Leib was born circa 1821 in Zagare, Lithuania to Mordehkl and Fuma Bliden.

He married Leah Zagorsky (1830 – 1923). There was some prior confusion about who his wife was. Some researchers thought she was a cousin, Leah Bliden, but we found proof of her name being Zagorsky.

In 1920, Leah was living with her daughter, TIllie, in Chicago, Illinois. (See Census record in Tillie’s section below).

Leib and Leah had the following known children: Sheina, Barnett (Barra) and Tillie (Taube). Below is a little bit about each one of them.

The Children of Leib and Leah Bliden

Sheina Blieden Son (crica 1855 – 1924)

Sheina was born around 1855 in Zagare, Lithuania.

She married Myer (Meier) Woolf (Wulf) Son in LIthuania. They were the parents of Solly (Solomon) Son, Anne Friedland (formally Wolfson), Rachel Berman, and Ida Rose Susser.

It looks like Sheina and her husband ran a hotel at 44 Market Street, in Johannesburg’s commercial district.

Sheina Son Early History
found on Ancestry.com

Sheina died on December 3, 1924, in Durban, Natai, South Africa, at age 69, and is buried in the Stellawood Jewish Cemetery, Durban, South Africa. At the time of her death, her husband, Myer (Meier) Woolf / Wulf Son was retired.

Death Certificate of Sheina Son, 1924
found on Ancestry.com
Sheina Son Tombstone
Sheine died 03 December 1924

The children and grandchildren of Sheina and Myer were:

  • Solly / Solomon Son (1876 – 1941)
  • Anne Son Friedland formerly Wolfson (1882 – ?)
    • Pauline Wolfson
  • Rachel Son Berman (1887 – 1959)
    • Leslie Berman
  • Ida Rose Son Susser (1891 – 1930)
    • Phyllis Gertrude Susser Levy
    • Mervyn Wilfred Susser

Tillie (Taube) Blieden Orkin (circa 1871 – 1951)

Tillie was born circa 1871 in Zagare, Lithuania.

She married Isaac Orkin and they had 5 children: Harry, Chaim, Fannie Rose Samuelson, Meyer, and Sarah (Shirley) Zazra.

According to the 1920 Federal Census, she arrived in the United States in 1912. They were listed with four children, and Tillie’s mother, Lena Bliden, age 80.(In the index in Ancestry.com, they are listed as Arkin)

Tillie died in Chicago, Illinois, United States, on January 8, 1951, at about age 79.

Tillie ORkin

Tillie Orkin Gravetone

1920 Census Record for Tillie ORkin

The children and grandchildren of Tillie and Isaac were:

  • Harry Orkin (1894 – 1935)
  • Chaim Orkin (1897 – ?)
  • Fannie Rose Orkin Samuelson (1904 – 2001)
    • Edith Samuelson Glaberson
    • Jacob Edward Samuelson
    • Isabel Hariet Samuelson Mussman
  • Meyer Orkin (1906 – 1985)
  • Sarah (Shirley) Zazra (1911 – 1986)
    • Child 1 (private)
    • Child 2 (private)

Barnett (Bara/ Barnard) Blieden / Blumberg / Bloomberg (Circa 1870 – 1957)

Barnett was born about 1870 in Zagare, LIthuania, to Leib and Leah Blieden. He first left Lithuania for London where he changed his name to Blumberg. There he married Ella Schultz in Leeds, London in 1891. On his marriage record, his father’s name was incorrectly listed as Judah. However, we learn that Barnett was a tailor.

Barnett and Ella Marriage Record, 1891
from JCRUK marriages on JewishGen.org
Barnett and Ella
Barnett and Ella, 1891
Barnett and his parents
Barnett with his parents, Leib and Leah

He and Ella lived in London for about 10 years. In about 1906, they then moved to South Africa with their nine children (Jack, Annie, Mason Wolfie, Fanny, Max, Leah Merwitz, Ruben, Matilda Traub, Wilfred). While on the ship, as they approached the Durban shore, Ella gave birth to their son, Harry.

Once in South Africa, Barnett changed the spelling of his name to Bloomberg. He and Ella had 2 more children in South Africa: Debbie Ramsay and Rachel. Ella’s brother also moved to South Africa with them. From Durban, they moved to Johannesburg.

Barnard spoke only Yiddish and refused to speak English. This is what his grandson, Harry, told his own grandchildren. He also went by Bara, which is what his sister, Tillie, call him in letters.

Barnard died on April 15, 1957, at about age 86 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is buried in the West Park Cemetery in Johannesburg. At the time of his death his occupation was listed as a hawker ( a street vendor) in his own business.

Barnett Bloomberg Death Certificate
Barnett Bloomberg tombstone

Helping to prove how Barnett fit into the Blieden family was this letter written to him by Tillie’s daughter, Shirley.

Letter to Barnett Bloomberg

The children and grandchildren of Leib and Leah were:

  • Jack (John) Bloomberg (1900 – 1972)
  • Annie Bloomberg Mason (1910 – 1976)
  • Wolfie Bloomberg (1904 – 1964)
  • Fanny Bloomberg (1910 – 1924)
  • Max Lewis Bloomberg (1893 – 1913)
  • Leah Bloomberg Merwitz (1895 – 1021)
    • Millie (Beila) Merwitz Suskin
    • Phyllis (Merwitz) Baranov
    • Hilda Merwitz
  • Ruben (Rachel?) Bloomberg (1912 – 1993)
  • Matilda (Tobe) Bloomberg Traub (1892 – 1929)
  • Wilfred Bloomberg
  • Harry Bloomberg (1906 – 1986)
    • Lionel Bloomberg
    • Barnett Bloomberg

Thank you to:

  • Ben Lipkowitz for his excellent research skills in solving the Blieden / Bloomberg mystery
  • Naomi Rapeport for her tireless research on the Bliedens of South Africa who originally discovered Leah Blieden as Tillie’s mother
  • Glynis Bloomberg Okrent for sharing her family stories and photos with us and also, for contacting me originally with her mystery “How did Bernard Bloomberg fit into the Blieden family?”.