Breakthroughs, discoveries and surprises


By Martin Fischer


The research for this Web site has been going on, with starts and stops, since the 1970s. It has benefited from relatives' revelations; diligent, sometimes tedious and tiring, library research; a series of often slow mailed or e-mailed correspondence with government offices and archives; expenditures to pay translators of letters and other documents; and, occasionally, generous contributions of information from total strangers who discovered me through the Internet or found this Web site.


  • The U.S. census of 1870 revealed that Henry and Caroline Fischer had a sister who was born before they were born. Johanna Fischer was listed as 4 months old when the census was taken in the Carondelet neighborhood of St. Louis. After this discovery, I called the Jewish cemeteries in St. Louis and learned that Johanna had died on March 10, 1874, and was buried in an unmarked grave in United Hebrew Cemetery in St. Louis. The cemetery said she had died of consumption (tuberculosis), but the official St. Louis death registry, which I later checked at one of the public libraries, said Johanna had died of convulsions. It is possible that Henry and Caroline never knew about their sister, because she died five months before Caroline was born and two years before Henry was born.

  • Death certificates were the key to learning the names of several ancestors' parents: Golda Lea Gordon's father was identified as Harry Krewiansky. Jeanette Daust's mother was identified as Rosalie Gelhorn, providing a hint about a previously rumored, but still unproven, link to the family of Martha Gellhorn, the journalist who was one of Ernest Hemingway's many wives. And Salo Daust's death certificate revealed that his mother's maiden name was Martha Koppenhagen.

  • An index to St. Louis marriage records on microfilm in the St. Louis County Library revealed that Carrie Fischer Slupsky's husband, Abe, had been married previously. His first wife, who on their marriage certificate was identified as Mrs. Sophie Michaels, died one year before Abe married Carrie.

  • Abraham Levik's U.S. citizenship papers revealed that his mother's maiden name was Jana Ostrowska and that Abraham had been born in Minsk, Belarus. Abraham's daughter, Chana Fischer, was named after Jana.

  • In the 1970s, I occasionally exchanged family history information with an elderly distant cousin on my father's side named Minnie Romansky. About a year after her death in 1989, Selma Fox, the woman with whom she had lived before going into a nursing home, found a packet containing some of the genealogy information I had sent Minnie. Selma knew my mother, so she sent the packet to her, who then mailed it to me. I assumed it didn't contain new information, so I did not look at the material very carefully when I received it. Later in the 1990s, however, I took the time to go over it page by page and found it contained names and addresses of some relatives I had never known about. That is how I was able to discover a third cousin, Alan Kober, living in a Philadelphia suburb, and a second cousin once removed, Muriel Kober Ziskind, living in St. Louis.

  • The Internet's online telephone and address directories have played a role in uncovering previously unknown relatives. Old family trees showed that one of Judi Fischer's great-grandmothers had a sister who had married a man named Kamin in Pennsylvania. Judi used an online Internet directory to obtain the names and addresses of several Kamins there and wrote each of them a letter. That is how we discovered several Kamin cousins living in the Pittsburgh area.

  • At a family gathering in a restaurant in St. Louis a few years ago, my Aunt Lucille Alexander introduced me to her first cousin once removed Clara Sutterfield, who was a granddaughter of Abraham Slupsky and Caroline Fischer Slupsky. Clara provide names and addresses of other descendants of Abe and Carrie. As a result, I was able to add more than 50 previously unknown names to the family tree, all of whom live in Baton Rouge, La.; Memphis, Tenn.; or Mississippi.

  • A letter received several years ago from Ahuva Jolles of Tel Aviv, Israel, provided a sketchy outline of  the descendants of Gershon Lifshitz, brother of Eliezar Kagan. An intriguing clue was the fact that one of his female descendants had married into a family named Lubansky and had emigrated from the Holy Land to Australia. After searching the Internet for an online telephone and address directory of Australia, I found a handful of Lubansky names. I wrote letters to the people whose addresses I found, and was able to make contact with a third cousin, Harry Lubansky. We have exchanged e-mails and old family photos and he has provided more than 25 names of other Australian cousins to add to the Kagan/Cohen/Lifshitz family tree.

  • In early 2003, after sending Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem, a general inquiry for information about any Landman family members from Romania who perished in the Holocaust, they provided me with Pages of Testimony concerning Landmann family Holocaust victims containing the name and address of the woman who had provided the Pages of Testimony, Daisy Landmann of B'nei Braq, Israel. Rachel Fischer was in Israel at the time and she was able to obtain Daisy's phone number. As a result, Daisy added several dozen names to the Landman family tree, mostly Israelis who had emigrate from Romania.

  • While developing this Web site early in January 2004, I posted an announcement of its creation to the JewishGen Gersig (German special interest group). Lars Menk, a researcher in Berlin working on a book about Jewish surnames who is not related to us in any way, responded. He was able to provide Salo Daust's brother's name (Adolf), their father's name (Shaul Daus), and other facts about Salo's mother's family, the Koppenhagens. In addition, he confirmed that the Dausts' name originally had been Daus and provided the name of their home town, Wongrowitz, Posen, Prussia (now Wagrowiec, Pila, Poland). Menk also informed me that Adolf Daust had lived in Berlin in the early part of the 20th Century. Shortly thereafter, I saw a posting on Gersig by Joseph Goldschmidt of Israel, whom I also did not know and am not related to, offering to check a Berlin Jewish cemetery for names of interest to other Gersig subscribers. I e-mailed him a request to check on Adolf Daust. In August 2004, he e-mailed me a scan of Adolf's cemetery card, saying he had been born in 1855 and died in 1932 in the Jewish Hospital in Berlin. Around the same time, I posted a notice to Gersig requesting any information about descendants of Adolf Daust; his wife, Henriette; and their daughters Mollie and Fannie, whose names I had recently found on a 1905 ship's arrival record on the Ellis Island Foundation online database. In response, I received an e-mail from Emily C. Rose, an author from Naples, Fla., who just happened to be reading an article about Adolf Daust in the Heimat Blaetter (a heritage magazine found on microfilm in the State Library in Berlin) from the 1930s when she saw my posting to GerSig! Adolf had given a speech about Rose's great-grandfather Solomon Karpen.

  • The Social Security application filed in 1936 by Jacob Krohn provided us for the first time with his mother's name: Anna Sarah Friedman. It also identified his birthplace as Saini, Russia-Poland, which we have concluded is most likely today known as Sejny, Poland, which is near the border with Lithuania.

