Desperately seeking Abram Roth & Chaja Szymkewicz - Kalisz, Poland #poland



I have been researching for such a long time for details on my great, great uncle Abram Roth and his direct descendants. All my best efforts are now being met continuously with that brick wall. I'm trying to establish what happened to Abram, Chaja and their descendants. The following is all I have on him so far:-

Abram was one of ten siblings. I am in contact with those sibling descendants.

Abram Izak Rot/Roth circa: 25th March 1880 Kalisz, Poland
married Chaja Szymkewicz (various spelling) b: 26th June 1889 Kalisz, Poland.

I only have the names of the following two children:-

Jochewet Roth b: 28th August 1908 Kalisz, Poland and
Josef Roth b: 7th May 1910 Kalisz, Poland - 15th August 1911 Kalisz, Poland

Were there more children?

The parents of Abram were....Yechel Behr Rot b: 1832 - 31st January 1912 Kalisz, Poland and
Dwojra Fride b: 1850 - 9th November 1919, Bethnal Green, London, England.

I would be so grateful if anyone has come across any information that could help locate the direct descendants and, or can help to give us answers as to what may have happened to Abram, Chaja and/or their family.

If you are reading this and know that you are a descendant, then please get in touch.

Thank you,

Cindy Caldon


Miriam Bulwar David-Hay

It does seem to be Kalisz research day in the discussion group today! :)


Firstly, I always recommend searching Yad Vashem, the U.S. Holocaust Museum, and the Arolsen Archives to see of you can learn the fate of relatives during the Holocaust. These websites all have overlapping documents but they each also have documents online that are unique, so I recommend searching all three.

Having said that, you may not find anything as the Jews of Kalisz were expelled, deported and murdered in various waves and there doesn’t seem to be any list of pre-war residents online, and even the town’s yizkor book doesn’t have a list of victims.

However, there is hope! I only recently discovered that a great-aunt of mine and her husband and children lived in Kalisz in the 1930s. Before that we knew that my great-aunt and her family had perished in the Holocaust, but we did not know their whereabouts nor how many children there were or what their names were. I learned that they were in Kalisz unexpectedly, when I obtained a document from Lodz which showed that they had moved from that city to Kalisz around 1930. As a result I began researching Kalisz and learned that the Polish State Archives in the town have a pre-war book of residents (which is not online anywhere), so I wrote to them and ordered the relevant pages. This proved to be a revelation. The documents detailed exactly when they moved to Kalisz, the addresses they lived at and when they moved, and even the date of their deportation/expulsion from the town — in January 1940. They also told me the previously unknown names of my great-aunt’s unfortunate children and their dates of birth. So now I can commemorate these long-lost relatives properly. 

Therefore I would urge you or anyone else who had relatives in Kalisz to write to the state archives and request a search in the pre-war book of residents. The fee is small but unfortunately they do insist that you pay by direct bank transfer so that adds to the cost in bank fees. Still, to me it was worth it.

I recommend that you write in Polish — I did so using Google Translate — and use the same method to understand their reply. It’s not ideal but it was good enough for both sides to understand what was being sought. 

Their email address is:
Archiwum Państwowe w Kaliszu

Best of luck,

Miriam Bulwar David-Hay,
Raanana, Israel.

Professional journalist, writer, editor, proofreader.
Professional translator (Hebrew/Yiddish to English).
Certified guide, Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Museum.
Email: miriambdh@...

Researching: BULWA/BULWAR (Rawa Mazowiecka, Lodz, Paris); FRENKIEL/FRENKEL, FERLIPTER/VERLIEBTER (Belz); KALUSZYNER, KUSMIERSKI, KASZKIET, KUZKA, JABLONKA, RZETELNY, WROBEL (Kaluszyn, Lodz); KRYSKA/KRYSZKA, CHABIELSKI/HABELSKI (Sieradz, Lodz); LICHTENSZTAJN (Kiernozia, Wyszogrod, Lodz); ROZENBERG (Przedborz, Lodz); WAKS (Nowe Miasto nad Pilica, Lodz); PELCMAN, STORCZ (Rawa Mazowiecka); SOBEL (Paris); SAPIR/SZAFIR (Wyszogrod).  


Dear Cindy,

I don't think I am a descendant of your branch of the Roth family(ies), but this might possibly be helpful.

I am pretty certain there was more than one Roth family in Kalisz, though whether they all descend from a common ancestor isn't yet clear to me.  I am a descendant of Abraham/Avram Roth (or Rote) who died in Kalisz in 1844.  He had  surviving him five sons - Judah, Lewka, Zalman, Emanuel (Mendel Wolf), Moshe Ephraim and Raphael, and two daughter, Esther and Malka.  i am a descendant of both Moshe Ephraim and Raphael due to inter-cousin marriage (my grandfather Sam was the son of Moshe Ephraim, and my grandmother Esther was the daughter of Raphael's son Tuvia).  My mother was Frances Roth.

I can't find any of the relatives you mention on any of our family trees, but that doesn't mean that they are not descended from some of the sons of Abraham / Avram Roth about whom i have no information (that is Judah, Lewka and Zalman).

One point that might possibly help you.  I have looked at all the Roth graves in Edmonton Federation Cemetery in London.  You may know this already, but Deborah Roth, the widow of Yechiel Beare Roth is buried there in grave K-4-29.  Her date of death is the date you give - 9th November 1919, aged 69.  Her details in Hebrew on the tombstone are: Devorah bat Reb Yosef Hacohen, widow of Yechiel Dov Roth.  Born 10th Nissan 5610; died 16th Chesvan 5680.  It mentions her as a mother and grandmother.   I have a photo of her tombstone if you do not have one.

I will also pass on your message to another person who is researching other branches of the Roth family from Kalisz in case he has not seen the message.

All the best,

Philip Baker