Ruth Wolkowsky Greenfield

Jewish Merchants in Key West

Abraham Wolkowsky and his brother-in-law, Frank Lewinsky (Levinsky), were well known merchants and real estate owners in Key West in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Originally itinerant peddlers selling their wares out of trunks and pushcarts, they were forced by a local ordinances in 1891 to either pay an exorbitant push cart licensing fee or move into shops. The Wolkowskys and Lewinskys invested in real estate and ended up among the most prominent citizens of Key West.

"In 1887 a few Jewish peddlers began to ply their trade here, going from house to house with their packs of dry goods, laces, etc. In 1891 the city imposed a license on peddles of a thousand dollars each, and they gave up that vocation and opened stores. This was the beginning of the Hewbrew migration, which has steadily increased, and they now number several hundred"

(Key West: The Old and the New, Jefferson Beale Browne, 1912)

Abram Wolkowsky was among the first of the Jewish peddles to arrive. According to the Florida Jewish Heritage Trail he arrived in Key West in 1885.

Florida Jewish Heritage Trail states that Abraham Wolkowsky was born in Rumanian circa 1862. It lists his wife as Rebecca Lewinsky and his sons as, Isaac and Frank. No mention was made of another son, Joseph. A house at 1309 Whitehead street, built in 1890, was an early home of Abraham and Rebecca Wolkowsky. In the 1910s the family lived at 407 South street.

According to Florida Jewish Heritage Trail, Herman Wolkowsky, a nephew of Abraham's, was born in Romania in 1890, came to Key West in 1913, married and opened a furniture store.

Abraham Wolkowsky (c. 1865-1932) and Rebecca Lewinsky

Birth: Abraham Wolkowsky was born circa 1862/65 - parents unknown - said to be the son of Wolf Wolkowsky.

Romania per Florida Jewish Heritage Trail - Russia per 1910, 1930 censuses - Poland per 1920 census.

1862 per Florida Jewish Heritage Trail, 1867 per 1910 census, 1865 per 1920 census, 1862 per 1930 census.

Several Jewish Florida History sites say he was born in Vilna (Poland). Others say "Romania". I do not know where they got this information.

1885 per 1910 census, 1886 per 1930 census.

Not listed under Abraham Wolkowsky (variations of spellings) through Castle Gardens as of August 2014.

Note: While Ellis Island is well known, it did not open until 1892. Before that date immigrants entering at New York were processed through Castle Gardens at the Battery in NYC.

New York City was the main port of entry for immigrants. Other ports included: Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Galveston and some smaller cities.


"Rebecca" Levinsky (Lewinsky) born Russia circa 1872 - They married before the birth of Isaac in 1889 - most likely in New Jersey.

Her parents, Wolf and Anne Levinsky, were born in Russia and immigrated before 1885. A brother, Frank Lewinsky, was born circa 1882-1885 in Russia and immigrated before 1885. They were listed in Pittsgrove, N. J. in the 1895 N. J. census. Since Rebecca was not listed with them it is possible she was married by that time.

See Lewinsky below.

  1. Isaac Wolkowsky (1889-1962)

    1. Birth:

      June 3 1899 Norma New Jersey (per draft registration)

      March 18 1899 per Social Security Death Index

      "Wolcovsky" Male, 18 Mar 1889, Pit.[tsgrove], Salem, New Jersey, father, "Abram Wolcovsky", Father's Birthplace: -, Father's Age: 27y, mother "Rachel Levinsky" Mother's Birthplace: Rus, Mother's Age: 20y,

      Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C01843-8 , System Origin: New Jersey-EASy , GS Film number: 494215 , Reference ID: v 33 p 225 ("New Jersey, Births and Christenings, 1660-1980," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 24 Aug 2014), Rachel Levinsky in entry for Wolcovsky, 18 Mar 1889; citing Pit., Salem, New Jersey, reference v 33 p 225; FHL microfilm 494215.)

      Marriage: Freda (Alfreda) Yubas, born circa 1891 to Leon and Kate Yubas, in Russian married before 1915 most likely in New Jersey

      Death: Freda Yubas Wolkowsky Death Date: 7 Jan 1978, County of Death: Dade, State of Death: Florida, Age at Death: 87, Race: White, Birth Date: 28 Mar 18

      1962 obit of Dr. Morris L. Yubas: an Ophthalmologist and a founder of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry died in Philadelphia in April 1962 . He was 77. He graduated University of Maryland Medical School. He was survived by his wife, Anna Hyman, a son, Alan S., a brother Samuel, and three sisters, Mrs. Isador Blume, Mrs. Isaac Wolkowsky, and Mrs. Dora Rose.

      See Yubas below


      1. Edna Wolkowsky (1915-2006)

        Edna 1915-06-23, New Jersey per 1940 Census.

        Marriage: Joseph Z Lipsky, 1936, Florida


        1. Michael 10 November 1938,

          Death: Michael A Lipsky, Death Date: 16 Jul 1996, County of Death: Dade, State of Death: Florida, Age at Death: 57, Race: White, Birth Date: 10 Nov 1938

          According to his obit in the Miami Herold Michael A. Lipskey, lawyer and avid golfer, had recently undergone heart-bypass surjury. His depression after the surgery let him to commit suicide. He was born in Philadelphia but raised in Miami. His father owned Gallagher's restaurant. Married to Dava. He and his wife attended University of Florida. He was survived by his wife, and two children, Kim and Joseph, a brother, Larry and sister Carol Gutterman.

          Gallagher's steak house 12605 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, Fla. owned by Joseph Z. Lipsky.

        1940: Listed with her parents in 1940. Maimi, Dade, Isaac Wolkowski 50, Freda Wolkowski 50, David Wolkowski 20, Ruth Wolkowski 16, Edna Lipsky 24, daughter, born New Jersey, Michael Lipsky 1, grandson,

        1940: Divorce Divorce 1940. Dade, Florida. Spouse's Name: Joseph Z Lipsky. Certificate Number: 7828. Volume: 153

        Marriage: Bernard Marsa

        1943: Divorce, Bernard, Edna, Duval Co

        1945 Miami Directory: Marsa, B., (Edna) USN, r[ear] 348 NE 21st, Miami

        1945 Florida Census: With Ike, Freda, David and Ruth, Edna Marsa, age 29, born New Jersey, sales clerk, Michael Lipsky (born Penn) age 6 at 348 N E. 21st.

        Death: 2006-01-18, Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County, Florida.

        Edna Wolkowsky, Birth Date: 23 June 1915, Social Security Number: 267-30-6354, State: Florida, Last Place of Residence: Miami-Dade, Florida, Previous Residence Postal Code: 33139, Event Date: 18 January 2006, Age: 91

        Obituary: Key West Citizen, The (FL) - Saturday, January 21, 2006

        Edna Wolkowsky, a member of a prominent Conch family and donor of the landmark children's playhouse at East Martello, died Wednesday in Miami Beach. She was 90.

        Wolkowsky was born in Key West in 1915 to Isaac and Frieda Wolkowsky. The family had been in Key West since the 1880s, when Isaac's father, Abram, settled in Key West from Russia and opened a general store on the island.

        The Wolkowskys lived in a homestead on South Street, overlooking a wide, sandy beach where Edna and her brother, David, played daily. Edna's favorite play site was her dollhouse, built in the early 1900s and large enough for children to play inside.

        In 1923, with Key West facing economic hard times, the Wolkowsky family moved to the burgeoning new city of Miami, traveling Henry Flagler's Overseas Railway to the mainland. Her father established a dry goods store on Flagler Street in Miami and built a home on Northwest 21st Street that was home to the family for many years.

        Edna Wolkowsky began her education at the Convent of Mary Immaculate School and graduated from Miami Senior High. After completing her education at Goucher College in Maryland, she returned to Miami where she married and raised a family. She later worked as a successful Realtor.

        Wolkowsky never forgot her island roots, visiting Key West often. Her brother, David, had returned to Key West, where he is best known as the builder of the Pier House resort and a major force in the island's historic preservation movement.

        In the 1960s, Edna Wolkowsky donated her Key West-style dollhouse to the Key West Art & Historical Society. The house remains on permanent display at the society's museum at East Martello, near the Key West airport.

        Besides brother David, Wolkowsky is survived by her sister, Ruth Greenfield of Miami; two grandchildren, Joseph Lipsky of Plantation, Florida, and Kim Rapaport of Washington, D.C.; five great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. A son, attorney Michael Lisky, died in 1996.

        Obituary: Miami Herald, The (FL) - Thursday, January 19, 2006
        Edna Wolkowsky, whose father was a pioneering merchant in Miami's early days, died Wednesday at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach after a lengthy illness. She was 90.

        A graduate of Miami Senior High and Goucher College in Baltimore, she earned a degree to teach, then became a successful Realtor for Cantor Associates in the 1950s and '60s, according to her sister, prominent arts patron Ruth Greenfield.

        Along with their brother, David Wolkowsky, who built the Pier House in Key West, they moved to Miami in 1921 when hard times hit Key West, the family's home base. Their father, Isaac, established a dry goods store on Flagler Street and a stately homestead on Northeast 21st Street, which has recently been demolished for a new high-rise.

        In the '60s, Edna donated her lavish doll house - 100 square feet, built in the early 1900s - to the Key West Art and Historical Society. It remains on display at the East Martello Museum, "where generations of children have enjoyed it," Gerri Sidoti, the society's programs director, said Wednesday.

        Wolkowsky is survived by two grandchildren, Joseph Lipsky of Plantation and Kim Rappaport of Washington, and five great-grandchildren. A son, lawyer Michael Lipsky, died in 1996.

        Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Temple Israel, 137 NE 19th St., Miami.

      2. David Wolkowsky (1919-)

        David 1919 per 1940 Census

      3. Ruth Wolkowsky Greenfield

        Ruth Miriam, 1923, born Florida

        Graduation: June 1945 University of Michigan, bachelor of music

        Marriage: Arnold Merwin Greenfield

      4. Unknown

        November 18, 1933 Key West Citizen:

        "Mr. and Mrs. Ike Wolkowsky announce the birth of a daughter Friday night at the home on south street"

      1911: Isaac Wolkowsky 423 Simonton Key West, Florida, USA Occupation: Clerk Publication Title: Key West, Florida, City Directory, 1911

      1914: Isaac Wolkowsky Home, South 2 Duval G Key West, Florida, USA Occupation: Furniture Spouse: Alfreda Wolkowsky Key West, Florida, City Directory, 1914. Also listed as a clerk at A Wolkowsky.

      1918 WWI Draft Registration: Ike Wolkowsky, South Key West, Fla., date of birth, June 3, 1889, Norma, New Jersey, merchant, and deputy sheriff Monroe County, wife, and child, short, stout, grey eyes black hair

      1920: Key West Ward 6, Monroe, Florida South Beach, Ike Wolkowsky 29, born New York, father and mother born Russia, salesman retail clothing, Freda Wolkowsky 29, born New York, father and mother born Russia, Edna E Wolkowsky 4 years and 9 months, born New Jersey, Wm David Wolkowsky 4 months

      1921 Trip: June 30, 1921, on the Cuba from Havana to Key West, Wolkowsky, Ike, age 29 born New Jersey, "October 20, 1892".

      1921: July 25, Miami Herald reported that Mrs. Ike Wolkowsky and two children left to go to New York and then Atlantic city.

      1921: July 25, 1921: Ike Wolkowsky of the Broadway Shop went to Havana for several days.

      1921 Trip: August 19, 1921 on the Cuba from Havana, Ike Wolkowsky, age 29, born "Norman" N. J. June 11, 1892 to Key West.

      1923: July 24, Tampa Tribune, "Mrs. Ike Wolkowsky and children have gone to Wildwood, N. J. to spend the summer."

      1924: December 7, 1924 Miami Herald (Miami, FL), Ike Wolkowsky went to New York "and other Eastern Markets" to buy goods to replenish the stocks of suits sold during the first anniversary sale at F. & I Clothing. Two suits were sold for the price of one.

      1925: Isaac Wolkowsky (Freda, Wolkoswky Bros) home 416 NE 35th st, Miami. Other listings indicate, Frank and Isaac as partners and Joseph an employee of Wolkowsky Bros

      1930: Miami Dade, N. E. 31st street, Isaac Wolkowsky 39, Rent $75, born New Jersey, parents born Poland, Merchant, gents furnishings, Freda Wolkowsky 40, born New York, parents born Poland, Edna E Wolkowsky 14, born New Jersey, David Wm Wolkowsky 10, Ruth Mariam Wolkowsky 6 yrs 5 months, born Florida, Mattie Daniels 30, maid

      1933: Joe Russell

      "rented a large bar, called the Blind Pig, from Isaac Wolkowsky for three dollares a week.

      The Blind Pig, located on the south side of the 400 block of Greene Street, was a wooden frame building, fully three times as large as the original Sloppy Joe's. Dark and narrow, the bar had no front door. It didn't need one. The bar never closed."

      (Hemingway's Key West By Stuart B. McIver, 2002) 1935: Florida census, 348 N. E. 21st street, Ike Wolkowsky 42, clothing, Frieda Wolkowsky 42, Edna Wolkowsky 19, David Wolkowsky 15, Ruth Wolkowsky 11, 6th grade

      1938: Freda Wolkowsky citizen USA, from Havana, on the America Seaplane, to Miami, Fla. February 27, 1938

      1940: 348 N. E. 21st street, Isaac Wolkowski 50, born New Jersey, retail mens clothing proprietor, Freda Wolkowski 50, born New York, David Wolkowski 20, Ruth Wolkowski 16, born Florida, Edna Lipsky 24, daughter, born New Jersey, Michael Lipsky 1, grandson, born Florida

      1945 Florida Census: 348 N. E. 21st, Isaac, age 54, born New Jersey, merchant, Freda, 54, born New York, David W 25, navy, Ruth M. 21 Florida, college

      Death : Isaac Wolkowsky, October 1962, Dade, Florida

      Isaac Wolkowsky, SSN: 263-16-0449, Last Residence: Florida, BORN: 18 Mar 1890, Died: Oct 1962, State (Year) SSN issued: Florida (Before 1951)

      "Isaac Wolkowsky Passes Away, 73.

      A founding member of Temple Isreal of Greater Miami died here Monday October 1. Isaac Wolkowsky of 348 NE 21st, was 73.