  • In March 2006, I visited my mother in St. Louis and also saw my aunt Lucille Alexander, who is my late father's sister. At the time, she was 88 years old and still very coherent, even though she couldn't tell you what she had done the previous day and couldn't remember that she already had asked you a certain question 20 minutes earlier. She and I have had numerous discussions over the years about my family history research and her recollections of the past. But on that weekend, for the first time, she told me we were related to a Knoch family, cousins of her father, Henry Fischer. I could not recall ever having heard the name before, and I later checked with three of our Kober cousins to see if they had any knowledge of the Knoch family. They did not. Lucille said that the Fischers had rarely associated with the Knochs because the latter lived in the predominantly Jewish neighborhood northwest of downtown St. Louis, while the Fischers had lived in Carondelet, in the far south side of the city. The day after learning of the existence of the Knochs, I went to the St. Louis County Public Library's main branch to continue my ongoing project of reading through microfilm of the old St. Louis Jewish newspapers in search of references to my family, some of whom had arrived in St. Louis as early as 1865. Returning to the edition of one of the papers where I had previously stopped reading, it didn't take long to find a Knoch reference. The Oct. 2, 1885, St. Louis Jewish Tribune reported that Adolph Knoch had been elected to the board of trustees of B'nai Amoona Congregation. And the Nov. 20, 1885, edition of the St. Louis Jewish Free Press, reporting on a silver wedding anniversary party for a Mr. Solomon and Mrs. Bertha Marks, listed the guests, including Mr. and Mrs. Knoch, Mr. and Mrs. Fisher and Mr. and Mrs. Kober---all at the same social event. As I continued to read, I came upon an item with a hint about their relationship: The March 12, 1886, edition of the Free Press reported that a Miss Henrietta Scheye and a Mr. Moritz Meizner [Maizner] would be getting married on March 21 in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Kober. Furthermore, the newspaper reported that the bride had been living in the home of her uncle, Mr. Adolph Knoch. Finally, more than just the puzzle of the Knochs and the Kobers was unlocked in the April 2, 1886, edition of the St. Louis Jewish Free Press. It also gave us the date and place of death and approximate year of birth of our earliest known Kober ancestor! Here is what the article said: "On February 20th [1886], in the 85th year of his age, loved and respected by two generations, Mr. Solomon Kober died at his home in Breslau, Germany. To many in St. Louis this announcement will call up memories of the good man's works, for he was a philanthropist and a patriarch in his native land. In St. Louis he has four children: the two sons, Messrs. Louis and Leopold Kober, well and favorably known in business, and two daughters, Mrs. Ernestine Fischer and Mrs. Maria [Marie] Knoch, honored and respected matrons. A long life, well and honorably spent; a kind and generous heart, ever ready to help others; this patriarch resting in his far away quiet grave, is deservedly mourned by all who knew him. The poor have lost a great friend in him, and we extend our condolences to the bereaved ones." After returning home to Chicago, I checked the online cemetery and funeral home databases of the Jewish Special Interest Group of the St. Louis Genealogical Society and made some phone calls back to St. Louis institutions to find out more about the Knochs. A call to B'nai Amoona Congregation revealed that a book on the history of the congregation called "B'nai Amoona for All Generations" identified Adolph and Marie Knoch as among the prominent founders of the congregation from Germany. Adoph Knoch was an agent for matzos, the book noted. (The history also mentioned that Herman and Moritz Maizner from Breslau were among the founders.) The St. Louis Jewish SIG's cemetery database listed an unnamed child surnamed Knoch who died March 25, 1884, and was buried in United Hebrew Cemetery; an unnamed child of A. Knoch who died Jan. 1, 1885, and was buried in Mt. Sinai Cemetery; and a Max Knoch, with no date of death specified, who was buried in B'nai Amoona Cemetery's Old Section A. The funeral home database listed a Joseph Knoch, born about 1886, died Dec. 13, 1951, whose funeral was handled by the Rindskopf-Roth Funeral Chapel. I then called the Rosenbloom Monument Co., where I was told that Adolph Knoch (1849-July 24, 1901) and his wife, Marie Knoch (1848-Sept. 23, 1925), were buried in the B'nai Amoona Cemetery. Their tombstone had been purchased in 1926 by J.R. Knoch of Wolf-Winston, 7th and Washington, St. Louis. J.R. Knoch was most likely their son. I then called the Rindskopf-Roth funeral home, and they said that Joseph R. Knoch, who died on Dec. 13, 1951, had been cremated, which is unusual among Jews. The funeral home said that Joseph's wife's maiden name was Amy Rosentreter (B'nai Amoona Congregation was led early in its early history by a prominent rabbi in St. Louis named Adolph Rosentreter. In the B'nai Amoona history book, two other Rosentreter brothers were listed among the congregation's founders.). At the time of Joseph Knoch's death, he had one child. Her name was Mercedes Hirsh, and her husband was named Morris Hirsh. In 1951, they were living in Albany, N.Y. The next step in tracking down living survivors of the Knoch branch of the Kober family was to e-mail three synagogues in Albany in an attempt to track down the Hirsh family. Beth Emeth Congregation verified that Mercedes Knoch Hirsh and her husband, Morris Lewis Hirsh, had been members of their congregation for many years. The couple had married Feb. 14, 1942, and had joined the synagogue in October 1943. They had two sons, Michael, born in 1944, and Robert, born in 1947. Morris Hirsh died in 1969. In January 1973, Robert Hirsh became engaged to Dena Litow, according to the Beth Emeth records. A January 1973 newspaper article in the synagogue's files reported that Mercedes Knoch Hirsh was engaged to William H. Friedman of New York City, who was then vice president of Ketchum, MacLeod and Grove, a public relations firm in New York City. Mercedes Hirsh resigned from Beth Emeth in April 1973. Using a Google search, I learned that Mercedes Friedman had died Sept. 22, 2002, according to an online New York Times death notice. She was survived by her second husband, William; her sons, Michael and Robert Hirsh; and her grandchildren, Zachary, Joshua, Mariana and Maurice. A Google search for Robert Hirsh and Dena Litow, his wife's maiden name, showed a June 2005 donation in memory of Morris Hirsh to Congregation B'nai Tzedek in Potomac, Md. And a ZabaSearch provided an address in Maryland. In response to a letter, Robert Hirsh provided additional family tree details and an address for his brother, Michael, who is the Peace Corps director in the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru. In finding Robert and Michael Hirsh, I had discovered two more of my third cousins to add to the Kober family tree. Additional research on the Knochs found the following: Adolf and Marie Knoch immigrated to the U.S. from Prussia in 1881 aboard the Vandalia, arriving at Castle Garden in New York City. (Castle Garden in Lower Manhattan was the arrival point in New York before Ellis Island was established as the entry zone.) Adolf and Marie were accompanied by two sons, Ludwig, age 3, and Max, age 6. This information, was available on the Battery Conservancy's Castle Garden Web site at: I had thought that Ludwig Knoch might have been one of the Knoch children who died at an early age. An unnamed Knoch child died March 25, 1884, and is buried in the United Hebrew Cemetery in St. Louis, according to the online cemetery database of the Jewish Special Interest Group of the St. Louis Genealogical Society. I thought that was most likely Ludwig, but later I learned that I was wrong. Another unnamed Knoch child (identified only as "child of A.") was stillborn Jan. 1, 1885, according to the online Mt. Sinai Cemetery records. Max and Ludwig's brother, Joseph Randolph Knoch, was born in about 1886. Max Knoch died in July 1907, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch obituary index on the St. Louis Public Library Web site. If the Castle Garden information about him is correct, then he died at about age 32. I resolved that the next time I visited St. Louis, I would try to find an obituary for Max. In trying to discover other scraps of information on the Internet about the Knoch family, I Googled some of their names and found, first, that by using both first and last name, I could bring up links within the St. Louis Public Library's obituary index. This told me when their obits and/or paid death notices were

