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ViewMate Posting VM 5757

Submitted by Stacy Harris

Information Picture Question
Category: Photo Identification
Approval Date: 6/1/2016 4:33 PM
Family Surname: Cohen? Gettleson? Levitt?
Click the picture to enlarge

Anna Cohen & Her Sisters
(left to right)
Aunt Miriam


Aunt Sophia

Is "Aunt Miriam" a Mrs. Gettleson or Miriam Levitt Cohen?


In this undated photo, I've identified "Mom" as Anna Cohen (Mrs. Max) Sofen of Des Moines, Iowa, Anna, the daughter of Ezra Moses and Frieda Cohen, was April 15, 1883 in Lithuania and died in Des Moines, Iowa on March 30, 1966.

Aunt Sophia was Anna's sister, Sophia Cohenn (Mrs. Julius Robinson). Sophia was born about 1886 in Lithania. She died in Des Moines on October 17, 1951.

I haven't been able to obtain a copy of 1922 E.M. Cohen's obituary, but Frieda's 1921 obituary indicates that she was survived by a daughter, Mrs. M. Gettleson who was living in Poland at the time of Frieda's death.

I know of no such person. Aunt Miriam is more likely Anna and Sophie's sister-in-law, Miriam R. Levitt (Mrs. Eli Cohen). Miriam was born about 1885 in Syracuse, New York. She died in Des Moines on March 29, 1909.

What do you think?

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On  Response 
6/7/2016 10:54 AM I believe this picture is exactly what it looks like
Anna Cohen (Mrs Max) Sofen (1883-1966)
and her two sisters:
- Sophia Cohen (Mrs Julius) Robinson (1887-1951)
- Miriam Cohen (Mrs David) Levin (1876-1918)

Miriam Cohen, who was also called Mary, is easy to lose in the family shuffle because after her marriage in 1902 in Des Moines she followed her husband David Levin back to Detroit, where she lived until her death. But there's no question that Miriam 'Mary' Cohen Levin of Detroit is the sister of Anna Cohen of Des Moines - not only does Mary's Iowa wedding document note that her husband is in Detroit but also her 1918 Michigan death certificate gives her parents as Izrail Cohen and Freida Hospitz.
This is not Anna's sister-in-law from Syracuse. It is her sister.

For additional corroboration, see this piece from Hilda Sofen, Anna's daughter:

In it she notes how many siblings her mother had, and how Aunt Miriam died.

"My Mother’s parents were Ezra Moses Cohen & wife Freida. Mother came from Vilnus, Lithuania when she was 2 years old. Their family had the first horse and carriage in Des Moines. She had 3 sisters, my Aunt Rose, Aunt Sophie, & Aunt Marian who died giving birth to a baby girl during the flu epidemic. She had 3 brother’s: Eli, Sam, & Gabriel. "

That would be the flu epidemic of 1917/1918.

Thanks by the way for asking this question - because it provides additional corroboration for EM Cohens' hometown being Walkowisk/Vilkaviskis. Miriam Cohen Levin names it clearly in her death document, and also notes that both her parents were born there. Very useful!

Hope that helps!

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