The Journey of Steve Jaron

Climbing the tree one branch at a time

Levy’s of Ruhrort-Duisburg

Through her Levy ancestors, Albertina was descended from one of the 2 oldest Jewish families in Ruhrort-Duisburg.  Before Napoleon decreed that everyone must have a surname they used Levy, SeGaL and patronymics in place of actual surnames.   For purposes of this story I will just be using Levy.

The oldest known Levy on my tree is Michel and is estimated to have lived in the 1500’s.  From what I have been able to gather he had three children however I only know the name of one of them at this time.  From the time between him and great-grandson Moses Levy I don’t really know much, however once I get certain pieces of a book translated I may be able to expand on this time period of my family.  However here is what I know so far – his unknown son was the father of a Raphael Levy.  His unknown daughter was married to a man named Hertz Magnus and they had 2 children – Anna and Moses.  Moses had eight children and 3 grandchildren that I know of.  His son Lehmann was married to a woman by the name of Phey Hertz and their children were Hanna, Semele, and Moses.  Anna was married to Moses David and they had a son named Leiser.  Leiser had four children – David, Henneken, Moses and Samuel.  If I am correct Samuel was married to Henriette Neumann and they had 5 children – Helene, Bertha, Johanne, Susanne, and Henriette.

The known son is Moses, my 7th great-grandfather, and he was married to Beeltgen.  He had three children that I know of – Michael Joseph, Samuel, and Hester.  Hester was married twice – to Liefmann Aaron and Jost Levi.  With Liefmann she had a daughter by the name of Gymken.  Samuel was married to Helena and had eight chldren – Moses, Schatel/Charlotte, Magdalena, Reinjen, Sibilla, Eva, Kelie, and Clara.

Michael Joseph is my 6th great-grandfather and was married to Sara.  They had one child that I know about – Moses who was my 5th great grandfather.  Moses was married to Sprinz Gomperz and had five children that I know of – Michael, Gompel, Juda, Abraham, and David.

It is starting from here is where I am able to go more in depth.

There oldest child was Michael Levy who was married to Teiche Michel with he had three children – Helene, Jacob and Regina.  Helene was married to Joseph Phillip and I have not found anything on Regina.

Their son Jacob on the other hand I was successful in tracing his descendants to the present day.  Jacob was married to Caroline Bellmond and they had one daughter – Sophia.  For some reason Sophia was sent France as a child to study in a convent.  She married Simon Schoenthal from Marienhafe and they had one child – Nathan.  Nathan married Goldine von der Wall and had five children – Else, Sophie, Siegbert, Sara, and Kathe.  Goldine, Sophie and her family (husband Eliazer Pinto, children Dina and Bernard), Sara and Kathe were all murdered in Auschwitz.  Siegbert and his wife Margarete and three of their four children came to the US in 1939 and ended up in Nebraska however the family now lives in Virginia and North Dakota.

I am skipping Gompel, the next oldest for now since he is my fourth great-grandfather.

After Gompel came Juda however I know nothing more than that he existed.

Abraham, their fourth child, was married to Sibilla Franken and they had five children – Sara, Baruch, Regina, Agathe, and Sophie.  The only one I have any concrete information on is Sophie.  Sophie married Isaak Spier and they had three children – Berthold, Bella, and Abraham.  I have not been able to find what happened to Abraham as of yet.  Berthold married a Dutch woman who was actually connected to his cousin’s in-law’s.  Bella married Abraham Albert Davids and they had two children – Otto and Erna.  Bella was murdered in Theresienstadt, Otto was murdered in Izbica, and Erna was murdered in the Lodz Ghetto along with her husband Felix Frankfurt.

Their fifth child was David and he was married to Rosa Salomon Herz with whom he had one child – Sophia.  Sophia was married to Salomon Mozes Cohen who owned the department store Cohen & Epstein with Sophia’s cousin.  I am uncertain how the Epstein’s were cousins at this time.

Their second child was Gompel – who was married to Esther Markus from Weisweiler and together they had five children.

The oldest was their only daughter Sara who, as far as I can tell, was never married.

Their oldest son was Markus was married to Rosetta Kaufmann from Grevenbroich and they had five children – Mortiz, Jakob, Jeanette, Julie, and Flora.  I have been able to get very far with this branch of the tree, but here is what I have found.  Julie married a man named Louis Ries.  Jakob married a woman named Sophia Lowenbach and they had two children – Emmy and Max both of whom were murdered in the Lodz Ghetto.

Skipping over the next two children – their youngest son was David of whom I know nothing about.

The two children I skipped over are Moshe my third great-grandfather and Abraham.  Moshe and Abraham happened to marry a pair of sisters from the town of Randerath by the names of Regina and Henriette Mendel.  Seeing as Regina is my third great-grandmother I will go into their ancestry more in-depth later.

Though Moshe was older I will discuss Abraham fist.  Abraham was married to Henriette and they had eight children – Gustav, Albert, Emma, Elise, Herman, Moritz, Siegmund, and Max.  Of those eight Albert, Emma and Elise died as children.  Of Moritz I have not been able to find anything about, of Hermann he was married to Aurelie Klestadt, and Siegmund the only thing I know is that he was married to Johanna Josephs.

