APPENDIX G (Prefix GEN): Genealogies



001 (Rootsweb)

From posted to Roots Web:  Contact: avraham shomer   ID: I271

  Name: Yona EFRON

  Title: äÉàë ÅàÿöÇ

  Sex: F

  Birth: CIR 1910 in Michlovi Poland

  Emigration: 1923 Palestine (ISRAEL)

  Death: 1967 in Nesher Israel

  Burial: Givaat Nesher ISRAEL

  YARZ: å"ïÖÜ üÇ 'ü

  Reference Number: 17/(#11)
Father: Moshe Efron

Mother: Esther (Efron)
Marriage 1 Yosef Weissmann b: 1906 in Stanislavov Galizia Poland

1       Married: in ISRAEL


1.      Rami Weissmann b: CIR 1932 in ISRAEL

  ID: I272

  Name: Rami WEISSMANN

  Title: ëÄÿ ÅÄæëà

  Sex: M

  Occupation: Army Officer

  Birth: CIR 1932 in ISRAEL

  Death: 1952 in ISRAEL

  Burial: Military Cemetry Haifa ISRAEL

  Reference Number: 17/#26


Rami was killed in the upper Gallily during his military service as demolition
officer while clearing an old mine field.


002 (Rootsweb)

  Name: Louise Maria WELLHOEFER

  Sex: F

  Birth: 20 OCT 1912 in Dayton, Ohio

  Death: 29 DEC 1999 in Cincinnati, Ohio

  Change Date: 12 MAR 2001
Father: George Thurman CAVENDER b: 4 MAR 1892 in Sidney, Shelby Co., Ohio
Mother: Anna WELLHOEFER b: ABT 1895
Marriage 1 Aaron Jacob PEARLMAN b: 27 NOV 1899 in Vedersburg, Indiana

2.      Married: 1932


1.      Living PEARLMAN

2.      Living PEARLMAN

Marriage 2 Leon “Tubby” SNYDER b: 23 MAR 1904


1.      Living SNYDER

Marriage 3 Harold J. EFFRON b: 30 JUL 1906



003 (Rootsweb)

Contact: Grace Ebneter

  Name: Doris Schwartz

  Sex: F

  Birth: 1907 in New York

  Death: 1978 in Massachussetts
Father: Abraham SCHLEIFER: 1877 in Poland

Mother: Ida EFFRON b: 1883 in Poland
Marriage 1 Harold SCHWARTZ b: 1901 in Ohio


1.      Bernard Stanley SCHWARTZ b: 1926 in Ohio


  Name: Bernard Stanley SCHWARTZ

  Sex: M

  Birth: 1926 in Ohio

  Death: 1982 in Texas
Father: Harold SCHWARTZ b: 1901 in Ohio
Mother: Doris SCHLEIFER b: 1907 in New York
Marriage 1 Living EICHENBAUM


1.      Living SCHWARTZ


Father: Bernard Stanley SCHWARTZ b: 1926 in Ohio
Mother: Living EICHENBAUM
Marriage 1 Living GADDY


1.      Living GADDY



004 (Rootsweb)

 Name: James Effron

 Sex: M

 Birth: 10 MAR 1910

 Death: MAY 1991

 Reference Number: 2964

Marriage 1 Josephine Elizabeth Fleck b: 26 APR 1911 in Pennsylvania

1       Married: AFT 1950

  Name: Josephine Elizabeth Fleck

  Sex: F

  Birth: 26 APR 1911 in Pennsylvania

  Death: DEC 1968 in Blackwood, NJ

  Burial: 1968 Locustwood Memorial Park, Camden Co, Cherry Hill, NJ

  Social Security Number: PA 179-22-5843

  Reference Number: 40
Father: George Jackson Fleck b: 2 JUL 1887 in Philadelphia, PA
Mother: Sara Ellen McGuckin b: 30 MAR 1891 in Philadelphia, PA
Marriage 1 John James McCosker, Sr. b: 7 SEP 1907 in Philadelphia, PA

1       Married: ABT 1930 in Philaelphia, PA


1.      John James McCosker, Jr.

2.      Living McCosker

3.      Living McCosker

4.      Living McCosker

5.      Sally McCosker

6.      Living McCosker

7.      Living McCosker

Marriage 2  James Effron b: 10 MAR 1910

1       Married: AFT 1950



*005 From rootsweb:


  Name: Margaret EFFRON

  Sex: F

  Birth: 1918 in Indiana Harbor,In

  Death: DEC 1949 in Hammond,In/Obit
Marriage 1 Raymond DOPSON b: 1908 in Saint Louis,Mo/Obit


  Name: Raymond DOPSON

  Sex: M

  Birth: 1908 in Saint Louis,Mo/Obit

  Death: DEC 1949 in Hammond,In/Obit

  Burial: Died with wife Marge in accident the same month the Anne Dopson(Mother)died.



*006 From rootsweb:

  Name: Jane McLaughlin

  Sex: F
Father: John McLaughlin
Mother: Mary Effron
Marriage 1 Joseph Fournier b: 1871

1       Married: 14 APR 1896 in St-Patrice, Montréal, , Québec, Canada


1.      Lumina Fournier b: 15 FEB 1910 in , Bonaventure, Bonaventure, Québec, Canada



*007 from rootsweb:


  Name: Aron Ephranelius

  Surname: Ephranelius

  Given Name: Aron

  Sex: M

  Birth: EST 1833 in of Rohatyn, Galicia (now Ukraine)

  _UID: 2294021FBCE2D611BC29C00D5BC100002A65

  Change Date: 18 Oct 2002 at 17:44:35
Marriage 1 Spouse Unknown


1.      Mordechai Ephranelius b: EST 1860 in

2.      Aron Ephranelius b: 1863 in Rohatyn, Galicia (now Ukraine)


  Name: Mordechai Ephranelius

  Surname: Ephranelius

  Given Name: Mordechai

  _AKA: Mordko Afrineles, Marcus Efronilis,

  Sex: M

  Birth: EST 1860 in 1

  _UID: 2295676AE2EFD411BC29E0AA59C10203CCDC

  Occupation: Rabbi

  Change Date: 29 Feb 2004 at 11:29:46


  Name: Aron Leib Afrineles

  Surname: Afrineles

  Given Name: Aron Leib

  Sex: M

  Birth: 1878 in Bursztyn, Galicia (now Ukraine)

  Death: 1879 in Rohatyn, Galicia (now Ukraine)

  _UID: 0294021FBCE2D611BC29C00D5BC100000A65

  Change Date: 18 Oct 2002 at 17:38:59
Father: Mordechai Ephranelius b: EST 1860 in
Mother: Pearl Klarberg b: 1865/1866 in Burshtyn, Galicia, Austria (now Ukraine)


008 Source document


From the Yiddish notes left by Eli and Nisan Effron, written on five pieces of scrap paper




1840     The father was born in Amdur.

1848     The mother was born in Mintchik Naraike.

1864     Chaim Note was born in Mintchik.  The Sandiker, grandfather Nisan.

1868     Abba was born the 12th of Kislev in 5628.  The Sandiker was my brother, Aria Layb.

1871     Son Yakov was born the 27th of Kislev, 5631, in Amdur.  The Sandiker was the Renowned David Isaac.  He has died.

1873     Nov. 5th, Rivka Elke was born in Amdur.

1875     Abraham Isaac was born the 1st of Kislev in 5635 in Nefarznitze.  The Sandiker was Moshe Paplaftzen.

1877     My daughter Hannah was born in Shambelain, May 28, 1877.

1881     My son Yosef was born in Shamberlain March 25, 1881.

1887     Sister Tzina was born in Shambelain Nov. 5.





The 10th of Nissen, Chaim Note was born to me, 5624 in Amdur.  The Sandiker was my father-in-law, Moishe Nissen, who died.  1864.

12th of Kislev, Abba born in 5628.  The Sandiker was my brother, Aria Layb.

27th of Kislev, Son Yakov was born 5631 in Amdur.  The Sandiker was the well known David Isaac who died.

Nov. 5, my daughter Rivka Elke born in Amdur 1873

1st of Kislev, Abraham Itzak was born 5635 in Nefarnitse. The Sandiker, Moshe Paplaftzen.

My daughter Hannah born in Shamblain, May 28, 1877.

My son Yosef was born in Shambelain, March 25, 1881.  I was the Sandiker.

My daughter Tzina was born in Shambelain May 5, 1887.

[the following written by Nathan?]

Julius was bron in Cinc. July 4, 1893.

Aria was born in, a Sunday.  I myself was the Sandiker.

Amme, born in Georgetown, Aug. 11.  The Sandiker was the father.

Edward, born Monday, Feb. 23, Washington's birthday.  The Sandiker was Freda's father, David.

Arthur Mayer, born Thursday,.  I was the Sandiker.

Moshe, born in Prescott, Arizona, Aug. 25, 1897.  I was the Sandiker.

My daughter was born in Cynthiana, March 21, 1899.

Betti was born.

Stanley was born Sunday, The Sandiker was Youngerman.

Newman, born in Georgetown, Nov. 23, 1901.  The Sandiker, my father


[Nathan’s Notes]


1868     April 8, Rivka was born in Vilkovisk

1864     Chaim Note was born in Mintchik April 10, the Sandiker was grandfather Nissen.

1890     Married Rivka in Vilkovisk.  The Parsha of the week was Lech Lecha.

1891     Came to America in Shevat

1893     Tuesday, July 4, Julius was born in Cinci.

1895     Amy was born in Georgetown, 8/11/1895.

1897     Moshe was born in Prescott, Arizona, 8/25/1897.

1899     Our daughter Ida Chaya was born in Cynthiana, 3/21.

1901     Newman was born in Georgetown, KY, 11/23

1921     Feb. 2, father-in-law's Yahrtzeit

1921     Tamuz, mother-in-law's Yahrtzeit, same year in summer.

1918     Aug. 1st, our father died.  Yahrzeit 8/30, evening


The oldest son died before his bris in Smith St., Cinci, 1892.


This Chovot Halevavot* belongs to the highly respected rabbi [rabbinical sage, the eminent scholar, our teacher], my father Eliezer Eliyahu, son of Nison Efron from Adur [Amdur] near Horodna [Grodna], the capital.

He is now in Niprazhnitzeh, near the court/estate of Papelvetse of the great nobleman (?) Vish ping (?).

My mother Chana Ettes yahrzeit 24 Tevet, 5662, in Amdur. 1902.

My mother's mother's yahrzeit 6 Tevet 5636,Berestovitsa  [?] Chana Mintchtszker. 1876

*  Chovot Halevavot (Duties of the Heart) is a popular text on Faith and Ethics, by Bahaye ibn Pakuda, 14th c.

Translation help courtesy of Kadish Goldberg (assisted by Dina Magen), Tirat Zvi, Israel.

Also, Odeda Zlotnick


Jake Seltz, died in Ellenville, NY, Rosh Chodesh Adar, Tuesday, 2nd Adar, the Parsha was Shmini, 2nd of April, 1935.


1840     The father was born in Amdur.

1848     The mother was born in Minsiker Naraike.

4/10/64 Chaim Note born in Minsiker.  Sandiker Grandfather Nissen.

11/12/68           Abke born in Minsiker.  Sandiker, Aria Layb.

11/22/71           Yaakov born in Amdur, Sandiker, David Isaac.

11/5/73 Sister Reva Aleka born in Amdur.

