An American Family History

Moishe Swentoslawski and Pearl Kolsky

Klodawa, Posen, Poland

Klodawa is just north of Lodz in the Posnan or Posen province. Before World War I, Poland was a province of the Russian empire. 

Moishe Swentoslawski and Pearl Kolsky were from Klodawa, Poland. Moishe and Pearl were first cousins and married about 1875. Their shared grandfather was "The Bubba from Kutne." Their grandson, Victor Winefield, said that the walls of the family house in Klodawa were eight feet thick. Jack Morrison, the youngest of the Morrison brothers said Moishe kept a tavern. Their grandson Ray said that the "Old Man has a sense of humor"and that  Pearl tended to worry.

Their children were born in Kodawa. Their first child was Mandel Miriam Swentoslawski who did not leave Poland. Dora Morrison Zagel was born on December 15, 1876. Theodore (Getzel) S. Morrison born on January 27, 1877. Simon S. Morrison was born on March 10, 1881. Malcha (Mollie) Morrison Weinfield born about 1885. Isidore S. Morrison was born May 15, 1885. Esther Morrison Fisher. Jacob S. Morrison born on February 15, 1889. Rose Morrison Rose. Elias Morrison was born July 13, 1886.


At home all the siblings except Rose spoke to their mother in the third person. Rose was the only one permitted to speak to her in the first person.

Their son, Isidore, related a story that one time Moishe came home from schul and told Pearl he had given money for Israel. She complained to him, “How can you give money for Israel at the schul when we don’t have money for “food at home?" Moishe said, “if we don’t have money for food at home, nobody knows about it but us. If I don’t give money for Israel at the schul, everybody knows about it."

Isidore immigrated to the United States in October, 1904, Simon in 1910, Mollie in 1914, Dora in 1915, and Jacob in 1920.

The pen and ink drawing of Pearl is dated 1919, but according to Ray Morrison she had already passed away by then. The drawing was brought to Isidore by a first cousin named Kolski, who was an artist and came to American after World War I.

Pearl died before Isidore got married. He said if she had been alive he wouldn’t have gotten married.  He was devoted to her.

Ray Morrison saw his grandfather in 1923 or 1924 and he looked the way he did in the photograph. He saw him propped up in bed. 

Estelle, Mary Morrison (Jacob's wife),
Rose Morrison Rose,
Dora Morrison Zagel,
Yetta Morrison (Simon's wife) and
Bonnie Shack (Simon's granddaughter)

Getzel, Jacob, Isidore, Simon and Bonnie Shack (Simon's granddaughter)

Simon, Lou and Isidore

Between 1880 and World War I about 2,000,000 Yiddish-speaking, Ashkenazi Jews immigrated from Eastern Europe to the United States.



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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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