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DAVID COHEN and JANE JACOBS

David Morris Cohen, whose name in the synagogue marriage records was Moses Koplanski, and whose surname was also sometimes rendered as Kaplansky and Cuplansky, was a tailor who was born about 1865, somewhere in Germany or Prussia or Russia. His father was the tailor Mordechai Kaplansky.

If you would like to read about the other Cohen families in our family tree, the ones that do not have Kaplansky ancestors, then go to our Cohens and Cohanim page. If you are looking for information about all the other Cohen family members on our website, you might try entering their names in the FreeFind box below.

David Morris Cuplansky married Jane Jacobs, in Swansea in Glamorgan County, Wales in January 1886. His wife, Jane Jacobs, was born in December 1869 in Manchester, England, and her parents were the tailor Elias Jacobs and his wife Sarah Jacobs, who were both born in Russia about 1840, and living at 43 Pemberton in Sunderland in Durham County, England at the 1881 Census.

In addition to their daughter Jane, Elias and Sarah Jacobs' children also included Esther Jacobs, born about 1862 in Russia, Samuel Jacobs born in Russia about 1867, Israel Jacobs born in Liverpool in 1874, Etta Jacobs born in Kent, Canterbury in 1887, and Sophia Jacobs born in 1880 or 1881 in Durham. For more information about the Jacobs family, which includes the descendants of Samuel Jacobs and Mary Figenbone, a daughter of the tailor Arther (Archer) and his wife Dinah Figenbone, as well as more about Simeon Jacobs and Annie Sacof, click here. And if you would like to visit Jane and David Cohen and all these members of our Jacobs family in our family tree, go to our Jacobs Family Tree Home Page.

Or you can read more about the other Cohen family in our Jacobs family line, that of Jane's sister, Sophia Jacobs and her husband Henry Aaron Cohen, the son of Casper Cohen, by clicking here.

Now, returning to the story of Jane Jacobs Cohen (1869-1922) who, according to the US Census Records, also went by Jennie and Julia. Jane married her husband David Cohen (1865-1917) in Swansea (Gower), Wales in 1886, and travelled to the United States about 1888-1890, where the couple had two children who survived to adulthood. It was at some time after their marriage in 1886, and before the birth of their son in 1890, that the family name was changed from Kaplansky to Cohen.

Their son Max Harris Cohen, also known as Harry, was born in 1890 in New Britain, Connecticut. However, it appears that Jane and David, along with their son, may have been living in Cardiff, Wales at the time of the 1891 Census, in the same parish where Jane's sister Esther was living, and then travelled back to the United States by the time that Max Harris' sister Sarah Lillie Cohen was born in 1896, in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The Cohens had moved to St. Charles, Missouri by 1900, and are said to have moved to the San Francisco area about 1903, where, according to the family story, they went to buy Max Harris Cohen's way out of the position he had taken as a bugler for the military at a young age. By 1903, the tailor David M. Cohen clearly is listed in the City Directory for Oakland, so we do not know if they went to San Francisco first, or went directly to Oakland where relatives were living, as Solomon Goldberg, the husband of Jane's sister Hettie Jacobs Goldberg, is also listed in the Oakland Directory for 1903. We do not know who arrived in the San Francisco area first, the Cohens or the Goldbergs.

Jane and David were still living in Oakland at the time of the 1910 Census, when Jane, listed as Julia Cohen, is shown as a retail merchant in a crockery store. We have not yet found any evidence that Jane and David ever lived in the City of San Francisco proper. We have not finished reseaching the issue, but it seems quite likely that the only place they lived in the San Francisco Bay Area was Oakland.

Anyhow, as an adult, Max Harry Cohen (1890-1955) worked as a musician, and married Mary Tennebaum (1892-1993) in San Francisco in 1917. Harry, Mary, and their children travelled around the country because Harry worked for travelling bands, as well as doing some stints in the silent movies in Hollywood, but they stopped travelling and settled down permanently in the San Francisco Bay Area when their third child was born in 1928. Although they lived in San Jose for a number of years around the early 1930's, their children were all born in San Francisco, and all three also married in San Francisco and had two children each. For information about Mary Tennebaum's parents and siblings, click here.

Harry's sister, Sarah Lillie Cohen (1896-1965), married Isadore Cooper (1890-1939), who was a tailor. They lived in Oakland and also San Francisco. They had three children, all of whom married and two of whom had children.

If you know or are a member of one of the families mentioned here, please note that we are not listing the names of people if they or their siblings are still living, in order to protect the privacy of the living. If you find any errors, or have more information you would like to see added to this page, please do contact us.

The Finkelsteins

Harry and Mary Cohen and their three children would often pile into the car and go to visit the Finkelstein family in Oakland, because the Finkelstein's were cousins of Harry Cohen's.

This was the family of Joseph Finkelstein (1871-1954) and his wife whose maiden name was Annie Kaplan (1872-1938) or Caplan. Their children were Mildred (1894-1984), Benjamin (1896-1978), Helen (1902-1990), Harry (1908-1921), and Fay (1912-1983). They apparently also had a daughter named Hattie, who was born in 1899, but had passed away by the time of the 1910 census.

According to their death certificates, Joseph Finkelstein's father was Mendel Finkelstein, who was born in Poland, and Annie Finkelstein's parents were Max Caplan and his wife, Edith, both of whom were also born in Poland.

We do not, at this point, know whether Annie's father, Max Caplan or Kaplan, and David Morris' father, Max Koplanski or Cuplanski, were cousins or if, instead, they were one and the same person.

When dealing with Jewish surnames, people often equate Kaplan with Kaplanski and Kaplansky, and Max Harris Cohen was never sure which had been the original family name. We only now say it was Koplanski because we have found the marriage records for David and Jane. So, we are thinking that Annie Finkelstein's children may have had the same confusion over their mother's original maiden name, and probably said Annie's maiden name was Annie Kaplan even though they may not have known for sure what it was originally.

Annie and Joseph Finkelstein apparently immigrated to the United States around 1890. They had their first child, Mildred, in Massachusetts in 1894 before moving to Scranton, Pennsylvania, where they remained until they moved to California sometime in the early 1900's. Note that David and Jennie's daughter Sarah Lillie was born in Scranton, and we believe the Cohens are likely to have moved to Scranton to be with their Finkelstein relatives.

Joseph and Annie's daughter, Mildred Finkelstein, was the only child of theirs to have married and had children. She married Julius Heyman or Heymann, a German/Armenian jeweler born about 1895. They had two children, named Nathan (1917-1992) and Edith Heyman (1919-1968).

Mildred's daughter Edythe Heyman married and had a family with Andrew Bourland (1918-1960). Mildred's son Nathan Heyman married and had two daughters with Goldie Schneider (1922-2006). We have located the daughters of Nathan and Goldie Heyman, but have been unable to find out what happened to the offspring of Michael and Edythe Bourland, and will appreciate any leads.

Sources

  1. Interviews with family members.
  2. British Census Records for 1871, 1881, 1891, and 1901, available online for free at Public Libraries and via subscription to Ancestry.com
  3. 1891 Census Records for Wales, available online for free at Public Libraries and via subscription to Ancestry.com
  4. British birth, marriage, and death index, available online for free at http://www.freebmd.org.uk.
  5. United States Federal Census Records for 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930, available online for free at Public Libraries and via subscription to Ancestry.com, and on the web for free from Public Libraries through the Heritage Quest Census database.
  6. California Birth Index database at Ancestry.com available by subscription, and also for free at Public Libraries.
  7. California Death Index 1940 to 1997, at http://vitals.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ca/death/search.cgi?cj=1&o_xid=0000584
  8. Social Security Death Index, formerly available online for free at http://ssdi.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com, now available by paid subscription on Ancestry.com's Social Security Death Index or for free from subscribing public libraries.
  9. Birth certificates for Etta Jacobs, Israel Jacob, and Jane Jacob.
  10. Marriage certificates for David Morris Cuplansky to Jane Jacobs and for Samuel Harris Jacobs to Mary Figenbone.
  11. Death certificates for David Morris Cohen, Jennie Cohen, Annie Finkelstein, and Joseph Finkelstein.
  12. Records from Home of Eternity Cemetary, Oakland, California
  13. Husted's Directories for Oakland, Alameda & Berkeley for the years 1903 and 1905

Revised December 14, 2011

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