11/1/75 Abraham Itzhak in Nefarzinitze.  Sandiker, Moshe of Paplaftse.

5/28/77 Sister Hannah born in Shamblin.

3/25/81 Yosef Shambelain, Sandiker, father.

11/5/87 Sister Tzina born in Shambelain.

4/8/68   R. Effron

4/10/64 My family, Chaim Note Effron, I was born this date

1892                 The oldest son died, Smith St., Cinci.

1890                 I married Rivka in Volkovaik, Tuesday, October

1891                 I came to America, Tuesday, 1891

7/4/93               My Julius born in Cinci.

8/11/95 Amy born in Georgetown.

8/25/97 Moshe born in Prescott, AZ.

3/21/99 My daughter Chaya born in Cynthiana, KY.

11/23/01           My son Nissen born Nov. 23, 1901


NOTES (by J. Yarin):


In the 1858 Revision lists for Grodno and Volkovysk Uezds there are five men named David Isaac:

One has the last name Blakh – same as Yetta, and one has the name Spektor Lasinsky, and Spektor is the name of a revered Grodno area rabbi. Either could be a good candidate for the David Isaac mentioned above. The others are surnamed Vigdorovich, Gabovich, Belkin, Zelikovic


Amdur, shtetl in Belarus                                               53 deg 27'/23 deg 53'

Volkovysk, shtetl in Belarus                                          53 deg 10'/24 deg 28'

Paplowce and Nieporoznicz are located right next to each other approximately 25 miles south of Amdur, only slightly northwest of Bielwistca.



[Nieprzesnia, referenced in "Guide to Unpublished Materials of the Holocaust Perid, Yad Vashem Archival Material, Part 3, Vol. V, 1979.]



009 from roots web (Family History of John Krussel:


  Name: Benjamin EFFREIN 1

  Sex: M

  Birth: 20 MAR 1872 in Ste Genevieve, Ste Genevieve Co., Missouri

  Death: UNKNOWN
Marriage 1 Mary Anna KARL b: ABT 1875

1       Married: 27 NOV 1894 in Ste Genevieve, Ste Genevieve Co., Missouri 1


1.      Edward Benjamin EFFREIN b: 3 MAY 1895 in Ste Genevieve, Ste Genevieve Co., Missouri

2.      Hilda Anna Maria EFFREIN b: 27 NOV 1896 in Ste Genevieve, Ste Genevieve Co., Missouri

3.      Leona Magdalena EFFREIN b: 6 JAN 1899 in Farmington, St. Francois Co., Missouri

4.      Augusta Maria EFFREIN b: 28 FEB 1901 in Farmington, St. Francois Co., Missouri

5.      Emma Louise EFFREIN b: 27 SEP 1904 in Farmington, St. Francois Co., Missouri

6.      Thomas Bernhard EFFREIN b: 29 APR 1908 in Farmington, St. Francois Co., Missouri


1.      Title: Family History of JOHN KRUSSEL



010 Also (Roots Web, Source?):


1.      Hilda EFFREIN

2.      Johanna EFFREIN

3.      Henry EFFREIN

4.      Edward Benjamin EFFREIN b: 3 MAY 1895 in Ste Genevieve, Ste Genevieve County, Missouri

5.      Leona EFFREIN b: 6 JAN 1899 in Farmington, St Francois County, Missouri

6.      Augusta EFFREIN b: 28 FEB 1901 in Farmington, St Francois County, Missouri

7.      Emma EFFREIN b: 27 SEP 1904 in Farmington, St Francois County, Missouri

8.      Thomas EFFREIN b: 19 APR 1908 in Farmington, St francois County, Missouri



  Name: Johanna EFFREIN 1 2 3

  Sex: F
Father: Benjamin EFFREIN b: 20 MAR 1872 in Ste Genevieve, Ste Genevieve County, Missouri
Mother: Mary Anna KARL b: 21 APR 1875
Marriage 1 Joseph O. SWICK


  Name: Living Effrein

  Sex: F

  Reference Number: 25053
Marriage 1 Joseph Owen Swink b: 6 JUN 1905 in Farmington, St. Francois Co., Missouri


1.      Living Swink

2.      Living Swink


  Name: Augusta Maria EFFREIN 1

  Sex: F

  Birth: 28 FEB 1901 in Farmington, St. Francois Co., Missouri

  Death: APR 1993 in Bonne Terre, Missouri
Father: Benjamin EFFREIN b: 20 MAR 1872 in Ste Genevieve, Ste Genevieve Co., Missouri
Mother: Mary Anna KARL b: ABT 1875
Marriage 1 Frank R. SEITZ b: ABT 1902

1       Married:  1



*011 NOT USED – was Gurelnick family



From two online family tree that includes Susan Gidding Guttmacher: Children are Rebecca and Kate. Married a second time to Elliott Holden . Benjamin Ezra Green. Kate Rebecca b. Benjamin Ezra died in Portland OR of stomach cancer.



Source document

Hand-drawn family tree on one page, received from Joel Effron of Oakland, CA, as he received it from his uncle, Max of Arizona.

Verify that all info has been transcribed here.


Motte Tsine


                        Motte Matsul, married Couney






                                    Taibe (Toby Escol)

                                                Mashe (Morris). Two children.

                                                Sadie Mannheimer, married Ike


                                                            Ethel Cohn









                                                Sarah Harris


                                    Etke (Esther) Effron, married Moshe Effron (his family his also given – see below)

                                                Shmuel (Sam), married Harriet Nadleweiss

                                                            Joel, married JoAnn Rogers


                                                            Roberta “Robby” Romines, married Ken Romines

                                                            Herbert, married Carole



                                                Avrom Ezra, married Chaia


                                                                        Drov (?)





                                                Pinchus, married Rochal





                                                                        Jacorsal (?)

                                                                        Zaekl (?)


                                                Rosa, married Zvi





                                                Alex, married Edith



                                                Taible Weisman, married Joseph Weisman


                                                Max, married Mildred

                                                Shevach, married Ruhama

                                                            Ruthie Effron, married David Effron, 2 children



                        Ephraim Visranker


                        Gutke Effron. She was the second wife of Judil Effron, whose ancestry is not given.

                                    Moshe, married Etke (Esther) Effron. See above.




                                                Mule (Male?)





                                                            Unknown. One of his descnedents is Mottel.










Possibly another member of this branch is Raquel Lia Teitelbaum. Her family was found in the Jewish Genealogy Family Finder, as entered by Mario Jeifetz (?) of Argentina. We exchanged emails in 6/2003 about this JGFF entry


I also emailed Luis in 3/2005 at  and asked him about this branch:


“Dear Luis,

Tengo muchos papeles y informacion para la familia Efron, pero no tengo el nombre "Rochel Leah (Efron) Teitelbaum." Yo se que estaban muchos Efrons in Moisesville, pero no tengo esta senora!  Tengo una larga familia arbor de los Efrons de Argentina.

Excusame por favor para mi Espanol es muy mal. Hablas, o escritas in Ingles? Si no, tengo una amiga que translata su palabras Espanol (yo creo).”


.Rojeleie-Raquel Lea (m.n. Efron), b. 1865, Grodno, Belarus, d. 8/20/1937 , married Jose Teitelbaum, b. 1871, Grodno, Belarus, d. 9/5/1943, Moises Ville, Argentina. They had known children: Jaie Libe Sheiner; Taibe-Teresa Tolkachir; Rivke-Rebecca Kotin; Zire-Cecilia Guershtein; Jaime; Enie-Ana Pal; Sara Kolonsky; and Mere-Maria Lipovetzky. Full family tree is at Appendix G, GEN--

  3        Jose Teitelbaum      n: 1871 Grodno - Belarus   f: 5 Sep 1943 Moises Ville-Argentina

................            +Rojeleie-Raquel Lea Efron   n: 1865 Grodno - Belarus   f: 20 Ago 1937

                                Moises Ville-Argentina

....................      4        Jaie Libe Teitelbaum  

........................            +Abraham Sheiner     

...........................      5        Schneike-Samuel Sheiner  

....................      4        Taibe-Teresa Teitelbaum                  f: 31 Ago 1991 Buenos Aires 

........................            +Salvador Tolkachir      

...........................      5        Aaron-Nenucho Tolkachir 

...........................      5        Slate-Chocha Tolkachir     

....................      4        Rivke-Rebeca Teitelbaum                        Vive en: Buenos Aires 

........................            +Adolfo Kotin                  

...........................      5        Hija Kotin                 

...........................      5        Hijo Kotin                 

....................      4        Zire-Cecilia Teitelbaum  

........................            +Julio Guershtein           

....................      4        Jaime Teitelbaum      n: 1 Ene 1907 Moises Ville-Argentina

........................            +Charne-Catalina Liberchuk   n: 26 Ene 1909  f: 11 Ene 1994 Moises Ville-Arg

...........................      5        Benjamin Jose Teitelbaum     

...............................            +Viviana Knohl

...................................      6        Diego Teitelbaum     

...................................      6        Santiago Teitelbaum     

...................................      6        Irina Teitelbaum            

....................      4        Enie-Ana Teitelbaum                  f: 12 Sep 1979 Buenos Aires

........................            +Mario-Meyer Pal                  f: 13 Ene 1979 Buenos Aires    

...........................      5        Felix-Bebe Pal     

...............................            +Regina Nora Glagovsky     

...................................      6        Daniela Pal     

...................................      6        Valentina Pal     

.......................................            +Damian Di Primio   


..........................................      7        Catalina Di Primio     

..........................................      7        Julieta Di Primio         

...........................      5        Jaime Pal                         

....................      4        Peshe-Paulina Teitelbaum             

....................      4        Sara Teitelbaum                  f: 4 May 1974 Buenos Aires

........................            +Isaac Kolonsky                  f: 1 Jun 1994 Buenos Aires 

....................      4        Mere-Maria Teitelbaum 

........................            +Isaac Lipovetzky         

...........................      5        Coco Lipovetzky                        Vive en: Canada 

...........................      5        Alicia Raquel Lipovetzky 


015 Descendents of Baruch Ben Zion Miscovski (Mishcovsky)

Source document


Received from Leslie Terret on 5/29/2008 (converted from Excel format; dates converted to US style. Some dates unclear if they are years or months; The cities noted are presumed to be current residences, though they could be places of birth.)


Baruch Ben Zion Miscovski, born Indora, Grodno

            Avram Ezra Moscow (Miscovski), m. Annie



            Noah Hyman, m. Rachel Freedman

                        Alice, m. Albert Brown



                                                Russell, m. Sharon Grant

                                    Gloria, m. Anthony Hyat

                                                Gillian, m. Martin Lachs.

                                                            Noah Lachs,

                                                            Ellie Lachs

                        Flora, m. Frank Terret, b. 1905, d. 1973?

                                    Doreen, m. Frank Gerber.

                                                Arlene, m. Geoffrey Cohen.




                                    Anita, b. 1937, d. 2000, m. Douglas Adam

                                    Alan, m. Sharon Meyerson,


                                                Ivor, m. Keren.






                        Leah, b. 5/8/1913, d. 12/1/1964, m. Samuel Terret, b. 1/21/1908, d. 5/16/1959.

                                    Leslie, m. Pauline Miller




                                    Norman, m. Edna Appel



                        Issy Moss, m. Halina Lewiner.

                                    Michelin, m. Mike Brannan.



