My personal story began when I started exploring my ancestry in 2003, both my non-Jewish father's side and my Jewish mother's side. I was able to make some pretty major connections on both sides. This is the story of my mother's side, particularly the Luban family from Rezekne, Latvia, and a synagogue that they would have known that still, barely, survives in 2009.
What follows is a history based around three people: Dora, David and Ida. These three are thought to be siblings, though there some inconsistencies regarding that. They seem to form then Russia, now Latvia: the Misrochs, Dimensteins and Cohns, though there is almost no evidence for the last of these. For nice symmetry, these three individuals are also the origins of three family branches: Dora married into the Luban family (from Rezekne, near Daugavpils) to form the Luban branch; David changed his name to Danning, forming a new family branch, and Ida married into the Spero family.
What follows starts with a narrative, but mostly it is a collection of information, gathered mostly from the internet, drawing from Russian and US census data, ships manifests, death indices and from the memories of the children and grandchildren of Dora and David. Since I have been unable as yet to contact the Speros, I sadly cannot draw from their memories. Added mainly at the end are partly or completely hand drawn family tree diagrams which I hope will be clear.
MY SEARCH FOR ORIGINS: (narrative introduction)
I guess the first thing I should cover is where we came from. Living memory seemed contradictory at first. Harry and Ben Danning remembered references to “Poland.” I am assuming that these references were made in the 1920’s and 1930’s, which will be relevant in a moment. Evalyn Michaelson remembered references to “Rezitska, Latvia” from Dora Luban, her grandmother (spelling of “Rezitska” is a guess on Eve’s part). For my part, I remember my grandmother, Celia Jacobson, saying our family came from “somewhere near ‘Minsk’ or ‘Pinsk’ or something like that.” So it seemed like we had Poland, Latvia and Belarus as possible places of origin, all of which were simply “Russia” at the time our ancestors left. At first I thought it would be impossible to sort this out, but I have found the solution that brings them all together. In fact the solution is kind of obvious since it is where these three places (as well as Lithuania) come together, focusing on what was the Vitebsk and Livland districts of Russia back then.
My first clue came courtesy of a Patricia Liebham who I found on the Rootsweb.com website. She has provided me with two 1920 US census records (see below) of Lubans from Milwaukee, WI. My grandmother, Celia, had lived in Milwaukee before the Danning family convinced some of the Lubans to migrate to Los Angeles. Celia’s father was Solomon (sometimes called Samuel) Luban and her mother Dora Luban. One of the two 1920 Census records Patricia gave me was for Solomon Luban, his wife Dora and their children Simon, Sarah, Celia, Jacob and Norma. This, obviously, was Dora and Solomon’s family. In this record, Solomon, Dora, Simon, Sarah and Celia were all born in Russia, while Jacob (remembered as Jack) and Norma were born in Milwaukee. The place of birth within Russia is hard to read but looks something like “Lit..sk,” maybe “Litovsk” or “Litevsk.” There is another 1920 Census record of a Henry and Esther Luban, living on the same street as Solomon’s family (11th Street in what seems to be a primarily German, Christian neighborhood). Henry and Esther had 6 children: Belle, Sarah, Minnie, Sophia, Helen and John (also remembered as Jack). Henry, Esther, Belle and Sarah are listed as having been born in Russia in a place that looks like “Wit..sk,” maybe “Witebsk.” I figured it is likely that two Luban families living on the same street in Milwaukee in 1920 are probably related and this has been borne out. If Henry and Solomon were related, then “Lit..sk” and “Wit..sk” probably refer to the same place. I took a guess and found the city of Vitebsk (also spelled Witebsk) which is now in Belarus but once was the capital of a district (Vitebsk district) that included part of what is now Latvia and which was part of Poland in the 1920’s and 1930’s. This, based on the 1920 census record and the memories of Poland, Latvia and Minsk/Pinsk (Belarus), seemed a likely place for us to come from.
