westchester County Archives needs to be done.

Civil Law Suit

According to newspaper articles, Mrs. Jessie Meyrowitz was awarded $20,000 from her lawsuit against the New York Central Rail Road. Further research needs to be done regarding this court case.

Military Service

According to a newspaper article in The New York Times, [published January 9, 1902] Oscar was "a veteran of the Twenty-second Regiment N. G. N. Y. " Would the letters "N. G. N. Y." stand for National Guard New York?

If he arrived in the USA in 1869 as stated in the 1900 Federal Census, then he arrived after the end of the Civil War, but in time for the Spanish-American War. Could he have served in the Spanish-American War? Or perhaps he served during a period of peaceful activity? Where would one find rosters of this regiment, if indeed they do still exist?


A copy of the above photograph of Oscar Meyrowitz had initially been sent to me by the video production company. However, it was a printout and of very poor quality. On searching the Library of Congress's Chronicling America web site, I found a copy of the newspaper* containing the photograph. Once I downloaded a copy in PDF format it was easy to crop the photo from the newspaper page and turn it into an image suitable for showing on this web page.

* The Minneapolis Journal, Thursday, January 9, 1902, page 7.

Problems/Brick Wall

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Researched and compiled by Cathy Horn