                                    Gillian, m. Stuart Haber











016 Eliashberg Genealogy, from Ruth Marcus.

 Malka (Eliashberg) Bialoalotsky was the paternal aunt of Ruth Marcus, author of the Lunna web page and researcher of all things Lunna. Ruth and I worked closely together in 2009 to obtain the 1858 and later revision lists for Lunna, Wola and Amdur.

Source document


017 Czarny (Effron) Cohen (Topeka, KS) Genealogy, from Meg Furman

Source document: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5


018 Arcardo Efron Genealogy, by Dorry Effron

Source document


019 Nasko Efron Genealogy (Bocki family), from Leonard Efron

Source document: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4


020 Chana Friedman of Lunna Genealogy

Email from Hanita Wishnevski on 5/22/1998

Source document


021 Letter with biography of Frank Ephron of Rondout, by Harmon Ephron

Source document


022 2/8/1981 leter about Ephron family history, from Harmon Ephron to Lorraine Small

Source document


023 11/15/1998 letter from Hyman Efron about the family of Chaim Boruch of Vilna

Source document: Page 1, Page 2


024 Yarin family tree by Jim Yarin based on interview of Irving Yarin, referencing a relative who is a member of the 3rd Guild

Source document


025 12/21/1987 letter from Abraham J. Karp to his relative Eleanor about the Efron and Karp family history

Source document


026 Rosenthal of Suwalk family tree, including Freida, the daughter of Abraham Efron of Vilna

Source document: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5


027 Landsman magazine references to marriage and birth records from Suwalk Gubernia

Source document


028 Ehud Sutskover’s pedigree chart

Source document


029 The Effron Saga, by Sam Effron of Poughkeepsie

Source document

An alternate version can be viewed here


030 Effron and Golden family trees and biography of Eva Effron Golden, compiled by Dr. Joseph I. Golden (updated 8/1982 by Marshall Golden), with information compiled by Marshall Golden and Walter Winshall

Source document


031 Descendents of Herbert I. and Dorothy (Ephron) Adler, by Jenny Schwartzberg

Source document


032 Descendents of Isaac Efron of Grodno, by Batya Dashefsky

Source document


033 Descendents of Minnie (Rosenstein) and Lazar Lifshitz/Levenson, by Jo Ann Cohen Bleu

Source document


034 Descendents of Isaac Efron of Lunna, by Meryl J. Efron

Source document


035 Descendents of Tillie (Efron) Silver of the Montreal Silver family, researched by Michael Press

Source document


036 Schneider Family tree, compiled by Jerry Shneider, based on the chart created for the 1954 Basche Schneider Cousins Club Reunion.


037 Source document p. 225 and p. 226

Ir Vilna, by Noah Magid Steinschneider (Hebrew) [verify author & other info]

 pp. 225 and 226, showing ancestry and other information about Yehoshua Heshel Efron (Ivenetser) of Volozhin.. See also GEN044



Goldberg of Texas genealogy, by Linda Ziegler, transcribed by Cafi Cohen. Done 7/21/1991


My grandmother, Jennie Goldberg Cohen, was one of the five children born in the middle 1800s in east central Europe to Harry and Jennie Goldberg. Harry was a farmer near Vladislavov (Lithuania) Poland (source: Polly Berkman Jacobson and Naomi Berkman Denison). Until this year's research, I thought she [antecedent unclear, but I assume that she meant Jennie Goldberg Cohen] and her husband, Harry Benjamin (Markowsky) Cohen, were born in or near Warsaw, Poland. New Information indicates the Goldbergs were Lithuanian Jews from Vladislavov [elsewhere spelled as Vladislavavov in the manuscript], Lithuania and perhaps Neustadt-Schirwindt which was on the German-Polish border at the time they left Europe.


From about 1850 through World War I in 1918, borders in Germany, Poland, Prussia, Russia shifted frequently. At this point, I have found no maps to locate Neustadt-Schirwindt, but I hope to do that. Where and how the Warsaw story will fit remains to be seen. Yet it must be true at least for Harry Benjamin Markowsky Cohen because his half-brother, Nathan Markowsky, contacted the family in Waco, Texas after World War II.


Four of the five Goldberg children, A. Jacob (Julius) Goldberg, Dora Goldberg Berlowitz, Fannie Goldberg Berkman and Jennie Goldberg Cohen emigrated to the United States. After some initial stops in New York and Pennsylvania, the four and their families settled in Waco, Texas, where they lived out their lives. All are buried in Hebrew Rest Cemetery there. The fifth child, a sister named Sarah Goldberg Blumberg, remained in Europe. Whether she died before they came or just chose not to come we probably will never know. It is probable that she died just about the time Harry and Jennie emigrated because they name their first child Sarah, following the Jewish custom of naming a newborn after a most recently decease relative. The infant Sarah Cohen, their only child born in Europe, died in New York a year or two later.


The information in this account comes from interviews with Thelma Cohen Kilgore, Waco Heritage and History, Vol. 13, No. 4, Winter, 1982, tombstone inscriptions collected at Hebrew Rest and the New Jewish cemeteries in Waco in August, 1988, and December 1989, from telephone interviews with Ida Goldberg Adams (November 1984, Houston) and Harry Berlowitz (July 1989, Beaumont), from correspondence from Polly Berkman Jacobson (August, 1989, Austin) and her sister, Naomi Berkman Denison (October, 1989, West Bloomfield, Michigan), Annie Ray Cohen Wizig (August, 1989, Houston) and an interview with Harry Berlowitz (November, 1989, Beaumont). Initials at the end of each section indicate the source used.


A. Jacob Goldberg


A.J. (Julius) Goldberg (b. 1850 in Russia d. 1922 HRC) married Ida ______ (b. 1853 d. 1895 HRC)


He apparently married a second time because Polly Jacobson, remembers his wife Mary, with whom he lived on Columbus Avenue near the old Waco High School.


Children of A. J. Goldberg were:


1. Barner R. (Barney) Goldberg, b. March 19, 1898 [SIC should be 1888], d. July 1, 1970, buried HRC. He married Josephine Levy of Corsicana in 1911 (probably in Corsicana). They lived in Waco where he was in the insurance and real estate business. Their two children are: L.C. Goldberg, b. 19--, d. 1975 in Waco and Ida Goldberg, b. about 1914 in Waco, married Cyril S. Adams. They have one son, Cyril S. Adams Jr. Ida Goldberg Adams was murdered in her home in Houston in March 1989. The family believes she surprised a burglar. (ARCW)


2. Harry Goldberg


3. Celia Goldberg -- on the Goldberg lot in HRC, a Celia is buried. Information about her says she was wife of Moses D. Cohen, born Nov. 25, 1873, died June 14, 1915. Perhaps she is the oldest of the Goldberg children?


4. Ray Goldberg


5. Lena Goldberg


Dora Goldberg


Dora Goldberg (b. 9-5-1856 d. 8-16-1934) HRC married Meyer (Mershai or M) Berlowitz (b. 10-23-1853) HRC 


We have Meyer Berlowitz in Troy, New York from 1884 to 1888. He is first listed in Troy Directories as Myer Berlorage in 1884, Myer Berlovage in 1885, Myer Berlovich in 1887 and 1888. His profession is listed as peddler and dry goods. His home was at 84 River St. until 1892. (Troy Public Library)


Information from the Troy Public Library also lists Louis Rosen, a peddler living at 79 River Street, Troy, in 1884 and at 91 River Street in 1887. Sophia Cohen married Louis Rosen from Troy in 1916, probably this man's son.


Meyer Berlovich, a peddler, lived at 84 River Street, Troy, in 1887 and 1888, according to the Rensselaer (NY) County Historical Society. In 1888 Meyer Berlowitz was vice president of Thara Tfilah (Gates of Prayer) Synagogue. The Synagogue, founded in 1873 by Polish and Russian Jewish families who came to Troy, was located at 9 Division St. (just around the corner from the Berlowitz, Cohen and Rosen families on River Street).


Meyer Berlowitz was naturalized a citizen of the United States on Oct. 21, 1886. That paper lists his native country as Prussia. This action was recorded on July 3, 1911, in Troy. Harry Berlowitz, Meyer's son, said immigrants had to live in the United States at least five years before they could apply for citizenship. If that is true, Meyer must have been in the United States as early as 1881 or else the application was made in 1886 and not complete until 1891 (five years later).


Meyer and Tante (German and Yiddish for Aunt) Berlowitz had six children:


1. Jennie Berlowitz, born May 24, 1877 died Feb. 6, 1961, buried HRC. She married David Hawtof in 19-- in Waco. He was born July 24, 1865 in _____ and died Feb. 8, 1933 in Waco, buried HRC.


Jennie and Dave had four children: (1) E. Manuel Hawtof, born Nov. 5, 1899 in Waco, married 19-- to ________ of Tyler. She died. He was an engineer (PBJ). After his first wife died, he married Mildred B. Sanger, his childhood sweetheart (HB) in 19--. She was born Dec. 27, 1901, died Dec. 20, 1970. Manuel died July 23, 1985 and is buried in HRC. (2) Daniel Hawtof, born July 13, 1901, died Dec. 4, 1922 in Philadelphia, Pa. while attending medical school. He is buried HRC, (3) Sadie Hawtof, born 1897 in _____, married _____ and (4) Margaret (Gertrude?) Hawtof, born _____, married Dr. Kay in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, living in California (1989).


2. Fannie Berlowitz, born March 25, 1883, eloped to marry Edward Klein in Nogales, New Mexico in 1897 (?) when she was 14, died Sept. 24, 1906. When the family was notified of her death it was said she fell from a horse, but they later decided it was perhaps a suicide (HDB). She is buried HRC. She had no children.


3. Abraham (Abe) Berlowitz, born June 27, 1890, died Aug. 14, 1960. buried HRC. Married in 1911 to Judith Ephraim who was born Aug. 29, 1886 and died June 29, 1938, buried HRC.


Abe and Judith had two daughters: (1) Nell Berlowitz, born 19-- in Waco, married Ted Shull in 19--, Ted was killed in an auto accident in 19--. Nell died in Waco in 19--. They had no children. (2) Leah Berlowitz, born 19--, married Charles Rosenbloom in 19-- in ___________. He was personnel director at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston until he retired in 19--. They have one daughter, Judy Rosenbloom, Judy plans to marry Dr. David Bell


4. Pauline Berlowitz, born Aug. 22, 1892, died April 11, 1970, buried in Tahlequah, Okla. She married Louis Goodman in 1910 in Waco in a marriage arranged by the families. Louis was a distant cousin of Pauline and lived in El Paso. They were not suited to each other and when they separated their children lived for a time in Waco with their grandparents (HDB).


They had two children: (1) Dorothy Goodman, born _____, married an older man, died near El Paso (HDB) in ______ and (2)  Joel Goodman, born 1913, married, died 1979 in a veteran's hospital in Retsil, Washington, near Seattle. Harry Berlowitz had his ashes moved to Waco and buried on the Berlowitz plot in 1989. (Dec 30, 1989 -- no evidence that Joel is buried on Berlowitz plot in HRC, Waco -- LZ).


Pauline and Louis were divorced in 1922 (?). Louis later died of tuberculosis in El Paso. She married Robert Ring Sept. 25, 1922 in Dallas. They lived most of their marriage in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, Pauline died there in 1972 and Bob died there in 1973.


They had five children: (1) Robert Ring Jr., born 19--, married _____,; (2) Alice Ring, born 19--, lived with Ed and Thelma Kilgore, married ____ Bunch [2 sons, Bobby and Mike], divorced, married Virgil Ricketts in 19__.  (3) Harold Ring, born 19--, (4) Pauline Ring, born 19--, married Levi Brassfield and (5) Lucille, born 19--, a diabetic, who died in 19-- in Tahlequah (?).


