Sunday, June 14, 2015

An Unusual Name, Many Spellings - Supcoff Branch

My great grandmother Mollie Supkoff Tolchin's family name was Zubkis in Europe but her siblings and their descendents were consistent in the Supkoff spelling of their name once they came to Pittsburgh.  There were other families with a similar name but different spellings in the Pittsburgh area.  They seem to be all connected.  For some I've found the connection; for others, I've done some comprehensive research on their family to try to find their relationship to my Supkoffs--and that is still a work in progress.  These posts can all be found here.

The first family I'll be discussing spells the name "Supcoff."  Three brothers came to America:  Benjamin (born 1896), Irving/Isadore (Born 1901) and Max (born 1903).  Benjamin actually took on the Supkoff spelling (and married my great grandmother's sister Fannie--so she didn't have to change her name when she was married).

Irving/Isadore arrived first, in 1922, under the name Isidore Zupkoff.
Ship Manifest; Isidore Zupkoff; 1922 (line 11); page 1

 But what is interesting is on the second page:

Ship Manifest; Isidore Zupkoff; 1922 (line 11); page2
Isidore was going to join his uncle, Max Zupkoff, on 2042 Webster Avenue in Pittsburgh.  This was a new name--and one which I'll explore in a later post.  Isidore was born in "Spekoff, Russia" and left his brother Berel back in Romania (likely where the family had fled to from Shpikov during WWI).

He was soon reunited with "Berel"--Benjamin and Max came in 1923, under the names "Byrl" and "Motel" Zupkoff.  They also stated that they were going to join their uncle Max Zypkoff on Webster Avenue in Pittsburgh and that they had been born in "Shpikow, Ucraine."

Ship Manifest; Byrl & Motel Zupkoff; 1923 (page 1)

Ship Manifest; Byrl & Motel Zupkoff; 1923 (page 2)
I know how this branch fits in with my family.  The father of these three brothers (as well as at least one sister, Tanya) was Yosef "Yossel" Zubkis, brother of my great-great grandfather, Yeshaya Zubkis/Supkoff.  Yossel appeared in several of the census records mentioned in my post on Yeshaya.
(L to R) brothers Benjamin Supkoff; Max & Isidore/Irving Supcoff

So what happened to these siblings?
  • Benjamin married his first cousin Frances Supkoff, daughter of Yeshaya and Zlata Tzipra Supkoff and a sister of my great grandmother Mollie Supkoff Tolchin.  They moved to California in the 1940s and had 2 children.
  • Irving/Isidore Supcoff married a woman named Hadassah.  They lived in Pittsburgh for the first years of their marriage, where their daughter Josephine was born; they moved to Bronx, New York between 1930 & 1933 when their son was born there.
  • Max Supcoff married Linda in New York, and they had one son Carl.  After Max and Linda divorced, Linda and Carl stayed in New York, but Max moved to California--where he became a licensed hairdresser!  Carl's two sons and daughter still live in New York with their families.
Max Supcoff Hairdresser/Cosmetician License; California; 1942
  • These brothers' sister, Tanya, never came to America.  She married a man named Zalman Bogomolny, and they had children Klara and Yosef.  This entire family was killed in the Holocaust.
Yad Vashem Page of Testimony, Tanya Zubkis Bogomolnia
So I know the connection between the Supcoffs and my Supkoffs.  But what about the other sound-alike names?  How about these boys' uncle Max in Pittsburgh?  More investigation to come.
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  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hi Lara,

    I just came across your blog from some idle googling and would love to be in touch. I married Irving Supcoff's grandson last year (hence my Supcoff name) and I'm doing some research on his genealogy. I love the information you have to share! You've done so much research! Have a great day!

    1. Caitlin--I'd love to be in touch! Please email me at laradiamond AT gmail DOT com

  3. Hi Lara. My great grandfather's brother, Levi Fuksman, who was born in Goryshkovka, married Reiza "Rose" Zupkoff / Zupkov, who was born in Tulchin. I don't know anything about her family, unfortunately. Reading this blog, I'd love to find out more. Can you suggest where I could look? Thanks.

    1. There is a Tulchin Folk facebook group which might be helpful.