Posted in Ancestry, Genealogy, Lifschitz, Lifshitz, Lipschitz, Lipshitz, Memorial, New York

In Memory Of Esther Estelle Joffe nee Lifshitz and her father Solomon Simon Lifshitz

In Memory of 

Esther Estelle Tonis nee Lifshitz 

8 November 1898, New York, New York ~ 26 Jan 1943, Bronx, New York 

Daughter of Solomon/Simon Lifschitz and Annie Dinofsky

Esther was my 1st cousin 2x removed. Daughter of my great grandfather Benjamin Lipshitz brother Solomon Simon. She was one of five children born to Simon and Annie. She was first married to Samuel Joffe on 28 Dec 1920 but by the 1925 census, she was back home with her parents with her son Charles born in 1901, most likely named after her brother Charles. Sometime between 1925 and 1930, Esther married Daniel Tonis. She was listed with him on the 1930 census while her son remained with her parent’s and continued to up until the 1940 census then 19. Esther died in 1943 at the age of 43. She is buried at Beth David Cemetery, in Elmont, New York.


May Her Memory Be A Blessing


In Memory of

Solomon Simon Lifshitz  

Dec 1873, Russia ~ 27 January 1941, New York

Son of David Lipshitz and Ida Paley

I have written quite extensively on the Lipshitz/Lifshitz and all variants of spelling used by this family. From Russia, he arrived on the 5 October 1888 at about 15 years old. Simon married Anne Dinofsky on 24 November 1895, New York, New York. They were the parents of five children, Esther Estelle, who he is sharing this post with, Moses, Rachel, Doris, and Charles.

When I think about the fact that Esther Estelle died in 1943 at the age of 43, so young, I am comforted to know that Simon preceded his daughter in death and was spared this sorrow.

Simon was the brother of my great grandfather Benjamin Lipshitz. So much of their story was lost of so long. It is an honor to be able to know this family through the records that have been discovered, and remember them on the anniversary of their passing.


Solomon Simon was laid to rest at Washington Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York


May His Memory Be a Blessing  




©2019, copyright, Sharon Haimowitz – Civitano. All rights reserved.

Posted in Ancestry, DNA, Genealogy, Haimowitz, Hyamovitch, Jewish History, Lifschitz, Lipschitz, Romania, Rosen

And The Adventure Continues

2018 has been an amazing year for our family history with quite a few walls crumbling down. Cousin connections were made and others were strengthened.

The highlight for this year has been two mysteries solved within the Lipschitz and Haimowitz families.

The story of Benjamin Lipschitz, my great grandfather on my birthmother Marlene’s maternal side, was solved with a 3rd cousin DNA match to Jane.

I had been haunted for quite some time regarding Benjamin and his wife Kate Rosen. Both of them deaf from a childhood illness, they were joined together through an arranged marriage. I just knew there had to be more to their story and family than just my grandmother Myra, her sisters Esther and Mary and their descendants. There was!

On my Haimowitz side I had knowledge that some family had immigrated to England from Romania. Who this ‘family’ was, was a complete unknown. Siblings, Uncles, Aunts, cousins..we had no clue. Due solely to the writing of this blog and a post on this mystery family connection, I was contacted by a woman in England which led to a conclusive DNA connection that we discovered this English branch. Marks Hyamovitch was the brother of my great grandfather Samuel Haimowitz, who set down roots in England.

Both these discoveries and connections to cousins has been a highlight in my family research journey this year. And while these mystery were solved so many yet remain.

One such mystery – who is the mystery sister on the left of Samuel and their niece, Freda Hyams (Hyamovitch) daughter of Marks?

SamuelHaimowitz6 copy

Another highlight for me this year came very recently in way of a photo share from my birthmother’s sister Rochelle and her daughter Lisa. I was sent this photo of Marlene Haimowitz just a month or so after she gave birth to me. Pregnant with me through all of her 18th year she gave birth to be 16 days after turning 19 on February 8th, 1953.

Marlene Haimowitz

Marlene3 copy

I started 2018 with a purchase and post on a beautiful piece of jewelry and I think most appropriate for ending this year.

The Chai, pronounced ‘hay’, is a letter in the alphabet with its numerical number 18. This is a spiritual number in Judaism and it most certainly fulfilled its destiny this year in bringing much life to our family.


I would like to thank all of my family and friends who have followed along this year, commented and contributed to our families rich heritage. To all the cousin connections, both old and new, those connections with their strings still undone, I am excited for the new year and new discoveries in store.

