Rev Zundel (Chanoch) Blieden was born circa 1814 to Mordekhl and Fruma in Zagare, Lithuania. He married Nessa (Nettie) Saganowsky (1814 – 1887) and they had 9 children:

Note: based on various lists, the birth and death dates for the children vary. Births were not always registered on time and children often did not know their exact birthdays. When asked how old they were, they often just guessed or made themselves older or younger based on who was asking and what the circumstance was.

  • Benjamin (1834/5 – 1890)
  • Jacob / Yankel (1835/6 – 1912)
  • Frieda Blieden Wolfson (1839/55 – 1923)
  • Scheine Jennie Blieden Tort (1841/4 – 1930)
  • Abraham (1843/4 – 1939)
  • Feiga Blieden Latzky (1843/46/48 – 1919)
  • Yehuda Julius Iudel (1851 – 1904)
  • Marcus / Mordechai (1852 – 1913)
  • Jacha Blieden (1855/58 – 1890 (?)).

Rev Zundel Chanoch was a grain merchant. In the Lithuaian Tax List of 1846, he is listed as well-to-do and he pays a Candle Tax, which was a tax on Shabbath Candles. The money raised supported Jewish education and the needs of the Jewish community. (1)

Zundel on the Tax List

In 1848, he applied to be a farmer. He is listed with his wife, 6 of their children, and his siblings. His sons Yehudah, and Marcus are not on this list. Notice that first listed are his sons, then his daughters, and then his siblings. (2) (3)

Zundel's family list in 1848

Family Register for Zundel
The original version of Zundel’s family registration list – same list as above (5)

On the right is a photo of 4 of Rev Zundel’s sons.

Yehudah is standing 2nd on the left. Benjamin, Jacob, and Abraham and also in this picture..

Four of the sons of Rev Zundel

Rev Zundel Chanoch died circa 1882. Over the years most of his children moved away seeking better lives.

Four of his nine children stayed in Lithuania. Three children were listed as residents of Riga, Latvia. They were Benjamin, Feige Latzky and Jacha Blieden.

His son, Jacob, settled in Vieksniai, Lithuania, which was still in the Kovno province about 33 miles from Zagare.

Four of his children settled in the United States: Abraham, Sheine Tort, Marcus, and Freida Wolfson. Before spreading out, they all settled in the Louisville, Kentucky, area.

His son, Yehuda, was the only one to settle in South Africa.

The Children of Rev Zundel Chanoch and Nessa Saganowsky Blieden

Benjamin Blieden (1834 – 1890)

Benjamin and his wife Zerne Charlotte Blieden lived in Riga, Latvia, with their five children.

  1. Feige Fannie Weiner (1869-1929) died in New York USA.
  2. Abraham David(1870-1935) died in Jefferson Kentucky USA.
  3. Lewis/ Matthew Blieden must have left as he married Reba Blieden /Blyden in Philadelphia in 1904 and is the father of Bertram Blieden /Blyden.
  4. Julius Blieden (1872-1949) emigrated to South Africa.
  5. Maischke Blieden probably remained in Lithuania.

When he was 54 years old, he was listed as a Voter on the Tax and Voters List of Zagare, his place of registration. There were different types of Voters, but he appears to be a general category so we can only surmise that he was eligible to vote for something. (6)

Benjamin died in Riga on December 21, 1890, at only 56 years of age. This information is from the Death registration entry No.269 Jewish community, Riga 1890.

Jacob / Yankel / Yaacov ( 1887 – 1892)

Jacob left Zagare and raised his family Lithuania. He had 3 children with Hinde, or Hinde Mirke (Mary), his first wife. They lived in either Zagare or Mazeiekiai.. These children were Abraham Bleeden, Harry Bleeden and Feige Bleeden Glickman.

He then took a “Lustreise” (translated from the German to Enlish, it means holiday or pleasure trip), of seven years to Berlin where he operated a brewery. He then returned to Lithuania (Kovno Gubernia) and settled in Vierksniai and married Sarah (Sore) Kumin and had 7 children with her: Ike Blieden, Tillie Blieden Shapire. Ida Blieden Gutterman, Etta Blieden Davidovitch, Pearl Blieden Gottler, Ed Blieden, and Alice Blieden Katzen.

