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.

hinda 1916

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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Meyer Loshak from Hritsiv, Ukraine

Ari’s 3x great-grandfather Meyer Loshak was born on 4 April 1884 in a town that is now called Hritsiv in Ukraine.

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Before WWI the town was called Gritsev, and it was in the Volhynia district of the Russian Empire. In 1879, the year of the Russian census, the Jewish population of the town was 979. There was a pogrom there on 21 Sept 1917. The town was captured by the Germans on 5 July 1941, and a ghetto was established. All the Jewish people of the town (c.1900 at that time)  were murdered either in 1941 or in 1942 after being transferred to another ghetto.

Meyer was the son of Lazarus (Eleazer) Loshak and Dvossie Singer. He came to England in 1906, following the 1905 Russian Revolution. His son Harry has given us the story:

“He was the youngest but one of a large family. He soon displayed a formidable aptitude at the casuistic arguments about the significance of the sacred texts. The result was that he was regarded by his teachers and his father as destined to become a rabbi. He had a remarkable gift for languages. Yiddish was his mother tongue. He quickly acquired the Hebrew and Aramaic needed for the Talmud. Before the age of 13 he had also learnt to read and speak Russian as well as the Ukrainian dialect. When he came to Britain in 1906 he soon became fluent in English, which he spoke without trace of a foreign accent. Having learnt Russian he read widely in Russian literature, both the classic authors and contemporary left-wing literature. It was the latter which, when he was about 14, led him to lose religious faith and to become an atheist, much to his father’s disgust. At 15, he left home and supported himself by teaching Russian to Yiddish-speaking Jews. He joined the Bund, a left-wing Jewish political group which was then allied to the Communist movement. As such, he took an active part in the unsuccessful 1905 revolution. Exactly what his role was, I do not know, but it led to a warrant for his arrest by the Tsarist police. He went into hiding and was later smuggled across the border into Germany to avoid probable deportation to Siberia. After spending a few weeks in Germany, he came to Britain on a ship from Hamburg to London.”

This passport  was issued by the “Headman of Middle Class citizens of Settlement Grizev. The bearer of this document, the Middle Class citizen Meer Leizorovich Loshak, from Volynsky province, Zaslavski region, settlement Grizev, is discharged to various cities and settlements of the Russian Empire till 22 April 1904. Issued 22 April 1903.”

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In London, “he took a room in a lodging house and, for a month or two, made a meagre living by selling neckties from a barrow in Petticoat Lane. A fellow lodger, named Pertschuk, who worked for a fur skin merchant in the City, told him of a vacancy at this merchant’s. My father applied for it and was appointed. He remained for a few years, when he left the job and set up in business as a fur skin merchant on his own account.”

This is a photo from 1906.

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Meyer married Freida (Fannie) Nisman on 4 July 1907 in the Register Office in Whitechapel (I had never noticed before, but you can see that Joseph Pertschuk was a witness to the marriage).

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We have many letters that Meyer wrote to his son and other family members, and the National Archives at Kew holds some of his business records. There are also many passenger records showing him travelling to New York on business. He became a British citizen in 1911.

Meyernaturalization

Meyer and Fannie had four sons. This picture shows the family in 1928:

Loshaks 1928

A claim to fame from the Jewish Chronicle, 14 Nov 1947:

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Meyer died on 22 May 1937 at 26 Exeter Rd, Kilburn, at the age of 53 (the causes were syncope, coronary occlusion, coronary thrombosis), and was buried at Willesden Cemetery.

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In his will he left many interesting bequests, including to his sister Leah Singer of Poland and her daughter Sosia Gejfman (I believe that they died in the Holocaust). He also mentions other siblings I did not know: “WHEREAS I have been allowing various sums of money monthly to each of my brothers O. Loshak of Tulchin Russia, [and] my sister Chissie Tachtenberg of Odessa Russia … it is my earnest wish that my wife should continue to make them allowances of at least Four pounds a month each.”

I would love to find any descendants of these relations, and more information about them.

An obituary of Meyer was published in the Fur News.

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Ari, this is how you are related to Meyer:

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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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Eleazer Loshak

Eleazer (or Lazarus) Loshak was Ari’s 4x great-grandfather. We know he was born in about 1845, somewhere near Gritsev, Ukraine. The date of birth comes from this amazing papercut, handed down in the family and now in my possession, which gives the date of his bar mitzvah in Hebrew.

Zoharistic Scroll

I found this information by uploading the image to a wonderful resource called ViewMate on the website JewishGen, where you can ask for translations. Rivka Chaya Baddiel kindly sent me this very helpful explanation:

This is a standard decoration showing the direction of ‘East’ – towards which Jews pray.
The words around the edge of the semicircle are a verse in Psalms 113:3. “From the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof, the Lord’s name is to be praised” – the word used here for ‘rising’ also means ‘East’ (Mizrach). The word in the center of the semicircle says ‘Mizrach’ – ‘East’.

Below that, the center box says ‘to the year of my splendor’ which is the numerical value of the Jewish year 5619 (1858–1859). The boxes to the right and left read ‘From this side comes the spirit of Life’ – (Ab hac parte spiritus vitae – source: Compendia vocum hebraico-rabbinicarum) often put on ‘Mizrach’ signs, as these four Hebrew words begin with the letters m-z-r-ch, which spell Mizrach in Hebrew.

We know from the marriage certificate of one of his sons that Eleazer was a dealer of some kind, and we know that he and his wife Devorah (Dvossie) had eleven children.

One of his grandsons, Harry Loshak, left an autobiography that tells us a bit more:

[Eleazer] was an ultra-strict Chassid who, for religious reasons, never had his photograph taken, and underwent an operation for cataract without any anaesthetic.

I don’t know when he died, or the names of his parents or any siblings.

Ari, this shows how you are related to Eleazer:

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