YABLONSKY-ZABLE-BEAR - Reading, Berks, PA and Australia #usa #names

Robyn Dryen

Dear Genners

I have a puzzle and seek the assistance of your fresh eyes.

In 1921, in Sydney Australia, Minna YABLONSKY (who says she is known as Minnie BEAR) applied for an emergency US passport as hers had expired. She stated that she was born 6th November 1900 in Reading, PA, USA and that her father was David BEAR who was naturalised 24 September 1904 in Meriden, New Haven, CT. Her application was supported by Samuel YABLONSKY who stated that he had known her for 20 years.  I cannot locate this naturalisation either as YABLONSKY or BEAR.

Minna had three siblings: Benjamin b.1896 in Reading, Berks, PA; Anna b.Sep 1898; and Paul b.9 May 1908 in Reading, Berks, PA.

In the 1900 US Census I found Samuel YABLONSKY, wife Rosie, son Benjamin and daughter Annie living at 423 Cedar St, Reading. This family then seems to disappear from public records.

I next searched the PA birth records for a Paul b. 9 May 1908 in Reading, and the sole match was for Paul ZABLE, son of Samuel ZABLE and Rosie LITCH – residing at 915 Green St, Reading. He was stated to be their fourth child.

In the 1910 US Census I found Samuel ZABLE, wife Liza, children Benjamin, Annie, Minnie and Paul living at 541 North 8th Street. Now there are marginal differences here – Samuel is Samuel J.; wife is Liza not Rosie, but the 4 children match in correct order. More notable is that Samuel is a Commercial Traveller in the furniture business. I can find no other Paul Zable. This family then disappears from public records.

Minna married Joseph SHATZ and died in Jackson, TN in 1961. Her death registration says her parents were David BEAR and Rose LEACH.

My thinking is that YABLONSKY-ZABLE-BEAR are the one and same family. Further, the Samuel YABLONSKY who “vouched” for Minna in her 1921 passport application was none other than David BEAR – her father who owned a furniture store. There is no other evidence of Samuel YABLONSKY in Australia. I have been unable to find a record of the family arriving in Australia in 1912 (
according to Minna).

Is anyone else researching a YABLONSKY or ZABLE family from Reading? I will happily share detailed information about this branch after they settled in Australia. I welcome any suggestions about flaws in my conclusion they are the same family, or where I might find additional information – I have trawled the usual commercial sites, FamilySearch and JewishGen.


Robyn Dryen
Sydney, Australia

Michele Lock

As a native Pennsylvanian who grew up one hour from Reading, this post has caught my attention.

Have you seen this gravestone of a Mrs. R. Zable Yablonsky, in the Shomre Habrith Cem. in Reading? I can't make out enough of the Hebrew to see the name of the woman or her father's name.
Perhaps some one else can translate it.

  Possibly this is Rose Yablonsky/Zable.

The link for this Findagrave website is : https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/84545105/r-zable-yablonsky.  It looks like this gravestone is sharing a platform with a gravestone to the left; perhaps the person who took the photo can tell you whose gravestone that one is.

I think you are right, that this family used the surnames Yablonsky, Zable/Zabel, and Bear at different times. They also seem to have moved about, from Reading to Meridian, Connecticut. I did notice that in Reading at the same time there is the family of Harry and Rebecca Zable, who owned a furniture store, and who also had a son named Benjamin. I suspect that there is some connection between this Zable family and your Yablonsky/Zable/Bear family.

You may have difficulty finding the naturalization documents for Samuel Yablonsky/Zable/Bear if the process was carried out in a county courthouse rather than a US federal court. Most of the county naturalizations are not available on Ancestry, etc.

One place you may want to look for information on this family is through Newspapers.com. At that time in the smaller cities of Pennsylvania, there were often notices taken out in the local newspapers, describing social events like weddings, birthday parties, graduation parties, etc. These notices are a treasure trove of information, since they almost always include a list of the guests, many of whom were relatives. 
Michele Lock

Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock and Kalon/Kolon in Zagare/Joniskis/Gruzdziai, Lithuania
Lak/Lok/Liak/Lock in Plunge/Telsiai in Lithuania
Rabinowitz in Papile, Lithuania and Riga, Latvia
Trisinsky/Trushinsky/Sturisky and Leybman in Dotnuva, Lithuania
Olitsky in Alytus, Suwalki, Poland/Lithuania
Gutman/Goodman in Czestochowa, Poland
Lavine/Lev/Lew in Trenton, New Jersey and Lida/Vilna gub., Belarus

Robyn Dryen

A massive thank you to all who responded to my query - both here on the list and privately. You have all contributed your time and expertise so generously.

I have established to my satisfaction that this is one and the same family - YABLONSKY on arrival in the USA c1892; ZABLE from around 1904; and BEAR for my branch of the family who arrived in Australia in 1912.

Many happy hours ahead researching these new-found relatives!

Robyn Dryen