5. Josef Oliver Berlowitz, born 1894, married in 1920 to Lena Mendelsohn in Houston. He was in business at 220 (?) on the south side of the Square in Waco until he moved to Houston in 1920, where he was in the cotton business and was a liquor distributor until his death in 1974. He is buried in _____ in Houston. Oliver and Lena had two children: (1) Josef Oliver (Berlowitz) Barlow Jr. (2) Betty Berlowitz Vrenner


6. Harry D. Berlowitz, born Aug. 5, 1897 in Waco, graduated from Waco High School in 1915 and from Toby's Business College in Waco in 1917. He lost the sight of his left eye when a bottle of soda pop exploded at his brother Oliver's birthday party in 190? As a child, he worked with his uncle Harry Cohen, selling marbles as his uncle Harry sold groceries. He remembers going with his parents to visit relatives in Troy, New York and in Europe after his brother Abe's wedding in 1911.


He moved to Houston in 1922 to work for his brother J. O. (Oliver). He married Ruby Kaiser in 1923 in Houston. They moved to Beaumont in 1934 to handle Oliver's expanded liquor business after Prohibition ended Dec. 31, 1933. Harry and Ruby were divorced in 1936. They had no children.


Harry then married Jackie McCall in July, 1937. Jackie was born in Palestine, Tx and died in June 1987, just a few months short of their 50th anniversary. She is buried in Latexo, Tx, near Palestine. They had no children. After her death, Harry tried to find Ruby, but learned she had died in 1972 at age 70 (?). He and Helen Sanders Greer were married


Harry worked as sales manager for V. Stedman Co. in Beaumont, a liquor distributor, and in 1950 was vice president and sales manager for Ajax Distributors in Houston. He and Jackie lived several years in Florida, but returned to Beaumont in 19--.


Fannie Goldberg Fannie Goldberg born 1866 (this information on her tombstone is in error, according to her granddaughter, PBJ, she was born in 1860 in Vladislavavov, Poland, Lithuania) which made her 75 when she died) died 2-1-1935, HRC, born 1860 was 75 when she died (PBJ) married Israel Berkman b. 1858 died 6-21-1910 HRC


She was married in Europe to Abba Abelson and had two daughters both of whom were married when they emigrated to the United States: Tillie Abelson who married a Mr. Morris and Jennie Abelson Rosenberg who married J. M. Rosenberg in Europe. Morris had a jewelry store in Denison, Texas. They had no children, but adopted his niece after her mother died. She is Mrs. Jake (Bess) Mayers.. Rosenberg was a rabbi (shochet--kosher butcher) and she took in boarders. They lived at __ South Street in Waco and had three children: Rebecca (Becky) who married Harry Bell. Ida who married Max Sarasohn and Abe who married Marie Wise.


Apparently widowed, Fannie then married Israel Berkman in Europe. Israel Berkman was the son of a capmaker, Leon Berkman and his wife Bertha Greenspan, born in Vladislavavov, Poland (Lithuania). They had ten children, two of whom died at birth in miscarriages. The first eight were born in Europe (PBJ):  Their children were:


1. Abraham (Abe) Hirsch Berkman, born April 31 (?), 1883 (NBD) or 1884 in Vladislavavov, Russia (Poland--Lithuania), died 1962, married Miriam Leah Fineman in 1910. She was born in 1884 in Lithuania and died in 1959. Both are buried in HRC.


Their three children are: (1) Pauline (Polly) Berkman, was the first girl in the Goldberg family to graduate from college. She graduated from Baylor University with a B.A. degree in May 1934, the same night her cousin Eli Berkman received his DDS. "Grandma Berkman and Uncle Jake drove to Dallas to see Eli get his degree," Polly recalls. She married in 1935 to Harry Jacobson and they lived in Austin where they operated a men's clothing store, Jacobson's, on the Drag. (2) Naomi Berkman born 1-7-1916, she was valedictorian of her graduating class at Waco High in 1932. She married in 1935 to Frank Denison (Danishevsky) who was born in 1898 in Baronovich, Lithuania (now USSR). (3) Ruth Berkman, born Dec. 14, 1917, married Irvine Goldman in 1946, died 3-22-1962. Ruth got her MD from Baylor Medical School in 1941. She is buried in Detroit, Mich. Clover Hill Cemetery.


2. Irving Berkman, born 1886 in Neustadt-Schirwindt, Lithuania, married to Ida Franfort. They are buried in New Jewish Cemetery in Waco, adjacent to Rosemound Cemetery.


They had two children: (1) Flora Berkman was born in 1909, Flora and her cousin Annie Ray Cohen graduated in February, 1930 from Waco High School, Annie Ray as valedictorian, Flora as salutatorian. Flora married J.H. (Juddy) Epstein in 19--. They lived in Lewiston, Maine, in 1931. Juddy in later years was in charge of men's hat department at Goldstein-Migel Co in Waco. Flora and Juddy had no children. He died in _____. (2) Israel Eli Berkman. He graduated in May 1934 from Baylor Dental School in Dallas, the same night Polly Berkman Jacobson graduated from Baylor University. They were the first college graduates in the family. Eli married to Jimmie _____. They are divorced, but had one daughter Lisa. He has been in dental practice in Waco since 1946 (?).


3. Jake Berkman, born 1890 or 1891 in Neustadt-Schirwindt, Lithuania. He married Celia Rubenstein in 19-- in Waco (Celia born 1894, died 1961, no children). Jake died 1973. Both buried in HRC.


4. and 5. Female twins miscarried.


6. Ben Berkman, born 3-1-1893 in Neustadt-Schirwindt, Lithuania, married 12-29-1924 Bessie Denison, sister to Frank, husband of Ben's cousin, Naomi Berkman. Bessie Denison was born in 1896 in Baronovich, Lithuania, and died 8-28-1948 in Detroit, Mich. Ben died 1-15-1974. 2 daughters add from Naomi.


7. A twin to Ben, born 3-1-1893 in Neustadt-Schirwindt, Lithuania, who died in infancy.


8. Bertha Berkman, born 1898 in Neustadt-Schirwindt, Lithuania, married to Maxwell Edelman. He died 1944. They had one son and one daughter. They live in _________.


9. Sadye (Sadie) Berkman, born 6-27-1901 in United States (Waco?)), married in 19-- to Roy Abramsohn (333. S. State Street, Apt. 10E, Trenton, N.J. 08618), about to go into nursing home at age 88 in 1989. They had two children: (1) Herbert Abramson b. 1928 who was drowned at age 3 in about 1933 and (2) Arthur Abramsohn, P.B. Box 4666, Annapolis, MD 21403-6666. Roy Abramsohn died in 1956.


10. Julius Berkman, born June 11, 1903 in United States, married in 19-- to Jean Schneider. They were divorced in 19--. He then married Fannie ___________ and adopted her daughter Ilene (Mrs. David Sands). Julius died April 30, 1972, buried New Jewish Cemetery near Harry and Eva Cohen Adler. Julius was S. Sgt in Army Air Force, World War II. Fannie has remarried to _________.


Jennie Leah Gertrude Goldberg


Jennie Leah Goldberg born 2-12-1866 died 2-8-1941, Waco, HRC married 1887 Poland Harry Benjamin (Markowsky) Cohen born 3-7-1866 in Warsaw, Poland (?), died 4-14-1930 Waco HRC


Harry and Jennie's story is confusing. According to their youngest daughter, Thelma, Harry was the son of Mordecai Markowsky, a rabbi in Warsaw. Harry and Jennie married in Europe and he fled to America to escape service in the Czar's army which could be 25 years for a Jew. He emmigrated to New York where he joined a relative and changed his name to Cohen (a most common Jewish name which implies descent from Aaron and the priests). Perhaps that relative was Jennie's brother-in-law Meyer Berlowitz who was known to be in Troy, New York as early as 1884.


Harry's death certificate lists his mother at Fannie Markowsky and his father as Jacob Cohen. This information was supplied by his wife Jennie at his death in April, 1930.


A peddler named Harris Cohen lived at 110 River Street in Troy, New York, in 1886, not far from Meyer Berlovich (84 River Street), according to Rensselaer County (NY) Historical Society. This is no doubt Harry.


According to Thelma, Jennie and their infant daughter Sarah joined Harry the next year. They traveled on a ship to New York and Jennie brought everything she owned in a bundle and a small trunk. Among those possessions were two pair of brass candlesticks used in Sabbath observances now belonging to their granddaughters, Linda Zeigler and Sharon Barnes.


While they lived in New York (Troy) (1886-1889?), Harry went off to sit up with a relative's sick child during a diphtheria epidemic. The relative's child recovered, but Sarah contracted the disease and died. That same year, their second child, Morris Archie, was born in Troy, New York on Jan. 18, 1889.


Shortly thereafter the Cohens and their son Morris moved to Waco where Harry worked as a peddler. Jennie's brother Jacob Goldberg was living in Waco at that time. The Berlowitz family also moved to Waco about the same time.


In 1889, a second Jewish congregation (in addition to Rodef Sholem), Agudath Jacob was founded in Waco. H.B. Cohen was vice president of the congregation and M. Berlowitz and J. Goldberg were trustees. The first synagogue was in a rented house on Second Street. Later the house was purchased and remodeled to better suit its purpose, according to "Congregation Agudath Jacob and its Auxiliary Institutions" in Waco Heritage and History, Vol 13, No. 4, Winter 1982.


"Grandma's brother, J. Goldberg, went with others to Austin to apply for the charter of Congregation Agudath Jacob in February 1889." ARCW.


"In 1893, during the presidency of J. Goldberg, the congregation bought the ground where the present synagogue now stands" at Seventh and Columbus streets.


"H.B. Cohen was another of the early settlers who was active in behalf of all the institutions in the congregation, serving as its president, treasurer and secretary, respectively, for many years." WHH


Sophia Cohen was born in Waco Feb. 27, 1891 and Florence was born there July 20, 1893.


In 1895, for reasons we don't know, the Cohens moved to Washington, D.C. where Eva Faye was born Sept. 14, 1895. Here they lived in a tiny apartment, so small that hay for the horse was kept under the bed. By now, Harry, still a peddler, had a horse and wagon. They kept the horse tied to the back door at night. Shortly after Eva was born, the Cohens moved back to Waco, this time permanently (check this information. It seems odd that they would make this move. Check address in 1890 census).


Their sixth child, Lawrence, was born July 5, 1905. He died Feb. 5, 1907, after falling off a bicycle on which his sister Florence was taking him for a ride.


Their seventh child, Thelma Ruth, was born July 28, 1907.


Harry and Jennie Cohen operated a mom and pop grocery store attached to their home at 7th and Colcord streets in Waco. They also accumulated rental property near their home. In the 1920s Harry also owned and operated Waco Auto Parts at ______ Franklin St. His son-in-law Louis Rosen was associated with him in the business.


Harry died of a stroke April 14, 1930, in Waco at age 64. His death certificate indicates his parents were Jacob Cohen and Fannie Markowsky. This information was given by his widow Jennie.


Jennie continued to live in the family home until her death Feb. 8, 1941. Both are buried at Hebrew Rest Cemetery. For some years an old Englishman, William T. (Billy) Rose lived with the Cohens. He died Dec. 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor Day. How he came to live iwth them is unknown. He was a sign painter. (Where is her buried? Rosemound?)


