Posted in Brown/Tanner, Familes, Genealogy, Jewish History

Major 6th Degree of Separation

It’s more than likely you have heard the phrase ‘6th degree of separation’ meaning that we are 6 steps away from any other person, a friend of a friend, an introduction. I just have to tell you about my most recent 6th degree of separation with 2 seemingly totally unknown families in my research that couldn’t possibly be connected.

In my last post I talked about Elias and Sarah Lifshitz I mentioned their first daughter Rachael born in 1914. Rachael, actually known as Ruth Rachael marries a man named Charles F. Phillips on 2nd August in 1936. His parents were William and Lillian Phillips. Now hold on to that information.

Just briefly let me remind you, for those who know, and for those that don’t,  I was adopted by Grace and Howard Brown. Grace was the daughter of Benjamin F. Tanner shortened from Tannenbaum. Benjamin was the son of Jacob and Rose Tanner. (I have done some research on this family but because it is not my biological family I have not spent any significant time researching them)

Now back to my Lifshitz family, to Ruth Rachael and her husband Charles Phillips. I started to dig into this Phillips family to learn a little bit about Charles and then bam! boy was I blown away. Look what I find on the 1920 Bronx census record. Living next to the Phillips is the Tanners.


4313481-01051Shocked was not the right word, disbelief beyond words actually but it’s them, that’s my grandpa Benjamin and all his siblings. When I close my eye’s and picture them I can imagine Lillian and Rose borrowing an egg or butter, perhaps even lending each other a spare Shabbat candle. The possibilities of their shared lives is endless…

This is truly 6th degree of separation. Meet the Tanners/Tannenbaums. That is my grandfather Benjamin standing to the right next to his father Jacob.



I just love these pictures. They are so precious to me. This was the perfect opportunity to share this family with you.


Here is Benjamin and his wife ‘Lillian’ Kronenberg 1924 wedding/honeymoon picture.



I had a problem with the census takers handwriting for the address the Tanners and Phillips were living at. At first I thought it was Fore St but I could not find that with Google Earth. Then I looked at the next street the enumerator went to and that was Tiffany. Going back to the maps and street views Fox was right there close by. Checking the census page again and again, yes Fore could be Fox St. So this last picture is of 826/830 Fox St, Bronx the home of the Tanners and Phillips. It was impossible to read the numbers but all indication is that this is the home of Jacob and Rose and after piecing together the numbers I could see; odd/even side, this had to be it. What’s even more eerily familiar is I actually have a memory of a home just like this, I would have been 4 years old  with the death date of 1957 for Rose. I remember entering the home and it was dark and smelly. I got an ever so slight glimpse of this ancient woman in a bed in a far back bedroom. We were visiting because she was dying. The only thing different is in my memory of this visit the driveway was not flat. I thought it went down into in basement type garage. But memory is just that, memories shaped by time and impression, embellished by stories shared many times over. Morphed and in some cases are totally different than what actually was. But I love this picture now and this will be the home of my memory and my family…families connected by the 6 degree of separation.



16 years ago I located my birth family, both maternal and paternal side. After literally years of searching, even before the help of the internet, I just couldn't stop searching so I began digging into my new found families past. The journey has been amazing as we connect and reconnect lost and found generations.

8 thoughts on “Major 6th Degree of Separation

  1. I’m not sure but I think we might be triple cousins (Tannenbaum, Phillips, and Friedman). This is making my brain hurt!

  2. Wow, that is something. Is there any chance that the adoption by the Tanner’s daughter came about because of this connection or is it purely coincidental? How are you related to the Phillips? And those are wonderful photos!

    1. Amy~ I am the one adopted by Grace (Tanner) m Howard Brown. So Benjamin was my adopting Mom’s father 🙂 While researching my birth family, my blood relatives that I found this discovery. This Charles Phillips is the husband of my 1st cousin 3x removed. His family was living next to my adopting grandfather and his family. I think it was purely coincidental but I’ll need to really think that through and let the research continue to unfold 🙂 Glad you liked the pictures too

  3. Hi Sharon, Just read your most recent post and am quite impressed with your research (always thorough) and this time I can really see your surprise at finding this connection. I always say you never know who you’re sitting next to. Great pics too………………. signing off …………Love Unc Joe…………..

    On Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 4:51 PM, Haimowitz Family Blog wrote:

    > nwpaintedlady posted: “It’s more than likely you have heard the phrase > ‘6th degree of separation’ meaning that we are 6 steps away from any other > person, a friend of a friend, an introduction. I just have to tell you > about my most recent 6th degree of separation with 2 seemingl” >

I would love to hear from you

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