    Max Knoch photo from July 10, 1907, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    published, giving me a ballpark time of when they died and providing something else to look for in my next visit to St. Louis--the actual obits. I was stunned, however, to also discover that when I Googled Ludwig Knoch, the first link shown was to my own family history Web site! Ludwig had been the toastmaster at the wedding in 1908 of my grandparents Henry Fischer and Martha Daust Fischer. The guests also included Ludwig's brother, Joseph, who was best man, and a Mrs. Knoch. I had had the text of the article from the Jewish Voice of St. Louis about the wedding on my site for years, but when I first learned of the Knochs from my aunt, I had forgotten about them having been listed among the guests at the wedding. I recalled having assumed the Knochs listed in the article were just friends, not relatives, of the newlyweds. On my next visit to the St. Louis County Library, I did find the Post-Dispatch obituary and death notice for Max Knoch, dated July 10, 1907. He had died early the same morning as the publication date after suffering from diabetes for three months. Max, 33, a self-employed pharmacist, was survived by his wife, Eva Knoch (nee Kory); his mother, Mrs. Marie Knoch; and his brothers Louis, Henry and Joe Knoch. [His widow, Mrs. Eva Kory Knoch, remarried in October 1913; her new husband was Solomon Bornstein.] The details in Max's obituary raised another quandary: Who were Louis and Henry? Perhaps Louis was another name for Ludwig, but this is the first time a Henry Knoch is mentioned. Could Henry Fischer, their first cousin, have been so close to the Knochs that they considered him another brother? No. A search of found Henry Knoch in the 1920 census living on Ruby Avenue in Palisades Park, N.J., with his wife, Madeline; son, Max (?); daughter, Patrice; mother, Marie; brother-in-law William Schwartz; cousin Sol. Maizner; and Sol's wife, Gertrude. Henry was a cloth cutter in a factory; Sol was a cigar salesman jobber. In the 1930 census, the same two families were still living together at 30 Roff Ave., Palisades Park, N.J. The household was listed as Henry Knoch, 46, a jewelry broker; his wife, Madgeline, 42; their children, Mack, 18, and Patrica, 14; Madgeline's father, Albert Schwartz, 75, and her brother, William Schwartz, 30, a civil engineer; Henry's cousin Sol Maizner, 42, a commission broker; and Sol's wife, Gertrude, 41. 

  • While reading the 1880s St. Louis Jewish newspapers and researching the Knochs, a surname that kept popping up was Maizner. Herman and Moritz Maizner from Breslau had been among the founders, along with Marie and Adolph Knoch, of the B'nai Amoona Congregation in St. Louis in 1882-1884. In March 1886, Moritz Maizner was married to Henrietta Scheye in the home of Louis Kober, and the bride had been staying in the home of Louis's brother-in-law (the bride's uncle) Adolph Knoch, the Jewish Free Press reported. In 1888, according to the Missouri Secretary of State's naturalization records database, "L. Kober" had been the witness to "Hermann" Maizner's naturalization. And in 1896, Herman Maizner returned the favor, as he was the witness for "Lewis" Kober's naturalization. A search of the Ellis Island Foundation online database showed that Henriette Maizner returned from a trip to Germany with her aunt Marie Knoch, arriving in New York on Sept. 4, 1903, aboard the S.S. Furst Bismarck from Cuxhaven (part of Hamburg), Germany. Both were identified as U.S. citizens.  (The Ellis Island database also showed that Herman Maizner, who was born in 1848, returned to Ellis Island in New York City on Jan. 17, 1893, aboard the Steamship Gallia out of Liverpool and Queenstown, England. At the time, he was already a U.S. citizen and was described as a 45-year-old cigarmaker returning from a visit to Germany. [When Leopold Kober first arrived in the U.S. in 1864, he was also a cigarmaker.]) In a 1908 article in The Jewish Voice of St. Louis about the wedding of my grandparents Martha Daust and Henry Fischer, the guest list included Mr. and Mrs. M. Maizner. My next step was to check the Missouri Secretary of State's death certificate database for Maizners. At that time, in April 2006, the certificates from 1910-1920 were available online for viewing and printing out; those for other years were available for ordering. Herman Maizner died in 1925, and his certificate was available for ordering. Moritz Maizner died of cancer in 1911, and his certificate could be printed out. Moritz's widow, Henrietta, died in 1916 at the age of 58 when she was run over by an automobile near her home in St. Louis, and her certificate could also be printed out. Her certificate had a key fact that suddenly added the Maizner name to my family tree: Her mother's maiden name was Rose Kober! So, who was Rose? Henrietta Maizner was born circa 1858, her death certificate said. Could Henrietta have been the daughter of another sibling of Louis and Leopold Kober, Maria Knoch and Ernestine Fischer? There was no Rose Kober on our family tree, but I recalled having seen discussions on the JewishGen mailing list of how Jewish given names had been Americanized. The JewishGen mailing list archives showed that in 1999, one subscriber had queried members about what a relative named Rose in America might have been called in the old country. One of the consensus possibilities was the name Raschke. On our family tree is Raschke Kober, who was born in Kempen, Posen, Prussia (Kepno, Poland), in 1836. She would have been around age 22 when Henrietta was born. Using the date of death from Henrietta Maizner's death certificate, on another visit to the St. Louis County Public Library, I was able to find obituaries saying she was survived by two sons, Sol and Isidore. The Missouri Secretary of State's Web site said Isadore Maizner died in December 1952. A call to the United Hebrew Cemetery, where he is buried, provided the exact date. And so, Isadore's obituary from the Post-Dispatch on microfilm at the library listed three married surviving daughters, Mrs. Roslynd Singer, Mrs. Henrietta Hochschild and Mrs. Marion Perkoff, bringing us one step closer to more living Kober cousins. A Google search for Roslynd Maizner brought up a link to the Post-Dispatch obituary index on the St. Louis Public Library Web site saying that she had died in late April 1993. Another Google search for Henrietta Hochschild brought up a link to a page on the Webster University Web site about Henrietta Maizner Hochschild's donation of more than 3,000 children's books to the university library. It said Henrietta died Feb. 4, 2000. (In further pursuit of the Maizners, I placed another call to B'nai Amoona Congregation and learned that Herman Maizner had died Aug. 21, 1925, and that Helena Maizner, who I suspect may have been his wife, died May 3, 1925. A call to Rosenbloom Monument Co. confirmed Isidore Maizner's death date of Dec. 13, 1952, and added that of this wife, Lottie, as Feb. 23, 1959.) Finally, an online search of St. Louis Post-Dispatch articles from recent years turned up the February 2000 death notice for Henrietta Hochschild. It listed the names of her three children and other descendants. Using zabasearch, I found an address for her sister Marion Perkoff in Columbia, Mo., and addresses for her children and grandchildren in Vermont and Texas.

  • I mentioned above having found the July 10, 1907, obituary of Max Knoch. It mentioned his surviving brothers, Louis, Henry and Joe Knoch. I knew about Joe because he was Michael and Bob Hirsh's grandfather, but I didn't know about Louis and Henry Knoch. I still have not been able to find out about Louis, but I did track down Henry Knoch in the 1920 census. In 1920, Henry Knoch was a 37-year-old cloth cutter in a factory. He was living in Palisades Park, NJ, with his wife, Madeline, 32; their son, Maxilian (unsure about that spelling), 7; their daughter, Patrice, 3 years 4 months; Henry's mother, Marie Kober Knoch, 72; his brother-in-law William J. Schwartz, 18; his cousin Sol Maizner, a 32-year-old cigar salesman/jobber; and another "cousin," who was actually Sol's wife, Gertrude, 28. Henry Knoch was the owner of the home, with a mortgage. The census says nothing about how large the house was. Three years earlier, in 1917, Sol Maizner had to fill out a WWI draft registration form for his St. Louis draft board in which he listed a home address on Connecticut St. in St. Louis as of June 5, 1917, but a notation dated Nov. 14, 1917, indicated a new home address in New Jersey and a business address on Broadway in NYC. Sol was described as short and stout, with blue eyes and brown hair.
    In the same year, Sol's brother, Isidore Maizner, also registered for the draft. He was described as tall and stout, with brown eyes and black hair. A point of interest to me was the fact that he was employed in St. Louis as a traveling salesman for Marglous Mfg. Co. Some 30 years earlier Abraham Marglous was the business partner and brother-in-law of my great-grandfather's brother, Adolph Daust. And a couple Marglous family members attended my grandparents' 1908 wedding. In WWII, Sol Maizner registered for the "old men's" draft at the age of 54, listing a home address on West 144th Street in NYC, where he was living with his wife, Gertrude. In 1920, when Sol Maizner was living with his cousin Henry Knoch in New Jersey, Sol's brother Isadore, 30, a traveling clothing salesman, was living in a rental house on Etzel in St. Louis with his wife, Charlotte, 29; their daughters Roslyndine, 5, and Henrietta, 2 years 6 months; and a 16-year-old servant named Marie Mayer. An interesting discovery that surfaced in the 1910 census was the fact that Henry Knoch's brother Ludwig and their uncle Leopold Kober were next door neighbors on Clara Avenue in St. Louis. In 1910, Ludwig, 30, a cutter in a clothing factory, was living with his wife, Julia, 27, at 1360a Clara (the upstairs apartment in what is called in Chicago a two-flat, but in St. Louis is known as a flat). At the same time, Leopold Kober, 70, whose "occupation" was described as "own income," was living with his second wife, Bertha, 47; and Bertha's son, Joseph T. Weile (?), 23, at 1364 Clara (the downstairs apartment in the building next door to 1360). Both apartments were rental units.