Five of the Cohen children survived to adulthood.


Morris Archie married Ida Cohen on ______ in ________. Ida was born 12-9-1899 in Kiev, Gibernia, in the south of Russia to Eliazer Cohen and Annie Ray, and came to Waco in 1911 or 1912. Their children were Annie Ray Cohen, born June, 1909 and Ivan Cohen, born Dec. 1911. Annie Ray married Jack Wizig on  __________ in Waco and had two children Herbert Wolf Wizig, and Judith Wizig, born _________. Ivan married Evelyn and had two children: __________. He had a stoke in 1974


Morris was injured while working on a building. He collected a settlement with some of which he bought Thelma a car about 1923. (ARCW)


Morris and Ida were divorced in ____ and on Feb. 14, 1916, Ida Married Jacob Farbstein, who was born 10-20-1884. Their children were: Jacob Farbstein died 2-14-1943 and Ida died 1-4-1977. Both are buried in the New Jewish Cemetery in Waco.


Morris was in the service (army?) in World War I. Years later Morris married Mary Curtis, but they had no children. Morris died March 2, 1958 in the veteran's hospital in Waco. He is buried at HRC.


Sophia Cohen is remembered as a sweet person beloved by everyone who knew her. She owned one of the first automobiles in Waco, won in a contest in 19--. (HBD) She married Louis Rosen from Troy, N.Y. in Waco on Oct. 10, 1916. They honeymooned in Niagara Falls, NY. Louis had come to Waco and opened a business. Sophia and their infant died Oct. 20, 1918 during the infamous 1918 influenza epidemic. Rosen remained in Waco in the auto supply business with his father-in-law. H. B. Cohen, (Waco Auto Parts on Franklin Street) for about five years and then returned to Troy and married his brother's widow, A. Louis Rosen lived in Troy, N. Y. near where the Cohens and Berlowitzes had lived and died there in 1931. Whether he was Sophia's husband or her husband's father is not yet known.


Florence Cohen worked for a time at the Waco Citizen (?) newspaper. She married Philip Maurice Cohen (no relation) March 24, 1918. Philip had lived in Dallas before coming to Waco where he operated the Cinderella Shoe Store which he later sold to Leon Collins and Marcus Strum. Philip's mother remarried to a man name Saffir (ARCS). They had one son Cyril. Florence was sick for a long time after his birth and Cyril lived with his maternal grandparents, Harry and Jennie Cohen. He and Thelma were very close because she helped take care of him when he was young. He also lived with his paternal grandparents and with his aunt and uncle, Eva and Harry Adler.


Florence and Phil were divorced in __________ . Cyril was in the Air Force during World War II and Florence moved to Washington, D.C. to work in the _____________. She was a religious Jew who worked on Sundays so she could have Saturday off (ARCW). She died of a cerebral hemorrhage Jan. 31, 1945, in Washington. She is buried at HRC. After the War, Cyril married Rosalie Cohn in Dallas. Their children are Donald Frank Cohen, born _____, They have two children: Laura and Michael. (ARCW)


Eva Fay Cohen married Harry Leeson Adler in Waco March 1, 1920. He claimed to have been born July 4, 1889 in Romania, but his sister told about walking through the snow to get the midwife to attend his birth. He nevertheless enjoyed big Fourth of July birthday celebrations at which he starred as cook.


Eva and Harry had no children. Perhaps she met him while he was stationed at Camp MacArthur near Waco where he was a cook during World War I. It was the Cohens' practice to invite young Jewish servicemen to supper on the Sabbath. Maybe he was one of those.


Eva and Thelma and their father H.B. Cohen sold wholesale groceries and dresses in small towns in the area between Waco and Marlin. Eva and Harry operated a dry goods store at the corner of Fourth and Franklin streets until they retired in 19--. They also accumulated rental property which they managed. Eva died Nov 27, 1973, in Waco and Harry died April 3, 1974 (date on his tombstone, 3-4-74, is reversed). Both are buried in the New Jewish Cemetery in Waco.


Thelma Cohen married Brown Marcrum Nov. 28(?) 1928 in Waco. She was disowned by her family for marrying outside their faith and her parents rewrote their will leaving her only $1. She said that when Brown asked her father for his permission to marry, Harry Cohen said he could not give it because it would kill her mother. Brown's firm reply was, "We don't want to wait for her to die so we can marry." Although she could not go home, her father visited her at her home. When Harry Cohen died in 1930, someone was sent to tell Thelma. For the first time since their marriage, she and her husband Brown went to the Cohen home for the funeral.


Brown, who was born Dec. 2, 1904, managed a Piggly Wiggly grocery store near Baylor University. He was sick for several years with tuberculosis of the throat, hospitalized in a sanatorium in San Angelo, and died March 12, 1934. He is buried in Rosemound Cemetery in Waco. They had no children.


Thelma had graduated from Waco High School in 1923 and from Toby's Business College in 192?. She worked as a bookkeeper for several Waco Businesses including the Cinderella Slipper; and Sachs. She married Edward R. Kilgore June 5, 1938.


He was working for Western Auto Stores in Waco when they met at Walgreen's counter where they and others ate lunch. Ed was transferred to San Antonio and then was manager of the Western Auto Store in Shreveport, La. where they were married. After living in Shreveport a few months, they moved to Groesback where they opened a Western Auto Associate Store on March 1, 1939. They operated the store until their retirement 32 years later on March 1, 1971.


Their children are Linda Elaine Kilgore [author of this manuscript], Sharon Ruth Kilgore and Edward Ellis Kilgore.


Linda married John D. Ziegler. Their children are Heidi Zeigler and Daniel Sean Zeigler.


Sharon married James Huey Barnes Jr. Their daughter is Amy Leanette Barnes.


Edward married Kathryn Nance. Their children are: Lisa Elizabeth Kilgore, and Alyson Leigh Kilgore,


Thelma died of the complications of Alzheimer's disease on Nov. 22, 1980, in Groesback and Ed died of pancreatic cancer Dec. 6, 1982. Both are buried at Faulkenberry Cemetery in Groesback.]






The following Eliashberg family trees are based on Minsk vital records (1-4) and the 12/1811 Ivenets Revizhskaya Skazka (Revision Lists -- spelling by Vitaly) (record 5) [Researched by Vitaly Charny, Birmingham, AL, in 1997.]


1. Moshe-Ilya


               Tsalel, married to Feiga. Her father was Girsh. He is a Meshchanin from Ivenets.


                              Ilya, b. 6/27/1882, b. Minsk

RECORD 1920795, p. 83, record 295


2. Mordukh,  married Fruma –Rivka. He is a meshchanin from Karelichi


               Fruma-Rivka, b. 8/18/1882, Minsk

RECORD 1920795, p. 105, record 236


3. Yankel Eliashberg, kupets from Ivenets


               Khayim, b. abt. 1855, d. 4/26/1861, Minsk, of throat inflammation

RECORD 1920794, p. 44, record 115


4. Samuil Eliasberg


               Viktor, married Khaya Beilya. . He was a kupets from Minsk. She was the daughter of Aron


                              Rokhil, b. 12/27/1869, Minsk

RECORD 1920794, p. 110, record 298


5.  Ell’ya


               Aizik,, age 47 in 1811 (was 31 in 1795)


                              Abram Itska, son of Leib, is Aizik’s step son


                              Litman, 30 (was 14 in 1795 (says 24 in error))


                                             Shmuila (male), 9


                              Daughter, married to Simcha Shikh, age 30. He came “from abroad” (note of translator). Itska Girha, a son of Vul’f SHIF and theefore the brother of Simkha, also lives in the household.


                                             Khayim Geshel’, 3


                              Ell’ya Shaya, 12


                              Movsha Khayim, 1


In this family there is also an Evel’, son of Geir, who was 15 in the 1795 revision, and who is now supposed to be in Volyn Gubernia, RECORD 24




Details of Yitzchak Eizik Eliashberg branch.


                                             Yitzchak Eizik “Ivenetser” Eliashberg, d. 1821, m. Miriam Rasha, daughter of Aharon Yshiyhu Bakshter, d. 1796. He was rabbi of Helen (need translation). (verify tabs?)


                                                            Yedidya Lipman “Lippli”. His descent is covered in full in the Ivenets Yiskor book and in the Unbroken Chain. (Something is wrong here – he could not have died 121 years after his father’s death. According to the revision list found by Vitaly Charney, he was born in 1784, and theefore could not have died in the Holocaust. [what cite says he died in the Holocaust?])


                                                            Eliahu Yeshyahu “Elyah”, d. 6/18/1857, Ivenets. He was a merchant of 3rd guild [V. Charney record] He was rabbi in Helen (need translation).


                                                            Golda, related to Naphtali Hertz, the son of Yosef Gintzberg, b. 1785, d. 1860 (need translation).


                                                            Chaia Beylah, d. 1840. She was the first wife of Abraham Parnas, b. 1815, d. 1893. Her husband was the son of Chaim Nachman Parnas of Vilna. [TUC p. 460; Ivenets Yiskor]




The Eliashberg and Luria families are set out in the The Unbroken Chaim at page 368, but their connection to the Efron family is not mentioned. Most likely, Yehoshua Heshel or his father married an Efron and adopted the name.


               Yedidia Lippman Eliashberg of Ivenets


                              Samuel Eliashberg, d. 1850, married Gitel.  He lived in Minsk.  According to The Unbroken Chain, she was the daughter of R. Samuel, who was the son of Haim Shabtelis of Vilna. The family adopted the name Landau. The wife of Samuel Shabtelis was Rechel, daughter of R. Haim Landau, ABD Podkamien. [MISC003].


Another Eliasberg in The Uubroken Chaim is Jacob, who married Malka.  This Jacob Eliashberg is the son of Samuel of Eunitz (presumably, Ivenets), but not necessaril the above Samuel. Malka is the daughter of Jekutiel Zisel (Zusia) Rapport (Rapaport?) of Minsk [MISC004]


                                             Rushke Luria, married David Luria, b. 1828, d. 1888.  He was in Pinsk and owned a steamboat [TUC]


                                                            Odel Simchovitch, married Johah Simchovitch

                                                            Aaron. He lived in Kiev and was a banker

                                                            Isidore. He lived in Minsk and was a banker

                                                            Isser. He lived in Warsaw and was a banker

                                                            Samuel.  He lived in Pinsk and was a banker

                                                            Frieda Eliasberg.  See below.


                                             Miriam Leah Luria, married Moses Luria, b. Pinsk, 1824, d. Weisbaden, 1906.


                                                            Selde (Zelda) Eliasberg, married Elias Elisaberg. He lived in Pinsk.  See below.


                                                                           Samuel Jonah


                                                                           Gitl Luria, married Isidor (Isser) Luria, her uncle, b. 1851, d. 1910.  He lived in Liban.


                                                            Isidor (Isser), married his neice. See above.


                                                            Aaron Luria, b. 1842, d. 1920, married Beila Levin. Descendents enumerated in TUC.


                                                            Dr. Alex Lourie, b. 1861, Pinsk, d. 1924, Vienna


                                                            Bele Lurie, married Judah Yudel Lurie of Wiesbaden


                                                            Samuel Lourie, b. 1850, Pinsk, d. 1880, Wiesbaden, married Tirzah Halpern.


