Resolving a town problem in area of Podolia / Bessarabia / Bukovina for ROSENTHAL #bessarabia #ukraine

Steve Stein

I've had a long-standing "brick wall" issue that I'm trying to resolve once and for all. I have been unable to determine for certainty exactly where my father-in-law's family came from. I apologize in advance for the long-windedness but I don’t want to get suggestions to find documents I already have - manifests, censuses, declarations, petitions, death records.


There are five family members - parents and three children - who all travelled to the US separately except for the mother and the younger son who travelled together. Here's what the documents indicate:


  • father, Melich ROSENTHAL, travelled from Hamburg to NY in September 1903. I am pretty sure but not 100% that this is the right manifest, but it is the most reasonable one I could find. The town on the Hamburg list looks like Lubkow (and he is Russian), on the NY arrival list it looks like Lublow. The age is about right, the year of immigration agrees with the 1910 census, and his given name is distinctive (short for Elimelech). He was not naturalized. I can't find any town name remotely resembling either Lublow or Lubkow in this general area.

  • son, Hirsch ROSENTHAL, travelled from Bremen in December 1903 to NY. I am pretty sure but not 100% that this is the right manifest, but the most reasonable one I could find. He lists the town of residence as Chotin, which I assume is Khotyn, Ukraine (was Bessarabia). However, on his petition he lists "Podalsky" which is not a town. Note that Kamenets-Podolsky is only a few miles from Khotyn, across the boundary between Bessarabia and Podolia. Mogilev-Podolsky is considerably farther away (see below). The months on the manifest vs. the petition do not agree, but the ship (Chemnitz) and the year do, and the ship did not arrive during the month claimed on the petition. All other facts seem to agree. His WW I draft record does not indicate a place of birth, nor does the death certificate (none of them do). Hirsch was born about 1885.

  • mother, Ite ROSENTHAL, and son Boruch ROSENTHAL, travelled from Rotterdam to NY in May 1906. This is the right manifest, based on the go-to person being M. ROSENTHAL at the right address. The last town of residence is Czernovitz, which may be the larger city Bukovina Czernovitz, but is probably the much smaller Podolia Czernovitz, or "Kleine Czernovitz"; the former was in Austria-Hungary at the time, the latter in Russia. On Ben/Boruch's petition he indicates Czernovitz as the town of birth; on his WW I draft record, which I assume is correct because he has the same address as MARKINSON, he says he was born in Mogilev-Podolski, which is near both Podolia Czernovitz as well as Yampil (see below). Ite (Ida) was not naturalized. Boruch was born about 1890. Ben later adopted the surname ROSE.

  • daughter, Dobre ROSENTHAL MARKINSON and her husband Abram travelled from Antwerp in September 1907. This is the right manifest, based on the go-to person, father-in-law Meil. ROSENTHAL. The last town of residence is hard to read, but the person left behind is his father in Czernovitz. Abram's brother, who arrived 2 months later, lists Sekwriany (probably Sokyryany, Bessarabia) as his last town of residence. The Abram manifest indicates that both towns of birth are Yampoli (Yampil, Podolia?), but Abram's petition indicates that he was born in Czernovitz (though I don't really care where he was born, only she). Dobre (Dora) was born about 1887.
  • "uncle" Abraham BRECHMAN appears to have arrived in May 1901 in NY. His last residence is listed as "Moluw" which could be Mogilev (Podolski).


I am looking for any suggestions on how to resolve the apparent contradictions regarding these places - Czernovitz vs. Czernovitz, "Podalsky," Moluw, conflicting places of birth and residence among the family members, and the whereabouts of Lubkow. For the last item, I've used both the Town Finder and Gazetteer in numerous permutations with no success, and the vital records from the area seem to be spotty. The Family Finder does not have many ROSENTHALs in any of these places. My late father-in-law Bernard ROSENTHAL, son of Hirsch / Harry, had no tradition of where the family was from, as also any other descendants of the three siblings. I know of no other sibling or other relatives of the parents that might help narrow down the search. FWIW, the ROSENTHAL men were Cohanim, in case you thought your ROSENTHALs were related. TIA.


Steve Stein

Highland Park, NJ

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