  • A new subscription to to enabled me to compare the 1910 and 1920 census records of Mildred Cohen (nee Horn) and her birth family. Mildred's father and mother were Israel and Ida Horn. Israel immigrated to the U.S. by himself in 1904, according to the 1910 census. His wife Ida and their two oldest daughters, Sadie and "Mollie," immigrated a year later. In 1910, Israel Horn worked as a street peddler and his family lived at 199 Forsyth St. in Manhattan, NYC. Ten years later he was described as a peddlar of general merchandise and the family lived at 76 Ludlow St., New York, NY. On April 15, 1910, when the census was taken, the family was listed as Israel Horn, age 34; his wife, Ida, 29, both of whom were born in Russia and spoke Yiddish; and their five children: Sadie, 9, and Mollie, 6, both of whom were born in Russia and spoke Yiddish; and Sam, 5, Fannie, 4, and Frida, 1 year 7 months, who were born in New York. Ten years later, on Jan. 10, 1920, when the census was taken, the family was listed as Israel, 46; Ida, 39; Mildred, 16; Samuel, 14; Francis, 13; Fredia, 11; Harry, 9; and Evelyn, 6. Between the two censuses, the family not only aged, it grew. Sadie, who would have been about age 19 in 1920 either got married and moved out, or died. Mollie's name was changed to Mildred. (I considered the possibility that she had been listed as Millie in the 1910 census, but the census taker's handwriting was excellent and he had dotted all the i's, so "Mollie" might have changed her name to further Americanize it.) Sam became Samuel. Fannie became Francis. Freda became Fredia. And Harry and Evelyn were born after the 1910 census. A couple other documents about the family were shown on "Ezrael Horn" of 199 Forsyth St. filed a petition for naturalization with the New York County Supreme Court on Nov. 20, 1911. (The 1910 census indicated he became a citizen in 1912.) On Sept. 12, 1918, at the age of 44, Ezrael Horn of 76 Ludlow St. registered for the World War I military draft. He was a self-employed peddler, and his nearest relative was his wife, Ida. He was described as of medium height and slender build with brown eyes and brown and gray hair. The draft registration form said he was born July 15, 1874, but there was an added notation: "Says age on citizenship paper incorrect."

  • Louis Kober was born in 1841 as Luser Kober in Kempen, Posen, Prussia (today Kepno, Poland). Here is some information I obtained from and other sources about him and some of his descendants. At the age of 23, he arrived in the U.S. at Castle Garden, New York City, on Nov. 1, 1864, aboard the S.S. Germania accompanied by his sister Ernestine, 28; Auguste Kober, a 34-year-old woman; and Edye Kober, a 3-year-old child. We do not know who Auguste and Edye were or how they might have been related. According to the U.S. census, in 1880, Louis Kober, age 38, a dry goods dealer, was living at 820 Market St., St. Louis, Mo., with his wife, Minnie, age 24; their son, Samuel, age 3; and their daughter, Carrie, age 2. They had a "servant," Mary Schneider, age 22, living with them. That 1880 census was taken on Nov. 8. I had previously received information that they had another child, Fannie, who had been born Oct. 30, 1880, so I don't know why she wasn't included in that census. Fannie died Oct. 6, 1881. In 1886, Louis and Minnie had another child, Solomon, who only lived until 1889. Another puzzling thing that surfaced on concerned the death of Louis Kober's wife, Minnie. A Minnie Kober who lived at 909 Franklin St., St. Louis, is listed twice, once as having died on May 26, 1888, and once as having died on Oct. 2, 1888. Both Minnies lived at 909 Franklin. However, I am using May 26 in the family tree because the Jewish Special Interest Group of the St. Louis Genealogical Society has a cemetery database that says she died May 27, 1888, which I suspect was the burial date. As you may know, the 1890 census was destroyed in a fire. But in an 1890 city directory of St. Louis, Louis Kober was listed as a traveling salesman residing at 1111 S. 13th St. In the 1900 Census, Louis Kober, 59, a cigarmaker, was living with his son Samuel, 23, a Post Office clerk; his daughter Carrie, 21, a saleswoman; his daughter Flora, 17; and his son Arthur, 15, at 1709a Goode Ave., St. Louis. (The "a" in the address designates the upstairs apartment of a two-unit building. Goode Avenue is not a street name in St. Louis today, but I have verified that it was a real street as recently as 1930. The Kobers' home street probably was near and intersected with the 4200 block of Cote Brilliante Avenue, because that was listed on the same census sheet.) By the time of the 1910 census, Louis Kober's family had split up in terms of where they lived. In 1910, Louis, age 68 and still working as a cigarmaker in a factory, was living in a rooming house at 1423 Pendleton Ave., St. Louis. The rooming house was owned by a Horowitz family, and one other roomer, an Armin Friedlander, 24, was also rooming there. The 1910 census says Louis Kober immigrated to the U.S. from Germany in 1860. In 1910, Louis's son Arthur A. Kober, 26, a clerk for a builder, was living at 1717 Pacific St., Philadelphia, Pa. He was listed as a "cousin" of the homeowner: Mose W. Frankel, 32, a telegraph operator (who had been born in Missouri); Moses' wife, Viola R., 32; and their son, Joseph A. Frankel, 1. We don't know how Arthur was related to the Frankels, but Alan Kober has confirmed that it was Moses Frankel who told Arthur to come to Philadelphia since he had met a few nice Jewish girls there. Also in 1910, Louis's son Samuel Kober, 32, a jewelry salesman; Samuel's wife, Myra Arnold Kober, 24; and his sister Flora, 27, a nurse at a hospital, were living at 4232a W. Belle Place, St. Louis. In 1918, both brothers, Samuel and Arthur, had to register for the draft in World War I. Arthur Aaron Kober, age 34, listed his home address as 130 W. Wyoming Ave., Philadelphia. He was employed as a building construction estimator for Melody & Keating on Race Street in Philadelphia. Arthur was described as being tall, of medium build, with gray eyes and brown hair. In 1918, Samuel Kober, age 41, of 5789 Westminster St., St. Louis, was a diamond merchant for Harris & Kober Co. He was of medium height and medium build, with grey eyes and a bald head. In the 1920 census, Arthur A. Kober, 35, a general superintendent for a building contractor, was still living at 130 W. Wyoming Ave., Philadelphia, with his wife, Lillian Arnold Kober, 43; their son, Louis A., 7; and their daughter, Katherine A., 4 years 5 months. At the same time, Samuel Kober, 42, an importer of diamonds, was still living at 5789 Westminster St., St. Louis, with his wife, Myra, 34; Myra's mother, Miriam Arnold, 67; and Samuel's sister, Flora Kober, 36, a nurse. Their next door neighbors were the family of Myra's brother Lewis T. Arnold, 42, production manager of an electrical company. In the 1930 census, Samuel Kober, 52, a wholesale dealer of diamonds, was living at 726 Harvard, University City, Mo., with his wife, Myra, 44; their daughter, Muriel, 7; Myra's brother, Simon J. Arnold, 49, also a wholesale dealer of diamonds; Simon's sons, Simon J. Jr., 13, and Richard Arnold, 7; Myra's mother, Miriam Arnold, 74; and a niece, Lois Erber, 19. I was unable to find Arthur Kober or his wife, Lillian, in the 1930 census. In 1937, Flora Kober took a trip to Bermuda. She is listed as having returned to New York City on April 14, 1937, aboard the S.S. Monarch of Bermuda, which had departed from Hamilton, Bermuda, on April 12, 1937. Flora was listed as age 45 and as having been born in St. Louis in 1892. This conflicts with the census data and her obituary, which indicate that she was born in 1882, which would have made her age 54 in 1937. Flora was accompanied on her Bermuda trip by another woman, Priscilla Valentine, 65, (born 1872 in Charlestown, S.C.). Both Flora and Ms. Valentine gave their home address as 136 W. 76th St., New York, N.Y. In 1942, Arthur Kober, at the age of 57, registered for the military draft of World War II. He was living at 130 W. Abbottsford, Philadelphia, Pa., with his wife, Lilian. At that time he owned a business at 1616 W. Thompson St., Philadelphia. Arthur was described as 5 feet 3 inches tall, 150 pounds, with blue eyes, red hair and a ruddy complexion.

