Please help us solve a 50 Yr Old Family Mystery! #general #poland


Hello All,

We have a 50+ year family secret we'd love to solve.  Our mother and her sisters took their grave any knowledge of my Grandma Bessie Appel / Pesa Appel.  Growing up we were told she was deceased, which in fact, my Mother and Her siblings were taken away and placed into foster homes. So we understand a lot of negativity transpired that may have led to everything being kept hidden.  But now, these individuals have all passed away, and we have a gaping hole in our family tree.

Our Grandmother was Bessie Appel Married Charles Denenberg.  Bessie was not her name at birth.  We believe she was Pesa Appel.  Her Parents are listed as Moses Appel and Esther Goldman.  Though, our only proof of Bessie / Pesa's parents are on the Marriage Registry where their names are listed by Bessie on the entry. An adoption record exists for Bessie Appel's children where a Jacob Appel is mentioned.  Another document references a Brother (name redacted though).  We believe Jacob to be Bessie's Brother through all the research we've conducted. There is simply no other Jacob Appel in the entire state of Michigan that had a sister, and her name was Pesa. We are not sure the exact relation, and it could be through adoption in Poland, Half Brother, or full flood relations.  We have been unable to substantiate Pesa / Bessie's exact lineage.  Our research has been unable to locate a Moses Appel and Esther Goldman who had a daughter named Bessie or Pesa born in 1902 in Tomaszow Poland.

CAN YOU HELP SOLVE THIS MYSTERY AND LINK PESA APPEL TO MOSES APPEL + ESTHER GOLDMAN?  ----- > See Attached Documents for a synopsis of all we know.

1920.detroit..jpg  - See Line #1.  You'll see Pesa Appel is sailing on the S.S. Scandinavian from Antwerp on September 23, 1920 headed to Detroit, Michigan.  She was Debarred.

2. pesaappelOct1920manifestpg2familysearch.jpg - Nothing of much importance.  7/6/20 says Pesa Appel is in good health.

3.  pesaappelOct1920manifestv2pg2famsearch.jpg - 10/1/20 - B.S.I affidavit on file. Admin Bond 1 yr 1/230/434 Debarred Oct 1, 1920

4.  pesaappelOct1920manifestfamilysearch.jpg - You can see she was headed to Detroit, Michigan to see her brother Jacob Appel.  She was Debarred in Quebec Canada.

5. Bessie2.jpg - On May 16, 1922 she must have traveled to Detroit, Michigan at some point, because she was married to Charles Denenberg.  Parents Listed as Moses Appel and Esther Goldman.

6. pesaappelOct1922manifestv2famsearch.jpg  = July 20, 1922.  Pesa Appel lists No Relatives from where she came from.

7. 1922.CPOS.Manifest.jpg - List or Manifest of Alien Passengers Applying for Admission to the United States via per C.P.O.S on July 24,1922. Line #1. She is there to vist her brother Jacob Appel and lists her place of birth as Tomaszow, Poland.

8. 1922.Immigration.service.jpg - Self Explanatory

9. - Line #31 - Jacob Appel and Family

10. - Line #82 - Jacob Appel and Family

11. 1940 Census-jacob.and.Lillie.jpg - Line #50 & #51 - Jacob Appel and his wife Lilly

12. 1940-philip.jpg - Jacob Appel's Son Phillip R. Appel, his Wife Bula Appel, and their daughter Nancy. Line #74
13. Death.jpg - Bessie Appel's Death Certificate.


Patricia Wilson located these Documents:  Anyone have thoughts / insight here.

Our Bessie Appel was born in 1902 and died in 1973.  Here's what appears to be an Esther Taubman Apfel and a Moszko Apfel married in 1881 and with a child Jacob.  Notice they had a Pesla Apfel who died.  Could our Bessie / Pesa be a child born in 1902 and named after the deceased child?

We need to find more documents creating a link. PLEASE HELP!

Shelley Mitchell

The only thing I can comment about is Bessie’s name. My grandmother has a sister, Beyla, who died at birth. When my grandmother came along, they named her Pesia Beyla. The superstition was that by putting another name in front of the dead child’s name, the Devil wouldn’t find her. It worked. My grandmother lived to be 98.
Shelley Mitchell 

Flavio Baran <fdbaran@...>

Maybe you are already aware of this, but there is a Tomaszow Mazowiecki and a Tomaszow Lubelski. Also, I as far as I know, Apfel and Appel, though similar,  are not identical, meaning they are not just a different spelling of the same name. Good luck!
Vered Dayan
(I really don't know why the name Flavio Baran is listed as my name up there, no idea who he is.) 
Miriam Bulwar David-Hay,
Raanana, Israel.
BULWAR/BULWA - Rawa Mazowiecka, Lodz.
PELCMAN/PELTZMAN - Rawa Mazowiecka.
ROZENBERG, WEISKOPF - Przedborz, Lodz.
WAKS, BEKIER - Nowe Miasto nad Pilica, Lodz.


