Kosowski Family

submitted by Koswoski Family Relatives

The origin of the Kosowski (also spelled as: Kosowsky, Kosovsky) family in the Grodno district is unknown at present. The first identified ancestor of our family is Israel-Chazkel Kosowski who was born around 1825 and lived in Kamenka/Kamionka, located 19.9 kilometers northeast of Lunna. Israel and his wife (Malka?) had three sons born in Kamionka: Moshe (b. 1847), Mordechai (b. 1851), and Aaron (b. 1853). Sometime between 1865 and 1875 Israel's three sons moved to Lunna.

Note 1: We suspect that Israel's wife was named Malka since the first-born daughters of Moshe and of Mordechai Kosowski were both named Malka.
Note 2: After the death of his first wife, Israel remained in Kamenka and remarried a second wife (her name is unknown). They had two or three sons who remained in Kamenka and were "Melamdim" (teachers). According to Mordechai Kosowski's grandson, one of these sons was named Aaron.
Note 3: The Grodno Gubernia 1912 voter lists database gives mention to five sons of Israel Kosowski who resided in the Grodno District: Aaron, Movsha (Moshe), Mordkhel (Mordechai), Abraham, and Chaim. It could be that Abraham and Chaim were the other two sons of Israel Kosowski from Kamenka.
Note 4: The list of Holocaust victims based on records from Auschwitz includes the name of Israel, born in 1898 in Kamenka to Abraham Kosowski and Malka previously Derczynski. Israel resided in Lunna before the war. It is most likely that Israel, son of Abraham Kosowski, was named after his grandfather Israel-Chazkel Kosowski.

On this page we will focus on the three sons of Israel-Chazkel and his first wife, who had lived in Lunna, namely: Moshe, Mordechai, and Aaron.

(i)The Family of Moshe, Son of Israel-Chazkel Kosowski

Moshe Kosowski (b. 1847) married Leah, who grew up in a nearby estate. He had a bricks factory in Lunna located at the end of Grodno (Grodzienska) Street. He was involved in charity and established the Hekdesh - a hostel where travelers could spend a night and where the under-privileged lived in Lunna. Moshe and Leah Kosowski had three sons and four daughters, all born in Lunna. They were, in order of age, Malka (b. 1874), Motel (1886), Avigdor (1888), Avreiml (b. 1889), Ida (b. 1884), Sophie, and Henie (b. 1890). All the children of Moshe Kosowski left Lunna for North America, at different times, except Henie who remained in Grodno during the Second World War.
Leah (Moshe's wife) died in 1936 and was buried in the Lunna cemetery. After her death Moshe moved to Grodno and stayed with his daughter Henie (Kosowski) Marin and her family. He died in Grodno on October 20, 1937.

  Moshe Kosowski From Lunna

A notice (in Polish & in Yiddish) announcing the death of Moses (Moshe) Kosowski in 1937

The Children of Moshe Kosowski
The oldest daughter of Moshe Kosowski was named Malka (b. 1874 in Lunna). Malka married Shlomo Yacewlan (b. 1871 in Sokolka). They lived in Grodno and had four sons and one daughter, all born in Grodno: Joseph (b. 1895), Yudel (b. 1896), Robert (b. 1901), Hirsh (b. ?), and Fanya (b. 1908).

Joseph Yacewlan (b. 1895) married Anna Smorgonski (b. 1898 in Jerizory, now Ozery, Belarus) and they had a son Moshe (b. 1921 in Grodno).
Yudel Yacewlan (b. 1896) married Anna Lubitz (b. 1908 in Grodno).
Robert Yacewlan (b. 1901) was the first to leave Poland; he moved to the United States sometime between 1919 and 1921 and changed the family name Yacewlan to Yas. Robert's four siblings: Joseph (and his wife and son), Yudel (and his wife), Hirsh, and Fanya, left Poland and moved to Canada around 1932. Yudel was known as Julius Yas; Hirsh was known as Edward (Eddy) Yas, and Fanya was known as Fay Yas. Joseph and Eddy had families in Canada; Julius and Fay left Canada and moved to the US and had families in the US. The parents - Malka and Shlomo Yacewlan, left Grodno for the US (in 1933) and lived with their son Robert in Brockton, Mass. Sholomo Yacewlan was known in the US as Salomon Yas. Malka and Shlomo (Salomon) died six weeks apart; Malka from pneumonia and Shlomo from a broken heart; it was around 1937. Partial information about the descendants of Malka and Shlomo Yas is available.

