When I was 13 I created my first tree along with a scrapbook of photographs for my grandmother; over time my mom told me the history of both sides of the family; from these stories came my family genealogy and my postion with JewishGen...but until recently, I never had a web site for my family; well, it's time! I'm delighted to begin this project and I would love to hear from anyone who has something to correct or add.
I am grateful to those who came before me; who
battled the old world and the new to create a better life for
their children...this is really their story. They shall not be
Leib is listed in the 1926 and 1930 Polish business directories under JaJa-handel (oeufs) - an egg dealer. Leib had two houses one of which was a shop (gevelb), mostly for grains, where he bartered with local farmers. After Golda died, Leib remarried a redhead around 1910 (never found out her name) but they had no children. She came to the U.S. with Leib, but remained here with her daughter when Leib returned to Poland.
In Europe they called my grandmother Gittaleh Shikah; she was being watched by older sisters Tillie and Zelda, but she managed to get to a cask of liquor. Drank so much they found her unconscious and thought she was dead. Golda came with a mirror (how clever); holding it under her nose she declared her daughter alive, and promptly put her in the bed. Gussie didn’t eat solid food for two month!
Why did my grandmother come here? The
story was that Gussie & Tillie came to US because the air
was better! But the sisters knew that Tillie was in love with a
baker from Zmigród and the baker's family
didn't have "yichas"; so Tillie followed him to America,
bringing her kid sister along with her. Tillie and Ben married,
lived in Hartford and raised 3 children. That's Tillie & Ben
on their 50th anniversary!
Many celebrations were held in that huge hartford home with the parquet floors that Tillie was so proud of. Here are more photos of their 1948 anniversary. That's my mom and aunt Goldie on the right.
But where are you Richie? I've looked everywhere. Please contact me if you read this.
I won't put in the names, as privacy is important...but here is
a collection of relatively recent photographs from the STECHER
Family, including our Israeli branches:
Her parents were Herschel and Leah (Leie) TRACHMAN from Zmigród. Her siblings were Morris born 1865, Schmiel 1866, Sarah 1868, Jenny, Fanny 1860 and Lillie. (Details below).
Grandma Golda ran the business in Zmigrod; grandpa Leib was busy riding around to all the rabbis as he, like his peers, was a student. Women didn't resent this, they were proud of husbands well learned; in the gevelb the polish peasants brought in eggs and grains, were paid off in barter, probably groceries and household items.
Leib STECHER had a brother Hersch STECHER from
the Zmigród area.
Hersh married Pesche SCHUSS in New York City (the Schuss family was from nearby DUKLA): Herris and wife settled in NEWARK NJ. They had 8 children: (girls pictured at left)
I have contacted over 15 of Hersch's descendents (at least one
from each branch). Lots of stories there too...Herris appears to
have had 4 wives...and left a legacy of some broken dreams.
But I've connected with Nan Rudin, Mary Rusinow and Beth Corets...and they have grown from fellow genealogists to good friends.
Hersh and Peshe's children:
One last puzzle...did Hersh have had a son by a former marriage; we found a Herman STECHER (born before 1890), in the reconditioned motors business in Philadelphia, whom cousin Baerish/Bernard Stecker was quite friendly with.
Judith STECHER, Leibs' older sister, married Mendel DEUTSCHMAN in Zmigród. They had 5 children, Rifka (born 9/25/1867), Schmeil "Sam" (born 1/15/70, married Sophie HOCHNER), Ben (born 1879 married Maisminal KORN), Majer (born 11/12/88), Tcheite (born 6/21/81, married ZELL). Sam and Ben settled in Easton, Pa. I've visited with granddaughter Catie who lives in Ashville, North Carolina.
