The HaCohen Family of Plock and Los Angeles

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The HaCohen Family of Plock and Los Angeles

by Annette Young

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My grandparents both maternal and paternal came to Los Angeles in 1904. My grandfathers were brothers. Joseph Cohen [HaKohen] the older brother was born circa 1869 in Poland. Abraham Wolfe Cohen, his brother, was the younger son of Moses [Morris] Cohen [HaKohen] and Hannah [Annie Goldberg] Cohen. Abraham was born in Berlin, Germany 1877. Moses and Hannah Kohn were married in Plock, Poland 1861. Had at least 2 children in Poland and somehow were in Berlin in 1877 prior to immigrating to Manchester, England around 1879. Both Joseph and Abraham Wolfe were listed as waterproof cloth makers in England and Scotland prior to leaving the British Isles. Their father Morris was also a Waterproof cloth maker according to 1891 census but was originally listed as tailor in 1881. Joseph Cohen married my grandmother, Jennie Margolius, daughter of R. Joseph Margoliash, son of Isaac of Raseiniai, Lithuania and his cousin Tema Dina [Emma] Lerenblatt daughter of Gaon Rabbi Movsha Lerinblatt of Sassmachen, Courland [now Valdemarpils, Latvia.] Jennie was born in Memel, Germany now Klaipeda, Lithuania around 1868. Her parents after the births of their five children were found in Glasgow, Scotland around 1884. I do not know how my grandparents met but both were living in Glasgow Scotland at the time of their marriage in June of 1891. Great grandfather Morris Cohen and family were found on 1891 census in Edinburgh, Scotland and Margolius family was living in Glasgow at that time. Elias {Ellis] was the first born in 1892 in Edinburgh and then family emigrated to Montreal, Canada in 1893. Family name was changed to Margolese. According to documents for intent to naturalize, Joseph Cohen stated he immigrated to US in 1896 arriving at the port of Huron in Michigan. He was evidently looking for work as he was listed in Montreal in 1898 city directory. By this time there were 4 children, 3 being born in Montreal. Later in 1898 Cohen family immigrated to the USA via Grand Trunk Railway into Detroit. They settled in El Paso, Texas where they ran a grocery store. My Mother, Rebecca, [later changed to Reva] was born in El Paso1900, the first to be born in USA. Two brothers were born in El Paso. Due to the health of Grandpa Joseph, family came to Los Angeles in 1904. Joseph died of TB in 1908 leaving my Grandmother with 7 children. Next to the youngest, Jacob had TB of the Spine and died at age 19. The Margolese family all remained in Montreal. Joseph Cohen and son Jacob are interred at Beth Israel Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Grandma Jennie had a younger brother Louis Margolese of Montreal, a lawyer and land developer, who was a great financial help to her family. He put several of her sons through College. One son was a Pharmacist and owned the Sun Drug Company on the corner of Vermont Ave and Sunset Blvd. The youngest son, David, became a dentist and practiced in the old Roosevelt Bldg. Down town Los Angeles. at 8th & Flower.

251 Mountain View Street Boyle heights

555 Lakeshore  Avenue about 1909


 Family residences were originally 251 Mountain View St in Boyle Heights ,then 555 Lakeshore Ave and finally owned a home on Elmwood Ave. near Western. This is the home I remember.

Abraham Cohen, my paternal grandfather married Yetta Blumstein daughter of Marcus and Rebecca Blumstein of Piotrkow Trybulnaski, Poland. They were married in Manchester, England in 1899 at 24 Julia Street [which appears in many other family documents] and had twin daughters in 1900. One twin died soon thereafter. My father, Joseph was born in Manchester in 1902.The Cohen family has been much harder to trace. According to family lore, their original name was Seid or Zeide and supposedly came from what was known then as White Russia. The story told was their name was changed when immigrating to England but I have located their marriage record in Plock, Poland long before they emigrated circa 1879. Their youngest daughter Ester was born in Manchester 1880 and also died of TB 1908.

Abraham immigrated to the USA via the ship SS Ivernia out of Liverpool and arrived in Boston Harbor June 1904. According to his Naturalization papers he arrived in Los Angeles October of 1904. Grandma Yetta & children arrived in

 New York May 11, 1905 sailing on the SS Caronia out of Liverpool.

In the early years Grandpa Abraham and Grandma Yetta lived at 830 Stanford in downtown Los Angeles.

 At that time they had a kosher restaurant located in the Burr Creamery in the downtown area . Have been also told that at a later time they owned the Cloudy Ammonia factory near Western and Adams. After selling that they invested in real estate and among other properties owned a court of 8 housing units near Adams and Harvard. This property is in my childhood memory. Grandpa Abraham was the gabbi for many years at a shul in West Adams district.



4712 Elmwood Avenue around 1912

Their son Joseph married my mother Reva Cohen [c] 1925.

Annette Young was born in Los Angeles at the beginning of the depression.  Her family lived in Southwest Los Angeles where she graduated from Washington High School and attended Los Angeles City College.  She and her husband have raised three children while running their own swimming pool business in Gardena for 35 years.  They are proud grandparents of three grandchildren and a brand new great grandson.  Having moved to Orange County in 1970 they still reside there today. In the '60's Annette worked for the census bureau and on the election board as inspector for many years. She coordinates tours for her husband's military reunions and has avidly pursued genealogy for the past three years.



Copyright November 2002. All Rights Reserved

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