      His family settled in Key West in 1871*. He came to Miami 38 years ago and was the retired owner of several mens' clothing stores.

      Surviving Mr. Wolkowsky are his wife, Freda; a son David William; two daughters, Miss Edna Wolkowsky and Mrs. Ruth Greenfield; and five grandchildren, all of Miami.

      Services were in Gordon Funeral home on Wednesday."

      *Should be 1891. Obit courtesy of Karin Greenfield-Sanders, October 2016

      Death Freda Wolkowsky: Freda Wolkowsky, SSN: 267-60-5590, Last Residence: 33137 Miami, Miami-dade, Florida, USA, BORN: 28 Mar 1890, Last Benefit: 33130 Miami, Miami-dade, Florida, United States of America, Died: Jan 1978, State (Year) SSN issued: Florida (1957)

      Florida Death Index: Freda Yubas Wolkowsky, Death Date: 7 Jan 1978, County of Death: Dade, State of Death: Florida, Age at Death: 87, Race: White, Birth Date: 28 Mar 1890

  2. Frank Wolkowsky (1892-1954)

    Frank born New Jersey 1892

    With his parents in the censuses.

    WWI Draft Registration: Frank Wolkowsky age 24 Simonton and Fleming Key West, Fla., date of birth September 15, 1893, Norma New Jersey, bookkeeper, A. Wolkowsky, Key West, single, short, slender, grey eyes black hair. He claimed exemption because of attacks of Epilepsy. He gave a doctor's reference in New York.

    1917: February, Frank Wolkoswsky prominent Key West merchant was in Miami on business. Trip: May 25, 1926: Frank Wolkowsky born Vineland, New Jersey, 15 Sept 1894 port of arrival Key West, Fla, ship Cuba,

    1931: Frank Wolkowsky went to Miami after a one week visit in Key West "convalescing from an illness of several months". Aug 22, 1931 Key West Citizen.

    Death 1954: Frank Wolkowsky, Birth Date: 1892, Death Date: Apr 1954, Cemetery: Miami City Cemetery, Burial Place: Miami, Dade County, Florida

    Business: Several mentions in the local papers of Frank going and coming between Miami and Key West on business

    Burial: Miami City Cemetery, Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA, Plot: Block 31, Lot 13, 3

    Obit: The Jewish Floridian

    "Clothier Succumbs; Was Native of Key West

    Frank Wolkowsky, 62, year old member of a pioneer South Florida family, died Tuesday night. He lived at 752 nW 7th rd.

    For many years he and a brother, Isaac, operated a clothing store on downtown Flagel st. Mr. Wolkoswky was a native of Key West and came to Miami 32 years ago.

    He was a member of Beth David Congregation, the Elks Lodge and B,nai B'rith. He is survived by tow brothers, Isaac and Joseph .

    Note: he was NOT born in Key West

  3. Joseph Wolkowsky (1899-1961) and Dora (Doris) _______ (1896-1953)


    Joseph born New Jersey circa 1899

    1910: Thursday, June 30, 1910 Paper: Tampa Tribune (Tampa, FL) Joe Wolkowsky son of Abraham returned home on the Sabine from Annnapolis, Md. where he had been attending St. John's Military Academy. The Steamer Sabine of the Mallory line made a run from New York to Galveston via Key West.

    1917: Wolkowsky - Joseph Recruiting Station Kew West, Fla. May 3, 1917, Headquarters 7th Naval District Key West May 13, 1917 to November 11, 1918, Yeoman 2nd class, 242 days, Yeoman 1 class 31 days, chief storekeeper 283 days, Navy Yard Washington, D. C.

    1918 WWI Draft Registration: Joseph Wolkowdksy Mar 15, 1899 native born, tool attendent, Hog Island ship Yards Philadelphia, next of kin brother Isaac Wolkowsky, medium height, medium build, brown eyes, black hair.

    Marriage: Dora (Doris), born circa 1896 New Jersey (per census)

    In 1929 dora Wolkowsky was listed in the Miami Beach Directory as an elementary school teacher - residence 824 Jefferson ave. Joe was listed at Washington Clothes shop same residence
    1. Melvin Halbert Wolkowsky (1920-1985) and Laura Thorp[e]

      Melvin Halbert born December 14, 1920 Washington, D. C..

      Marriage: Laura Thorp born Aug 8, 1926 married Dade County 1951


      1. Daniel

        Marriage: Ramona Kay Stone daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Stone Jr. January 14, 1973 (Fort Peirce News Tribune)

      2. Melissa

        Marriage: Michael Holte Heggeness, May 26, 1974

      University of Pennsylvania: Wolkowsky, Melvin H. -- college. 1560 Euclid Ave, Miami Beach, Fla., Miami Beach Senior High, Zeta Beta Tau, Lacrosse, 2,3, Football 2,3,4 Varisty Club

      Class of 1942

      1955: Dr. Melvin Wolkowsky of Miami, Fla. noted specialist in Internal Medicine, flew to Montego Bay Jamaica to attend Richard S. Reynolds, founder of the Reynolds Metal company, who had suddenly become ill. (Omaha World Herald (Omaha, NE, January 26, 1955)

      Death: Jan 9, 1985

      Death: Birth: Dec. 14, 1920 Death: Jan. 9, 1985 DOCTOR OF MEDICINE Burial: Riverview Memorial Park Fort Pierce St. Lucie County Florida, USA Plot: Old Section, Block 17

    1924 Directory: Joseph Wolkowsky H[ome] 660 Kenyon NW Washington, District of Columbia, USA Occupation: Clk Vtrns Bu Publication Title: Washington, District of Columbia, City Directory, 1924

    1924: Sunday, September 7, 1924 Paper: Miami Herald (Miami, FL) Lot on Flagler street in whitener addition to Joseph Wolkowsky, $2,500, Real Estate Transfers.

    1930: Miami Dade, Joseph Wolkowsky 34, born Fla., parents born Poland, merchant clothing store, Dora Wolkowsky 34, born New Jersey, married at age 22, Melvin Wolkowsky 9, son, District of Columbia,

  4. 1940 Miami Beach, Dade County, Fla. E 1556 Euclid Street, Joseph Wolkowsky 40, manager, employer, sporting Doris Wolkowsky 39 Melvin Wolkowsky, 22

    Death of Dora Wolkowsky: Unveiling Nebo Cemetery April 11, 1954. Survived by her husband, Joseph and a son, Melvin.

    Death: 1961 Joseph Wolkowsky Apr 1961 Dade Florida Death Index Joseph Wolkowsky, Death Date: Apr 1961, County of Death: Dade, State of Death: Florida

1885 Florida Census: Abraham Wolkowsky and family were not listed in the 1885 Florida census.

1885 New Jersey Census: Abraham Wolkowsky and family were not listed in the 1885 New Jersey census in Salem County.

1889: Isaac (Ike) Wolkowsky born in New Jersey in 1889.

1892: United State District Court, Souther District of Florida, Key West, April 7, 1892 Abraham "Walkowsky" born Russian residing in United States for last five years, and in the state of Florida for at least the last year, made a declaration of his intention to become a citizen over two years ago, age 25, born Poland, took his oath of allegiance to the United States and became a citizen.

Signature on naturalization papers.

1888: Southern District of Florida SS - I Abraham Valkoski (sic) age 21 years native of Poland in the kingdom of Russia a subject of Russia and now a resident of Key West, Fla. do declare an oath that is is my bona fide intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to every foreign Prince, Potendate, state or sovereignty whatever, and particularly to the Czar Alexander of whom I am now a subject. Abraham (his X mark) Valkosdky (sic) - Subscribed and Sworn to before me this 25 day of September 1888 the clerk of the District Court of the United Stated for the Southern District of Florida.

Image courtesy of Bobbi November 2019

1895 New Jersey Census: Abraham Wolkowsky and family were not listed in the 1895 New Jersey census in Salem Co. New Jersey

1900: Key West, Federal census, street address not given, Abraham "Walkosky" 35, born May 1865, Russian, married 11 years, Immigrated 1884, naturalized, merchant, Rebecca "Walkosky" 27, born April 1873, married 11 years 3 children, immigrated 1889, Isaac "Walkosky" 10, born New York, April 1890, Frank "Walkosky" 8, born New York, October 1891, Joseph "Walkosky" 6, born Florida, December 1893, Morris Greenburg 38, clerk in store, dry goods clerk

1900: Ike Wolkowsky was listed with his grandparents in the 1900 census take 26 June 1900 in Pittsgrove. He was also listed with his parents in Key West where the census was taken June 11th.

1905 to 1913: Wolkowsky Key West, Nov 4, Index for Department of Commerce and Immigration Service.

Renewal Feb 1907 $25 p/mo.
Renewal Jun 1908, Jun 1909, July 1910, May 1911, Aug 1912, July 1913.
(Subject Index to Correspondence and Case Files of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1903-1952)

1906 Key West: Under Dry Goods and Notions, Wolkowsky, Abraham, Fleming cor Simonton. There were 27 listings under Dry Goods and Notions. Abraham Wolkowsky was listed under Clothing at 136 Duval. Four listings for Clothing in Key West in 1906.

1910: Key West, 423 Fleming street, Abraham Wolkowsky 43, born Russian, 1st marriage, married 20 years, three children, immigrated 1885 Naturalized, proprietor, dry good store, Rebecca Wolkowsky 38, wife, born Russian, immigrated 1885, Isaac Wolkowsky 19, son, born New Jersey, clerk dry goods store, Frank Wolkowsky 18, son, born New Jersey, clerk dry goods store, Joseph Wolkowsky 16, son, born New Jersey, Frank Levinsky 25, brother-in-law, born Russian, immigrated 1885, proprietor liquor store

1910: September 2, 1910, Mrs. A. Wolkowsky and son Joe left for New York on the Mallory steamer Comel. Joe was returning to school at the St. John's Academy in Annapolis, Md.

1911: Directory Key West

  • Wolkowsky, Abraham, clothing and men's furnishings, 136 Duval, Dry Goods, Notions, etc 425-427 Simonton h[ome] 423 Simonton
  • Wolkowsky, Frank clk Abraham Wolkowsky, h[ome] 423 Simonton
  • Wolkowsky, Isaac, clk h[ome] 423 Simonton
  • Wolkowsky, Joseph, student h[ome] 423 Simonton
  • Wolkowsky Sadie h[ome] 423 Simonton - Who is Sadie? Sadie is a nickname for Sarah. In January 1912 Sadie Wolkowsky was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Rose Halpem and Morris Holtsberg.

1914: Key West directory Wolkowsky

  • Abraham (Rebecca) propr. Bank Buffet, clothing 136 Duval and dry goods 611 Fleming home 611 same
  • Frank clk A Wolkowsky h 611 Flemming
  • Herman (Bertha, Wolkowsky & Sandler) home 423 Simonton
  • Isaac, clk, A Wolkowsky h 423 Simonton
  • Isaac (Alfreda) furn 508 fleming H South nr Duval
  • Joseph clk h 611 Fleming
  • Wolkowsky & Sandler (Herman Wolkowsky, Benj Sanders) pawnbrokers 328 Simonton
1914: A. Wolkowsky of Key West was selling Queen Quality fine women's shoes which ranged in price from $3.50 to $5.

1916: November 26, Tampa Tribune, Key West, A store house on Green street used by A. Wolkowsky and owned by P. Ullendorff was destroyed by fire along with another house owned by Mr. Cash which was used as a livery stable.

1920 Census: 611 Fleming Street, Key West, rent, "Arbarham Wolkosky" 55, naturalization 1900, Poland, Hebrew, merchant general merchandise, Rebecca Wolkosky 47, immigration 1900, Poland, Hebrew, Frank Wolkosky 24, son, born New Jersey, merchant general merchandise

1922: A. Wolkowsky and others petitioned the city of Key West to reduce their real estate and personal taxes. 58 petitioners felt that they had been unjustly assessed. They were denied. The city claimed it needed the money to run various aspects of the city government. (Miami Herald)

1928: Grand Bazaar presented by the ladies of the Catholic congregation at the Wolkowsky Building corner of Duval and Southard sts. in November 1928.

1930: Key West, 1307 Whitehead street, Abram Wolkowsky 68, Rent $50, born Russia, married at age 32, born Russia, Language Hebrew, immigrated 1886, retail merchant, dry goods, Rebecca Wolkowsky 55, married at age 19, born Russia, language, Hebrew, immigrated 1891, (1886 was crossed out), retail merchant, dry goods, Frank Wolkowsky 35, single, born New Jersey, retail merchant dry goods.

1930: Repairs and metal roof to building on Duval street at Greene, $400 A. Wolkowsky owner.

1930: August,

"Mrs. Abraham Wolkowsky will leave over the East Coast this evening en route to Williamsport, N. J. where she will remain for an indefinite stay.

Key West Citizen

Rebecca Wolkowsky returned in September at which time it was reported that she had been visiting friends and relatives in Morristown, N. J.

1930: November Mrs. A. Wolkowsky took the train to visit relatives in Miami. Abram Wolkowsky returned from a business trip to Miami. There are other mentions of his coming and going in 1930 and 1931.

1930: Close out sale in the ladies department at the Broadway Shop announced by Mr. Wolkowsky. Also, Frank Wolkowsky went to visit his brother Ike in Miami.

1931: January clearance sale at the Broadway Shop announced by Frank Wolkowsky.

1931: January - General repairs to fruit stand at Greene and Duval streets, $10, A. Wolkowsky owner.

1931: April 15, Abraham Wolkowsky who was in Key West on business for several weeks left for Miami.

1931: May 9th, A. Wolkowsky merchant of Miami and Key West arrived by train.

Death of Abraham Wolkowsky, 1932: October 20, 1932 Florida Death Index, 1932, Dade

Obit Key West Citizen 1932: Named him a leading merchant in Key West. At the time of his death he was living in Miami. Survived by his widow Rebecca and three sons, Ike, Frank and Joe Wolkowsky. One of the leading merchants of Key West - operated dry goods and clothing business. Was also an extensive property owner in Key West and Miami. Operated the Broadway Shop.

"Mr. Wolkowsky first came to Key West about 45 years ago, arriving here just prior to the "big fire" of 1886 or a short time thereafter. He was among the first Jewish merchants to establish business in Key West, his first location being on Eaton street, between Simonton and Elizabeth, in which was known at the time as the Marcus building, which housed different business concerns."