A happy healthy coming year

as the adventure continues



Posted in Bronx, DNA, Genealogy, Lifschitz, Lipschitz, Puchkoff

Two Brothers: Samuel and Benjamin Lifschitz

The next two Lifschitz family members I am detailing are two bachelor brother’s, my 1st cousin 2x removed, Samuel and Benjamin (Barnett). These two men were the son’s of Fanny and Israel Lifschitz. If you have followed the last few post, then you may remember that Fanny was a sister to my great grandfather Benjamin Lipschitz. (the spelling of the last name has continually been interchanged by the families)

Samuel was born on June 22, 1896 and Benjamin, more commonly known as Barnett, was born five years later on June 29, 1900. Both were born in Manhattan. They joined siblings Esther/Estelle and Jacob/Jack. On the 1900 census they were living at 58 Monroe in N.Y.C.. Israel was working as a tailor, he could speak English but could not read or write. Fanny could neither read, write or speak english.  Esther (6) on this census could read, write and speak English which I found amazing for a 6 year old at that time. Living 1 door down at 56 Monroe was Fanny’s brother Solomon/Simon and his family, wife Annie Dinofsky, son Moses, and daughters Rachel and Esther/Essie.

I found the family in 1910 with spelling of the last name Lipshetz. It’s amazing the variety of spellings for this last name, the variety of spellings and misspellings in the records. They were still at the Monroe address with dad Israel’s occupation listed as factory forman. Daughter Dorothy had been born in 1906 making her the last of the children.

By 1915 the family had moved to 59 E. 102nd St, N.Y.C.. Both Samuel and Benjamin were working as bookkeepers and by 1918 both were called to serve in the military and would register for the draft.

Samuel’s WWI Draft Registration U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005. New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917-1919 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.

Samuel enlisted on June 5, 1918 and was honorably discharged on Sept 30, 1918. He did not serve overseas nor was he disabled, he served a short 3 months. From his draft registration we learned his left ear and eye were bad. Perhaps this contributed to his discharge but with WWl drawing to an end in Nov. 1918 it could be his service was not needed. Samuel’s record gave me some additional clues. He listed his employer as Harris J. Lipman at 28 W. 25th St. and his nearest relative H. Cohen.  I know we have a family connection to a Ruben Cohen and  H&S Cohen company has been a business quite a few of our Lipschitz members have worked for, including my great grandfather Benjamin. There is also the possibility of Lipman being a Lipschitz with a name change. A search of led me to a mention in The Sun (New York New York) 17 Dec 1915, Fri under Leasing for Business heading; J.G. White & Co. have leased the store and basement at 28 – 30 West Twenty-fifth street to Harris J. Lipman. I have now identified who Harris J. Lipman was, his wife and children and added him to my research list to see if I can connect my Cohen/Lipschitz and Lipman.

Benjamin’s WWI Draft Registration U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.

Benjamin registered for the draft on Sept. 12, 1918 and listed his nearest relative as his brother Sammie at their 1330 Franklin address. Also on this record his birth day was listed as the 13th in conflict to the known 29th date.

I was unable to find a census record for the family for 1920 however the draft records indicate that the family was living at the 1330 Franklin Ave., Bronx address. So sometime between 1915 and 1918 the family made their move from Manhattan to the Bronx where they would remain at the Franklin address until the 1940 census. In 1925 Sam was working as a salesman and by the 1930 census he listed his occupation as manager – clothing. Benjamin, a shipping clerk in 1925 ditched his laborious jog for a theatrical job and joined his father as an usher in a theatre.

1936 and 1937 saw the death of both their parents, Israel passing away in Jan 1936 and Fanny passing on Dec. 29th 1937. Both are buried at Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

After their parents had passed, oldest sister Estelle and husband George Puchkoff along with daughter Myra had move into the home at 1330 Franklin Ave. with George listed as the head on the 1940 census along with Jack, Samuel and Benjamin recorded brother-in-law. Samuel and Ben were listed as usher – theatre and Jack as actor – Vaudeville.

WWll began and neither were left out of the old mans draft. I was able to find a record for Samuel. His address was noted as 1746 Andrews Ave, Bronx. I could not find the same record for Benjamin which would have listed an address. From I did learn his record was for the Army. I hope in some comforting way the brothers were still together.

Samuel’s WWll Draft Registration Card 


Benjamin’s Enlistment Record 

Name: Benjamin Lifschitz
Birth Year: 1900
Race: White, citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country: New York
State of Residence: New York
County or City: Bronx
Enlistment Date: 25 Nov 1942
Enlistment State: New York
Enlistment City: New York City
Branch: Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA
Branch Code: Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA
Grade: Private
Grade Code: Private
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Source: Civil Life
Education: Grammar school
Civil Occupation: Ushers
Marital Status: Single, without dependents
Height: 62
Weight: 140 U.S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2005.



I know very little else about these two brother’s others than this branch of my family had a deep love for the theatre and they remained very close. I am sharing a few pictures courtesy of the family of youngest sister Dorothy/Dora Lifschitz. Over the years I have had many email conversations with the Dorothy’s granddaughter.  We connected through our DNA test on Ancestry. It took us quite a while to discover just how we were connected and I was thrilled when this past year we were finally able to break through this brick wall.

