Monday, August 28, 2017


Here lies - My husband and our dear father -
Josef Mordechai, son of Dove Chaim - the Levite
Died on 15 Av 5699
May his soul be bound up in the bond of life
Tombstone Tuesday is about Max Joseph. Batkin, Brooklyn, New York.  Born the 23rd of June 1873 in Vilna, Lithuania, he came to the US in 1899, married to Shifra Chaite.  The initial information about Max came from "The Red Book" as it is referred to in the family.  The Batkin Family Genealogy, compiled and edited by Stanley, L. Batkin, is a comprehensive publication about the Batkin clan.  Stanley Batkin sent this book to each cousin, it is a work of love and a fantastic resource.

Max J. Batkin's parents are Philip (Baruch) Batkin and Sarah Rivlin, born and died in Vilna, Lithuania.  Max has a brother, Henry Batkin, born in Vilna, and they had a sister Julie who remained in Vilna.  Not much else is known about Julie.

Max had 3 children; Jacob (Jack) Batkin, born in 1900 in the USA, Brooklyn, NY, on Essex Street. A copy of his birth certificate was found in New York.  Jack married Lillian Bloom, they had a daughter, Selma, who married Sidney Goer, who had two children, Suzan Goer and Jay Goer.

The oldest son, Harry Batkin was born in Brooklyn, in 1899.  He married Faye Smith, born in Vilna. Harry and Faye had two children, Helen and Paul.  Tragedy struck on July 4th, 1928 in Coney Island when a car accident severely hurt Harry. Suffering burns over his body he died the next day.  Faye and the children eventually moved to Boston to be with her parents, Issac and Sarah Smith.

There is no information on Ceil, the daughter who remained in England. no birth date, marriage information, town - nothing.

Max's brother Henry came to the US in 1891.  Married to Annie Rosenthal, they had 5 children - Jennie, a daughter, Rita, Fannie and Jacob.  Unfortunately this side of the family did not escape tragedy, as Jacob was killed in a robbery while collecting rent from the tenants of a building that Henry owned.

Max J. Batkin is buried in the Baron Hirsch Cemetery on Staten Island, NY. two graves down from his son Harry.  He is in the Velizer Progressive Benevolent Association section.  In the 25th anniversary  program publication of the Velizer Association, M. Batkin is listed as a trustee, and there is a page of memorials, that includes Max's son Harry.

Sunday, August 20, 2017


His name is Hyman Levine.  My grandmother (May)
always commented about how he is so handsome. It took a long time to figure out that he came to the US as Chaim Woskobojnik. According to the Hamburg passenger list, he left Hamburg, Germany the 12th of April 1899, arriving on April 25th. He traveled steerage, and arrived in New York. He was born around 1867 in the vicinity of Rowno (Rivne), Russia (now Ukraine).  Hyman's occupation is listed as a journeyman shoemaker, which makes sense since he ended up in Lynn, Massachusetts the then "shoe capitol of the world" during the turn of the 20th century.  

Married to Sophie, they had 5 children.  Sophie brought the 4 girls to the US on the 1st of September 1903, leaving from Rotterdam, arriving at the port of New York, with the last listed residence as Derazhno, Russia (now Derazhne, Ukraine).  Sophie was born around 1873.  Hyman and Sophie's 5th child, Louis, was born in Massachusetts.

Chaim met his family in New York - Tzirel (Sophie), Maelke (May), Sure (Sara), Feige (Frances), Chane (Anna) and brought them to Lynn, MA to settle in on Summer Street..  

January of 1903 Hyman made his declaration of intention at the Lynn Police Station.  On August 13th, 1906 he became a citizen.  On both documents the witnesses were Arthur Levine and Charles Crowley.  Arthur is believed to be a cousin, and further documentation and investigation is trying to prove that point.  Hyman could not write - he made "his mark".

By 1912 tragedy struck the family with Sophie (daughter of Reb Ozer) passing away at the age of 44.  Hyman married a widow with two children not long after and family life became complicated with five children from one family and 2 from another.  Hyman and his second wife had one child together, Jacob.

Hyman (Chayim Ze'ev, son of Reb Yaakov Halevi) died February 20,1940. He and his second wife are buried in Haverhill, MA.