WEBPAGE NEWS!!! We have just posted an updated family tree for the Tennebaum branch of our Kaminsky family. Check out our new Tennebaum Family Tree.

Israel Tennebaum was born in April 1852 in Rovney, which he wrote was "a town in Russian Poland". Since there are many small towns or shtetls with names sounding like Rovney, there is no absolute certainty as to whether this was in a Rovney in Belarus, in Poland, in Russia, or in the Ukraine. (Search for "Rovney" here for a complete list of possibilities.) However, it seems very likely to be the one in the Ukraine, based on where his wife's family lived.

Israel Tennebaum's wife Rachel Kaminsky, whom he married in Russia about 1874, was born somewhere in the same general area about the same time. To read about Rachel's siblings, click here. Then, for the most up to date information about Tennebaums, see our new Tennebaum Family Tree page at theunixplace. And you may also like some of the features for the Tennebaum branch of our family tree here at Rootsweb, so check out the kinds of reports available here, by visiting our Kaminsky Kasle Tennebaum Family Tree home page for a guided introduction and quick links to popular pages.

Since Rachel Kaminsky's family was from Osova, which is about 35 miles from Rivne (pronounced Rovne in Yiddish), and from Sarney, which is only about 51.8 miles from Rivne in the Ukraine, it seems very likely that Israel Tennebaum was born in the Rivne that is currently in the Ukraine.

According to the 1910 US Census, Israel and Rachel had a total of 11 children, only 7 of whom were living in 1910. According to the 1891 Canadian Census, they had three of their children in Russia before immigrating from Russia to Canada. These children were their daughter Leah, born about 1874, their son Charles, who was born about 1877, and their daughter Esther, who was born about 1879.

The 1891 Canadian Census record of the family in Winnipeg shows them as Israel and Sarah Tenabaum, confirming that Rachel sometimes went by Sarah, and explaining why the Canadian Birth records sometimes show the children's mother to be Sarah. We also found a wide variation in how Tennebaum was spelled in the birth records of their children. We found it spelled as Tennenboume, Tenenbaum, Tenenbum, Tennebaum and Tenneshorn for the five children we found listed in the Canadian Births database.

According to later records, Israel and Rachel were apparently naturalized in 1897, but their children James, Donald, Bessie, and Mary were not naturalized until 1906, and Charles was not naturalized until 1911. According to the 1900 Census in San Francisco, Israel and Rachel, along with their children Charles, James, Simon, Dora, Donald, Bessie, and Mary, immigrated to the United States in 1895, and this is consistent with information on Rachel's death certificate.

Israel was apparently a self-employed second-hand and crockery dealer, whose business did quite well. He is reported to have bought food which he and the family took to feed people in Golden Gate Park after the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco.

Rachel had lost contact with her siblings, but was reunited with her sister Faiga Gittel Kasle in the 1920's, and you can read more about this and see a picture of the two sisters by clicking here.

Israel Tennebaum passed away in Belmont, California, near San Francisco, on October 5, 1922, at about the age of 72, and his wife Rachel passed away in San Francisco, California on February 10, 1931, at about the age of 77. Both were buried in the Hills of Eternity Cemetery in Colma, California.

If you know or are a member of the Tennebaum family, 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.

There is a family myth that the four youngest children were born in San Francisco, but the historical records we have found indicate they were born in Canada. For more details about this, as well as an understanding about the wide variation in birth dates reported for all the Tennebaum children, please be sure to read our research comments section below, as well as the vignettes we have posted about each of the children.


Israel and Rachel Tennebaum's eldest daughter Lea Tennebaum is supposed to have been born in Russia about 1874 or 1875. According to Canadian records, she married Charles Rabbinovich on December 4, 1894 in Winnipeg. She passed away shortly thereafter in San Francisco, California in January 1895, and seems very unlikely to have had any children.


The Tennebaum's eldest son, Charles Tennenbaum, married Pauline Rosenberg in the early 1900's, and the young couple had two children, both born in California. Their son Irving, destined to become the renowned author Irving Stone, was born on July 14, 1903 and passed away on August 26, 1989. Irving's sister, Sarah Kate Tennebaum, was born to Charles and Pauline on April 21, 1909, and passed away at about the age of 14 in February 1923.


Israel and Rachel's other Russian born daughter, Esther Tennebaum, married Jacob Weinstock in Winnipeg, and had three children before she passed away at age 22 in September 1901 in Winnipeg, shortly after the death of their one month old child.

Esther and Jacob's first child, Leah or Lena Weinstock, who was born in California in 1898, is shown as living with her father, brother, step-mother Ethel, and half sister Juliette Weinstock in California in the 1910 US census. By 1972, Leah Weinstock was married to James Moore Reed and living in Daly City, California, but we do not know how long they were married or if they had any children. Jim Reed passed away in 1984 and Leah Reed passed away in 1994, both in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Esther and Jacob's second child, Louis Weinstock, was born in Winnipeg in 1899, and married and had a family in New York. Louis Weinstock passed away in July 1987 in Pound Ridge, New York.

All or most of Tennebaum family seems to have moved to California about 1895. But for some reason, although Esther Tennebaum Weinstock had her first child, Leah, in California in 1898. We do not know whether Leah was born on a visit to California, or if the Weinstocks had moved to California and then back to Winnipeg where they had their second child Louis in 1899, and remained until Esther had their third child and passed away in 1901.


According to the 1891 Canadian Census, Israel and Rachel's daughter Rose Tennebaum was the first of their children born in Mannitoba, and was born about 1881. However, some US records show her to have been born as late as 1885. She married Arthur Oppenheimer in 1908 and had two sons, Sigmund and Manley Oppenheimer, each of whom married and had families. Rose Oppenheimer passed away in 1912.


