Benjamin Kozel was probably born in the Ossova area of the Rivna District of Volhynia Gubernia, formerly ruled by Russia and Poland, and now in Ukraine, somewhere between 1850 and 1862. He had at least six children there, and immigrated to the United States about 1913, after a number of his children were already here. The people who we know for sure were his children were Rebecca, Sarah, Sam, Joseph, Louis (Eleazer), and Tillie, and he probably also had another son Leib Yitchak who took the name Louis here.

He was a widower at the time of the 1920 census in Rochester, New York, when he was living with his son Sam. He married Rebecca Einhorn a few months later, in April 1920. According to their marriage record, this was Benjamin's second marriage, and his parents were Solomon Kozele and Bessie Schuster. According to the Hebrew on his tombstone, his father's name was Schlaime, which confirms that although their marriage and death records in the United States give different English versions of their father's first names (i.e., Solomon vs. Samuel), he was a brother of our Hyman Kasle, whose father's Hebrew name was the same.

While there are some discrepancies in the records of their children, it seems very likely that Benjamin's first wife was Rose Weinstein, whose Hebrew name was most likely Rachel or Ruchel. According to the marriage records in Manhattan and Rochester, New York of their daughter Rebecca and son Joseph, and the Social Security record of their daughter Sarah, her name was Rosie, Rose or Rosa Weinstein, while the marriage record of their son Louis indicates her name was Rae Weinstein. Then there is another Louis, whose family settled in Michigan, some of whom changed the surname to Kozle here, and who is very likely to be another son of our Benjamin. This Louis indicates his mother was Ester Weinstein on his marriage record in New York City. See the section below about Louis Kozle for discussion of how Benjamin may have managed to have two adult sons named Louis.


As mentioned above, Benjamin Kozel had at least six children who were most likely all born in the Ossova area of what is now Volhynia Gubernia of Ukraine. His daughters Rebecca and Sarah were born in the 1880s, and his sons Sam and Louis (Leib Yitchak) and daughter Tillie, were born in the 1890s. He probably had more children who we simply have not been able to identify with certainty. One of those children is probably the Louis (Eleazer) Kozel who was born in 1881, who we hesitate confirming to be a son because that would mean Benjamin had two sons with the same name with the same mother. You can read more about this issue in the section about Louis Kozle.

Below you will find short summaries or vignettes of what we know about Benjamin Kozel's children and their descendants. We will eventually be adding them, along with more detailed information, to our Kasle family tree. Until that happens, feel free to email us for more information.

If you know or are a member of any of the families mentioned here, please note that we are not listing the names of people if they or their siblings are still living, in order to protect the privacy of the living. If you find any errors, or have more information you would like to see added to this page, please do contact us.

Rebecca Kozel

Benjamin and Rosie Kozel's daughter Rebecca was born around 1880 to 1885, depending on which records are used as the source. She immigrated to the United States about 1904, and married Israel Moskowitz in Manhattan, New York later that year in August. Israel and Rebecca Moskowitz had their daughter, Rose, in February 1907 in Manhattan, New York, and their son Joseph in 1916, in either New Jersey or New York.

By 1930, Rebecca and her husband Israel were living in Lakewood, New Jersey with their son Joseph. Their daughter Rose was apparently not living with them at that time. We know Rose married Jack Shapiro, but do not know when that happend. Jack and Rose had no children together, and Rose Shapiro passed away in 2003. By 1940, Rebecca and Israel's son Joseph had married Gertrude Madwelle. Joseph and Gertrude had three children. Joseph passed away in 2005.

Sarah Kozel

Benjamin's daughter Sarah Kozel was born between 1885 and 1888, and immigrated to the United States about 1902. Her Social Security record indicates she married a Grandwetter, and we believe her husband was the David Granowetter (aka Grandwetter or Granowetter) who was born in 1883 in Lemberg. The spelling of the surname varies widely in the records we have found, so we still need to determine what the correct spelling is, but it looks like it may have changed from Granowetter to Grandwetter because, on her Social Security Record, "Sarah Grandwetter" lists her parents as Benjamin Kozel and Rose Weinstein. While we have not found them in the 1940 census, David Granowetter lists his contact person as wife Sara on his mandatory Draft Registration in 1942, and the surname is clearly spelled Granowetter.

According to Sarah's sister Tillie's son Charles, Sarah had married a Granit, and who had two sons older than Charles. Tillie and Charles visited her in Brooklyn, New York around 1963. This is must be the same Sarah, although we have not found two sons if David was her husband. The children we have found for Sarah and David are Ida and Joseph.

We are still looking for records to resolve discrepancies, confirm that we have the right families, and make the information here more complete for Sarah and her children, so please do email us if you know this part of the family.

Sam Kozel

Benjamin's son Sam Kozel was born in Mitsk, Valina, Russia somewhere between 1892 and 1895, depending on what records one looks at. He immigrated to the United States at the same time as his cousin Joseph Kasle in 1910, on the same ship. Sam married his wife Becky (Rebecca Rabinowitz) in 1917, and they had three sons: Jerome, Leonard, and Martin. Sam passed away in Florida in June 1979.

Joseph Kozel

Joseph Kozel was born June 15, 1896 in Russian Poland, most likely the same shtetl as his siblings in Rowno District of Volhynia Gubernia. As mentioned above, his mother was Rose Goldstein. He immigrated to the United States in 1913. He married his wife Ida Shapiro in 1919 in Rochester, New York, but by the time of the 1920 Census, he and Ida were living with Abe and Pearl Kasle in Toledo, Ohio. By 1930, Joseph and Ida were back in Rochester, and had had two children, Bernard and Annette. They had another son Burton in 1937. Joseph's wife Ida passed away in 1948, and Joseph passed away in 1980 in Rochester, New York.

Louis Kozel

Louis Kozel was born 15 Apr 1899, possibly in Kiev, Russia, and was a son of Benjamin Kozel and Rae Weinstein, according to his marriage record to Mamie Litwak in Rochester, New York in 1928. His wife went by Mollie in later records, and they had two daughters. Mollie passed away in 1972 and Louis passed away in 1992, apparently both in Rochester, New York.

Tillie Kozel

Benjamin's daughter Tillie Kozel was born about 1899 and married Lesser Bigelman about 1919 in Poland. They had their first child Rose in Poland, and immigrated to the United States in 1922, with their son Charles Bigelman being born in New York in 1922. Tillie passed away in 1988 in Florida, and her husband Lester Bigelman passed away in November 1991, also in Florida.


Louis Kozle was born in 1881 in Ossowa, and immigrated to the United States in 1902. He married Jennie Pochter in New York in 1904, and by the time of the 1910 census, they were living in Michigan. Their children, all born in Michigan, were Edna, Samuel, Benjamin, Rose, Bessie, Minnie and Mollie. This Louis and his family seemed to alternate between using Kozle and Kozel as their surname.

According to Benjamin Kozel's descendants from Rochester, they had relatives in Michigan who turn out to be descended from a Louis Kozle who was much older than the Louis Kozel who lived in Rochester. Defining their exact connection has presented a major genealogical puzzle.

Where the puzzle comes in, is that this Louis lists his father as Bene Koslovsky and mother Esther Weinstein on his marriage to Jennie in New York. We have been told by Kaminsky/Kasle family members that the surname was something like Kozel in Poland, and that it was not shortened from a longer surname. It is possible that the marriage record was in error, with the officiant simply assuming the surname had to be Koslovsky, because we have what appears to be Louis's passenger list, in which he arrived on 20 June 1902 on the S.S.Bleaker from Hamburg, Germany, and was listed as Levi Kosel, a glass blower from Ossowa, on this record. This fits stories we heard from a descendant that the Kozels were in the glass business back home. And the surname of Weinstein for his mother matches the maiden name of the other Louis's mother according to his marriage record in New York.

