Documenting Maine Jewry : Jews in Old Town in 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’.


1930 US Federal Census Data

Data extracted by Ben Kissen


Link to DMJ BiorelationAddressOwn/Rentyear of birthageAge at 1st Marrstudentliterate?birthplacePOB fatherPOB mothermother tongueimmigrationnaturalized / aleinoccupationindustryNotesSource
Arthur GoldsmithHead313 Oak Street abt 188228 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1896aliendealerclothing 1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Eva GoldsmithWife313 Oak Street abt 188426 noyesPolandPolandPolandPolish1896    1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Harry GoldsmithSon65 Main Street abt 189020 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1896 dealerconfectionary 1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Abel GoldsmithSon65 Main Street abt 189317 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1896 laborerpulp mill 1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Maurice LaitSon66 Main Street abt 189416 yesyesMaineMaineMaine      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Himon LaitHead66 Main Street abt 187238 nonoRussiaRussiaRussiaPolish1890alienmerchantmine furnishings 1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Edwin CutlerHead79 Shirley Street abt 186050 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1898alienmerchantclothing 1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Rachel CutlerWife79 Shirley Street abt 187040 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1898    1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Fanny CutlerDaughter79 Shirley Street abt 190010 yesnoMaineRussiaRussia      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
David LaitSon66 Main Street abt 189812 yesyesMaineMaineMaine      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Charles LaitSon66 Main Street abt 1909.340.66 nonoMaineMaineMaine      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Joseph AlperinHead4 Stillwater Avenue (Apt 7) abt 188030 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaRussian  odd jobspulp mill 1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Leah AlperinWife4 Stillwater Avenue (Apt 7) abt 188030 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaPolish     1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Alexander CutlerSon79 Shirley Street abt 19028 yesnoMaineRussiaRussia      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Samuel CutlerSon79 Shirley Street abt 189119 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1898alien   1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
David GoldsmithHead65 Main Street abt 186446 nonoRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1896alienpeddlerjunk 1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Lawrence GoldsmithSon313 Oak Street abt 19055 yesnoMaineRussiaPoland      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Samuel GoldsmithSon313 Oak Street abt 19082 nonoMaineRussiaPoland      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Stella GoldsmithWife65 Main Street abt 186644 nonoRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1896    1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Harry LaitSon66 Main Street abt 19019 yesyesMaineMaineMaine      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Lawrence LaitSon66 Main Street abt 19073 nonoMaineMaineMaine      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Henry LaitSon66 Main Street abt 190010 yesyesMaineMaineMaine      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Adolph AdroskiBoarder129 Middle Street abt 189218 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaPolish1910alienlaborerpulp millBoarder with Ami and Julia Reinski1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Ami BerinskiHead129 Middle Street abt 188624 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaPolish1909alienlaborerpulp mill 1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Julia BerinskiWife129 Middle Street abt 189218 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaPolish1909    1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
? BerinskiSon129 Middle Street abt 1909.90.1 nonoMaineRussiaRussia 1905alien   1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Jake BezenskyHead53 Main Street abt 188624 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1908aliencustom tailorown shop 1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Hannah BezenskyWife53 Main Street abt 188822 noyesLithuaniaLithuaniaLithuaniaYiddish1906    1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Ruby BezenskyDaughter53 Main Street abt 1909.50.5 nonoMaineRussiaLithuania      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Parker BickmoreHead112 Fourth Street abt 1910    MaineMaineMaine      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Florence BickmoreWife112 Fourth Street abt 1910    MaineMaineMaine      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Oliver BickmoreSon112 Fourth Street abt 1910    MaineMaineMaine      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Samuel ChaseBoarder4 Stillwater Avenue (Apt 7) abt 188228 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaPolish1906alientailortailor shopBoarder with Joseph and Leah Alperin1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Rose ChaseBoarder4 Stillwater Avenue (Apt 7) abt 188129 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaPolish1906   Boarder with Joseph and Leah Alperin1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Betris ChaseBoarder4 Stillwater Avenue (Apt 7) abt 19064 nonoEnglandRussiaRussia 1906   Boarder with Joseph and Leah Alperin1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Max CutlerSon79 Shirley Street abt 19073 nonoMaineRussiaRussia      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Moses CutlerSon79 Shirley Street abt 1908.81.2 nonoMaineRussiaRussia      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Jennie DeevingDaughter112 Fourth Street abt 1910    MaineMaineMaine      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Rachel GeusbergHead - Boarder Main Street abt 188030 noyesLithuaniaLithuaniaLithuania 1895   Boarder with Parker and Florence Bickmore1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Samuel GeusbergSon - Boarder Main Street abt 19037 nonoMaineLithuaniaLithuania     Boarder with Parker and Florence Bickmore1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Hilda GeusbergDaughter - Boarder Main Street abt 19064 nonoMaineLithuaniaLithuania     Boarder with Parker and Florence Bickmore1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Sarah GoldsmithDaughter65 Main Street abt 189614 yesyesRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1896    1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Israel GoldsmithSon313 Oak Street abt 19046 yesnoMaineRussiaPoland      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Samuel GordonHead48 Water Street abt 187238 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaPolish1899alientailorown shop 1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Ruby GordonSon48 Water Street abt 19046 yesnoNew YorkRussiaRussia      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Lily GordonDaughter48 Water Street abt 19055 nonoMaineRussiaRussia      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Jake GordonSon48 Water Street abt 19073 nonoMaineRussiaRussia      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Ida GordonDaughter48 Water Street abt 1908.41.6 nonoMaineRussiaRussia      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Hazel LaitWife66 Main Street abt 187337 nonoRussiaRussiaRussiaPolish1891    1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Israel LaitSon66 Main Street abt 19046 yesnoMaineMaineMaine      1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Alex NoviskiBoarder129 Middle Street abt 189218 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaPolish1910alienlaborerpulp millBoarder with Ami and Julia Reinski1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Frank ServiskiBoarder129 Middle Street abt 188822 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaPolish1906alienlaborerpulp millBoarder with Ami and Julia Reinski1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Frank SteinskyBoarder53 Main Street abt 188921 noyesPolandPolandPolandPolish1907alien  boarder with Jake and Hannah Bezensky1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Frank TeplanskyBoarder53 Main Street abt 188525 noyesPolandPolandPolandPolish1907alien  boarder with Jake and Hannah Bezensky1910 US Fed Census - OldTown
Bessie GordonWife48 Water Street abt 188129 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaPolish     1910 US Fed Census - OldTown

