Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bertha Almasi Batkay Reilly 1886-1920

 Chris's great grandma was Bertha Almasi Batkay Reilly.   She was born in Hungary and came to the U.S. with her parents Samuel and Elizabeth in 1893.  The passenger list says they only had one piece of luggage with them.  Her sister Mary would be born in the U.S. in the 1890s. Above is her marriage record to her first husband Balazs Batkay.    Some interesting stuff I found out from it is that she was not Catholic.  I had assumed since she had married her 2nd husband in a Catholic church that she was Catholic but you can see from the record that she was married at The Hungarian Reformed Church in Manhattan on October 4, 1903.  All of my records for Bertha list her birthday as 1886 in Hungary so I wonder if she is lying about her age here.  She would really be 17 if she was born in 1886.   I went online and looked up the church.  Their services are done in Hungarian and it is located at a different address now but I was able to find a picture of the original. 
I still cannot find out anything about her first husband Balazs Batkay.  I did find a lot of Baptism records on  for him and his brother and sisters but I don't know what happened to him and why they are not together by 1909 when she marries Joseph Reilly.  Bertha had one daughter with Batkay also named Bertha in October of 1904.    I cannot find a death record for him.  Did he go back to Hungary?  Did she refuse to go back with him?  Maybe one day I'll find out. 
Here is her marriage record to Chris's great grandpa Joseph Reilly.  She is lying about being married before because the Catholic priest would not have married her had he known she had been married before.  This makes me believe that her first husband is still alive.  Bertha and Joseph were married at St. John the Martyr's Church in Manhattan. They had 3 sons, James in 1910 (Chris's grandpa),  Joseph in 1912 and Bernard in 1913.   In the 1910 census Joseph and Bertha are living together but her little girl is living with her parents Samuel and Elizabeth Almasi.  Then by 1915 Bertha and the boys are living with her dad and little Bertha.  Joseph at this time is living with his mom Annie and his brothers John F and James.  On Joseph's WWI draft card from 1917 he does list a wife and 3 kids.
Bertha died in Feb 1920 at only 34 years old.   In the 1920 census her sons are listed as the sons of William Varecka which makes me wonder if she married again though I have not found a marriage record.  Her father and daughter are also living with William in Dobbs Ferry and her dad is listed as his father-in-law.   
I don't know if she ever became a citizen of the U.S. or not.  Most census records do list her as an alien even though I thougt if you married an American you automatically became a citizen before they changed that law in the 20s I believe.  If she was an alien then she should have an enemy alien card from WWI.  I would love to find it and her fathers.  This record would have a ton of information on it as well as a picture of them.  Maybe one day....

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