Monthly Archives: April 2013

One really fun part of doing all this genealogy research is getting in touch with distant relatives who have their own information on parts of the family tree. There’s a lot you can find on the Internet, but there’s a lot that’s special about talking to people who can provide information first-hand; people who either are or knew the people you’re researching. This picture is of Sanford J Herzog (who is my first cousin 3x removed-in-law…if you were wondering). I’ve been writing to his granddaughter-in-law, and she sent me this picture. So cool! Even though we’re not related by blood, I always love to see old pictures of people on my family tree- especially since I have so few pictures of the people I’m directly related to. Thanks, Dorr!

Sanford J. Herzog at the Drexel Fountain, Hyde Park (Chicago) Illinois.  May 1917

Sanford J. Herzog at the Drexel Fountain, Hyde Park (Chicago) Illinois. May 1917


I’m putting this up to share the information I have, but this family tree is the one that I am currently looking more in depth into. I will be updating this page as I learn more about this branch of my family. If you know anything about the FRIEDLANDER or SKIBELL surnames, please get in touch!

I. Louis Cohn (b. Russia; d. 1930) – had 2 sisters
m. Rebecca (b. 1863, Russia; d. 1946) – had 1 full brother, 1 full sister, and 3 half-brothers
	A. Sarah (b. 5-12-1885; d. 7-16-1969)
	m. Samuel Schwartzmann (b. 12-24-1885; d. 12-31-1970)
		1. Florence L.
		m. Bernard (Bernie) Berger (11-22-1930)
			a. Valerie Michelle
			m. Lee (Leon) Feldman (3-14-1956)
				i. Suzanne
		2. Adeline
		m. Lou Horwitch
			a. Mel
			m. Sally Schwager
				i. Greg
				ii. Adam
			b. Richard
			m. Rachel
				i. Mark
				m. Wendy
				ii. David
				m. Laura Pekay
					A. Maya
					B. Lacey Bria (d. 2013)
					C. Jenna
		3. Helen (b. 5-12-1907, IL; d. 12-4-1988, Norwalk, CT)
		m. Meyer J Weinstein (6-10-1930) (d. 10-30-1985, Cook County, IL)
			a. Laurence (b. 1933)
			m. Mirrel Davis (6-10-1959) (b. 1935)
				i. Michael Alan (b. 1960)
				m. Robin Paley (b. 1960)
					3 daughters
				ii. Elizabeth (b. 1963)
				m. Richard Ross
					2 daughters
				iii. David Edward (b. 1965)
				m. Donna Katz
	B. Dave (b. 1890, Rock Island, IL)
	m. Molly (since divorced) (b. St. Louis)
		1. Naomi
		2. Merle
		3. Harold
	m. Rose Barth
		1. Shirley Jean (b. 1-24-1927; d. 1-5-2001, Naples, FL)
		m. Sydney Librach (b. 8-29-1926; d. 7-2-2005)
			a. Richard (b. 1955)
			m. Cheryl (b. 1960)
				i. Jennifer
				ii. Sarah (b. 1984)
				iii. Daniel
				iv. Rachael
			b. Jeff
			m. Nan Twin
				i. Jonathan
	C. Milton (b. 1892, Rock Island, IL)
	m. Rose
		1. Raymond (b. 5-30-1915)
		m. Sylvia Zanville (6-26-1938, Cabell County, WV) (b. 2-7-1918; d. 12-14-2011)
			a. Elaine
			m. Gerald Friedlander
				a. Mark
				b. Lauren
				c. Stephen
			m. Irwin Skibell
			b. Helen
			m. John “Johnny” Plous
				1. Amy
				m. Paul Bornstein
					a. Becca
				2. Robin
				m. Lapins
					a. Abby
					b. Rachel
				m. Brian Udany (+ stepson Mason)
		2. Shirley (d.)
		m. Dick Tolpin (d.)
			a. Danny
			m. Darlin
				i. Kati
				m. Mason B. Green (6-10-2006)
					A. Emily Rachel
				ii. Adam
				m. Caitlin Holloway (9-9-2012)
			b. Richard
			m. Sheilah
		3. Marilyn (d.)
		m. Kenny Davidson (d.)
			a. Neil (b. 1952)
			b. Patti (b. 1957)
			c. Cliff (b. 1958)
		4. Lester (b. ~1920)
	D. Meyer (b. 1895, Rock Island, IL; d. 1921)
	m. Harriet (Hattie) Press (1915) (b. ~1892, Sedalia, MO)
		1. George
		m. Fritzi Robinson
	E. Louis G (b. 1896, Rock Island, IL; d. 1962)
	m. Sarah (b. ~1898)
		1. Howard H
		2. Mayer L
		3. Delores
		4. Betty L
		m. Jordan Brown (2-20-1945) (b. 6-13-1924, Providence, RI)
			a. Randee Faye (b. 10-24-1947, New Orleans, LA)
			m. Myron H Jacobs
				i. Kim Lisa (b. 1965)
				ii. Shana Lynn (b. 1970)
				iii. Jennifer Lauren (b. 1973)
			b. Debra Kaye (b. 1951)
			m. Leonard Grossman
			m. husband 2 (8-22-1973)
			c. Janette Sue (b. 1-1-1955, New Orleans, LA)
			m. James Brown, Jr. (6-9-1979)
				i. Rachell Suzanne (b. 1980)
				ii. David Edward (b. 1982)
				iii. Kevin Aaron (b. 1982)
	F. Benjamin F (b. ~1901)
	m. Jeannette Freund (b. ~1909)
		1. Louis (b. 10-6-1930)