Benjamin Lifschitz

BenjaminBarnettLifschitz copy

Ann'sUncleBenLifschitz1 copy


Samuel LifschitzSamuelLifschitz copy

Ann'sUncleSam copy

Preceding them in death was their sister Dorothy in 1955, followed by Estelle in 1971, their brother Jack in 1974. Benjamin would out live them all  passing away in 1980, 3 years after Samuel in 1977.

Samuel and Benjamin are both buried in Mt Hebron Cemetery, Flushing, Queens, N.Y.

Samuel Lifschitz Gravestone

Benjamin Lifschitz Gravestone


Posted in Belarus, Bronx, DNA, Genealogy, Lifschitz, Lipschitz, Paley, Puchkoff, Rosen

The Story of Jacob Louis Lifschitz

It was back in March that I started a series of posts on my newest Lipschitz Family DNA connection. A match with a 2nd cousin 1x removed had opened up a flood gate of information on the siblings of my great grandfather Benjamin which had long been lost to our family branch.

My great grandfather Benjamin Lipschitz (1883 Slutsk, Belarus) was the son of David Lipschitz/Lipshitz and Yetta/Edith/Gittel Palley/Paley/Pallai, depending on what document you are looking at. The spelling of the last name also took on many variants. His siblings would go on to use the spelling of the last name with an f; Lifschitz/Lifshitz.

Benjamin was born hearing but became deaf from a childhood illness. I am not clear if this happened in New York or in his home town of Slutsk. I tend to believe it was oversea’s arriving here in N.Y. shortly before his arranged marriage to Kate Rosen, also deaf from a childhood illness. Just recently I was sent a picture of Kate. The picture is from 1966 at the wedding of Kate’s granddaughter Rochelle, my aunt. Kate, 77 years old, went on to live another 7 years before passing away in 1973. I have no picture or know of any picture for Benjamin.

Kate Lipschitz nee Rosen 



Benjamin’s oldest sister was Fanny Lipshitz  (abt 1867). Her death certificate revealed her parents as David Lipshitz and Yetta Palley (which further confirmed our DNA connection and her connection to Benjamin)


Israel and Fanny were the parents of 5 children. Esther/Estelle/Stella (1890 Slutsk), Jacob/Jack (1894 NYC), Samuel (1895 NYC), Benjamin/Barnett (1900 NYC) and Dora/Dorothy (1906 NYC)

I’d like to concentrate on their first and oldest son Jacob/Jack Louis Lifshitz. (this branch of the family spelled the name with the ‘f’)

The first of his siblings to be born in New York, I found Jacob (6), in the 1910 census living at 58 Monroe St, N.Y.C. along with his parents and sister listed as Esta (12) and Samuel (4). The spelling on this census was recorded as Libshitz, with brother-in-law Ruben Cohen (1864) living with them. His name of Cohen had and continues to cause some confusion as Fanny was clearly confirmed a Lipschitz. (I wonder if he could be the husband of a sister of Israel? Possible. Just another mystery that deserves some time and research)  By 1915 I located them living at 59 102nd St, N.Y.C..  Father Israel (50) was no longer working as a tailor but was an usher in a theatre Fanny (50) listed housework. The 3 oldest, Stella, Jacob now using Jack and Samuel were all working as bookkeepers, Benjamin and Dorothy were still in school. Ida (70) was living with them recorded as sister-in-law. This listing as sister-in-law raises the question, was this possibly a census error and in fact this was his mother-in-law? I know that Ida was alive and present at her son Isaac/Ike’s wedding to Rebecca Leff in 1903 (from wedding invitation) Ida’s estimated birth year has been 1850. Ida listed as 70 years old would give her a birth year of 1845. It’s very feasible that this is  Fanny and Ike’s mother as her actual birth year in not accurate. I have also not located her death information.

WWI was on the horizon and Jack was inducted on May 25, 1918. He was 24.

Jacob Louis Lifschitz

JackLifschitz2 copyPhoto courtesy of the family of Dorothy Lifshitz

40808_1120704930_0369-00601New York, Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917-1919, 

Unable to find the 1920 census, I picked up the family in 1925 living at 1330 Franklin Ave, Bronx where they would remain up until and including 1940. Jack’s (31) profession was listed as actor. All of the family was still living together. His father Israel had listed his profession as advertisor, Stella (31) stenographer, Samuel (27) salesman, Ben (25) salesman and Dora (20) also actor.

Jacob Louis Lifschitz 

JackLifschitz copy



Photo Courtesy of the Family of Dorothy Lifshitz

I like to think of this photo as possibly one of his professional industry pictures. I also learned from the family of Dorothy, that he was opera singer too.

