Posted in Familes, Genealogy, Jewish History, Rosen

Selig Rosen: My 2nd Great Grandfather & his wife Rosa

Our Rosen family was from Sompolno, Russia/Poland.

Before WWI Sompolno was part of the Russian Empire, by 1930 Sompolno was part of Poland where it remains today.


Google Sompolno and you can follow some amazing links to our families beginnings in this small town.

from “In the 19th century Sompolno was an urban settlement. The beginning of Jewish life in Sompolno was in the end of the 18th century. In 1823 the Russian government imposed restrictions on Jewish settlement in Sompolno, and it was allowed only under special permits. The ban was removed in 1862, and the Jews were granted freedom of settlement in the Kingdom of Poland.

The Jews dealt in commerce, and some were dealers of grain and agricultural products. Starting in the middle of the 19th century, the Jews were active in the production of oil and brandy.

The independent status of the community is proven by the fact that Sompolno had its own rabbis who practiced in the small community. In the years 1885-1905, Rabbi Abraham Yitzhak served as the Rabbi of Sompolno. In 1909 Rabbi Issachar Ber, son of Yehuda Lenk was the community rabbi. He was the author of “Pitkhei Shearim”. After him came Rabbi Tzvi Meir Ber, author of “Imrei Tzvi.” In the 1930’s, Rabbi Yoel Fuks served for a short time as the rabbi; afterwards, Rabbi Shmuel David Laski was chosen for this position. He was the last rabbi of Sompolno and served until liquidation during the Holocaust.

Zionist circles existed in Sompolno since the beginning of the 20th century. In the end of WWI, “Agudat Eretz Israel” and “Zeirei Zion” organized in the town, and in 1918 both counted over 40 members. The following Zionist parties were also active between the two world wars: Zionim Klaliim (“Al Hamishmar”), Poalei Zion (right) and the Revisionist Movement. The number of voters in Sompolno for the Zionist Congresses in 1933, 1937, and 1939 follows: 176, 112, and 108. Agudat Israel had a significant influence on the Community institutions. In Sompolno, there was also a branch of the Bund; they were very active among the workers and trade unions.

With the German entrance into Sompolno in September 1939, the Jews suffered from all the persecutions known in those days: property confiscation, expropriation of apartments, movement restrictions, forced labor, wearing the yellow star on their chest, and humiliations. In 1940 the Jews were concentrated in special streets. Groups of men were sent to forced labor in the region of Poznan. In the summer of 1941 the abuses worsened, and they were prohibited from leaving the Ghetto. On February 2, 1942, the liquidation of the Ghetto started and all the Sompolno Jewish population was transferred to the Extermination Camp in Chelmno”

Selig Rosen (Zelik Rozen) was born abt 1860/62 in Sompolno, Russia

son of Jakob Rozen and Mirla (Muriel) Morgansztern~ (some time back about 2/3 years ago I was contacted by a researcher named Barbara Rubinstein; a woman living in Sweden, originally from Poland and distant cousin off of our Rosen line. It was though her that I was able to learn Selig’s parents and siblings which I will address in more detail in the future)

Jakob/Jacob married Rojza Ruchel (Rosa) Bibrowska/Beberofska  

daughter of Abram Hersz Bibrowski and Itta Szenlicha Bibrowska

(note the ending indicates masculine and feminine)

Selig arrived first sometime between 1901 and 1904 with records differing as to exact date but I did find a Hamburg passenger list for 1904 that I believe is his, but hasn’t been proved. The record I found for a Rosa which I think matches with our Rosa is in 1909 arriving with a destination to her brother in Brooklyn; a Schmuel Beber – note his last name as (Beber)ofski. Why she would be going to a brother I am not sure since Selig was here, or a clerical error which is common.

What I do have confirming our families immigration to New York is a record for daughter Kate Rosen on a New York passenger list for June 1911 on the ship Blucher, traveling with her brother Abram Rosen from Sompolno to their mother  R. Rosen living at 217 E. 102nd St NYC. What makes this record so identifying is that it states that Kate is deaf and dumb.

