Documenting Maine Jewry : Jews in Brunswick in 1920 and 1930

NB : In the census tables below ‘POB’ means ‘place of birth’ and ‘YOI’ means ‘year of immigration’.
There is a bit of historical difficulty with the answers to the questions about place of birth.
Some people replied with the name of the place when they left; others replied with the name of place when the census was taken; in other cases it just seems that it was easier for the census taker to write ‘Russia’ rather than Lithuania, Ukraine or other unfamiliar country names.
And there is another reason to be skeptical of the accuracy of the place of birth information. Immigrants from the Pale had a very justified fear of the Russian and often local governments. One way to manage this reality was to tell government representatives what they expected they wanted to hear or what they thought would bring them the least trouble. This may well explain why a number of family members, who were clearly from Eastern Europe, may have answered ‘Maine’ or ‘New York’.


1920 US Federal Census Data

Data extracted by members of the Colby College Maine Jewish History Project research team (2011), directed by David M. Freidenreich


Name with link to DMJ biosRelation to headStreet Addressown/rent, valuebirth yearagemarital statusstudentliterate?POB personPOB fatherPOB mothermother tongueYOInat/alienoccupationindustry   enum. distAncestry pg#Source
Daniel I Rosenhead4 CleavlandOabt 188139M yesRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1893namerchantfurniture   431920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Anne Rosenwife4 Cleavland abt 188139M yesRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1903nanone    431920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Lawrence Rosenson4 Cleavland abt 190614 yesyesMaineRussiaRussia   none    431920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Mary Rosendaughter4 Cleavland abt 190812 yesyesMaineRussiaRussia   none    431920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Agnes R Rosendaughter4 Cleavland abt 191010 yesyesMaineRussiaRussia   none    431920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Ida Rosendaughter4 Cleavland abt 19146 yesnoMaineRussiaRussia   none    431920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Max H Singerhead13 l__lafOabt 187545MnoyesRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1891namerchantdry goods   4101920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Bessie Singerwife13 l__laf abt 188139MnoyesRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1892nanone    4101920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Rebecca Singerdaughter13 l__laf abt 190218 yesyesNew HampshireRussiaRussia   none    4101920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Isadore Singerson13 l__laf abt 190416 yesyesNew HampshireRussiaRussia   none    4101920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Morris Singerson13 l__laf abt 190515 yesyesMaineRussiaRussia   none    4101920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Joseph Singerson13 l__laf abt 191010 yesyesMaineRussiaRussia   none    4101920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Wilson Singerson13 l__laf abt 19137 yesnoMaineRussiaRussia   none    4101920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Goldie Singerdaughter13 l__laf abt 19173 nonoMaineRussiaRussia   none    4101920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Maud Wyzanskilodger27 e__al abt 189030SnoyesMaineRussia (yiddish)Massachusetts   none    4121920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Harvey Mackhead11 FranklinOabt 189030MnoyesRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1891nadealerjunk   4171920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Gussie Mackwife11 Franklin abt 189030MnonoRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1890nanone    4171920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Sarah Mackdaughter11 Franklin abt 19191 nonoRussiaRussiaRussia   none    4171920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Philip Goldehead11 stone stOabt 187545MnoyesRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1889padealerjunk   4331920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Mary Goldewife11 stone st abt 187743MnoyesMaineRussiaRussiaYiddish1889alnone    4331920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Esther Goldedaughter11 stone st abt 190713 yesyesMaineRussiaRussia   none    4331920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Sylvia Goldedaughter11 stone st abt 190911 yesyesMaineRussiaRussia   none    4331920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Isadore Goldeson11 stone st abt 19119 yesnoMaineRussiaRussia   none    4331920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Louis Abelonhead307 Maine St.Rabt 186654MnoyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1892namerchantdry goods   5181920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Rebecca Abelonwife307 Maine St. abt 187050MnoyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1893nanone    5181920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Philip Abelonson307 Maine St. abt 189921 yesyesMassachusettsRussiaRussia   none    5181920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Israel Abelonson307 Maine St. abt 190317 noyesMaineRussiaRussia   doffercotton mill   5181920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Harry Abelonson307 Maine St. abt 19137 yes MaineRussiaRussia   none    5181920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Lena Abelondaughter307 Maine St. abt 190515 yes MaineRussiaRussia   none    5181920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Esther / Augusta Abelondaughter307 Maine St. abt 191010 yes MaineRussiaRussia   none    5181920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Samuel H Smithhead103 Union St.Oabt 187050MnoyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1901pamerchantjunk   731920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Mary Smithwife103 Union St. abt 187248MnoyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1902alnone    731920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Morris Smithson103 Union St. abt 189921 yesyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1903alnone    731920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Joseph Smithson103 Union St. abt 190218 yesyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1904alnone    731920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Hiram Smithson103 Union St. abt 190614 yesyesMaineRussiaRussia   none    731920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Sadie B Smithdaughter103 Union St. abt 190713 yesyesMaineRussiaRussia   none    731920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Jacob Smithson103 Union St. abt 191010 yesyesMaineRussiaRussia   none    731920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Ida K Smithdaughter103 Union St. abt 1916.13.9 nonoMaineRussiaRussia   none    731920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
John Davishead17 elm st.Oabt 186555MnoyesRussiaRussiaRussiaHebrew1890naownergarage   7171920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Rose Daviswife17 elm st. abt 187842MnoyesRussiaRussiaRussiaHebrew1891nanone    7171920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Samuel M Davisson17 elm st. abt 190020 noyesMaineRussiaRussia   machinistgarage   7171920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Harry Davisson17 elm st. abt 190218 yesyesMaineRussiaRussia   none    7171920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
David Shrodel?brother in law17 elm st. abt 189030DnoyesRussiaRussiaRussiaHebrew1903namachinistgarage   7171920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Celia Shrodel?neice17 elm st. abt 1916.53.5 no New JerseyRussiaRussia   none    7171920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Myer L Davishead17 elm st.Rabt 188931MnoyesRussiaRussiaRussiaHebrew1901naretail dealermeat   7171920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Sadie Daviswife17 elm st. abt 189525MnoyesRussiaRussiaRussiaHebrew1889nanone    7171920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Jack B / John Davisson17 elm st. abt 19146 yes MaineRussiaRussia   none    7171920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Maurice Davisson17 elm st. abt 19155 yes MaineRussiaRussia   none    7171920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Edith Davisdaughter17 elm st. abt 19182 no MaineRussiaRussia   none    7171920 US Fed Census - Brunswick
Edward H / Harold E Davisson17 elm st. abt 1919.750.25 no MaineRussiaRussia   none    7171920 US Fed Census - Brunswick

1930 US Federal Census Data

Data extracted by members of the Colby College Maine Jewish History Project research team (2011), directed by David M. Freidenreich


Name with link to DMJ biosRelation to head own/rent, value ageAge at 1st Marrstudentliterate?POB personPOB fatherPOB mothermother tongueYOInat/alienoccupationindustrycodeclassEmployed?enum. distAncestry pg#1930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Harry Mackhead65 Cabot street ?O 3800abt 18904023noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1894naJunk dealerjunk9491Oyes4481930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Gussie Mackwife65 Cabot street ? abt 18904023noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1894nanone    4491930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Sarah Mackdaughter65 Cabot street ? abt 191812 yesyesMaineRussiaRussia   none    4491930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Ruth Mackdaughter65 Cabot street ? abt 192010 yesyesMaineRussiaRussia   none    4491930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Max Singerhead5 ? Factory ? St. O 6000abt 18765425noyesLithuaniaLithuaniaLithuaniaYiddish1893naproprietordry goods store8491Dyes4511930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Bessie Singerwife5 ? Factory ? St.  abt 18805021noyesLithuaniaLithuaniaLithuaniaYiddish1894nanone    4511930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Morris A Singerson5 ? Factory ? St.  abt 190426 noyesNew HampshireLithuaniaLithuania   salesmandry good store4590Wyes4511930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Joseph L Singerson5 ? Factory ? St.  abt 191020 yesyesMaineLithuaniaLithuania   none    4511930 US Fed Census Brunswick
William Singerson5 ? Factory ? St.  abt 191317 yesyesMaineLithuaniaLithuania   none    4511930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Goldie Singerdaughter5 ? Factory ? St.  abt 191614 yesyesMaineLithuaniaLithuania   none    4511930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Louis Abelonhead19 Federal St.R 35abt 18656528noyesPolandPolandPolandYiddish1883naproprietordry good store8491Oyes4521930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Becca Abelonwife19 Federal St. abt 18715923noyesLithuaniaLithuaniaLithuaniaYiddish1883nanone    4521930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Israel Abelonson19 Federal St. abt 190426 noyesMainePolandLithuania   junkmanjunk9491Oyes4521930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Lena Abelondaughter19 Federal St. abt 190525 noyesMainePolandLithuania   hair dresserbeauty parlor8096Wyes4521930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Esther Abelondaughter19 Federal St. abt 191020 noyesMainePolandLithuania   saleswomandry good store4590Wyes4521930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Harry Abelonson19 Federal St. abt 191218 yesyesMainePolandLithuania   none    4521930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Jack H Dionhead19 Park St.R 21abt 18933732noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1896naproprietormeat store8891Wyes4561930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Ida M Dionwife19 Park St. abt 19032722noyesMainePolandLithuania   none    4561930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Rhoda Diondaughter19 Park St. abt 1926.753.25 noyesMaineRussiaMaine   none    4561930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Myer L Davishead26 Boody St.O 5000abt 18884224noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1900al ?managergrocery store9X91Wyes581930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Sadie Daviswife26 Boody St. abt 18943618noyesCanadaRussiaRussiaEnglish 1902na ?none    581930 US Fed Census Brunswick
John B Davisson26 Boody St. abt 191317 yesyesMaineRussiaCanada   none    581930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Maurice Davisson26 Boody St. abt 191416 yesyesMaineRussiaCanada   none    581930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Edith B Davisdaughter26 Boody St. abt 191713 yesyesMaineRussiaCanada   none    581930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Harold E Davisson26 Boody St. abt 192010 yesyesMaineRussiaCanada   none    581930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Donald S Davisson26 Boody St. abt 19228 yesyesMaineRussiaCanada   none    581930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Inez F Davisdaughter26 Boody St. abt 19246 yesyesMaineRussiaCanada   none    591930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Norman J Davisson26 Boody St. abt 19273 no MaineRussiaCanada   none    591930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Herbert L Davisson26 Boody St. abt 19291 no MaineRussiaCanada        591930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Samuel Smithhead103 Union StO 4000abt 18715918noyesLatviaRussiaRussiaRussian1913al Junk dealerself9491Oyes5151930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Mary Smithwife103 Union St abt 18715917noyesLatviaRussiaRussiaRussian1905al none    5151930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Ida C Smithdaughter103 Union St abt 191614 yesyesMaineLatviaLatvia   none    5151930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Jacob Smithson103 Union St abt 191020 yesyesMaineLatviaLatvia   none    5151930 US Fed Census Brunswick
Albert Abramsonroomer9 R__ or B__ abt 190624 noyesMainePolandRussia   Instructorcollege8794Wyes5291930 US Fed Census Brunswick

Methodological note :

This data was culled from the original 1930 U.S. census manuscripts, as found on www.ancestry.com. Jews are understood to constitute an ethnic group of Eastern and Central European origin characterized by common names and occupational pursuits, as well as a distinctive language. This definition lends itself well to analysis of the data preserved in census records.

Two primary methods were used to identify Jews:

1. Individuals born abroad whose mother tongue is "Yiddish," "Jewish," or "Hebrew" were automatically included in the spreadsheet, as were all members of their families.

2. For individuals born abroad whose mother tongue was another Eastern or Central European language (e.g., Russian, Polish, German), or individuals born in the U.S. with one or more parents from Eastern or Central Europe, we examined surnames, given names within a household, and occupations in light of common Jewish characteristics. This method of analysis is, of course, subject to inaccuracy, as we may have excluded Jews with uncommon names or occupations or included non-Jews whose characteristics appear Jewish. Individuals listed with the annotation "nj?" in the far right-hand column are those whose Jewish ancestry is plausible but questionable.

This method of analysis easily misses Jewish households whose members' parents were all born in the United States. In 1930 Maine, however, such households were quite rare. Special efforts were made to identify households of this nature in Portland, where they constituted less than 1% of identified Jewish households.

All members of a household containing a Jew are included in the spreadsheet, with the exception of Jewish lodgers and servants, who are listed individually. Household members who are evidently not Jewish (such as non-Jewish servants and some spouses or in-laws) are listed with the annotation "nj."

Last Updated : March 31, 2017