Tuesday’s Tip: Broida Family Research in Denver, Colorado Repositories

1894c Gittel (Frank) Broida, cropped from a family portrait.
1894c Sarah Gittel (Frank) Broida, cropped from a family portrait.

Broida Family Ancestor


So much for a quick check of my email…

An email from GeneaBloggers Daily reported that Family Tree Magazine had listed the “75 Best Genealogy Websites for USA Research.” So of course I cruised onto the FTM website despite my meticulous list of all the things I needed to do today that did not include genealogy. I was excited to see that the article was titled, “75 Best Genealogy Websites for U. S. States in 2014.” There, in a state-by-state listing, were state repositories, rather than general lists that covered the whole country. It was exactly what I needed.

Gittel Frank Broida is one of our family brick walls. We were elated this past year to learn that her maiden name was Frank, and that a cousin had found her death certificate in Colorado, even though she was buried in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Unfortunately the link no longer took us right to the certificate, as it might in many states. Since the time of finding the link, Colorado has apparently deemed it an invasion of privacy to put online a death certificate that is 114 years old. So I paid my money and sent lots of information, including a driver’s license image and a notarized statement that my husband wrote that he was requesting the death certificate of his g-g-grandmother. After a few weeks I finally got a message back that he was not eligible to receive the death certificate, as he had to be within 2 generations of the deceased, and the money I sent was taken as research fees. Sadly there is no one around 114 years later that fits the requirement of only 1-2 generations from the ancestor, so no death certificate for us. (A good reminder- save/make copies of what you find online- it may be even more ephemeral than paper!)

Seeing that there were two repositories listed for Colorado in the Family Tree Magazine article, I knew I had to do the searches. The Colorado State Archives was the first search, with 3 hits for “Broida”:

BROIDA, Sarah Gasse,  ID 195474, Death Record, Archive Location R90, County of Denver, and the date was 1901-APR-14

BROIDA, Theodore D., ID 1248579, Marriage License, (no county listed), 1916-Aug 20

CORONATION EMBROIDAY HOOP Co., ID 816923, Incorporation records, Archive Location S500, (no county listed), 1903-MAY-28

It took me a minute to realize why that third search result was in there- my mind read “Embroidery” but it was spelled differently and the name “Broida” was right in the middle.

The other two hits were great though.

I had forgotten that Gittel was listed with ‘Sarah’ as her first name in some of the burial records, but I have not heard the name ‘Gasse.’ Her maiden name was Frank, so it will be interesting to see where ‘Gasse’ came from, with further research. The death date and place were correct, however, so this is most likely our Gittel.

Years ago we were surprised to find Gittel and John in Denver, Colorado in the 1900 US Federal Census- initially thought it was a mistake, as they had lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for most of their lives after age 20 or so when they migrated to the US from Russian Lithuania. At first we assumed that the census taker found them in Denver during an extended visit with their son, but then realized John was employed and a number of people lived in the home. More recent research, however, told us that Gittel acquired ‘pulmonary tuberculosis,’ so they had probably moved to Denver in hopes of the cleaner mountain air helping her to breathe easier. Sadly, that was not to be, and she passed away 14 April 1901.  She was buried in Beth Hamedrash Hagodol-Beth Jacob Cemetery in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania. (See the previous post, “Mystery Monday-Gitel/Gertrude (Frank) Broida.”)

Looking back at my ‘Mystery Monday’ post on Gitel (always review your previous research!), the light bulb went on- the name “Gasse” might be explained by the way Gitel was enumerated in the 1900 census- as “Gussie.” Gitel and John’s granddaughter, Gertude Broida Cooper, remembered her immigrant grandfather as having a very thick accent (she never knew her paternal grandmother)- Gitel probably did as well. So that may explain the names. One more mystery- SOLVED.

The next step was to get the record for Gittel from the Colorado State Archives, so I contacted the Archives via email. More on that later, and Theodore Broida, too.


Oh yes- I got so excited about what I found that I didn’t really mention a Tuesday’s Tip. Not sure if it should be:

1) Read a lot of genealogy blogs and follow up on the resources they mention; OR

2) Check out state repositories every now and then to see what new items are online; OR

3) Review your research at later times- something you just learned may make something else ‘click’; OR

4) Just ignore the “dumb-stuff-ya-gotta-do” and do genealogy as it comes to you.

My “Tuesday’s Tip” should probably be all of the above. I wish 4) could happen more often.


Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) GeneaBloggers Daily. 22 Jan 2015. http://paper.li/geneabloggers/1306385546?edition_id=24394720-a2a3-11e4-8c49-0cc47a0d1605&utm_campaign=paper_sub&utm_medium=email&utm_source=subscription#!technology

2) Crume, Rick.  75 Best Genealogy Websites for US States in 2014. 20 Jan 2015.  Family Tree Magazine/FW Media. http://familytreemagazine.com/article/2014-best-state-genealogy-websites

3) Colorado State Archives: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/archives/archives-search

4) See my 25 Nov 2013 post, “Mystery Monday- Gitel/Gertrude (Frank) Broida at http://heritageramblings.net/2013/11/25/mystery-monday-gitelgertude-frank-broida/.


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