How and when did David Maidenberg get to Marion, Indiana?

David and Rosa arrive at Ellis Island June 30, 1906, then go to Philadelphia. In November, 1913, David is in Marion, Indiana. We don’t know if Rosa is also there. In 1914 she is, because the fourth son, Frank, is born in Marion. What do we know of their travel from Philadelphia to Marion? The stories about David getting confused about Marion, Indiana and Marion, Ohio are part of family lore, with Columbus, Ohio and Columbus, Indiana a competing story. The actual train schedules of the day add another layer of mystery. Read More

Dzygivka Jewish history

This is a chapter from a book in Russian that was translated by Dima. It appears to be an accurate historic account of history of the shtetl’s Jewish community. Read More

Did Solomon Have Siblings?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is we don’t know how many, and we have only indirect information on the one sibling of whom we are most certain. The best information we have comes not from the Old Country but from America. Read More

How did our ancestors get to Ukraine?

The family legend, which is related in the entry, Where did the name Maidenberg come from? holds that our ancestors once lived in Magdeburg, then Prussia, now Germany and over the decades moved eastward into Poland and Ukraine. Read More

Where did the name Maidenberg come from?

Surnames or family names were adopted by Jews in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, under dictate from authorities who wanted the information to count, tax, register for military service, and in general have stronger administrative control over their Jewish subjects. Read More

How did David and Rosa get from Russia to America?

David and Rosa’s ship arrival record shows the last residence as “Dwow”, which is probably Lvov. How did they get from Lvov to Liverpool? Son Ben remembers clearly that his parents told him they went first to Hamburg. Hamburg to Liverpool to New York to Philadelphia was the likely routing. The passage was probably paid for by Ida Cohen, “Tante Haika”, sister of David’s mother. She had come to America in 1901. Read More

What do we know about Tante Haika? Two interviews with Ed Caine, her son.

Ed was interviewed in 1993 by his step-niece, Anne Karmatz, and again in 1997 by Mike Maidenberg. The two interviews should be read together. Ed provides detail of his mother as a tough, shrewd businesswoman whose favorite nephew was David Maidenberg. Ed’s father is Isaac in the 1993 interview, but Ed refers to him as Hirshel in 1997.  So far, no ship arrival record has been located. In both interviews, Ed refers to the “corporation”, a group of men who funded Haika’s ventures and also staked David in his early peddling career. Read the 1993 interview. Read the 1997 interview. The 1993 interview can be heard in the Audio section.

Frank Maidenberg oral history, October 1991 Highlights

Frank, then 77, was interviewed in Madison by a friend of Jill’s who was a skilled interviewer. The actual recorded interviews can be heard in the Audio section of this website. This document has Mike’s notes about Frank’s comments and observations. There are some wonderful details: Like in Dzigivka was just Fiddler on the Roof, the bad (pogroms) as well as good…David and Rosa sold baked goods in Odessa…Frank had a Hebrew name, “Frayn”…there was a breakdown in family communications after David sent Joseph $1,500 to come to America, but Joseph stayed, and didn’t return the money…David read “Der Tog” Yiddish newspaper…Frank tells story of the two Marions when his father came west, adds details…he also has David in New York rather than Philadelphia, which doesn’t square with Census…touching stories doing business in Gas City…little overt anti-Semitism, occasional crack about the “Jew peddler”…the Yiddish nicknames for all the brothers, all teasing and revealiing…how National China came to be…Mom and her ways…Jewish life in Marion…had a bar mitzvah…long, long traditional seders…at one time 50-60 kids in Sunday School…meeting Nan, the girl next door…Zimmerman family saw Maidenbergs as from the other side of the tracks, but approved the match…Depression was hard for Pop, touch and go financially…the Army…Nan’s illness and death…civic activity, desire to make world better…fundmental optimism. Read More

World War II: Stories of death and survival

Germany invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. By this time the partriarch and matriarch, Solomon and Perel, had already died, as had one of their seven children, Goldeh. David and Esther were safe in North America. Malkeh, Joseph, Elkeh and Malieh were all in mortal peril. Three of the four survived. This document tells the stories of death and survival, based on the letters and on Mike’s trip journal. Read More

World War II: Stories of death and survival: Ida Maidenberg Dekhtyar’s testimony

Ida was the sister of Amnon. During the war she was interned in the area known as Transnistria, along with her father Joseph and mother Sarah. In her testimony, she recounts their harrowing flight to the ancestral shtetl of Dzygivka, their time there, the death of Malkeh, and their eventual liberation by the Red Army.  Read the testimony

What is the relationship between the Meidenberg family of Philadelphia and New York and the Maidenberg family of Philadelphia and Marion, Indiana?

It seems certain that Joseph Meidenberg and Solomon Maidenberg were brothers. [The different spellings of the name are inconsequential. Both are transliterations from the Russian. Plus there are documents which show Solomon’s last name spelled as Meidenberg.] Joseph Meidenberg emigrated directly to Philadelphia in 1900. See arrival record. Solomon remained in Russia. His son David emigrated to Ellis Island and then Philadelphia in 1906. Read More

What is the relationship between the Bar-Lev family of Israel and the Maidenberg family?

The two families are closely intertwined in terms of geography, family and friendship, but they are not related by blood. Read More

What is the relationship between the Maidenberg family of Paris and the Maidenberg family of America and Russia?

The two families come from the same general area in present day Ukraine and they have similar given names, but there is no provable link. Read More