Poznan, Poland


My mother Elyse Shirek was born in San Francisco, California as was her father Sidney Scherek. His father was Adolph Scherek b. 1833 Poznan city and married Dorothea Friedenthal b. Kepno, then called Kempen, Posen, Prussia. Adolph left Poznan in October 1849 for Hamburg with neighbours Therese Kottwitz and Bernard Herold arriving in New York 1849 on the “Altona” out of Hamburg with two of his brothers Samuel (who was called Nathaneal in Poznan) and Saul Wolff Scherek (spelled Scherck by Germans).  The three travelled to Paris, Lamar, Texas to be naturalized in 1956. Then they moved to the small town of Dallax, Texas. 

But, not long afterward, the New York Herald reported, “The Town of Dallas, Dallas, Texas, Destroyed by Fire—Loss $300,000: On Sunday, July 6 at about half-past eight o’clock, the citizens of Dallas, Dallas county, Texas were startled with the terrible cry of fire. The flames had broken out in front of Peck’s new drug store, which almost immediately enveloped the whole house. … it was indeed a rude awakening from last Sunday’s afternoon siesta the citizens of Dallas experienced. Many barely escaped with their lives, and clothing they happened to have on at the time.  The building and warehouse and stock of goods, owned by A. SHIREK, total loss. Most of the town was destroyed.

The three Shireks left Dallas and set up a shop in Jefferson, Texas with the brother of Therese Kottwitz—Isidor Kottwitz, and brother of their mother’s brother, also from Poznan.  But by 1863 they all moved to San Francisco where they made and sold shirts, shoes, and notions. Saul then moved back to Poznan, marrying a Poznan lady from the big Ephraim clan, and had five children (one Bertha Scherek b. 1869 and another Carl Scherek b. 1879), moving them all to San Francisco in the early 1880s, thus joining the big Ephraim and Scherek and Neumark families of Poznan.

My mother’s father Sidney married a Gertrude Goldstein whose parents  were Nathan Goldstein b. 1863 Kepno, who went the Gold Fields in Oroville, California; and Ernestina Ascher (both born in Kempen, Posen, Prussia) whose family went to Hollywood into the film business, one marrying Elizabeth Montgomery. One of Gertrude’s sibs married Bernard Ephraim b. 1867 in Poznan; one married Dora Wein of Poznan; and one married Isaac Raphael of Poznan. Others, naturally,  married descendants of Kepno.




Rosalie Ephraim Scherek,

wife of Saul Wolff Scherek 1843 Poznan -

1906 St Helena, Napa, California.

I disliked being in America.

It was not as I expected it to be.

People made fun of the way I spoke.

They thought I was ignorant.

When one cannot speak well, it is wiser to keep quiet.

My heart aches.

Oh, if I could only be in my homeland.

I feel very lonely here.

For a long time I have lived in Poznan, my beloved land.

Wished, I could return there.

I made my demands and asked for a ticket to my homeland and see to whom I was related.

When I arrived in their midst, my two sisters welcomed me.

When I was in Germany, I saw all my loved ones again

And I felt in my heart that I suffered much, ever since I had crossed the ocean.

I stood at the gravestones of my beloved ones,

What I had wished in my dreams came true and I wanted to rest there forever.

Alas, it was not to be, I had to tear away. I hope that on earth I will find this joy again.




Scherek Family

Received from and with thanks to

Arnold Chamove

Palmerston North

New Zealand

January 2016

Nathan Goldstein with wife Ernestina Asher

their daughter Gertrude Goldstein  

daughter’s husband Sidney Scherek

and latter’s two kids.

Adolph Scherek

b. Poznan city

Bertha Shirek Rogers

Bertha Scherek

b. Poznan city

Dorothea Friedenthal

b. Kepno, Poland

Carl Scherek

b. Poznan city in front of his shop

in San Francisco CA