Seeking (Cohen) Bessie antecedents of Rosina Lhévinne (Netherlands) #russia

Judith Berlowitz

A friend from the Bessie family has asked me if I could connect the father of the immortal pianist Rosina Lhévinne, "Jacques" Bessie, with my friend's family, known diamond merchants in the Netherlands - surname Cohen Bessie. All I have been able to find is that "Jacques" was born about 1844, probably in Amsterdam, studied for a time at the Sorbonne, and settled in Russia where he married Maria Katch (or Katz), who died fairly young. Their daughter Sophie was born in 1873 and daughter Rosina in 1880. Jacques's information appears on ships' manifests with his children and grandchildren in their travels to various countries, including the US. I have searched Dutch sites such as WieWasWie, using the given name "Jacob" but have not found anything conclusive, except for a tantalizing possibility: Will appreciate any leads.
Judith Berlowitz, San Francisco
PS: Why no #netherlands tag?


The only Jacob Cohen Bessie born in Amsterdam between 1833 and 1852 was born 28 January 1847 in Amsterdam but died 2 years later. There were Cohen Bessies born elsewhere (e.g. Haarlem) but I haven't got the time to start looking in the archives there. 

Judith Berlowitz

Uploading screen shot showing a Jacob Nathan Cohen Bessie in St Petersburg in 1864, as the link reportedly didn't work.
Judith Berlowitz


Hi Judith
Have you contacted Dutch Jewish genealogical websites, such as the Netherlands Circle for Jewish Genealogy, see  which has an English version. Or looked at  It is also possible that can help.
Regards, Nick Lambrechtsen