Simon wants to solve families' mysteries

SIMON JACKSON of Barnet has unsolved mysteries surrounding families named Simon (Simons) who lived in north Manchester in 1900.

The family of Myer and Sarah Simon(s) (née Berkson) lived in Larch Street, Cheetham Hill, according to Ellis Island records of 1911.

They had eight daughters - Jane, Ettie, Lily, Fanny, Betsy, Rebecca, Annie, and Leah, born between 1874 and 1891.

Ettie married Marcus Vellensky, and that family left for New York, where Marcus ran the Manchester Waterproof Co in Manhattan. They also had eight children, and died in 1962 and 1949 respectively.

The only other daughter he has information on is Rebecca, who married Isaac Rayburn, had a daughter who died in 1976, and herself passed away in Manchester in 1957.

His other mystery revolves around the family of Marks and Rachel Simon(s) (also née Berkson).

They married in 1900 and had at least four children - Morris, Wolfe, Hetty and Rosa Simons - between 1911 and 1917, in Prestwich.

The mother's name is registered as Bergson in two cases, and Berkson in the other two.

"I assume that there must have been other children, as well, born before 1910," Simon said.

Email, telephone 07961-372972 or 020-8440 4179 or write to 39 Wycherley Crescent, Barnet, Hertfordshire EN5 1AP.

British cousins

Paula Eisenstein Baker of Texas wants to find her cousins in Britain.

Between about 1851 and 1866, Yitzchak Yosef haLevi and Chana in Lithuania had at least three sons.

The family name was Gruzinski or Shapearey

Her maternal great-grandfather was Meyer Ber Gruzinski, was born around 1851.

He arrived in Newburyport, Massachusetts, around 1887 and sent for his wife (Peshe Konachevsky) and their only child, Chaya Gittel/Gertrude (Paula's grandmother), soon after.

Two other sons moved to the UK. One was Pesach Aaron, born around 1866. He left Scotland in time to be married in Boston in 1896 and died there in 1940.

He had two sons, Sidney and Robert. In the US, Pesach Aaron used the name Henry Paul, but in a Grand Lodge of Scotland document dated February 12, 1890, he was using the name Paul Shapearey.

A third son may have been Misha. He appears in the Glasgow Census of 1881, boarding at 157 Holm Street in Barony, Lanark, Scotland.

Email or write to 2053 Dryden Road, Houston, TX 77030, USA, telephone 001 713 5229488.

Same father

Simon Phillips of Cheshire wants to trace his half-brother and half-sister.

Simon's father, Aubrey Phillips, died in 1988. His grandmother was Dora Phillips and his grandfather was Hymie Phillips.

Simon's aunt was Bernice Segal and his uncle was Ivor Sega, who owned a large carpet contracting business in the Manchester area.

Aubrey was originally married to a lady called Mita from Liverpool. He had two children with her - Neil and Shelley.

Aubrey left Mita when the children were about nine or 10 and married his mother.

Neil had red hair and the family lived in the Mosley Hill and Allerton areas of Liverpool.

Neil was educated at Carmel College and eventually obtained a degree in some form of musical discipline.

Write to Fountain House, 1 Fountain Street, Congleton, Cheshire, CW12 4BE or email

Oke to Oken

RUSSY OKEN of South Africa wants information on Solomon Oke who was born in Dusat on December 12, 1921.

When he was six, his family moved to South Africa and the name was changed to Oken.

Russy's mother-in-law, Chaie Mirrel Shusterman, married Moishe Oke and they lived in Dusat and had four children.

Write to 10, Toman Close, Toman Lane, Hyde Park, 2196, Johannesburg South Africa or email

Chester history

Hugo Gordon-Sharp of Wrexham is compiling a brief history of Chester Hebrew Congregation, including a biography of every member between 1890 and 1960.

Anyone who was a member or might have been engaged, by the Chester community, as a minister, shochet or cheder teacher should contact Hugo.

His brother-in-law Joe Viner was involved in the 1960s with a Pan-North Wales and Cheshire Jewish Revitalisation Programme. Hugo would also like to hear from anyone who might have knowledge of that programme.

Email or write to c/o Suite 20, Wisteria Court, Wrexham LL11 2AJ

Place of death

ADRIAN FREEDMAN of Ra'anana is trying to find the date and place of death of his aunt Milly Freedman (nee Tanchel) who was born about 1893 in the Orange Free State.

She emigrated to England from South Africa in the 1960s. Her brother Jack Tanchel died in 1975 and is buried in Bristol, while her daughter Shirley Freedman died in 2002 and is buried in Bath.

