May 30th, 2006

From"Decoded" The arrival

SIMOWITZ FAMILY - My Maternal Relatives

Compiled by Allen Henry Greenfield, 2006 revision

I was given my middle name in memory of my maternal grandfather, Henry Simowitz.
We have succeeded in tracing some family lineage back to what is now Slovakia,
as far as the late 1700s. This is a working text. A separate page is being
developed for my paternal family, the Greenfields. There is a salute to some of
my relatives on both sides of my family who fought in World War II for those who
are interested.

Joseph Weber (circa b. 1790), Wife Leah Weber. Origin unknown; name means
"weaver" in German. Note that German-speaking areas existed all over Europe,
from France to Russia. of the area in which the family, even extended family,
seems to have moved is in the present Ukraine (Munkacevo) and Slovakia
(Muckacevo, Velke Kaposney and later Homonna). German-speaking people were
settled for political reasons as far East as the then Tsarist Empire of Russia.
In the 1800s until the First World War, most of this area was under control of
the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in the Hungarian region.


Their daughter, Reisel Weber married Rabbi Eleazer HA KOHEN Samunovics (b. circa
1820) (variant of Simowitz or Simonowitz). Reisel was a native of Kapusany
(Kapos, Velke Kaposy, other variants), now  in Solvakia. Rabbi Eleazer seems to have
been associate
 with the Kapuscher Rebbe, and the great center of Chassidic learning founded by
the latter in Velke Kaposy.

Henry Simowitz was born in 1856, probably also in Kapusany. His Hebrew name was
Chaim HA KOHEN Yechiel, and he went by the Hungarian name Mihaly Samunovics
(derived loosely from the Hebrew name "Yechiel" which rhymes with Michiel). He
was drafted into the Hungarian army in 1882. He appears to have married during
or shortly after this period. Three children were born between 1887 and 1889,
two in 1889 alone (10 1/2 months apart).

From November 3, 1889 to at least August of 1894 Henry Simowitz lived in
Homonna, on the Hungarian-Slovakian frontier, in the Carpathian Mountain
foothills. On November 7, 1889 he was granted a Shoemaker's (Cobbler's) trade
under the local Hungarian authorities, a copy of said license still being in my
possession, under the name “Mihaly Samunovics”. He was said also to be
 a blacksmith,  and darkly rumored to have traded in stolen horses. Internal
evidence of family tales and existing documents suggests that he was considered
 of a scholar in the Jewish community. Mrs. Samunovics was also granted a trade
 as a grocers in Homonna on October 20, 1892.

At that point, something happened. It may be that Mrs. Samunovics died suddenly,
leaving Henry with three small children. Before the end of 1892 he was married
to the daughter of Rabbi Akiva Dov (Moreinu Harav; Our teacher, the Rabbi),
Chana (Hannah) Friedman.

There is some evidence that she may have been a relative of the Kapuscher
extended family. The Fried or Friedman family of Velke Kaposney were the
of a distinguished lineage of Chassadic Rebbes  known as the "Kapusher Rebbes"
(see below). According to our cousin Eli Pollack of Baltimore, the tombstone of
Rabbi Joshua Fried was turned into a picture postcard, presumably by
his followers. In 1885 the long-lived Kapusher Rebbe, Herman Fried, had
the marriage of Henry Simowitz's sister Sari to an Ignatz Gottesman of Munkacevo
 in Kapusany. As late as 1937 a Rabbi Alex Friedman was signing official
 government records in this area. These may be the family of Hannah Friedman

 An official document indicates they declared  intention to leave Homonna August
2, 1894.
On October 15 1894 a daughter was born to them. Another child, a son, was born
in 1895.
 Somewhere during this period, as “Henry and Hannah Simowitz”, they relocated to
Ohio in the United States where they had relatives. They probably arrived at
Boston in 1895.
On June 15, 1897 Henry Simowitz declared his intention to become a U.S. Citizen.
This was granted 12 October, 1899. Shortly thereafter, the family relocated to
Augusta and Waynesboro, Georgia USA. They had a total of eleven children,
including the three from Henry's first wife. Note that the eldest daughter,
Bertha, came to
 America after the turn of the 20th Century aboard the SS Rotterdam, with a
friend. Her future husband
also a shoemaker from Northern Europe named Agos (variation Ogus, Ogas) departed
upon the same ship
for America about two weeks apart.

Their children were:
  Regina "Bertha" Simowitz 1887-1970 b. Homonna, Hungary
  Rose Simowitz 1889-1977 b. Homonna, Hungary
  Israel Simowitz (later Simon) 1889-1967 b. Homonna, Hungary
  {Unless the marriage contract is incorrectly dated, these were Henry
  Simowitz's children by a previous marriage).
  Esther Simowitz 1894-1979 probably born in Hungary
  Louis Simowitz 1895-1970 probably born in Cincinnati
  Harry Simowitz 1897-1991 probably born in Cincinnati
  Joseph Simowitz 1899-1979 probably born in Cincinnati
  Samuel Simowitz 1902-1984 probably born in Georgia
  Louise Simowitz 1905-1986 born in Georgia
  Bernard Simowitz 1907-1994 born in Georgia
  Mary Margaret Simowitz 1913-1996 born in Waynesboro, Georgia


Many have seen military service in World War I &World War II.

All had children; and they in turn have had children (see file), some of
whom have become quite distinguished, including Lee Simowitz, an attorney of
note in Washington, D.C., Dr. Fred Simowitz, M.D. (neurologist) of St. Louis,
and Sam Simowitz of Savanna, Georgia.



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