Many years ago, my late aunt, Sarah SILBERT PINX, wrote a brief family
telling of her grandparents Sholem and Passye SHOUFMAN, and Meier and
Mariam Silbert, as well as her parents (my grandparents) Leizer and
Malka SILBERT, their life in Bessarabia (She writes that she was born
in Ananiev), the pogroms there, and the decision of my zeide Meier and
later, his son my zeide Leizer to come to Canada. Here are some
interesting tidbits that I can tell you:
1. Zeide Meier was the pioneer, coming over before everyone else, and
actually worked on building the Canadian Transcontinental Railroad.
2. Aunt Sarah tells that the voyage over was on the steamship
Cecilia, and the there were 3 of eight children at the time: The
eldest, Sarah, Sam and Esther, who was an infant, and who almost died
on the trip over.
3. They went to Manitoba, and settled initially in Plum Coulee, and
later in Winnipeg.
Unfortunately, I was never able to corroborate any of this because I
couldn't find any ship named Cecilia-- until this week!
It so happened that I received a promotion >from Ancestry Canada, of
free access to their ship records until Canada Day, July 3. I went
to the site, put in the name SILBERT and Manitoba, and now have the
following new information:
1. The boat that Babba and zeida came over on was not the Cecelia,
but rather the Sicilian.
2. They arrived in Halifax on their way to Plum Coulee and Jan 3,
1908, with 3 kids (to quote the records: Sarah, age 4, Solomon,
(obviously uncle Sam aka Shmuel Yitzchok) age 3, and Esther, age 1/12
(one month old?)
3. On the record they are referred to as Maalka and Leisker, each age
4. Zeides profession is listed as a harness maker
5. The ship traveled >from Liverpool, through St. Johns, Newfoundland,
and arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
6. I also saw for free that in the 1906 Manitoba census, there were
three SILBERTS living in Lisgar township, Manitoba: Meier, born in
1859, Joseph born in 1886, and Moishe born in 1888.
One other interesting tidbit, is the name Joseph or Yosel SILBERT: My
mother, Connie SILBERT FRISCHMAN, (may she remain healthy and live to
120 years!) was born in 1918. Her older brother, Joe was born in
1913, and was obviously named for his uncle who must have died in his
20s. Zeide was a tall man, as are many of us (I'm 6'4"), and legend
has it that we have a great great grandfather they used to call "Yosel
Der Longer" (Yosel the tall one!)
Any family members out there?
Yehuda L. Frischman