Over time, 8 of his children settled in the United States. Here is a lis of his children’s and grandchildren’s names:

  • Harry Bleeden settled in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Ike Blieden, lived in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
  • Ed Blieden, lived in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
  • Abraham Bleeden and his 4 sisters (Tillie, Ida, Elka and Pearl) settled in Massachuesetts. His children were:
    • Max Blyden
    • Mary Bleeden
    • Frank Bleeden
    • Bessie Bleeden
    • Philip Blieden
    • Victor Blieden
    • Joseph / John Blieden – January  20 1907 died March 7 1907
    • Joseph Bleeden born 1910 Massachusetts USA
    • William Blieden
  • Tillie Bleeden Shapiro
    • Alice Shapiro Born
    • Dorothy / Doris Shapiro Kassel
    • Jeanette Shapiro Rosenberg
    • Jack Shapiro
    • George Shaprio
    • Evelyn Shapiro Amdorsky
    • Note: Tillie Shapiro died in the 1918 Flu Epidemic
  • Ida (Chaya) Blieden Gutterman
    • Bessie Gutterman
    • Rose Gutterman Andelman
    • Sarah Gutterman Goldston
  • Elke Alice Blieden Katzen
    • Leah / LIllie Katzen
    • Sarah Katzen
    • Bessie Katzen
    • Dorothy Katzen
  • Pearl (Perel) Blieden Gottler
    • Bessie Gottler Ingall Sprio
    • Evelyn Gottler Shulman Chefitz
    • Milton Gottler
    • Jacob (Jackie) Gottler
    • Sidney Gottler
  • Feige Blieden Glickman remained in LIthuania. She is listed in in the Lithuanian Census of 1897  in Viekšniai, Lithuania in the village of Mazeiki, along with her husband, Khaim, and 10 children.. Her father was Iankel. One son was named after her grandfather, Zundel.  Khaim died in 1925 and Feige died circa 1940.
    • Leib – b. 1884, Mazeiki, Lithuania
      • Leib, his wifem Bluma, and daughter, Koka, died in the Holocaust. He had been a merchant.
    • Hinda Glikman Jezerskine – b. 1885, Mazeikiai, Lithuania . She married Leiba Jezerskis, who was born in 1891 in Mazeikiai. She possibly Gina-Riva who was listed in the 1897 Census as Gina can sometimes be translated as Hinda.
      • Nathan Jeser – b. December 19, 1916; d. February 20, 2007. He changed his name to Jeser, survived the war, and married Rose Jeser in 1957 in New York City. He died in 2007 in Hallandale Beach, Florida, United States.
    • Girsh – b. 1889, Mazeiki, Lithuania
      • Girsh / Hirsz Glikman was married to Eta/ Mate and had 2 children: Miriam and Khaim. Hirsz was a band manager.
    • Zundel – b. 1892, Mazeikiai, Lithuania
      • Zundel was a grain merchant and perished in the Holocaust. He had been married to Chaja Dobe Glikman. They had one daughter, Sara, who died at 2 years of age in Leckava, Lithuania, in 1925.
    • Mendel – b. 1896, Mazeikiai, Lithuania; d. May 31, 1922, Mazeikiai, Lithuania
      • Mendel was killed in 1922.
    • Meir/ Meyer – b. 1896 in Mazeikiai, Lithuania. Died 1975, in Israel.
      • Jacob, b 1935 – a family story talks of Feige making and sending a baby wrap or shawl to Jacob from Lithuania. Also,Ben LIpkowitz met Jacob, his second cousin, in Israel. Ben recalls:
        “A funny incident, as I spoke with Jacob about the various branches of the family tree (he was my second half cousin) he said these were “tuchus coivim” loosely translated as relatives coming out of the the tuchus.” from an email Ben wrote to Tara and Naomi, dated 10/19/2022
      • Chaim, b. 1940
    • Khaia-Sora – b. 1894 in LIthuania She fled to Russia, sruvived the war and married there. Many years later, her husband went to Israel and visited Jacob Glickman, son of Meyer, grandson of Feige..
    • Menachem – b. 1894 Mazeikiai, Lithuania
      • perished in the Holocaust
    • Pola Glikman Movshovitz – b. 1897, Mazeiki, LithuaniaShe was married to Josef and both of them perished in the Holocaust
    • Nesa Glikman Zelichovas / Zelikhov – b. 1906 in Vieksniai, Lithuania
      • She married Aizika in 1930
  • Etta Blieden Davidovitch also remained in LIthuania.
    • Moshe Aron Davis
    • Pese (Bessie) Davidovitch Brandt
    • Brina (Brurya / Bruria) Davidovitch Zizovi – Bruria was able to provide many testimonies to Yad VaSheem in memory of family members who perished in the Holocaust. (7)
    • Note: Etta died in the Holocaust in Stutthoff Concentration Camp in 1944. (7) Her husband, and her husband, Sholem LeibDavidovitch, also died in the Holocaust.
3 Sisters, daughters of Jacob Blieden
3 of Jacob’s daughters

