Max Levensohn came to the U.S. as “Marcus Kigel”
I’ve already written about the possibility that “the Levensohns were Hechts (Dodging the Czar’s Draft and Confusing My Levensohn Research.”). Now I’ve discovered a new name. Here is an excerpt from Max Levensohn’s arrival record (ship manifest) on September 26, 1893.
How do I know that Max arrived as Marcus? Because his naturalization papers say so. If you note that number – “22×6313-12/2/35” – it is an addition made to the original manifest as part of Max’s naturalization process in 1935. As an older man, in his early 60s, Max became a citizen.
Here is his Petition for Naturalization:
The Petition refers back to his arrival at Ellis Island on the S.S. Elbe, excerpted above. There are some typographical errors on the Petition: listing him as “Marcus KEGEL” vs. “Marcus KIGEL” on the manifest (or is it HIGEL?). It also says he was married in “Corkington, Kentucky” rather than “Covington,” where he was actually married.
Max Levensohn, briefly
Max was the oldest of three sons in the family, and he had six sisters. Leah, the only one who did not come to the U.S., was possibly older than Max.
According to the Petition, Max was born in 1873 in “Ruzin” – now Ruzhin, Ukraine. His wife, Clara Belilovsky (later, Bell), also from Ukraine, arrived in the U.S. in 1901, when Max was established in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was a cigar maker and owned a small cigar manufacturing company.
In the early 1930s Max and Clara moved to San Francisco, presumably to be closer to more of the Levensohn family. Note that the witnesses on the Petition, above, were Martha Craft and Max Newstat. Both of these were offspring of Clara Levensohn, one of Max Levensohn’s sisters.
Max Levensohn died in 1955 in San Francisco. His wife preceded him in death in 1949.
Max Levensohn and his wife, Clara (gets confusing, doesn’t it? Max Levensohn, Max Newstat; Clara Levensohn, his wife and Clara Levensohn, his sister) left no children. I haven’t found a record of a stillbirth or a birth to indicate that there ever was a child.
I’m always saddened when I research these “forgotten” relatives. I have heard no one living ever refer to them. When I was growing up, I never heard my father ever mention his “Uncle Max,” nor did I hear my grandfather, Morris, mention a brother (even though Morris had worked for Max from time to time, in the cigar making business). I don’t even recall my Aunt Dorothy – the only relative who ever told me about my “California cousins” – ever mentioning Max and Clara.
These records of Max, left behind and dug up in my research, seem to revive his memory, at least a bit. And the mystery of the name, “Marcus Kigel,” adds another clue in my search for the family history.
Here is a photo of Max, from naturalization papers (specifically, from his “Declaration of Intention”).