  • On Jan. 7, 1920, the U.S. census taker visited Morris Cohen, a 24-year-old stationery store owner, in his apartment at 914 167th St., Bronx, N.Y. Living with Morris were his wife, Rebecca, 23; their 5-month-old son, Philipp; and Morris's brother, Sam Cohen, 25, who was working in an embroidery factory. According to the 1920 census, Morris Cohen immigrated to the U.S. in 1907 and became a naturalized citizen in 1912. His wife immigrated in 1910 and became a citizen in 1912. Sam Cohen immigrated to the U.S. in 1910 and became a citizen in 1915. I was unable to find Morris Cohen and his family in the 1930 census, but I did find Sam's family. On April 14, 1930, the U.S. census taker visited Samuel Cohen, 35, an embroidery salesman, in his apartment at 5574 Cote Brilliante Ave., St. Louis, Mo. Sam paid $60 a month to rent the apartment. Sam was living with his wife, Mildred F., 27, and their daughter, Shirley F., 4. The census noted that Sam had been age 30 and Mildred had been 22 when they got married, so they got married in 1925. According to the 1930 census, both Sam and Mildred had been born in Russia. It repeated the 1910 immigration year for Sam; Mildred's immigration year was marked unknown. But we know from the 1910 and 1920 censuses that Mildred Horn (who was identified as Mollie Horn in the 1910 census) immigrated from Russia in 1904 or 1905. In 1920 Mildred Horn and Sam Cohen were both working in an embroidery factory in New York City, so that is probably where they met.

  • In 1912, my great-grandmother Ernestine Kober Fischer's will was witnessed by Sol Maizner (a grandson of Rose Kober) and Leo Dzialowski. Ernestine Fischer died on Feb. 20, 1924 in St. Louis, and on March 3, 1924, a Bergen County, N.J., notary public certified that Sol Maizner swore that he had witnessed her will. But who was Leo Dzialowski? The 1920 U.S. Census showed Leo Dzialowski, age 47, a cigar store agent, living with his wife, Mary, 49; son Erwin, 20, a Measuregraph Co. supervisor; son Morris, 15; and daughter Rosie, 18, at 817 Morgan St., St. Louis, Mo. At some point after 1920, some, if not all, members of this family changed their surname from Dzialowski to the more American-sounding Field. Leo's wife Mary Field (identified as Marie Dzialowsky on Leo's World War I Draft Registration form) died on Jan. 15, 1950, in the Elms Nursing Home in Jennings, Mo., according to her death certificate, which is now available for free on the Missouri Secretary of State's Web site. This death certificate identifies Mary as a daughter of Morris Scheye. As we know from my earlier research, Morris Scheye's wife's maiden name was Raschke (Rose) Kober. So, Mary/Marie Scheye/Dzialowski/Field and any of her descendants are also Kober cousins! The connection between the Kobers and the Dzialowskis may possibly even go further back in time and place to the early 19th Century in Kempen, Posen, Prussia, where the Kobers lived before immigrating to the U.S. The name Dzialowski could itself be a shortened form of the name Dzialowsczynski. Members of the latter family and the Kober family were witnesses for each others' marriages and births in Kempen, according to the early Jewish records microfilmed by the Latter-day Saints. Kempen was also the home of many Scheye family members. In addition, the St. Louis death certificate for Herman Maizner (a cousin of Moritz Maizner, whose wife, Henrietta, was a daughter of Raschke [Rose] Kober Scheye) says he was born in Kempen. So, in addition to the Kobers, it is very likely that their relatives from the Scheye, Dzialowski/Field and Maizner families also originated in Kempen.

  • Adolph Knoch (husband of Marie Kober Knoch), died in the St. Louis Insane Asylum on Wednesday, July 24, 1901, at age 54 according to the online death record on the Missouri Secretary of State's Web site. The cause of death listed on the death record was dementia paralytics---also known as dementia paralytica, general paralysis of the insane or general paresis---an ailment associated with advanced syphillis. The online death record incorrectly locates the insane asylum at 1015 Selby Place, which was actually the Knoch home address according to the 1900 U.S. Census. That census had listed Adolph as a traveling salesman one year before his death living at home with his wife, Mary, their sons, Max, Ludwig, Henry and Joseph, and two unrelated male boarders. The St. Louis Insane Asylum was actually located on Arsenal Street. The Secretary of State's online record and the listing of Adolph's burial permit published in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat of July 26, 1901, incorrectly list his surname as Knock. But there is no doubt that this was Adolph Knoch, because of the paid death notice that was correctly spelled in the July 25, 1901, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which listed his immediate survivors and noted that the funeral would take place from the residence, 1015 Selby Place. Adolph was buried July 26, 1901, in Shereth Israel Cemetery, which belonged to B'nai Amoona Congregation.

  • Sept. 13, 1889, the Jewish Voice, a weekly newspaper in St. Louis, noted the following: "Mr. Louis Kober has received notice of engagement from Breslau, Germany, of Miss Bertha Haurwitz to Rabbi Dr. Victor Grabowski of Konitz, West Prussia. The young lady is a daughter of Mr. Louis Kober's sister. We congratulate our friend Kober." This notice raised the possibility of discovering another previously unknown branch of the Kober family---one that stayed in Germany instead of immigrating to the U.S.