Rachael and Israel's son James J. Tennebaum who, according to US records, was born somewhere between 1878 and 1883, was listed with them in the 1891 Census as Moses Tenabaum, and as having been born about 1884 in Winnipeg. He moved to California with the rest of the family in the 1890's. He apparently never married, and passed away in San Francisco in 1943.


Sam or Simon Tennebaum, also known as Harry Tennebaum and "Kid Tenney", was born in 1886, and passed away, without marrying, in March 1906 from injuries sustained in a boxing match in San Francisco, California. There were many, many articles in the San Francisco newspapers about his unfortunate death, many decrying the way boxing matches were run at the time. If you want to find newspaper articles about his death, the best places to search for free are historical newspaper databases at public libraries.


Dorothy, also known as Dora or Dorah Tennebaum, was born about 1888 in Winnipeg. In 1907, Joseph Levin married Dora Tennebaum and they had five children in San Francisco, four of whom survived to adulthood: Stanley, Martin, Max and Merriam. Joe Levin owned a big scrap metal and junk yard in San Francisco. They owned a big white corner house on Ocean Avenue that had a wonderful set of family pictures on the walls of the staircase. Dora Levin passed away in 1968 and Joe Levin passed away in 1974.


Israel and Rachel's son Daniel Donald Tennebaum was born in Winnipeg, Mannitoba in January 1888, and married Alice Bettman Kaufman in 1935. This was a second marriage for Alice, and Donald and Alice apparently had no children together. Donald passed away in May 1981 in Petaluma, California, and his wife Alice Tennebaum passed away in 1985, also in Petaluma.


Bessie Tennebaum, according to official Canadian records, was born in Winnipeg on December 1, 1890. She married Albert Joseph Titus about 1918, and they had one child, Albert Joseph Jr, who was born in 1926 and married and had a family before passing away in about 2001. Bessie's husband Albert passed away in 1949. At some point later, Bessie married Herbert Lachman, who passed away in 1969, and she passed away in San Francisco in 1981.


Although Mary Tennebaum thought she was born in California until much later in her life, Mary was also, according to Canadian records born in Winnipeg. Mary Tennebaum was born December 23, 1892, and married Max Harry Cohen in 1917. For more information about the genealogy and descendants of Max and Mary Cohen, click here.


Israel and Rachael are also said to have also had a son Frank, who died at birth in Winnipeg in 1891.


Our Tennebaum family history has been gleaned from a combination of interviews with family members, private family trees, and historical documents. Earlier researchers of our family who passed away long ago, indicated that Rachel and Israel were both born in Odessa. Since Isreal Tennebaum's passport applications from around 1910 both indicate he was born in Rovney, we are sure he was not born in Odessa, but Rachel's birthplace is still unclear. It is possible that the Kaminsky family travelled to or lived in Odessa and then, for one reason or another, decided to move to Osova. Or, it also is quite possible that our cousins researching the family history decades ago, may have gotten confused and thought they heard that both Rachel and Isreal were from Odessa, when they were actually from the region of Osova.

Then, with regards to the birth dates and places reported in the US Census Records for both Israel and Rachel Tennebaum and their children in 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930, these are quite inconsistent with each other, as well as with the ages and dates found in the 1891 Canadian Census, and in World War I Draft Registration Cards and official government death indices. I have thus chosen not to report precise dates above unless we are fairly certain they are accurate. If anyone has more definitive information about when and where any of the Tennebaum children were born, other than the two we have birth certificates for (Bessie and Mary), please contact us about this.

Part of the confusion over birthdates is probably due to the fact that Jewish immigrants often knew their birth dates according to the Hebrew calendar, as being on, or a certain number of days from, a Jewish holiday. When asked for their birthday, they often would refer to the Hebrew calendar, figure out what Gregorian date that was in the current year, and give that Gregorian date as their birth date.

We may be able to learn significantly more about Rachel and Israel's ancestors, once records from Sarny, Osova and Rivne in the Ukraine have been indexed. It is now a realistic possibility that we will eventually be able to obtain information from census and other records for our family from before they left the Ukraine, through the efforts of the Ukraine SIG (i.e., Special Interest Group) of JewishGen. To learn more about this, check out the Ukraine Sig website at JewishGen.



  1. Interviews with family members
  2. Canadian Census Records for 1891 and 1901, available at http://ancestry.com by subscription, and possibly online for free at some Public Libraries.
  3. United States Federal Census Records for 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930, available online (by subscription and at Public Libraries) at Ancestry.com and at Public Libraries through the Heritage Quest Census database.
  4. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925, available temporarily for free, and then by paid personal subscription, and always for free at subscribing public libraries at http://ancestry.com
  5. 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
  6. Pedigree Chart created by Steven and Daniel Oppenheimer
  7. California Birth Index 1905 to 1995, database at Ancestry.com available by subscription and for free at Public Libraries.
  8. California Death Index 1940 to 1997, formerly at http://vitals.rootsweb.com/ca/death/search.cgi?cj=1&o_xid=0000584, now available for free at https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/2015582
  9. 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.
  10. Province of Manitoba | Database Searches http://web2.gov.mb.ca/cca/vital/Query.php
  11. Social Security Application of Leah Reed
  12. Birth Certificates for Mary Tennebaum and Bessie Tennebaum
  13. Death Certificate for Rachel Tennebaum
  14. Records from Hills of Eternity Cemetery, Colma, California
  15. Records from Salem Cemetery, Colma, California

Discussion Revised February 04, 2019
Reference links updated February 04, 2019

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