Hinda (or Jane)

One of Ari’s 4x great-grandmothers was Hinda, later called Jane, who was born in about 1845, probably in Ekaterinoslav (now Dnipropetrovs’k), Ukraine.

Hinda married Isaac Katz while still in Ekaterinoslav, and they had five children.

On 7 September 1898, we have a record of Hinda (aged 51) travelling from Hamburg to London on the ship Ophelia, with her son Moses (15) and daughter Rosalie (17). Presumably Isaac and their oldest son Nathan were already in England. The passenger record says that she is married and her previous residence was Wilna (Vilnius, Lithuania).

The first record of Hinda in England is the 1901 census. Here she is listed as Jane, aged 53, and a Russian subject. The family is living at 35 Fashion Street in Spitalfields.

In 1910 you can find her listed as a “Lady Seatholder” at South Hackney Synagogue, but only if you search for her husband’s name. Two granddaughters were born that year: Rose, daughter of Nathan, and Judith, daughter of Maurice. She already had a grandson Leon, son of Rosalie.

In the 1911 census she is listed as Ginda Katz, 63, married for 48 years and with five children still living.

Three more granddaughters arrived: Edith in 1913, Rosalind in 1914 and Sylvia in 1916.

One mystery is where Hinda’s other two children were, as we only know about Nathan, Rosalie and Moses (Maurice). Another mystery is the identity of a relative living with the family in 1911, whose name was Rose Peizov(?), 23 and single.

Hinda died on 5 August 1916, at 4 Linthorpe Road, Stamford Hill. She was 71, and the cause of death was diabetes mellitus. I have not found a will.

Her sons Nathan and Maurice announced the death in the Jewish Chronicle.

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She was buried at Willesden Cemetery, next to her husband Isaac. Unfortunately, the gravestone does not provide her father’s name, instead describing her as the widow of Yitzchak (Isaac).

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I have requested the burial authorisation from the United Synagogue, which might give us a clue to her place of birth and Hebrew name.

The Jewish Chronicle of 13 December 1918 records the gift of a stained glass window presented to the New Synagogue by Maurice Katz in his parents’ memory. (Another window remembers Jack Cohen, Ari’s 4x great-uncle who was killed in action in 1916.)

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I will see if I can get a photo of these windows.

Ari, this is how you are related to Hinda:

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Isaac Katz, draper

Isaac Katz was the father of Maurice Katz, and was Ari’s 4x great-grandfather. He was born in about 1842 in Ekaterinoslav, Ukraine (now Dnipropetrovs’k), and died in Hackney, London on 1 Jan 1912.

He married Hinda (later called Jane) in about 1863 while still in Ukraine, and they had five children there. I only know about Maurice, his older brother Nathan, and sister Rosalie, but the 1911 census shows that the total number of children born before then was five, and none had died.

(Nathan married Lea Agi on 22 May 1907 at the Great Synagogue in London, and died in Torquay on 2 Nov 1959. In 1906 Rosalie married Boris David Drusinsky in Paris. He was a dentist, who changed his name to Dee. Rosalie died in 1977 in London.)

I don’t know when Isaac came to England, but he was recorded in the 1901 census, living at 35 Fashion Street in Spitalfields (see http://wiki.casebook.org/index.php/Fashion_Street). He is 59 and a shirt manufacturer. Another two families were living in the same house: Samuel Cohen, a tailor from Russia, with his wife Rosa and three children; and David and Annie Davis, with their five-month-old baby Abraham.

In 1910 there is a record on JewishGen showing that he was a seatholder at South Hackney Synagogue.

In 1911, the year before he died, he was living with his son Nathan (an underclothing manufacturer) at 7B King Edward Rd in Hackney, and no occupation is given.

Isaac did not become a British citizen, so there are no naturalisation documents. There are no photos of him either. He died at home in Hackney at the age of sixty-nine. The cause of death was cancer of the stomach. His occupation is given as Draper (Master).

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Death announcement, Jewish Chronicle.

His will shows that he left estate to the value of £475.

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He is buried at Willesden Cemetery. The open hands on the gravestone signify the priestly blessing, indicating that he was descended from the tribe of Cohen. The name of his father is partially eroded, but seems to be Yehuda Leib HaCohen. I don’t know the name of his mother.

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Ari, this is how you are related to Isaac:

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Sarah Volfson

Sarah Volfson was Ari’s 4x great-grandmother.

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This photo shows Sarah with her husband David Nisman and son Chaim (Hymie), who was born in 1888.

According to Sarah’s daughter,

My perents acquired a smal part of land, my mother and father worked very hard, and also my brothers were working on the land. After about two years we were ordered out of that vilage as Jewish we could not live in a village and we must not possess any land. So, at this time that small town being rebuld, my father bough a small house and a very big garden.  We had grown moust food for aur aun need.  We also had chickens and geese, ducks, and I used to take them to a swamp near aur garden, I loved to do it.  

Sarah must have been born in about 1855, probably in Belarus, and married in about 1873. I have no records of these events. We don’t know who her parents were.

So what do we know about her?