I then turned to the Jewishgen.org website. Searching for “Lubans” I hit the jackpot. I found am 1897 “All Russia” Census record for a Sawel and Dweira Luban of exactly the correct ages living in a town called “Rezekne” in the Vitebsk district of Russia. Today Vitebsk is in Belarus and Rezekne is in Latvia. Solomon was a carpenter according to the 1920 census record, and the Sawel in the 1897 Russian census record is listed as a joiner, which is essentially the same profession. So based on profession and age as well as similarity of names, Sawel and Dweira of Rezekne Russia of 1897 are almost certainly Solomon and Dora of Milwaukee, WI of 1920. Furthermore, Dweira is listed as having been born in a town called “Daugavpils” which is near Rezekne and today is near the border of Latvia and Lithuania. Daugavpils is also called Dvinsk. Daugavpils is a city where there are a lot of Misrochs and Dimensteins, names that are associated in both memory and death records with Ida and Dora, while Rezekne (and nearby Jekapils) have many Lubans. I think Dora, Ida and David would have been born in Dvinsk. Their parents may have had hit hard times, so, maybe at about the same time, David was sent off to Argentina and Dora was sent to live with an uncle who owned an inn. My guess is that the uncle lived in Rezekne and that is where her marriage to Solomon was arranged. I do find a record of one family of Misrochs living in Rezekne, but the husband’s occupation is “Coopersmith,” and there is no mention of an inn (see Misroch family tree starting with Moisey). Interestingly, family memory among Henry Luban’s family suggests that the Lubans of Rezekne were innkeepers. Was Dora’s “uncle” a Luban??
I find no record of David’s trip from Russia. Family memory indicates that the family could no longer support him, so he was sent to Buenos Aires where he worked for the postal service until he could make his way up to America. When he did, he first moved to Philadelphia where he met Jennie Goldburg, whose family included one of the first Jewish cops in Philadelphia. Somewhere along the way he met a woman who taught him English and he took this woman’s name, Denning. Not wanting to sound too Irish, according to Harry Danning, he changed it to Danning. Jennie and David (who is remembered by Curtis Ben Danning as Robert David) moved to California. The story goes that they honeymooned in California but couldn’t find the money to get back so they just stayed. Interestingly I find records on the Ellis Island database of a Raphael and other Misrochs from Russia coming from Buenos Aires to Philadelphia (through New York) around 1922. Although this is very similar to the names associated with Robert (Raphael?) David Danning, and the path from Russia to the US is the same, the date is way too late since David was certainly in California by then. Still there is evidence for a trail of Misrochs from Russia to Argentina to Philadelphia that must have been pioneered by Robert David, then continued at least into the 1920’s.
I have possibly found records for Solomon’s and Dora’s trips from Europe to the US, but they are very uncertain. Solomon (according to the 1920 US Census) came to the US in 1904. I find a record of a Schlime Lewin, age 37, occupation: joiner (same age and occupation as Sawel/Solomon) who came over on the ship Statendam out of Rotterdam arriving in New York City. We have no memory of family in NYC at that time, but I do find records of Lubans from Jekapils (near Rezekne) in NYC. Maybe they are related. Maybe Sawel (living in Rezekne), Shlime (on a ship to the US) and Solomon (also called Samuel) are all the same person.
Dora, Simon, Sarah and Celia are listed in the 1920 US Census as having come to the US in 1906. I find a listing for a Bassje D Lande, Ente Lande, and children named Simon, Sara and Chaje coming to Ellis Island in 1906 on the Corina from Liverpool. Their destination is Chicago, which is close to Milwaukee. This entry is actually crossed out from the ship’s manifest, but an entry for the same people (different spellings) is shown soon after on a ship named Campania from Liverpool. The ages of Simon, Sara and Chaje all match the ages of Simon, Sarah and Celia for 1906. Bassje D. Lande, however, is listed as age 46 while Dora would have been 36. Still, the “D.” in Bassje D. could be Dora. Finally there is Ente Lande. Ente’s age is identical to the age Ida would have been at that time. We don’t know when Ida came over, but it is likely that she came with Dora. So I think we have a somewhat garbled record of Dora, Ida, Simon, Sarah and Celia coming to the US. Ente is listed as the same name as Dora, yet Ida was not a Luban. I suspect that since she was traveling with Dora, and Dora was older by more than 10 years, Ida just went along using the same name to simplify immigration. All of this is speculation, but it a tantalizing link between Sawel and Dweira in Rezekne and Solomon and Dora in Milwaukee.
