Date: Tue, 2 Nov 1999 14:04:47 -0500
From: "G. Katz" <Hatulah@...>
Subject: KATZ; STERNIN; WITTENDORF; LENTZNER
I have been a member of the list for several weeks to get a feel for it, and
now I would like to post my paternal family names to see if they sound
familiar to anyone. To all listers..keep up the good (and important) work!
On my father's father's side:
Shneor Yehezkel KATZ married to Kaila STERNIN (possibly spelled in English
SHTERNIN or SCHTERNIN), probably in the 1870s. These were my great
grandparents and I am still unsure of where they lived, either Latvia or
Belarus. I know their children lived in Kovno, Daugavpils, Liebau, Riga,
Minsk, among other places (my grandfather Gershon KATZ and two siblings,
Anna KATZ STERNIN and "Sam" KATZ came to New York), but I don't know if any
of these places were where they grew up.
Kaila STERNIN KATZ had a brother, Raphael STERNIN, who went to Eretz Israel
in 1890. My grandfather's sister, Anna, married her cousin Nathan STERNIN
(shortened to STERN in America), and I am particularly interested in finding
how they were related as cousins (first? second?).
The KATZ line is said to have been able to trace the family back to Spain in
1492, and even further back to Maimonides. All family owned records (books,
etc.) were apparently lost with the Russian Revolution in 1917. The
Sternins are descended from Sterne, the sister of Rav Shneor Zalman, the
founder of the Lubavitch movement.
On my father's mother's side:
Shmuel Shabtai WITTENDORF (maybe spelled WITENDORF, or even WITCHENDORF or
with a "V") married Tova Reva LENTZNER in Vilna, probably in the 1870s. Six
of their eleven children came to New York (the others remaining in Vilna, as
far as we know, and being liquidated with the Vilna ghetto): Sonia
WITTENDORF KATZ (my grandmother), Ethel WITTENDORF (married Charles
BRESSLER), Louis and Abraham WITTENDORF (shortened to WITTEN in the States),
Sarah WITTENDORF (married Harry SOPMAN) and Rose WITTENDORF (married Julius
FISHKIN). These people I know. I want to find others who are either from
those left in Europe, or cousins.
At least two LENTZNER first cousins also came to the U.S.: Abraham, who
lived in the Bronx for a time, and his brother, who was allegedly a member
of Dutch Schultz's gang.
I know there are other LENTZNERS out there (I just met one, thanks to the
Internet and JewishGen, although we are not yet sure in which generation the
sibling connection is). Can anyone help take me further back from my great
grandparents Shmuel Shabtai and Tova Reva Wittendorf of Vilna?
Thanks to all who have now read this lengthy letter!