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Spector, Sokoloff, Skolnick

Replies: 3

Spector, Sokoloff, Skolnick

Posted: 24 Nov 2008 12:13PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 18 Dec 2008 2:36PM GMT
Surnames: Sokoloff, Bellibroff, Sherlock, Grosslight, Shubow
My name is Patricia (Pat) Sokoloff Bordman. I cried when I saw our family name and recognized our story: I believe my father, Louis Sokoloff, is one of the "seven little Sokoloff's" you mention.

My father and his five sisters (Eta, Ida, Anna, Fanny and Yetta) and one brother (Morris) escaped from Kiblitch after their father was killed in front of them in a pogrom. They were, in fact, ages nearly 2 to 14 at the time. Their mother had previously succumbed during the flu epidemic, and they were left orphaned when their father died.

The seven siblings determined that they could not stay in Kiblitch, and sent Fanny (at the time only 12 or 13 years old) to obtain the necessary papers and to arrange for 'smugglers' to take them across a river to Romania. Somehow Fanny made these arrangements and, instead of selfishly fleeing for her own life, returned to Kiblitch to save her siblings. The seven set out on foot and walked for days until they reached the place where they were to meet the smugglers.

Unfortunately, on the night they were to join up with the smugglers to set off across the river, the Czar's soldiers were patrolling, and the children had to flee. They stayed together and hid until the next meeting date.

As they were crossing the river, Yetta started to cry. Others on the boat wanted to drown her in order to avoid detection by marauders and the soldiers, but the siblings managed to stifle her noises and kept her alive.

The seven little Sokoloffs reached Romania where they lived for two years until they could get passage to America. Even my father, at the very tender age of three, worked in the fields, sold pencils on the street, carted pottery, all to help support the family.

Finally, an Uncle in New York (could it have been Shlomo and Malka?) agreed to be their sponsors. The siblings came to America through Ellis Island. Years later, when I brought my parents to Manhattan for my daughter's graduation from Mount Sinai Medical School, we went to Ellis Island and my father described coming into the building and recalled with precision where the furniture was placed and what he had to do and say to gain entry.

All of the siblings went to live with the uncle, but this arrangement proved to be untenable -- too many mouths and not enough room or money. Eta, Fanny, Anna and Yetta remained in New York and Ida, Morris and Louis were sent to live with another uncle in Detroit.

Though separated by many miles, the siblings remained inseparable in their hearts. Anna married Isadore Bellibroff. They had no children, but Uncle Izzie welcomed Eta and Fannie into his home where they lived until Uncle Izzie's death. Fanny and Eta worked in the garment industry, and Eta, a lively and optimistic personality, was an early union activist. Sadly, Fanny died of breast cancer at about the age of 50 while still living in Anna's home. Neither Eta, nor Fanny, ever married. But, the remaining family was reunited when Eta and Anna moved to Detroit. Both are now deceased, but while living in Detroit they, their other siblings and their spouses met every Sunday for dinner and poker.

Ida married, had two children and later divorced. Ida died in 2002 at age 92. Her children are Donna (Steve) Sherlock and Sandy (Terri) Grosslight. Donna has two children, Cory and Scott who in turn have four children between them. Sandy has two children, Jody and Stephanie who have five children between them.

Morris married Rose and had one child, Steven, who is married and lives in Austria, but is childless. Morris died just a few months ago at age 97.

Yetta married Samuel Shubow, had three children, Linda (now deceased), Douglas and Robert. Linda had four children. Robert is married with two children.

My father, Louis, married my mother Dorothy, and, in addition to me, fathered my brother, James (Jim) and sister Bonnie. Between us we have five children and six great-grandchildren (all of the greats are my children's children). Steve, Jim and Jim's two sons are the only ones to carry on the family name.

The children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren live in Austria, as mentioned above; Chicago, Illinois; Minneapolis, Minn.; Rye, New York; Camarillio and Los Angeles, California; Atlanta, Georgia and Uganda (not permanent -- this grandchild works for the World Health Organization).

I would enjoy hearing from any family members who can further fill in this dramatic family history.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
pbordman 24 Nov 2008 7:13PM GMT 
Valerie Volas... 1 Mar 2010 5:26PM GMT 
pbordman 1 Mar 2010 5:32PM GMT 
stephen_sokol... 31 Aug 2012 10:43AM GMT 
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