By George... traveller never did get married

Brigid MacDermid, of Leicestershire, has traced her grandmother's birth father as being George Jacob Fellman, born 1870 in Russia.

He arrived in Britain in 1891. Brigid has found a George Fellman on the 1891 census in Manchester, aged 20 living with with a 40-year-old female, but she doesn't know if this is her great grandfather.

She does know that he lived in Birkenhead from 1899 to at least 1901 as a tailor/draper and general dealer.

He did not marry his daughter's mother, but paid maintenance.

George, who remained single, on the 1911 census he was a traveller collector staying in Wales.

On his alien registration card from 1917 to 1920, he is down as a debt collector, but his hospital records from 1920 until his death in 1924 has him as a general labourer.

They show him as being the second of 12 children - nine surviving in 1920.

"The only name we have is sister Rebecca Bloch," Brigid said.

She married Benjamin Bloch, also a traveller collector, in 1896 in Cheetham, Manchester, then moved to Glasgow and later Dundee.

Rebecca's death certificate names their parents as tailor Lazarus Fellman, born in the 1850s, and Edith Landsmann.


Shock discovery

MANCUNIAN Rod Watson recently discovered that his father was not his biological father.

Rod, who emigrated to New Zealand in 2007, had always assumed his mother's Catholic husband to be his father.

But his mother told him that she got married soon after getting pregnant to a Jewish man.

"This was a shock, totally out of the blue," Rod said. "The problem is I'm 63-years-old, and I have very little information from my mother about my biological father. She doesn't even have his real name."

Rod was raised Catholic and his mother's family disowned her for marrying out.

All Rod knows about his real father was he was nicknamed Scotty and was a presser at a raincoat factory on the corner of Derby St/Cheetham Hill Rd, Manchester, in 1949.

He was in his 30s when Rod was conceived.


Grandma Rachel

SIMCHA: A photograph from the wedding of Rochelle Cooke's grandparents, Isaac and Rachel Herschcowitz

Rochelle Cooke, of Wetherby, is looking for descendants of Myer Sherman along with any information about the family of her grandmother Rachel Herschcowitz.

Myer, a tailor, moved to Manchester before the 1891 census.

He was married to Fanny (Hersch) and had four daughters - Hetty, Rebecca, Annie and Golda.

Also living with them was Harris Lanski, who may have been a relative.

Golda married Joseph Bassman and had five children -Laurence, Barbara, Marilyn, Sonia and Myra.

Rachel Herschcowitz (Harris) had sisters, Gittel and Dora and possibly a brother Alte. She married Isaac Zendle.

Dora didn't marry or have children, while Gittel did.

Rochelle believes there is a Scotland connection, too.

Rachel died when she was quite young and her death certificate was signed by 'Dora Miller'.


Wigan history

HILARY THOMAS is researching the Jewish community of Wigan.

Hilary, who co-authored a book on Bolton's Jewish community last year, would like to hear from anyone with Wigan connections.

The town's shul was founded around 1886, but by 1920, the community had almost disappeared.

However, several people had businesses in the town for many years.

Hilary has found a number of surnames of families involved in the community in its early days - Sytner, Abelson, Cowen, Kresner, Tarshish, Fisher, Fox, Richards, Rosenberg, Franks and Goldstone.

Telephone 0161-928 6242, email or write to 13 Edgemoor, Bowdon, Cheshire WA14 3JN.

Leeds men

Naomi Mason, of Edinburgh, has discovered that both her grandfathers, Samuel Umanski and Jack Sapherson, were Jewish men living in Leeds in the 1910s and 20s.

Samuel, his wife Lily and children Lazarus, Rebecca, Philip, Joel and Harry moved to the UK from Russia. Some of the children changed their name to Mason.

Samuel's brother Barnett lived with them for a time.

Naomi always believed that Jack, wife Olive and children Harold, Lloyd, Hetty, Lily, Rita, Eva, Louis and Norman were from Vitebsk.

But according to the 1911 census, Jack was from Germany.


Rayner search

Maureen Schiller, of Derbyshire, is trying to find the family of Murray and Mildred Rayner.

Murray's sister Anita was a bridesmaids at Maureen's parents' wedding in 1946.

"I remember writing New Year cards to Murray and Mildred in Manchester in the 60s and know they had a daughter," she recalled.


War alien?

Jonny Greenstein, of Jerusalem, wants information on a maternal great-grandfather, Joseph Behor Mechulam, who died in 1946 and is buried at Lower House Lane cemetery, Liverpool.

He was born in Glasgow and his last address was given as the Isle of Man, possibly because he was interned as a war alien.


Get in touch

STAN ROSE, of Buckinghamshire, had a reply to his appeal looking for his family in Manchester. Unfortunately he could not hear the phone number left by a Stanley Miller on his answering machine.

Mr Miller can contact him again on 01494 774290 or

Roosevelt's visit to Manchester

Carolyn Dee discovered these photographs of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

The pictures, on the website 'My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 7, 1957' mentions her visiting Manchester to make a speech to the Youth Aliyah.

Carolyn would like to know what the occasion was and who else is in the photograph.


To make an appeal, email MIKE COHEN at
Please include your home address and contact telephone number.

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