All of my grandpa Levensohn’s immediate family, except his mother and one sister, immigrated to the US in the 1890s and 19-oughts. His mother, Malkah, passed away in the Old Country, and his eldest sister, Leah, stayed behind, married, and passed away, without ever coming to the U.S.Most of them moved to Cincinnati. Two possible exceptions are the youngest brother, who was known in the U.S. as Joe Levenson, and his sister, Sarah Levensohn. This is not to say that they did not come to Cincinnati; I just have not found any evidence that they did.
The first evidence I’ve found of Joe and of Sarah are in California and, eventually, their father, Joseph Levensohn and all of their U.S. siblings left Cincinnati and moved to California.
All of them moved to California, that is, except one, my grandpa. Why everyone else left Cincinnati but my grandpa stayed is a mystery probably lost to time. My guess is that his wife, my grandma, Bessie, wanted to stay in Cincinnati, where she had lived since childhood, and where she was raising her children.
The 1910 Census shows most of the Levensohns living in Cincinnati. Max, who had been there since the early 1890s, was living here on West Libertywith his wife, Clara (not to be confused with his sister, Clara); his father, Joseph Levensohn; his brother-in-law, Charles Bell, and his mother-in-law, Lea Bell.
Annie Levensohn Rubin – Hannah, according to her marriage license – was living with her husband, Morris Rubin, and three children: Paul, Minnie (Madelynne), and Peter on Laurel Street in Cincinnati. Her younger sister, Jennie, age 17 also lived with them.
Fannie Levensohn Bogner was also married, living with her husband, Nathan, and their first child, Max, at 1217 Cutter Street.
And my grandpa and grandma were living on Gest Street.
All of the Levensohns in Cincinnati were living in the West End. That part of town deteriorated, was partly razed for “projects” during the Depression, deteriorated further until the Eisenhower era, and then was torn apart for the building of I-75. It has been an area of slums for decades, but gentrification has begun there.There is a new townhouse at 1217 Cutter Street, where Fannie and her family lived.
The Gest Street address of my grandparents and the Laurel Street address where Annie and Jennie lived are long gone.
The first Levensohn I can find in California is Clara Levensohn Newstat (there are several spellings of this last name). In the 1910 census Clara was living in Stockton, California with her husband, James (Jacob), and their two children, Max, b. 1904 in Cincinnati and Martha. Martha was listed as “Mercina” and her age, in April, 1910, was three years old, having been born in California. So I think that Martha Neustat Craft (her married name) has the distinction of being the first Levensohn descendent born in California. (The address, at 124 West Main Street in Stockton appears to have been obliterated by destruction and construction.)
Sarah Levensohn married Samuel Althers Meyers sometime before 1912. There are birth records showing twins – Max and Marta Meyers – born to Sarah on the leap year day, February 29, 1912, in San Francisco. Records show the Meyers family living in San Francisco for several decades.
It looks as if Annie, her husband, Morris Rubin, and their three children followed the Newstats to Stockton. On October 22, 1913, “Rachael Ruben” was born in San Joaquin county to a mother with the maiden name of Levenson. In January 1920 the Morris Rubin family was living in Stockton with four children, the youngest being six-year-old “Rosie.” So Rosie/Rachael Rubin, I think, was the second Levensohn born in California.
Jennie must have gone west around the same time as the Rubins. According to a transcription of California Marriage Records on FamilySearch.org, Jennie Levensohn married John Althers on January 23, 1913 in San Francisco. Now, on the 1920 Census in San Francisco his name was listed as John Meyer, but his name, its variations, and his history will have to wait for another post. Suffice to say that the family – Jennie, John, and young Frances, were living at 1280 10th Avenue East in SF in January, 1920.
By 1920, all the US Levensohns were living in California except my grandfather, his father (Joseph), and his older brother, Max. Fannie and Nathan Bogner were living in Sacramento. Annie Rubin’s family was still in Stockton; I’ve been unable to find the Newstats at all in the 1920 census. Sarah and Joe were in San Francisco.
Joseph, the elder, was living in San Francisco by 1930. Max and his wife, Clara, moved there sometime between 1930 and 1935.
So my grandpa, Morris, was the only one of the bunch who stayed in Cincinnati. Otherwise, I guess I could’ve been a California girl. Or, maybe, I could’ve not been, at all, since my mother was from Cincinnati and, had my dad lived in California, they would never have met.