Tag Archives: Semmel

Apologies for not having updated the blog in a while; I was swamped with schoolwork for the past few months, but now I’ve survived my first semester of grad school and have some more free time on my hands!

One of my goals when I started out on this genealogy journey was to get in touch with living people on other branches of my family tree.  To that end, I’ve been using a lot of social media outreach to try and find people as well as to have them find me.  I wrote a while back about meeting up with some distant cousins in Chicago when I was there in May, but boy have things come a long way since then!

The nice thing about having a genealogy blog, I’ve found, is that other people looking for their family members often come across it.  I’ve been lucky enough to have a few of them reach out- hi, Mark & Bob!

Mark’s great-great-grandmother Sarah was the first cousin of my great-great-grandmother Bertha Semmel Cowen.

I. Semmel parents
	A. Casriel (Charles), 1817-1891, Jarocin, Poland
	m. 3 times
		1. 9 children
	B.  male child
	m. ?
		1. Bertha
		m. Bennett Cowen
		…4 generations down:  me!
	C. female child
	m. male Schackman
		1. Sarah
		m. male Morris
			a. Hattie Morris, 1871-1955
	 		m. male Freyberg
				i. Harold
				…2 generations down:  Mark Mandle

Mark is a genealogist in Chicago, and has sent me a plethora of information to sort through.  Once I do, it’s more than enough for multiple other posts!

Bob is related through a different branch of the tree, the Cohns.  Louis and Rebecca Cohn, the patriarch and matriarch of that branch of the family tree, apparently were instrumental in bringing over a lot of Rebecca’s family from the old country.  Rebecca was born Rivka Sosna, and had a number of siblings and half-siblings.  Bob’s wife is the great-granddaughter of one of Rebecca’s brothers or half-brothers (still trying to do work on that side of the family to figure it out!)

I. Beril (Benjamin)
m. Machala/Mochala
	A. Rebecca
	…5 generations down:  me!
	B. Phillip
	…3 generations down:  Saraann (m. Bob)
	C. Pessil (Bessie)
	m. male Tartakowsky
	D. Max
	* missing ~3 other siblings & some may be half-siblings

For more information on this branch of the family, Bob’s Ancestry Tree is the best source of information (though I’m not sure whether the link will work if you are not “invited” to see the tree).

Anyhow, those are the two new major findings I’ve had recently, and it really is great to be getting in touch with so many people.  This blog is working wonders & doing exactly what I set out for it to do 🙂


I’ve been researching my family’s genealogy on and off for years.  Recently, I got more serious about it and in the process, was able to quickly find out a lot of information thanks to both (free access at my public library- yea!) and some papers that my dad found, which had been passed on to him from his grandmother.

The lines I am currently researching are the following:

  • COWEN (Bennett m. Bertha Semmel)
  • DESENBERG (Bernard/Bernhart L. m. Bertha L. Schuster)

These are the generations that immigrated to the United States.  They are my great-great-great grandparents, born in the 1830-40s.  Bennett and Bertha COWEN had 6 children.  Bernard and Bertha DESENBERG had 3.

Further back, I am also researching:

  • DESENBERG (Bernard m. Ester Katzensten and their sons Jacob, Hertz (m. Marinne Rosenstein) and Levy (m. Adeline aka Adel))

Bernard and Ester were the grandparents of Bernard and Bertha DESENBERG whom I listed above.  All three brothers- Jacob, Hertz, and Levy- had many children, so that part of the family is huge & I would love to get in touch with anyone who can trace their lineage back to them.

Over the next few days & weeks I will be entering a lot of the information I have on my genealogy and with that will come a list of all the surnames on my tree.  That will eventually be searchable, as well.

If you have any information related to any of the people on my family tree, please reach out to me using the information on the Contact Aliyah page.