  • Since discovering in an 1889 St. Louis Jewish newspaper the above announced engagement of a Kober family member in Breslau, Germany (Wroclaw, Poland), I posted a query about this announcement in several Jewish genealogy mailing lists. A few experienced genealogists who saw my information quickly responded with some very interesting facts concerning the engaged couple: ---I was mistaken about the location of the groom's hometown. Rabbi Dr. Victor Grabowski was from Konitz in West Prussia, which is now Chojnice, Poland, in the Wojwodship of Pomerania. ---Victor Grabowski of Konitz, age 26, son of Loebel G. and Marianne Szafir, married Johanna Bertha Haurwitz, age 23, daughter of Isidor Haurwitz and Linna Kober Haurwitz, in Breslau toward the end of 1889. In the Breslau Jewish community records, this marriage is entered on 29 Dec 1889. ---Heppner & Herzberg's history of the Jewish communities of Posen includes a mention of R. Dr. Victor Grabowski on p. 523.  He's listed among sons and daughters of the city of Kempen (same place as the Kobers); was born there in 1863; studied in Berlin; was rabbi in Konitz from 1889 to 1899 (good timing--the pogrom was in 1900!); and thereafter rabbi in Barmen, which is now part of Wuppertal in the Rhineland. He is said to have published articles in magazines. ---Haurwitz is an unusual spelling, reminiscent of Jewish-German, which often uses "au" for "o" where  Yiddish might use "oi." ---The couple had a daughter, Alice, who was born in 1892 in Konitz. Alice, a physician until 1939, committed suicide in 1944 in Koln (umlaut o). She killed herself in order to avoid an interrogation by the Gestapo, according to an online biography of her second husband at Her married name was Alice Haubrich-Gottschalk (nee Grabowski). She had one son who died during World War II in the same month that Alice killed herself. There is a listing for Alice posted on this German web site: ---Victor Grabowski received his doctorate at Leipzig University in 1889, the same year as his marriage. A copy of his doctoral thesis about the Syriac poet Josefs von Mar Narses, known as Narsai, is available from the Center for Research Libraries at the University of Chicago. So, you may wonder, how are we related to these people? And where do they fit on our extended Kober family tree? Our Kober family members were from Kempen, Posen, Prussia. I have carefully scanned through and had translated Jewish birth records from the Latter Day Saints showing Louis Kober and his nine siblings being born there from 1830 through 1846. These records show the same woman giving birth to 10 children over a 16-year stretch, but 1846 or 1847 is when those Kempen LDS records end. So the fact that Bertha Haurowitz's mother's maiden name was Linna Kober raises these questions: Was there an 11th Kober child named Linna born after the Kempen LDS records, or was Linna an alternative name for one of Louis's known sisters? I have documented descendants of five of these 10 Kober siblings. Among those that I have NOT been able to document were Basche, born 1846; Lea, born 1835; and Rivke, born 1830. I had assumed that Basche was most likely Bertha's mother because of the timing, but Lea sounds more like the name Linna. What do you think? How likely is it that someone born in 1835 would be the parent of someone who got married in 1889? Lea is quite conceivably the same person as Linna, because she would have been about 31 years old when Bertha was born.

  • The Kansas City Star published a brief note on June 19, 1919, saying: "Mrs. N.L. Ziman [nee Lillian Landman] will leave tonight for a short visit with her brother, Mr. J.S. [Joseph "Jack"] Landman, in Chicago."

  • On Nov. 26, 1919, the Kansas City Star published a short article saying that the grocer at 3108 Southwest Blvd., a Mr. Bedow, had been charged with second degree burglary in the theft of 223 pairs of overshoes, valued at $185, from Mrs. Rebecca Landman's store at 3107 Southwest Blvd. Police said they found one pair of overshoes under Mr. Bedow's bed at the rear of his store. Bedow denied any knowledge of how the overshoes came there. The grocer was sent to jail and bail was set at $1,200.

  • In December 2009 I used the professional online networking site LinkedIn to discover two brothers who are third cousins of mine, Tsachi and Eyal Frishberg. I had them on our family tree because of information provided years earlier by their aunt, Ahuva Frishberg Jolles, but had not been in contact with them until I discovered their names on LinkedIn.

  • In February 2010, the Missouri Historical Society posted an online database of names mentioned in various publications, documents and records in their holdings. These included an 11-volume set of scrapbooks titled "Missourians in the European War," most of which comprise newspaper clippings from 1917-20. Two articles mentioned Leo Dzialowski, my first cousin twice removed. Because he was born in Kempen, Posen, Prussia, and was not yet naturalized, he was considered an "enemy alien" during World War I. Two newspaper articles published in mid-May 1917 included him among 122 enemy aliens whose movements within St. Louis were to be restricted. The local U.S. marshal mailed them blank permit forms they were required to fill out in order to obtain permission from the U.S. district attorney "to remain in the restricted zones where they live and to enter other zones where they are employed." Once approved, they would be able to use the forms as passes to enter the restricted zones after June 10, 1917, when the enemy alien zone restrictions would become effective, the newspapers said. The passes would include their photo and a detailed description, and specify where they live and work. The aliens would be subject to arrest if found in any other restricted zones.

  • In February 2010, I obtained naturalization records for Jacob Levin from the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries. His petition for naturalization, filed April 1, 1915, said he was in the carting business in Grand Rapids, Mich., had been born Aug. 15, 1880,  in Mogilof, Russia, and had emigrated from Copenhagen, Denmark, aboard the Etruria, arriving at Ellis Island on or about June 4, 1904. His wife, Bessie, was born Sept. 1, 1888, in Mogilof, Russia. They had three children, all of whom were born in Chicago: Joseph, born Dec. 18, 1907; Rebecca, born Aug. 15, 1909; Fannie, born May 3, 1913. When Jacob filed the petition in 1915, he had been living in Michigan since Aug. 15, 1911. (This date raises questions about the notation on his petition about his daughter Fannie's birthplace: She had been identified elsewhere as Mayme Fannie Levin and as having been born in Grand Rapids, which makes more sense). His declaration of intention, filed Oct. 29, 1918, indicated he was a laborer living in Grand Rapids, Mich., had been born on Aug. 15, 1880, in Mogilof, Russia, and had emigrated from Copenhagen, Denmark, on the vessel Etruria via Liverpool, England, arriving at Ellis Island, New York, on or about July 4, 1904. Jacob Levin took the oath of allegiance to the United States on Sept. 21, 1921, in Grand Rapids. Despite incorrect arrival dates, these documents enabled me to find Jacob Levin's ship's arrival record from the Ellis Island web site. He in fact arrive July 17, 1904, at Ellis Island aboard the Etruria from Liverpool, England, with an  intended destination of Philadelphia, home of a friend, R. Schatz (sp?). Jacob's listed age, 24, indicated a birth year of 1880; his nationality was Russian; his ethnicity was Hebrew; his occupation was listed as sailor (perhaps he worked his way across the Atlantic), and his last residence was Malmo, Sweden.  On the ship's manifest, Jacob was the 23rd and last person listed on the page. There was a note at the bottom of the page that said: "No. 23. Baggage disinfected. See sheet G." Several other passengers listed on other sheets also had their baggage disinfected. Sheet G had a note indicating the disinfectant had been applied in Liverpool. Jacob's wife, Bessie, is believed to have arrived in Ellis Island, New York, on Feb. 21, 1906, aboard the Zeeland, which had sailed from Antwerp, Belgium. On the ship's manifest, she was identified as Beile Serlin, age 18, indicating a birth year of 1888; her nationality was Russian and her ethnicity, Hebrew; her last residence was Brest Litovsk, Russia; and her destination was Philadelphia, home of a brother-in-law, Moische Goldberg, and a Mr. Louisfeld. This arrival information raises the possibility that Jacob Levin met his future wife in Philadelphia. I have not been able to identify or find information about Schatz?, Goldberg or Louisfeld. (An interesting irony in the story of Jacob Levin is the fact that one of the witnesses who signed his petition for naturalization, Bernard Solomon of Grand Rapids, Mich., originally of Romania, arrived in the U.S. on July 12, 1904, only five days before Jacob arrived, and he arrived on same ship, the Zeeland, which two years later would carry Bessie to Ellis Island. Their paths would cross in Grand Rapids.)

