Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Phillip Lieberman

Philip Lieberman 1868-1937
     Philip Lieberman, another great-grandfather of mine, has been a genealogical mystery man to me for a long time.  No family members I spoke to seemed to know much about him, and nothing about his contemporary family.  To further complicate my research, although I thought I knew that my Philip lived in Philadelphia, other folks who posted what seemed like his family tree had him living in New York and dying there.  I couldn't find a passenger list or a naturalization record for him either. Finally, with the assistance of the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS.gov), I obtained his naturalization record and was able to untangle him from another Philip Lieberman (born about the same time, wife also named Becky), who was a Romanian furrier living in New York.
     My Philip (Pinchus as he was then) was born  February 27, 1868, in the town of Berdichev, Zhitomir district, now in Ukraine.  According to his tombstone, his father's name was Tszi Hirsch.  Berdichev was a large and prosperous town having more than 40,000 Jews out of a total population of over 53,000 in 1897.[1]  In about 1886 he married Beile Kandel of the nearby town of Makhnovka.  They quickly had three children, Dwore, Lieb, and Chaie.  In 1893, Pinchus left Makhnovka and travelled to Bremen where he embarked on the ship H.H. Meier sailing to New York City.  He arrived on August 1, 1893, listing himself as a laborer.[2]
      By 1895 Philip had moved to Philadelphia where he lived at 532 South Street.  In September 1985 he went to the Rosenbaum Immigrant Bank and purchased passage to Philadelphia for Beile and the three children. He paid in two installments, $48.25 in the first, and $20 due in 30 days[3].  They arrived in New York, also aboard the H.H. Meier, on November 15, 1895.[4]  Five years later, according to the 1900 census, they were living in a rented house at 308 Christian Street, along with the original three children, now named Dorothy, Louis, and Ida, as well as a new son, Nathan, and a daughter Annie .  By 1910, they had bought a new house at 716 Tasker Street, where Philip had a tailor business [5].  At that time, their grandson, Henry Bogatin was also living with them, as well as another son, Irving, and a servant, a 26 year old black woman named Rebecca Anderson.
     Philip and Beile (Bella, Becky,) continued to live at the Tasker Street address until his death in 1937.  Census records and various City Directories show that he continued as a tailor making pants (trousers, pantaloons)working for himself or as a contractor.  They have many descendants and I have traced most of them, but I have not been able to find anything about any siblings or other relatives of his.  I was told that a Simon Lieberman, a well known colleague of V.I. Lenin, was a cousin.  He was also born near Berdichev and photos show a resemblance, and I have done some research on him, but can't confirm that he was related in any way.  Lieberman cousins out there.... do you know any more about Philip or his family?

1.  Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust. Vol 1. p. 112. Shmuel Spector, Editor in Chief.  2001. Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.  New York University Press, Washington, Square, New York.
2.  New York Passenger List for S.S H.H. Meier, arrival 1 August 1893 in New York City.  Manifest for Pinchus Lieberman (indexed as Pinchus Hieberman aboard H.H. Heier). (Ancestry. com Provo Utah.) record online.
3.  Rosenbaum Bank Ticket Purchase Books  1890-1934. September 1895 page 105. Record online. accessed at Philadelphia Jewish Archives Center, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.
4.  New York Passenger List for S.S. H.H. Meier, arrival Nov 15, 1895 in New York City.  Manifest for Beile, Dwore, Lieb, and Chaie Lieberman p.0354. (Ancestry.com, Provo UT.) database online.
5.  Ancestry.com, 1910 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006) database online.

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