MIRVIS family story #general

Esther Ouellette

This was a story that has been passed down through our family concerning my great
grandparents David Mirvis and Rose Saranovitz (Mirvis). Maybe this information
might help someone that might know anything additional concerning the names listed
etc. I did not include the whole story here because it would be too long.
Thanks again for all the responses >from everyone I truly appreciate all of the help.

My great grandmother, Rose Harriet Saranovitz, was born in 1889 in Kovno,Lithuania.
Because her mother died when she was three and her father died when she was ten
years old, she was brought up by her cousins, the Kosson Family.My great
grandmother had an older brother, Joseph, and two younger sisters Lena and Sara.
Lena moved to New Jersey in 1912 and worked as a domestic. Approximately five years
later she married a man named Mannie Handler. Mannie started working by sewing
buttons on coats for coat manufacturers later he opened Handler Brothers in New
York City. He went on to become a large and successful manufacturer in the garment
industry. My great grandmothers youngest sister, Sara, lived in New York City and
worked in Mr. Handlers factory. My great grandmother's brother, Joseph, emigrated
to the Union of South Africa. He moved to Africa because of his interest in
diamonds. In 1930 he purchased a diamond mine. He was in this business until the
last time my father heard >from him in 1960.

My great grandfather, David Mirvis, was born in 1888 and brought up in a very small
town in Lithuania called Shavel. My great great grandfather, Morris Mirvis, born in
Shavel in 1838 made a living peddaling kosher meat products. My great grandfather
was very interested in civil rights for minorities, especially Jews and public
issues for Jews. Religion and Tradition played a major role in his upbringing. At
fourteen, my great grandfather David Paul Mirvis, became a member of a
revolutionary organization against the Czar. He traveled throughout Lithuania and
parts of Russia by foot and train to distribute what they called "Proclamatzos".
They spoke against the government. They exposed the evils of the Russian leaders
such as taxing people to death, slave labor, no justice, no civil rights.
nofreedoms, illegal search and seizure, etc... My great grandfather recounted many
times to my great Uncle how he had to leave trains in a hurry, how he hid under
seats, for hours while they were being inspected by Russian soldiers because of his
illegal activities. During one of these trips through the countryside he was
spotted by soldiers. He jumped under a bridge and the soldiers fired at him. The
bullet went through both his ankles and was left there for dead. A farmer found him
and he and his wife nursed my great grandfather back to health. He was about
seventeen years old when this occured. He had two fears facing him. One, being
involved in revolutionary activities and second, being draffter in the "notorious
Russian Army". It was at this time when my great great grandfather decided my
great grandfather had to leave the country, and he made secret plans to send him
to America. As was the custom then, my great great grandfather wanted my great
grandfather to get married before he left home. They were married the fall of 1905.
They were smuggled to France by train where the boarded a boat to the United
States. They disembarked in New York and were taken to Ellis Island. It was here
that my great grandfather's older brother Myer who came to the US in 1904, came to
pick them up and take him to his home in Passaic, New Jersey. Myer got a one room
apartment for my great grandparents on Hope Avenue in passaic, NJ.
Thank you
Esther Ouellette


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