On January 25, 1926, in the Bronx, Jack’s sister Stella, under her formal name of Estelle married Joseph Puchkoff.  In 1928 they would welcome their only child, a daughter named Myra.

By 1930, still at the 1330 Franklin Bronx address, Stella no longer at home left the other 4 siblings. Father Israel (64) was again listed as usher – theatrical, Jack (36) actor – theatrical, Samuel (32) manager clothing, Benjamin (29) usher, and Dorothy/Dotty (24) actress – theatrical.

The Palace Theatre in New York City was the most popular vaudeville venue but it closed it’s doors to vaudeville on Nov. 6th 1932

PALACE 2.jpg

palace_mcnyBoth images Image via MCNY’s Digital Collection

Jacob would lose both his parents almost within 2 full years of each other. Israel passed away on Jan. 20, 1936 and Fanny passed on Dec 29th, 1937. Both are buried at Washington Cemetery

On June 25th, 1936 Jack boarded the “Munargo’ cruise ship for Havana, Cuba. He would return on July, 7th. I could identify any other passenger traveling with Jack by matching up his address which was the 1330 Franklin address. The Munargo was a ship owned by the Munson Steamship Line. It set sail in 1922 equipped to transport 295 passengers. It was commissioned for Caribbean service and Eastern Cuba. This ship was later purchased by the Army and became a hospital ship, renamed The Thistle.

Cardinal's Visit to the Bahamas 1922: Page 1

Stella along with her husband George Puchkoff and daughter Myra had moved into the home at 1330 Franklin Ave, Bronx, owned by her parents. The 1940 census had this family now listed with George (48) as the head, lived in that same house in 1935, working as an auctioneer with Estelle (48) and Myra (12)  Recorded as brother-in-law’s, Jack (44) actor – vaudeville, Samuel (41) and Benjamin (39) both usher’s – theatre. Even though The Palace had stopped showcasing vaudeville acts, Jack referring to himself as ‘in vaudeville’ seems to be telling of what he was doing, however on his 1942 WWll registration card it appears he was out of work, still unmarried with his sister Estelle as his contact person. Notice the address also. It is not the the 1330 Franklin, Bronx address.


Below is a photo of Jack with his wife. This photo has no identification on who she was. This photo was shared by the family of Dorothy Lifschitz. She is mentioned as unknown.

JackLifshitz&wife copyPhoto courtesy of the family of Dorothy Lifshitz

Looking at the city index for the year 1931 for something else, I spotted a Rebecca Lifshitz living at the 1330 Franklin Ave address; looking further I found our Jack, Dotty (Dorothy), Samuel, and Israel also at the address. Is it possible that this was Jack’s wife? We do know that by 1940 Jack was listed on the census as single with out a Rebecca and that his 1942 WWll registration listed his sister Estelle. Had he divorced/annulled and claimed single?Had the photo been mislabeled? If not his wife then who was Rebecca living at the address with the rest of the family? Little more is known by me of Jack in the years following 1942.

Jack outlived both his sister’s, Dorothy (1955) and Estelle (1971) before passing away on Feb 19th, 1974. He is buried at Mount Hebron Cemetery, Flushing, Queens, New York.



Always Remembered 



Posted in Genealogy, Lifschitz, Lifshitz, New York, Paley

Mollie Lifschitz: Updated

In my last post I wrote about Mollie Lipschitz daughter of David Lifshitz and Ida Paley. I had been waiting on her death certificate to arrive, which it has. Quickly recapping ~

Mollie was born sometime between 1869 and 1872, with dates differing depending on the document. She immigrated from Poland/Russia between 1888/1889. I can not find any records for her immigration.

Mollie married Hyman Cohen/Cohn on Dec. 24th, 1892. At the time of her marriage she was living at 72 Orchard St., N.Y.C., and Hyman was at 47 Henry St. Witness  to the marriage was a Abraham and Jacob Goldberg (I have no clue who these men were)


We know from the wedding announcement for Mollie’s brother Ike (1903) that their mother Ida was alive and in New York attending Ike’s marriage. I could not locate anything that indicated Ida was here for Mollie’s marriage.

Clearly recorded beside  ‘Number of Bride’s Marriage’ is the address 177 E. Broadway. I just had to stop and take a look at this address. This address, is the church to the left of The Forward Building, home to the socialist newspaper begun in 1897 by 50 Yiddish speaking socialist who had formed three months prior as the Forward Publishing Company. Wikipedia reports “it was one of the most influential American Jewish Publications”  You can see the cross at the top of the building which I imagine back then housed the Congregation Ezras Achim Anshei, Kiev.


Hyman and Mollies first son Joseph was born in 1897 and their second son Jacob was born in 1899.