The other children of Moshe Kosowski (Malka Yacewlan's siblings) were all born in Lunna, including Motel (1886), Avigdor (1888), Avreiml (Avraham, b. 1889), Ida (b. 1884), Sophie, and Henie (b. 1890). Between the late 1890s and the 1910s Motel, Victor, Avreiml, Ida, and Sophie immigrated to the US.

In the US, Motel was known as Morris Kosow; he married Bessie.
Avreiml was known as Abe Kosow. He married Jeanette Saltzman and they had five children: Leo, Joseph, Jack, Daniel, and Ann; they resided with their families in Boston and its surroundings and are now all deceased. Abe died in 1972.
Avigdor was known as Victor Kosow and married (i) Rebecca (Beatrice) Sapirstein, a Romanian Jew; their daughter Sophie Kosow was born on August 8, 1910 in The Bronx, New York. After the divorce of her parents, Sophie used her stepfather's surname (Sidney) and later became the motion picture actress known as Sylvia Sidney. In 1922 Victor traveled to Grodno where he remarried (ii) Rivka Weinstein (born 1900 in Piesk) whose mother was his first cousin. Victor returned to the US with his wife Rivka who became known in the US as Rae Kosow. They had two sons. Victor died in 1970; his wife Rae died in 1981. Their family lives in the USA.

Ida (Kosowski) married Abraham Sakim (b. 1881 in Zelva, Grodno District) and they had a son Jacob Sakim (b. 1911). They resided in Philadelphia. Ida died in Philadelphia in 1967. Their son Jacob married Anita. Jacob died in 1982.

Sophie (Kosowski) married, in the United States, a person named Spivak; they had a daughter Claire who lived in Maryland.
Information about the descendants of Morris, Abe, and Victor Kosow, who lived in America is available. Information about the descendants of Ida Sakim and Sophie Spivak is not yet available.

Henie (Kosowski) was the only one of Moshe Kosowski's children who remained in Grodno. Henie married Zecharia Marin; the couple had a daughter, Fanya (b. 1922), and a son, Yossi (b.1926). Henie Marin, her husband Zecharia, and their children Fanya and Yossi perished during the Holocaust.

Note: According to Moshe Alperstein (Mordechai Kosowski's grandson), Moshe Kosowski had ten children of whom nine moved to America; only the daughter, Henie, remained in Grodno. At this point we know of six children of Moshe Kosowski who left Grodno District for North America.
The Grodno Gubernia 1912 Voter Lists Database gives mention to Ovsei, son of Movska Kosowski, who resided in Grodno District. It could be that Ovsei is another son of Moshe who left for North America sometime after 1912.

  Abe & Jeanette (Jan) Kosow near their old car. their son Leo is Inside the car
(ca. 1920, US)
(Photo: Alan Kosow (Abe's grandson))
    Abe Kosow's family (ca. 1927, US)
(Photo: Alan Kosow (Abe's grandson))


(ii) The Family of Mordechai, Son of Israel-Chazkel Kosowski

Mordechai ("Mutia") Kosowski (b. 1851 in Kamenka) married Tzipora (Feigel) Sokolski (b. 1852 in Kamenka). They moved to Lunna and resided on Grodno (Grodzienska) Street. Mordechai was a Karlin-Stolin Chasid. He was a grain merchant and had grain barns near the Niemen River. He sent rafts of grain down the Niemen to the Baltic Sea, and from there to Prussia and other places. Tzipora Kosowski died in Lunna in 1935 and Mordechai died in Grodno a few months later. Mordechai and Tziora Kosowski had ten children, all born in Lunna. They were, in order of age, Malka, Asher, Sarah, Batya, Israel, Henie, Chaya, Yechezkel, Yosel, and Shoshana.

The Children of Mordechai and Feigel Kosowski
1. Malka (b. 1869), married Raphael Weinstein; they moved to Piesk; they had two daughters - Rivka and Leah, and two sons - Israel and Yitzchak. Rivka married Victor Kosow, son of Moshe Kosowski; Leah married Eliezer (Leizer), son of Aaron Kosowski (note that Moshe, Mordechai, and Aaron were brothers). Malka and Raphael Weinstein, their children Leah, Israel, and Yitzchak, and their families, remained in Poland before the Second World War and perished in the Holocaust. Rivka and Victor Kosow moved to the States, and had family in America.

