The Horwich Family in Hull
Horwich was the first name to attract my attention after the Millers as, at the time, I didn’t realise that Hyman/Henry was carrying his cousin Hyman’s birth certificate.
The birth certificate gives the father as Jacob Miller, house painter, mother Rachel Miller, formerly Horwich.
Jacob’s brother was Abraham Miller who was married to Rose Mierson.
Both Abraham and Jacob had sons named Hyman. Abraham’s son was born on 15 December 1881 in Lithuania and Jacob’s son was born on 24 September 1881 in Hull, Yorkshire, England. So there were less than three months between their ages.
When Abraham and his family moved from Lithuania to England, they would have entered the UK through Hull, the east coast port used by those arriving from Russia and the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
According to the correspondence in the family archives in New Zealand, when they arrived in Hull, Hyman was said to be about 2.5 years old. The family stayed in Hull with Jacob and their cousins for a couple of weeks whilst their father was arranging a home for them in south Wales.
Evidently contact was maintained between the two families and when Hyman left for South Africa, he was not only travelling with his cousin Dora, sister of his cousin Hyman but he took took a copy of Hyman’s birth certificate with him, as his own identification. By the time he arrived in South Africa Hyman had become Henry.
Jacob and Rachel had nine children. However, the mother’s maiden name is not given consistently but includes Davison on Dora’s birth certificate, Horwich on Hyman’s, Davis, Goldstein x5 and Goldstone (a corruption of Goldstein?).
As I still thought that Jacob and Rachel were Hyman/Henry’s parents, I started searching for information about the Horwich family.
The first mention is on the 1861 census, at 14 Moxon Street, Kingston upon Hull.
Hyam Hoorvitch, aged 32, born c1829, was a glazier. His place of birth was given as Poland.
Freday, his wife, was 25, born c1836, place of birth Poland.
Jacob, son, aged 2, born in Hull.
When I looked in the General Register Office index, I found that Jacob’s birth was registered in the July to September quarter of 1858. Having puchased the birth certificate, I found that he was registered as Jacob Herschfeld, his father was Hyman Herschfeld and his mother was Hannah, formerly Witcoske. Hyman was noted as a hawker of jewellery. They lived at 15 Myton Street, Hull.
However, I also found Lena Rebecca Herschfeld, mother’s maiden name noted as Wilcoski. The birth certificates show that Jacob and Lena Rebecca were twins, born on 21 July 1858, with Jacob the eldest by ten minutes. However, she was not listed on the 1861 census and I can’t find a death record for her.
The name Witcoske rang a bell and I searched back though my notes. In 1897 Hannah/Anna/Ann Mierson travelled to the US in 1897. She was to stay with her daughter Sarah, c/o Mr Withowsky [spelling difficult to read]. Family historians don’t trust coincidences, so was this a family connection? Alas, I’ve no way of answering that question.
I can find no likely Herschfeld candidates on the 1861 census and it seems that, by 1861, Hyman and Hannah Herschfeld had become Hyam and Freday Horwich, spelt Hoorvitch by the census enumerator.
Staying with the Hoorvitches in 1861 were five lodgers, all glaziers, all from Poland.
In May 1864, Hyam Horwich, married with three children, a glazier and picture framer, submitted his naturalisation papers. His age was given as 33, born c1831, and he had come to England in 1858. They were still living at 14 Moxon Street, Kingston on Hull. His place of birth was given as Soovalk, Poland.
There was no further sign of Hyam until 1891 but in 1871 his wife, now named Fanny, was living with her cousin Aaron Feldman who was noted as the head of the household. Both were married but not to each other. Both were described as pawnbrokers. Fanny seems to have been a correction by the enumerator and it possibly says Mary underneath.
With them were Mary, Jacob, Yobley (dau), Sarah and Annie Hourwitch, aged from 16 to 2. All apart from Sarah were noted as born in Hull. She was born in Germany.
It would seem that it was Mary, Jacob and Yobley who were the three children referred to on Hyam’s naturalisation papers. Hyam said he came to Hull in 1858, the year that Jacob and Lena Rebecca’s birth were registered. Mary, on the 1871 census was noted as 16, born c1855, in Hull but she hadn’t appeared on the 1861 census and I can’t find a birth record for her. So, did she remain in Poland until Hyam and Freday were settled in Hull?
Having already found that Jacob’s mother’s maiden name was Witcoske, by consulting the General Register Office index, I found that Yobley was named as Goldie Hoorwitch and her mother’s maiden name was Zolenger. Annie was named as Horwitch and her mother’s maiden name was Levi.
By 1881, Freday/Fanny/Mary was living in Drypool, Hull. Mary S. Horwitch was married and noted as the head of the household. Aged 43, she was a shopkeeper.
With her were Mary, aged 20, Gertrude aged 18, Sarah aged 14, Annie aged 12, David aged 8, Solomon aged 6, Poline R, (dau) Rosa B, both aged 4. All except Sarah were named as born in Hull. There was no sign of Jacob. Was he away with his father?
It seemed that Goldie was now known as Gertrude. Once more I consulted the GRO index and found that David and Solomon’s mother’s maiden name was given as Zalinger (similar to Goldie’s Zolenger) and Poline and Rosa’s mother’s maiden names were given as Alexander. From Annie to Rosa, their surname was spelt as Horwitch.
With the family in 1871 was Sarah Mosession, Fanny’s cousin from Poland, born c1859.
When going through the GRO index, I found Samuel Horwitz, born in 1877, and Meyer Horwitch, born in 1879, in Hull. The mother’s maiden name was given as Sandaw for Solomon and Sander for Meyer. I couldn’t resist ordering the birth certificates. They were the sons of Louis and Dora Horwitz/Horwitch. Dora was formerly Sandaw or Sander. They family doesn’t appear on the 1881 census anywhere.
In 1891, Hyam and Freday Horwitch, now noted as Freda, were living together, in Birmingham. Aged 59 and 54, they were both pawnbrokers. Annie, David, Pauline and Rosa were living with them. No occupation was given for the daughters but David, then aged 18, was noted as a medical student.
Freda died in 1894 in Birmingham but I can find no record of the death of Hyam Horwich/Horwitch. Had he returned to Poland?
Although there was no sighting of Hyam between his naturalisation papers in 1864 and the census in 1891, the births of the children between those years, Sarah, Annie, David, Solomon, Poline/Pauline and Rosa show that he was still visiting the family. I wonder if he was a trader, moving back and forth between England and Poland or Germany (where Sarah was born in 1867).
There was little standardisation of spelling in the the 1800s and, if people did not know how to spell their name, the registrar would simply write what they thought they heard. Couple this with the registrar being faced with someone with a strong Russian, German or Polish accent and it is little wonder that the spellings of the name were so variable, whether on the births, marriages and deaths of the General Records Office index or the censuses.
And so it is that, in the course of the research I found births in the name of Horwich, Hoorwich, Hoorvitch, Horwitch and Hoorwich. That is to be expected.
But what I did not expect was to find, as I did with the children of Jacob and Rachel, that the children of Hyam and Freday Horwich were registered with the same mother but different maiden names for the mother.
The surnames have been used in England since Norman times but it was still a relatively new happening in Russia and the countries they controlled and it may have been unclear to those who registered the births as to what exactly was meant by the maiden name of the mother. Indeed, the system of surnames was so new that the mother’s may not have had actual maiden names and so adapted the names of their fathers or mothers.
Apart from the fact that Rachel, wife of Jacob Miller, had given her maiden name as Horwich when registering the birth of their son Hyman, there is another connection.
On the 1861 census, Hyman Horwich was a glazier. When they arrived in south Wales, Abraham and Rose Miller set up a business as glaziers. When Jacob and Rachel briefly relocated to Cardiff, where their son Abraham was born in 1898, they had a business as glaziers.
The glazier businesses coupled with Horwich being one of the names given by Rachel as her maiden name, does indicate that there was a strong connection between the Horwiches, Jacob and Rachel Miller and Abraham and Rose Miller. Unfortunately, this family historian cannot think of any way to prove, or disprove it, yet.
The Goldstein family
The Goldstein family is of interest to us because, on the birth registration of her eight children, Rachel Miller’s maiden name was given a Goldstein for 5 of them and Goldstone (a corruption of Goldstein?) for another.
Plus, in the 1881 census in Hull, staying with Jacob, Rachel and their one year old daughter Dora, were Samuel, Israel, Annie and Tilly Goldstein.
I decided to look at all the Goldsteins in Hull.
1871: Michael Goldstein, born c1846 in Poland. He was a machine tailor. Nothing further is known about him.
1881: Jacob and Rachel Miller. Rachel was born c1855 in Germany. For six of her eight children, Rachel’s maiden name was Goldstein (5) or Goldstone.
1881: Samuel Goldstein, born c1847 in Germany, married but no wife in evidence, a plumber.
1881: Israel and Annie Goldstein. Israel was born c1855 in Germany. He was a boot traveller. Their daughter Tilly was with them, born earlier in 1881 in Hull.
Samuel, Israel, Annie and Tilly were staying with Jacob and Rachel Miller. The adults were described as brothers or sister in-law of Jacob and Tilly as his niece.
Nothing more is known about Samuel but in 1891, Israel, Annie and Tilly and another daughter Rachel, born in 1882, were in Leeds. Israel was a grocer.
1881: Philip and Dora Goldstein. They were born in Poland, Philip in c1851. He was a jeweller. They had ten children between 1874 and 1892. Again the mother’s maiden name was different for all ten children but in this case they seem to be a variation on a theme, probably as heard and then spelt by the registrar: Harowitz, Harisvich, Rovitch, Harrovitch, Horiswitch, Ulwich, Harriawitch, Horwitz, Hurwitsch and Hurwitch. Umm…. surely, this must be a link back to Horwich family of Hull? But… how?
1881 – 1901: Jacob and Leah Goldstein. Jacob was born c1850 and was a furniture dealer. He was born in Russia, Leah in Poland and they were married in Hull in 1874. Transcriptions have Jacob’s surname as Goldstkin because the typed e on the marriage index is a bit fuzzy. Leah’s surname name is on the index as Michnick, Michnicki and Mochnicki.
They had nine children between 1875 and 1899. The first is listed on the census as Joseph. I think this was Abraham Joseph, mother’s maiden name given as Goldstein. The other eight children had the mother’s maiden name as Muchnecke, Mokanitzky, Mognatsky, Muchnicki (x3), Machincki, Muchnicke and M’knetsky. Again, variations on a theme.
Jacob became a British subject on 6 December 1900 whilst living in Hull. He was aged 50, married and was a furniture manufacturer. He was born in Warnow, Kovno, Russia, the son of Shipsal and Shina Goldstein. His application named all his children except Joseph, who would have been 24 by then and probably living away from home.
Kovno was part of the Russian Empire, now known as Kaunas, in Lithuania. This is the first proof that those who gave their birth place as Russia may well have been from Lithuania.
1881 – 1901: Max and Rebecca Goldstein. Both were born in Poland (Russia). Max was born c1850 and was a glazier. They had eight children born between 1873 and 1901. Seven were born in Hull, with the mother’s maiden name Schulman (x6) and Rubenstein. One was born in Scotland but I can find no record for her.
1891: Betsy Goldstein. Born c1868 in Poland, a boot machinist, Betsy was lodging with Jacob and Rachel Miller in Leeds. No relationship was given.
1901: Joel and Fannie Goldstein. Both were born in Russia. Joel was born c1848 and was a cabinet maker. They had two children.
Michael Goldstein born c1846, in Poland,
Samuel Goldstein born c1847, in Germany,
Joel Goldstein born c1848, in Russia.
Jacob Goldstein born c1850, in Russia (actually Lithuania per his naturalisation papers)
Max Goldstein born c1850, in Poland (Russia),
Philip Goldstein born c1851, in Poland,
Rachel Miller, formerly Goldstein, born c1855, in Germany.
Israel Goldstein, born c1855, in Germany.
By 1891 and 1901 in Hull there was the next generation of Goldsteins:
Betsy Goldstein born c1868, Poland,
Ling (?) Goldstein, born c1868, Russia,
Samuel Goldstein, born c1865-1870, in Minsk, Russia. Listed on the 1901 and 1911 censuses with his family. Was this the same Sam shown on the 1891 census as born c1867 in Russia?
Joseph, Harold and Julius, all born in Hull between 1876 and 1887, sons of Jacob and Leah.
Looking as the earlier generation, there were eight Goldsteins in Hull, who were born between c1846 and c1855. Of these we know that Samuel and Israel were brothers of Rachel Miller.
That leaves five others. Were any of them also related to Rachel or to any of the other Goldsteins in Hull?
Of course, we have no way of knowing.
The Bransky family in Hull
The 1901 census shows Robert and Rachel Miller with eight of their children and a nephew of Robert named Meyer Bransky, aged 12, born in Hull. Findmypast’s transcriptions of the civil records shows his birth as Mayer Bransky but the GRO index has him as Meyer Bransky, birth registered in Hull in the 2nd quarter of 1889. His mother’s maiden name was Meler.
From the research on the Miller family in Hull, it seems clear that Robert was the name used by Jacob Miller for a few years. And, as Meyer was stated to be his nephew, then either Meyer’s father or mother were Jacob’s sibling. Or possibly, the sibling of Jacob’s wife, Rachel.
Looking for the Bransky family we find:
1881 census: 103 Walker Street, Kingston upon Hull
The family was named as Brunsky. All were born in Poland.
Solomon, aged 30, born c1851, tailor.
Milta, aged 22, born c1859.
Sarah aged 10, born c1871
Isaac aged 5 born c1876
Boarding with them was Mark Miller, aged 20, a seaman, also born in Poland.
Milta seems to have been too young to be Sarah and Isaac’s mother, so perhaps she was Solomon’s second wife.
Was Milta a nickname for Eve Miller who had married Solomon Bransky, a widower, in the Jan-March quarter of 1881, in Hull or was it the name of Solomon’s first wife, given in error?
According to the General Register Office index and searchable database, there were three children with the Branski surname whose births were registered in Hull between 1871 and 1876 but with different mother’s maiden names.
Were these siblings, with the mother’s maiden name recorded differently for each, as per Rachel Miller or Freday Horwich’s children? Certainly the ages of Sarah and Isaac correspond with those in the 1881 census, even though that lists them as having been born in Poland. However, that could have been enumerator error.
I gave into temptation and ordered Sarah, Jacob and Isaac’s birth certificates.
Sarah was born at 11 Anne Street, Myton, Hull, in April 1871, the daughter of Solomon Branski and Lirzal Branski, formerly David. Solomon was a tailor.
Jacob was born at 55 Myton Street, Myton, in March 1873, the son of Solomon Branski and Rose Branski, formerly Jacob. Solomon was a tailor.
Isaac was born at 55 Myton Street, Myton, the son of Solomon Branski and Eliza Branski, formerly Schuberg. Solomon was a tailor.
I’ve not found any suitable death records for somebody who was Solomon’s first wife, nor for Jacob Branski, born 1873, who does not appear on any censuses.
1891 census: Williams Street, Hull:
The family was named as Branskey.
Solomon, aged 40 (b c1851) tailor, born Poland (Russia).
Eve, aged 30 (b c1861) born Poland (Russia).
Children, all born in Hull, Yorkshire:
Sarah, aged 19 birth registered as Sarah Branski, 1871
Isaac, aged 15 birth registered as Isaac Branski, 1876
Ellis, aged 8 birth registration not found, c1883
Louis, aged 6 birth registered as Lewis Bransky, 1884
Harris, aged 5 birth registered as Harris Bransky, 1886
David, aged 3 birth registered as David Branski, 1887
Myire, aged 1 birth registered Meyer Bransky, 1889.
Solomon died in 1900 and so by 1901 Eva was a widow. With her were Ellis, Louis, Harry and David plus
Abraham, birth registered as Abraham Bransky, 1891
Emily, birth registered as Emily Branski, 1896.
We know that Meyer, aged 12, was staying with Jacob/Robert and Rachel at the time of the 1901 census.
Unfortunately, I’ve not found a birth registration for Ellis but all the other children from Louis to Emily had the mother’s maiden name noted as Miller.
In 1911 Eva Branskey, a widow, was living at 54 William Street, Hull. With her were Ellis, Louis, Harry, David, Myer, Abraham and Emily. Their ages ranged from 27 to 14 and all were single.
Most of the family continued to live in Hull, where Eve died in 1932.
It seems certain that Sarah, Isaac and Jacob were the children of Solomon’s first wife and that she died. And, with young children to look after, Solomon married Eva Miller in the first quarter of 1881 which, fortunately for us, was just in time for her to appear on the 3 April 1881 census.
And it definitely seems certain that Eve Miller was the sister of Jacob and Abraham Miller.
Next: A chart showing the Miller, Mierson, Goldberg, Isaacs, Goldstein, Bransky and Horwich families