The top of his tombstone is inscribed "Ze-Eiv Wolf". His birth years is given as 1859.

His sons were, Isaac, Frank and Joseph. According to he had a sister Rosa Dock who was buried in the same cemetery.

Rosa Dock (1885-1948) and Morris Dock

Rosa Dock (Rose) was named as a sister of Abraham Wolkowsky by "find a". However, according to Morris Dock married "Rose Fisher". Rose Fisher was said to have been born in Vilna, Russia in 1881.

Rose (Rosa) Dock, Hebrew Name: Reizel, Birth Date: abt 1885, Death Date: 1 Jan 1948 / 19 Tevet 5708, Death Place: Dade County, Florida, Age at Death: 63, Burial Date: 2 Jan 1948, Burial Plot: Block 31, Lot 18, 6, Burial Place: Miami, Florida, United States, Cemetery ID: USA-02223, Father Name: Zeeiv Wolf, Comments: Gordon Funeral Home; Reizel daughter of Mr. Ze'eiv Wolf; Doed 19 Tevet 5708; Let her soul be bound up in the bonds of the living Other Comments: A walled Jewish section is located in the northwestern area of the cemetery., Cemetery: City of Miami Cemetery, Cemetery Address: 1800 Northeast 2nd Avenue, Cemetery Burials: 119, Cemetery Comments: City of Miami Cemetery - Jewish Section. 119 burials total. From its inception, the cemetery was subdivided with whites on the east end and the colored population on the west end. In 1915, the Beth David congregation began a Jewish section.

Burial 1948: Miami City Cemetery, Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA, Plot: Block 31, Lot 17, 1

Husband, Moshe (Morris)L. (Labe) Dock (1880-1925)

Children: Lillian, Samuel (1908-1964), Israel, Sarah and William father Ze'eiv Wolf

Information from

1920: Miami, Morris Dock 40, grocery, own account, born Washington, D. C., Rosa Dock 28, Lily Dock 12, Samuel Dock 11, Ezra Dock 8, Sarah Dock 2

In 1930 and 1940 censuses in Miami. Born either Russia or Poland. Morris Dcok died 1925.

Jewish Gen Online: Abraham Wolkowsky, Hebrew Name: Abraham, Birth Date: 1859, Death Date: 1932 / 18 Tammus 5619, Death Place: Dade County, Florida, Age at Death: 68, Burial Date: 21 Oct 1932, Burial Plot: Block 31, Lot 17, 1, Burial Place: Miami, Florida, United States, Cemetery ID: USA-02223, Father Name: Ze-eiv Wolf, Comments: FL Death Index 556/ 14912 Combs Funeral Home; Here lies Abraham Son of Ze-eiv Wolf Wolkowsky, Other Comments: A walled Jewish section is located in the northwestern area of the cemetery., Cemetery: City of Miami Cemetery, Cemetery Address: 1800 Northeast 2nd Avenue, Cemetery Burials: 119, Cemetery Comments: City of Miami Cemetery - Jewish Section. 119 burials total. In 1915, the Beth David congregation began a Jewish section. Photo: Image Available

Possible Jewish Necrology Database: Abraham Wolkowski, Town: Brzeziny, Country: Poland, Book: 308 Question: Is this the right Abraham Wolkowsky?

1932: October 21, Mrs. Frank "Lewinsky" took the East Coast train to Miami to visit her sister-in-law, Mrs. Abraham Wolkowsky.

1932: December, mention was made of the construction of the Wolkowsky business buildings on Duval street in 1922 - a ten year anniversary issue.

1934: Members of the Beth Israel congregation dedicated 8 memorial windows. Mrs. Rebecca Wolkkoswky and sons dedicated one to Abraham Wolkowsky.

1935: February, Ike Wolkowsky visited relatives in Key West and returned to Miami.

1934: Mrs Rebecca Wolkowsky 752 NW 7th St Miami, Florida, USA Publication Title: Miami, Florida, City Directory, 1934

1938: Wolkowsky, Rebecca (wid Abr) h 752 NW 7th street

1940: 752 North Seventh Street, Miami, Dade, own, value $15,000, Rebecca Wolkowsky 65, head, widow, born Russia, Frank Wolkowsky 45, son, born New Jersey, proprietor retail mens clothing, Abe Contor 47, lodger, salesman, men's clothing

Death of Rebecca Wolkowsky: 1942, Mrs. Rebecca Wolkowsky, 762 N. W. 7th Street Road, a pioneer Miamian, passed away this week at her home following a short illness. Surviving her are three sons.

Rebecca Wolkowsky, Birth Date: 1875, Death Date: 1942 / 21 Tishrei 5693, Death Place: Dade County, Florida, Age at Death: 67, Burial Date: 27 Jan 1942, Burial Plot: Block 31, Lot 17, 2, Burial Place: Miami, Florida, United States, Cemetery ID: USA-02223, Comments: Gordon Funeral Home; Rebecca Wolkowsky, 1875 - 1942, Let her soul be bound up in the bonds of the living, Other Comments: A walled Jewish section is located in the northwestern area of the cemetery. Cemetery: City of Miami Cemetery, Cemetery Address: 1800 Northeast 2nd Avenue, Cemetery Burials: 119, Cemetery Comments: City of Miami Cemetery - Jewish Section. 119 burials total. From its inception, the cemetery was subdivided with whites on the east end and the colored population on the west end. In 1915, the Beth David congregation began a Jewish section.

Real Estate:
1925 F. Wolkowsky and I Wolkowsky to J Galatis, lots 3 and 4 block 7 Wyndwood Park, $6,000
1925: A. Wolkowsky and R. Wolkowsky to J. H. Albury, lots 1 and 2 Orange Park $35,000

Tombstone of Abraham and Rebecca Wolkowsky courtesy of Karin Greenfield-Sanders, October 2016

Ad for the opening of F & I Clothes Shop, 1923

In December 1925 F & I Clothes Shop was advertizing: silk robes $19.50, silk neckware $1.00 to $3.50, "Christmas" Suits, in woolens, silk Gabardines and Tropical Worsteds $19.50, Adler 3 piece suits cashmeres and worsteds $29.75, Griffin Tuxedos, $29,75, other suits at $26.50 and $35.00 and white flannel trousers $9.50.

Home of Abraham and Rebecca Wolkowsky, Miami

Herman Wolkowsky AKA Herman Wall (Chone Lipcsanski) (1890-) Avgustove, Russia and Bertha Rosenthal

Birth: Chone Lipczanski (also spelled Libschansky) (names given on various naturalization papers) born Avgustove, Russian (Poland), circa 1890 later became Herman Wolkowsky and later still became Herman Wall.

Immigration: He said he came in under the name Lipczanski or Libschansky in November 1906 per naturalization papers. Port of New York, on or about 26th November 1906 on the Str. Oldenberg from Bremen.

Ship Manifest for the Oldenberg lists Lipcsanski, Chone, tailor, age 17, last permanent address, Augustov, Russia, passage paid by self, on the Oldenberg, from Bremen arriving New York November, 20, 1906, $4, to cousin, very hard to read, however, not Wolkowsky, address may be 138 Monroe street, New York, 5 feet 3 inches, good health, born Augustav, Russia

Naturalization Papers: Petition for Naturalization 1910 and 1915 - Herman Wolkowsky 328 Simton. St. Key West. Monroe County, Florida, merchant, born 10 July 1890 Avgustove, Russia, emigrated to US., from Bremen, Germany, 15th November 1906, arrival at New York November 26, on the Atr. Oldenberg, 5 feet 6 inches, dark complexion, black hair, grey eyes, occupation clerk, arrived alone, under the name X. Libschankky. Lived in Kew West since 4th June 1907. Declared intention 15 August 1910 in Key West. On another document the surname is spelled "Lipczanski". In another paper he said he immigrated on or about the 15th November 1906 on the Oldenberg.

Naturalized May 5, 1913.

Marriage: Bertha Rosenthal October 12, 1913 daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Rosenthal (Tampa Tribune)


  1. Cecelia 1915

  2. Bernard M. Wall 1918

    Lt. Bernard M Wall, became engaged to Miss Madeline Barr in September 1944. He was a graduate of John sic Hopkins University.

    Death: Bernard M. Wall Last Residence: 34996 Stuart, Martin, Florida BORN: 26 Nov 1918 Died: 29 Mar 2009 State (Year) SSN issued: Florida (Before 1951)

1917: Herman Wolkowsky was building a new building on Duval street in Key West. The building was 75 feet by 35 feet. The lower floor was to become Mr. Wolkowsky's store. The second floor was to be his residence. The front of the building was of concrete. (Tampa Tribune, April 12, 1917)

1918 WWI Draft Registration: Herman Wolkowsky 532 Duval Key West, born July 1890 Ahvgustave, Sovvalk Russian, naturalized, merchant age 26, wife and child, short, gray eyes, light hair, disabled in left hand.

1918: Prominent Jews of America: A Collection of Biographical Sketches of Jews At the time Herman Wolkowsky was the President of the B'nai Zion congregation in Key West.

"Herman Wolkowsky was born on the 10th of July, 1890, in Augustow, Government of Suwalk, as the son of Harry and Feigel Wolkowsky. He received a thorough Jewish education and became a Talmud scholar of note. In October, 1906, he came to America, where he went immediately into the materialistic world, leaving his Talmud study for a clerkship in a store in Key West, turning later to the cigar business and finally establishing a pawn brokerage and furniture business, in which he had been engaged since 1912, with tremendous success. He is located in the Wolkowsky Building, 602 Duval street. Mr. Wolkowsky is also a Master Mason, and generally known in communal life.

This young business man, who is so successful in all things, was married on June 2, 1914, to Miss Bertha Rosenthal of New York, and they are the parents of a very charming small daughter, Edith Cecilia. Both himself and wife are very popular in their social circle, and are not only active in religious matters, but also contribute most generously to all worthy charities."

1919: Key West, Herman Wolkowsky was swindled out of about $300 in jewelry by a thief who escaped by boat to Galveston. The thief was arrested in New Orleans and the jewelry recovered.

1920: 602 Duval, Herman Wolkowsky 29, retail merchant, furniture, born Russian, immigrated 1909 naturalized 1911, Bertha Wolkowsky 25, immigrated 1900, born Romania, Cecilia Wolkowsky 5 Bernard Wolkowsky 1 [1 1/12] Maxi Moonshine 17, lodger,

1922: A two story concrete building at the c orner of Southard and Duval costing $30,000 was constructed for Herman Wolkowsky for his furniture and pawnbroker businesses. The 2nd story to be used for furniture department. The building was considered one of the best in the city, totally fire proofed, with and "attractive interior" and an entirely glass frontage. (Tampa Tribune, March 14, 1922

Trip 1923: 1923, from Havana on the Cuba, Wolkowsky, Herman, age 32, certificate 24481, and Wolkowsky, Bertha, age 27, husband US citizen to Key West.

Trip 1926: Arriving from Southampton on the Mauritania, 24 Sept 1926, US citizens, Wolkowsky, Herman, Key West, Fla, passport number 142922, Bertha, Cecelia, born Key West, Fla, 5 May 1915, and Bernard born Key West 28 Nov. 1918

1930 Census: Miami, Dade, Florida, 445 NE 25th street, own $15,000, Herman Wolkowsky 38, married at 22, born Poland, immigrated 1908, merchant, mens furnishings, Bertha Wolkowsky 35, married at 19, born Romania, immigrated 1900, E Cecile Wolkowsky 14, Bernard M Wolkowsky 11, children born Florida.

1933: In 1933 Herman and Bertha Wolkowsky changed their name to Wall "for family reasons". They were living in Miami having moved from Key West.

1933: 445 NE 25th st. Fla. State Census Herman Wall 42, real estate, Bertha Wall 40, Bernard Wall 16, Cecile Wall 19

1935: The Mayor of Miami was indicted on charges that he and two real estate brokers, schemed to obtain city properties under false pretenses. One of the real estate brokers was Herman Wolkowsky also knowns as Herman Wall.

I cannot find the outcome.

1945: Fla census, Herman and Bertha 533 W. 45th, real estate

1953: Herman and Bertha, home 20 E Riva Alto,Directory, real estate

1954: Death, Florida death index, Dade County.

Death of Bertha Wall: Bertha Wall, SSN: 264-60-6177, Last Residence: 33139 Miami, Miami-dade, Florida, USA, BORN: 11 Sep 1894, Died: 19 Feb 1989, State (Year) SSN issued: Florida (1956)

1992: Bernard M. Wall, formerly Wolkowsky, Licence Real Estate Broker, Miami wrote a letter to the editor of South Florida Magazine in which he stated: he was born in Key West in 1918 as Bernard Walkowsky, and his father "Herman Wolkowsky, came to the U. S. in 1904 at the age of 13 and shortly afterwards worked his way to Key West where he had an uncle." and further

"In about 1906 or 1907 he, along with other, would pay someone who had a boat to take them up to the Keys where men worked for Flagler building the railroad. Those, on the "bum boats" would peddle or sell their wares to the workmen who had little or no way of getting off the Key on which they worked."

Wolf Levinsky (Lewinsky) (1846-) Russia and Anne ________

Birth: December 1846 Russia (per 1900 census)

Marriage: Anne (Hannah) in Russia before 1875 - she was born Jan 1848 in Russia, immigrated 1881, 8 children 3 living, (per 1900 census). Two of the three still living children were, Frank born c 1885 and Rebecca born c 1872, married Abraham Wolkowsky. A third possibility was Jacob born circa 1875 listed in the 1900 census in Kew West.

Immigration: At his naturalization he declared that he immigrated in 1884. Wolf Levinsky was in Pittsgrove, N. J. in the 1887 when he declared his intentions of becoming a citizen.

Naturalization: Wolf Levinsky claimed to have been naturalized according to the censuses. Listed New Jersey County Naturalization Records "Livisky", Wolf, Salem County 1887. Their error - the name is clearly Livinsky.

Declaration of Intention, 19 October 1887, Wolf Livinsky, age 45 (or thereabouts). Renounced Czar of Russia. Court State of New Jersey, Salem County

Also declaring thier Intentions on the same day were:

  1. Leep Lavinsky Oct Term 1887 filed October 19, 1887. United States Court State of New Jersey Salem County, 19th October 1887 "Leap Lavinsky", age 38, (or thereabouts), a native of Russian upon his solemn oath his intentions to become a US Citizen. Renounced the Czar of Russia.

  2. Solomon Lavinsky age 41, rest the same.

    There were quite a number of naturalizations of Jews in Salem County on October 19, 1887.

Occupation: Rabi (per 1900 and 1920 censuses), butcher per 1910- census, shochet per The Museum of Family History

The Museum of Family History (From The Sun newspaper, August 17, 1890)

"There are two religious teachers in the colony, the shochet, Wolf Levinsky, and N. Chipilacoff. There used to be another one, a man named Randolph, who had a reputation for considerable learning, but he wasn't one of the settlers, and had been in the country a long time before he came here. He lives in Philadelphia and only goes to the colony occasionally. During the regular school term the children are taught their Hebrew and catechism in the evenings at the houses of the teachers." (near the bottom of the page)

Shochet - a religious Jew who slaughters animals following certain rituals.

Further mention was made of the schocet:
"In one room in which the reporter looked, the shochet was seated at a table with about a dozen little children around him. He had a Hebrew book, of which they had copies, and was teaching them Hebrew prayers. Ss the reporter looked in the old man was reading off:

"Boruch arto adonai (Blessed be Thou, oh Lord.)"

The children repeated each word after him in chorus. Some of them could not have been over six years old, and the oldest was probably not twelve. The old man was a typical east side Polish Jew in appearance. He had a long gray beard, unkempt hair, and slovenly dress. His house, a little bit of a frame structure, was a short distance from the barracks. He could not talk English, but understood and spoke German fairly well. He was the first person that the reporter had met in the settlement who had that air of suspicion which is characteristic of the east side New York Jew.

He wanted to know what the reporter was there for, and when he was told, he wanted to know whether that was going to do the colony any good. He consented very readily to have his portrait taken when he was assured that it wouldn't cost him anything, but was disappointed at not getting a copy right away. He insisted upon posing and could not be induced to get into a natural position. He eyed the camera as though it was some infernal machine that might go off at any moment."

  1. Rebecca born Russia circa 1875 married Abraham Wolkowsky. See Wolkowsky above.

  2. Frank Levinsky (Lewinsky) (c. 1885 - ?) and Sally Halbert

    Birth of Frank: between 1882 and 1888 Russia - According to his WWI Draft Registration he was born October 19, 1882

    Immigration: c 1888

    1900: With his parents in Pittsgrove, N. J.

    1910 Census: Frank Lewinsky was with Abraham Wolkowsky and family in Key West.

    1918 WWI Draft Registration:

    Frank Lewinsky Box 32, Key West Monroe, Fla, age 36 born October 19, 1882, citizen by father's naturalization*, merchant, self, nearest kin, Halbert Lewinsky, medium height, slender build, blue eyes, dark hair

    *People who arrived in the US as children became citizens at their father's naturalization.

    Marriage: Frank Lewinsky Gender: Male Spouse: Sallie Halbert, Spouse Gender: Female, Marriage Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Marriage Year: 1910 Marriage License Number: 253642 Digital GSU Number: 4141875

    This record might reveal Anna (Hannah) Levinsky's maiden name.


    1. Halbert F. born 1911 New Jersey

      Marriage: Pearl


      1. Bonnie married Berman

      2. Sally c 1939

        Sally Roslyn Lewinsky, of Key West, born circa 1939 was at Florida State in Tallahassee in 1959.

        Sally R. Lewinsky married Arnold E. Young in Dade County in August 1962.

      Divorce 1959: Halbert Lewinsky Gender: Male Spouse's Name: Pearl Lewinsky Divorce Date: Dec 1959 County: Dade Certificate Number: 18023


      Lewin, Pearl (she was a pearl of a girl), age 92, of Hollywood, formerly of Philadelphia, died May 23, 2006. Beloved, wife of the late Halbert Lewinsky; loving mother of Bonnie L Berman and Sally Young; dear sister of Hilda Gansky; cherished grandmother of Leslie, Sharon, and Frank; adored great-grand- mother of Zev, Louis, and Meira. A most loving mother, grandmother, wife, and the finest of human beings. A great example for others to follow. There will be no other like her. Chapel Services Thursday 10:30 am at Star of David Memorial Chapel, 7701 Bailey Road, No. Lauderdale, FL. 954-722-9000.

      She was Halbert's first wife.

      Marriage: Halbert F Lewinsky, Spouse: Ethelyn F Martin/Ginsburg County of Marriage: Dade, Marriage Date: Jun 1960, Volume: 1890, Certificate: 15903, Source: Florida Department of Health

      Death: Halbert Lewinsky, Death Date: 23 Apr 1991, County of Death: Monroe, State of Death: Florida, Age at Death: 79, Race: White, Birth Date: 19 Oct 1911

      Memorial service Bnai Zion Synagoque.

      Halbert Lewinsky, a lifetime resident of Key West and operator of Lewinsky's Men's Shop on Duval Street, died at the age of 79., 2011

      Death of Ethelyn F. Lewinsky: Ethelyn F. Ginsburg, born in Bayonne N. J. - died age 79, at her home in Key West, July 15, 2000 - widow of Halbert Lewinsky, a prominent Key West figure - survived by her brother, Marvin Ginsburg and his wife, Barbara of New Jersey, a stepdaughter, Sally, wife of Arnold Young, of Michigan - her remains to be taken to Norma, N. J. and interred in Alliance Cemetery.

    2. Goldie 1916 New Jersey

      Goldie Love Lewinsky married H. Fishbine of Newark, New Jersey, in St. Augustine in 1936 at the home of her aunt and uncle Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Lew. Halbert Lewinsky gave the bride away. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Lewinsky of Key West and had graduated Kew West High School in 1933. The bride's father was in attendance.

      Death: January 2013 Tevet / Shevat 5773, January28/17 Shevat Goldie Liebe Lewinsky Fisher (CBZ NEWSLETTER: THE KEYS TO 2013 Congregation B'nai Zion - South Florida's Oldest Synagogue - Established in 1887 Rabbi Shimon Dudai President Fred Covan PhD 750 United Street Key West, FL 33040)

      "In 1907, the 1st synagogue in Key West was established - Congregation B'nai Zion (originally Rodeph Shalom) - in a converted medical building at 528-530 Simonton Street. As there was no Social Hall until 1955, the YMHA (formed in 1907) was the center of Jewish social life during this period."
    1911: Frank Lewinsky listed in the Key West Directory

    1913: Frank Lewinsky tested the Liquor statute in November 1913, after a Monroe County court had found him guilty of selling liquor to a female and of maintaining side entrances and screens in his barroom.

    1914: Frank Lewinsky (Sallie) saloon 528 Duval, h 328 Simonton

    Death of Sally Halbert Lewinsky: 1918, September 2, Mrs. Frank Lewisnky died at Atlantic City, New Jersey. She was a Key West resident for a number of years. Frank was listed in the 1920 census as a widow.

    1920: Key West Frank Lewinsky 35, widowed, born Russia, manager, saloon, naturalized in 1905, Albert Lewinsky 6, born New Jersey, Goldie Lewinsky 4, born New Jersey

    Marriage: Dora, born Jerusalem c 1894 after 1920 before 1923

    1923: Lewinsky, Frank (Dora), furn, 519 Duval, h 526 Duval

    1930 - 1936: Several mentions of Frank Lewensky going or coming on business between Key West and Miami by train and later by plane.

    1930: Key West, 528 Duval street, own $10,000, Frank Levinsky 42, born Russia, married at 24, Jewish, merchant, immigrated 1892, furniture store, Dora Levinsky 36, born Jerusalem, parents born Russia, immigrated 1910, Halbert Levinsky 17, born New Jersey, Goldie Levinsky 14, born New Jersey

    1931: Halbert Lewinsky was at the George School of Technology. He visited his father in Key West and then was accompanied as far as Miami by his sister Goldie on his return to school.

    1940: 526 Duval street, Frank Lewinsky Head M 56 Russia, $5,000, proprietor retail clothing store, Dora Lewinsky Wife F 40, born Jerusalem

    Deaths: None of them are listed in Florida Death Index 1877-1998 under Lewinsky or Levinsky.

    1. Sally died in New Jersey in 1918.

    2. Frank:

    Notes: Donations at the Congregation B'Nai Zion were regularly made around 2009/2011 by Sally and Arnold Young in honor of Dora Lewinsky Cohen, Ethelyn F. Lewinsky, Frank Lewinsky and Sally Lewinsky

    Remarriage of Dora ____ Lewinsky:

    Directory: Dora Lewinsky Cohen 526 Duval, Key West, Directory 1993.

    Death Dora Lewinsky Cohen: Dora Cohen, SSN: 267-80-4760, Last Residence: 33041 Key West, Monroe, Florida, USA, BORN: 1 Aug 1895, Died: 5 Jul 1993, State (Year) SSN issued: Florida (1963)

    Dora Lewinsky Cohen, Death Date: 5 Jul 1993, County of Death: Monroe, State of Death: Florida, Age at Death: 96, Race: White, Birth Date: 1 Aug 1896, Florida Death Index

  3. Possible child of Wolf and Anne Lewinsky Jacob born circa 1875 in the 1900 census in Key West

    1900: Census 532 Fleming Street, Key West, Fla., Lewinsky, Jacob (? there is wrting on top of the name.) head born May 1875 age 25, born Russia, immigrated 1885, naturalized, merchant, Annie wife age 18, born May 1882, Austria, immigrated 1884, no children Boarder, clerk

    The Maccabaean, Volumes 4-5 1903: A Zion Society has been founded at Norma, N. J. named the United Zionists of Norma - president Mr. Jacob Levinsky.

1887: Wolf Livinsky declared his intention of becoming a US citizen on October 19, 1887 . the same day as Leep "Lavinsky", and Solomon "Lavinsky" and many other Salem County Jews.

1895 Census: Pittsgrove, Wolf "Lavinsky", Hannah "Lavinsky", Frank "Lavinsky", all foreign born - this census does little more than list names. listes it under "Larinsky" but it is clearly "Lavinsky". They are listed on page 47. Abraham Brotman, the founder of Brotmanville and a founding member of the Alliance Colony is on page 59. All the pages from page 35 to the end of the section at page 63 contain "Jewish" names. Page 43 contains the Bailey family - another founding family of the colony. The family of Wolf Levinsky is smack in the middle of the Jewish community.

1891, 1899, 1901, 1905: Salem County directory, Salem County Farmers, "Levinsky", W., Alliance (only Levinsky/Lewinsky listed).

1900 Census: sheet 16, house Number 334 family number 344, Pittsgrove Township, New Jersey, no address given, Wolf "Lewinsky", head, Dec 1846, age 53, married 37 years, born Russia, immigrated "1886", naturalized, Preacher, Rabi, Anne wife, Jan. 1848, married 37 years, 8 children 3 living, born Russia, immigrated "1888", Frank, son Aug 1887, age 18, born Russian immigrated "1888", Isac Wolcofsky sic, grand son, March 1892, age 8 born New Jersey.

(At number 349 was the family of Abraham Brotman, immigration "1884", manufacturer clothes. Sidney and Ester Bailey were number 390, immigration "1885". Other occupations among the population born in Russia/Austria/Rumania included: many tailors, quite a few farmers, an engineer, several peddlers, several shoemaker, clothing store, several grocers, three butchers, several carpenters, painter, midwife, teacher, cattle dealer, teamster, several seamstresses, a handful of cigar makers, furniture store, cloak manufacturer, and a doctor (born in Germany).

Note: The dates of birth and immigration are not completley consistant with other records. However, census records are notoriusly bad in regard to dates of birth and immigration. The compination of the names is VERY good and the place is right for the date.

1891 Directory: There are two listings for Levinsky in Alliance, "L" and "W". No other information is given. 1895: Only Wolf listed with his family.

1899: Levinsky, W. under farmers in Alliance

N. J. Deaths: The N J archives does not list any Levinsky deaths with any variation of spellings up to 1892. 1905: Levinsky, J. shirt Mnfr, Salem county, in Alliance. Levinsky, W. Alliance (no other info). The population of Alliance was given as 550.

1910: Pittsgrove, Salem, New Jersey, no number, Brotmanville Road, near Norma Road, Wolf Levinsky 60, Russia Yiddish, immigrated 1885, butcher, Anna Levinsky 61, Russia, Yiddish, married 42 years, 8 children 3 living, immigrated 1889

1913: Levinsky, Wolf (Annie) rabbi O R6 Vineland H93 (O means Owns the property - H means Highway)

1920: Pittsgrove Township, no address, Own no mortgage, Levinsky, Wolf, 70, immigrated 1887, naturalized 1894, rabbi and farmer, "Elke" wife, 70, immigrated 1887, Steinberg, Sarah, boarder, age 70, immigrated 1903, all born Russia, all speaking Yiddish. (Does not come up on search - on same page with Levin, William age 40. Which does come up on search).

1930: Norma, Pittsgrove - Found Norma did not find Levinsky in Norma.

1921: Vineland, New Jersey, Levinsky, Wolf Rural Free Delivery

Leep Levinsky and Solomon Levinsky

Leep (Leib) Levinisky (born Russian circa 1949 married to Toby) and Solomon Levinsky (born Russia circa 1846) also had connections to Pittsgrove and the Alliance Colony. Lieb was a founding member of the colony.

Birth records for Lew[v]insky in Pittsgrove, New Jersey: The name was spelled with several variation (a=e=i v=w). These records were "extracted" from a variety of records by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints AKA LDS or Mormons. Sources unnamed.

  • Leib "Lavinsky" Male born 25 May 1886 Pit[tsgrove], Salem, New Jersey, Father's Name: Solomon Lavinsky Father's Age: 41, Father's Birth Place: Russia, Mother's name: Becky Harlip, Mother's Age: 40, Mother's Birth Place: Russia, FHL Film Number: 494206

  • Clara "Livinsky", Female, birth 25 May 1886, Birth Place: Pit[tsgrove], Salem, New Jersey, Father's Name: Lipo Livinsky, Father's Age: 44, Father's Birth Place: Russia, Mother's name: Sophia Freedland, Mother's Age: 34, Mother's Birth Place: Russia, FHL Film Number: 494206

  • Chani "Levinsky", Female, birth 03 Dec 1892, Birthplace: Pit[tsgrove], Salem, New Jersey, Father's Name: Lipe Levinsky, Mother's Name: Tonbi Fridla
  • (Indexing Project (Batch) Number: I04728-4, System Origin: New Jersey-EASy , GS Film number: 494224 , Reference ID: p 211 rn 17 ("New Jersey, Births and Christenings, 1660-1980," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 24 Aug 2014), Lipe Levinsky in entry for Chani Levinsky, 03 Dec 1892; citing Pit, Salem, New Jersey, reference p 211 rn 17; FHL microfilm 494224.)

"Leapa" and Toba Levinsky are listed in Immigrants to Freedom: Jews as Yankee Farmers (1880's to 1960's) by J Joseph Brandes Ph.D, as original settlers of the Alliance settlement who arrived in 1882.

1882: Leapa & Toba Levinsky were said to be among the founding members of Alliance Colony which started in May 1882. the original colonists were said to be from Southern Russia (Elizabethgrad, Odessa and Kiev)

1885 New Jersey Census: Four Levensky listed: "Lizzie" (female, age 20 to 60 page 68), "Toby" (male age 20 to 60, page 68), Golde (male, age 5 to 20 page 68) and Ellen (female age 5 to 20 page 68) all in Pittsgrove, Salem Co. New Jersey - this census does little more than list names - I cannot actually see these records - just a listing done by so I don't know if the spellings are what was acutally written - the names are close enough to be the "Leapa and Toba Levinsky" who were founding members of the colony. (LDS)

Immigration of Lieb Levinsky, 1882

Departure Date: 4 Jan 1882 form Hamburg, 8 January from La Havre
Ship Name: German S. S. Gellert
Captain: W. Kuhlewein
Shipping line: Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft
Shipping Clerk: Aug. Bolten Wm. Miller's Nachfolger
Ship Type: Dampfschiff
Accommodation: Zwischendeck
Ship Flag: Deutschland
Port of Departure: Hamburg via Havre
Port of Arrival: New York with passengers and merchandise
Date of Arrival: 19 January 1882
Volume: 373-7 I, VIII A 1 Band 043 A

Traveling together were:

Liebe Levinsky 40, (birth circa 1842), male, Sab-scutter (very hard to read)
Taube Levinsky 28, (birth circa 1854), female, wife
Gorde Levinsky 7, (birth circa 1875), female, child
Elias Levinsky 3 (birth circa 1879), male, child, from Russia to United States (page 10)

The S. S. Gellert, 375.4 feet by 40 feet, was built in 1874 in Glasgow.

The S. S. Gellertbefore her funnel was rebuilt in 1881. Heritage ships

From the manifest of the S. S. Gellert January 1882.

Nos 502, 503, 504 and 505

Petitions of Naturalization for Leib and Solomon :
  1. Leep Lavinsky Oct Term 1887 filed October 19, 1887. United States Court State of New Jersey Salem County, 19th October 1887 "Leap Lavinsky", age 38, (or thereabouts), a native of Russian upon his solemn oath his intentions to become a US Citizen. Renounced the Czar of Russia.

    Naturalized October 22, 1889

  2. Solomon Lavinsky age 41, rest the same.

    There were quite a number of naturalizations of Jews in Salem County on October 19, 1887.

    He is not listed for naturalization in Salem County.

Naturalization of Lieb Livinsky: 1889.

October 22, 1889:

On October 22, 1889, about 80 Russian Jews crowded the street of Salem "many still conspicuous in their East European clothes and beards". These farmers and tailors were there to receive their final citizen papers. To handle the rush of applicants a special court was organized. (Immigrants to Freedom: Jews as Yankee Farmers (1880's to 1960's) By Joseph Brandes, Joseph Brandes Ph.D)

The same book also stated that the community at Alliance was fairly observant with kosher meat purchased in Philadelphia and a schochet "to perform ritual slaughter of animals locally."

Leon Yubas (1866-) Russia and Catherine (Kate) (c 1850/68-1941)

Leon Yubas born Austria/Russia circa 1866.

Birth: Circa 1866 Russia/Austria. His son Morris said he was born in Vilna/Vilnius, Lithuania/Russia.

Immigration: Circa 1886 per 1910 census. Their son, Samuel was born in Philadelphia in 1892.

Marriage: Before 1885, Russia. Catherine (Kate) _______ in Russia - Kate was born circa 1868 (per 1910 census) - their son Morris was born in Vilna, Russia in 1885.

Note: Kate Yubas estimated date of birth covers quite a range as it was reported in various censuses and news articles. It may have been as early as 1850 and as lated as 1868.


  1. Morris L Yubas circa 1885 in Vilna, Russia

    1962: Bulletin of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. B. M. C. 1909 Morris L Yubas, Philadelphia, ophthalmologist died on April 20, 1962, at his home 250 S. 17th street, Philadelphia. Dr. Yubas was one of the founders of what is now the Pennsylvania College of Optometry.

    1917 Trip: Yubas, Morris, father naturalized, 907 Pine street, Philadelphia, from San Juan to New York on the Carolina

    1918 WWI Draft Registration: Did not find.

    1918: November 14, 1918 Philadelphia Inquirer, Three defendants were brought before the judge "for conducting free eye clinic at Seventh and Walnut streets under fictitious names." Morris L Yubas was acquitted at the direction of the court. One person was convicted.

    1929: July 15, Woodbury N. J. Dr. Morris Yubas age 44, two other Prominent Philadelphia physicians, a boy and a woman were injured when their car slid off the road and overturned at Hurffville. Dr. Yubas suffered a concussion and possible internal injuries.

    1929 Trip: Yubas, Morris, age 44 born Philadelphia, from Cuba to Key West on the Cuba.

    Marriage: Anna


    1. Alan

      Marriage of Alan Yobas: Name: Alan Yubas Gender: Male Spouse: Norma L Parkes Spouse Gender: Female Marriage Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Marriage Year: 1950 Marriage License Number: 894531 Digital GSU Number: 4144720

      Death: June 23, 2014

      YUBAS Alan S. Yubas, 87, passed away Sunday, June 15, 2014. A native of Philadelphia, PA he had moved to Jacksonville over 30 years ago after retiring and selling his business in New Jersey. Even in retirement he continued to work as an Optician in several shops around Jacksonville. He was predeceased by a son, Jonathan. His surviving family includes: his wife Diana Yubas; a daughter, Katie Yubas; 2 sons, Matt and Evan Yubas; and 3 grandchildren.

    1910: Philadelphia, single, boarder, born circa 1885 Russia, physician

    1920: Philadelphia, 907 Pine street, Morris L "Yuba" 35, born Russia, immigrated 1886, physician, medical, Anna Yuba 25, New Jersey

    1930: Morris L Yubas 45, born Russia, immigrated 1886, Naturalized, physician, Anna Yubas 37 Alan Yubas 3 yrs and 6 months, Stanley Hilbronner 21, nephew, Mamie E Foster 27, servant

    WWII Draft Registration: Morris Leon Yubas, 907 Pine street, age 57, born Vilna Russia, 4.19.1885 wife Anna Yubas, same address, 5 feet 5 and one half inches, brown eyes, gray hair

    Death: 1962 - The 1962 obit of Dr. Morris L. Yubas an Ophthalmologist, af founder of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry died in Philadelphia in april 1962 . He was 77. He graduated University of maryland Medical School. He was survived by his wife, Anna Hyman, a son, Alan S., a brother Samuel, and three sisters, Mrs. Isador Blume, Mrs. Isaac Wolkowsky, and Mrs. Dora Rose.

  2. Mrs. Dora Rose (per obit of Morris), born circa 1888

    1908 Marriage: Dora Yubas to Sidney J Hilbronner Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States 1908 Marriage License Number: 228549 Digital GSU Number: 4141945

    Divorce: Galveston Texas, in 1915, born London, England, 2 (no month) 1888 that my ex husband Sidney J Hilbronner was born in Philadelphia, now redied in NYC employed at the Coliseum Theatre 181 St & Broadway, NYC, residence 3889 Broadway, NYC leaving NYC Aug 15, age 35, 5 feet 3 inches, brown eyes, auburn hair,

    1921: Dora Yuma listed in the 1921 Camden Directory. See below.

    Passport Application 1923: Doar Hillbronner, divorce married Philadelphia June 30, 1908

    Dora Yubas passport photo, 1923

    1923: Marriage to Augie Rainer

    Dora Yubas, Spouse Surname: Ratner, Date of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec 1923, Registration district: St Martin, Inferred County: London, Volume Number: 1a, Page Number: 1219 - Dora Hilbronner, Spouse Surname: Ratner, Date of Registration: Oct-Nov-Dec 1923, Registration district: St Martin, Inferred County: London, Volume Number: 1a, Page Number: 1219

    "Well known boxer weds New York lady . Augie Ratner , the well known boxer , and his bride , Miss Dora "Yubos" , were married in the Henrietta Street Register Office , Strand . 4 October 1923" (Press release)
    1923: Incoming passengers New York To south Hampton Yubas, Dora, c/o Savoy Hotel, 1st class, occupation beauty shop, age 35, country of residence America, Resolute, United American Line, Sept 12, 1923 Note: I cannot find the "Resolute" on Sept 12, 1923

    1923: Aquitania, from South hampton to New York, October 13, 1923, arrival 19th Oct, Dora Ratner "father's papers by marriage" , 3889 Broadway, New York age 35, Club London, US Citizen, married.

    1923: Thursday, October 18, 1923, The Evening Tribune from Hornell, New York

    "Auges Ratner, the American middleweight fighter, who is knocking em all dead in Europe, is shown leaving the Registrar's office, in London with his bride, who was Miss Dora Yubas, daughter of a wealthy Philadelphia jeweler. The romance followed Miss Yubas' congratulations when Ratner won a recent fight in the English metropolis" 1923: Incoming passengers 1923, New York from South Hampton, Yubas, Dora, c/o Savoy Hotel London occupation beauty shop age 35, permanent resident of America on the "Resolute" United America Line Sept 12, 1923

  3. Note: I cannot find the "Resolute on Sept 12, 1923.

    Augie Ratner, retired boxer and night club owner, died in August 1979 at a nursing home age 78. Service at Temple Israel Spartenburg, Minn.. He was born in Russia and came to the US at age 3. He was survived by a widow, not named and two daughters, also not named.

    Augie was born Samuel. Death: Minnesota, Death Index - Samuel Augie Ratner Birth Date: 15 Mar 1901, Death Date: 1 Aug 1979, Death County: Hennepin, State File Number: 018678, Certificate Number: 018678, Certificate Year: 1979, Record Number: 1987020,

  4. Freda c. 1890

    Marriage: Isaac Wolkowsky

  5. Samuel Leon Yubas, Jan 1, 1892 (per WWIII Draft Registration)

    Marriage: Jennie Manashil

    Samuel L Yubas, Spouse: Jennie Manashil, Marriage Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, Marriage Year: 1926, Marriage License Number: 526193, Digital GSU Number: 4143599

    WWI Draft Registration: Dr. Samuel Leon Yubas, born January 1, 1891 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Doctor, invalid mother, single, tall, slender, brown eyes red hair. Note "This man claims exemption but his father owns a business and owns real estate."

    1920: S L Yubas of Camden opened a "modern" optical shop at 1628 Atlantic Ave. Atlantic City. It was closed in 1922. Their main store was in Camden.

    WWII Draft Registration: Dr. Samuel Leon Yubas, 431 Kaighn Ave, Camden, age 50, dob Jan 1, 1892, Jennie Yubas same address, 5 feet 7 inches, brown eyes, brown hair

    Death: Samuel Yubas, Birth Date: 1 January 1892, Social Security Number: 153-01-3829, State: New Jersey, Last Place of Residence: Camden, New Jersey, Previous Residence Postal Code: 08107, Event Date: August 1972, Age: 80

    In 1933 Dr. S. L. Yubas of Camden, N. J. offered contact lenses a recent invention.

  6. Ms. Isador Blume (per obit of Morris)

1910: Camden New Jersey, 1001 Broadway, Leon R Yubas 44, Russia, Yiddish, immigrated 1886, naturalized, jeweler, Catharine Yubas 42, Russian, immigrated 1886, Samuel Yubas 18, son, born Pennsylvania, optician, Freda Yubas 20, daughter, born New York, sales lady, Christina Wargot 20, servant, Richard J Hynze 66, boarder.

1912: Wildwood, City of Wildwood Council Meeting Minutes September 1912

"Quit claims deed, City of Wildwood to Leon R. Yubas, present for execution, moved by Collins and seconded by Reeves that same be laid over, carried."

1913: Leon R Yubas (and Katherine) listed under Jewelers at 214 Market Street, Wilmington, Del. H[ome] Camden, N. J.

1915: Yubas, L. R. 1208 Broadway, Camden was listed in the American Jewish Year Book as a member of the Jewish Publication Society.

1918: Chester Times, Penn. Nov 26, Jacob Gordon of Philadelphia was charged with larceny of $305 from L. R. Yubas, 118 West Third street. Gordon was held on $1,000 bail.

1918: The America Contractor Pennsylvania


Store (alt. new bulk) $2,000, 3 stry. Phila. Archt j. E. Fledstein 1328 Chestnut St. Owner, "K" R. Yubas, 431 Kaignes ave, Camden.

1920: 431 Kaighn ave, Leon R Yubes 55, Jewish, Austria, jeweler, Katie Yubes 57, Austria, Jewish, Samual Yubes 28, Pennsylvania, optometrist

1920: "Jewelry Stores in Philadelphia and Camden Visited by Crooks Who Escape with Considerabel Loot" (The Jewish Circular Vol 18, Issue 2) : The Camden jewelry store owned by Leon Yubas at 413 Kaighn Ave. was robbed at 4:30 on a Saturday morning. The robber shattered the glass and stripped the display window. The thief took about 15 wrist watches, some rings and other pieces of jewelry worth between $1,000 and $1,500. The Yubas family lived in and apartment on the second floor but no one in the family heard the glass schatter.


The Jewelers' Circular, Volume 80, Issue 1

"Camden, N. J., has found a solution as to what shall be done with one of its abandoned saloons. Incidentally, the solution, which consists of putting a jewelry store where the barroom used to be, discloses an idea of the realty values in this section. Two days ago the three-story corner property at 1001 Broadway, which includes a lot measuring about 20 feet by 110 feet, was conveyed by Patrick H. Mulvihill, formerly the saloonkeeper, to L. R. Yubas & Son., jeweler, of 431 Kaighn Ave. The corner was one of the best known in the city during "wet" days. The late William Chew, a life-long resident of South Camden, conducted a saloon there for many years. Several years ago he conveyed it to John Quinn upon his retirement from business. The latter disposed of it to Mr. Mulvihill. Yubas, the new purchaser, paid $40,000 for it. He will open his jewelry store there within a short time."

1917 - 1920 Leon R Yubas, jeweler, 118 W. 3rd, Chester Pa home Camden N.J.

1921, Camden: Yubas, Dora h[ome] Hotel Camden, Leon R (Katie) (Leon R. Yubas & Son) h[ome] 341 Kaign av, Leon R. & Samuel same address

1921: An optical store located in Atlantic City was offered for sale by S. L. Yubas of 431 Kaighn ave, Camden "good reason for selling"


Camden Courier-Post - January 18, 1922
POLICE TO PROBE $200,000 KAIGHN AVE. FIRE FIRE CAPTAIN MAY DIE, FOUR OTHERS INJURED; DAMAGE IS $200,000 Economy Store and Other Buildings Near Broadway Swept by Flames Early This Morning- Falling Debris Carries Men Through Roof And Into Cellar- Sleeping Inmates of Apartments Roused and Invalid Carried to Safety- Mayor Sees Rescues"
A fire at 427 and 429 Kaighn Ave caused 2 million dollars in damage and injury to five fire fighters.
"The adjoining building at 431 Kaighn Avenue is occupied by Dr. S. I. Yubas, optometrist, and L. R. Yubas, his father, a jeweler.

Invalid is Rescued

The rear and upper floors of the Yubas property were gutted and the stock sustained a heavy loss, due to water and smoke. The damage will total $40,000, Mr. Yubas estimated today.

Five persons who were asleep on the upper floors of the Yubas dwelling had narrow escapes. They were awakened by Samuel Goldstein, haberdasher, 417 Kaighn Avenue, who discovered the fire in the Economy Store and turned in the alarm. Mrs. L.R. Yubas, an invalid, was rescued with difficulty."

See Camden People for the full article/

The Jewelers Circular vol 28, issue 2, A fire that started at the Economy Department Store at 427-29 Kaighn ave. spread to the jewelry and optical store of "H." L. Yubas at431 Kaighn ave.

A short time after the flames attacked the jewelry store, it was learned that Mrs. Leon Yubus, mother of the proprietor of the store, an invalid, was in bed in the third story of the Yubas building."
Two policeman rescued 70 year old Mrs. Yubas through a back window. Damage to the Yubas store was estimated at between $20,000 and $25,000.

1922: Kate Yubas bought a passage for Abram Golenhol through the Rosenbaum Bank in Philadelphia, 26 April 1922. Nothing else on him.

1930: Did not find them in the census.

1940: Kaighn Ave, Kate Yubus Camden, widow, age 90, born Europe

1941: Death of Kate Yubas, September 11, 1941, In Memoriam - Temple Israel, 137 N. E. 19th street, Miami Beach - Recently departed, Kate Yubas, mother of Mrs. Ike Wolkowsky (in the Yubas home were Dr. Yubas, Mr. And Mrs. L.R. Yubas)


  • 1922, Yubas, L R (Katie) optican h 4700 Boardwalk
    Samuel L Yubas, 3412 Pacific ave, Wildwood home Camden Optician Wildwood, New Jersey, City Directory, 1922
  • 1924, Samuel, Louis Katie, same addresses, first listing for novelties at 3014 Boardwalk
  • 1926, Yubas, Leon R, (Katie, Yubas Realty) h[ome 3008 Atlantic av
    Yubas, Louis, (the Ceder Chest), r[ear] 3008 Atlantic av
    Yubas, LR & Co. Wm R Decker mgr novelties 3004 Boardwalk
    Yubas Realty Co, (Saml and Leon R Yubas, 3008 Atlantic ave
    Yubas, Saml L (Jennie; Yubas REalty Co. optometrist 3008 Atlantic ave h[ome] do [the same]
  • 1928, Opticians, Yubas, Saml L 3008 Atlantic av Wildwood
4700 Boardwalk is near E. Cresse ave and Boardwalk. Wildwood was a popular destination from Philadelphia.

3008 Atlantic Avenue was originally built in 1909 as the home of J. Thompson Baker and his family. See Wildwood Civic club for more info on the Bakers and a picture of the house. It is the only home in Wildwood on the National Register of Historic Places. It has been the home of the Wildwood Civics Club since 1936.

Atlantic City:

  • Morris Yubas (AKA Maurice Yubas) optician was listed in Atlantic City in 1906 thru 1909. His son, Morris physician was listed in Atlantic City in the mid 50s.

  • Annie Yubas, age 31, born June 5, 1894, Atlantic City, home, Philadelphia, Pa. from Havana on the Cuba February 2, 1926 to Key West, Fla. - (wife of Morris Yubas).

Wolf Abrams (Abraham)

Abram Wolkowsky was a witness for Wolfe Abrams in Key West in 1894. Manuel Rippa was the other witness.

"Wolfe came to Key West in 1887. He and his wife Ida helped start the minyon that led to the creation of Rodeph Shalom. They lived on Whitehead Street (near Angela) and had a Sefer Torah that was kept in various homes for services until the shul was formed.

Wolfe owned a lot of land in Malaga NJ bought in 1891. They also owned a 3 story hotel by the railroad tracks. My grandmother was born there in 1898. It's about 4 miles from Vineland. They had grape vineyards and may have been cutting timber. During this time he sold wood boards in Tampa where he later lived. He was in tinware and the cigar business in Key West...later Tampa."

Bobbi Schwartz, August 2015

1906 - 1909: Wolfe Abrams 1612 Nebraska Ave. Tampa, Florida, USA Occupation: Collector Spouse: Ida Abrams Publication Title: Tampa, Florida, City Directory, 1909

Broken Branches

Alliance Colony, Pittsgrove, and Norma, Salem county, New Jersey

Isaac, Frank, and Joseph Wolkowsky were born in Norma, New Jersey between 1889 and 1899. Their maternal grandparents, Wolf and Anne Levinsky (Lewinsky), lived in the area from at least 1885 to 1921. They may have been original settlers of the Alliance Colony.

Edna Wolkowsky was born in "New Jersey" in 1915. Edna is said to have been born in Wildwood, New Jersey where her grandmother Kate Yurbas ran a boarding house.

Several Jewish agricultural colonies were formed in South Jersey to aid the large numbers of Jews who were fleeing the pogroms in Russia. The first of these colonies, Alliance, was founded in 1882 with about 25 families. The people were mostly from Kief, Odessa and Elizabetgrad.

Alliance was 50 miles from Philadelphia and 100 miles from New York City. It was on the New Jersey Southern Railroad line.

"In 1882, 43 families escaped the pogroms of Russia and settled in this rural Southern New Jersey community as the first Jewish agricultural colony in the United States. They belonged to the Am Olam Movement that believed in a "return to the soil." They organized a Chevra Kadisha and built a synagogue and in 1891 they founded Alliance Cemetery."

See Alliance Colony

Among the original settlers of the Alliance Colony which was located between Brotmanville and Norma, were Leapa and Toba Levinsky. "Liebe" and Taube Levinsky immigrated from Russian through Hamburg in January 1882.

The Levinskys were listed in Pittsgrove, Salem Co. New Jersey in the 1885 New Jersey census.

In 1895 Wolf and Hannah Levinsky were listed in Pittsgrove. Wolf and Hannah were the parents of Rebecca Levinsky who married Abraham Wolkowsky.

Ellen Eisenberg in Jewish Agricultural Colonies in New Jersey: 1882 - 1920 states that many of the original settlers in the Alliance Colony were members of Am Olam and were from the South Pale of Russia. The South Pale was most notable Lithuania and "White Russia". A higher percentage of the Jews in the South Pale were merchants than farmers.

Two synagogues were established in Alliance by 1889: Eben ha-Ezer (1888) more radical and Tiphereth Israel (1889) more conservative. According to Ellen Eisenberg the colony, in general, seemed to have been more secular than religious. However other authors claim that religious traditions were closely followed.

Ellen Eisenberg states that some of the Alliance colonists from Vilna, Russia had a connection to 48 Essex Street near Grand in New York City.


The Museum of Family History (From The Sun newspaper, August 17, 1890)


The Jewish Colonies of South Jersey: Historical Sketch of Their ... By William Stainsby

1911: The following was reported on Alliance Colony


The Alliance colony was the first successful Hebrew agricultural colony in America, and is a direct outcome of the Hebrew emigration from Russia in 1880, 1881, and 1882.

In 1882 the Jewish Emigrant Aid Society (a society formed in New York to give aid to immigrant Hebrews) tried the experiment of settling 25 families of newly arrived people on a small tract of land in Salem County, N. J., the site of the present village of Alliance. The first contingent came in May, 1882, and began operations, the whole company working together on 30 acres of wild land, covered with a heavy growth of brush and third growth of white and black oak. By the first of June they had some land cleared and planted in corn and potatoes. The Emigrant Aid Society, which afterwards developed into the Alliance Land Trust, built several large buildings or barracks with little 8 by 14 foot rooms, into which they crowded the entire colony, soon grown to 33 families. The society provided food for the colonists, who ate at a common table. Very soon about 1,100 acres was bought, and for six months the colonists worked with great energy under a superintendent and an instructor in agriculture almost as ignorant of New Jersey conditions as the colonists themselves. The work was hard, the matured crops rather disappointing, and the communistic programme not entirely satisfactory.

In the autumn of 1882 the land newly acquired was divided into lots from 13 to 15 acres in size and distributed by lot in clusters of four "farms" to the various groups in the colony. Groups of four congenial families settled together on adjacent lots, again distributing their four parcels by lot among the members of the group. It was thought that four families working together might make use of the same horses and implements, thus saving capital and taking advantage of cooperative endeavor. Seventy-two houses were built, each 12 by 14 feet, one and a half stories high, of two rooms; the cost was $188 each, and one was built on each lot. Old settlers say that every one was occupied the first fall, 250 persons, at least, being brought there in 1882.

To supply the wants of the colonists during the fall and winter of 1882-83, each family was given a cash monthly allowance which varied from $8 to $12, depending on the size of the family. Each family was furnished with a stove, household furniture, and utensils, and in the spring of 1883, was given $100 or its equivalent for tools, seed, plants, and implements. The nominal value of each 15-acre tract was $360. Of this amount the society paid one-half and the settler was supposed to pay the remaining $180. Interest was fixed at 3 per cent per annum, but interest promply paid was deducted from the principal. Despite these favorable terms and conditions, however, the first winter was one of great hardship, especially to the women of the colony.

The settlement was in a wilderness, the nearest town and postoffice being at Vineland, 5 or 6 miles distant. There were no suitable roads through the tract, no industries of any sort to support the newcomers, and no near neighbors from whom to obtain work or to learn methods of culture. Had it not been for the determination of the first comers and the timely but meager aid given by the Society, the entire colony must have starved or deserted before the summer of 1883. As it was, not more than a third of the 72 original families remained on the land by the fall of 1884. Nearly every one of these survivors, however, remained permanently; many are still there, nearly all with a larger acreage, and all with improved farms, farm buildings, and increased capital. During the second summer much more land was cleared, and the farmers learning from the Vineland farmers rather than their agricultural instructors, set out many acres of strawberries, blackberries, and, later, grapes.

The system of working in partnership did not prove successful, and horses owned in partnership were soon sold. For a time the farmers hired their horse labor from their Gentile neighbors, the more prosperous gradually acquiring stock of their own. Many of the men gave up the clearing of new land, left most of the cultivation to their families, and hired out to Gentile farmers in Vineland, frequently 10 miles distant. This schooling in local methods was a great help to the inexperienced colonists, many of whom knew nothing of farming. In this way the products of the region were introduced and in a few years grapes, berries, and sweet potatoes were the staple crops of the Hebrew farmers.

Other opportunities for seasonal labor were supplied by a cigar factory and a shirt factory, both set up in one of the first buildings for housing the colonists in the autumn of 1883. The cigar factory gave employment to 26 hands, the tailoring establishment to 40 sewers. These factories burned down in 1884, but home tailoring began the following winter, the goods being brought out from New York and Philadelphia to be finished in the farmers' homes. Leonard Lewisohn, a New York philanthropist, provided each family with a sewing machine, free, to further this industry.

With the weeding out of the incapables in 1884 farming in the hands of the more energetic and able took on a brighter aspect. The society gave $50 per farm to provide fruit trees, grapevines, and berry bushes. The first berries had not done well, the land being badly prepared and the farmers very inexperienced. Now the work was done more thoroughly, new implements and some horses were bought and the better farmers took a fresh start. There was still much distress during the winters, however, and much relief seems to have been given by charitably disposed Jews in aid of the struggling settlement during these early years.

By 1886 and 1887 several farmers were receiving incomes varying from $300 to $700 yearly from their little farms and were greatly encouraged. A new cigar factory had been established, tailoring had come to be a regular winter occupation, and later a large brick tailoring factory, which now employs 50 to 60 hands, was built by outside capital. Several newly arrived immigrants made their way to the colony and were employed as farm laborers both by Hebrews and Gentiles during the summer. In the winter they found steady employment as machine tailors. A number of these laborers later settled at Rosenhayn and Carmel. In 1889 the Sunday Mercury of Philadelphia wrote a glowing account of the colony and its prosperous aspect after having made a thorough investigation. One important feature of the article was a statement that 70 of the Alliance settlers had, in October, 1889, appeared at Salem, N. J., and received their final naturalization papers.

From 1889 to 1897 the colony suffered some reverses owing to the lean years accompanying the money stringency of the nineties, but in 1897 there was a population of 96 families, 512 persons in Norma, the railway station town, and Alliance. "Of this number," says J. C. Reis, the historian of the colony, "33 families are devoted exclusively to farming; 12 to farming and tailoring combined; 36 to farming and other workshop occupations; 15 to tailoring exclusively." They owned over 1,500 acres of land, 530 in fruit and 577 in various truck crops; the remainder was unimproved.