This record was an amazing find for me because it 1. confirmed the census address for Selig and Rose to follow them through the years, confirming Seligs profession as a Hebrew  teacher; indentifing other records 2. gave us the name of a brother Abram which no one in the family new about-a brother? 3. gave us the name of nearest relative left in Sompolno, another brother 4. helped with confirming that the other researcher who contacted me, Barbara was correct with her research.

1910 United States Federal Census
Name Selig Rosen
Age in 1910 44
Birth Year abt 1866
Birthplace Russia
Home in 1910 Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York
Street East 102nd Street
Race White
Gender Male
Immigration Year 1904
Spouse’s Name Rosie Rosen
Father’s Birthplace Russia
Mother’s Birthplace Russia
Native Tongue Yiddish
Occupation Teacher
Industry Hebrew
Able to read Yes
Able to Write Yes
Years Married 15
Household Members
Selig Rosen 44
Rosie Rosen 43
Jacob Rosen 16

The 1910c confirmed and gave us another brother to our ‘3’ known daughters of Selig and Rose- Jacob b. 1894 here living with his parents @ 217 102nd St

These discovery of male siblings seemed so huge to me since the family was only aware of 3 daughters Kate, my great grandmother, Mary and Esther who I will talk about later.

New York, State Census, 1915

Name Selig Rosen
Birth Year abt 1863
Birth Place Russia
Age 52
Gender Male
Residence Place New York, New York
Number of years in US 10
*House Number 219
Household Members
Name Age
Selig Rosen 52
Rose Rosen 56

*the address is 219 102nd St,, they have moved

1920 United States Federal Census

Name David Rosen (interesting side note the use of the name David in this census)
Age 56
Birth Year abt 1864
Birthplace Russia
Home in 1920 Manhattan Assembly District 18, New York, New York
*Street 102 A
Race White
Gender Male
Immigration Year 1904
Spouse’s Name Rose Rosen
Father’s Birthplace Russia
Mother’s Birthplace Russia
Native Tongue Jewish
Able to Speak English Yes
Occupation Teacher
Industry HouseNaturalization Status Naturalized
Household Members
Name Age
David Rosen 56
Rose Rosen 55
Mary Offia 62 …. she is a border

* address is now 208 102nd St

1930 United States Federal Census

Name Seleg Rosen
Age in 1930 68
Birth Year abt 1862
Gender Male
Race White
Birthplace Russia
Marital Status Married
*Street Address East 99 St
Radio Set No
Lives on Farm No
Age at First Marriage 28
Attended School No
Able to Read and Write Yes
Father’s Birthplace Russia
Mother’s Birthplace Russia
Language Spoken Russian
Immigration Year 1902
Naturalization Un
Able to Speak English Yes
Occupation Teacher
Industry Synague
Employment Yes
Household Members
Name Age
Seleg Rosen 68
Rose Rosen 66

I have not been able to find either Selig/David or Rose in a 1940c I have located a burial record that could be our Rose with a death date of Feb 1939, nothing for Selig I feel confident about yet. I have sent away for Rose’s record. I will continue to try and locate a death record for Selig and piece together their story. In my next post I will begin on the descendants of Selig and Rose and update on the death record when it arrives.

I am most curious about Selig and the fact that his vocation was as a Hebrew teacher …in a dreamers genealogical state I wish I had all his books, pamphlets, periodicals, prayer books, prayer shawl, all the trinkets he touched and handled; preserved, tucked away neatly, methodically in an old musty trunk waiting for the hands of generations to come to hold; to be transported to another time and place. I would love to locate a descendant who has a picture of them..wouldn’t that be the best 🙂

For now, what I do have to pass down, is the Union Prayer Book copyright 1940 belonging to my adopting mom Grace Judith Tanner Brown (in the picture cutout with her mother Lillian Kronenberg Tanner) Lillian’s matzah cover, and my Torah scroll received abt 1960 @ Suburban Temple Wantagh, New York…my prayer, their stories will be told….






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.

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