Mollie Cohn nee Lifschitz passed away on the 10th of March, 1922. Her death certificate says she was 53 and passed due to chronic myocarditis with acute gastritis contributing. She was buried at Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Queens, New York.


Please meet Mollie ~

MollieLifshitzPhoto courtesy of Jane

Posted in Brooklyn, Genealogy, Lifschitz, Lifshitz, Lipschitz, Lipshitz, New York, Paley

Mollie Lifschitz daughter of Davis/David Lipschitz and Ida Paley

Continuing with the family of my great grandfather Benjamin Lipshitz I am moving on to his sister Mollie Lifschitz born March of 1872. At this point in my research she appears to be the second oldest child of David/Davis and Ida/Yetta Palay. Mollie was born with in the Russian Empire with no exact location identified at this time. She married Hyman Cohen on Dec. 24, 1892. The only record I could find (and thankfully so) for the marriage was from

Mollie Lifschitz and Hyman Cohen  

Name Hyman Cohen
Spouse’s Name Mollie Lifschitz
Event Date 24 Dec 1892
Event Place Manhattan, New York, New York
Father’s Name Joe Cohen
Mother’s Name Ettie Sheiewitz
Spouse’s Father’s Name Davis Lifschitz
Spouse’s Mother’s Name Ida Paley

Those early years right after the marriage produced the only 2 children I have been able to find for Hyman and Mollie. Son Joseph was born in Dec. 1894 followed by Jacob in May 1898.

By 1900, the first census for the family, their address was 133 Henry St., NYC. Hyman’s (30), Russin/Poland, profession: foundry; manufacturer. His immigration year was noted as 1889, here for 11 years. Noted for Mollie (30) also from Russia/Poland, married 8 yrs with 2/2 children. Joseph (5) and Jacob (1)

according to
“Performs any combination of following tasks in foundry concerned with melting metal, pouring metal into molds, removing castings from molds, dressing castings, moving foundry materials, and cleaning equipment and work areas: Moves sand, castings, flasks, or other materials about foundry by hand, using wheelbarrow or …” 

133 Henry Street 

133HenryA quick google search also revealed this building was built in 1900. It seems they were one of the very first residents in this new building of its time.

By 1910, remaining in Manhattan, the family had relocated to 550 West 144th St. Another google search on this location revealed it was built in 1910. I found it interesting, a move to another newly built building. Hyman (42) and no longer working at the foundry and was now working in manufacturing/clothing.  Mollie (38) with the notation that she had immigrated in 1889, the same year as Hyman, now naturalized. I have been unable to find any record for this. Joseph (15) and Jacob (11) had nothing else noted. Also by 1910 their last name spelled Cohen changed to Cohn on all census and death records found.

550 West 144th St. 


1920 arrived and the family again made another move to 620 West 149th St., N.Y.C.. Hyman was in working on his own account in wholesale clothing, noted partner. Both of his sons,  Joseph (24) and Jacob/John (20) were also listed as wholesale clothing, partner. I am assuming that the three of them were in business together.  The family must have been doing well. They employed a servant by the name of Bella Shiner (25) from Austria. What ever happiness and success the family had was shattered with the death of Mollie on March 10th, 1922. She was 53 years old.  (I have sent away for her death certificate and hopefully we can learn what caused her death)

Death record for Molly Cohn 


Name Mollie Cohn
Event Type Death
Event Date 10 Mar 1922
Event Place Manhattan, New York, New York, United States
Gender Female
Age 53
Marital Status Married
Race White
Occupation Housewife
Birth Year (Estimated) 1869
Birthplace Russia
Burial Date 12 Mar 1922
Cemetery Mt. Carmel
Father’s Name David Lifschitz
Father’s Birthplace Russia
Mother’s Name Ida Palay
Mother’s Birthplace Russia
Spouse’s Name Hyman Cohen
Citing this Record”New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch( : 10 February 2018), Mollie Cohn, 10 Mar 1922; citing Death, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,028,040.

Three years after the death of Mollie, 1925, Hyman Cohn (57) was now retired. Joe (30) still home with his father was now working in ‘loans’. Jacob had moved out. Hyman still employed a ‘domestic servant; her name was Methilde Ramberg (27) from Hungry. They were still at the 620 West 149th St address. A short five years later it appears that the partnership between Hyman and his sons had dissolved, not only had Hyman retired but now Joseph was in entirely different field, loans, but what happened to Jacob who was listed as John. With  Cohn/Cohen an extremely common name it was impossible for me to pin down anything concrete for him however I did find 1 record that matched his age perfectly. Listed on the 1925 census for the Central Islip State Hospital there was a John Cohen listed, notes said born New York City, N.Y., white, male, 26, day laborer, nationality US and citizen. Could this be our Jacob who had been listed as John on the 1920 census? The spelling of Cohn had the added ‘e’ which was the original spelling. I can not be sure with any certainty. Central Islip was a psychiatric hospital that opened in 1899 and closed in 1996.