                                                            Leopold Lourie, b. 1859, Pinsk, d. 1938, London, married Fanny Landau


                                                                           Paul (Samuel). Lived in Canada

                                                                           Arthur. Lived in Ireland

                                                                           Elizabeth Eliasberg, married Dr. Vladimir Eliasberg, son of Samuel and grandson of Isaiah Eliasberg

                                                                           Anton. He lived in Los Angelea and wrote “Der Familia Luria.”


                                                            Rachel Eliasberg, married Moses Haim Eliasberg of Berlin. See above.


                                             Elias Eliashberg, married Seld (Zelda) Luria. See above.


                              Moses Haim Eliashberg.


                                                            Isaiah Eliashberg. He lived in Minsk and Ivenets {TUC]


                                                                           Moses Haim of Berlin, married to Rachel Luria, dau. of Moses Luria of Pinsk/Wiesbaden.


                                                                                          Aaron, b. 1879, d. 1937

                                                                                          Jacob, b. 1881, d. 1966

                                                                                          Samuel, married Frieda Luria, sister of 4 brothers who were bankers, and she is daughter of David Luria of Pinsk. See above.




                                                                                          Dr. Vladimir Eliahberg



JGPF: Eric Tarloff has a sister, Julie Tarloff



JewishGen’s FTJP

Rose Berman Efron’s Family.

Her parents were Michael Nossen Berman, 1835-1891 and Peshe. “Tova Raisa” had brothers Meyer Yosel of Dayton, OH, Avraham Yitzhak and Mendel and sisters Chava Cohen, Feiga Rosen and Bessie Glaser.


044 Source Document p. 178, p. 179

Ir Vilna, (Hebrew)

Footnote discusses Tybel, wife of Abrham Efron of Vilna

See also GEN037



I researched the roots of two celebrities, Barbara Walters and Robert Downey Jr., for the TV Series “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr,.” and even appeared on the Barbara Walters episode as a genealogy hobbyist who “just doesn’t accept defeat.”

My discovery of TV legend Barbara Walters’ roots was central to her episode. I was interviewed on camera for a few hours by Harvard University historian and television genealogy-guide Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and a very small portion of that made it to the final cut.


My efforts, successes and challenges on the Walters and Downey projects were both intense, but the results of the Walters project would be of more interest to a viewing audience. In retrospect, both offered interesting lessons, even for a well-seasoned researcher.

There were three difficult challenges:

1. I was not permitted to interview the subjects of the research nor any their close relatives. When I did contact distant relatives or spoke to someone about my research, I used various half-truths, the favored one being “I am researching the family history of a celebrity – can’t tell you who – for a documentary.” That helped! At one point I contacted a 2nd or 3rd cousin of the celebrity, and though he was unwilling to talk, he did forward my email address to a close family member of the celebrity, who contacted me. That resulted in an awkward exchange of emails with the producers, and in the end, it was ok. But from there on, I needed to be more careful.

2.  Find something interesting in the family histories of these celebrities. I was asked to find something “colorful, compelling, dramatic,” a story “with a big ‘wow’ factor.” It wasn’t enough to find ancestors and historical context, there had to be something more.

3. Find it fast! I had only a few months’ time to complete the research, and after the deadline, when Professor Gates interviewed the celebrity, that would be it. As I explained to the producers: “smart, capable people spend years researching their family, and here we’re trying to do it in a few months.”

On the plus side, I did have the assistance of some interns who retrieved vital records and visited a cemetery in New York City. The producers also were able to get some records very quickly by paying for on-site record retrieval in Salt Lake City, England and Poland.


I researched movie actor Robert Downey, Jr.’s paternal grandfather’s Jewish roots, but that branch of his family would not be the main focus of his polyglot family history, and so very little of my research was integrated into that episode.


Robert Downey, Jr.

I was given a binder from the producers at the start of my Downey assignment, showing preliminary research on all sides of his family by a well-known research institution. My task was to focus on his Jewish roots. Sherlock Holmes’ is paternal grandfather, Robert “Bobby” ELIAS, was Jewish and his paternal grandmother, fashion model Betty MCLAUGHLEN, didn’t seem to be. McLaughlen may have had a Jewish mother, but there was another researcher pursuing that branch, and from preliminary research I could find no good evidence that this Hungarian great-grandmother, Eleanor ORMAY, was Jewish. A European researcher presented the producers with some gravestones and a representation that the family had changed its surname, but I was shown no evidence of this name change.

Downey’s paternal grandparents had divorced, and Robert Downey, Sr., a well-known film-maker, had adopted his stepfather’s surname, DOWNEY. His birth father, Robert ELIAS, the grandfather of Robert Jr. and the focus of my research, was the son of successful Long Island glass manufacture Joseph ELIAS, and Gussie (GOLDBERG) Elias. The roots of Robert Downey, Jr.’s great-grandparents, Joseph and Gussie ELIAS would be the focus of my research.

Finding immigration records for the ELIAS and GOLDBERG family proved quite difficult. I was able to contact some distant family members, but there was very little oral history known. I was extra careful to not make any assumptions based on the prior research results given me, something I learned from my Barbara Walters research project. Key documents given me were a ship arrival in 1891 for a 15 year-old Syrian named Joseph ELIAS, the marriage record of Joseph and Gussie ELIAS, a 1901 Naturalization certificate for Joseph ELIAS and the 1920 census for the family. I was also sent a passport application for Joseph and Gussie (probably found on shortly after I started the assignment.

I determined the naturalization petition was for “our” Joseph ELIAS, but based on that document, it did not appear that the ship arrival matched. According to the naturalization petition, he arrived at NY on July 10, 1887, when he would have been 19, but the arrival record I was given said he was then 15. Also, in the petition he renounces his allegiance to the Czar of Russia, whose Czardom did not extend to Syria, the place of origin noted on the ship arrival. There were many immigrants named Elias who came from Syria, and so it was very possible there would be another Joseph Elias whose arrival information was close to what was indicated on the petition for naturalization.

I was given some obituaries, so I knew Joseph ELIAS’ date of death. I started looking at online indexes for NY deaths and found out Joseph and Gussie were buried at the Mount Carmel Cemetery in Queens. From the index I found their son Irving there too, who I knew from a newspaper article had tragically died as a young man in an automobile. Also buried there was a Meyer ELIAS, who, based on census records, was not a known child of Joseph and Gussie, and died as a young boy—possibly a nephew. I searched the cemetery index, restricting my search to only one piece of data, the burial location, and found a Mamie GOLDBERG was buried in the same lot as the ELIAS family. A head start on the GOLDBERG family, she was possibly an unmarried sister? Sister-in-law?

It was easy to research Mamie GOLDBERG – an unusual first name was a great break! I found a census record for Mamie and Samuel GOLDBERG in Long Island, living in the same Long Island town as the ELIAS family. Like Joseph (his brother-in-law, I soon verified), Samuel was in the glass business. I found Mamie and Samuel’s NY marriage certificate on

According to Gussie ELIAS’ marriage certificate, her parents were Ida ELGERS and Moses GOLDBERG. According to Samuel’s marriage cert, they were Moses GOLDBERG and “Hyda ALGAZA.” Close enough for me to conclude, together with other evidence (discussed above), that  the two were in fact siblings, and now I had the names of an earlier generation.

 What given names would I look for in European, records for the Goldberg parents? Ida is very often an Americanization of Chaia, and Moses would almost certainly be Moshe. And for ship arrival records for this family Samuel was probably Shmuel; Gussie appeared in her marriage record as Golde, so she might originally have been Golda or Gittel in the old country. These likely name transitions are not rules, but there are certain very common changes when European (and other) Jews came to America.

I was now ready to do some ship arrival research with the information I had learned. One looked very much like this Goldberg family. There was mother Ida (“Chaie”) and children (“Gittel”), Samuel (“Shmuel”), and a “Shewach.” That looked like a good match, and the ages for Gitel and Shmuel matched what I knew about Gussie and Samuel. According to the manifest, the family was from a town called “Pren” which I learned from JewishGen and a goggle search is an informal version of Prienai, in Suwalk Gubernia. Suwalk Gubernia – that matched the passport application I had for Joseph and Gussie. Since I was dealing with a very common name, GOLDBERG, I wanted more proof. For example, it would be good if I could locate the Shewach listed on the manifest, who was 2 years old when the family arrived in 1892 – that turned out to be difficult. I also looked at some Prienai records on JewishGen, but no matches, although as one might guess, there were some GOLDBERG families.

I searched the 1900 census for mother and son Ida and Shevach Goldberg – and Morris/Moses, the father. Ida and Morris Goldberg??! It doesn’t get more common than that, but I did have their approximate birth dates, and it was 1900, when the population of Ida and Morris Goldbergs was not as large as it would be in 1920 and 1930. Plus, there would be an approximately 10 year old son named Samuel or Charles (or Steve? – I have never seen a Jewish “Steve” from that generation Shevach would still be too young to live on his own in 1900 so he would certainly be living with his parents. I searched extensively in the 1900 census, trying all kinds of variations of given names and omitting certain information in case Morris, Ida or Shevach had died or was not part of the family in 1900.

I couldn’t find them after extensive efforts, and later realized why.

Only a week in, at the end of July, and already I had good stuff: the passport application reported that Joseph and Gussie were born in Suwalki – which was both a province and the capital city in the province, located in Poland and Lithuania. I now tentatively had the town of Prienai. I knew enough to start my searches in the databases of JewishGen, both the Litvak SIG and JRI-Poland databases. I also would need to search the journal Landsman, which was not on the internet. For Landsman, I ended up reviewing the Journal at three locations within an hour of my house: In Boston, at the New England Historical Genealogical Society; in Newton, at Hebrew College; and at Brandeis University (which did not have the full run of the Journal). I could start my searches and hope for a good break, however, I knew that if I had more information about the family I would better recognize a valid record in the old country. At the start of August I also became a member of the Suwalk Gubernia Research Group project of the Litvak SIG and had access to their subscription-based database records (a year after records are compiled, the data is put on JewishGen for public use). Searching those records required me to look at multiple databases. For example, the Preinai vital records were located in about a handful of databases. To expand my search beyond Preinai, I would need to search in one of six or seven other, similar collections of vital records for other towns in the district of Mariampol (where Preinai is located). To search beyond Mariampol district (Uezd) towns, I would need to search in towns in one or more other Uezds in Suwalk Gubernia.

To search for these people, to sum up, I had to search four places: 1. JRI Poland; 2. JewishGen’s All Lithuania Database (which should, but maybe did not include everything on LitvakSIG’s database); 3. Landman Journal (at my choice of library); and 4. The Suwalk group’s databases at their secure, ShutterFly website. It was important to search these resources as few times as possible, because of the difficulty in checking all of them, especially Landman Journal and the Suwalk group’s database.

I started digging deeper after I had been researching for about a week, and had already gathered the low hanging fruit from, and

Extensive searches did not turn up anything for the family in or around Prienai. I started to gather as much information about siblings as I could, always trying to find information that would get a link to the old country: Date of arrival, Hebrew or Yiddish name, and of course, a reference to the town from which they came. I thought I was on the right with Prinai, but found no sign of the family there.

The production company had an intern, who, working with a friend, visited Mount Carmel, only to find that the family plot was incredibly overgrown. Nearly every other grave in the area was nicely kept – apparently with perpetual care funds – but the ELIAS/GOLDBERG graves had to be completely cleared of weeds. A few additional graves, not in the index were located. One was a Bailey ELIAS, died January 2, 192? (the last digit was unreadable). It turned out Samuel GOLDBERG was also buried there, brother of Gussie and husband of Mamie. No sign of Moses or Ida Goldberg, Gussie’s parents, and no sign of Meyer Elias. Likely, the grave of Baily Elias was Beila, who was listed as the mother Joseph Elias, but there was no age on her gravestone and Bailey sounded a lot like a child’s name.

