New Member Introduction #ukraine


Hello UKR-SIG members,

My name is Leonard Schwab and my JewishGen ID# is 54510.

My 103 year old mother-in-law, Reba Cohn Weiner, has asked me to find
any data >from her grandparents' generation who lived and died in
Ukraine when it was part of the Russian Empire. I cannot,
unfortunately, read or speak the Cyrillic-based languages.

Reba's maternal grandparents are of special interest. They were from
Ekaterinoslav and their surname was WATKIN. The little bit of family
history that Reba was exposed to as a child growing up in Philadelphia
did not include any idea if her ancestors lived in the Gubernia or
City of Ekaterinoslav. I am going on a hunch that it was the city
rather than the rural parts of the Gubernia. I base that hunch on the
family lore that Reba's maternal grandfather was either owner or
manager of a factory that made military uniforms for the czar's army.

There were five WATKIN children who all emigrated to the U.S. without
their parents: Abraham (b.1878) was the only son; the four daughters
were Sarah (b.1883), Clara (b.1885), Elizabeth (b.1890), and Rosa
(b.1896). Birth years are inferred >from census data. Rosa was the
last to emigrate in 1913 through the Port of Baltimore. The ship
manifest indicates her father's name was "R. WATKIN" and his home as
"Ekaterinoslav". Ports of disembarkation are not known for the other
four children. Also there is no knowledge of where and how the WATKIN
parents died. It is only known that they never emigrated to the U.S.

Family lore has it that Reba's grandmother specifically wanted all her
daughters to have "English sounding names". Coupled with the
suggestion that the WATKIN surname is more English sounding than
Russian sounding, one wonders if the entire WATKIN family may have
originally emigrated >from England to Russia.

Hopefully, members of the Ukraine SIG might have some ideas on how to
obtain new information on Reba's WATKIN grandparents.

Thank you.

Leonard M. Schwab
Greenland, NH USA

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