Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Original Pittsburgh Soupcoffs

The original Supkoffs in Pittsburgh were actually Soupcoffs.  I've found allusions to them being connected to my Supkoff family but no solid connection as of yet; I haven't found anything relating to their specific town of origin.  But this family still left quite the paper trail--and I'll be posting about several of their children separately since several of them merit their own writeup.  The other versions of Supkoffs/Supcoffs/Zypkoffs, etc. can be seen here:

Morris (Moshe Aharon) Soupcoff was born in 1852 in Russia; his father was Nachman (according to Morris' tombstone).  Morris and Mollie Soupcoff arrived in the United States in 1887 (according to his naturalization papers, he arrived June 15, 1887--but I haven't found his manifest).  In 1892, Morris declared his intention to become a citizen.
Morris Soupcoff Declaration of Intention; Pittsburgh, PA; 1892

Morris went back to Russia in 1896-1897.  Upon returning (via Canada), it stated that he had been in "Podolian," which is likely Podolia, the area in which Shpikov and Kuna were located.  Morris was listed as a cigar maker and was returning home to Pittsburgh.
Ship Manifest; M. Soupkoff (line 8)
 In 1897, Morris started the Keystone Box Company with his son-in-law Max Russakov.  That is reflected in the first appearance of the family in a surviving census, in 1900.
1900 United States Census; Pittsburgh, PA; Soupcoff Family (lines 81-88)
Morris (here as Moses) and Mollie (here Mary) have six children living with them at this point as well as at least two older children who weren't living with them:
  • Dr. Jacob Soupcoff (not living with them; later Dr. Jacob Lorenz), born 1869
  • Mary (not living with them, married at this point to Max Russakov), born 1871
  • Eva (later Eva Lavine), born 1878
  • Fannie (later Fannie Nolan), born 1880
  • Annie (Anna Soupcoff King Kehr), born 1882
  • Harry, born 1883
  • Samuel, born 1885
  • Rosa (later Rose Fischoff), born 1889
  • They also had a son Joseph (April 15, 1896-May 31, 1896)
In 1903 he petitioned to become a citizen.  Unfortunately they did not ask for his town of origin.
Morris Soupcoff; Petition for Naturalization; Pittsburgh, PA; 1887
Morris died in 1917 on a trip to Florida.  The Pittsburgh Press carried a not-so-clear photo and obituary on Morris:
Morris Soupcoff
Morris Soupcoff Obituary; Pittsburgh Press; 1917
Morris Soupcoff Grave; Pittsburgh, PA


  1. I have recently discovered that newspapers.com has lots of Pittsburgh newspapers and I'm trying a subscription. I've found some good stuff (for my Presbyterian ancestors). It might be of interest to you.

    1. Thanks! I have a subscription and have found some good stuff (an upcoming post about their daughter Anna is primarily sourced from there). Since you have Pittsburgh relatives, note that Google Newspapers has some area papers as well.