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


[DMJ ID]Surnamefirst nameHouse NumberStreet nameRelation to headServant/Boarder?own/rent, valuec birth yearageAge at 1st Marrstudent literate?Place of Birth - personPOB fatherPOB mothermother tongueYOInat/alienoccupationindustrycodeclassEmployed?enum. distAncestry pg#nj?
22912ShiroNathan30South Fourth St. head O 5000abt 18814921noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaHebrew1908naretail merchanthardware9091Oyes8020 
22894ShiroFannie M30South Fourth St. wife  abt 18874319noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaHebrew1902alnone    8020 
21858ShiroDorothy30South Fourth St. daughter  abt 191317 noyesMassachusettsRussiaRussia   none    8020 
22918ShiroSamuel30South Fourth St. son  abt 191515 yesyesMassachusettsRussiaRussia   none    8020 
32356ShiroJames30South Fourth St. son  abt 191911 yesyesMassachusettsRussiaRussia   none    8020 
21052CutlerIsrael43Oak St.head O 6000abt 18854525noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaHebrew1899naretail merchantladies wear8491Oyes8021 
21041CutlerAlta43Oak St.wife  abt 18904019noyesMassachusettsPolandPoland        8021 
21061CutlerSamuel M197Center Sthead R 25abt 18913932noyesPolandPolandPolandPolish1899nasalesmanclothing store4590Wyes811 
21051CutlerHellen C197Center Stwife  abt 18993124noyesPolandPolandPolandPolish1917nanone    811 
38700CutlerDavid L197Center Stson  abt 19272.9 no MainePolandPoland   none    811 
38701EpsteinAbe59South Brunswick ? St.head R 31 abt 18844637noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1888naretail merchantfurniture ?8991Wyes811 
29933EpsteinAnna59South Brunswick ? St.wife  abt 18993123noyesPolandPolandPolandPolish1914na     811 
38702EpsteinJudith R59South Brunswick ? St.daughter  abt 19255 yes MaineRussiaPoland   none    811 
38703EpsteinHyman59South Brunswick ? St.son  abt 1927 2.75 no MaineRussiaPoland   none    811 
38704AbrahamovichTony ?28South Water St.boarderboarder abt 187753 nonoRussiaRussiaRussiaRussian1910alnone    8119 
38705Green Barney106North Main St.head R 60abt 18745629noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish189_naproprietorCandy Store8091Oyes821 
23020SklarLouis K134North Main St.head O 5000abt 18904025noyesPolandPolandPolandJewish1910naproprietorclothing store8491Oyes821 
38706SklarAnnie134North Main St.wife  abt 18904025noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1910nanone    821 
38707SklarRose134North Main St.daughter  abt 191812 yesyesMainePolandRussia   none    821 
32807SklarSimon134North Main St.son  abt 19219 yesyesMainePolandRussia   none    821 
38708SklarGertrude134North Main St.daughter  abt 19246 yesyesMainePolandRussia   none    821 
38709GinsbergBarney146North Main St.head O 9000abt 18745629noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1897naproprietordry goods store8491Oyes821 
38710GinsbergRosa146North Main St.wife  abt 18795124noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1897nanone    821 
38711GinsbergSaul146North Main St.son  abt 191713 yesyesMaineRussiaRussia   none    821 
38712Kinkaw ?Maurice152North Main St.head O 9000abt 18953520, widowernoyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1911naproprietorclothing store8491Oyes821 
21535GoldsmithDavid 220?North Main St.head O 6000abt 186268 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1892naDealer2nd Hand Goods9741 ?Oyes821 
21566GoldsmithStella 220?North Main St.wife  abt 186466 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1903nanone    821 
11836GoldsmithAbe220?North Main St.son  abt 189238 noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1904alnone    821 
