Documenting Maine Jewry :
Jews in Calais in 1920

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 Ben Kissen


Link to DMJ BiorelationAddressOwn/Rentyear of birthageAge at 1st Marrstudentliterate?birthplacePOB fatherPOB mothermother tongueimmigrationnaturalized / aleinoccupationindustryNotesSource
Joe GordonHead116 Union StreetRabt 187644 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaHebrew1906naturalizeddealerjunk 1920 Fed Census - Calais
Tillie GordonDaughter116 Union Street abt 190416 yesyesRussiaRussiaRussiaHebrew1906    1920 Fed Census - Calais
Arthur KnobskeySon19 High Street abt 190020 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1905naturalizedsalesmanclothing house 1920 Fed Census - Calais
Charles KnobskeySon19 High Street abt 190416 yesyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1905naturalized   1920 Fed Census - Calais
Joe KnobskeyHead19 High StreetOabt 187347 nonoRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1905naturalizedartist merchantdepartment store 1920 Fed Census - Calais
William KnobskeySon19 High Street abt 190218 yesyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1905naturalized   1920 Fed Census - Calais
Sarah KnobskeyWife19 High Street abt 187842 nonoRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1905naturalized   1920 Fed Census - Calais
Peter FingoldHead149 Union StreetOabt 188337 noyesPolandPolandPolandPolish1912alientailorlivery barn 1920 Fed Census - Calais
Rose FingoldWife149 Union Street abt 188535 noyesPolandPolandPolandPolish1912alien   1920 Fed Census - Calais
Ida FingoldDaughter149 Union Street abt 190515 yesyesPolandPolandPolandPolish1912alien   1920 Fed Census - Calais
Edward FingoldSon149 Union Street abt 190812 yesyesPolandPolandPolandPolish1912alien   1920 Fed Census - Calais
James FingoldSon149 Union Street abt 191010 yesyesCanadaPolandPoland 1912alien   1920 Fed Census - Calais
Marjorie FingoldDaughter149 Union Street abt 19155 yesnoMainePolandPoland      1920 Fed Census - Calais
Florence FingoldDaughter149 Union Street abt 19173 nonoMainePolandPoland      1920 Fed Census - Calais
Esther GordonWife116 Union Street abt 187842 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaHebrew1906    1920 Fed Census - Calais
Eva GordonDaughter116 Union Street abt 190515 yesyesRussiaRussiaRussiaHebrew1906    1920 Fed Census - Calais
Jesse GordonDaughter116 Union Street abt 19146 yesnoMaineRussiaRussia      1920 Fed Census - Calais
Abraham KrasneyHead31 Union StreetRabt 187050 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaRussian1906first papersdealerjunk 1920 Fed Census - Calais
Lizzie KrasneyWife31 Union Street abt 187347 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaRussian1906alien   1920 Fed Census - Calais
Charlotte KrasneyDaughter31 Union Street abt 190812 yesyesMaineRussiaRussia      1920 Fed Census - Calais
Eva KrasneyDaughter31 Union Street abt 191010 yesnoMaineRussiaRussia      1920 Fed Census - Calais
Matilda KrasneyDaughter31 Union Street abt 19128 yesnoOhioRussiaRussia      1920 Fed Census - Calais
Abraham LeavyHead8 Monox StreetOabt 188139 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaRussian1919alienmerchantladies garments 1920 Fed Census - Calais
Esther LeavyWife8 Monox Street abt 188535 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaRussian1919alien   1920 Fed Census - Calais
Bernard Leavyson8 Monox Street abt 190911 yesyesCanadaRussiaRussia 1919alien   1920 Fed Census - Calais
Samuel Leavyson8 Monox Street abt 19155 yesnoCanadaRussiaRussia 1919alien   1920 Fed Census - Calais
Max MatzHead9 Whiting StreetRabt 187248 nonoRussiaRussiaRussiaHebrew1913first papersretail merchantladies clothing 1920 Fed Census - Calais
Rachel MatzWife9 Whiting Street abt 187941 nonoRussiaRussiaRussiaHebrew1913alien   1920 Fed Census - Calais
Eva NicollMother-in-law8 Monox Street abt 185565 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaRussian     1920 Fed Census - Calais
Emanuel Nicollbrother-in-law8 Monox Street abt 189525 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaRussian  violin playeropera house 1920 Fed Census - Calais
Abraham SiegelHead132 Union StreetOabt 189525 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaHebrew1914aliendealerjunk 1920 Fed Census - Calais
Ethel SiegelWife132 Union Street abt 188931 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaHebrew     1920 Fed Census - Calais
Jacob SilbostkeyHead134 Union StreetRabt 187842 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaHebrew1905naturalizeddealerjunk 1920 Fed Census - Calais
Celia SilbostkeyWife134 Union Street abt 187743 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaHebrew1905naturalized   1920 Fed Census - Calais
Abraham SilbostkeySon134 Union Street abt 190317 yesyesRussiaRussiaRussiaHebrew1905naturalized   1920 Fed Census - Calais
Samuel SilbostkeySon134 Union Street abt 190911 yesyesMaineRussiaRussia      1920 Fed Census - Calais
David SilbostkeySon134 Union Street abt 190911 yesyesMaineRussiaRussia      1920 Fed Census - Calais
Hannah SilbostkeyDaughter134 Union Street abt 19146 yesnoMaineRussiaRussia      1920 Fed Census - Calais

Methodological note :

This data was culled from the original 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 : April 16, 2017