I looked in vain for years for the family of Samuel STECHER, with whom my grandmother lived in 1900 (cousins in the 1900 census). I never found Samuel STECHER again. He seemed to have disappeared from the earth. But I broke through this brick wall when i was contacted by a fellow researcher on JewishGen's Family Finder, who was looking for STECKLER from the same shtetl... Zmigrod...and when we exchanged trees, it appeared that Samuel Stecher had changed his name to Zanvil Steckler (we never found out why). That lovely photograph below is Zanvil and his family
And...that's how i met my good friend, and Stecher descendant Jonathan Cohen. Together we tracked down the 1929 hand drawn tree on the right. And that is how Jonathan and I became aware of the STECHER Family Circle.
We deduced that Leib's father Samuel and Fischel were brothers's (see Fischel's tree above) and were invited to the Stecher family reunion in 1999 in Florida...representing Leib's side of the family!
Just recently i met the patriarch of the LEHR family (one of the branches of the tree above). Doc LEHR returned to Zmigrod last year; (his story is on the web page devoted to our ancestral town of Zmigrod; click here to go to http://www.shtetlinks.jewishgen.org/zmigrod/zmigrod.htm . Doc Lehr is very interested in researching our ancestors before the 1800s, but alas, we have not been able to do that. The vital records which our researcher uncovered do not go back further than the 1870s.....maybe someday?!? We recently connected with a frenchman who had a LEHR in his family from Warsaw...and wouldn't you know it...the Polish JRI-P vital records index told us he was born in ZMIGROD!! So we know there's a connection, but we don't know what it is...yet. Can anyone out there help?
Golda TRACHMAN's brothers and sisters emigrated earlier to the US and settled in Chicago and Joliet, Illinois. When my grandmother first came here, she stayed with them:
Other TRACHMAN cousins from Dukla
emigrated to NYC and included Esther TRACHMAN (born 1876,
married Abe GEIGER), Fichu TRACHMAN (married PACHER of the
Jacob TRACHMAN (1867-1938, married Leah and Hanna SOLOMON from DUKLA, was a grocer) This was interesting as Jacob followed the age old custom of marriage. Jacob's first wife died and he then married her sister; sounds very controlling, but think about it...makes sense for those days where marriages were arranged by the parents; and it keeps the children within the family; securing a second marriage to a caring woman.
Want to know about this shtetl? Go to ZMIGROD
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Great Grandfather Abraham KRAMER (~
1863--~1942) lived in Jasienica.
--Heni WISNER (c 1865 - 1895), Esther BEIM (c 1860-1901), Carolyn, and Ruchel.
Two of his children emigrated to the United States, Ella KRAMER (born 1899, married Joe Hoffman) and Jacob KRAMER (born 2/84, married Annie LINDNER, whom he met on the boat). Jacob was a talmudic student; here he was a tailor, like many other Jewish immigrants. .
My two grandfathers, Jacob KRAMER and Abraham Scheiner, came from the same area; it was said that at my parents' wedding...Abraham embraced a KRAMER cousin, as they had last seen each other in Chaydah (Hebrew School), 40 some years before. At that wedding too, they celebrated by remembering Jasienica, known to the Jews as Yashnitz, a dairy town, for which Yashnitzers (omelets) were named.
Annie and Jacob had 4 children: Rubin (my dad), Daniel, Carrie (married Morris Sobel) and Emanual (Mickey). That's my dad Ruby and his brother Denny on the right>>. All raised wonderful families in the New York area. We even have a famous descendent, the drummer of Aerosmith, Joey KRAMER.
There were other KRAMERs who emigrated from Jasienica, and it took over 10 years to make the connections: they include Dora KRAMER (born 1889, married Samuel KLEVE), Fani (born 1895) married Efroim SPEVAK, and Amelia (born 1897).
I knew from my sister's memories, that aunt Ella HOFFMAN visited KRAMER cousins in the Bronx. Many years later I had lunch with a lady who remembered Aunt Ella, as she had lived with them in JASIENICA after her mother died and her father remarried. (that's Ella and niece Carrie KRAMER on the left; they adored each other!). That was an exciting afternoon as we shared what we knew of the Beck, Weiss, Kramer and Hoffman families!