  • In April 2012, the 1940 U.S. Census became available, leading to the discovery of additional family history data. For example, Elda Duke was living apart from her husband, Orell. She and their two children were residing in Paducah, Ky, while Orell was living in Rosiclare, Ill., where he was employed as an Illinois Central Railway agent. Because the 1940 census was, at least initially, not indexed by name, the home address was needed to find a person's census record. This necessitated a review of other records that may contain home addresses, such as the 1942 military draft registrations and the 1930 U.S. Census. Because the subscription website is constantly adding new documents, the search for addresses uncovered previously unknown documents. One such example was the emergency U.S. passport application filed on Aug. 7, 1914 (about a week after the start of World War I), with the U.S. Consulate General in Berlin, Germany, by Herbert Daust, a salesman from St. Louis who had left the U.S. on Dec. 15, 1913, and was temporarily residing in Berlin. On Dec. 3, 1914, Daust filed an application for a passport with the U.S. Embassy in Berlin attesting to his intent to use the passport for the next two years to visit European countries on business as a representative of Salamander Schuh-Gesellschaft, a shoe company.

  • The search for addresses for the 1940 U.S. Census indirectly led to a previously unknown branch of the Steinberg family. had Social Security Death Index information concerning Grace Schwartz, daughter of Belle Steinberg Schwartz and Morris Schwartz. The SSDI listing found on indicated that Grace's married name was Weidenthal. also had photos of Grace with her husband, Maurice Bud Weidenthal, and of their daughter, Susan Weidenthal Saltzman. Susan was identified as the wife of Bill Saltzman in the photo caption. A Google search of Susan and Bill Saltzman led to a website ( from The Temple-Tiphereth Israel in Cleveland that mentioned their daughters' 2006 confirmation. Searching separately on for Susan Saltzman and Bill Saltzman in Ohio led to their address and phone numbers.

  • While doing some family history research on in May 2012, I discovered Minnie Romansky's grandmother's ship's arrival at Castle Garden in New York City on Sept. 15, 1883. Rosa Romansky, age 37, traveled across the Atlantic Ocean from Sweden via Bremen, Germany, and Southampton, England, without her husband. But she was not alone--her five children ranging in age from 7 years to 3 months--came with her. They were on their way to Nashville, Tenn., where Rosa's husband, Joseph, was already living and working as a bookkeeper in his brothers' hides and feathers business.    

  • In December 2012, my third cousin Victor Weisskopf sent me several Kober family photos that were taken Dec. 24, 1911, at Julia Knoch's birthday party. My family tree database listed her twice, once with a maiden name of Julia Eppstein and married to Ludwig J. Knoch, and once as Julia Epstein, married to his cousin Joseph Kober. In trying to discover more about Julia Epstein/Knoch/Kober, I found an interesting chronology of documents that suggests that the two Julias on my family tree were the same person and that she was married first to Ludwig Knoch and then to his first cousin Joseph Kober. In trying to discover more about Julia Epstein/Knoch/Kober, I found an interesting chronology of documents that suggests that the two Julias on my family tree were the same person and that she was married first to Ludwig Knoch and then to his first cousin Joseph Kober. Victor found that this conclusion appears to be verified by the Social Security Death Index listing for Julia Kober, which states that her birthdate was Dec. 25, one day after Julia Knoch's 1911 birthday party that was shown in the photos.

    This is somewhat speculative because I don't have a divorce record, but here is the chronology:

    ---In the 1910 U.S. Census, Julia and Ludwig Knoch are living together as husband and wife. They were actually enumerated twice--on April 20, 1910, living with Ludwig's mother, Mary, and brother, Joseph Knoch, at 4222 Evans Ave., St. Louis; and on April 27, 1920, living by themselves at 1360 Clara Ave., St. Louis. On July 24, 2010, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a social note saying that Marian Eppstein of Kansas City, Mo., was visiting her "sister and brother, Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Knoch."
    ---Dec. 24, 1911, Julia Knoch is photographed at her birthday party with her arm over the shoulder of Joseph Kober. Ludwig Knoch is not seen in any of the photos from her party.
    ---Sept. 12, 1918, Ludwig Jean Knoch registers for the military draft in New York City. He lists his contact as his mother, Marie, and says she is living in New Jersey.
    ---Jan. 6, 1920, Julia and Joseph Kober are listed in the U.S. Census as living together as husband and wife at 6018 Kingsbury Ave., St. Louis.
    ---May 20, 1920, Ludwig Knoch married Louise Koch in Manhattan, NYC, according to the vital records database of the Italian Genealogy Group of New York City.
    ---April 9, 1930, Joseph Kober and his wife Julia are living at the Washington Hotel in St. Louis, according to the U.S. Census.
    ---April 24, 1930, L.J. Knoch and his wife Louise A. Knoch are living at 7 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan, NYC., acco
    rding to the U.S. Census.

  • The Dec. 24, 1911, photos from Julia Knoch's birthday party included three Brasch family members: Isidor, Fanny and George. I don't know anything yet about Fanny Brasch, but I found out that George Brasch was married and worked as a bank teller in St. Louis in the early 20th Century, according to a couple social notes published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In June 1908, the Post-Dispatch published a death notice for Henrietta Brasch (nee Rosentreter) that listed Henrietta's surviving children as Hanna, Isidor, Samuel Meyer, Moritz Gerson and Freda Eisenkramer (nee Brasch). Her son Isidor Brasch was a first cousin of Joseph R. Knoch's wife, Amy Rosentreter Knoch (niece of Henrietta Brasch). Isidor Brasch's connection to the Rosentreter family also involved a business relationship. The 1895 St. Louis city directory showed him working as a clerk at the Rosentreter Jewelry Co. The 1913 city directory listed him as employed by Rosentreter-Brasch & Co., 706 Chestnut St., St. Louis. According to the 1920 U.S. Census, Isidor Brasch and his wife, Lillie, were the parents of Erwin Brasch, whose future wife, Dorothy Kellner, first introduced my mother to my father in 1947 or 1948 at a dance at the Jewish Community Center Association in St. Louis. 

    Expanding the Kober family tree: In late 2012 and early 2013, partly due to the emergence online of new records and partly due to luck, I have found more Kober cousins, all of whom are descended from Rose Kober, whose given birth name was Raschke Kober. Rose Kober was a sister of my great-grandmother Ernestine Kober Fischer. The new names I have added to the family tree include: David Samuels, my third cousin; and four siblings, Theodore J. Rachofsky, Alana O'Neil (nee Rachofsky), Susan Rachofsky and Mindy Rachofsky, my third cousins once removed. 

    For several years, starting in the late 1990s, I spent hours diligently reading through the microfilm of old St. Louis Jewish newspapers in search of references to my family, some of whom had arrived in St. Louis as early as 1865. In March 2006, while visiting the St. Louis County Public Library’s main branch, I came across an interesting short item in the March 12, 1886, edition of the Free Press, an English language St. Louis Jewish weekly newspaper. In a page of social notes, the newspaper reported that Miss Henrietta Scheye and Mr. Moritz Meizner [Maizner] would be getting married in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Kober on March 21, 1886. Furthermore, the item noted that the bride had been living in the home of her uncle, Mr. Adolph Knoch.