12977LaitMaurice183__w__ Ave.head R 52abt 18933726noyesMaineRussiaRussia   commercial ____ibes Co.4290Wyes824 
13077LaitIsabelle "Fabel"183__w__ Ave.wife  abt 18933726noyesMassachusettsRussiaGermany   none    824 
38714LaitHale H ?183__w__ Ave.son  abt 19264 nonoMassachusettsMaineMassachusetts   none    824 
38715LaitRobert L183__w__ Ave.son  abt 1928 1.5 nonoMaineMaineMassachusetts   none    824 
29813LaitSaul183__w__ Ave.boarderboarder abt 191020 yesyesMaineRussiaRussia   studentCollege   824note: although he is a boarder, he is lited with the same last name as the family. [probably a relative attending UMaine]
HaskellDorothy183__w__ Ave.servantservant abt 191020 yesyesMaineMaineMaine   servantprivate Family9546 ?Wyes824nj
10512GoldsmithHarry I182Middle St.head R 40abt 18904031noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1902alproprietorfurniture store8491Oyes827 
38717GoldsmithDora182Middle St.wife  abt 18923829noyesNew YorkRussiaRussia   none    827 
27094GoldsmithJoseph182Middle St.son  abt 19228 yesyesMaineRussiaNew York   none    827 
38718GoldsmithNatalie182Middle St.daughter  abt 19264 yesyesMaineRussiaNew York   none    827 
10511GoldsmithHarry M170Middle St.head R 50abt 18953530noyesMaineRussiaRussia   proprietorladies store8491Oyes827 
10508GoldsmithFrances D 170Middle St.wife  abt 19032722noyesNew YorkRussiaRussia   none    827 
38719GoldsmithHarriet E170Middle St.daughter  abt 19264 nonoMaineMaineNew York   none    827 
17587CutlerEdwin80__sky St.head O 6000abt 18656521noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1892naproprietorclothing store8491Oyes829 
17589CutlerRachel80__sky St.wife  abt 18706016noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1898nanone    829 
21038CutlerAlexander80__sky St.son  abt 190228 noyesMaineRussiaRussia   Clerkclothing store8396?Wyes829 
21055CutlerLawrence80__sky St.son  abt 190723 yesyesMaineRussiaRussia   college studentCollege   829 
38720CutlerHarold80__sky St.son  abt 190921 yesyesMaineRussiaRussia   college studentcollege   829 
10499GoldsmithArthur J21Veazie St.head O 8000abt 18854517noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaJewish1894naproprietorclothing store8491Oyes8210 
10507GoldsmithEva21Veazie St.wife  abt 18854517noyesPolandPolandPolandJewish?nanone    8210 
21564GoldsmithSamuel21Veazie St.son  abt 190723 noyesMaineRussiaPoland   Clerkclothing store__ 90 ?Wyes8210 
13834GoldsmithRuth21Veazie St.daughter  abt 191218 yesyesMaineRussiaPoland   none    8210 
23159GoldsmithHelen21Veazie St.daughter  abt 19219 yesyesMaineRussiaPoland   none    8210 
21559GoldsmithMilton H21Veazie St.son  abt 19255 yesyesMaineRussiaPoland   none    8210 
38721GoldbardHarry B29Wood St.head O 2000abt 18805020noyesPolandPolandPolandPolish1897natailortailor shop801VOyes832 
38722GoldbardAnna B29Wood St.wife  abt 18805020noyesRussiaRussiaRussiaYiddish1898alnone    832 
38723GoldbardEdith29Wood St.daughter  abt 191812 yesyesMainePolandRussia   none    832 
23016SklarBenjamin25Wood St.head O 2000abt 19003026noyesPolandPolandPolandJewish1921naretail merchantclothing store8491Eyes832 
23025SklarSarah I25Wood St.wife  abt 19062420noyesPolandPolandPolandJewish1911nasalesmanclothing store4590NPyes832 
38724SklarEllana D25Wood St.daughter  abt 19273 no MainePolandPoland        832 
29138HoosJ64Veazie St.head O 6000abt 18844615noyesPolandPolandPolandHebrew1907naretail merchantmarket8891Eyes8313 
29139HoosRose E64Veazie St.wife  abt 18854514noyesPolandPolandPolandHebrew1909alnone    8313 
36765HoosSidney 64Veazie St.son  abt 191218 yesyesNew YorkPolandPoland   none    8313 
29550HoosHarold W64Veazie St.son  abt 191317 yesyesMainePolandPoland   none    8313

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 : Nov 30, 2011