In 2 weeks, I’m heading off to Chicago!  It’s a city I’ve always wanted to visit and have heard great things about, so I’m super excited for this trip!  I can’t wait to see all the architecture, museums, and sites and- most importantly- taste all the delicious food I’ve heard about ever since I decided that this was a trip I wanted to take.

How does this at all relate to genealogy?  Let me start by saying, this trip did not originate as a research trip.  (If you’re wondering how it did originate, years ago, I decided that I wanted to go to Chicago to try iCream, which I heard about on the Food Network- you make your own ice cream flavor & freeze it with liquid nitrogen!  But I digress…)

It turns out that I have a lot of family history based in Chicago.  My dad’s father’s parents (Meyer J Weinstein & Helen Schwartzmann) and great-grandparents (Samuel Schwartzmann and Sarah Cohn) are buried there, as are my dad’s mother’s grandparents (Israel Cowen & possibly his wife Alma Desenberg) and their siblings (probably Michael and Carlos K Cowen).  Other family members held important roles in Chicago’s history, including two who were influential Rabbis (Samuel Disraeli (SD) Schwartz and Frederick (Fritzie) C Schwartz).  Yet others went to universities in Chicago.

On my trip, I’m hoping to make it to a bunch of places to gather more genealogy-related information.  I’d like to make it out to the cemeteries where people are buried to do some rubbings.  There’s the Jewish Genealogical Society, which might have some historical gravestone information, as well as the library at the Spertus Institute, which has books and old newspapers that I know my ancestors are mentioned in.  Apparently, the Chicago History Museum’s library has books that mention some of my Chicago ancestors.  (Thanks, Dorr!)  And if I can make it to any of the university libraries, then I’ll go through old school records to find people as well.  A daunting task, since I’m also hoping to see the rest of Chicago! 😉

Anyway, I will update again about this trip, either while I’m there (since I put the WordPress app on my phone!) or once I get home to share the information I found.  I just have to find a way to sit tight until May 6!

I can’t believe I just started this blog yesterday!  It’s nice to have one place where I can store all of the genealogy information have, and even more importantly for me, somewhere where I can easily search for names when I’m looking for them, instead of searching through piles of handwritten papers!

  • The “My Family Tree” link at the top of the page links to the family tree I’ve put together on Ancestry.  It has a lot on it now and I am continuing to update it as I have a LOT of names to add.  Names & birth/death dates are coming first; marriage dates are coming later as they are a bit more difficult to input.  But the outline-style family trees that I’m adding here as blog posts do include that information.
  • I added a “Links” page which contains- what else?- links to publicly accessible online information about my ancestors.  This does not include anything you need to pay to access, so, no Ancestry links.  (There’s a lot of cool stuff on here!!)

