Acknowledgments: Michael Nutkiewicz; Isaac Choze, Lana and Ezequiel Grin; Catarina Costa (translation)
According to Yedidia Effron, they had five children:
Sosia Dvorke “Shoshke” (Sophie)
Mary Zshamen (Serebrenik)
And according to the 1858 census [RS102], which did not list Abel, there were two other children:
Choze is pronounced somewhere between a guttural CH and a J. One member of the family said the family is Sephardic and the origin of the name is from the Spanish ‘Jose.’ The name can also be spelled as “Khoze.”
Yedidia Effron in Amdur, Mayn Geboyrn Shtetl recalls Shmuel, who was known as Monye Choze, an old man, with a gray flecked beard [MISC019]:
“He hailed from a prominent family in Amdur. The Amdur courtyard, which used to belong to the Polish Count Kozlovsky, fell to Monye after the last Polish uprising. So all of Amdur belonged to Monye, according to old Polish laws… He was very learned, wrote a fine Hebrew, and spoke Polish and Russian grammatically. He was highly regarded by the Polish princes. Pan Khoze made a mark. He had four daughters and one son… In addition to being wealthy, he lived in a place with a huge orchard on the side. He was strictly Orthodox. His daughters were also.” [Pan is an honorific, signifying a landowner.]
There is a large Khoze family in the 1858 Amdur revision list, including Shmuel, his immediate family, and Shmuel’s several brothers and their families. [RS102] Some of the descendents settled in and around Pittsburgh, PA, using the name “Silberblatt.” For much more detailed information on the extended family, see “Other Amdur Families.”
> Berko Girsh, b. abt. 1846 [RS102]. The 1858 census states that he is then 28 years old and that he was 4 years old in 1850, which of course does not add up. Since he is listed as a son of Shmuel, who was born in 1820, the age of 4 in 1850 makes sense. Nothing else is known about him. He was not mentioned in the book about Amdur.
> Meria “Mary”, b. abt. 1850 [RS102], married Unknown Zshamen (Serebrenik). He was a Hasid and highly educated. His Polish-Jewish father was very wealthy. They owned mills, and they were among the wealthiest people in Amdur. [MISC019]. No other trace of this family has been found.
> Tsinne Efron, b. abt. 1853, married her first cousin, Leizer Aharon Efron, b. 1844, d. after 1907. [MISC019]. The 1858 census presumably renders her name as Tsilya, because she the name Tsinne is not listed as one of the daughters of Shmuel Khoze. For further information about their family see Chapter 4. Despite extensive efforts, no further descendents have been found for this family.
> Chernia Rivka, b. abt. 1855 [RS102]. She was not identified in Yedidia Effron’s book. Possibly, she did not survive childhood.
> Etke, married Boris Unknown. He came from Bialystok. Boris was a young man of prominence, and she was a very fashionable dresser. [MISC019]. She was probably born after 1858 or possibly was married by 1858 (and therefore not in the census), although the former is more likely than the latter.
According to the translation of the Amdur book, she “married a Boris.” Does that mean his name was “Boris,” or is that some sort of epithet, e.g. that he was a convert or very assimulated.
> Abke (Abel), b. after 1858, married Sarah Gummener of Vilna. He was completely paralyzed. She was Jewish and from Vilna, and prior to their marriage she was his governess. [MISC019].
He was not in the 1858 census, and so he was probably born after that. Based on other evidence, it is not likely that he was born much after 1870, based on his son Isaac’s age (if this Abke is in fact the father of Isacc Choze of Brazil – see below) and more likely Abke was born sometime earlier than that. His wife was Sarah Gummener of Vilna, according to one of the Brazil Choze family members. The name Gumbiner was somewhat prevalent in Lithuania, so this may be the correct spelling.
> > Isaac Choze, b. 1905, d. 1969, married 1. Sara Feigen, b. Lublin, 1880, d. Treblinka, 1942. (MN). They divorced.
Isaac’s gravestone gives his Hebrew name as “Isaac ben Abel Shochet.” Shochet is not a given name, but is instead the profession of ritual slaughterer, or, it could be a last name (but not in this context). Perhaps the name was “Abel Shevach?” Sara (Feigen) Choze re-married to Unknown Gumener (Verify – this was also the name of Isaac’s mother). Sara’s daughter by her second marriage, to Gumener, was Betty Nutkiewicz, b. Mariampol, near Kovna. Betty was raised in Vilna. Betty married Sergei Nutkiewicz and they are the parents of Michael.
Michael is a historian who has been involved in Holocaust remembrance activities. He was director of the Los Angeles Holocaust Museum and was senior historian of Stephen Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation. He has held various academic positions and currently teaches at the University of New Mexico. Recent activities includes being director of a torture treatment program in Los Angeles, and director of a refugee resettlement for the state of New Mexico
[photo of Sara (Feigen) Choze Gumener with notes on reverse]
According to the Amdur book, the son of Abke Choze emmigrated to Sao Paolo, Brazil [MISC019]. The only Choze family found in Brazil was headed by Isaac Choze, whose father was “Abel,” and therefore Isaac is presumed to be the unnamed son of Abke who emmigrated to Brazil.
> > Married 2. in Brazil, to Chandel “Sally” Knop
One family member tells this story: During II World War, Brazil allowed the U.S.A. to establish an air base in the city of Natal, State of Rio Grande do Norte in the northeast of Brazil, with the objective to control the South Atlantic. Natal is in the extreme northeast of Brazil and the closest point from South America to Africa. In the air base, the U.S. administration allowed a Brazilian couple to set up a souvenir shop that carried typical merchandise from Brazil at that time, such as semi-precious stones, alligator leather goods, etc., and needed a couple who were able to communicate in English. This couple was Isaac and Sally Choze, and they had a very successful business on the air base.
Around 1990, when this family member was in NY, he took a taxi from midtown to downtown where he had a meeting. The taxi driver asked him where he was from, and he answered that he was from Brazil. The cab driver told him that he had been to Brazil, and the cab driver was asked, where exactly. He said that he was on the air base in Natal. The Choze family member then told the driver about Sally Choze’s souvenir shop on the air base.
In the middle of FDR Drive [a very busy street!], he stopped the taxi, turned to his passenger and asked: "Was her name Sally?" You can´t imagine how touching it was to know that this taxi driver knew this ancestor. The taxi driver then told him that since Sally spoke English, all the soldiers on the base would come to ask her about the city of Natal, and she was very friendly to everyone.
After the war, Sally divorced Isaac and since she liked adventures in life, she settled in the Amazon rain forest and lived with Indians. She had a mining license to explore gold and precious stones there. With the same easiness that she could get rich out of all the gold she found, she also lost all her money. She wrote a book about her life (under the name of Sally Knop), but she writes very little about her ex-husband. There isn’t any information about Isaac Choze's birthplace. [E.G.]
“The only thing that we know about Isaac Choze is that he was an educated man, and probably was well off because he gave his wife, Sally Knop (they got married in Brazil) a beautiful piece of jewelry with diamonds that belonged to Isaac's mother who had already passed away when Isaac got married.
This is the only information that we have about Isaac, the son of Abel.” (L.G.)
> > > Mauricio. He lived in Brazil.
A “Mauricio Abel Choze” of Brazil arrives at NY 10/17/1950 by air and is going to 236 E. 16th St., Brooklyn. No further information about that address is known.
> > > Dr. Milton. He was married three times. He lived in Brazil.