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Dear Mr. Lebofsky,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Population Schedules for the 1940 Census in the Records of the Bureau of the Census (Record Group 29). See the digitized images for a Gabriel Lebofsky residing in Elizabeth, New Jersey listed as an Alien (Image 34); and Benjamin Lebofsky residing in New York, New York listed as a Naturalized citizen (Image 4).
Their Petition for Naturalization should provide clues about their arrival in the United States. We suggest that you contact the National Archives at New York (RE-NY) because it appears that they resided in New Jersey and New York based on census records. Please contact RE-NY by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a naturalization search for their records.
We also searched Ancestry and located Gabriel’s World War I Draft Registration Card (surname misspelled as Libovsky); and his March 31, 1949 death & grave site in Glendale, New York (no image). There may be a fee for using Ancestry to access digitized records. However, you may view these records online at one of NARA's facilities for free via a NARA PC. For the nearest NARA location, please consult our web page at https://www.archives.gov/locations/.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!
[Some information provided by Elizabeth Burnes, Subject Matter Expert]
Much appreciation for your efforts. I had all these docs you mentioned, but it opened up other leads. So, thank you for your time,
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Make sure to check alternative spellings of the last name. Immigration agents were horrible for changing spellings. Also, if they were Jewish their first name may have been the Hebrew name. My grandmother came from Russia in 1903 and went to NY. Boston and Baltimore are possible ports too. Did they have relatives here. If so, they may have lived with them first. It may help narrow down the port of entry. Sorry I can't be more help.
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This reminded me.... My grandmother only spoke Yiddish, and when asked her husbands name, instead gave her father's name, Natan or Nathan, so in many cases it appears that her husband, though in reality Gabriel, was called Nathan. Also, they lived in London and later came to the states with a Lansman or family friend/countryman, named Morris or Moses, and his name appears periodically as a border with my grandparents or even a "son". So thank you for confirming the impediments in trying to do this tracking.
Hi Arthur- My greatgrandmother's name was Anna or Helen as told by my father. When I found the Ellis Island document it listed a "Chinka" with children listed by their Hebrew names among whom was my grandmother Elsie(Esther). When I told my father he said,"Ohhh, that's why they called her Chinny". As much as that was a throwaway line, it confirmed that the people listed were my family. Geneaology is tough because of all the name changes and misspellings. At least Grace was able to give you many good leads.
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I checked on some records for you. I didn’t see anything that indicated Gabriel became a citizen so there was no naturalization paperwork to help with him. I found a few possibilities of a passenger list for him, but nothing really firm. I did find the passenger list with his wife Leah, & sons Hyman, Benjamin, & Morris on it.
The direct link to Leah & children’s passenger list on FamilySearch.org is
(It is also found on Ancestry.com -- I access it for free through my local library.)
To make sure this was the correct family, I checked a bunch of records. I listed just a few of what I looked at so you can see the spelling variations of the last name. The children’s names & ages all match up in the correct order, as well as other info, so these are the correct people. (Place of birth for the first 3 children vary on these, but that is not unusual on censuses—the info may have been given by a neighbor, etc.) (I accessed these on FamilySearch.org & Ancestry.com, as well as used a search engine on SteveMorse.org.)
1901 England Census – Nathan & Sibla Laboski (Benjamin is a baby)
1902 Possible ??? United Kingdom Incoming Passenger List – there is a tailor named N. Labovski or Laborski who traveled on the Corinthian from St. John, NB & Halifax to Liverpool & Londonderry. (Ancestry.com lists him as N. Laboriski) Did Nathan/Gabriel ever travel back & forth?
1904 Passenger List – SS. Kroonland sailing from Antwerp & arriving in New York on June 7. Lea, Gajim, Benjamin, & Morris Lebowski (Ancestry.com has them listed as Lubowski).
Leah & the 3 children are on lines 22-25. Her contact is her husband Natan or Notan Libowsky (I think that is the spelling).
1905 New York State Census – Nathan & Leah Liebofsky
1910 U.S. Census – Nathan & Leah Lebovsky
1915 New York State Census – Gabriel & Leah Lebofsky
1918 WWI Draft Registration – Gabriel Lebovsky (wife Libby Lebofsky)
1918 WWI Draft Registration – Son Hyman Lebofsky lists his father, Gabriel Lebofsky, as being born in Grodna, Russia
1920 U.S. Census – Gabrial & Libby Debofsky (says the immigrants all immigrated in 1904)
1925 New York State Census -- Gebriel & Lilly Libofsky (Ancestry.com lists him as Tebral Lebofsky)
1930 U.S. Census – I think they might be Gabriel & Anna Shukofsky (his occupation and other info is consistent with this so it is possible)
1940 U.S. Census – Gabriel & Libby Lebofsky
Hyman, Benjamin, & Harry all have naturalization paperwork. Interestingly, none of the 3 had a Certificate of Arrival with their paperwork—that would have meant the government checked and confirmed their arrival dates & ship names. Possibly the boys confused the ship name – Zeeland with Kroonland. Maybe someone else came over on the Zeeland. See the variations:
1915 Hyman’s Declaration of Intention to Naturalize – ship unknown; date about 1 July 1903.
1924 Harry’s Declaration of Intention to Naturalize – ship unknown; date 15 June 1904.
1926 Harry’s Petition for Naturalization – ship Zeeland; date 4 June 1904.
1929 Benjamin’s Declaration of Intention to Naturalize -- ship Zeeland; date 27 June 1903.
1937 Benjamin’s Petition for Naturalization – stated entered into NY, NY under the name Benjamin Lebofsky; ship Zeeland; date 10 Apr 1903.
Hope this helps.
Gabriel may have come over first by himself. My great grandfather did that when they emigrated from Russia. On the passenger list, it does list some variation of Nathan as the person they are going to join in New York. Even though he went by Gabriel, if they were Jewish he may have gone by his Hebrew name.
Grace, Thank you so much for this research. While I had some of it, you opened up some more direct evidence with your search efforts. My grandmother only spoke yiddish, so when in the UK and later in the states, she was asked her husband's name ("the father of her children"), she gave HER father's name, Natan, or Nathan. So her husband Gabriel sometimes appears as Nathan. Also, there was a border who lived with them in the UK and came to the states with them, named Morris or Moses, and sometimes he was listed as husband or child, based on language difficulties (I met him as an old man in the 1950's). As for the naturalization papers of the 3 sons listing a different ship and arrival dates, they were only infants and it is what they may have heard or misheard regarding dates of arrival and ship names. There is a Canada connection in Toronto and Montreal, but we have never been able to pin that down, even as I have been in touch with others with the same last name up there. Of interest, my father later lied about his age, and changed his name to join the British army during WW 1. In documents he is known as Jim or Jack or Jacob Lane, and served in the 40th Royal fusiliers in Palestine, and repatriated to the states via Canada (I have pictures of him in training in Nova Scotia).
Again, Grace, Much appreciation,