For now, we are assuming this was an error on the marriage record. We could confirm that the surname was expanded accidentally by obtaining a copy of the original application for marriage, which should be available from the New York State Archives.

Returning to the basic question of how could our Benjamin Kozel have two adult sons with the same given name, born about 18 years apart? The older Louis lists a nephew, Ruben Lichtik, as his contact person in the United States. It is possible his father was a different Benjamin, but still in the same family. Or that Louis Kozel and Louis Kozle were full brothers who had different given names in Poland and that, not being in contact with each other after leaving Poland, happened to pick the same English name when they came here.

Louis Kozle's first and middle names in Hebrew were Leib Yitzchak. And the Louis who lived in Rochester had a different Hebrew name, Eleazer, so he may truly have been the full brother of the Louis who lived in Michigan.

But there is another problem. On his tombstone, the father of the Louis Kozle, the one who lived in Michigan, is indicated to be Ben Tzion ha Levy, which means they were Levites. Our Kasles were definitely not Levites! This bears more research, as something is clearly wrong here.

So while Louis Kozle's descendants claimed to be cousins of our Kasles, and visited with them, exactly how they were related is a serious question. If it is through the male line, then the designation of Levite makes no sense, but whether or not Louis's line were of Levite origins, if the connection is through the male line, then their Y DNA should match very closely, if not perfectly, the Y DNA of our Kasle and of the Kozel families.

Note that while the DNA testing which has been popularized could be useful for determining how close or distant relationships might be, it would not answer the male lineage question as it tests autosomal DNA which is passed from parents to all their children regardless of the sex of the child. We have discussed the different types of DNA tests on our DNA results page. Y DNA testing is the most appropriate testing in this case, as it tests the Y chromosome, which is only passed from father's to sons. Unlike the general genealogical and ethnic DNA tests widely advertized, the Y DNA testing we can do will create a unique signature for the paternal line of the person tested.

At this point, we have not yet been able to test Y-DNA from any of these three families, so if you are a direct male descendant of Louis Kozle, Benjamin Kozel, or Hyman Kasle, or can assist us in our efforts to make this landmark testing happen, please email us for more information and to discuss arrangements for possible testing.


  1. Interviews with family members
  2. United States Federal Census Records for 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940, available online (by subscription and at some Public Libraries) at Ancestry.com and at Public Libraries through the Heritage Quest Census database.
  3. World War I Draft Registration Cards, available online at https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=6482 by subscription, and occasionally for free from Ancestry.Com's special offers
  4. World War II Draft Registration Cards, available online at https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1002 by subscription, and occasionally for free from Ancestry.Com's special offers
  5. Social Security Death Index, formerly available online for free at http://ssdi.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com, now available by paid subscription on Ancestry.com's Social Security Death Index or for free from subscribing public libraries.
  6. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, currently only available by subscription to ancestry.com
  7. Marriage certificates for Bennie Kozele with Rebecca Einhorn, Joseph Kozel with Ida Shapiro, and Louis Kozel with Mamie Litwak.
  8. Marriage transcription for Samuel Kuzel [sic] with Rebecca Rabinowitz, from https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=61377 by subscription, and occasionally for free from Ancestry.Com's special offers
  9. "New York, New York City Births, 1846-1909," (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WH5-LN6 : 11 February 2018), birth record for Rosa Moskowitz, 22 Feb 1907
  10. "New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940," (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:24MP-FPY : 10 February 2018), marriage for "Israel Moskowitz and Rebeca Kozak", 14 Aug 1904
  11. Obituaries for Louis Kozel and Joseph Kozel from https://roccitylibrary.org.

This page is http://freepages.rootsweb.com/~thecohens/family/kozel.html
Published February 24, 2019

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