Abraham’s son Gustav was married to Anna Steinberg of Hoxter and they had two daughters – Erna, who died when she was 19 as a nurse assisting the German soldiers in World War I  and Lore who married Otto Orzegow from Ratiborg, Germany.   Before emigrating to Chile they and their son lived in Amsterdam.  Their descendants currently live in Chile and Germany.

Lastly we come to the branch I know the most about – my third great-grandfather Moshe Levy and his wife Regina.

Moshe and Regina had eight children all born in the town of Duisburg.  Of those eight two were married  with no children – Emma to Benjamin Sanders and Salomon to Marie Else Bing; and two died as infants – Gustav and August.  Their son Max I know nothing about at this time.  The remaining three Sophie, Albertina, and Julie will be gone into in greater detail below.

Though the youngest of the three I will start with Julie who married Maurits van Leeuwen.  Together they had five children – Max, Anna, Helene Emmij, Ida Amalia, and Philip.  Anna, Helene, and Ida never married and Anna was murdered in Auschwitz.  After the war Ida lived in Israel.  Philip was married to Kato Schnitzler and they had no children.  Max was married to Leonie Salomon and they had two children Lisolette and Hans, all of whom were murdered in Sobibor.

Their oldest child was Sophie who was married to Seligman Cohn and together they had seven children – Gustave, Sally, Alfred, Hedwig, and Anna.  From what I know at this time only three of their children died unmarried and childless – Alfred, Paul and Max.

Their oldest child was Gustave and he was married to Hanna Apelt/Apert with whom he had four children – Margarethe/Margarita, Fritz, Karlo Alfons, and Max.  Fritz, while living in the Netherlands, was deported and murdered in Auschwitz.  It is currently unknown what happened to Max.  Over 15 years from 1925 to 1940 Gustave and his kids along with his brother Paul went to Argentina where Gustave’s descendants currently live.

After Gustave was Sally who was married to Louise Mayer and they had two children – Gertrud who was married to Israel Phillip and Alfred who is married to Adah Polak, his second cousin.  Gertrud and Israel have one daughter who lives with her family in Germany.  Alfred and Adah have 3 children and they and their families live in various parts of Israel.

Hedwig married a man named Karl Lehmann and they had three children whose descendants live in Israel, the US, and Australia.  As a side note, the Lehmann’s are connected to the Kaufmann’s family who owned a department store chain in Pittsburgh (where I am from) and are connected to a childhood friend of mine.

Lastly Anna was married to Felix Marx and they had a daughter Lily who came to New York in the the 1930’s and married a man named Arthur Levy, they had no children.

Now for my branch – Albertina.

Albertina was married to Barend Polak of Dordrecht and Tilburg, Holland and they had four children – Alfred, Emma, Max Henri, and Roza Johanna.  I will begin with Alfred and Max together, which after reading should be apparent why.

Alfred, my great-grandfather was born in 1883 in Tilburg, Holland and was married to Seraphina Reinette van Cleeff from Rotterdam, Holland.  They had three daughters – Adah, Edith and Judith.  His brother Max was born in 1888 and was married twice.  His first wife was Bertha Cohen from Groningen and they had four children – Bertram, Florentine, Leonie, and Louise. Bertha died in 1931 from a long illness. His second wife was Charlotte Elias from Rotterdam and they had a daughter.  He along with his brother Max helped to run their father’s hide tanning and trading business in Tilburg where they both raised their respective families two doors down from each other until the day the Nazi’s invaded the Netherlands. On that day both Alfred’s family and Max, Charlotte, and three of his children escaped to London where they stayed with a family friend and a cousin on the Polak side before heading to New York by way of Canada.  Max’s oldest child Bertram was unable to escape with them and was eventually captured and murdered by the Nazi’s in Auschwitz-Birkenau.  While in New York Max and Charlotte became pregnant with his fifth and her first and only child.  Max died in New York shortly after finding out his son was murdered.  After the war Alfred, Seraphina, Charlotte and her daughter returned to the Netherlands.  After a few years Alfred was able to get his business and house back from the authorities.  Meanwhile Charlotte only stayed in the Holland for about a year to settle her family’s affairs – having lost both of her parents and her brother to the Nazi’s as well.  Today their descendants live in the US and Israel.

Their older sister Emma was born in 1885 and was married to Bernard Keijzer from Steenwijk and they had two children – Julius Barend and Albertine Frouwke.  All four of them were murdered in Sobibor in 1943.  When my family was in the Netherlands in 2011 we found some papers belonging to Julius in the Jewish museum in Amsterdam.  Contained in those papers was an engagement announcement for Albertine and a man named Walter Moses from 1941.

Barend and Albertina’s youngest daughter was Roza Johanna.  She was married to Heiman Elkan Sanders from Sneek and they had five children.  Their oldest son, Joachim, was murdered in Auschwitz-Monowitz.  Their other children were Albertina, Hanna, Dora, and Jacob.  The rest of the family spent the war in hiding and after the war the sisters made Aaliyah to Israel while Jacob stayed in the Netherlands.


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