So I conclude that our family came from Dvinsk/Daugavpils where Misrochs and Dimensteins abound. David got put on a ship to Argentina sometime around 1888. Probably, Dora was sent to Rezekne about the same time. By 1897 she was married to Solomon in Rezekne, though they had no kids yet. Simon might actually have been born that very year (1897). Sarah was born the next year (1888) and Celia in 1903. Solomon left for the US in 1904 (following his relative Henry who left in 1903) and Dora, with Ida, Simon, Sarah and Celia, followed in 1906. Norma was born 1910 and by that time they were in Milwaukee. It is unknown if they lived elsewhere before Milwaukee, but Henry Luban came to the US first, but, according to Henry Luban’s family, followed Solomon to Milwaukee. This implies an intermediate residence (Chicago, perhaps?). They were still in Milwaukee in 1920. Sometime around 1924 or so, Dora divorced Solomon and moved, with her kids, to Los Angeles where David already lived (after working his way up from Argentina via Philadelphia where he met Jennie Goldberg). It isn’t clear when Ida joined them.
That covers where we came from. But who were Dora, David and Ida? Everyone, Harry, Ben and Leah Danning as well as Evalyn Michaelson, all remember the three of them as siblings. No one seems to suspect that these three were anything but two sisters and a brother. There is some uncertainty about their original last name. Everyone remembers Misrach, but there are echoes of another name, Diamondstein (probably originally Dimenstein, which is as common as Misroch in Dvinsk). Evalyn rememberd that David got his name “Danning” as a modification of Diamondstein. Harry, Leah and Ben counter this: Danning came from Denning, the last name of the woman who taught David English. I am uncertain as to whether he took the name Danning once he was in the US (in Philly?) or before. Ben does remember being teased as a kid about being really “Diamondstein” instead of “Danning”. I was ready to discount Diamondstein completely as mere rumor, but something from the Spero side makes me wonder.
Here I enter the realm of California Death records, a useful, if morbid, database. Celia Jacobson’s death record lists her mother’s maiden name as “Misrach,” presumably reflecting Eve’s memory of her grandmother. Since the only records I find of Dora are from after her marriage, the direct records only indicate her married name of Luban. But according to Celia’s death record, Dora was a Misrach, originally. In agreement with this is the death record of Celia’s brother, Simon. His death record lists his mother’s maiden name as “Misroch.” The spellings are equivalent, so from both Simon’s family and Celia’s family it is rememberd that Dora was a Misroch/Misrach. There is no death record in this database for David Danning since he died before 1940, when the records began to be kept, so I can’t get more information from that side of the family. But when I turn to the Spero side I find something very strange. I find Ida Spero’s death record and it lists her mother’s maiden name as Mizrach, yet another spelling of this name. But wait! Dora and Ida are supposed to be sisters, yet Dora’s maiden name is Misrach, but Ida’s MOTHER’s maiden name was also Mizrach! This suggests they were not sisters. Dora’s death record lists HER mother’s maiden name as Cohn. I have no other evidence for this name, though there are lots of families with names similar to Cohn who lived in Daugavpils. Looking at the death record of Ida’s son, Simon, I find that his record lists his mother’s maiden name as DIAMONDSTEIN! Dora was a Misrach whose mother was a Cohn. Ida was a Diamondstein whose mother was a Misrach. This suggests that Ida and Dora were really cousins! I can find no way to reconcile these—memory insists they were sisters, but death records strongly suggest that they were cousins. If they were cousins, it is unclear where David fits in. Two things might back up the idea of Ida and Dora being cousins instead of sisters. First, according to death records, Ida was about 13 years younger than Dora and 12 years younger than David. This is a LONG time between children. Second, according to memory, Dora was sent away to live with an uncle. If that uncle was actually the husband of her aunt, her father and aunt would have been Misrochs, and the uncle she was sent to live with could have been a Dimenstein who was Ida’s father. I can’t resolve this unless I can find a way to contact the Spero side of the family, something I have been unable to do so far.
The Misrochs are rememberd by the Latvian archivist, Aleksander Feigmanis as being timber mercahnts. I find records of these Misrochs on the Jewishgen.com website. He remembers Dimensteins as including religious personnel (Dora was proud of her family since they had many Rabbis…a hint at a Dimenstein connection?) I did find records of Dimenstein rabbis on Jewishgen.com. Aleksander also remembers Lubans as being innkeepers.
I have only hints as to the names of Dora’s parents. My mother remembers she was probably named Chava. If Dora’s death record is correct, she was Chava Cohn or something similar. The 1897 “All Russia” census record for Dweira Luban lists her father’s name as Awsey. If her maiden name really was Misroch, then he was Awsey Misroch. This reasoning is summarized in the family trees at the very end. But before I get to the family trees of our family, I want to go through the documented evidence in more detail.
MISROCHS AND LUBANS
Mizrach/Mizrachi: Jews in Syria (not Iraq, though?), Iran, Afghanistan (who are from Iran), and India (not all) and beyond, including China. Includes very old established presence of Iranian Jews in the 1800s in Russia, and many European countries. A mizrach is also a religious item. Derived from the Hebrew word for “East,” Mizrach is something to put on the wall to indicate the direction a Jew should pray (direction of the Temple Mount).
Luban comes from the name of a lake, Lake Lubanas, in Latvia not so far from Rezekne. Rezekne is south of the Lake. There was also a shtetl called Lubana north of the Lake.
Our Family in Russia:
From the 1897 “All Russia” Census, Vitebsk district: (From Jewishgen.org)
The following two entries are the basis for my linking our family to the Rezekne and Daugavpils areas.
Luban, Sawel, Father: Jankel; Occupation: Joiner; Age: 28; Birthplace: Rezekne; address: Rezenke, Volkov lane 11-2
Is this Solomon? According to Evalyn Michaelson, Solomon, her grandfather, sometimes went by Samuel. Solomon was a carpenter (same as joiner) and would have been 27/28 in 1897.
Luban, Dwiera, Father: Awsey; Age 26; Birthplace: Daugavpils (same as Dvinsk); address: Rezenke, Volkov Lane 11-2. Comment: wife of Sawel.
This is right for Dvorah. The name is similar, the age is about right (26/27) and the fact that she moved from her hometown (“was sent to live with an uncle outside the shtetl”) all fit. I should note that Dvorah may not have actually been her name. Dwiera looks more like Dvira, a different Jewish girl’s name that could also be anglicized to Dora. I think she would have left Daugavpils around 1884 or so assuming she was sent away at the same time that Robert David Misroch/Danning was sent away to South America.
From same census there also are:
LUBAN, Schmuila Jankel, Age: 76; Birthplace: Rezenke, address Plekshenskaya 24-2
(this may be the Jankel who is Sawel’s father; Jankel/Yankel is a version of Jacob)
LUBAN, Kreine, Age: 55; Birthplace: Rezenke, address same as Jankel; comment: wife of Schmuila Jankel (presumably Sawel’s mother; Kreine is probably a version of the name Kreindel)
GALBRAICH, Josel, Age: 40; Birthplace: Kraslava; occupation: Shop-assistant; Father’s name: Schmuila (Galbraich?); address: Rezekne Bolshaya Ludzenskaya 38-3. This would be Esther Luban’s father (see below for Henry Luban’s family).