By 1930, Joseph (33) was still living with his father Hyman (62) at 143 73rd Street (between Columbus and Amsterdam) at the Hamilton Hotel.  Hyman was listed as a retired merchant  and Joseph as a salesman – bonds. The Hamilton Hotel was built in 1919 in the neo – Renaissance style fitting of the Upper West Side. By the 1970’s the building had become mainly a welfare hotel. The owner of the building wanted to turn it in to a luxury building but community groups lobbied the city to have it transferred to Project Find for Senior housing. You can read more about this building at 

I can find no identifying information to locate Joseph or Jacob/John from this point on in my research. There are simply to many records that could be either of them. However I was able to locate Hyman (70) in the 1940 census. He was now living at the Jewish Sanitarium for Chronic Disease at 830 E. 49th Street, Brooklyn, New York. He was listed simply as widower.

Hyman would live another 3 years before passing away on the 29th of October, 1943.

Both Mollie and Hyman are buried at Mt Carmel Cemetery, section 1 at 83 -45 Cypress Hills Street, Glendale. I made a phone call to the cemetery to request photo’s and learned they are both interred in a family crypt with a contact name of Abraham Males. Who is Abraham? The burial society was Unity Synagogue. Along with them in the crypt is an Esther (d. 1945) Jack (d. 1952) Joseph (d. 1962) Samuel (unknown death date) and Sydney (d. 1953). I did locate a Jacob Cohn (with the e) buried in section 1 as well, not in the crypt, but with the same burial society with a death year of 1948.


Posted in Belarus, Bronx, Genealogy, Lifschitz, Lipschitz, New York

Simon Lifshitz and Family

As I continue to dig into the family of my great grandfather Benjamin Lipschitz, more and more questions and surprises have met me at each turn. The rabbit holes I have slid down continue to get deeper and more complicated. After days of continued research I thought I had a ‘ah ha’ moment only to slide further down. Lipschitz, Lipshitz, Lifschitz, Lifshitz, there are just to many variables with the spelling and then there are all the possible spelling errors, as in locating an Ida Liphshitz. I thought/still think this could possibly be the mother to Benjamin and his siblings. Time to give her research a break and return with fresh eyes and mind at a later date.

The next sibling of Benjamin that I would like to write about is Solomon Simon Lifshitz. 

If this name sounds familiar to anyone who has been following this blog you may remember Zalman Hillel/Solomon/Simon Lifschitz (his name created quite a stir) married to Sarah Marie/Mary Kinoy with children Elias, Isidore/Isaac, Anna (Michle) , Minnie (Chaje), and Emanuel (Mendel). Solomon and Mary lived at the 1268 Park Ave address between the time span of 1915 – 1930, over lapping with and there at the same crucial time Benjamin was married.  In addition, I have multiple 3/5 cousin DNA matches off of this Solomon and Mary Lifshitz branch, linking this Lifschitz with me and now this new branch. I had first assumed that Benjamin must have been living with Solomon and Sarah prior to marrying. I can no longer make that assumption as this new Lifschitz family with it’s DNA match has been discovered and it seems more likely that he was living with his immediate family now. The question still remains, what is the connection with Zalman/Hillel/Solomon/Simon to Benjamin and now to this Solomon Simon.

And so back to our current Solomon more commonly known as Simon Lifshitz. The first mention or find that connected him to the family was a marriage record from It identified his father as David Lipshitz and his mother as last name Paley.

“New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch ( : 10 February 2018), Simon Lipshitz and Annie Dinofsky Or Dynoffski, 24 Nov 1895; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,493,451.

I immediately ordered their marriage certificate to get a better look at this amazing find. Notice the spelling as Lipshitz both on the familysearch record above and the document below. You can distinctively see it is not as ‘f’ comparing the letter to the ‘f’ in Annie’s name and Sheriff address. The marriage date was 24th of Nov, 1895, recorded on the 27th.


Simon Lifschitz married Annie Dinofsky and went on to have 5 children. Moses/Moe (Mar. 1896), Rachel/Rae (Feb.1897), Esther/Estelle (Nov. 1898), Dora/Stella (1903) and Charles (1909) and the mystery Anna (1911)  The spelling of their last name and the names of the children changed often which added to some confusion as well as the names being so common for the time period.

Date’s for immigration differ between the census records and I have still not been able to find an actual immigration record, nor have I found a specific town or city name for this family. The date on Simon’s naturalization index says 1902. An alien must live here at least 5 years before he/she is eligible for citizenship. The index record says he arrived on Oct 5, 1888. Wolf Horowitz, his witness on his petition states he has known Simon for 13 years. Ellis Island officially opened as an immigration station on January 1, 1892. It is more likely he arrived at Castle Garden since he states he arrived at the port of New York in New York.

