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: