My name is Philip HIRSCHSOHN and I am the Site manager of this site.

I live in Cape Town South Africa where my great great grandfather, Richard Rothkugel settled in the 1850s- he was born in Schneidermuhl, Prussia (now Pila in Poland)

The Hirschsohn tree also traces my father's family to

* Myers (ex Poland), Gumpelson (ex Berlin) and Samuel (ex Amsterdam) families who moved to Birmingham, England, in the early to mid 1800s

* Hirschsohns and Kellerts from Lithuania and Estonia from the mid 1800s.

My direct paternal line to my GG grandfather has not been traced beyond Leib Kellert, who moved to Talinn, Estonia from Ligum, Shavli in Lithuania. His wife was a Hirschsohn from a Lithuanian shtetl known as Kruk in (probably Kriukai, Joniskis, Kovno). Leib Kellert's son Isaiah took his mother's maiden name and married Leah Dugin from Mogilev, Belarus. Ihave not been able to trace her family.

My mother's maternal roots can be traced back to the

* Lipshitz family from Baisogala, Shadova in Lithuania

* Levy family from Taurage (Raseiniai, Kaunas, Lithuania) who moved to Oryol, Belarus by the late 1850s.

By the late 1800s Hirschsohn, Myers, Lipschitz, and Levy families had migrated to southern Africa.

My mother's paternal German branches can be traced back to the 

* Abrahamsohns and Rings who migrated from Preubisch Stargard, Prussia (now Gdansk in Poland) and Stolp in Prussia 

* Rosenthals and Rödelheimers from Laupheim. 

* Zellners from Ostrow, Prussia

All had migrated to Breslau or Berlin by the late 1800s.

My grandfather Martin Brahms (Abrahamsohn) arrived in Cape Town, South Africa by 1930. 

I have also sought to trace all the Rothkugels from Prussia and Kellerts from Lithuania in separate trees. These will help those with ancestors with these surnames (primarily in the USA) trace distant relatives. The Rothkugels in these trees now link to to my own. 

The Llorente Quesda tree traces my wife's family roots in Cuba. 



The Hirschsohn Family Tree

With the exception of my maternal grandfather who was born in Brlin, my grandparents were all born in South Africa in the late 1800s or early 1900s. Their parents emigrated between 1850s and 1895. Some of their siblings travelled to the USA, Israel and elsewhere.  

The first settler in Cape Town was Richard Rothkugel who arrived in the mid 1850s. 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 includes the Abraham, Moses, Machol and Baumann families. His daughter Blanche Rothkugel, my great grandmother, was the first of my family to be born in the Cape in the mid 1880s.

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. 

The recent international migration pattern started a generation or two earlier when Joseph Gumpelson from Berlin, Abraham Samuel from Amsterdam, and Marcus Myers from Warsaw, migrated to Birmingham during the early and mid 1800s.

Although my paternal grandfather Isaiah was born a Kellert in Tallin, Estonia his father Leib was originally from Lygumai, Lithuania. The Kellert tree is an attempt to trace his branch. To date I have not identified his parents or Leib's siblings.

Isaiah and his brothers emigrated from Tallinn, Estonia in the 1890s and took their mother's maiden name Hirschsohn (which some changed to Hirson). Isaiah's brothers migrated via South Africa, England and Switzerland to the USA early in the 20th century. A sister may have moved to Switzerland but the connection is lost. One brother remained in Estonia and his children migrated to the USA, France and Israel in the 1920s.

There is a bewildering variety of spellings of the surname including Herison, Harrison, Hirson, Hirshon, Hirschon, Hirshzon and Hirschson, all descended from my GGG grandparents.

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 1870s when they were permitted to migrate to Oryol, Russia. From the 1890s they began emigrating to South Africa over almost thirty years  (special thanks to Leonore Abrahams for a detailed tree with the descendants of Abraham Lipschitz). 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.

If you have any comments or feedback about this site, please click here to contact me.

The site was last updated on Feb 20 2018, and it currently has 184 registered member(s). If you wish to become a member too, please click here.  



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