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Barry Spinak's (Jewish-Irish-Cherokee-whatever!) Genealogy

Updated December 26, 2011

Richard Barry Spinak
punim@jhu.edu

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*** IMPORTANT NOTICE *** - Due to a single family member's concern about identity theft, I removed the family trees and reports from this website while I revised the trees and reports so that no birth date information appears for any living family member. In the meantime, if you want more information, please contact me by E-mail (or by phone, if you have my number). If you are a HEILIG descendant, we have a Facebook group site available for family members only - contact me through Facebook for details.
Welcome to my genealogy home page. As a spin-off of my own family research, I am compiling a history of the early Jewish families that settled in or near POCOMOKE CITY, MD in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This small town was the center of Jewish activity on the entire DelMarVa peninsula at that time. A nascent website for the CONGREGATION OF ISRAEL will have a history of the congregation and updates on the activities at the shul. I welcome any and all communications from others whose families may have settled or lived in this region.
Jewish families in the area of Pocomoke City in the early 1900s include BARBAN, BENJAMIN, BROWN, FINE, FINKELSTEIN, GIVARZ, GLASS, GLICK, GOODMAN, HEILIG, HOLLINS, KLAFF, LEVIN, MILLER, RODBELL, and SCHER. Later families include COHEN, GROH, KLEGER, ROTH, ROTHENSTEIN, SALTZ, SOLOWAY, WAHLBERG and WOLMAN. Please E-mail me with any inquiries or information you have concerning these or other families that may have lived in the area.
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Before you search through my list of names for the Jewish families, also important to me are my Christian relatives from the heartland of the USA and their ancestors:
ALCORN - Rufus (b. approx. 1860s), and
REAMES - Rufus’ half-Cherokee wife Georgia Elizabeth Reames.
MOONEY, from Dublin, Ireland; DOOLITTLE from Connecticut; ABLEMAN, from Hessel Cassel, Germany; BUSH, from Hart Co., Kentucky; BROWN from 18th-century Virginia.
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Now, for the Yiddische Mishpacha…
...If you are a family member, or if you just want to browse through my family tree, (***SEE MY INTRODUCTORY NOTE ABOVE***)
...Family surnames of greatest interest:
...HEILIG (or HEILLIG) - Tzvi (Hersch) and Yannie (Hiene) GELIK (or GELIL or GELIN - the spellings as transliterated from Yiddish into Cyrillic by Russian officials) lived in UZVENTIS, Lithuania approx. 1730-1890s. Their children, with spouses, include
...- Faivel & Ida Dora (SHER) HEILIG, who immigrated to Pocomoke City 1900-02;
...- Kalman and Reva (MACHT) HEILLIG, went to Montreal, via Durham, NC;
...- Simon and Sarah (GELIK)RABINOWITZ (never left Europe) - their daughter, Rebecca, married Moshe FINKELSTEIN and lived in Pocomoke City approx 1885-1910 before moving to Norfolk, VA;
...- two others, Hinda GELIK and Aaron Wolf GELIK, who never left Europe. Aaro may have had a son, Reuben HEILLIG, who lived in Montreal and then Los Angeles.
...Surnames of other ancestors and individuals marrying into the family include FAYVUSH, GERSH, GIBER, GOLDBERG, IOZEF, KALMAN, KAPLAN, KIL, MARKUS, MILLER, MILNER, NOKHUM, RAVID, RUBIN, SHAPIR, SNITZER, YAKUB, ZAMULIAN, and ZIV.
...Additional family names of interest -
from POLAND (esp. WARSAWA): SPINAK - Samuel (1881-1948), his first wife Sophia KATCZER, his second wife Jennie ROSENSWEIG; This family originally settled in Gloversville, NY;...GOLDBERG - Hyman (1868-1956), who immigrated to Baltimore about 1881. His father was Israel GOLDBRANDT, his grandfather was Hyman GOLDBRANDT. Two half-siblings immigrated to Cleveland, Oh., approx. 1915. Other relatives are descended from the Baltimore DENOWITCH and HARRIS families.
.....I am also compiling data for my wife's family. The surnames of particular interest are: KOTOVSKY (Ukraine); GRUEN (Bohemia); and KLEINMAN (Bohemia).

