Searching Anna and Frank Cohen, children of Gavril' Kagan AKA Harry Cohen, Camac St., Philadelphia #ukraine #names

David Mason

I want to learn more about adult life histories of Anna and Frank Cohen of Philadelphia.

In the 1920 and 1930 censuses, Anna and Frank are recorded living with parents Harry and Esther Cohen in Philadelphia Ward 32 on Camac St. Harry Cohen was the americanized rendering of Gavril' Kagan, born 1887 in Zvenigorodka, Ukraine, emigrating to Philadelphia in 1903 and operating a tailoring business with his younger brother Danil'/Daniel.

In the 1940 census, Anna is gone (married perhaps?).  Frank is still present, having completed college and working as an Investigator in some kind of social services.  There is also a record of Frank graduating from high school in 1932.   Judging from ages in the censuses, Anna must have been born about 1910 and Frank about 1914.

I am hoping to learn Anna's history after 1930 and Frank's beyond 1940.  I have had much better luck tracing siblings Leon, born about 1912 and becoming a practicing physician with an M.D. from Temple University.  I have also traced Bernice, born about 1922, who became an artist and moved to Virginia. I was able to find Leon's and Bernice's obituaries with references to their spouses and children, however Anna's life after 1930 and Frank's after 1940 remain unknown to me.

David Mason
Culver City, CA

Sherri Bobish


Frank COHEN married Peggy GREEN in Philly in 1942.  The info below is a transcription, but you can see the actual marriage record at this URL:
Name Frank Cohen
Sex Male
Father's Name Harry Cohen
Father's Sex Male
Mother's Name Esther Sherman
Mother's Sex Female
Spouse's Name Peggy Green
Spouse's Sex Female
Spouse's Father's Name Max Green
Spouse's Father's Sex Male
Spouse's Mother's Name Anna Feldman
Marriage Date 12 Jan 1942
Marriage Place Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Marriage Place (Original) Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Also, Frank's WW11 draft card indicates his birth date as Feb. 14, 1914, parents Harry COHEN and Esther SHERMAN.  The card shows that he lived in Philly, but lived in Texas in 1941, and returned to Philly the same year, and in 1943 was in Philly, but at a different address.  Frank's employer is The Department of Public Assistance  (Penn. State Gov't.) The card and all the info is on in their database:
U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947

I couldn't find a marriage record for Anna COHEN, but there are so many ladies in Philly with that name!

Good luck in your search,

Sherri Bobish

Searching: RATOWSKY / CHAIMSON (Ariogala / Ragola, Lith.)
WALTZMAN / WALZMAN (Ustrzyki Dolne / Istryker, Pol.)
LEVY (Tyrawa Woloska, Pol.)
LEFFENFELD / LEFENFELD / FINK, KALTER (Daliowa/ Posada Jasliska, Pol.)
BOJDA / BERGER (Tarnobrzeg, Pol.)
SOKALSKY / SOLON / SOLAN / FINGER(MAN) (Grodek, Bialystok, Pol.)
BOBISH / APPEL (Odessa?)

Rod MacNeil

It appears that Anna Cohen married Jack Ersner in 1934 in Philadelphia.  In the index to Harry Cohen's obituary of 1949, her name is listed as Anna Ersner. Jack Ersner was a physician in Philadelphia, according to his WWII draft registration.  Anna is he contact person.

Harry Cohen
Gender: Male
Death Age: 62
Birth Date: abt 1887
Death Date: 1949
Death Place: 17 S. Weymouth Ventnor .
Obituary Date: 20 Oct 1949
Obituary Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Newspaper Title: The Philadelphia Inquirer
Spouse: Estner J Conrn
Child: Anna Ersner
Bernice Barsel
D Leon Cohen
Frank Cohen
Siblings: Dame

Good luck in continuing your search,

Rod MacNeil
Philadelphia, PA USA

Sherri Bobish


Using the info that Rod found about Anna Cohen's marriage, I found the following that contains the name of Anna's daughter.  Also, according to the 1940 census, Anna's daughter, Roberta Ersner, was born about 1936.

Name: Anna Ruth Ersner
Maiden Name: Cohen
Gender: Female
Death Date: 27 Jun 1995
Burial Place: Trevose, PA.
Obituary Date: 28 Jun 1995
Obituary Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Newspaper Title: The Philadelphia Inquirer
Spouse: Jack
Child: Roberta Sue Gibstein
Siblings: Leon CohenFrank CohenBernice Barsel

Source Citation

The Philadelphia Inquirer; Publication Date: 28 Jun 1995; Publication Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; URL:,0.20489033,0.65781707,0.25092584&xid=3355

Hope this helps,

Sherri Bobish

Peter Cohen

A side note about Camac Street in Philadelphia.  When I saw the name Camac Street, I got curious because my family's name was Kemach, before leaving Lithuania. Most changed their name to Cohen, but a few became Camac. There are not many Camacs. Some are Jewish some are Irish.

Here is what I found:
Camac Street in Philadelphia is recognized as an historic Street. This very narrow street is known as the last wooden street in Philadelphia. It was named after Captain Turner Camocks (various spellings of the name were used), a wealthy Irish copper mine owner who emigrated to Philadelphia in 1804 and was related to the Penn family through marriage. So, sadly, not Jewish and no relation to me.
Peter Cohen