Abraham (1843 – 1939)

Abraham was born in Zagare, LIthuania. He was married to Jennie Scheine and they had 3 children: Lena (Lennie) Blieden Rubenstein, Dave Blieden, and Hyman L. Blieden.

He later emigrated to the United States and lived in the Louisville, Kentucky, On September 1, 1894, his family arrived in New York. They sailed from Southampton, England, on the vessel named Paris.

In 1899 he is listed in the Louisville, Kentucky, City Directory, as a peddler at 627 Preston Street.

1899 Driectory listing for Abe Bleiden

In the 1900 US Census, he is listed as a peddler. In addition to his wife and children, his 29 year old nephew, David, is living with him.They lived at 468 – 470 East Jefferson Street in Louisville, Kentucky.

1900 Census for Abe Bleiden

When researching Abe, also look for the spelling Bleiden.

He later moved to Memphis, Tennessee where he died at age 96, from cancer of the stomach. His wife, Jennie passed away before him. Jennie died in 1921.

Jennie’s obiturary appeared in The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tennessee on Friday, April, 1921.

Obiturary for Jennie Blieden, 1921

He is buried in Baron Hirsch Cemetery in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, Section 44, Row Z Plot 53. (8)

His daughter, Lena, sgned his death certificate.

Abe Bleiden gravestone
Death Certificate for Abe Blieden, Memphis, 1939

Note: Because I saw the name Lena Rubenstein on Abe’s death certificate, and also in Jennie Blieden’s obituary I was able to determine that Jennie was, in fact, his wife. As with all Blieden given names, there was more than one Abraham living in the US around the same time. (9)

His children and grandchildren were:

  • David Blieden
  • Lena Blieden Rubinstein
    • Harry Pat Rubert
    • Flora Rubinstein
  • Hyman Leon Blieden
    • Lillian Blieden Ianora
    • Milton Harry Blieden
    • Stanley Blieden
    • Dr. Robert S. Blieden
  • Frume Blieden

Feige Blieden Latsky (1843 – 1919)

Feige was born circa 1843 in Zagare, Lithuania. She is listed in Riga Tax Adminstration Lis Fond 1394 as being 38 in the year 1881. If that is accurate she was born soon after her brother Abraham.

She married Mordchel, son of Jankel Latzky who belonged to the Jewish community of Riga. The had 10 children. Below is a listing of their children and grandchildren’s names:

  • Abrahm Itzig (Adolph) Latzky
    • He was born in December 1872. Family list 1881 contains information that Abraham-Itzig was exiled to Yakutsk area for five years. Family list, 1902, there is a note that Abraham-Itzig served in 117 Izborsk infantry regiment and in 1899 was transferred to the reserves up to January 1914. He emigrated to South Africa.
  • Genna Leah Latzky Shatz / Schatz
  • Etta (Henrietta) Latzky Kaplun
    • Benton / Berthold J. Kaplun
    • Jacob Kaplun
    • Charles Clemens Kaplyn
    • Nettie Kaplun Bissell, formerly Kornbrodt
  • Yetta / Jacka Latzky Jaffe
    • Beatrice Bea Jaffe Liebesman
    • Rose Jaffe
  • Phillip / Favis Lasker
    • Walter Lasker
    • Arthur E. Lasker
  • Annie (Haya) / Anna Latzky Drapin
    • Arnold Drapin
    • Esther Drapin
  • Sundel (Joseph) Lasky / Lasker
  • Sheina Latzky Friedmann
    • Jacob Friedmann
    • During WWII, Sheina was deported to Siberia and died there in 1942.
  • Behr / Berel Latzky
  • Nessa Latzky Bornstein

Some of her children emigrated to the United States and settled in the New York area. They used Lasker for their surname.

Feige died in 1919 in Riga, Latvia.

Feige Blieden Latzky
Feige Blieden Latzky

Scheine Jennie Blieden Tort (1842 – 1930)

Scheine Jennie Blieden Tort was born circa 1844 either in Zagare, Lithuania, or according to her granddaughter, Nettie Schwartz, in Baldone, Latvia. Jennie (as she was known in the United States) married Israel Moses Tort in Latvia and her children were all born there.

Jennie, along with her husband and children, emigrated to the United States around 1891, according to the 1900 US Census. They settled in Louisville, Kentucky, where Israel peddled dry goods.

1900 US Census for Jennie Tort
Note that the family was indexed as “Fort” instead of Tort

Jennie and Israel’s children and grandchildren were:

  • Abraham Harry Tort (1868 -1952)
    • Oscar Tort
    • Sarah Tort
    • Julius Tort
    • Leopold Tort
    • Louis Judah Tort
    • Nettie Tort
  • Benjamin (Berel) Tort (1872 – 1959)
    • William Tort
    • Edwin Tort
    • Nettie Tort Wilderscheim
  • Feige (Fanny) Fleischman (1877 – 1971)
    • Philip Fleischman
    • Bernard Fleischman
  • Chaye Pesia (Ida Bessie) Yanoff (1883 – 1961)
    • Nettie Yanoff Schwartz. I corresponded with Nettie in the 1980’s as she was an early pioneer of Blieden genealogy research. Nettie was an amazing lady with many interests. Read the blog I wrote about her: “She Painted WIth A Needle”.
    • Helen Yanoff Handmaker
    • Celia Yanoff Morguelan
    • Hannah Yanoff Steinberg
    • Max Yanoff

Jennie died on February 22, 1930 in Louisville, Kentucky. She is buried in Keneseth Isael Cemetery. (10)

Gravestone of Jennie Tort, 1930

Yehudah Julius Iudel Blieden (1851 – 1904)

Yehudah was the only child of Zundel and Nesa who emigrated to South Africa. He was born in 1851 in Zagare. He married Yocheved Gittelson and they had 7 seven children. The first six children were born in Zagare. Their youngest child, Nellie, was born in South Africa.

From Cousin Naomi Rapeport, we learn that (11) :

Yehuda Blieden, was a grain and silk merchant in Lithuania. He appears on the Zhager voters lists of 1886 and was registered as Yudel, father Zundel, aged 37 of old Zagare. (Tax and Voters Lists 15 October 1886 Zagare, Siauliai, Kaunas LVIA/I567/1/2523 (JewishGen). Yehuda Blieden married Jocheved Gitelzon in Zhager and they had seven children . On the 5th December 1891, Yehuda Blieden left Hamburg, Germany for South Africa on the steamship, Lismore Castle.9 He was accompanied by his eldest son Pesach Jacob. They came to Johannesburg, He set up a business, J Blieden And Co., in Randfontein, district of Krugersdorp, on the West Rand. Six years after his departure from Lithuania, in 1897, the rest of his family were brought to South Africa. Following the outbreak of the Anglo Boer War, Yehuda left with his family for Cape Town. He returned to the Transvaal after the war. In 1904, Yehuda Blieden was injured in a cart accident and suffered a severe head injury. He was advised to travel to Berlin, Germany for surgery. He was accompanied by his wife and underwent surgery at the Jewish Hospital. He died in Berlin on the 31st July 1904, aged 52 years and was buried 2 days later on the 2nd August in the Weissensee Cemetery in East Berlin.

