Friday, 13 June 2014

William Gillis and Anna Glassberg

Gillick Family, a Fascinating Variation of Names

Are William Gillis and his wife Anna Glassberg new people? No. It turns out that at some point, Volko/Valbel/ Wolf/ William either used another variation of the #Gillick name or changed his name from Gillick to Gillis. His wife Pize/ Anna's maiden name was Glassberg.

In the 1930 Census, Valbel Gillick, age 70 and his wife Anna, age 68 were living beside their daughter Pearl, her husband Eli Sohn, poultry market, and their daughter Clara at 19 Chestnut St, Chelsea, Massachusetts. The 1930 also gives the ages that they were married: Valbel at age 20 and Pize at age 18.

The Boston Passenger list shows that Volko Gilik, age 67 and his wife Pize, age 64, from Ostropol, left Liverpool, 12 May 1927 on the ship S.S. Samaria and arrived in Boston, 21 May 1927.

This Record shows the vital importance of looking at the two pages of this document. The second page gives the clear name of Volko's brother, Gdal ( Gedalia ) Gilik in Ostropol and their daughter Pearl Son, at 19 Chestnut St, Chelsea.

 In 1937 the US City Directories gives the same home residence of 19 Chestnut St, Chelsea. Importantly there is another entry for a poultry business at 84 Fourth St for  William Gillis. This matches with the information in the 1930 Census, indicating that his son-in-law worked in a poultry market.

The lure of finding the Gillick connections to my grandmother Sophie Gillick and the ancestral link held strong.

 I had found out that Chana Gilick  on her arrival on the ship S.S. Canada , 21 Sep 1921 had her cousin Louis Gillick at 14 Oliver St in Sherbrooke as her contact.

In Chana's Oct 1922 Border Crossing, she gave the name of her brother-in-law Sam Mindick at 46 Market St in Boston.

 I had found Chana's sister Sarah Gillick's 6 Jun 1922 Marriage Record. She married Sam Mindick . More research helped find more records

  Sura Gilick, born 29 Apr 1901 , in her 21 Jun 1921 Ocean Crossing Record on the ship S.S. Sicilian, gave her father's name as Welwel , in Ostropol and  her destination contact in Sherbrooke, Quebec, her cousins, Louis and Joseph Gilick.

 In her Jul 1922 Border Crossing she was going to her husband Sam Mindick at 46 Market St, Brighton, Massachusetts. She gave her father's name as Wolf.

Way back in Aug 2010, I had received this communication from Sarah's daughter through Ancestry

From Gloria Jacobson: Aug 2010
 "Yes, we think her maiden name was Gilick ( various spellings have been seen ) . I guess you found the marriage record in Montreal. Another theory (from some records) is that Gilick may have been her Mother's maiden name. She immigrated from Ostropol to Montreal in 1922 where she was met by my Father who sponsored her and they married there and then she crossed the border to the U.S. at St. Albans. She had a sister , Anna or Hannah who also came over in 1921. They settled in Boston. There are other sisters also who did not immigrate as far as we know. Her father was William Wolfe (don't know if "Wolfe" was a middle name or the real last name). A few of us did some research for the last few years, so that is what we found. Her birthdate is listed as April 29, 1901."

"There may be some cousins in in New Jersey. Some descendants of my mother's sister, Pearl, came to the U.S. & married. The last names are Alshansky & Schneideroff."

Further research on Jewish gen gave valuable information on name variations. The Hebrew was Wolf, the Yiddish was Zev/ Wolf , the Yiddish nickname was variations of Velvil/ Volko and the US is Warren/ William/ Wolf/ Harry.

 The 1940 Census  gave information on Sarah's family but very sadly, she was in a mental illness facility. Her Massachusetts Death Index has Sarah's death date as 19 Jul 1950

1940 Census:

     Sam, 43 was living at 23 Washington St, Suffolk, Boston, MA with his father Louis, 75, his step mother, Mollie, 58 and his 4 children: Lillian, 16, education H-2, Morris, 15, H-1, Jennie, 13, grade 8, and Gloria, 5.

     Sam is listed as married but Sarah is not included with the family. She is listed as a patient at the Metropolitan State Hospital, Lexington, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

     They lived in the same house in 1935. He rented his home at $45/month.

     Sam worked as a meat salesman in a wholesale meat business. He received an income other than his salary.

This week I made a breakthrough. Many resources were involved in helping me find the obituary of William Gillis ( new name and the vital clue to finding his obituary, burial place and gravestone ) and the obituary of his daughter, Pearl Son ( spelled this way )

Boston Public Library: 617- 859-2018 for looking up obituaries
Jewish Cemeteries of Massachusetts: 617-244-6509
Cemetery Property Caretaker for Everett Chevra ( Chebra )  Kadisha: 617- 387-3980 Ext.112 (where Pearl was buried )
Chevra Mishna Cemetery, Lynn, Massachusetts ( where William Gillis was buried )
Volunteer contact whom I spoke to today who gave me the location of  William Gillis' gravestone
He talked to the caretaker who took the picture of the gravestone.

The obituaries helped me learn:

William Gillis/ Gillick was buried in the Chevra Mishna Cemetery in Lynn, Massachusetts rather than where his daughter Pearl was buried in Everett

Wife Pize/ Anna’s maiden name is Glassberg

Daughter Pearl Gillick Sohn/ Son’s daughter Clara’s married name is Kipnes

What is a mystery is that there is no mention of their other daughters.

I was hoping that there may have been clues on what happened to Chana/ Hanna.

There also was no mention of the third daughter Sarah/ Sura nor her 4 children, Lillian  (Saul Rubin), Morris
(Charlotte), Jeanette ( Leslie Goodman ), died 6 Feb 2009 and Gloria ( Arthur Jacobson )

Sarah’s children are not mentioned as grandchildren in her father’s obituary so that is another mystery.

 The gravestone picture solved the question of when and where Anna/ Pize had died and was buried. The volunteer for the Chevra Mishna Cemetery ( burial place named in the obituary ) told me that the Gillis name  beside the one for William Gillis was not clear. He said the name was Toybe, an unknown to me.  Today when I received the burial picture that the maintenance worker took, I found out that the gravestone was for William and his wife Anna. She died 15 Feb 1958.

 The next step is finding out the translation of the Hebrew which will lead to the discovery of the fathers' names.



  1. For William: Ze-eiv (Hebrew equivalent of Velvel) son of Yosef Yehudah
    For Anna: Toybe Chana daughter of Pinchas

    1. Hi Emily,
      Thank you so much for your translation! I was writing another post with what I had found out and the significance of it. I am learning about blogs and how they work. Can you tell me how you found my blog? Thank you!!
      I just realized that there is a reply after your comment. Great! I wrote another post regarding why the translation was so important to me!!!

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