A warm sincere thank you to Jane and Judy for sharing this priceless photo of their parents and grandparents with me; along with permission to share it with you.
In the photo below seated is Isaac/Ike Lifschitz and his wife Rebecca Leff, standing from left to right are their two son’s David Lifschitz, his wife Beatrice and Naphtali (Toli) and his wife Helen. Ike, as he was known to his family, was a brother to my great grandfather Benjamin Lipschitz. (I have no known photo of Benjamin to compare this to)
This wonderful photo is a wedding picture for Toli (Lifschitz) Lewis and Helen Lillian Block. They were married June 7th, 1936, N.Y.C., at the home of Lillian’s parents, John and Rose (Boorstein) Block, W. 101st St., N.Y.C.
It is important to note that David and Toli both changed their last name to Lewis in the 1930’s. Toli (Naphtali Lewis was an American papyrologist who published extensively on subjects ranging from the ancient papyrus industry to government in Roman Egypt.Wikipedia)
Father, Isaac/Ike Lifschitz was born May 1, 1880, Russia. I have not found any records to identify where exactly in the Russian Empire but all indications points the the Pale of Settlement, Minsk, Belarus (possibly Slutsk but not confirmed) Ike was laid to rest on Sept 15th, 1955 at Montefiore Cemetery. The burial society was listed as the United Minsker Benevolent Society.
Here lies Mr Isar son of Mr. Dovid died 27 Elul 5715 May his soul be bound up in the bond of life
Here lies Rivkah daughter of Avraham Binyamin the Levite died 28 Av 5709 May her soul be bound up in the bond of life
(I am always thankful to the FB group Tracing The Tribe for the help in transcribing the Hebrew for me)
As I continued to put together the story of my great grandfather’s family a very real picture was beginning to come into focus. I was very excited to get the gravestone photo’s. Ike’s father’s name was confirmed as Dovid/David, the same as Benjamin’s just as we had thought.
So far I have learned that David Lipschitz/Lifschitz and his wife Chai/Ida/Edith Paley had 4 confirmed children. Mollie (1872), Simon (1873) Ike (1880) and Benjamin (1883).
Today I am focusing on Ike. The earliest record I located was his petition to naturalize (1902). Ike was residing at 106 Madison Ave N.Y.C.. According to this record he arrived on May 3rd, 1896. This would make him about 16 years of age. Already here was his brother Simon, who had arrived in 1888 and his sister Mollie, having arrived prior to her marriage to Hyman Cohen in 1893. Records collected so far place Mollie here in 1888/89. Jane believes the family had arrived together but I have not been able to find records to confirm this. It’s certainly possible that some arrived together.
Ike’s Petition to Naturalize
On Sunday, March 8th, 1903, Ike married Rebecca Leff at the Grand Lyceum Hall, 83 -85 Forseyth St. Notice that only Mrs. Lifschitz was noted, indicating that David had since passed.
Document courtesy of Jane and Judy
A google search for this address brought me to oldnyc.org and this amazing 1929 photo of the venue where they were married.
As I continued to follow Ike and Rebecca my hope was to run into more information to connect him with my Benjamin. Living at 133 Henry St. in 1905, Ike (27) Rebecca (21) were joined by 1st son David (obviously named for his grandfather who had passed) Rebecca’s siblings Louis and Jennie were living with the family. Ike was working as a tailor, Louis a cigar maker and Jennie a dressmaker.
By 1910 the family had moved to 1268 Park Ave and remained there until sometime after the 1915 census. This address is important because Benjamin had arrived (dates differ significantly on all records) and was living at this address at the time of his marriage to Kate Rosen in 1913. His marriage certificate is the earliest document I have located for him so far. By the time 1915 had arrived both Ike and Benjamin had established families. Ike (35) was working as a tailor – button hole maker which would continue as his occupation into the 1940’s. Ike and Rebecca had had their second child, Naphtali who was recorded as Nathan on this census. The spelling of the last name was recorded with a ‘p’ Lipschitz. What is clearly interesting to me and raises the question, when and why had Benjamin adopted the Lipschitz spelling and his extended family the Lifschitz spelling? Louis (cigar maker) and Jennie (dressmaker) were still living with them. Benjamin and his wife Kate were now living at 50 E. 98th St. Benjam Lipshitz (28) tailor, Kate, listed as (Un) for unknown name and daughter Minnie (7/12), my grandmother had been born. Ike and Ben were around the corner from each other as seen on the street map below.
Continuing to connect Benjamin to Ike was their WWI draft records. Both brothers were working at H & S Cohn at 92-6 Bleecker St. (I have already shared these records on my last post) Ike however had moved his family to 1379 Franklin Ave, Bronx, remaining at the 1379 address through the 1920 census. Benjamin moved to 69 East 97th Street and remained at this address through 1940 when sometime afterwards he and Kate made the move to 1426 Vyse Ave, Bronx, where he later died in 1948. Kate would go on living passing in 1983.
From the 1925 – 1930 census the family had moved a few doors down to 1377 Franklin Ave. Ike (50) was still working as button hole maker, they were renting, value listed at $40. It was also noted that they had a radio. David was now 26 and working as a teacher at C.C.N.Y.. Naphtali was 18 and under ‘occupation’ it listed none. The census was taken in April so possibly he was completing high school, however school was not listed.
By 1940 Ike (61) and Rebecca (58) were empty nesters. Both David and Naphtali had moved on with their lives. David married in 1932 and Naphtali in 1936. Sometime before 1935 Ike and Rebecca moved to 105 Clarke Place, Bronx. Ike was still working as a button hole maker for ladies clothing. He had worked 31 weeks in 1939 and made $1500. Below is Ike’s WWII draft registration (1942) Notice on this record Ike had listed his birthdate as July 5, 1880. (I have added his WWI document so you can again see the birthdate listed as May 1, 1880) With this difference in date I questioned myself, could this be a different Isaac/Ike but with his occupation and address confirmed on the census, I had the right Ike.
This is as far as my research has taken me with Ike and Rebecca. It is by far not the end of their story. Rebecca passed in 1949 and Ike in 1955. The knowledge that Ike was an older brother to Benjamin has been lost. Difficult to prove conclusively at 100% but I feel positive that I am on the right track.
I have not located a death record for David Lifschitz or for his wife Chai/Ida/Edith Paley. Clearly from the wedding announcement for Ike and Rebecca we know that his mother was alive in 1903. This will continue to be on my ‘to research list’ In my next post I will look at son Simon and continue to try and locate the other siblings of Benjamin, Isaac/Ike, Simon and Mollie.