I won't put in the names, as privacy is important...but here
is a collection of photographs from the KRAMER Family:
Want to know about Yashnitz? Go to YASHNITZ
I have a tree of all the KRAMER/Beim/Wisners and would be
happy to share that with anyone interested.
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A few years later, Josef SCHEINER took his wife and son and emigrated to the United States; there he became a schochet. Joseph had a red beard and was a very clever man.
He also had beautiful voice; neighbors would listen to sedar through the window; one pesach it was cold, and neighbors called to ask window be opened so that they could listen to his sedar. Joseph's sons Sam and Abe were tenors (supposidly Abe made two records with Belle Baker but i've never been able to locate them).
My great grandfather Josef SCHEINER (born 1858) was the eldest son of Naphtuli SCHEINER and Sarah GREENBERG. His siblings were Channuch (born 1868) who emigrated to Israel, and Tsipora (born 1870) who came to New York. (details below)
Josef SCHEINER, b. 1858 Dubiecko, Galicia, m. 1880 Strzyzow,
d.1930 224 E 4th St, New York
m. Frieda KANDEL, b. Nov, 1860 Strzyzow, Galicia, d. Oct 15, 1931 NYC
It is still fabulous; the main floor, crowned with a
marvelous metal ceiling,
is three stories high! The current owner asked why
there were kitchens on both floors; I explained they
often had more than one reception at a time in the
My grandfather Abe SCHEINER's siblings were:
I won't put in the names, as privacy is important...but here is a collection of photographs from the Scheiner Family:
Joseph's sister, Tsipora SCHEINER married Yechial ROTHAUS from Dubiecko (they kept the Scheiner surname) and emigrated to the United States; here she celebrates her 50th wedding anniversary in 1936.
I remember my sister and i (on the right) meeting her grandchildren and seeing the home made films from this celebration, and recognizing my grandparents. But the story told to me was that my grandfather wasn't happy at the wedding as they were seated in the back, and left soon after the ceremony. Sounds like many a story i have heard before!
Another interesting story is that two of Tsipora's sons, Jack and Louis, fought in World War I...but on opposite sides! One was drafted into the army in Austria, the other had immigrated to the United States.
In 1989, a Scheiner cousin, Beatrice Scheiner Schoedes,
received this letter from Kalman Scheiner, the son
Channuch Scheiner, the nephew of Tsipora and Josef Scheiner.
It tells an interesting story (albeit some of the "facts" are
"Thank you very much for the letter. I am happy to learn that you have a family circle of cousins (there should be in the tens of cousins from the Scheiners family. I will try my best to help you...
My grandfather (your g. grandfather) Naftuli Scheiner, lived in the city Dubiecko near Przemysl. He had two sons. Josef Scheiner the oldest went to the USA in 1878, a few years later came back to Dubiecko, took a wife and went back to USA. In NY he was a shooter (editors note: schochet)...Had 6 sons. All meried with children and grandchildren. The wife of uncle Josef left for US with great bitterness because the mechitunem were against the shiduch. So she swore that they will never here from their son. And so was it. My father used to write letter after letter but no answer. She took care of the mail. He was working all day and she burned all the mail from the family.
After about 30-40 or even 50 years a grandchild got a letter and by a miracle handed over to her grandfather. This was in 1927. We received (my father) a letter from his oldest brother. This letter was a gance megille. He never new if somebody lives from his family to answer him as soon as possible, but he never got anymore letters from US."
Who knows what gems of truth are in this family story?
Want to know about this shtetl? Go to DUBIECKO.
Here's an addition...to this tale...in the early 2000s, in
Florida, i found out a friend's family came from the same area
in Galicia. We exchanged notes and indeed, there is a SCHEINER
in her family from Dubiecko too! We are related...and someday
we may find out how!