2. Asher (Oskar) (b. 1871), married Henie Shmigelski/Smorgonski. They lived in Grodno and had three sons and three daughters. Their sons were Pima (b. 1898), Yitzchak ("Izzia", b. 1901), and Alberto (Aba, b. 1904); their daughters were Bertha (b. 1900), who married Michael Rivlin, Manya (b. 1903), who married Grisha Davidov, and Niuta (b. 1910), who married a person named Gornitzki. Asher was an owner of a flour mill and also a partner in a leather factory. According to the 1910 memorable book of Grodno Province (in Russian), Asher was a member of the Board of Grodno Jewish Hospital, province organization. Asher and his wife Henie and their son Yitzchak and his family, perished in the Holocaust. The families of Alberto, Bertha, Manya, and Niuta live in Israel, the US, and Mexico.

3. Sarah (b. 1875) married Zeev-Wolf Berman. They resided in Grodno and had two sons: Israel and Chaim-Yitzchak, and three daughters: Rachel, Sheine, and Ester. Zeev Berman was a member of the Board of "Yavne" Hebrew School in Grodno which was established by the religious party "Agudat Israel". Sarah and Zeev Berman, their sons Israel and Chaim-Yitzchak, and their daughters Rachel and Sheine perished in the Holocaust. Ester married Yechiel Kopelewitz and left for Eretz Israel before the Second World War. Their family resides in Israel.

4. Batya (b. 1882) married Yehoshua (Ovsei) Eliashberg (b. 1878). They lived in Lunna and had four daughters: Malka (b. 1906), Yocheved (b. 1907), Chaya (b. 1914), and Leah (b. 1917) and a son Yitzchak (b. 1910). Yehoshua was an owner of a liquor store and a partner in a lumber mill. His wife Batya had a small beverage bar in front of the house that was located near the market square. Yehoshua died in Lunna in 1934. Batya and her daughter Chaya lived in Lunna before the Second World War and perished on December 8, 1942 with all the other Jews of Lunna. Malka married Avigdor Bialoblocki, son of Rabbi Arie and Rebetzin Sheine Bialoblocki. They had a son Shmuel-Arie and a daughter Aviva. The Bialoblocki family perished in the Holocaust. Yocheved, Yitzchak, and Leah left for Eretz Israel before the war; their families reside in Israel.
For more information of this family branch please refer to:

5. Israel (b. 1885) married (i) Sonia. They had three daughters: Manya, Frida, and Chaya, and a son Arie ("Lolke"); (ii) Yocheved Lewin. Israel and Yocheved resided in Orany, Vilna District before the war. Israel was a merchant. Israel and Yocheved, Israel's children Manya, Chaya, and Arie, perished in the Holocaust; Frida married Henry Solomon and moved to the US and resided in NYC; their family lives in the US.

6. Henya (b. 1889) married Feivel Matis (b. ca. 1885 in a village now in Ukraine). Feivel came to Lunna in 1907 and was a Hebrew teacher in Lunna and a reporter for the Hebrew newspaper "Ha'Mashkif" (The Observer). Feivel and Henya Matis moved to Grodno and had two sons: Emanuel and Mati, and a daughter Sarah. In 1930 Feivel left for Eretz Israel. His wife and the children remained in Poland and were supported by the Kosowski family. A few years later they also left Poland and joined Feivel in Eretz Israel. The family lives in Israel.

7. Chaya (b. 1891) married David Alperstein (b. 1891 in Lunna). They lived in Grodno and had a daughter Luba and a son Moshe, both born in Grodno. David Alperstein was a merchant in Grodno and later he moved with his wife to Gdynia. Chaya and David Alperstein perished in the Holocaust. Luba left for Eretz Israel in 1937 and married Baruch Egozy; Moshe Alperstein came to Eretz Israel in 1940 and married Rivka (Glembocki). The families of Moshe Alperstein and Luba Egozy live in Israel and in the US.

8. Yechezkel ("Chazkel") (b. 1894) married Fanya Shapira. The couple had a daughter Mina, and a son Moshe. Chazkel was a merchant in Lunna. Before the Second World War they lived in Grodno. Chazkel and his family perished in the Holocaust.

