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Phantom Fannie Found

It was just by chance after a few failed attempts to locate Fannie that I did a general search for sister Ida when I spotted a document for our phantom sister Fannie Lifshitz.

Fannie Lifshitz Ordin
[Fannie Lifshitz Lifshitz]
Gender: Female
Race: White
Birth Date: 18 Jul 1896
Birth Place: Soviet Union
Father: Solomon Lifshitz
Mother: Mary Kinoy
Type of Claim: Original SSN.
Notes: Feb 1963: Name listed as FANNIE LIFSHITZ ORDIN

Just to refresh your memory or for new readers to this story, in the 1925c for sister Minnie Lifshitz Greenwald, wife of Herman Greenwald, a sister named Fannie age 29, appeared. There had not been any mention of a Fannie in any prior family discoveries so I went out on a hunt to try and find out who she could be.  After finding that record, like a ball of yarn, everything began to unravel for me.

Fannie, my 1st cousin 3x removed,  married Abraham Ordin in 1915

Name: Abraham Ordin
Gender: Male
Marriage Date: 17 Jan 1915
Marriage Place: Manhattan, New York, USA
Spouse: Fannie Lifshitz
Certificate Number: 3456 

They go on to have 3 children

May known as Mamie born in 1917 , Paul Morris known simply as Morris, born 27 Oct 1918  and Helen, born 1923

While I was looking at the census record for 1915, specifically for the occupation of Abraham it said brass polisher. All I could think of was helping to polish my mothers silver when I was a young girl.  ~ brass polisher ~  I did a little google digging and discovered there were metal polishers, buffers and platers and they had a Union by then. In fact there is a history rich for the reading on the Metal Workers in the early 1900’s

But metal work was not in Abraham’s future, a luncheonette/candy store was calling him.

I can not locate the 1920 census for Abraham and Fannie. What we know is children May/Mamie and Paul Morris have been born. Helen will follow in 1923 and their family will be complete.

***I want to mention about that ‘something’ that was so crazy, which set me looking for Fannie in the first place. It was the 1925 census for Fannie’s sister Minnie Greenwald living in Long Island City, that I first found Fannie 29 along with sister  Anna 24 listed as S. L. (sister-in- law) both working as seamstresses. Now knowing Fannie’s husband, I found her listed again in the 1925c with her husband and family living in the Bronx. Their last name is misspelled as Ordien. She is truly in 2 places at one time. So I ask myself, was she visiting and got caught in the census for some reason? Was she there working/sewing with her sisters? Was there a small cottage industry by the woman in the family for extra money? Why is she in two census’s?

The Ordin family is living at 1027 Stebbins Ave, Bronx in 1925. Abraham owns what is listed as a Stationary Store. Just a few doors down at 1046 Stebbins Ave was Fannie’s brother Elias and his family. If you remember from my blog on Elias, he jumped from job to job, starting out with a house painting business, then linen supplies to owning a coat and apron store only to end his working career with Al’s Luncheonette. I can imagine dinners together and the adults talking shop with Abraham encouraging his brother in law Elias to open up a luncheonette.

In the 1930’s the family is renting at 547 Caldwell Ave in the Bronx and Abraham is the proprietor of a Candy Store. But what is so exciting about the hunt for their lives is gems like these. Meet Paul Morris at City College New York; he is about 21. 41349_630630_0036-00094

By the 1940’s the family is still living at the Cauldwell address, Abraham is operating the restaurant, Morris is working as a clerk at a soda fountain and I am guessing he is working at his father’s store he is in his 3rd year at college.  May/Mamie is doing investigation work for the government…wow what exactly does that mean? perhaps simply a stenographer? But census indicates she has finished 4 years of college.  Helen is 17 at home, finished with high school but has no job listed.

Abraham’s 1942 draft registration gives us our last confirmed address for the family and his luncheonette name and address. (notice his Gomel, Russia birth place; his family was from the same area as our Lifshitz)


In 1945 Paul Morris marries a local girl from Ohio where he is now living and working as an engineer. But it wasn’t until I located Paul Morris’s obituary that a lot of information on why he was in Ohio and what happened to his sisters, Mamie and Helen surfaced.



Paul Morris died 29 April 1988. So May/Mamie married a Stark and resided in California, Helen married a Honig and resides in New York at the time of this printing of Paul Morris’s obit. The obituary is published in the Cleveland Jewish News publication date 5/6/1988

There’s still a lot to discover with this family but I am sure happy I could solve our mystery of Phantom Fannie and learn she is a true daughter to Solomon and Sarah. I am on the hunt for Laurie Rose and Dede Ordin, learn about Mamie and Helen and who they married. I would love to find out about Mamie and her investigative work for the government. There is always some new thread or limb to climb.



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.

3 thoughts on “Phantom Fannie Found

  1. Great research and post, Sharon! Have you been able to find the children of May and Dede? Obituaries are an amazing resource, aren’t they?

    1. Nothing yet on the children Amy; but I really haven’t given it the old college try yet 🙂 I have found Dede and Laurie Rose and made an initial attempt to contact them and am waiting to hear from at least 1 of them. Fingers crossed

I would love to hear from you

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