It was still only the start of August and I’d made some good progress. To get more information about the ELIAS family I searched databases for the family name ELIAS with origins in Russia, Poland or Lithuania. Nearly all families with this name came from Syria, and some from Turkey, but not too many from the Pale of settlement. I did find one Louis ELIAS who was in NY and was a glazier. A  brother? I needed to find something that would tell me more about him.

I also did an online search in non-databases for key word combinations like “ELIAS,” “glass,” “glazier” and “Rockville Centre” to see what would turn up. In Google I found one result that looked promising, showing an Ida Violet ELIAS who died in Rockville Centre. I looked a bit closer – wait… this is MY online family tree! Sure enough, it turns out that I had known about this third brother of Joseph ELIAS for quite some time because he was part of another family I had been researching for many years. Ida Violet (ISRAEL) ELIAS was the husband of Charles ELIAS, who was another brother of Joseph. She was visiting her son in Rockville Center when she died.

I knew about Charles Elias from my own research – that he had died on the SS Morro Castle with 133 others in 1934 when he was 55 years old. I was interested in his wife, and knew that she came from Mariampol—the district where Prienai was located. Her mother was an Efron, connected to the Texas Efron family. I collect EFRONs.

I now had three ELIAS brothers: Joseph, Louis and Charles. I knew they came from Suwalk. I did not know their Hebrew names because neither Joseph’s nor Charles’ gravestone listed them. I had not found Louis’ gravestone. Their father was Meyer – all records agreed on that. Their mother was named either Bartha PERELMAN (Louis’ marriage record), Bessie ALGAYE (Charles’ marriage record) or as Bealia COHEN.

It seemed likely that the Bailey ELIAS, found buried with the Joseph and his family, was the mother of Joseph shown on records as Bertha, Bessie, and Bealia. I found her ship arrival, in 1908: Beile ELIAS, 55, widow, from Mariampol, Suwalk who leaves in the old country her uncle, Leib PERELSTEIN. Arriving with her is a Shmuel. Beile and Shmuel are originally listed as SCHAPIRO, but there is an annotation on the manifest stating that her surname is ELIAS, and he is Samuel BERNSTEIN, and it says he is her nephew. The family just above Beile and Shmuel is the SCHAPIRO family, also from Mariampol, and their closest relative is an uncle, Leib PERELSTEIN.

Beile was located in the 1910 census, living with the same SHAPIRO family, and is identified as their aunt. Her death certificate was never found in the indexing of New York vital records done by the Italian Genealogical Society at She may have died in some other state and no New York record was created, or she was listed with a different surname.

Back to the Goldberg family: I was quite frustrated in not being able to find Ida and Morris Goldberg in any census. I eventually concluded that she either remarried or died before 1900. If remarried, it would be very difficult to find the correct certificate listed in the index, but I could searched the Italian Genealogy group’s NY vital records indexes website to see if maybe she had died. I knew there would be a lot of Ida GOLDBERGs, but I restricted the search to the range of years between 1892 (when she arrived) until 1900, when she does not appear in the census. Eight results, and since the indexing includes the age, I was able to find one very good candidate. On Aug. 20 I requested that an intern go in person to get the certificate.

The certificate was indeed for our Ida Goldberg! It said she died in May, 1893, having been in the  country for 10 months. It gave her father’s name as Hyrom ALGIZA and her mother’s name as Libbi. Her maiden name matched that found in the marriage records of her children (that is, close enough)She was buried at the Bayside Cemetery. I would definitely want to visit her grave to find out her father’s Hebrew name, and maybe more family members.

I visited the Bayside Cemetery, in Queens, but before doing so did some research to see if there was an index. There was no index, and instead, a morass. That is, a big, nasty mess. It seems that the cemetery had run out of money several decades ago, and as a result the cemetery had turned into disrepair. That’s an understatement, because the cemetery had become so overgrown that there was a long-running lawsuit against the synagogue that was legally responsible for the upkeep of the cemetery. Some money was being spent to clean up the cemetery, and a good portion of the cemetery looked perfectly fine. However, about a third of the cemetery, when I visited there in late September, 2011, was in atrocious condition. It is now a year later, and perhaps additional progress has been made, but when I was there about a year ago, there were portions that were completely overgrown, with gravestones toppled, broken sunken or broken. There were some six foot high stones which were completely covered with vines so that it was impossible to even see any gravestone, let alone read was was written on them.

Before visiting I was able to review a map of the cemetery which showed different sections. There was a “Mariampolen” e.g., Mariampoler, section, and since that is where the town of Preinai is located, I thought that was my best chance for finding here. I called the administrator of the cemetery, who had some records (unpublished) of burials in the cemetery, and he reported that there was an Ida Goldeberg buried in the Radashkowitzer section of the cemetery. Her burial date, according their records, was October 1893. From my Ida Goldberg’s death certificate, I knew that she died in May 1893. Close enough! The Radashkowitzer section was at gate 46, and the Mariampoler section at gate 44, so maybe there was some sort of mix up. The town of Radashkowitz was not close to Mariampol.

I made a thorough study of the cemetery map before leaving for New York so when I got to the cemetery I knew exactly where I wanted to go to look at the Radishkowitzer and Mariampoler sections. Fortunately for me, the end of the cemetery where I would be searching was in very good condition. Almost immediately in front of me was a large Mausoleaum with the name GOLDBERG carved into the concrete. That was easy. The door was sealed, though and the interior looked to have quite a mess. I started to look around. For one thing, this was “Goldberg,” and I should make sure I was in the correct cemetery section. Also, I wanted to see if maybe there were any other burials that matched up with my Robert Downey, Jr. research, or for that matter, with my Efron research.

I looked at the gates around me, and much to my chagrin, they were not numbered in the forties. In fact, I had started at the wrong end of the cemetery, and started to walk to the other end, watching as the gate numbers approached the forties, where I would have to restart my search.

This other end of the cemetery, where the Mariampoler section would be located, was a despicable wasteland of weeds, about 40 standing gravestones distributed mostly-sparsely in the area, and at least 40 stones fallen and broken. Countless thin gravestones could only be seen sticking out of the ground a few inches because they had sunken. There was all kinds of trash, tires and even discarded some junk. There was also a large field, which only had a few, occasional gravestone visible above the foot plus high grass and weeds. That is the area I believed would be the Mariampol section, based on the map. I could not locate anything labeled with a 44, to confirm that I was in the correct place, but the cemetery sections for numbers on either side were found, and it was the area indicated on the map. It’s only that there was no borders to show where one labeled or unlabeled section began, and ended.

The Radashkowitzer section gate, 46, was very visible. But the condition of that area was truly a jungle. I decided to start there, to see if I could read some of the gravestones, and would later move to what I thought was the Mariampoler section if I couldn’t find the Ida Goldberg burial I was informed was in Radashkowitzer, even if she turned out to be the wrong one. I could barely read any gravestones and had to use the shrub shears I brought with me to removes large amounts of growth, some of which I believe – and was told – was poison oak. No luck, so I moved on to what I thought was the Mariampoler section.

I walked up, down, across and zig zagged through the area I thought was the Mariampoler section to see if Ida Goldberg’s gravestone could be found. I went into bordering areas, which I knew were other sections because their gravestones were order, or they were wholly overgrown with brush and weeds. I took video, and photos, and in the end did not find Ida’s gravestone, or anything else familiar.

Meanwhile, back on the ELIAS side, I was trying to find out more about the SCHAPIRO family, Samuel BERNSTEIN, whether Beile’s maiden name was PERELMAN, PERELSTEIN, ALGAZE or COHEN. I never did find her death certificate, or find out more about her, before my time was up. To solve that mystery will likely require an onsite visit to her grave to make a closer examination to determine her year of death, and then a manual review of New York death certificates from that date forward.

I spent many, many hours poring over Lithuanian and Polish database records, Landsman, and other online genealogy sites looking for the ELIAS family, and all the other names associated with the family from research already completed.

I retrieved records for the SCHAPIRO/SHAPIRO family, who emigrated to the US with Beila. The mother in that family, Ida Schapiro, died in 1914. Her death certificate was clear about her mother’s maiden name, ELIAS, but it was not fully legible on her father’s name, which seemed to be RICHMOND. That’s a first – usually the mother’s maiden name is not even listed. Ida was the daughter of Fraida  ELIAS RICHMOND. Maybe it was PERLMAN? In any case, without that last name, it would be difficult to find Fraida in old world records. Finding a marriage or death record for one of Ida Schapiro’s children might have Ida’s maiden name, but none could be located.

At what point did I realize that I was researching too many names like GOLDBERG, SHAPIRO, BERNSTEIN, and in the case of the Barbara Walters project, SCHWARTZ and ABRAMOVITCH? Anytime I was faced with a common name, I was aware that the levels of proof were higher. Simply because I found records with the correct names, I had to gauge the commonness of the names to determine if I found reliable evidence or not.

The Baile ELIAS line went no further. Her husband, who died before she emigrated (she was a widow on the ship arrival), also went no further. Might he have come to the US? Possibly, but the name Meyer, used consistently on all records, appeared to be given to three grandchildren: Meyer in 1906; Myron in 1899; and Mervyn in 1910. It seems that he died before 1899, when Myron was born (assuming that he would not be named after a living ancestor). Finding Meyer in a census record would not be possible if he did come to the US, but died before 1900. Searches for a death record or immigration record for him were unsuccessful. Despite intense searches of database records and Landasman, no entry was found.

All of my searches for ELIAS family members required variations of the name because I did not know if ELIAS was the original name or not. I found Baile immigrating under that name, but never found her sons, who arrived much earlier, in any immigration record. Nor was I finding family members, under ELIAS or some variation, in any old world records. I made a more intensive search to find some link to Europe that might confirm that the name was ELIAS – or something else.

I located the naturalization of Charles, one of the three ELIAS brothers, and it said he was born in Kovno. Kovno, like Suwalk, is the name of a Gubernias, the equivalent of a large county, which contain many towns. Kovno (today’s Kaunas) and Suwalk (today’s Suvalki) are also cities, and are the capitals of their eponymous Gubernias. So a reference to Kovno is possibly the city, or an area much larger. All of a sudden I was searching all over again, this time in Kovno, not Suwalk. And finally, on October 15, I found them! The family was enumerated in the 1874 and 1887 Revision lists as residents of Jonava, a town in Kovno Gubernia. The last name was ELIASOVICH, and the names and dates matched up perfectly – Meyer, Beila, Leizer Elya ( a perfect match to Louis’ gravestone), Yosef (Joseph) and Shlomah Yankel (Charles). In 1887, Meyer is identified as deceased.

I never did find any of the brothers’ ship arrival information. Searching in the Castle Garden database,, I did find some possible matches, under the name ELIASON and so intensified my search for old world records for ELIASON and ELIASOHN in the areas where I knew the family originated. I found some possible arrival records, including an August 7, 1887 arrival of a16 year-old “J. Eliasohn” of “Jamischik,” which I take to be Joniskis, Lithuania. [NOT DIFFERENT?]

