Based on Berko Rozensumen’s (1804-1888) marriage registration to Hindy Herszenfeld (1809-1985), I knew that his parents were Yudko and Beyla Rozensumen.  However, I knew nothing else about his ancestors or siblings.

On February 2, 2019 I received a message from Yosi Ben-Dov of Haifa, Israel, via the MyHeritage genealogy website.  After some correspondence, it became clear that our second great-grandfathers, Avram Rozensumen and Berko Rozensumen, were brothers, making Yosi and me fourth cousins.  Yosi and his wife Nitza had hired a researcher in Poland to help them fill in his family tree, thus providing the names for Berko’s siblings, wives and children, Yudko’s father (named Berko, of course, and who  is not represented on the chart below) and descendants down through Yosi and his grandchildren, a total of nine generations!

Here are our common progenitors, Yudko and Bayla Rozensumen, their children and spouses; the children are Berko, Mindla, Avram, Moszko, Herszko, Fajvel, Frejda and Benjamin:

  • Yosi Ben-Dov’s second great-grandfather, Avram Rozensumen (1811-23 Jan 1890) was born and died in Miedzyrzec Podlaski, Lubelskie, Poland.
  • He married Rayzli Waga and they had a son, Yankiel (1836-96).
  • Yankiel married Ruchli Rozenblum(1837-92).
  • Their son was Berko Rozensumen (1867-1940) and he married Leah Kirszenberg (1873-1949).  This is Yosi Ben-Dov’s grandfather.
  • Their sons were Natan, Jacob and Avraham.  The brothers changed their names to Ben-Dov in 1935, while living in Mandate Palestine.  They chose this name because “Berko” comes from the Yiddish word for “bear,” and “dov” means “bear” in Hebrew.  So they each were, literally, the son of the bear, Ben-Dov.