I can tell you all you want to know about Solomon (aka Zalman and Sigmund) Jahss (also spelled Jass), who was the great-great grandfather of my wife. My information is based on a variety of documents concerning him and on interviews of some of his descendants who still live in the Philadelphia area. I'll call him "SJ" for short.
Here is the nutshell version: SJ was born April 18, 1858 in the town of Biesiadka, which was in the district of Mielec, not too far from the city of Krakau, in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Poland). Biesiadka was and is an extremely small town. The hub of Jewish religious and commercial life was nearby Mielec itself. There are a couple of Yiskor books on Mielec but nothing has been written about Biesiadka as far as I know. SJ was a baker by trade. SJ married Yetta Silverman, probably sometime in the mid 1880s. It is unclear whether the marriage took place in Biesiadka (or perhaps in Krakau). There are few records of the Jewish community of Mielec and very few vital records exist, so this may remain a mystery. Their first child was Rivka (aka Rebecca and Beatrice) Jahss, who was born around 1885-87 while they were still living in Poland. Beatrice was my wife's great-grandfather. It looks like SJ came over alone to scope out the USA in 1886 as I have him arriving on September 25, 1886 at the Port of NY on the SS Hammonia. After the rest of the family immigrated, SJ and his wife had the following additional children: Herman/Hyman (born Dec 10, 1888 in Newark, NJ); Anna/Hanna (born Sep 15, 1890 in NYC); Samuel (born May 8, 1893 in Newark, NJ); and Rose/Rosie (born Oct 15, 1895 in Philadelphia). By 1902, SJ and Yetta either were divorced or Yetta had died. Around that year SJ married a woman named Dora, and they produced at least one child: Minne, born July 12, 1908 in Philadelphia.
I have found the family at the following addresses in the US census and city directories: 1889-90: Solomon Jass, bakery, 306 Fifteen Avenue, Newark; 1900-01: Sigmund Jass, baker, 121 Broome St, NYC; 1905: Solomon Jahss, baker, 341 Fitzwater, Philadelphia; 1910: Sigmund Jass, baker, South 3rd Street, Philadelphia.
SJ probably died between 1910 and 1920 but I have been unable to find a death certificate or tombstone for him. I can tell you more about the family and about SJ's children if you are interested. What is your connection? Do you have any old documents, photos or info re the Jass family? Regards, Donald Lockhart
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