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I haven’t said much about my maternal grandfather and what I know about his family. His name was Simon LUBOWSKY (originally Szymek CHLEBIOCKI, usually known to his friends in the U.S. at least as Sam) and he was born in Tykocin, Poland (which is Tiktin in Yiddish) on 15 September 1906. He studied at a Yeshiva in Petah Tikvah and then went to Cuba, where his younger brother, Willi, knew someone who would teach him to repair watches. It was in Havana that he met and married my grandmother, who had gone there on vacation to decide what to do about her fiancé after traumatically discovering that he had false teeth. Grandpa had his own teeth.

They married on 14 January 1930. Grandpa came to the U.S. on the Pennsylvania on 9 May 1932 and was naturalized on 9 January 1939. He had a jewelry store in the Bronx. He was buried on 31 October 1977 do presumably died a day or two before that. By the way, after Grandma died (in 1968), Grandpa decided to improve his English, so signed up for classes. He met a woman who spoke Yiddish, quit class, and married her. I know his second wife’s first name was Rose and I think her surname was BERNSTEIN (which was her first husband’s name, not her maiden name if I have this figured out correctly), but there is a bit of confusion for a reason I will get into in a minute.

So far as I know (i.e. I have no documentation of this), Grandpa’s father, i.e. my great-grandfather, was Moshe Zvi CHLEBIOCKI. He was married twice. I believe his first wife’s name was Sima, but I am not sure. His second wife was my great-grandmother and her name was Pearl GOLDMAN, though that was probably originally GOLDWASER. And her father’s name was Mordechai Yehudah. But more about that part of the family later.

First, there are my grandfather’s siblings to discuss. Let’s start with the half-siblings, actually:

Max LUBOWSKY was born on 15 April either 1883 (according to his World War II draft card) or 1894 (according to pretty much everything else). He was a furrier who lived in Manhattan and, um, had to get married some time in the early 1950’s. I won’t say more about that since his daughter is still alive. He was naturalized in October 1922 and died in October 1976.

Nathan LEBOFSKY was born somewhere between 1889 and 1893. I believe he immigrated to the U.S. somewhere around 1906. He was a butcher who lived in Brooklyn. His first wife, Rose, died in March 1932, at the age of 41. The reason for my confusion over Grandpa’s second wife is that I believe Rose’s maiden name was also BERNSTEIN. (Her death record shows her father as Wulf BERNSTEIN and her mother as Euo LERNER.) Sometime before 1940, he remarried, to a woman named Jenney CORENBAUM. Nathan was buried on 24 January 1983. Nathan and Rose had 3 daughters. Celia was a public health nurse who was born in 1912 and died in March 1959 at the age of 45. Goldie was born on 13 July 1920. She worked as a dental assistant. She married Irving WERSTEIN, a writer primarily of history and historical fiction for children and they adopted a son from Belgium. He died on 7 April 1971. When I was growing up, I thought it was just incredible that I could go to the library and get books written by somebody related to me. Goldie died on 3 August 1971. The third daughter is still living, so I will keep to my usual policy and not discuss her, beyond mentioning that she was working as a beautician in the 1930 census record. The significance of that will show up in a little while.

Adele LEBOFSKY was born in 1904. I believe she immigrated to the U.S. in 1926 and I know she was living with her brother, Nathan, in 1930. She married Max WASSERMAN and they had two daughters, both of whom are still living. I need to ask them for more information about her.

Mariasha CHLEBATZKY or LUBOVSKY was later known as Mary LEHRMAN. There is another bit of confusion here, since somebody had once told my brother that Mary LEHRMAN was Nathan’s first wife. But I found her 1912 immigration record with the CHLEBATZKY name, which would be pronounced similarly to CHLEBIOCKI (remember that the letter "c" in Polish is pronounced "ts") and anybody with that name from Tykocin is almost certainly a relative. She was going to her brother, Nathan, in Brooklyn, so I concluded she was, indeed, a sister. After being detained, she was released to her brother – but he is named Rachmiel. So there is the question of whether that might be Nathan’s actual first name. Anyway, I haven’t confirmed that she married someone named LEHRMAN, but it appears so from a 1930 census record which shows her as Mary LEHRMAN and indicates she is a wife, but is without her husband’s name, though there are two children in the record – Seymore and Athalia. Some creative googling led me to a nice juicy story. She was arrested in 1935 in the Bronx for practicing medicine without a license. What she was actually doing was performing electrolysis at her beauty salon. Basically, the city of New York contended that only medical doctors could treat the condition of hypertrichosis, i.e. superfluous hair. She was found guilty, sentenced on appeal to a suspended sentence of 30 days, but eventually (in 1937) the state of New York said the whole thing was absurd and electrolysis was a beauty treatment, not a medical procedure. (I found the entire court case from the appeals court in the Bronx, and two newspaper articles, one of which was that final vindication.) Two interesting tidbits: 1) The court transcript says "The correct name of the defendant is Mariasha Lubovsky." And 2) The record shows her salon as "Adelle’s Beauty Parlor." So was she in business with her sister, Adele? I know that the third of Nathan's daughters did work as a beautician for a while, but, alas, she has Alzheimer's and it isn't really feasible to ask her what she knows.

I’ve found an immigration record from 1906 for an Icek CHLEBIOCKI who had been living in Obreschina, but was born in Tykocin. He was18 on that record, which would imply he was born in 1888. It looks like he was going to a sister, whose name I can’t decipher. If I am interpreting the shipping manifest correctly, he was naturalized in 1937. I am wondering if this might actually be Max, though there are some discrepancies in dates. What is confusing here is that I know there was a brother named Icko Aron, known within the family as Itchki. But it doesn’t look like this Icek can be him, because Itchki and his wife, Shana, had a son, Dawid, who was born in Poland some time between 1914 and 1917 and came to the U.S. in 1937. Dawid said he was going to Max. He later took the name David LUBOFF and moved to California. I lived within a mile of him in Venice from about 1985-1992, but my mother was adamant that I shouldn’t contact him, for reasons that aren’t clear. He married Helen TITUS on 9 November 1951 and they had two children – David Jeremiah (1959-1968) and Diane Gabrielle (1956-2011). Diane’s half-sister has created a web page in her memory, which also includes a link to Diane’s blog. I'm really sorry that I didn't get to know that part of the family.

I also have been told there was another sister, Sarah, and up to 4 other siblings.

And that’s not even getting to Grandpa’s full siblings. Those are a bit simpler, though I will start by saying I know there was at least one more whose name I don’t know, ,who was presumably killed in the Shoah.

The one I know the most about is Wulf CHLEBIOCKI, better known as Willi LUBOWSKY. He was born on April 25, 1908. At some point, he emigrated from Poland to Havana, Cuba. In 1930, he attempted to immigrate to the U.S. on the Morro Castle, but was deported as a stowaway. He did eventually enter the U.S. legally in 1937 (from Canada, via Buffalo) and went to work for Max. I don’t know if there was any actual falling out, but he did later open his own fur salon, a block or so away from Max’s. He died in May 2003, at the age of 95. His wife, Sarah, died in September 1989. They had two sons. One of them is still living, while Milton died in June 2002, at the age of 68.

Grandpa also had a sister named Leah or Lena, known within the family as Laika. She married a man named Sam WEINER. She had stayed in Europe and survived the Shoah, before coming to the United States. She and Grandpa had some sort of falling out in the late `950’s or early 1960’s and never spoke to one another again.

Finally, let me write briefly about the GOLDMAN family. I have found a census record for GOLDWASER from Zambrow that seems to match what I know of the family names. I do know that Pearl (my great-grandmother) had a brother named Isie (presumably a nickname for Israel), who married a woman named Frida, and had 3 children, all of whom I believe are still living. He fled from Poland to avoid conscription in the czar’s army and ended up in Mexico, where he supposedly had a pushcart in Mexico City before coming to the U.S. via Brownsville, Texas. There was also a sister named Goldie who married a man named Hyman KATZ. They had several children. They appeared to be close to my part of the family through, say, the 1950’s, but then one of the sons got drunk at my uncle’s wedding, leading to them being more or less dropped from everything since. There was also at least one GOLDWASER sibling who went to Buenos Aires and was still there as recently as the late 1990’s.