Judith L <proser2002@...>
I (and my sisters) were introduced to genealogy a few years ago when my
nephew's fiance, whose family comes >from Ireland and has been into genealogy
for some years, decided to attempt to construct my nephew's family tree. My
sisters and I were intrigued, since I guess as is common with many of the
second generation, we never asked many questions about our family members
beyond our grandparents, who immigrated >from what we were told was the
Russian Pale, around the turn of the century. Growing up I remember being
told that all my grandparents, except for my maternal grandfather (Benjamin
Erdberg, of Warsaw, he said) came >from Bialystok. I remember my maternal
grandmother telling me that her mother was "the princess of Bialystok." (Was
there such a thing????)
During her research my now niece-by-marriage was told by other family
members that one of the three supposed Bialystokers (correct term?) came
from a town pronounced like "Kinnish." I assume this to be a town nearBialystok. My paternal grandparents' surname was Levine in the US. But there
is a story about how their name was changed by the officers scribbling names
down as they went through Ellis Island. The story goes that American
officers said, "It's another Levine...." and that's the name they wrote
down. In looking a little at the info on JewishGen I see that the most
likely original name to be scribbled down Levine would be Lewin. Lots of
Lewins in that database. Yet the rest of the family story says that the
original family name meant Gold. Maybe this is wishful thinking?
Here's what we (think we) know:
My paternal grandparents are Jenny Zavidsha (probably not the right
spelling) b. 1885 in Bialystok, died c1954 in Bronx, and Jacob Levine b.
1884 in "Kinnish" (presumed "suburb" of Bialystok), d. c1935. They had 3
children born in various boroughs of NYC: Benjamin 1908-1987; Esther/Esta,
1910-1984; Abraham/Al, 1915-1978.
My maternal grandparents are Bessie Friedenberg b. 1889 in Bialystok, died
1972 NYC, and Benjamin (we think Boroch on the ship manifest) Erdberg b.1884
Warsaw, died 1970 NYC. The 1930 census lists them both arriving in the US in
1905. They had 2 children, Albert 1912-2002, and Ida 1915-1963.
Ida and Al Levine are my parents.
After a brief look on the JewishGen and Ellis Island databases, I wrote to
my sisters and niece that due to the doubts about names, plus the variations
in spelling, plus the changes in names and places, I felt that it would be
very difficult to go any further researching databases. It seemed to me that
the best way to find anything more was to link up with people whose families
came >from the same place to see if we could find any similarities. And so I
joined this list.
If you are my long lost cousin let me know :-)
Judy Levine (also known by married name,Willis)