Family Photos

  • A Four-Generation Photo from early 1946 (12 KB)
    Starring yours truly as the babe-in-arms, from the left - Pauline Lederer Goldberg, Richard Barry Alcorn (yep, that was my name then!), Edna Goldberg Heilig, Ruth Heilig Alcorn.
  • Faivel & Ida Dora Heilig and Family (57 KB)
    This picture was taken in Pocomoke City, MD in the spring of 1912, twelve years after Faivel settled there after emigrating from Uzventis, Lithuania. His wife and most of the children followed over the next 3 years. This photo shows 12 of the children and several grandchildren and sons-in-law.
  • The Children of Faivel and Ida Dora Heilig (65 KB)
    Faivel and Ida Dora Heilig had 16 children, 3 of which died very young in Lithuania. Presented here are pictures of the 13 children who survived to adulthood. I used pictures that best show each as a young adult.
  • Heilig & Meyers - their first furniture store. (19 KB)
    Willie Heilig, seated in front of his first furniture store in Goldsboro, NC. Later, Uncle Willie sold his share to the Meyers, who retained the original business name. Uncle Willie, his son-in-law Albert Levine, and brother Morris Heilig kept four stores and renamed them Heilig & Levine.
  • Some of the Kotovsky family -Pogrebishche, Ukraine (57 KB)
    (from L.) Siblings Bessie, Harry and Abe Kotovsky and Harry's wife, Chaika. The infant is Harry's son, Alex. Photo taken in Pogrebishche, Ukraine in 1914.
  • Pocomoke Provision Company (137 KB)
    Faivel Heilig was a shochet (Kosher slaughterer) who also sold meat retail and wholesale to the non-Jewish residents and businesses of the community. After Faivel's death, his son, Simon, continued and expanded the business and built a new and larger plant.
  • Pauline Lederer and Hyman Goldbrandt (13 KB)
    Pauline, daughter of Sophie Steiner and David Lederer, came to Baltimore from Bohemia as a teenager in the 1880s. There she met and, in 1892, married Hyman Goldberg, a native of Warsaw who had also come to Baltimore as a teenager. Hyman changed his name to Goldberg "to sound more Jewish."
  • Rufus and George Alcorn (44 KB)
    My great-grandparents, Rufus and Georgia Alcorn. Georgia was possibly half-Cherokee; her father was George W. Reames, but I have yet to identify her (Cherokee?) mother. This picture was taken probably somewhere in Oklahoma.
  • A Goldberg Picnic....Baltimore, ca. 1910 (43 KB)
    Hyman and Pauline picnic with their family and friends. In the foreground: from the left - Sidney, Hilda, Della and Edna Goldberg; from the right - Pauline, Beatrice and Hyman Goldberg. The remainder of the group in the background have not been identified.
  • Spinak siblings - 1950 (54 KB)
    At the wedding of Ruth "Butsie" Heilig and Abe Spinak, July 30, 1950, a lineup of all of the Spinak siblings: (l. to r.) Charles Horwitz (nee Solomon Spinak), Ida Spinak Zimmerman, Abe, Ruth, Rube Spinak, Hilda Spinak Maltz, Jay Spinak
  • Mordechai and Ann Denowitch and Family (24 KB)
    Probably taken in Poland circa 1890 - Mordechai Yaakov Denowitch was a son of Hannah and her Denowitch husband (who was one of at least 3 husbands). I recently received this photo - it will be updated with a clearer version as soon as I get a chance to edit it.
  • Wedding of Abe Spinak and Ruth Heilig - July, 1950 (55 KB)
    My parents' wedding-and they didn't invite me (really!-they sent me to camp). This was the first wedding in the "new" Pocomoke Synagogue. From the r.: Gerry Groh(now Silverman), Pat Levy(dec.), Ed Helton, Francis (Sonny) Heilig, Jay Spinak, Shirley Heilig Cohen, Edna Goldberg Heilig, Ruth Heilig Spinak, Simon Heilig, Abe Spinak, Rube Spinak, Lenora Heilig Nast, Jack Palmer,(unknown), Irving Scher.
  • The Pocomoke Synagogue - then and now. (276 KB)
    A collage of pictures of the Knesset Israel Synagogue in Pocomoke City, MD showing the dedication in 1948 and the appearance after extensive refurbishing in 1998. The congregation, led in its earliest days by Faivel Heilig, suspended operation after I moved to Washington State in 2009.
  • Lewis & Ida Denowitch Stark and their children (111 KB)
    Lewis & Ida Denowitch Stark and their 8 adult children - the girls' married names are in parentheses. From L. to R. - Back row: Libby (Hament), Albert, Helen (Fox), Julius. Middle row: Berdie (Engel), Louis & Ida, Milton. Bottom: row: Lenore (Bland), Phil. Ida, a granddaughter of the oft-married Hannah, came to the U.S. with her sister, Sarah (Adler), and her cousin, Hyman Goldberg. The trip was financed by their uncle, Hannah's son, Chaim Harris. Thus, Hannah's son from one husband paid the passage for grandchildren descended from two other husbands.
  • Morris and Libby Stark Hament and children, ~1930 (38 KB)
    This is my half second cousin twice removed, Libby Stark Hament, her husband Morris Hament, and their children, my half third cousins once removed, Howard and Carolyn Hament. Not close relatives, but a great circa-1930 group shot of a happy family. I wish I had met them...
  • Heilig Brothers and Brothers-in-Law - 1912 (16 KB)
    Faivel and Ida Dora's sons and sons-in-law, taken in Pocomoke City, MD in 1912. From the left, standing - Ben Givarz (m. to Eunice Heilig), Simon Heilig, Louis Heilig, Morris Kruger (m. to Annie Heilig); seated, from the left - Willie Heilig, David Miller (m. to Hinda Heilig), Marion Heilig.
  • Kalman and Reba Macht Heillig (14 KB)
    Kalman was Faivel Heilig's younger brother. He came first to the United States, settling in Durham, NC about 1893. His 2 oldest children went to Canada, and Kalman eventually entered Montreal by railway from Durham, NC, on May 12, 1903, accompanied by his wife, Rebecca (Reba), and his youngest child, William. Although the last name was spelled Heilig on the 1900 U.S. census, the name has been Heillig since Kalman entered Canada.
  • Hyman and Pauline Goldberg 60th Anniversary - 1952 (23 KB)
    Hyman and Pauline (center) surrounded by (standing, from l.) Kalman Klein, Philip Berman, Hilda Goldberg Berman, Simon Heilig, Arnold Cohen, Rob Bishow, Leonard Scher, Ben Cohen, Lester Klein, Edna Goldberg Heilig, Sidney Goldberg, Dick Nast, Sam Lasch; (seated from l.) Melba Klein Bishow, Dora Sher Goldberg, Lenora Heilig Nast, Ruth Klein, Bea Goldberg Cohen, Beverly Berman Scher.
  • Abe Spinak - Gloversville (NY) H. S. Grad 1943 (30 KB)
    Abe Spinak with parents Jennie and Sam Spinak upon graduation from Gloversville (NY) High School in 1943.
 

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