Jehudah and Pesach Jacob
Yehudah and his oldest son, Pesach Jacob
Yehudah (Julius)

The children and grandchildren of Yehudah and Yocheved are:

  • Pesach Jacob Blieden (1877 – 1955)
    • Julia Blieden Dombey
    • Renee Blieden Cantor
    • Bernard Blieden
    • Esther Blieden Kernoff
  • Helena Freda Blieden (1878 – 1962)
    • Zena Berkley
    • Judell Joe Blieden
    • Bernard Blieden
  • Max David Blieden (1882 – 1947)
    • Leon Blieden
    • Cecil Blieden
    • Alan Blieden
  • John Blieden (1887 – 1950)
    • Roma Lillian Blieden
    • Julian Blieden
    • Helena / Helen Blieden Solow
  • Rosa Blieden (1888 – 1892)
  • Fanny Meyer (1891 – 1980)
    • Julian Meyer
    • Leah Wilma Meyer Freinkel
    • Zelda Meyer Rapeport
  • Nellie / Nessa Lewis (1899 – 1977)
    • Myer Philip Lewis
    • Joyce Lewis Austoker
    • Ernest Lewis
    • Bella Lewis Davidson

Yehudah’s oldest son, Pesach Jacob, who went by Jacob, stayed in touch with his third cousin, Abe Blieden, of Kansas City, Missouri, United States. We know that from the picture below which was found in Abe’s belongings after he passed away.

Photo of Pesach Jacob
(Pesach) Jacob
Inscription on back of photo of Pesach Jacob

Here is Julius’ death certificate is in German. From it we learn that he was born in Zagare, but resides in Johannesburg. His wife is Jutta born Gitelsohn and that he was a “Getreidehandler”, a grain dealer.

The death certificate was translated by people on the Facebook Group Tracing The Tribe.

Death certificate of Julius (Yehudah) Blieden

From Naomi:

Apparently, the only family members present at his funeral were his wife and a cousin who lived in Berlin. In subsequent years, none of his children were able to visit his grave. East Berlin was under Communistrule following the Second World War, and South Africans were not allowed to visit the Communist Block. For many years, his family sent
money to the Chevra Kadisha in Berlin to maintain his grave. His daughter Fanny kept pressed ivy leaves and flowers taken by her mother from the cemetery in Berlin which her mother brought back with her to Johannesburg. In 1994, following the collapse of East
Germany with the fall of the Berlin Wall, Yehuda’s great granddaughter, Naomi Schamroth (nee Rapeport) visited his grave in the Weissensee cemetery, East Berlin. Although many graves had been disrupted by the overgrowth of trees and climbing ivy, his tombstone was upright and the inscriptions were unmarked.

Julius Blieden Gravestone

ivy from Yihudah's grave
Ivy from Yehudah’s grave

Cousin Ben Lipkowitz also visited his grave in 2006.

What happened to Yocheved after Yehudah died? Here is part of what Naomi wrote about her:

Yocheved, his widow, returned to South Africa after his death. She suffered a clot to one of her legs and on her return to South Africa required amputation of her leg. She had a prosthetic wooden leg made and apparently used to leave this standing next to her bed. Her granddaughter, Renee Cantor (nee Blieden), child of Pesach Jacob, used to relate that as a child, she was very frightened of this “leg” which stood adjacent to her grandmother’s bed. In view of this, Yocheved’s grandchildren were very reluctant to stay at their grandmother’s home. Yocheved remained in Johannesburg. Her home
was at 20 Paul Nel Street, Hillbrow. After her children married, she moved to 44 Johnson Street, Berea, the home of her daughter Fanny Meyer (nee Blieden) where she lived prior to her death.

Marcus Mordechai Blieden (1852 – 1913)

Marcus was born in Zagare, Lithuania, circa 1851., to Zundel and Nessa He married Anna Strull, daughter of Charles. circa 1880. According to the 1900 US Census, they emigrated to the United States around 1890 with their three children, and settled in Lousiville. Kentucky. Anna’s younger sister, Tillie, was also living with them.

1900 Census for Marcus Blieden

By the 1910 US Census, Marcus was living in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he owned a “Gents Furnishings” business. His 2 sons were working with him. The family lived at 722 S. Union Street.

1910 Census record for Marcus Blieden

Marcus died on September 3, 1913 in Indianopolis, Indiana.

He is buried in Knesses Israel Cemetery in Indianapolis in Eastern Section, Row O Plot 25. (12)

Gravestone for Marcus Blieden, 1913

The names of Marcus’ and Anna’s children and grandchildren were:

  • Joseph Charles Blieden (1888 – 1974)
    • Melvin Jack Blieden
    • Howard Morris Blieden
    • Charlotte Blieden Manalan
  • Benjamin Blieden (1891 – 1974)
  • Nessa (Nettie) Gertrude Blieden Koor ( 1893 – 1979)

Frieda Blieden Wolfson (1855 – 1923)

Freida was born to Zundel and Nessa circa 1855 in Lithuania. Around 1864 she married Nathan (Nochum) Wolfson in Lithuania. They emigrated to the United States around 1894 and settled in Louisville, Kentucky, where Nathan was a dry goods peddler. They had seven children.

Their five children were born in Lithuania. Their oldest daughter, Feige Rive Strul, remained in Zagare, Lithuania, with her husband, Girsas Leibas Strul, and son, Icikas. She died in Zagare in 1933. (13)

According to the 1900 Census, Frieda gave birth to 7 children but only 5 survived.

1900 US Census for Frieda Wolfson
1900 US Census

Frieda died on March 12, 1923 in Louisville, Kentucky. She is buried in Keneseth Israel Cemetery in Louisville in Section B. (14)

Frieda Wolfson's Gravestone, 1923

The children and grandchildren of Frieda and Nathan were:

  • Feige Rive Wolfson Strul (1869 – 1933)
    • Icikas Strul
  • Sheine Jennie Wolfson Jacobson (1874 – 1944)
    • Nettie Jacobson Joseph
    • Ben Phillips Jacobson
    • Joseph Jacobson
    • Samuel Jacobson
    • Esther Jacobson Handmaker
    • Julius Jacobson
    • Hilda Anne Jacobson Dermon
  • Philip Wolfson (1879 – 1934)
    • Miriam Wolfson Cohen
    • Syrl Leah Wolfson Cohen
    • Norman Wolfson
  • Ida Wolfson O’Koon formally Garber (1879 – 1934)
    • Phillip Garber
    • Julius O’Koon
    • Abraham / Abe O’Koon
    • Nettie Ann O’Koon Gardner
    • Naomi O’Koon
  • Abraham Solomon Wolfson (1884 – 1933)

Jacha Blieden (1858 – 1890)

Yacha was the youngest child born to Zundel and Nessa. She never married and lived in Riga. We do know that she was a dressmaker She died in 1890.

Thank you to:

  • Barry Cantor for the stories and photos
  • Ben Lipkowitz for his research help, for sharing his documents from the Lithuanian archives and for retelling family stories and history for us.
  • Naomi Rapeport for her extensive research on the Bliedens of South Africa and for uploading her collections of photos and memorabilia to the South African Jewish Museum, and for researching the Glikman family based on Ben’s stories.
  • Andy Blieden for saving old family photos and documents handed down from his parents and grandparents.


Yad Vashem. Page of Testimony submitted by her daughter, Bruria
Zizovi. Eta Dawidowicz was born in Weksne, Lithuania in 1892 to
Yaakov and Sara. She was a pharmacist and married to Shalom. Prior to
WWII she lived in Weksne, Lithuania. During the war she was in Szawle,
Lithuania. Eta was murdered in the Shoah.

Source Citation

Year: 1894; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: M237, 1820-1897; Line: 35

Source Information New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.

Original data:

Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897. Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls. NAI: 6256867. Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36. National Archives at Washington, D.C.