During this period many farmers had mortgaged their farms to a certain Salem (N. J.) building and loan association to build better houses and to buy live stock. These mortgages could not be paid, and many farmers would have been sold out by the mortgagees had not the trustees of the Baron de Hirsch Fund intervened to buy up the paper and take over the debts of the farmers. A branch organization under the name of the Jewish Agricultural and Industrial Aid Society now holds most of the unpaid mortgages in the colony.

The colonists all seemed more prosperous after 1897. In 1899 the berry and fruit crop was valued at $40,000, and the sweet potato crop at $18,000. About one-third of this amount was raised by the Alliance farmers.

Considerable improvement has been made in the condition of the colony since 1900. A number of farmers have added to their acreage; a new outlet for crops is the Alliance canning factory, established in 1901. Markets in the near-by towns, Rosenhayn, Bridgeton, Elmer, and Vineland, have developed, and there is now no question about the disposal of every bit of good produce raised. The dearth of local markets was one of the greatest handicaps to the successful development of agriculture up to 1900. Produce could not be disposed of or only at a price too low to pay marketing crops, and consequently agriculture languished and farmers grew discouraged.

New tailoring industries have been established at Brotmanville and Norma, one at each end of the colony, furnishing employment for a considerable number of hands and also increasing the local demand for farm produce. New settlements, notably at Six Points, are springing up, new farmers are coming in, and on the whole the colony is more prosperous now than ever before. In 1905 there were 165 families, with 891 persons, now (1909) there are at least 180 taxpaying polls, 101 being farm owners.

It is difficult to imagine the condition of this region twenty-seven vears ago, when the first colonists came there. Nearly all the land has been cleared and is in a very good state of cultivation; cornfields, berry patches, fields of sweet or white potatoes, lima beans, or vineyards take the place of the forests of brush and timber that formerly covered the land. Several good roads—and some poor ones— are laid out at frequent intervals, many good houses and prosperous farmsteads appear, and everywhere one sees evidences of nard work and fair returns, if not always neatness, economy, and thrift.

As stated in other chapters of this report, there are a number of reasons why the Hebrew as a rule is not a successful farmer. Here there are good reasons for the early failures in the wild condition of the land, the ignorance of American methods of farming, the distance to successful neighbors, the blind leadership in farm methods, the inadequacy of local markets, and consequent dependence on commission sales and, perhaps, in the partial pauperization of the colonists by charitable societies.

The new Hebrew farmers now settling are men with some little capital. They are at once established on cleared and improved land and consequently with diligence can make a living and a surplus the first year. The earlier comers stand ready to give aid and instruction in methods they have been taught by hard experience. Good roads, obliging neighbors, convenient markets, and the advantage of a thrifty rural community assure their success from the start if they are willing to work faithfully. It has become a settled policy or the Jewish Agricultural and Industrial Aid Society to establish "green" farmers on improved land only. The pioneer work of clearing up wild land and waiting for a first crop has proved too severe a strain on the patience and endurance of many a prospective Hebrew farmer. The Italian is a much better pioneer than the present Hebrew immigrant to the land. His standard of comfort is not so high, perhaps, but in any case his patience and endurance are greater. Hard, unremitting toil is necessary if one would with his own hands clear and improve a field of brush or heavily forested land. The Italians are doing it near Rosenhayn to-day. The Hebrew finds it more feasible to pay more and acquire fields ready for the plow.


The soils of south Jersey have been described in the report on Vineland. The Alliance tract lies west of the Maurice River and along Muddy Run. Vineland lies east of the river. Most of the land is askigh or higher than the Vineland tract, and there is no swamp or marsh land. Along the streams and running back from the junction of Muddy Run and Maurice Rivers for some miles the soil is generally very sandy, somewhat abruptly rolling in contour, and devoid of humus. Northeast of Norma and surrounding the village of Alliance, a loam appears, often mixed with gravel, technically known as Sassafras gravelly loam. About Six Points the soil is a sandy loam, frequently intermingled with clay or the famous New Jersey marl. These heavier soils raise large crops of white potatoes, corn, clover, and timothy, while the lighter soils and coarser sands are adapted to sweet potatoes, grapes, and berries.

It is difficult to characterize these soils accurately. Some are very thin and poor, responding but feebly to large applications of fertilizer. Some compare favorably with the best marl soils of south Jersey. Some of the fields of corn and white potatoes are not inferior to those cultivated anywhere in the State. Most of the land (perhaps 80 per cent) included within the limits of the colony is cleared and improved. Nearly all improved land is in tillage or grass for hay. The uncleared or brush land grows up rapidly to white oak, ash, scrub oak, and pine. To clear this land costs from $18 to $30 per acre, if the stumps are all removed. The ordinary method, called "stumping," is to clear out the brush and small trees, cut off the larger ones close to the stump, burn over the field, plow it, and set it out to berries. If the sprouts are kept cut off, the stumps decay and are very easily removed by a stump machine after four years, or by hand a little later. In six years many can be plowed out. In the early days of the colony the land was fully cleared at once. Many of the Italians still practice this method. Now "stumping" is all but universal among the Hebrews. Nearly all the cultivated land in the vicinity was cleared by the individual owners and their families, and under proper cultural conditions very little of the soil is unfit for either truck crops or berries; there is not necessarily much waste, although some areas are little better than beds of white sand. The climate is usually favorable for the early maturing of berries, tomatoes, lima beans, and white potatoes. The actual statistics of temperature and rainfall are given in the Vineland report and are repeated with the Bridgeton records in the description of Rosenhayn and Carmel.

About the salubrity of the climate there is no doubt. Malaria and typhoid are scarcely known, and the death rate from ailments aggravated by climatic conditions is very low, indeed.

(Immigrants in industries By United States. Immigration Commission (1907-1910), William Paul Dillingham)

The major port of entry for members of the Alliance Colony was New York City. See Immigration

The Norma colony was in Salem County, New Jersey. In a 1901 survey of the area it was grouped with Alliance. The following figures were given:

  • No. of Adults, 151
  • No of children, 345
  • No of married children, 27
  • No of farms, 78
  • No of cows, 107
  • No of horses, 65
  • No of poultry, 85,711
In 1901 a canning factory was built in Norma near the C. R. R. (Central Railroad) depot. The factory provided work for the young people of the area.

Twenty five acre farms near Alliance were sold by the Jewish Agricultural and Industrial Society to Jewish settlers at a modest price.

"In Norma and Brotmansville, there are a few farms ..... but the great majority work in factories in their own localities or in Vineland."

(Social aspects of the Jewish colonies of South Jersey by Philip Reuben Goldstein Published 1921)

According to Jewish Agricultural Colonies in New Jersey 1882-1920 by Ellen Eisenburg:
"Norma was a squalid and undeveloped village in the early 1890s, with "a reputation among Vineland's natives as the dirtiest of 'Jew towns'. Yet with the aid of Philadelphia philanthropist Maurice Fels paid for a model farm and a canny factory (1901), which provided both employment opportunities and a market for produce. At the same time Norma, gained the support fo the newly formed JAISAS, further spurring its growth"
1912: The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History ..., Volume 1 By Isidore Singer, Cyrus Adler
Among the local industries established at Alliance were a shirt factory and a tailors' shop, the employment from which materially aided the Local colonists during the winter months.

In 1889 the population of the colony was 529, of whom 282 were males and 247 females. The farmers owned 1,400 acres of land, of which 889 were cultivated. There were 92 houses in the colony, a synagogue (dedicated July 29,1888), a library, a post-office, and a night-school. Through the joint efforts of the Baron de Hirsch Fund and the Jewish Colonization Association of London, tailors' shops have been established, thus affording a local market for produce. The most recent statistics obtainable regarding Alliance show that there are (1900) 96 Jewish families, aggregating 512 persons, in and around the colony (including Norma). Of these, 33 families devote themselves entirely to farming, 15 entirely to tailoring, 12 combine farming and tailoring, and the remaining 36 not only till their farms but also follow some other craft, such as masonry, shoemaking, carpentry, etc. Over 1,500 acres of land are owned by these settlers, of which 530 are devoted to fruit, 577 to vegetables, and the remainder to fodder or pasture. There are 87 dwelling-houses, with 141 outbuildings. The capital invested in 1897 was $112,298, of which $68,033 had been repaid in cash. The balance remained due. The value of the yearly products of the soil was estimated at $17,808. The colonists then owned 55 horses, 79 cows, and 4,700 fowls.

By 1919 Norma had its own synagog and religious school. It had a post office, 1 general merchandise store, 2 groceries, a bakery, a shoemaker, a blacksmith shop, a juck dealer, a chauffer and a truck driver, as well as a butcher shop. In Norma there were two factories which employed a total of 53 people. Eight in a vest making plant and 45 making coats and suits.

Brotmanville/Alliance had one general merchandise store and 1 grocery.

Brotmanville had one factory manufacturing clothing and employing 25 people. This establishment was owned by Abraham Brotman for who the village was named.

One family in Brotmanville and two in Norma opened their homes to summer boarders. Wages in nearby Vineland were higher and drew some people away from from Norma and Brotmanville to work. Some members of the Jesiwh colonies moved to Vineland to open stores and other businesses. But the end of the 19th century Vineland has a sizable Jewish population.

In 1919 there were no ordained rabbis in any of the colonies.

"The function of the Rabbi are performed by a Shochet, whose profession is to slaughter fowl and animals of the bovin genus according to orthodox ritual. He is usually a man well versed in Talmudic Law, and in the absence of a full fledged Rabbi, he is consulted on all ritualistic questions. He also conducts religious services, reads aloud the Torah from the parchment scroll on the Sabbath and holidays, officiates at marriage ceremonies, and usually performs the rite of circumcision."

(Social aspects of the Jewish colonies of South Jersey by Philip Reuben Goldstein Published 1921)

Alliance cemetery is the burial place of many of the original settlers of the Jewish colonies. The Mortuary at the cemetery also houses the synagogue furnishings fro Brotmanville.

Map of Jewish Colonies of South Jersey from Social Aspects of the Jewish Colonies of South Jersey showing Norma the birthplace of Isaac, Frank and Joseph Wolkowsky. Aso showing Brotmanville (just north of Norma) which is where the Lewinskys were living in 1900.

New York Times June 24, 1984



ALL OF the Jewish agricultural colonies in South Jersey, including Woodbine and the historic Alliance colonies - Alliance, Brotmanville and Norma - are in grave danger of extinction.

In 1903, special legislation created Woodbine Borough, resulting in Jewish self-rule (the first anywhere in the world since the destruction, 1,833 years ago, of the Second Temple in 70 C.E.). With all the troubles that currently beset the South Jersey colonies, we must never lose sight of the fact that Israel as a unit of Jewish self-rule was preceded by Woodbine, N.J.

How insane, with World War II destroying centuries-old Jewish village life in Eastern Europe, that the very last examples of this historic communal legacy are sliding into oblivion with scarcely a whimper of outrage.

"I feel like it is the 'Wild West," said Jay H. Greenblatt, president of the Alliance Colony Foundation and a descendant of this, the oldest colony of Jewish farmers in America. "The wagons are in a circle, and we keep waiting for reinforcements that never come."

Mr. Greenblatt's pioneering analogy - the wagon concept is an allusion to the establishment of the foundation in 1982, Alliance's centennial year - is appropriate on a number of counts:

- The Jewish agricultural colonists, who began in Alliance, were pioneers in Kansas, the Dakota territory, Iowa, Michigan, Colorado, California, Texas, Washington, Louisiana and Oregon.

- "The New Jersey colonies are the only survivors," the Jewish Agricultural Society reported in 1925.

- Woodbine, with the establishment of the Baron de Hirsch Agricultural School in 1894 (America's first agricultural technical high school), became the scientific engine of the 15 independent and autonomous South Jersey Jewish colonies that not only transformed New Jersey into the Garden State but also served as a model for the flowering of Israel.

- The South Jersey colonies - the first, last and most important of the many Jewish agricultural colonies in America - are currently under attack from all quarters.

Woodbine, the site of surreptitious night flights of arms and munitions to those seeking the creation of Israel in 1946 and 1947, is currently being dismantled by ignorant and uncaring planners, administrators and night- time marauders. Many of the historic buildings have been destroyed because "they were too old."

The synagogue on the grounds of Woodbine Hospital was obliterated just last year, and the majestic Brotherhood Synagogue has been assaulted by fire-bombs, thieves and desecrators.

A treasure to New Jersey, to America and the world, Woodbine is slowly but irretrievably returning to what it was before the Jewish farmers: scrub-pine wilderness.

Lost, too, will be a special chapter in the peopling of America. Jacob Riis described Woodbine in the late 1890's this way:

"The cattle were lowing in the fields. The evening breathed peace. Down the sandy road came a creaking farm wagon. Beside it walked a sunburned bearded man with an ax on his shoulder, in earnest conversation with his boy, a strapping young fellow in overalls."

Woodbine also was an important sociological model of brotherhood, as the Jewish elders always sought out and encouraged gentiles to settle in the colony. This was, indeed, the philosophy of all the South Jersey Jewish agricultural colonies, as the histories of Alliance, Brotmanville, Norma, Rosenhayn, Carmel and Garton Road so abundantly attest.

Rabbi Moshe Davis of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America aptly described the South Jersey colonies as "the continuing quest of the Jewish people to find a more perfect union with lands and peoples of expanding freedom."

In brotherhood, we two Catholics are volunteering for what we pray will be the nucleus for Mr. Greenblatt's "reinforcements."

The Jewish colonies in New Jersey are surely a national treasure and worthy of more than just New Jersey concern and remedy. Therefore, we would like to present two specific recommendations to President Reagan and Governor Kean. (1) - The National Park Service, as the official Federal agency for administering and developing national historic areas for public use, should be encouraged to evolve a combined public and private venture to showcase the historic Jewish colonies in partnership with the Alliance Colony Foundation; the Jewish Federation of Atlantic City, which administers the Woodbine Brotherhood Synagogue, and other appropriate legal entities.