Adrian also wants to ascertain the relationship between Rabbi Abraham Werner, who died in London in 1912, and the sister of Adrian's great grandmother Menucha Feiga Schmulian, whose name was Minnie.

Write to PO BOX 736, Ra'anana 43106, Israel or email

Annie's family

CALIFORNIAN Cherie Allen recently discovered that her late grandmother, Annie Anenberg (Anil Pinofski), had relatives in Manchester by the name of Gilbert.

Annie married Nathan Anenberg and lived in Manchester.

Cherie was born in Manchester but has lived in the USA since 1947.

Email or write to 82 Begonia Place, Ventura, CA 93004, USA.

Prof search

PROFESSOR Ronald Asherson of South Africa is looking for the family of teacher Leib David Gordon who moved to Manchester around the mid-1800s.

A possibility is that his name or his son's name was Moshe Hillel.

Prof Asherson has some information that the Koenigsberg (Kingsley) family from Manchester stemmed from the Neustadt Gordon family and also the family who started Ciro's Pearls in the UK.

This information came from a plastic surgeon called Dr Mendel Gordon, who practised in London and died about 25 years ago.

He is also looking for any descendants of the Stung (Shtung) family from Keidan who might have emigrated to the UK.

Write to 01 Mentone Court, Riviera Rd, Killarney, Johannesburg, South Africa 2193 or email

Christian adoption

JOHN McCafferty of Lancaster would like to trace his father Jack Morris, who was in business at 162a Bath Street, Glasgow when John was born on March 12, 1939.

John only discovered he was adopted when he was 26.

His mother died when he was just 12-days-old and he was adopted by a Christian family.

Jack Morris paid the legal costs for the adoption and also the initial fostering costs according to records held by Glasgow Social Services.

Write to 61 Borrowdale Road, Lancaster LA1 3EU or telephone 01524 65531.

Check information

DAVID PEARLSTEIN of Las Vegas wants to know if he has correct information.

He believes that Isaac Levinson was his father's brother and married Sarah Hertzburg in 1937 at the New Central Synagogue on Harrogate Rd, Leeds.

Email or write to 2709 Otter Creek Ct., Unit 101, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA 89117-1736.

David's discovery

DAVID PHILLIP of St Helens made a chance discovery through the National Archives about his grandparents Philip and Yetta Goldberg.

Philip was born in October 1877 in Garvolin, Poland and Yetta (Yochved) Goldberg (nee Lerman) was born in September 1876 in Warsaw, Poland.

David knew that they had emigrated to Liverpool in 1904 but it was only when he saw his grandfather's application for naturalisation in 1927 that he discovered where they originally came from.

He also learned that his grandfather, left behind his brother, Moses (Moshe) Goldberg, and his sister, Yetta Goldberg.

"We don't know whether either of them escaped before the Holocaust," David said.

"Before we stumbled upon the archived naturalisation application, we had thought that our grandparents had married on arrival in Liverpool. I searched the civil marriages for the early 1900s, for Liverpool.

"I thought I had found their marriage details in 1906. However, when I received the copy marriage certificate, June 5, 1906, for a marriage solemnised at the Princes Road Synagogue, the groom was another Philip Goldberg, who married Rachel Cohen."

Write to 12 Tabley Gardens, St. Helens, Merseyside, WA9 5TW or email

Glasgow bakers

Caroline Fogell of Liverpool is looking for information about her grandparents Max and Yetta Fogell who ran a bakery in the Gorbals area of Glasgow from around 1903.

She would particularly like to know if the couple had any brothers or sisters - either in Scotland or elsewhere.

Write to 75 Ampthill Road, Liverpool L17 9QN or email

Name search

LEE LESTER is compiling a family tree and wants to hear from anyone whose family name is Lipsidge or Lipsich.

Louis and Minnie Lipsidge, who came from Lithuania in the 1890s, settled in Leeds. They had 11 children - Philip, Sol, Harry, Jack, Abe, Cissie, Hetty, Julie, Mary, Betty and Ruth. Some members of the family changed their surname to Lester.

Minnie had a brother called David Israel who also lived in Leeds so we would be grateful for any information you may have.

Email Lee at or write to Sheila Deitch at 9/2,Rupin Street, Tel Aviv 63576, Israel

Eldest of six

CLARE ARRON is looking for any information on her paternal grandfather, Morris Arron.

He moved to Manchester area in late 1800s from Lithuania. He was the eldest of six children and he was aged about six when the family arrived. His mother was called Hana.

Write to 12 Bank Street, Cromarty, Ross-shire, Scotland IV11 8YE or email

To make an appeal, email MIKE COHEN at Please include your home address.

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