 “Castle Garden, today known as Castle Clinton National Monument, is the major landmark within The Battery, the 25 acre waterfront park at the tip of Manhattan. From 1855 to 1890, the Castle was America’s first official immigration center, a pioneering collaboration of New York State and New York City.” A search of Castle Garden yielded nothing close.

 The Naturalization Index card for Simon


Here is Simon’s Petition for Naturalization



Five years into their marriage I located Simon (26)  and Annie (22) in the 1900c living at 56 Monroe St. NYC, the same address as the records above. Note the ages are off in comparison to ages on wedding cert.. This would have made Simon 21 and Annie 17 at the time of marriage. Simon was working as a tailor and Annie had given birth to 3 children, Moses (1896), Rachel (1897), and Essie (1899).

Built in 1899, the gray building is 56 Monroe St. N.Y.C. wedged in-between 58 and 54. This building most likely has had face lift but still holds the charm of where Simon was living with his family in 1900 – 1905.


I had almost given up on finding them in 1905 but through I found them with the last name spelled Lifchitch. (That’s a new spelling for me) they were still living at 56 Monroe. Daughter Dora (Dorie) had joined the family born in 1904.

Still in Manhattan and in the 1910 census, they had moved to 66 -68 East 39th St. This census record gave a 1892 immigration year and indicates Simon (39) had naturalized. He was a foreman in the clothing industry.  It was on this census that his name was listed as Soloman (Lifshetz). Annie was Anna (36) Moses (14), Rae aka Rachel (13), Esther (11) was Essie in 1900. Joining the family  was Stella (7) and Charles (1). Some time between 1910 and 1915 Simon moved his family to the country – The Bronx. Their new home was listed as 1422 Stebbins Ave. While Annie (39) was busy as a homemaker and Simon (42) working as a tailor, Moses (19) had joined the work force as bookkeeper, Rachel (18) stenographer and Esther (16) was no longer in school but working in the millinery field. Stella was listed as Dora (12) and Charles (7) were both in school.

Locating the family in 1920 was a bit difficult but I eventually found them using the 1422 Stebbins Ave, Bronx address. Simon on this census was listed under the name of Sam (48) Annie/Anna (45) and son Moe (24) was working as a bookkeeper. Living in the apt next to them was daughter Estelle (20) and her husband Sam Joffe (27) Sam was working in the insurance industry for the Met Life Co. What has me a bit baffled is the census date is January 1920 and their marriage license (see below) has a marriage date of Dec. 28, 1920. Errors are made and I am wondering if the marriage was actually 1919. Either way in January of 1920 they were listed as husband and wife.