The National Park Service is crucial because the issue is not simply to save old historical buildings but, rather, to fill them with schoolchildren and adults by the thousands who will come to the Jewish colonies to learn and to be enriched by the precious legacy that these Jewish pioneers left to all of us. (2) - Woodbine ought to be developed as a year-round Jewish repertory theater and full performing and fine-arts facility.

Imagine what this would do for the tourist industry along the Jersey Shore, for Woodbine is just 25 minutes from Atlantic City and four miles from the Atlantic Ocean.

Six years ago, one of the writers, (John W. Gotsch) specifically asked then-Assemblyman Steven P. Perskie, author of the enabling legislation for casino gambling, if the casino set-aside could be used to develop a "New Jersey Woodbine Shtetl Arts Complex."

His answer: "Yes, but after a significant infusion of set-aside monies first went into Atlantic City."

The dominant issue right now, however, is that Woodbine and the rest of the historic South Jersey Jewish colonies cannot wait another minute for Mr. Greenblatt's "reinforcements." These communities are absolutely in the gravest of peril.

Two books crucial to the gathering of historical facts about the Jewish colonies of South Jersey are:

"Poor Cousins," by Ande Manners (Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, New York, 1972), and "Immigrants to Freedom: Jewish Communities in Rural New Jersey Since 1882," by Joseph Brandes (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1971).


The Yubas family had property in Wildwood, New Jersey. Wildwood was a summer resort town. The season started around Easter and continued until early November. In 1915 it had a winter population of around 6,000 and a summer population of around 50,000 to 60,000. There were over 2,000 houses, 13 churches 200 hotels and boarding houses. There were two railroads from Philadelphia. The trip took less than two hours. It was a popular resort from Eastern European Jews who lived in the Philadelphia/Camden area.

Leon Yubas was in Wildwood by 1912 when he was mentioned in the Town Council Meeting.

Yubas in the directories in Wildwood.

  • 1922:
    Yubas, L R (Katie) optician h 4700 Boardwalk Samuel L Yubas, 3412 Pacific ave, Wildwood home Camden Optician Wildwood, New Jersey, City Directory, 1922
  • 1924:
    Samuel, Louis Katie, same addresses, first listing for novelties at 3014 Boardwalk
  • 1926:
    Yubas, Leon R, (Katie, Yubas Realty) h[ome] 3008 Atlantic av
    Yubas, Louis, (the Ceder Chest), r[ear] 3008 Atlantic av
    Yubas, LR & Co. Wm R Decker mgr novelties 3004 Boardwalk
    Yubas Realty Co, (Saml and Leon R Yubas, 3008 Atlantic ave
    Yubas, Saml L (Jennie; Yubas REalty Co. optometrist 3008 Atlantic ave h[ome] do [the same]
  • 1928:
    Opticians, Yubas, Saml L 3008 Atlantic av Wildwood
Edna Wolkowsky was born in Wildwood in June 1915.

By 1918 Wildwood bragged that it was where the Seashore and the County blended. It's rapid growth was truly amazing. There were over 700 hotels and boarding houses. It boasted three "superb recreational piers" and a boardwalk "like the famed one in Atlantic City."

In 1921 The Atlantic Monthly advertised:


Finest surf bathing in America on broad, safe beach. Excellent deep sea fishing. Always cool. New 18 hole golf course. Five mile boardwalk. Refined amusement. Homelike hotels. Cottage and apartments furnished."


"Wildwood: This comparatively recent development on the southern New Jersey coast has features which remind one of the miracles performed in Florida. The broad, white, smooth beach furnishes safe surf bathing, and a five-mile boardwalk is is lined with theatres, shops and amusement places."

Wildwood, New Jersey, 1915

3008 Atlantic Ave - Posted 1924

Key West

Before the arrive of trains to Key West in 1912 everything arrived by boat from Miami, Havana, Galveston and New York. The Florida East Coast Railway's Key West extension was opened in 1912. Construction began in 1905. The line had daily freight and passenger service until it was destroyed in a hurricane in 1935. Through service was available to New York City.

Key West is only 90 miles from Havana, Cuba.

According to Florida for tourists, invalids, and settlers By George M. Barbou by 1884 Key West boasted a good harbor and was an important naval station "owing to its commanding situation at the entrance of the most frequented passage into the gulf of Mexico." Buy 1884 there were several ocean steamers which ran between New Orleans, Key West and Havana. Other steamers ran between Key West and Havana. And still others were en Route to Texas and Mexico. Key West was described as "one of the busy, enterprising cities of our United States". Business was a steady. Cigar making was a principle industry. There was a significant US government presence. Key West boasted a large and comfortable hotel called the Russell House.

From Florida for tourists, invalids, and settlers By George M. Barbou by 1884

In 1887 fishing and spong diving were important business in Key West due to its steamship line connections with Havana and New York. Key West also had a significant fishing boat building industry.

In 1887 a few Jewish peddlers began to ply their wares going house to house with their merchandise. Abram Wolkowsky was listed as one of the early merchants.

Library of Congress 1887

By 1894 Key West was called "the most prosperous city in Florida, next to Jacksonville". There was a large Cuban population. The architecture was described as "Spanish "in influence. The town had brad streets lined with tropical trees. There were a number of "homes' for the care of sufferers of "catharral and lung diseases". Sponge diving was an important industry with over 400 hundred vessels employed. fishing was also important. The fish was shipped to New York "and sold at comparatively high prices" (Our own country By James Cox, 1894)

Key West 1894, (Our own country By James Cox, 1894)

Library of Congress, street in Key West

Library of Congress 1895, Key West from Ft Taylor looking southwest

In 1889 President Grover Cleveland paid a visit to Key west. He only stayed a few hours but took a carriage ride around the island and held a public reception at the Russell House.

In 1889:

the Merchants' Protective Association was organized, largely for the purpose of protecting the old Key West merchants from the competition of the Jew peddlers who had just begun coming to Key West.


about the only thing that the association accomplished was to have the city charter amended to authorize the imposing of a license tax of one thousand dollars on each peddler. This had the effect of making the Jews quit peddling and open stores. Several of them are now among the most prosperous and progressive citizens of Key West. Of the dry good merchants who were in business at the time of the Merchants' Protective Association was organized, not one has a store today, and of the clothing merchants only one. " (Key West: The Old and the New By Jefferson Beale Browne, 1912)

In 1889 Electric lighting was introduced into Key West.

Prior to 1890 Kew West used ice imported by steamer from Maine. After 1890 ice was produced in local ice plants.

In 1890 a turtle soup canny factory was established.

In 1896 National Geographic ran an article about Key West. The author Jefferson B. Browne wondered that "upward tof twenty thousand people should have congregated on a spot so manifestly and completely isolated from the rest of the world." Its fishing, sponge, cigar industries, its "importance as a coaling station", its importance as a port of call for the commerce in the gulf, its naval station all contributed to its growth. Key Wests climate was idyllic with the exception of the occasional hurricane. The trip to Cuba took about 5 hours.

Key West was struck by severe hurricanes in September 1894, October 11, 1909 and October 13/18, 1910. The 1909 and 1910 hurricanes destroyed many buildings. See Florida Keys Hurricanes of the Last Millennium By Gail Swanson and Jerry Wilkinson

1912: It was said that Key West was failing and Miami was booming. Many of the Jewish merchants moved from Key West to Miami around this time.

In 1914 the town was described as having architecture with a Spanish influence which included verands and balconies. At the fish market fish such as mackerel, pompano and kingfish were sold live being kept in boxes that were submerged in the water. Next to the fish dock was the turtle dock where great green and loggerhead turtles were awaiting shipment to be eater as steaks in in soup. Some of the turtles weighed up to three hundred pounds. Near the turtle dock was the sponge wharf where sponge auctions took place.

Before the motor causeway was built in 1938 ferries carried car and trucks from Miami to Key West. In 1938 Life magazine called Kew West and "impoverished town". Out To Sea By Train

Railroad, Key West

Kew West Traders, 1909, Library of congress

Duval Street, Wolkowskys with red and white awning.

Soliloquy of a farmer's wife: the diary of Annie Elliott - on a post card sent from Kew West:

"Duval Street looking west. - Practically the center of town. On a choice site at the left here is the dry goods and clothing store of Abraham Wolkowsky, and just beyond is Frank Johnson's jewelry store. In the distance, the building with the view-commanding cupola is The Jefferson Hotel"

Vilna (Vilnius) Russia

Morris Leon Yubas indicated that he was born in Vilna, Russia in 1885.

It was stated in several Jewish Florida histories that Abraham Wolkowsky was born in Vilna.

Vilna is in Lithuania. It is about 50 miles N. N. W. of Minsk. In 1853 it was listed as being in Poland east of Minsk. Vilna was the former capital of Lithuania.

See The Jews of Vilna at the Beginning of the 20th Century

In 1882 it was reported:

"Smargon situated between Vilna and Minsk has been destroyed by fire. The children and the articles saved have been buried in the Jewish Cemetery by the populace."

In 1888 it was reported:

[The Odessa News, April 3-15, 1888.]

"We read in the 'Vilna Vestnik' as follows: The peasants of the small town of Poon, in the Trotsk district, have been seized by tho desire to emigrate to America, although we might think that certain former examples ought to discourage people from seeking fortune beyond the ocean. Thus lately one peasant came back with a broken skull, which he had received in some coal mine, and another on crutches. This is all the wealth which they brought home. About two weeks ago a party of eight individuals left, and now another party is forming. They are chiefly young lads of from eighteen to twenty years of age, and belong to the army reserve. As regards the Jews, they think no more of going to America than of going to Berdichev, and there are not many families here who have not already relatives in the United States."

(Testimony Taken by the Select Committee of the House to Inquire Into the ... By United States. Congress, 50th, 1st sess. (1887-88.) House)

In 1892 it was reported:

"There is as yet little abatement in the rigorous enforcement of the "May laws" against the Jews in Russia - the laws assented to in May, 1882, and recently revived. All through the last three months of the year, stories of pillage and riot continued to be received. The evil is aggravated by the prevailing famine, which the ignorant peasantry superstitiously connect with the presence of the heretics. in the Governments of Vilna and Kieff. During the last few weeks of the year, hundreds of thousands of Jews have been deprived of all they possessed; and this is why the tide of immigration into Germany, Austria, England and America, still continues in spite of the winter.


Refugees have lately arrived in America at the rate of 8,000 a month. Earnest effortsare being made in England and in Germany, to divert the stream to the United States. Both Baron Hirsch and Lord Rothschild are in favor of excluding it from England, where the labor market is overstocked; and already the English Committee has turned over to that in Berlin about $150,000, with the promise of more, to be used as passage money of destitute Jews, who will be sent from Hamburg and Bremen to New York.


(The Quarterly Register of Current History, Volume 1 By Alfred S. Johnson)

Augustow (Augustove) Poland

Augustove is a town in Bialystok province, Poland. It is about 109 miles from Vilna according to an internet search.

Herman Wolkowskey said to be a nephew of Abraham Wolkoseky stated that he was born in Augstov, Poland/Russia. His name when hie immigrated was Chone Lipczanski (also spelled Libschansky)

Jewish Records for Augustow lists LIPSZCZANSKA and LIPSZCZANSKI in Augustow. They do NOT list Wolkowsky. In 1943 Alek Volkoviski (Wolkowsky) wrote a song about the pain and suffering in the Vilna ghetto.


To be a peddler required capital to buy merchandise. It also required a knowledge of English.


Until the 19th century most Ashkenazi Jews did not have surnames. The were called son (or daughter) of their parents. Czarist Russian Jews generally did not take surnames until around 1844 when the government demanded surnames to make taxation easier.

See The Origins and Meanings of Ashkenazic Last Names

Wolf is the root of the Ashkenazic surnames Wolfson, Wouk and Volkowich.

Zeeb - Ze'ev ("wolf") - Wolf a given name popular among Ashkenazi Jews.

Levinsky- Lewinsky Ashkenazic surname derived from Levi - Levy.

The ending ski or sky was a common ending on habitational names in northern Poland.


Naturalization papers Wolf Levingsky

Naturalization papers Abraham Wolkowsky

Other Web Sites of Interest

The Museum of Family History

"There are two religious teachers in the colony, the shochet, Wolf Levinsky, and N. Chipilacoff. There used to be another one, a man named Randolph, who had a reputation for considerable learning, but he wasn't one of the settlers, and had been in the country a long time before he came here. He lives in Philadelphia and only goes to the colony occasionally. During the regular school term the children are taught their Hebrew and catechism in the evenings at the houses of the teachers." (near the bottom of the page)
Major Archive Donated to Key West Library has a postcard image of The busy corner of Duval and Greene streets showing Abraham and Isaac Wolkowsky's men's clothing shop, Johnson's Jewelers, and the Louvre Hotel, circa 1915."

Florida Memory, Image of Rebecca Wolkowsky

Florida Memory - Wolkowsky related images

B'nai Zion History

flickr images of boats and steamers in Key West including the Cuba and Sabine on which the Wolkowskys were known to have traveled.

Herman Wall Residence 21 images at the National archives of the Herman Wall (Wolkowsky residence at 245 E. Rivo Alta Dr., Miami Beach, Florida alliance Cemetery, Norma, New Jersey

Suggested Records in New Jersey

  1. Marriage of Abram Wolkowsky and Rebecca Lewinsky (Levinsky) before 1889 - child born in Norma New Jersey in 1889

  2. Birth of Isaac 1889

  3. Birth of Frank 1892

  4. Birth of Joseph 1899

  5. Wolkoswky Deaths

  6. Levinsky deaths

  7. Marriage of Isaac Wolkowsky to Freda Yabas before 1915 Camden?

  8. Birth of Edna, Wildwood 1915

  9. Naturalization of Wolf Levinsky

    Salem County Court of Common Pleas Naturalization Records, 1800-1929

  10. Naturalization of Abram Wolkowsky

    Salem County Court of Common Pleas Naturalization Records, 1800-1929???

  11. Naturalization of Leon Yubas

    Camden Co. ??? or Philadelphia

  12. Naturalization of Morris Yubas

    Camden Co. ??? or Philadelphia

Suggested Records in Philadelphia

1910 marriage of Frank Lewinsky and Sally Halbert 910 Marriage License Number: 253642 Digital GSU Number: 4141875 - may give his mother's maiden name.

Alliance Cemetery

May have related death records.

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©Maggie Land Blanck - Page created 2014 - Latest update, November 2019