return to Home page   The Story of Sam and Minnie Klausner  
 From Russia to Cleveland

The Klausner's home town in Ukraine

The ship's manifest (below) for Mindel and the children gives the Russian name of their home town: Borshchagovka, a town that today is in Ukraine. Alternate names are Borshivka [Yiddish] and Borshchahivka [Ukrainian] as on the map below. The town is in the Kiev Region. In 1900 its Jewish population was 1,833. They regarded themselves as from Tetiev (spelled Tetiiv in the map below), a larger town (Jewish population 3,323) nine miles to the southeast.  more on Borshivka

The city of Kiev lies just outside the upper right corner of the map below. On some ship manifests Tetievers say they are from Kiev, as the region was known by that name.

Mindel Zabarsky's first marriage was to Aaron Linetzky. Their son Beryl Linetzky was born in 1883. Husband Aaron died at a young age. Mindel married Schmuel Klausner around 1888, and they would have eight children together.

Mindel's maiden name, Zabarsky, was probably Ukrainian. Note that near them is a town with a very similar name: Zbarzyvka.

Schmuel's surname, Klausner, is of German origin. more ... In the 13th or 14th century his ancestors had probably been in a German-speaking country when they were required to take surnames. The Jewish custom of patronymic names - being, say, Schmuel ben Itzhak, would now be used only in religious life. When they migrated east to Lithuania, Poland and Russia for economic opportunity, Schmuel's ancestors had brought with them their Jewish religion, their Yiddish language and their German names.

(For more on Jewish surnames, see this YIVO encyclopedia page.)

More on Tetiev

Sam and Minnie's arrival

We don't know when the first Jews from Tetiev came to Cleveland, but by 1900 there were enough to form the Tetiever Verein, a landsmanshaft for the mutual benefit of its members. (See ECH.) Probably influenced by friends or relatives from Tetiev already in Cleveland, Minnie's first son, Beryl Linetzky, age 24, had come in 1907 with his wife Rose. They were followed in 1908 by Nathan and Ben, Minnie's second and third oldest sons.

Sam Klausner arrived in Cleveland in 1910 (age 42) with his oldest daughter Mary (age 13) and son Harry (age 6). We have Mary's lengthy account of her passage with her father (see Mary's letter) which says they sailed in August 1910, but searches of ship manifests and Ellis Island records do not find Sam, Mary and Harry.

On November 21, 1910 Minnie and four of her children (Jake, Abe, Sarah and Rose) arrived in Philadelphia on the American Line SS Friesland, which had departed from Liverpool, England twelve days before. An old ship with one funnel and four masts rigged for sail, SS Friesland could hold 928 passengers, 600 of them in third class. The next year it would bought by an Italian line and then scrapped in 1912.

Ship's passenger manifest

The manifest lists Mindel Klausner, 44 years old, able to read and write. For "Race or People" she is "Hebrew". Her country of origin is Russia and we see the name of their home town. Below her name will be found Mische (14 years), Sore (10), Leif (8) and Ruche (11 months - actually 2 1/2). To see page 30 of the manifest, click here.

While Sam isn't found on the manifest, the facing page (31) indicates that Minnie is coming to Cleveland to meet him. It says: "Husband S. Klausner 2528 East 30th Street. Cleveland Oh", then follows a hard-to-read note "Husband five months .... 2 weeks ago" This posting and their 1920 census record confirms that they both came in 1910. See 1920 census record.

To see page 31 of the manifest, click here.  The entry for Minnie is on line 7.

Carole Schonberg, daughter of Rose Klausner, writes:

I believe they came to Cleveland as some members of their shul and shtetl were already here. Sam, the father, and sons Nathan and Ben came first with Beryl.... then they sent for the oldest sister, Mary to come and keep house for them.

They settled around 55th and Woodland - house and barrel making business. After that, Minnie and the younger children followed.

My mother, Rose, being the baby of the family was only two years old. Babes-in-arms went free on the ship -- so they say her feet never touched the floor of the ship, for fear of someone seeing her and charging for her.
The terrible end of Tetiev

A respect for history requires that before we tell the story of the Klausners in Cleveland, we make note of the destruction of the Jewish community of Tetiev.

The struggle for power in Russia and other unrest after the First World War was accompanied by a series of pogroms that began in Kiev in 1919. More than 1,000 pogroms took place in Ukraine alone. Estimates of deaths range up to 70,000, with up to half a million Jews losing their homes. One of the worst events took place in Tetiev on March 25 and 26, 1920 when nearly all the Jews of Tetiev were killed. Half of them had taken refuge in the synagogue which was burned to the ground. Four thousand perished.

Many Jews in the area fled to Poland, which had become a separate nation again after the war. There, 20 years later, they and their children would be victims of the Holocaust.

For more see Wikipedia, this Russian website, personal stories on and a gruesome account in a Google book.

For Fred Livingstone's view of Tetiev Today and Babi Yar, click here

Continue to Sam and Minnie's life in Cleveland

 Top of Page     Ship Manifest    1920 Census Page     Continue      Start of Story     Generations      CJH Home