She had at least six children, with the oldest, Shmuel (Sam), being born on 31 May 1874 in Parichi, Babruysk, Belarus. Sam emigrated to New York in 1904 and worked as a carpenter, owning a furniture repair shop. There were two daughters, Haya, born in about 1879, and Freida.

Another son, Kofman, was born on 9 May 1879. He was also a carpenter and also emigrated to New York in 1904, where he had several children. Confusingly, he sometimes used the name Joseph, which was also the name of his younger brother who stayed in Russia. Joseph’s son Israel told us this, in a letter to my great-uncle Lionel:

My father Joseph/Yossef Nisman who stayed in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine was born in 1882 and died in 1942 during the war. My father had 5 children: Gregory, Anna, Dora, Michael and myself.  My sister Dora stayed in touch with your brother Bernard through the letters. And even your mother in 1936 or 1937 wanted to come to us with your brother Bernard in order to make a shidech. My family was in touch with your mother until probably 1937 (when started repression period in Russia) and we tore up all the letters and photos of your family because they were very afraid that somebody will find the letters so the communication stopped. However my sister Dora kept two pictures of your mother and your brother Bernard. 

The youngest son, Chaim (Hymie), was a furrier and emigrated to New York in 1922. According to his naturalization petition, he was born in Ekaterinoslav, Ukraine.

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Hymie married and had four daughters.

We know from Freida that Sarah came to London some time after her grandson Harry was born:

Harry was a lovely baby.  After one year we moved to a larger flat, and then, after a few month I had a still born babe.  My mother came to visit me from Rusia and stayed with us for three months.  I was so happy to see her, and Meyer loved her he thought she was a lovely lady. 

We also know that Sarah had died by October 1935, when Freida made a donation to the Jewish National Fund in her late parents’ memory.

Ari, this shows how you are related to Sarah:

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Maurice Katz from Ekaterinoslav

One of Ari’s 3x great-grandfathers was Maurice Katz, originally Moses and known as Morrie.

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He was born in 1883 in Ekaterinoslav in the Russian Empire, which is now called Dnipropetrovs’k or Dnipro, Ukraine. (Jews had first settled there in 1773 and it was part of the Pale of Jewish Settlement. Pogroms took place there in the 1880s, and 50,000 Jews in the Dnipropetrovs’k region were killed by the Nazis.)

Maurice left in 1898. The earliest record we have for him is this passenger record showing that he travelled from Hamburg to London on the Ophelia with his mother Hinde and sister Rosalie. (This is how I learned his original name.)

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(Source: Staatsarchiv Hamburg. Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850–1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2008.)

More details about the emigration of European Jews via Hamburg can be read on this page.

In the 1901 census he is living at 14 Old Montague St in Whitechapel with his older brother Nathan.

His naturalization document from 1909 can be seen in the National Archives at Kew (Ref. HO 144/907/176855).

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Maurice married Rachel Cohen on 28 Dec 1909 in London’s Great Synagogue. His occupation is given as ‘manager of shirt manufacturer’. (Apparently he made up his date of birth of 1 Feb to match hers, but her birth certificate states 5 Feb anyway!)

In the 1911 census they are living at 6 Gore Rd, Victoria Park, Hackney with their six-month-old daughter Judith, and Ellen Cooper, a fourteen-year-old general servant. Maurice is listed as a shirt cutter in an underclothing factory. In 1914 a second daughter, Rosalind, was born.

I don’t remember him as he died the year before I was born, but his grandson David Loshak sent me his memories:

“He settled in London, and did well in the shirt manufacturing business, even though he could hardly write English. He made enough money to finance what were known as Grand Tours of Europe for my mother and grandmother when my mother was about 18: they stayed in all the grandest hotels in Paris, Nice, Florence, Rome and so on, and even (I don’t know why or how) attended an audience with the Pope (my mother recalled that his shoes squeaked).

When war broke out in 1939, my grandfather sold his factory to the government so that the machinery could be used to make parachutes. He was a rotund, genial fellow, who loved to amuse his grandchildren with funny little tricks. He smoked Woodbines – horribly strong gasper cigarettes, which he would balance across his shoe and kick up to his mouth. He was, I think, the only member of my family who liked to go to boxing matches. On Sundays, my grandfather read the News of the World, a paper then devoted to salacious accounts of dirty court cases: otherwise, he read nothing, and spent his days riding around London on buses. He was a jolly man, full of fun, as his photograph indicates.”

In 1915 Maurice was advertising for shirt-cutters in the Manchester Evening News:

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Maurice appears in Kelly’s Post Office Directory for 1916:

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and this address enabled me to find him in the Middlesex Poplar Military Tribunals 1916–1918 Collection on Findmypast, where he is being granted temporary exemptions throughout these years “on the ground that serious hardship would ensue if the man were called up for Army service, owing to his exceptional financial or business obligations or domestic position” and “on the ground that it is expedient in the national interests that the man should, instead of being employed in military service, be engaged in other work in which he is habitually engaged”.

Passenger records show that he travelled to Cape Town in 1926 and 1929.

The 1939 Register shows Maurice staying at Regent Palace Hotel.

Maurice died at the General Hospital in Brighton on 3 Mar 1959, and was buried at Bushey Cemetery.

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Ari, this shows how you are related to Maurice:

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Jewish Chronicle announcement