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My ggm Freida Necha is very special to me; i am named for her. I treasure the candlesticks she brought with her from Europe. Recently i gave cousin David Scheiner our grandfathers tallis and gave his son Brett Scheiner his great great grandmother's candlesticks, trusting they will stay in the family for generations to come.
Frieda KANDEL was born Nov, 1860 in Strzyzow, Galicia; her parents were Sara Langsam and Jacob Kandel. Jacob had a hebrew school (Chaydah).
Frieda followed her husband Josef Scheiner to the United States in November of 1898...with daughter Sarah. Joseph was living in Oliphant, Penna (near Uniontown, Fayette county) though I've never found out why. Immigrants settle where there are others they know, but i cannot find anyone who ever lived in this town. But when i do, i'll bet its family!
By 1900, the family was rooted on Ridge Street, on the Lower East Side of New York City.
Freida had a sister, Rose/Ruchel KANDEL, b. 1867, Strzyzow
who married Micheal SCHIMMEL (1857Strzyzow--1942 Bronx).
Their children were:
Another possible relative: We wintered in Savannah in the
90s; a wonderful neighbor told me her
maiden name was KANDEL; we did some genealogy research
together and found that her grandfather, Philip KANDEL, was
born in Rzeszow...only 15 miles North of Strzyzow; we
researched the family: 3 sons of Zvi Kandel: Philip, Jacob
& Benjamin (born 1872-7); we know we are related, by
temperament at least, by blood very likely. But we haven't
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My great grandmother Dora EICHEL was born in Rohatyn in 1862. She married Reuven LINDNER (i finally found out that he was born in Burstyn, 10 miles south, in 1858); the photo is circa 1893-my aren't they a handsome couple! I know the first two children were born in Burshtyn, the third claimed Budapest, and many of the others were born in the US, as the couple came back and forth many times; Charles was even born on the boat! He's the adorable baby.
Reuven, I was told, was a "dayan", but one who travelled from town to town (is that possible?). We do know that son Izzie's bar mitzvah was moved up to 1904, as Reuven had to return to Europe, supposidly seeking a cure for his ailments. I don't know where he died either, but Dora returned to the States in 1906, with the children.
Dora's father, Anschel EICHEL was a tailor who specialized in making uniforms for the Pravoslav priests and monks. We can trace the Eichels back to Yitzhak Eichel, who lived in Hamburg at the end of the 18th century; he was a scholar who published a textbook of the Yiddish language and was a pupil of the German philosopher Kant.
Here is the EICHEL family tree: Anschel EICHEL married Beile BERLIN in Rohatyn around 1850. Their children were:
The 1947 photograph on the right is the next generation;
the American children of these immigrants:
Fortunately I was able to contact all of Charlie's grandchildren and am friendly with many today (see photos below).
I won't put in the names, as privacy is important...but here is a collection of photographs from the LINDNER and EICHEL Families:
Reuven LINDNER had 2 brothers who were very close; my aunt Carrie told me that as children, all the cousins lived at 1103 Washington Avenue in the Bronx. (quote): We each lived on a different floor: Auntie Chipper lived on ground floor, Izzie on another, Charlie on another. Long narrow halls, big rooms.
The family gave support to Dora when she returned in 1906 after Reuven died.
Berl LINDNER's parents were Jacob and Rebecca GUEMAN LINDNER (my ggg gp). I have found four of Berl's siblings and traced them to the United States; the grandchildren have met each other!
So you want to do family research? Where do you start? Start with your family; make a tree. Then go to the U.S. census to find clues and fill out the tree.(you will find Ancestry.com in many public libraries). Next, vital records (birth, marriage, death records) to find parents names. Then Try these wonderful websites:
Up until 2019, Phyllis Kramer (OBM) developed and maintained this KahilaLink. Phyllis did a wonderful job documenting and sharing information about this shtetl. Starting in July 2021 Jeff Alexander is trying to fill Phyllis’ shoes. Please contact Jeff Alexander for anything related to this shtetl
Copyright © (2022) Jeffrey Alexander. All