He Came from Russia on S.S. Birma in 1912
On August 20, 1912, Berko Kogenman, age 23, sailed on the S.S. Birma from Libau, Russia (now Latvia), to join his cousin in Brooklyn, NY. The S.S. Birma's Passenger List shows Berko was born in Loew, Russia (now Belarus), was Hebrew, single, and a laborer by trade. It says Berko had never been in the United States before, and left with $25 in his pocket. Thirteen days after departing Russia, Berko arrived, on September 2nd, at Ellis Island, NY.
Like the previous example, U.S. Naturalization (1913-23),
Berko Kogenman is the Great Grandfather of a family I was doing research for. That family wanted me to find information about Ben Koven, their Great Grandfather. The Naturalization Documents indicate Ben Koven arrived in the United States under the name of Berko Kogelman [Kogenman]. And this family was not aware of the name change.
An interesting question arises from these documents. Where was Berko born? The 1912 Ship Passenger List lists "Place of Birth" as Loew, Russia (now Belarus). The Naturalization Documents, from the 1930's, list Ben Koven as being born in Minsk, Russia (now Belarus).
JewishGen states that before World War I the town of Loew [Loyev] was in the District of Rechitsa, which was part of the Province of Minsk, in the Russian Empire. So was Berko born in the town of Loew in the Province of Minsk, or in the town of Minsk itself? This question remains unsolved.
U.S. Immigration Records (Certificate of Arrival, Declaration of Intention, Petition for Citizenship, Affidavits of Witnesses, and Oath of Allegiance) and Ship Passenger Lists are extremely valuable resources. They provide significant details about our ancestors and their families. And they may also include a picture and/or signature we have never seen before. Not all of these documents may be found in every search, but whatever is found can be extremely valuable.
1. Ellis Island
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