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.
The Hirschsohn tree traces my family roots on my father's side to
* Rothkugel and Tugendreich families in Schneidermuhl, Prussia (now Pila in Poland),
* Myers, Gumpelson and Samuel families who moved to Birmingham, England, in the early to mid 18th century, and
* Hirschsohns and Kellerts from Lithuania and Estonia in the 2nd half of the 19th century.
The Kellerts had moved from Ligum, Shavli in Lithuania. The Hirschsohns came from one of the shtetls known as Kruk in Lithuania (probably Kriukai, Joniskis, Kovno). My paternal great-grandmother was from the Dugin family in Mogilev, Belarus that I have not been able to trace.
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.
Her paternal German branches can be traced back to the
* Abrahamsohns and Rings who migrated from Stolp in Prussia
* Rosenthals and Rödelheimers from Laupheim.
* Zellners from Ostrow, Prussia
All had migrated to Breslau or Berlin by the late 1800s
I have also sought to trace 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 this 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 although 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 iincludes 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 international migration pattern started a generation or two earlier from Germany (Gumpelson from Berlin), Poland (Myers from Warsaw) and Holland (Samuel from Amsterdam) migrated to Birmingham during the early and mid 1800s.
Although my paternal grandfather Isaiah was born a Kellert in Tallin, Estonia his father was originally from Lygumai, Lithuania. The Kellert tree is an attempt to trace his branch. To date I have not identified his parents or siblings.
Isaiah and his brothers took their mother's maiden name Hirschsohn (which some changed to Hirson) when they emigrated in the 1890s. Isaiah's brothers migrated via South Africa, England and Switzerland to the USA early in the 20th century. A sister apparently went 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.
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