Long before I finally found the ELIASOVITCH family in Jonava I had begun to spend most of my energies pursuing a story line that would be worthy to tell on the TV show. I had noticed early on the unusual name of “ALGAZI” and variations in records for the family. There was the marriage certificate of Samuel GOLDBERG, stating that his mother’s maiden name was “Hyda ALGAZA,” on Gussie’s marriage record as “Ida ELGIN,” and on Ida’s death record as “ALGIZA.” Inexplicably, the name given for the mother of Charles ELIAS, on his wedding record, was “Bessie ALGAYE.” This appears to be a plain and simple mistake, perhaps by a rabbi or other person attending the wedding, familiar with the Elias family, and who confused the maternal line of Joseph Elias with that of his wife, Gussie (Goldberg).

I searched for references to this name in JewishGen and other databases, for old world references, and only one possible variation presented itself, and it was ALGAZE/ALGAZI. This name was rare in Lithuania and even more rare in Russian-Poland and Ukraine. One of the very few places it was found was Preinai!

I quickly learned that the ALGAZI family was a prominent Turkish Rabbinic family, with a presence in Greece, Solonika and Jerusalem. The online Jewish Encyclopedia has several short biographies of the family, but nothing about any branch of the family in Russia, Poland or Lithuania. I located as much as I could about the family in Prienai, where there was a rabbi ALGAZI in the mid-19th century. I pieced together the Preinai ALGAZI family as best I could, but I could find no link to Chaia (ALGAZI) GOLDBERG.

My goal was to show that Chaia was related to this old rabbinic family. In the end, by my deadline, I was unable to show the relation in detail, but I am fairly certain that the connection exists. The rabbi in Preinai was Szolom ALGAZE, and the most common name in the Turkish family was also Sholom, in honor of their most illustrious ancestor of that name. This surname pretty much did not exist outside of Sephardic locales.

As part of my research I looked at US records for families of this name who came from Russia, Poland or Lithuania. I found a few such families, and researched their roots. Two main families were found, and both had origins in the Lithuanian town of Balberiskis, the town listed as the place of origin of Beila ELIAS on her ship record and located next to Preinai.

The two families I found in the US both spelled their name as ALGASE. Both of them were descendants of Rabbi Szolom ALGAZE of Preinai. I refer to these two families as the Syracuse and the Dubuque ALGASE families for the towns where they settled, in New York and Iowa. The ALGASE/ALGZI research took me to some very interesting places, genealogically speaking, all in an effort to link Robert Downey Jr.’s great-great-grandmother to an 18th century rabbinic family in Turkey.

The patriarch of the Syracuse ALGASE family, Wolf Algase, was from the town of Preinai, according to a birth certificate of one of his sons. In the 1880s Wolf ALGASE and his family emigrated to Kalmar, Sweden. His wife died in 1883 and he emigrated to Syracuse, NY with his children.

The Dubuque ALGASE family came from Balberiskis, only a few miles from Preinai. They had connections to Koenigsburg, Prussia, and after emigrating to Dubuque, they spread out to New York City, Louisville and Chicago. The members of the Dubuque branch who emigrated to the US were the children of Eliezer Yitzkhak ALGASE, who in turn was another son of Rabbi Szolom ALGAZI of Preinai. Eliezer Yitzhak was a rabbi in Balberiskis, and his son Max L. was born in Preinai. Max L. ALGASE came to Dubuque but died in Kalmar, Sweden, and is buried in the same cemetery as his mother. The Buffalo, NY ALGASE family may be a branch of the Dubuque family, but I could not find a definitive link.


Barbara Walters

I first worked on Barbara Walters’ family. I looked at her autobiography, “Audition,” and a genealogy report that was done for her at the time she wrote her autobiography. I was quickly able to find her mother’s Boston SELETSKY family in the census and in some vital records. I located a reference to a burial location in an online death record and visited the cemetery where I found several graves on this maternal side of the family. I learned from the gravestone of grandfather Jacob SELETSKY’s that his Jewish name was Zelig and his father was Daniel. Zelig and Daniel are unusual names, making searching ship arrivals and old world records easier.

What was the SELETSKY family’s town of origin? There was a “Selig SILITSKY” arrival at Boston, but it was from 1890, and therefor did not identify a town of origin. He had last lived in Liverpool, and luckily, he came to England from the port of Hamburg, so I found that record under the name of “Selig SELITZKY.”  Looks like I had the right guy. Selig SELITZKY came from a town that appeared to be on the manifest to be “Binikow.” Searching JewishGen’s Shtetl database identified Benyakoni, a Lithuanian shtetl near Eisashook, as the likely town of origin. This fit with other information, such as the one record I located on JewishGen for a Daniel Seletsky, residing in nearby Lida; the ship arrival for Jacob’s sister, saying she was from nearby Vilna, and other records.

In search of a story to tell, I investigated the close connection of Jacob’s brother with the Congregation Shaari Jerusalem, a Boston synagogue located in the North End founded by landsmen from Valkeninkai, a shtetl located next  to Benyakoni. However, I could not closely tie Jacob to the synagogue. I did have enough supporting information to conclude that Benyakoni was the SELETSKY family’s town of origin so I tried as much as I could about this town. Jacob’s mother came to the US, but I had trouble locating anything further about her SESKIND family, in the US or in Lithuania. After some time, it became apparent that I would not find out much more about this branch within the timeframe I had, so I quickly had to move on to another branch. With a short time frame and the elusive goal of finding a great story, I had to determine when it was time to move on from one line of inquiry to the next. There would be no time to travel down frivolous or unproductive lines. Realistically, though, one doesn’t know that some avenue of inquiry is useless until truly exhausting all possibilities. I did not have that luxury.

I had no luck with ancestors along Ms. Walters’ maternal line. Jacob SELETSKY was married to Celia SAKOWITZ (or COHEN), whose mother’s family name was reported as SANER. With time, these branches would perhaps bear fruit, but I needed to move on.

I looked into Ms. Walters’ paternal line. Again, some preliminary research was done on this side, but no definitive link could be made to the old country. The Walters’ male line already known was:

1. Louis Walters (father of Barbara Walters)

2. Abraham Walters; originally named Isaac Abrahams (grandfather)

Beyond this, there was oral history that Abe Walters’ father was named Tzvi, and in fact, Abe’s death record, supplied to me, showed his father’s name as “Harry.” Tzvi is paired inexorably with Hirsh, as e.g. Tzvi Hirsh. So Abe’s father would have been called Hirsh, and when Abe’s death cert was filled out, Hirsh became Harry. It was also known that Abe Walters came from Lodz, based on a ship arrival. What else did we know about him? From Abraham’s death cert, we knew the first name of his wife “Bina.”

Right off the bat I found the gravestone of Abraham Walters and his wife, Lillian, in From Abraham’s gravestone, I learned that his Hebrew name was Abraham Isaac, and that his father’s name was Tzvi Getzel. Now I could add a third generation to the male ancestry of Ms. Walters:

3. Tzvi (Hersh) “Harry” Getzel  ABRAMS

Another researcher had found the birth record for Isaac ABRAMOVITCH, born in Lodz in 1867. This person matched everything known about our Isaac ABRAMS a/k/a Abraham WALTERS! But, this Isaac ABRAMOVITCH’s father was Mosei, not Tzvi or Hirsh or Getzel. Further information about this Isaac ABRAMOVITCH was located – he had an interesting military record – a compelling story to tell Ms. Walters! Would a good story get in the way of accurate, verifiable research? I sounded the alarm, and was assured that “sound research and genealogy is the foundation of the project and the most important factor.” I pointed out to the producers that Isaac Abramovitch is a common name, and in a big city there would easily be a few, and there was inadequate proof to conclude that this Isaac Abramovitch, soldier, was the grandfather of Barbara Walters. 

I ran numerous searches in the JRI-Poland database for any family whose surname began with ARBAM* and given names that might match one of the known WALTERS/ABRAMS family members, and all variations I could imagine. I often narrowed my search to the Lodz area, but also spread out further if no results were found there. I spent several nights and weekends at it, and occasionally returned to other branches when an idea hit me. But, I could not locate anyone from the Abrahams/Abramovitch family in the old country.

I also tried to find out something about the paternal grandmother, Lillian (SCHWARTZ) WALTERS. From Ms. Walters’ autobiography I knew that her family name was SCHWARTZ. She had married Abraham Isaac ABRAMS (later, WALTERS) before coming to America. I found the ABRAMS family in the 1901 census in England. The oral history was that she was from a well-off family that owned a knitting mill, and that she married a worker in the factory. She was the “princess,” and Abe, it seems, was a pauper. How I tried to find that Schwartz wool mill in England or the US! If I could find some verification of the oral history, that would be a great find. But I was dealing with such common names—her father in fact was Shmuel SCHWARTZ.

As the deadline was approaching, which was one week before the April 29th interview of Barbara Walters by Professor Gates, I was growing dejected. I spent so much time, and the best I could do was some interesting information about the town of Benyakoni, and some rather uninteresting shoemakers in the North End of Boston. I found close to nothing on the entire paternal line. I simply could not get back further than their immigration to England.

I continued working very hard, and many hours to find something better, concentrating mostly on the WALTERS/ABRAMS/SCHWARTZ paternal line which had been of some interest to Ms. Walters, according to her autobiography.

On Thursday night, July 14 – actually, it was after midnight – I stopped. I backed up. And I tried again. I input only the first name combination “Girsh Getzel” into the JRI-Poland database, restricted the search to the Lodz area, and three results came up. Only one of them was of an age that made sense., His surname started with a W. Waremwasser. Hmmm.

The town was Zgierz, right on the outskirts of Lodz. I searched for other family members and quickly found a son of this Girsh Getzel, Abram Icek, his wife, Bina Bluma! A perfect match to what I knew!

I then found a few generations back in JRI-Poland entries. It didn’t take long before Lillian SCHWARTZ was found, too! Their marriage record instantly and conclusively confirmed that the family was finally found.

When I initially saw their name was “Warmwasser” in Poland, I thought maybe some of the family might have adopted the name “Warmwater,” a direct translation. Unlikely, I thought, since it didn’t sound like a name for Lithuanian Jews (maybe for Native American Jews…).

In fact, the family was found in a ship passenger list, travelling from England to NY in 1897, under the name Warmwater

They had travelled, over land it seems, to San Francisco, lived there for about one year, then returned to England before permanently immigrating around 1905, under the name Abrahams. Upon entry into the US, they immediately became “Walters.”

I searched the indexes to English vital records (Ancestry; other databases) for the family under variations of the name and found that Barbara’s father, Louis WALTERS, was born in England under the name of Warmwater. That birth certificate was presented to Barbara Walters on the show, and she was visibly moved and astounded to learn of her family’s original surname.


56 Source Documents A. Descendants of Shmaya Jaffe; B. Descendants of Tsinne (4 Generations); C. Descendants of Lapinski

 Bill Lowenstein’s genealogy research is presented here in 3 reports


A. Descendants of Shmaya Jaffe. This shows all descendants of Shifra by her marriage to Abram Leib (Jaffe) Goldberg, and it shows Abram Leib’s ancestry back to Shmaya Jaffe. Bill Lowenstein traced the Jaffe line back many more generations, but those do not appear relevant here and are excluded.


B. Descendants of Tsinne (4 Generations). This shows the descendants of Tsinne identified by Bill Lowenstein, excluding the descendants of Shifra since those are covered in the other two reports.


C. Descendants of Lapinski. This shows the descendants of Shifra by her husband, Lapinski (Bill Lowenstein did not know his first name).