GALBRAICH, Hanna Scheina, Josel’s wife. Age: 44; birthplace Rezekne. Presumably Esther’s mother.
There was a widow living with Josel and Hanna: FALKOV, Glika aged 70, born Rezekne.
There are many records for Maltinskys and Imjanitovs in Rezenke at that time (this is the name of Esther Luban’s mother’s parents). There are two households of Maltinskys who are neighbors to Josel and Hanna Scheina Galbraich (in Bolshaya Ludzenskaya 38-1 and –2). In 38-1 there is a Hillel (b. 1834) and Gitel (b. 1849) Maltinsky, who probably were Hannah’s parents (Hillel is also remembered as Ely or Eli). Ely/Hillel’s father was Meyer Maltinsky.
I find no record that matches Henry (Henach) and Esther (Menucha) themselves even though they would probably have lived in Rezekne at the time. There is a 1911 record in the Vitebsk Gubernias Database of a Berko Luban from Rezhitsa (Rezekne) area whose father is Iankel (Jankel). This is likely to be a brother of Henry and Solomon’s that is otherwise not known. He may have stayed in Latvia when Henry and Solomon left.
Rezenke (also called Rositte or Rezhitsa) is a town in what was the Vitebsk district of Russia. Vitebsk is now in Belarus, but Rezenke is in Latvia. Daugavpils (same as Dvinsk or Dinaburg) and was in the Lifland (or Livland) Province of Russia (whose capital was Riga). It is now in Latvia on the border with Lithuania. Dvinsk has many Misrochs, Cohns: (various versions of the name), and Diminsteins (see Jewishgen.org ALL LATVIA database) any of whom could be relatives. Lubans are concentrated in Rezenke (see above) and Jekabpils/Jekapils, also in the same area.
The Misrochs and Dimensteins I find on Jewishgen.org in Dvinsk can be compiled into a handful of family trees but none have the name Awsey that is listed in the 1897 census record as being Dora’s father. There are too many variations on the name Cohn to compile any meaningful family tree. The Lubans also are hard to compile into a family tree mainly since the records for Rezekne, where the Lubans are centered, don’t include as much information about family connections as the records for Dvinsk.
The Jewish Community of Dvinsk (Daugavpils): (adapted from JewishGen.org website)
Dvinsk (now Daugavpils, Latvia, German variation: Dinaburg) was part of the Vitebsk Gubernia (province) of the Russian Empire. It was one of the leading Jewish cities and a centre of high Jewish culture and debate. Jewish gravestones in the area date from the 17th century.
There is a book called Memories of the Days of My Childhood or A Look at the City of Dvinsk by Sarah Feige Foner of the House of Menkin - Printed in Warsaw, 1903 that describes life and religious conflict in Daugavpils between 1862 and 1871, the decade just before Solomon, Dora and Robert David’s births. Excerpts can be found at the Foner books website: In this book Foner outlines a fierce feud between the Hassidic and Mitnagdim (“opponents”) Jews. The former were more “spiritual” and the latter were more “intellectual” and were followers of the 18th century Rabbi known as the Vilna Gaon. In addition to this feud, Dvinsk also had a strong Jewish Mafia presence at the beginning of this period but was cleaned up by the end of the period. The St. Petersburg railroad ran through Dvinsk and the city included a fortress and large garrison.
According to the Jewish Encyclopedia (Funk & Wagnalls), commerce and manufacturing in Dvinsk were largely in Jewish hands. The 1893 census showed 330 industrial establishments owned by Jews and 99 owned by non-Jews. The most important trades followed by the Jews were tailoring (1,210) and shoemaking. Interestingly, the professions of several of the Misrochs, Dimensteins and even Lubans found in Dvinsk and Rezekne are tailors or shoemakers. Some 32 factories are identified including button manufacture, a sawmill, match factory, tannery etc, all owned by Jews with a total of 2,305 employees recorded. A further 684 day labourers are noted.
In 1910 the city numbered 111,000 of which 50,000 were Jews. Unlike its immediate neighbor the Courland district, Dvinsk was within the Jewish Pale of Settlement. Its ethos derived more from Russian, Lithuanian and Polish influences than from Courland which was broadly German in character and cultural background as a result of nearly 700 years of de facto domination by the Baltic Germans. Note, however, that many Jewish names in the area (e.g. Galbraich (Goldberg) from the German Halbraich) are German in origin.
The poverty of the Pale was a feature of Dvinsk Jewish life and it is estimated that 30 per cent of Jewish families applied for aid from the community in 1898. There were numerous Jewish aid societies recorded including a Mutual Aid, founded in 1900 and with more than 1,200 members by 1901. A loan fund was established in memory of the Merchant M Vitenberg. Loans, secured by personal property, were advanced without interest. Other charitable institutions included a society for aiding the poor founded by the Jewish governor, with an income in 1899 of some 8,917 Roubles, soup kitchens, a charitable dining hall, a bikkur holim, a dispensary and a lying-in hospital all organized and run by the community. These testify to the traditions of self help and community organization that reflect the high value placed on charity to those less fortunate.
Dvinsk was an important center of Jewish thought and culture and nurtured a number of Rabbis known and respected throughout the Jewish world. Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Kuk [Kook] of Palestine was a pupil of Reb Reuvele Dunaburger. Meier Simcha Hacohen, Rabbi of Mitnagdim for 39 years while Rabbi Yosef Rosen served as the Chassidic rabbi for 50 years. Both were formidable Talmudic scholars and vivid personalities. They were considered rivals but were buried next to each other.
Finally, the important painters Chagal and Rothko were born in the Vitebsk district. Rothko was from a Dvinsk family and a family portrait of the Rothkowitz family from which he was descended can be seen at http://www.nga.gov/feature/rothko/early1.html .
Further reading on this important and most Jewish of Russian cities can be found in the Latvia SIG Newsletter – See: Vol. 1, No’s 1,2 and Vol. 5, No’s. 1,2,3 - which contains the "Jews in Dunaburg" extracted from the Jews of Dunaburg, published in 1993 by Z. I. Yakub. See also Dvinsk, the Rise and Fall of a Town, by Yudel Flior (translated from the Yiddish by Bernard Sachs), Johannesburg, Dial Press . Unfortunately this book is out of print but it is an excellent evocation of the flavor of Jewish life in Dvinsk at the turn of the century and above all records the enduring affectionf of the writer for his home town following his emigration to South Africa in 1928.
We supposedly left Russia due to pogroms. This is probably true, since our emigration, with the exception of Robert David Danning, precisely occurs just before and during the first stages of the pogroms. The following is a description of the Baltic revolution and its aftermath, beginning around 1905. Henry Luban, see below, left 1903 and Solomon and Henry’s family in 1904; Dora and her kids would still have been around as the revolution and pogroms started but left in 1906.
“Here we reach the focal point of this chapter, the 1905 revolution in the Baltic provinces of the Russian Empire. Marxism had been introduced to Latvia directly from Germany, and the Latvian proletariat had virtually no contact with the Marxist groups in St. Petersburg, Moscow, or other Russian cities. Unrest broke out in St. Petersburg on January 22,1905, and was echoed two days later in Riga with the proclamation of a general strike. The strike was called by the Federative Committee, which consisted of representatives from the Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party (LSDSP, from the Latvian name), founded in 1904, and the Jewish Social Democratic organization "Bund," founded in 1897. One can say with confidence that Latvian Social Democrats and Jewish Bundists were close allies in leading the struggle for social reform, abolition of class privileges, a democratic constitution, and national autonomy -- territorial autonomy for Latvians, cultural autonomy for Jews. Bund representative Leonid Korobotchkin and others were prominent revolutionary activists alongside several Latvians. The LSDSP and the Bund established "military organizations" with 500 members at the garrisons in Riga and Liepaja (Libau), which agitated among soldiers of the Russian army. The Bund played a leading role in revolutionary activity in Latgale, Eastern Latvia, especially in the center Daugavpils (Dvinsk), a railway junction town where many Jews lived…
“The 1905 revolution was followed by repression -- punitive expeditions, gallows, forced labor. Toward the end of 1905 and in early 1906, savage pogroms were organized in the western and southwestern parts of the Russian Empire, which claimed many Jewish lives. Latvians refused to join in these anti-Semitic actions. In the town of Ludza (Lutsyn) in Latgale, there was an incident in which local Latvian Catholic peasants prevented Russians from attacking the town's Jews. This was reported at the end of January 1906 by the newspaper Gaisma (Light), published in St. Petersburg in the Latgallian dialect:
“‘Shortly before Christmas, the Black Hundred [a right-wing Russian gang] set out to attack the Jews in Ludza, to beat them up and plunder their shops. It is well known that no decent Latvian belongs to the Black Hundred. It had been decided to attack the Jews on a given day. Many of the Black Hundred showed up in Ludza, and by the end of the day, it appeared that the shedding of innocent blood was close at hand. Catholic Latvians from the surrounding area, having learned of this, came to Ludza in large numbers and stayed until late in the evening. They told members of the Black Hundred there would be no violence against the Jews, for Jews were people like everyone else. More Latvians than Black Hundred members had arrived in Ludza, who soon understood there would be no fooling around with the Latvians. Having failed to achieve their objective, the Black Hundred cursed the Latvians and retreated to their dark comers.’”
Coming to America:
Robert David Danning is the first of the family we know of to leave Russia. He was sent away “because the family could no longer afford to support him” when he was around 14. There may be another reason for his being sent off. According to Sarah Foner, during the 1860’s the Russians forcibly kidnapped Jews for service in the army, often using this as a way to separate them from their Jewish heritage. Any son after the first was liable to be taken. There was also a law that at least one son should be sent to a non-Jewish school. Many families sent away sons other than the eldest to avoid these fates (when they couldn’t pay for a substitute). It is quite possible that as David got older, his family realized they couldn’t buy a substitute and didn’t want him taken into either the military or the gymnasium, so they packed him off to Argentina. There is no record that I can find of David’s travels between Russia and the US, though, as I say above, there is evidence for other Misrochs following in his exact footsteps in the 1920’s, long after David had settled in California.
Turning to the Lubans:
There is a ship’s manifest (from the Ellis Island database, which can be accessed through Jewishgen.org) that might document Solomon’s entry into US. Hard to say. The ship is the Statendam out of Rotterdam, leaving Feb. 6 1904, arriving Feb 17, 1904. The year is right but Martin Michaelson has evidence from photos that Solomon came through England. The entry is:
Schlime Lewin, age 37, married, Russian-Hebrew, Occupaation: Joiner, Last residence looks like something like Swislocs (???) and the destination seems to be New York. The age and occupation are correct, but we have no record of the Lubans being in New York (though Lubans from Jekapils did indeed settle in New York) and I have no clue where “Swislocs” might be. This is the only entry I can find for someone with the initials S.L. entering the US in 1904 who has a name remotely like “Solomon Luban” who also is a joiner/carpenter. Other entries may be more similar in name (e.g. Samuel Lewin…) but don’t match occupation at all.
Even more tenuous is a ship’s manifest that might indicate Henry Luban’s family, Esther, Belle and Sarah’s, entry into the US. The manifest for the ship Kroonland from Antwerp (Aug. 20, 1904 arriving Aug. 29, 1904, has the following entries:
Rachel Liebstein, age 37, married, Russian-Hebrew, from “Mosty?” Russia, going to join her husband, Ephraim (?) Liebstein in Brooklyn, NY. If Solomon was on his way to New York (see above) sailing from Holland, maybe Esther would have followed a similar path. Problem is, “Rachel” isn’t “Esther” and Esther would have been more like 26-27. BUT notice the last two children, below:
Rachel was sailing with her children:
Moische, age 9; Feiwel age 7; Leib age 3; Beile age 2; and Sore, age 11 months.
In the 1920 census record, Henry and Esther’s elsdest kids were Belle and Sarah. They would have been age 2 and about 1 in 1904. No elder brothers are listed in 1920. No older brothers are mentioned by Henry Luban’s family. So this makes it unlikely that this record is of Esther and her family. Considering this entry to be referring to Henry’s family is based only on the names Belle and Sarah with about the right ages. Note also that Ephraim could well have been anglicized to Henry. I can find no better candidate entry for their immigration, though we certainly know they came. I can also find no evidence for Henry’s entry, though it is unclear what name “Henry” comes from.
There are two ship’s manifests that might document the arrival of Dora, Dora’s three oldest children and Ida to Ellis Island. The first manifest contains appropriate first names and mostly appropriate ages, but the names are crossed out. A latter manifest for a second ship has the same names, but the ages are different (and less appropriate). In either case it takes some imagination.
Manifest for the Corina, leaving Liverpool, England, November 17, 1906, arriving in New York November 26, 1906. There is no record of how they got from Russia to Liverpool.
Transcribed from this manifest (though on the real manifest the place of residence is hard to read):
Name Gender Age Married Ethnicity Place of Residence
0005. Lande, Bassje D. F 46y M Russian, Hebrew, Kansilow
0006. Lande, Ente B. F 23y S Russian, Hebrew, Kansilow
0007. Lande, Simon M 8y S Russian, Hebrew, Kansilow
0008. Lande, Sara F 7y S Russian, Hebrew, Kansilow
0009. Lande, Chaje F 2y S Russian, Hebrew, Kansilow
The “D” in Bassje D Lande could be Dvora/Dwieva, though she SHOULD be 36 in 1906. Bassje may be a version of Basya/Batyah. Ente could be Ida (who is not a Luban, but probably traveled with Dora and her family from Russia and hence would have used the same name for easier immigration) and she would have been about 23 in 1906. Simon and Sara are the correct names and ages. Chaje could be Celia, who would have been about 2 in 1906. Her real name may well have been Chaya (the feminine of Chayim, “life”). Oddly, their destination is Chicago, IL, where they are joining Bassje’s husband. Chicago is quite close to Milwaukee, of course, but I have never heard that we were in Chicago at any point. Bassje’s hair is listed as black and eyes as blue, unusual for a Jew but not uncommon in our family. She is 5’ even. Their place of origin on the original manifest looks more like “Sherpoli, Russia” rather than Kanislow which is shown in the transcript.
These names are crossed out, along with the three above them, on the manifest. They show up again on a manifest for the Campania, leaving Liverpool November 24, 1906 and arriving in New York December 6, 1906.
On the manifest for the Campania they are listed:
Name Gender Age Married Ethnicity Place of Residence
0024. Lande, Bassin F 46y M Russia, Hebrew ...isslov, Russia
0025. Lande, Ente F 28y S Russia, Hebrew ...isslov, Russia
0026. Lande, Sura F 8y S Russia, Hebrew ...isslov, Russia
0027. Lande, Simon M 6y S Russia, Hebrew ...isslov, Russia
These are clearly the same people as on the manifest above but Bassin’s age is still wrong, but now all the other ages are also off. Simon and Sara’s relative ages are reversed. Chaja is now male. On this manifest, Bassin is listed as being from something like “Therpole” (could this be Daugavpils?) and Ida from “Charnovsky” or something like that. Ida’s occupation is listed as “tailoress.”
0028. Lande, Chaja M 3y
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