9. Yosel (b. 1895) married Dora Rubin; they had a daughter Niuta and a son Arie ("Lolek"). Yosel was a grain merchant who worked with his father Mordechai Kosowski. In 1935, after the death of both his parents, Yosel moved with his family to his parents' residence on Grodno (Grodzienska) Street in Lunna. Yosel and his family perished on December 8, 1942 during The Holocaust with all the other Jews of Lunna.

10. Shoshana (b. 1898) married Yitzchak Harkabi who was a medical doctor. They moved to Grodno and had a daughter Pnina. They left Grodno for Eretz Israel before World War II. Pnina and her family live in Israel.

(iii) The Family of Aaron, Son of Israel-Chazkel Kosowski

Aaron, the youngest son of Israel Kosowski, was born 1853; he married Shaine-Eti; they had three sons, all born in Lunna.

  1. Eliezer Kosowski (b. 1902), married Leah Weinstein, daughter of Raphael and Malka Weinstein. They perished in The Holocaust
  2. Yaakov Kosowski (b. 1908) moved to Grodno; was shot by a Polish policeman
  3. Lolek Kosowski moved to Lublin; perished in The Holocaust

Selected Photos of Kosowski Family
Photos were submitted by Moshe Alperstein, Pnina Ugdan, Albert Kosow, Ruth Marcus, Yehoshua (Shuka) Rutenberg, Erela Aloni, and Mordechai and Tzipora Kosowski's grandchildren and great-grandchildren

Below are five photographs taken in 1923 in Grodno at the wedding of Rivka Weinstein and Victor (Kosowski) Kosow.

  Mordechai ("Mutia") and Tzipora ("Feigel") Kosowski (Grodno, 1923)     Mordechai & Tzipora Kosowski's sons (Grodno, 1923)  

  Mordechai & Tzipora Kosowski's Daughters (Grodno, 1923)     Wedding picture
Victor Kosow & Rivka (Rae) Weinstein (Grodno, 1923)

  Weinstein family (Grodno, 1923)     Malka (Kosowski) Weinstein (ca. 1920)

  Leah, daughter of Malka and Raphael Weinstein, and her husband Laizer, son of Aaron Kosowski     Reverse side of the picture of Leah (Weinstein) and Laizer Kosowski

  Rivka (Rae) Kosow with relatives of her father's (Raphael) family seated on the right wearing fur
    Weinstein Family (ca. 1933)  

  Kosowski family relatives (Wolkowysk, 1920s)     Batya (Kosowski) Eliashberg &
her nephew Yitzchak, son of
Malka & Raphael Weinstein (1920s)

  Shoshana (Kosowski) Harkabi & her brother Yosel Kosowski (1926)  

Below are three photos taken by Moshe Alperstein in 1930 during a visit to his family in Lunna. The Alperstein family was staying in a guesthouse in Zaleski forest. Kosowski family members are posed in front of Mordechai Kosowski's old house at Grodno Street (the house was destroyed in a 1931 fire; a new house was built at the same place).

  Kosowski family members (1930)     Kosowski family members (1930)     Mordechai & Feigel Kosowsk (sitting), their daughter Shoshana (Kosowski) Harkabi (Standing) (1930)  

  Yosef & Dora Kosowski
& their daughter Niuta (1925)
    Niuta & Lolek, children of Yosel
& Dora Kosowski (ca. 1935)

  Kosowski relatives at Alperstein's home
(Grodno ca. 1928)
    Kosowski family relatives
(Grodno, ca. 1928)

  Yosel, son of Henie & Zecharia Marin     Beba (Batya) (right) & her sister
Musia (Miriam),
daughters of Pima-Yechezkel,
son of Asher Kosowski
(Grodno, 1927)

  Yaakov, son of Aaron Kosowski (ca. 1930)  

  tombstone of Mordechai Kosowski (Grodno, 1936)     tombstone of Mordechai Kosowski (Grodno, 1936)     The tombstone of Tzipora (Feigel) Kosowski (photo: Yitzchak Eliashberg during his visit in Lunna, 1937)  


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Compiled by Ruth Marcus & Aliza Yonovsky Created May 2007
Updated by rLb, March 2020
Copyright 2007 Ruth Marcus

All the photos are presented by courtesy of the families and are not allowed to be reproduced without their permission.

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