Pesha Riva Lefand was my great-great grandmother. She was born in what is now Nezhin, Ukraine (and was then in the Russian Empire) on May 24, 1874, to Yehoshua and Mira Lefand.
|Birth Record for Pesha Riva/Rivka Lefand, Nezhin, Ukraine, 1874|
She was the first of at least 5 children born to Yehoshua and Mira.
By 1888, Yehoshua had died, and Mira had re-married to Yitzchok Marienhoff (who had children of his own), and the family, including Pesha-Rivka appeared in that year's Tax Census:
|1888 Russian Empire Tax Poll Census. Pesha Riva is the 17-year-old|
The next year, Pesha Riva married Hillel Tolchinsky (my great-great grandfather), on August 29, 1889.
|Marriage Record; Nezhin, Russian Empire; Hillel Tolchinsky & Pesha Riva Lefand, 1889|
- Yitzchok (later Isadore Tolchin, my great grandfather), born 1889, Losinovka (outside Nezhin)
- Shimon, born February 1894, died either 1894 or 1895
- Chaya (later Helen Tolchin Sobel Ardelean), born September 1894
- Shia (later Samuel Tolchin), born August 1895
- Hoda (later Dora Tolchin Rosenthal), born April 1897
- Shimon, born February 1898, died before 1902
- Israel "Buck" Tolchin, born May 1902
- Naftali Hirsch Tolchinsky, born January 1906, died May 1911 in Pittsburgh
- Berel (later Bennie Tolchin), born 1908
- Bessie (later Bessie Yarchever), born 1911 in Pittsburgh
- Mary, born September 1917 in Pittsburgh; died December 1919 in Pittsburgh
|1902 Russian Empire Poll Tax Census, Hillel and Pesha Riva Tolchinsky (household 135) and 4 of their children. They owned a house, grocery shop and blacksmith shop|
|Tolchinsky Family Ship Manifest, March 1911 (lines 24-30)|
By 1920, "Bessie" (she likely told the census taker "Pessie" but wasn't understood with her accent--she did have a daughter Bessie whose Hebrew name was Basya) and Hillel were living in Pittsburgh on Colwell Street. Their children Israel, Ben & Bessie were living with them.
|1920 United States Census; "Bessie" Tolshinsky is on line 65|
|Hillel and Pesha Riva Tolchinsky with daughter Bessie, Pittsburgh, PA|
|1930 United States Census; Pittsburgh, PA; Bessie (Pesha Riva) Tolchin is on line 6|
|1940 United States Census; Pittsburgh, PA; Pearl Tolchin line 35|
Four years later Pesha Riva Lefand Tolchinsky died of "organic heart disease, hypertensive, due to congestive failure." Her tombstone has her English name as Pearl Tolchinsky; her death certificate says Pearl Tolchin.
|Pearl Tolchin Death Certificate, Pittsburgh, PA, 1944|