Except in this case, it appears they are related.  The parent's name Esther (tauba) Goldman and Moses Appeal (Moszko Apfel) appear to be associated with a Judko born about the same year as Jacob in the same city Bessie (Pesa) Appel claims to be born.  Tomaszow, Poland.

It appears the Apfel family comes from Tomaszow Lubelski


Some exciting links that I hope help you.

josef (shown josfa) goldman age 24 and tauba ester sobel (shown sobl) age 26? marriage 1835 #11@
josfa parents dawid and goldy
tauba parents srul and pesi
Tauba ester goldman death 1854 #50 @ (tauba ester parents are Srul and Pesi Sobl -shown soblow, husband josfa goldman)

born to josef and tauba ester goldman:
chana royza born 1837 #56 @ death 1857 #53 @
gierson pinkas born 1838 #103 @
ita goldman born 1841 #64 @ (includes name of zelman sobel); age 20 marriage to josef nuta grinbaum 1862 #10 @

gierson pinkwas goldman and fajga cukier marriage 1857 #20 @
age 18 parents juda/judka josfa and tauba ester
fajga age 22 parents not listed, maybe died - from a town starting with D? - a birth in 1833 #55 for a fajga cukier lists father as faywel

born to gierson pinkwas goldman and faiga cukier:
mendel born 1852 #18 @ (his name is in some other records)
chaja goldman born 1860 # 6 @
ester touba goldman born 1861 #41 @ parents gierson pinkwas goldman age 32 and fajga (cukier) age 24

moszek srul goldman age 21? marriage to Mala Ita Naj 1864 #11 @; their daughter udla (born 1866 #26) marries mordko garden 1882 #16 @; moszko dies 1898 #11 @ 
ruchla laia goldman (born 1869 #87 @ and jankiel lacher marriage 1889 #12 @

moszko apfel born in 1862 #28 @
parents fiszel and ruchla bergerman

ester goldman and moszko apfel marriage record 1881 @
moszko parents: fiszel and ruchla bergerman?
ester parents: gierson pinkwas and faiga (cukier)

born to moszko apfel and ester goldman:
abram apfel born 1881 #9 @
rywka apfel born 1883 #30 @
judko-josef birth 1888 #11 @

chaim eppel and Pesla engielsberg (record spells it engelsberg) were married in 1833 #17, Tomaszow @
chaim parents Moszko and Matki/Malki
pesla parents fiszel and bajla from Hruibieszow maybe

pesla apfel death 1890 #58 @
pesla parents fiszel and bajla zinger?

born to chaim and pesla:
- fiszel apfel death 1902 #80 mentions ruchla (can't decipher last name - doesn't look like bergerman)@
- sura bajla born 1849 #34 @ parents both age 32
(interesting: death of a sura bajla apfel 1844 #53 @ daughter of icko apfel and cywii cymetman apfel married 1838 #3 @ - they are also parents to abraam born 1849 #77; icko son of Judki Swey married Lazow? - not sure about this last fact. Cywii dies and he remarries Dwoyra Lancer 1844 #13 @ ; they have son moszko apfel born 1852 #25 @ )
- szandla death 1851 or 2? #45 age 3? @

I will scan for late registrations of Bessie's birth.


Gail Harris


I tried to respond to the thread. Not sure it went through, so I sent two messages to you that give you some proof and a lot of records for your family. I will try to find your grandmother's birth record.


Hi Gail,

I am very sorry for the delayed reply.  I'm going to email you as well.  I've had a couple things pop up that needed my attention, so been a bit sidetracked from the family tree building.


FYI:  Pesa Appel / Bessie Appel lived until 1973.  Her birth year is listed as 1902 in Tomaszow but that is a "projection" since we've never found a birth certificate.  Only what my mother listed on the death certificate.

So if we can link Pesa Appel to Judko or Moszko Appel or the Appel Family, we'd have the data we needed!


nr1teachers@... email there


Gail do you mind emailing me at nr1teachers@... so I can directly ask a few questions share some more information.