Those are the two main additions since yesterday.  More is always coming, because there’s always more to learn.  Again, if you’re related to any of the people mentioned on this site, please get in touch!

I. Samuel E. Davis (b. PA; d. 1948)
m. Anna Davidson (b. 12-10-1872, UT; d. after 1964)
	A. Joseph (b. 1897)
	m. Elizabeth Cowen
		1. Joseph Samuel (b. 1930, IL)
		m. Martha Grier
			a. Elizabeth Louise
			b. Katherine Ann
			c. Mark Bennett
			d. James Lincoln
		2. Mirrel (b. 1935)
		m. Laurence Weinstein (b. 1933)
			a. Michael Alan (b. 1960)
			m. Robin Gail Paley (b. 1960)
				i. Aliyah Miel
				ii. Spencer Yael
				iii. Arin Chava
			b. Elizabeth
			m. Richard Ross
				i. Alexandra
				ii. Anastasia
			c. David Edward
			m. Donna Katz
	B. David (b. 5-30-1907; d. 9-29-1964)
	m. Sara Kadison (1-12-1929)

I. Bernhart L. Desenberg (b. 1830, Germany)
m. Bertha L. Schuster (7-19-1864) (b. 1839, Germany)
	A. Benno (b. 1866; d. 1-1-1917)
	B. Edward (Eddie) B. (b. 9-8-1867; d. 1-20-1940, Chicago)
	C. Alma M. (b. 12-13-1873, Kalamazoo, MI; d. 12-13-1950)
	m. Israel Cowen (b. 12-12-1861, Houston; d. 4-3-1922, Chicago)
		1. Bayard Desenberg (b. 1901, IL)
		2. Elizabeth (b. 2-28-1907, South Holland, IL; d. 1984)
		m. Joseph Davis (b. 1897)
			a. Joseph Samuel (b. 1930, IL)
			m. Martha Grier
				i. Elizabeth Louise
				ii. Katherine Ann
				iii. Mark Bennett
				iv. James Lincoln
			b. Mirrel (b. 1935)
			m. Laurence Weinstein (b. 1933)
				i. Michael Alan (b. 1960)
				m. Robin Gail Paley (b. 1960)
					A. Aliyah Miel
					B. Spencer Yael
					C. Arin Chava
				ii. Elizabeth
				m. Richard Ross
					A. Alexandra
					B. Anastasia
				iii. David Edward
				m. Donna Katz

One of the coolest things, that I’ve only been able to experience recently, is actually making contact with people you come across as a name on paper in the process of doing this genealogy research.  Of course I know my siblings, first cousins, aunts/uncles, and grandparents- they don’t count for this, even though they’re included on the tree.  I’m talking about finding relatives you didn’t even know existed, down a branch of the family tree that nobody’s thought about for generations!

I recently got in touch with a man named Art Zemon.  As briefly as possible, here’s how the two of us are related:  Art’s great-uncle (by blood) was married to the niece of my great-great grandfather.  Confusing?  I completely understand!  I will be posting that portion of the family tree soon so that it’s easier to visualize the connection.

I actually came across Art’s genealogy website when trying to find out more information about the family of that niece I mentioned above.  (Her name is Amy (Cowen) Herzog.)  It turns out that Art has been very involved in researching his family’s genealogy, and we both went out just far enough on our own family trees to make this connection.  I reached out to him by e-mail, and he wrote back!  It was by far the coolest moment I’ve had so far throughout this process.  Hearing from someone who was just a name on paper?  Amazing!!  Genealogy becomes so much more worthwhile once you realize that there are people out there who you’re related to that you can contact & talk to!  I’m hoping that in the future I can continue to correspond with Art as well as find more people to get in touch with.

(Art’s website has a lot of information about the following surnames:  HERZOG, LEVY, SERBY, ZEMON.  Some of his information is replicated here- mostly the HERZOG line- but not nearly all of it.  If you’re looking for more on those lines, I suggest checking out Art’s website.)