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Another Grandfather Mystery?

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Another Grandfather Mystery?

Postby Sucher » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:18 pm

My mother's family were quintessentially English so relatively easy to research. My father's family is another matter. I never saw much of my grandfather and didn't know him well, most of the information about his background is anecdotal.

Phillip Cantor was at 25 Christian St, London at the time of the 1911 census, he married my grandmother Sarah Schwartz later the same year. Estimated year of birth 1885. Family lore has it that he came from Kiev but I have no hard evidence. My mother told me that his real first name was Pincus and there are a number of spelling variants. I assume his original surname was also different.

So, did he come from Kiev, when did he arrive in the U.K? Don't know. I believe his father was Joseph and his mother was Jessie but again no evidence. All and any help would help, thanks.

Sucher (means searcher in German)
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Re: Another Grandfather Mystery?

Postby brunes08 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:45 pm

The 1911 census shows Phillip was born in Russia. No town or province indicated. He is clearly on his own at the address you gave so no other family to help you. I tried to find him before 1911 but so far no luck.
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Another Grandfather Mystery?

Postby brunes08 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:01 pm

I have just found a Joseph Cantor bn Kowno, Russia, aged 56 years and a widower on the 1911 census. He was a boarder in Whitechapel in Tenter Street, which was near where Christian Street is. Might this be Phillip's father?
You would need to obtain Phillip's marriage certificate to confirm his father's name as Joseph though.
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Re: Another Grandfather Mystery?

Postby Sucher » Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:26 pm

Hi brunes08. I have the wedding certificate, I'd forgotten that this was where I got my information. I'm almost certain that Phillip's father never came to England but will look into the Tenter St possibility. My grandfather had a sister named Eva and I feel that if I can find their date of entry into the UK, that might shed more light. I really appreciate your effort in trying.

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Re: Another Grandfather Mystery?

Postby Sylcec » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:38 pm

Looking through the NAtional Archives 'discovery' - there are several Nationality and Naturalisation records for persons with surname CANTOR from Russia. Haven't yet found a Philip/Pincus or Joseph - but there may be a relative among these people.
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Re: Another Grandfather Mystery?

Postby Sucher » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:47 pm

You're right Jo. Jewish people from Eastern Europe kept close to what they called Landsman. My understanding is that it was more community than country. Everyone came under the umbrella of 'Russian Subjects' whether they came from say, Poland, Lithuania, Bessarabia or Ukraine. Then we have the problems that country borders moved substantially. I was told that my grandmother came from Roumania, others in the family think Moldova and I believe that she came from a place on the western edge of the current Ukrainian border. A cousin told me that my grandparents marriage was organised by a matchmaker. If so, that could mean that it was a relatively short period between arrival and marriage.

Thank you for your diligence, I never thought to look at neighbours. My grandmother's sister's marriage was in the name of Schwartzman, my grandmother as just Schwartz. Maybe my grandfather abbreviated his name too. In a wonderful little book (fiction) called 'The Aggrevations of Minnie Ash' there is a funny story about a cobbler on his way to England. He decided to call himself something like John Smith because it sounded really English. When asked his name by the immigration officer, he said "Shoyne Vergessen" which is Yiddish for "I've forgotten already". He was duly registered and thereafter went by the name of Sean Ferguson. Perhaps something like that happened here.

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Re: Another Grandfather Mystery?

Postby Sucher » Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:17 pm

JMcKinnon wrote:I see the Rabbi lived two doors down. Might http://www.jewishgen.org/databases/jgform.php. Have information that isn't elsewhere?
Was Eva in England too? Who did she marry?
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Yes Jo, Eva or Eve married Samuel Brenner in the March quarter of 1909. I tried the the Jewish Gen site some years ago but didn't come up with anything, I will go back as I'm sure the databases will have been updated.
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Re: Another Grandfather Mystery?

Postby JMcK » Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:09 am

Journeys Through Time: Discovering Travel & Migration in Old Newspapers

Join our sister site, The British Newspaper Archive, at 4pm (BST) on 20 July for a FREE webinar. They'll be taking a close look at where to find passenger lists, news from abroad, as well as the reasons people emigrated, in the extensive historical newspapers searchable in the Archive (the same ones that are available on Findmypast).
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Re: Another Grandfather Mystery?

Postby brunes08 » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:42 am

It was very common for immigrants from Eastern Europe and Germany to Anglicise their names in order to 'fit in'. I have several friends with Jewish backgrounds who came from Russian, Poland and Germany during the latter part of the 19th century who did just that. It was done even more so in the early part of the 20th century with the anti-German feelings in the lead up to the First World War. Jewish families had suffered persecution in their home lands for a long, long time.
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Re: Another Grandfather Mystery?

Postby Sucher » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:18 am

JMcK wrote:Journeys Through Time: Discovering Travel & Migration in Old Newspapers
The British Newspaper Archive, at 4pm (BST) on 20 July for a FREE webinar. They'll be taking a close look at where to find passenger lists, news from abroad, as well as the reasons people emigrated, in the extensive historical newspapers searchable in the Archive (the same ones that are available on Findmypast).


As always, thank you. I shall be tuning in.

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