New York, New York, Marriage Index 1866-1937
Name Estelle Lipschitz
Gender Female
Marriage Date 28 Dec 1920
Marriage Place Bronx, New York, USA
Spouse Samuel Joffe
Certificate Number 146
Household Members
Name Age
Samuel Joffe
Estelle Lipschitz
Estelle’s marriage was very short lived. Sam Joffe passed away on Feb. 1, 1923.  
Name: Samuel Joffe
Age: 30
Birth Year: abt 1893
Death Date: 1 Feb 1923
Death Place: Bronx, New York, USA
In 1925 Simon and Annie were still living at the 1422 Stebbins address. This was an interesting census record that revealed a real twist. Simon had now changed profession and was listed as a chicken dealer. This seems odd, from tailor to be chicken dealer, could also be a mistake? However what makes this really interesting is that my Aunt Rochelle, remembers going to a chicken ranch or something similar that belonged to a relative. Could this had been our Simon ? Unfortunately the ages and years do not add up. ( there is still the mystery son Samuel I can not locate. Is it possible he had taken over the chicken business for his father? ) At home was son Charles(16), his occupation is listed violinist. On this census another child was added by the name of Anna (14). This would make her year of birth about 1911. Anna was not listed in the 1920 census nor was she listed on the 1915 census. Would she be missed on both census records? A mystery. Also on this census Estelle Joffe (26), daughter, milliner, along with her son Charles (4) listed as grandchild were back home living with Simon and Annie. Five years later in 1930  Simon (59) and Annie (53) were living in New Jersey at 317 George St., New Brunswick. The census records Grandson Charles (9) was the only one living with them. What had happened that brought them across the river? And where was Charlie’s mom Estelle?  I had my suspicion’s and some further sleuthing led me to a death record that confirmed my thoughts. Estelle had remarried Daniel Tonis, a 1st generation son of Italian immigrants from Massachusetts. It was easy to track them in the 1930 and 1940 census once I had his name. Remaining in the Bronx, Daniel and Estelle were married about 1928. Both census lists Daniels profession as working in the billiard and recreation industry; in 1940 as a partner in a billiard parlor.
I am sorry but I must break out in song ” we’ve got trouble, right here in River City, it starts with t that rhymes with p and stands for pool.” la la la laaaaa
I found a divorce record for Daniel to his wife Elizabeth dated May 15, 1928, Bronx on With the help I was able to locate a marriage record for a Dante M. Tonis to Elizabeth E. Smith on May 6, 1924, Bronx, which I suspect is their record. The 1930 census for Daniel and Estelle indicated they had been married 2 years prior. Some where and at sometime, Daniel met our young widow Estelle, he divorced his wife and they married. Estelle’s son remained with his grandparents. I can’t imagine that Simon and Annie were pleased with their daughters situation. Pool hall? and what kind of recreation were they talking about? In fact, this was the roaring 20’s and that might just tell the tale.
By 1940 Simon and Annie had been back in the Bronx since 1935, as indicated by the census. Their address was 1422 Minford Place. Noting the address number of 1422, it was same street number as the Stebbins address, I did a little checking and the streets, Minford and Stebbins do interconnect. Thinking first it may be a census error, the census was very consistent with addresses and this does appear to be Minford Place. Grandson Charles(19) was still living with them and listed as a ‘new worker’ while  Simon (68) was no longer working. His health may have been suffering because 8 months after the census was taken
Simon Lifshitz (69)
 passed away on Jan. 25, 1941.
He is buried at Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn. 
Name: Simon Lipshitz
Birth Date: 1873
Death Date: 25 Jan 1941
Death Place: New York, United States of America
Cemetery: Washington Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place: Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, United States of America
Below is the record for Estelle death from She passed 2 years and 1 day after her father.
Estelle Lifshitz Tonis (43)
passed away on Jan. 26, 1943
She is buried at Beth David Cemetery. 
Name Estelle Tonis
Event Type Death
Event Date 26 Jan 1943
Event Place Bronx, New York, New York, United States
Address 2160 Bronx Park East
Residence Place Bronx, New York City, New York
Gender Female
Age 43
Marital Status Married
Race White
Occupation Housewife
Birth Date 08 Nov 1899
Birthplace New York City
Burial Date 28 Jan 1943
Cemetery Beth David Cemetery
Father’s Name Simon Lifschitz
Father’s Birthplace Russia
Mother’s Name Annie Danufsky
Mother’s Birthplace Russia
Spouse’s Name Daniel
 Citing this Record”New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch ( : 10 February 2018), Simon Lifschitz in entry for Estelle Tonis, 26 Jan 1943; citing Death, Bronx, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,195,855.
Daughter Rachel/Rae Lifshitz married Samuel C. Aaronson on Dec 7, 1916 in Manhattan.
As I began to comb through a few records to get a picture of Rae’s life one of the first things I noticed was on the WW I draft registration for Samuel. Notice the Stebbins Ave address – possibly how they met? Also notice where he worked as a bookkeeper; this reads S & L Cohen, both Ike and Benjamin worked as tailors with what I read as H & S Cohen (another transcription mistake possibly?Was this the same place?)
Samuel’s occupation was constantly in the leather goods industry. I was able to locate records for four children. Morton (1917), a baby (1919 – 1919), Edith (1922) and Laurence
( 1932)
I was unable to identify with any accuracy any records for daughter Dora.
Son Moses was married by the time he registered for the WW I draft. Moe is identified by his address.  The 1942 WW II draft record is identified with the match of birth dates with the WW I document. His wife’s name was Rose, living at 1627 Mermaid Ave, Brooklyn. I have not been able to locate any other information on Moe.
005262758_01589.jpgRegistration State: New York; Registration County: Bronx; Roll: 1753997; Draft Board: 13
NY-2370325-0696The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147
Son Charles married a woman named Vera, LNU. They had 4 children which I have not confirmed but located on another researchers research. 2 girls and 2 sons, Irwin and Alan. Charles passed away in 1985 in Los Angeles, CA.

Recapping ever so briefly –

Solomon/Simon Lifshitz was born in Dec 1873, in Russia. He was the son of David Lipshitz and Chia Paley (as spelled on his marriage certificate).

Isaac/Ike Lifschitz born May 1, 1880, in Russia. (written about in my last post). Isaac’s parents were David confirmed by Isaac’s gravestone and family members Jane and Judy along with his wife known as Ida Paley.

Simon and Isaac are brothers to my great grandfather Benjamin Lipschitz born Nov. 10, 1883, Slutsk, Minsk, Belarus. Parents David and Ida Paley as confirmed on his marriage certificate.

The spelling of their last name has not remained consistent throughout this family. Changes in the spelling has made researching and identifying the family a real challenge. In my next few posts I will report on what I have found for their sister’s Fanny and Mollie. I am continuing to try and locate a death record for “Ida Paley”, their mother. I have still not been able to find anything on their brother Samuel.