    At the time, I did not know who Henrietta Scheye and Moritz Maizner were, but I knew that Louis Kober—in whose home the marriage ceremony was to take place—was my great-grandmother’s brother. In addition, I had learned only a few days earlier from my elderly aunt that her father—my paternal grandfather—had cousins named Knoch. Later I learned that Adolph Knoch—in whose home the 1886 bride was staying—was Louis Kober’s and my great-grandmother’s  brother-in-law.

    To pin down how Henrietta Scheye and Moritz Maizner were related to me, I turned to a traditional genealogical research tool: Henrietta Maizner’s October 1916 death certificate identified her parents as Morris Scheye and Rose Kober. With this information, I knew that the connection to my family was through the Kober line. One of my great-grandmother Ernestine Kober Fischer’s siblings was born Raschke Kober on Oct. 2, 1836, according to the Jewish records from Kempen, Posen, Prussia (Kepno, Poland) that I had transcribed decades ago from the Church of Latter-day Saints microfilm. Raschke is a Jewish name that is often Americanized to Rose.

    Consequently, any descendants of Henrietta Scheye or her siblings would be related to me because of their mother’s Kober ancestry. Henrietta had two siblings—Max B. Scheye and Mary Scheye. The 1910 U.S. Census showed that Max Scheye’s children were Pauline and Carrie.

    On Nov. 21, 1910, the Denver Post published a brief announcement of Pauline Scheye’s engagement to Aaron L. Rachofsky. More than a year ago, when I found this notice in an online historical newspaper database, I did further research into Aaron and found several articles that I saved to my computer but decided to delay any additional effort until some time when I would have extra free time.

    Fast forward  now to December 2012, when I renewed my subscription to, the major genealogical website. As I do periodically, I decided to use that site and others to search for new records concerning known relatives of mine. One of the names I looked for was Joseph Scheye Field. An online directory of death notices indicated that an obituary for him had been published in the Chicago Tribune on July 31, 1997. Although I did not find the actual death notice in the Chicago Tribune’s own database, using’s Jewish records, I found him listed in a database of U.S. selected Jewish obituaries, which had been provided to Ancestry by JewishGen. It said Joseph S. Field had been buried in Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago.

    When I called the cemetery to ask for any information about his family, they told me to come in to their office and they would try to help me. On Jan. 10, 2013, I drove up to Rosehill and was given a map showing where to find his grave. After several minutes, I easily found the Field headstone that listed Joseph S., 1919-1997; Carrie S., 1880-1959; and Edward, 1885-1948—Joseph Scheye Field and his parents, Carrie Scheye Field and A. Edward Field.

    As I usually do when conducting a genealogical visit to a cemetery, I perused the nearby graves, finding another familiar family name—Kohner—nearby, but this plot had the names of Max, 1866-1959; and Elizabeth, 1881-1952, whose connection to my Weisskopf cousins has not been determined.

    As I started walking back to my car, I was stunned to find that on the reverse side of the Field family headstone was the name Rachofsky! Two different families were sharing the same headstone. The Rachofsky side listed Aaron L., 1882-1946; and Pauline S., 1879-1961.

    I knew the Rachofsky family was somehow related to me, but at the time I did not recall the details. When I returned home, I eagerly opened up my Family Tree Maker database of relatives and found that I had lacked the death years for most of those listed on the Rachofsky/Field grave marker. But it became clear that the reason for the shared headstone was the fact that Pauline S. Rachofsky and Carrie S. Field were sisters—the daughters of Max B. Scheye.

    The new data provided me with the incentive to explore the online Chicago Tribune database that I could access through my public library. I easily found the death notices for Pauline S. Rachofsky (1961); her son, Albert L. Rachofsky (1985); her son-in-law, Max Haber (2001); and her daughter, Rita Haber (nee Rachofsky), all of whom, were buried in Rosehill Cemetery. Each of these death notices listed survivors, making it possible for me to try to identify my previously unknown third cousins once removed whom I found on Facebook or through ZabaSearch or Alana O'Neil of Hanover Park, Ill.;  Theodore Rachofsky of Austin, Texas;  and Mindy Rachofsky of Chicago are on Facebook. I have also emailed Ted, who teaches mathematics at the Austin Community College in Texas. So far, however, no Rachofsky family members have responded to my attempts to contact them.

    One new Kober cousin who did reciprocate was Dave Samuels, 85, of St. Louis, who called me up. Here is how I discovered him:

    In 1912, my great-grandmother Ernestine Kober Fischer’s will was witnessed by Sol Maizner (a grandson of Rose Kober) and Leo Dzialowski, whom I had never heard of when I first saw this document. She died on Feb. 24, 1924, in St. Louis, and on March 3, 1924, a Bergen County, N.J., notary public certified that Sol Maizner swore that he had witnessed her will.

    So, who was Leo Dzialowski? The 1920 U.S. Census showed Leo Dzialowski, age 47, a cigar store agent, living with his wife, Mary, 49; son Erwin, 20, a Measuregraph Co. supervisor; son Morris, 15; and daughter Rosie, 18, at 817 Morgan St., St. Louis, Mo.

    At some point after 1920, some, if not all, members of this family changed their surname from Dzialowski to the more American sounding Field. Leo’s wife Mary Field (Identified as Marie Dzialowski on Leo’s World War I Draft Registration form) died on Jan. 15, 1950, in the Elms Nursing Home in Jennings, Mo., according to her death certificate, which is available for free on the Missouri secretary of state’s website. This death certificate identifies Mary as a daughter of Morris Scheye. As I knew from my earlier research, Morris Scheye’s wife’s maiden name was Rose (originally Raschke) Kober. So, Mary/Marie Scheye/Dzialowski/Field and any of her descendants are among our many Kober cousins.

    The connection between the Kobers and the Dzialowskis may possibly even go further back in time and place to the early 19th Century in Kempen, Posen, Prussia (Kepno, Poland), where the Kober family lived before immigrating to St. Louis. The name Dzialowski could be a shortened form of the name Dzialowczynski. Members of the latter family and the Kober family were witnesses for each others’ marriages and births in Kempen, according to the early Jewish records microfilmed by the Mormons. Kempen was also the home of many Scheye family members. 

    In addition, the St. Louis death certificate of Herman Maizner (a cousin of Moritz Maizner, whose wife, Henrietta, was a daughter of Raschke (Rose) Kober Scheye) says he was born in Kempen. So, in addition to the Kobers, it is very likely that their relatives in the Scheye, Dzialowski/Field and Maizner families also originated in Kempen/Kepno.

    To return to Dave Samuels' specific connection to our family, it was the U.S. Census records from 1930 and 1940 that defined his relationship to our family tree.

    In 1930, he was listed as a “son” in the household of Leo and Mary Field, along with their son Morris, son-in-law Mike Samuels and daughter Rose.

    This listing had originally led me to the wrong conclusion, because census enumerators are supposed to describe each person’s relationship to the head of the household, who in this case was Leo Field. But once the 1940 Census became available a few months ago, it became clear that Dave should have been described as the grandson in 1930.

    In the 1940 census, he was listed as living in the household of his parents, along with Mary Field, who was listed as Mike Samuels’ mother-in-law; and Morris Field, Mike Samuels’ brother-in-law.

    Finally, Mary Field’s 1950 death notice listed Mrs. Rose Samuels as one of her surviving children, which just firmed up the connection. I found Dave Samuels' mailing address on, an online telephone and address directory, and sent him a letter, which he responded to with a phone call.




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