Thursday, January 15, 2009

Zander Zander's golden years ended in Jonesboro

Yes! Yes! i have located the gravesite of Zander Zander, my great, great grandfather. Zander was laid to rest in the Temple Israel cemetery in Jonesboro, Ark., shortly after his death on March 10, 1898 at the age of 69.

Only a few months ago, when i started my geneaology quest, i only knew Alexsander Zander as a little box on great Aunt Malvina's family tree. i had no idea that he ever made it to the shores of America, let alone the southern city of Jonesboro, even though seven sons and daughters immigrated to the U.S. between 1872 and 1890.

Zander was born on December 28, 1829 to a Jewish family in the Grand Duchy of Posen, which was located in Greater Poland. At that time, Greater Poland was under Prussian (German) rule. More than likely, Zander's family spoke Yiddish.

In the early 1850s, Zander married Liebe Hellman, the daughter of Hyman and Diana (Friedlander) Hellman. Zander and Liebe lived in the small town of Krone an der Brahe (on the Brahe River), north of the city of Bromberg. In case you are geograpically-inclined, here is a 1905 map of Posen that shows the location of Krone.

On a current map, you will find this small town, but all the place names are now Polish. Krone an der Brahe is Koronowo and it's located on the Brda River, north of the city of Bydgoszcz. This is what this small town in northwestern Poland looks like today:
Liebe and Zander had at least 8 children: Johanna, my great grandmother, was the oldest, born in 1855. Then there was Gustav (b. 1857), Leopold (b. 1860), Theresa (b. 1862), Martha (b. 1864), Herman (b. 1868), Malvina (b. 1872), and Agnes(b. 1874).

Around 1870, at the time of the Franco-Prussian war, Zander sent some money to relatives in America, but some or all of the money did not arrive. He accused the local postmaster of stealing the money so the postmaster had him arrested and jailed. Fortunately, when the war ended in May 1871, he was given amnesty and released. Perhaps, this is why Zander decided to send his children to America. Johanna was the first one to immigrate, arriving in Texas in 1872 when she was only 17.

Zander visited the United States in March, 1884, to attend the wedding of his daughter, Theresa, in Galveston, Texas. I found an annoucement of his arrival in the local newspaper:
Leo Zander, accompanied by his father Mr. Z. Zander, who has come over from Germany to be present at the wedding of his daughter to one of our popular young business men, arrived yesterday from New York.
Theresa wed Mitchell Tausick, a man who was in business with her brother, Leo Zander. Theresa and Mitchell had one son, Irvin (b. 1890) but their marriage did not last. While Mitchell may have been a "popular young businessman", Theresa probably had a good reason to divorce him. An incident that was reported in the Galveston newpaper in September 1892, shortly after the divorce, gives us a clue as to the true character of Tausick:

Fought on the Streets.

Yesterday noon M.E. Tausick and L. Harris got into an altercation on Market street, near Twenty-fourth street. Mr. Tausick had a riding whip with which he slashed Mr. Harris several times. The cause of the row was personal matters. Both men were arrested on a charge of fighting.
The aforementioned L. Harris, was Lewis Harris, Theresa's brother-in-law and my great grandfather. Theresa decided it was time to get out of Dodge, so she and her son moved to Jonesboro, Arkansas. She re-married, this time to a widower named Lewis Sachs, who was 12 years her elder and already had four children.

Back to Zander. Sometime after 1891, which was the year that his beloved wife Liebe passed away, Zander returned to America to live with Theresa and Lewis in Jonesboro. This is where he spent his final years.

Upon the death of her father in 1898, Johanna informed the local Galveston rag which published this obit:
Zander Zander Dead.
Mr. Zander Zander died at Jonesboro, Ark., in his 69th year on March 10. He was the father of Mrs. Lewis Harris (Johanna) of this city, Gustav Zander of San Francisco, Leo Zander of New York, and Herman Zander of Los Angeles, Cal.
So that is story of my grandfather's grandfather, Zander Zander, the man who sowed the seed for for many branches of the family tree, including mine: the Amy-Jordan-David-Howard-Hugo-Johanna-Zander limb.

A special thanks to Lynn Franklin and her husband Bob Sweeney of Memphis, who have compiled a database of cemetery listings, photographs and other documentary records for selected Jewish cemeteries in the Southern United States. Their website is at:


DavidbenYishai said...

The comment section is now enabled. What do you think about this blog? Let me hear from you!


DavidbenYishai said...

BTW, you can enlarge the pictures of Zander's gravestone and Koronowo by clicking on them.


lynnmcdaniel said...

Wonderful first posting--love that you include relevant photos and links to better experience the family history. Handsome profile photo as well!

AKA Alice said...

Lynn's comments are so unbiased.

Love the blog and that you're doing this. I think the rest of the family will learns lots due to your efforts.

Now about some of those names...

Cindi (Aka Alice)

DavidbenYishai said...


Most of the names of our ancestors are Americanized versions of Yiddish or Hebrew names. Examples:
English to Yiddish

Herman- Herschel or Tsvi
Hyman- Heyman
Johanna- Yoanna or Chana
Leopold and Lewis- Arie or Leyb


AKA Alice said...

Heyman, Hyman, it all makes me giggle...

Hey, a new post showed up in my Google Reader, but it's not on your blog...very odd...

wendyand jeff said...

Wow, David I'm impressed. How did you find all this information? Can't wait for the next installment.

Cousin Wendy

Richard said...

I'm impressed, too, David. I'm from Bernhard Zander's side and occasionally look for info on the Zander family. Hadn't been able to get any further than that we all came from somewhere in Prussia. Have you seen the pics of the cemetery in La Grange where the Hellmans and Lewises are buried?