The original photo is at the top, with a digitally enhanced and colorised version below.
Judith (Judy) was Ari’s great-great-grandmother.
She was born on 30 September 1910 at 6 Gore Road, Hackney, the daughter of Maurice Katz and Rachel (Raye) Cohen. The family can be seen there in the 1911 census. When Judy was 3, her sister Rosalind was born.
This is a photo of Judy with Harry Loshak, taken to mark their engagement, which was announced in October 1930 in the Jewish Chronicle.
And this is their wedding, which took place on 26 July 1931 at Cricklewood Synagogue.
Judy and Harry had two children, David and Ruth. On 20 July 1940, Judy travelled to New York from Glasgow on the SS Cameronia, with the two children, who were 7 and 4 at the time. They did not return to England until June of 1945. The letters that we have show how hard this time of separation was for them. Here is an extract from the first one written to Harry on the ship:
“There is neither ink nor paper on board but somebody has lent me this. I hope you will be able to read it. We are all quite well. I am alright except that I don’t sleep well. Our cabin is really not too bad. We found it impossible to change; unfortunately, we have a German refugee in with us, which makes a terrible squash, but we will survive. The food is plentiful and quite good and we are allowed more or less anywhere on the boat. We have to carry lifebelts all the time; we were pleased to give our gas masks up before coming on board, but it was a bad exchange. We didn’t get on board until 4.30; it was dreadful standing squashed like sardines. but it only took a few minutes after I’d got through to get my luggage seen to; they were not opened. It’s a calm journey so far but the weather is very changeable, fine in the morning and wet in the afternoon. 90% of the people are German refugees. It’s not necessary to tell you how much I’m missing you, I can’t imagine living without you for any length of time.”
I have lovely memories of time spent with my grandma Judy in Cambridge, learning to tie shoelaces and sticking pictures into scrapbooks with that glue that came in tubs with a little spatula – I remember the smell! What was it called?
Judy as a baby:
Ari, this is how you are related to Judy:
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.
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).
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.)
I will see if I can get a photo of these windows.
Ari, this is how you are related to Hinda:
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).
His will shows that he left estate to the value of £475.
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.
Ari, this is how you are related to Isaac:
Ari’s 3x great-grandmother Rachel Cohen was always known to me as Grandma Raye. She was born at 8 East Mount Street in Whitechapel on 5 Feb 1890, the first child of Jacob (or Judah) Cohen and Mindel (Millie) Gross, who had emigrated from Kalisz in Poland.
It took me a long time to get hold of her birth certificate as there were so many Rachel Cohens born in Whitechapel, but the 1939 Register gave me the exact birth date and I could then order it and finally discover her mother’s maiden name.
One very sad discovery I made was that Rachel had a baby sister called Annie Rosa, who was born in the last quarter of 1893 and died in January 1894. Rachel would have been just three years old when this happened.
In the same year, Rachel started attending Chicksand Street School, as we know from the London, England, School Admissions and Discharges, 1840–1911 collection on Ancestry:
In the 1901 census the family are living at 24 Green Dragon Yard, just off Brick Lane.
In 1908 she became engaged to Maurice Katz. This was announced in the Jewish Chronicle:
And the wedding took place on 28 Dec 1909 at the Great Synagogue in London when she was just 19. Their two daughters were born in 1910 and 1914.
The earliest photo I have of Raye is this very formal one taken in Whitechapel. I have no idea who the other women are!
This one was taken in 1930.
And this is a lovely one with Maurice.
Raye died from bronchopneumonia on 21 Jan 1976 at Whittington Hospital in Islington.
Postscript: I now have the birth and death certificates for Annie Rosa. She was born on 27 Aug 1893 at 24 Green Dragon Yard, and died of measles at the same address on 26 Jan 1894.
Ari, this shows how you are related to Raye:
One of Ari’s 3x great-grandfathers was Maurice Katz, originally Moses and known as Morrie.
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.)
(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).
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:
Maurice appears in Kelly’s Post Office Directory for 1916:
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.
Ari, this shows how you are related to Maurice: