My name is Philip HIRSCHSOHN
and I am the Site manager of this site.
I live in Cape Town South Africa where some members of my family have resided since the 1850s.
The Hirschsohn tree traces my family roots on my father's side to the Rothkugel, Tugenreich, from Schneidermuhl in Prussia, to the Myers, Gumpelson and Samuel families in Birmingham, England, both in the late 18th century, and to the Kellerts/Hirschsohns in Estonia and Lithuania in the late 19th century.
The Kellerts had moved from Ligum, Shavli in Lithuania. The Hirschsohns came from one of the shtetls known as Kruk in Lithuania. My paternal great-grandmother was from the Dugin family in Mogilev, Belarus.
On my mother's side her maternal roots go back to the Lipshitz family from Shadova in Lithuania and the Levy family who were living in Oryol, Belarus from the mid 1850s. Her father was German, from the Abrahamsohn and Rosenthal families.He grew up in Breslau, Prussia now Wrocla, Poland.
In addition I have created a separate Rothkugel tree and a Kellert tree tracing families who emgrated from Europe primarily to the USA in the mid to late 19th century. I have yet to establish the relationship between these trees and my own family connections. The Llorente Quesda tree traces my wife's family roots in Cuba.
The Hirschsohn Family Tree
With the exception of my maternal grandfather, my grandparents were all born in South Africa. Their parents emigrated between 1850s and 1895 although some of their siblings travelled to the USA, Israel and elsewhere.
The first settler in Cape Town was my great great grandfather Richard Rothkugel who arrived around 1858. He returned home to Schneidemuhl, Prussia (now Pila in Poland) to marry his cousin Ida Tugendreich in 1878 after the death of his first wife. The Schneidemuhl branch iincludes the Abraham, Moses, Machol and Baumann families. Richard Rothkugel was a very successful businessman who owned furniture firm D Isaacs & Company, one the largest manufacturing businesses in the Cape at the turn of the 20th century. Many of Richard's siblings also emigrated to South Africa in the 1850s and 1860s.
Richard and Ida's daughter Blanche was the first of my ancestors to be born in the Cape. She married Philip Myers who was born in Birmingham, England of a Polish father Michael and an English mother Amelia Gumpelson. Michael's father was Meir but I have not discovered more about him. Michael died tragically in the Glencoe train accident in Natal in1895. Amelia's father was Joseph Gumpelson who arrived in England as a young from Berlin and settled in Manchester around 1823. He eventually moved to Birmingham where he married Matilda Samuel, daughter of Abraham Samuel (a clothier) and his wife Lydia.
Philip Myers married Blanche Rothkugel in Paddington London in August 1902 and their youngest daughter, my grandmother Nita, married my namesake Phillip Hirschsohn. He was the son of Isaiah Hirschsohn who was born in Tallin, Estonia. Isaiah's father was Leib Kellert who originally came from Lygumai, Lithuania. Isaiah and his two brothers, Morris and Samuel, took their mother's maiden name Hirschsohn or Hirson when they left Estonia for South Africa in the 1890s. Isaiah's brothers migrated to the USA early in the 20th century. One brother remained in Estonia. A sister apparently went to Switzerland where the connection is lost.
On my mother's side the Levy and Lipschitz families, who were inter-related (my great-grandparents were 1st cousins), first started leaving Lithuania and Russia in the 1890s and continued emigrating to South Africa over almost thirty years (special thanks to Leonore Abrahams for a detailed tree with the descendants of Abraham Lipschitz). I believe the Lipshitz family lived in Baisogala and later Shadowa, Lithuania and can be traced back to Abram Lipshitz born in the mid 18th century (grandfather of Abraham). Flora Snitcher compiled a family history over 30 years ago which focused on the critical role of Fruma Lipschitz, daughter of Zelig Meyerowich, in keeping her family together after the premature death of her husband Abraham.
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