Family of Mordechai Laib Shapiro and his wife Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro, circa 1921
- Irvin (Irving) Barron, son of Lillian (Lilly) Shapiro and Benjamin Barron, grandson of Mordechai Laib and Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro, and husband of Sara
- Paul Shapiro (also known as Pacey) son of Hyman and Esther Meyerwitz Shapiro, grandson of Mordechai Laib and Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro
- W. Edward Shapiro (Eddie), son of Hyman and Esther Meyerwitz Shapiro, grandson of Mordechai Laib and Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro, and husband of Frances
- Isidore (Isadore) Shapiro, son of Hyman and Esther Meyerwitz Shapiro, grandson of Mordechai Laib and Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro, and husband of Doris
- Helen Barron Levin, daughter of Lillian (Lilly) Shapiro and Benjamin Barron, granddaughter of Mordechai Laib and Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro. She married Maurice ? Levin and they lived in Montgomery County, Maryland.
- Harold (Henech or Henny) Yatt, son of Edith (Hinda) Shapiro and Solomon Yatt, grandson of Mordechai Laib and Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro, husband of Bonnie.. He was born on January 8, 1920, in ________________.
- Ruth Frances (Tootsie) Yatt Hurwitz, sister of Harold (Henny) Yatt, daughter of Edith (Hinda) Shapiro and Solomon Yatt, granddaughter of Mordechai Laib and Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro, wife of Leonard (Lenny) Hurwitz. She was born on June 12, 1921 in Baltimore, Maryland and died in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, on January 1, 1985.
- Solomon Shapiro, Ph.D., son of Benjamin (Dov Ber) Shapiro, born in Baltimore City, Maryland on July 6, 1920, and died in Baltimore City, Maryland on January 7, 1989. In February 1948 he married Phyllis Mildred Kramer (known as Mildred; Yiddish name Fayge Mindel).
- Lillian Shapiro (Lilly) Barron, daughter of Mordechai Laib and Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro, wife of Benjamin Barron. He died in December 1941 in Harrisburg, PA. She died in Wheaton, Maryland and is buried in Harrisburg.
- Mordechai Laib (a/k/a Max Louis in U.S.) Shapiro, son of Dov Ber Shapiro, born in 1847 or 1850 in Kamajai, Lithuania, died in Baltimore, Maryland in 1926. According to family history, he was informally known as "Mottel." His gravestone indicates that in 1926 he was 76 years old. His Orthodox Jewish identification was Nusach Ari. A reference to him in the 1882 Voters List for Kamai lists him as "Motel Leyba Shapira," son of "Berko," age 35. Thus, he was either born in 1847 or 1850 and would have been either 74 or 71 in 1921. He first went to South Africa to consider whether to move his family there, but returned to Kamajai and decided the family should move to the U.S. He arrived in the U.S. in 1906, lived in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, until 1914, and then moved to Baltimore.
- Hyman (Alter) Shapiro, son of Mordechai Laib and Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro. He married Esther Meyerwitz. They initially lived in Baltimore and then moved to California. He is buried in Los Angeles. He was named Alter because he was the first of the children to survive.
- Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro, wife of Mordechai Laib Shapiro, was born in Kupiskis, Lithuania, in 1859. She and her husband came to America in 1906. They first lived in Harrisburg and moved to Baltimore City in 1914, where she died in 1934. Like most of the family, she is buried in the Rosedale Cemetery in Baltimore, adjacent to her sisters Etta Devara Romm Smith and Chia Rivka Romm Schwartzberg.
- Benjamin (Dov Ber) Shapiro, son of Mordechai Laib and Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro, born in Kamajai, Lithuania, either on October 18, 1882, or October 15, 1883. He died in Baltimore City, Maryland in 1940. As a youth, he attended the Telshe Yeshiva in Telz, Lithuania. He arrived in the U.S. before his father.
- Benjamin Barron, husband of Lillian (Lilly) Shapiro Barron, the daughter of Mordechai Laib and Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro. He lived in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and died there in December 1941.
- Edith ShapiroYatt, daughter of Mordechai Laib and Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro, born in Kamajai, Lithuania, in 1895, and died in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1948. She was sister of Benjamin (Dov Ber) Shapiro, wife of Sol (Shlomo) Yatt (formerly Yatovitz), mother of Harold Yatt and Ruth Yatt Hurwitz.
- Solomon (Shlomo, Sol) Yatt, son of Henech Yatovitz and Pessa Leba Romm Yatovitz, born in Kamajai, Lithuania, in 189___. He married Edith (Hinda) Shapiro, the fourth surviving child of Mordechai Laib and Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro. Sol's mother, Pessa Leba Romm Yatovitz, was the sister of Etta Devara Romm Smith (the mother of Celia Smith Shapiro #19), Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro (his mother-in-law), and Chia Rivka Romm Schwartzberg. Pessa Leba was born no later than 1855. She and her husband Henech Yatovitz (Yatovtz in Russian records) lived in Kamajai, Lithuania, where Henech operated a mill, until 1881. They then lived in Dvinsk (Daugavpils), Latvia, from about 1881 to 1905, when they moved to Gadera, Palestine, with several of their younger children, including Sol. Marvin Hurwitz has a painting showing Sol and a sibling as children in Bedouin clothing. Upon the outbreak of World War I, the Russian Jews in Palestine were considered enemy aliens by the Turkish authorities. One of Sol's brothers slipped away to (British-controlled) Egypt and went to South Africa where other family members had settled. Sol was sent to the then-neutral United States, arriving on December 27, 1914. In 1950, reminiscing on the BAYL family society's primary mission of bringing over relatives from Europe, Sol said, "I have the distinction of being the last one so fortunate." Sol settled in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and died there in 1966. Sol's parents, Henech and Pessa Leba, remained in Palestine and were placed in an internment camp in the desert. Henech died there in 1916. After the British took control of Palestine, Pessa Leba moved to Me'a She'arim in Jerusalem and married a family friend Alter ______. She died in Jerusalem in 1938.
- Esther Meyerovitz Shapiro, wife of Hyman (Alter) Shapiro, who was the oldest surviving child of Mordechai Laib and Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro.
- Miriam (Mareh Leah, a/k/a Mary) Shapiro Cohen, third daughter of Benjamin (Dov Ber) Shapiro and Celia Smith (Zlata Savilevics) Shapiro, born in Baltimore City, Maryland in 1916, wife of Benjamin Cohen, died in Baltimore City, Maryland in 1991. Benjamin Cohen was born in Baltimore City in 1909 and died there in 1984.
- Celia Smith (born Zlata Savilevics) Shapiro, daughter of Etta Devara Romm and Shlomo Savilevics, born in Kupiskis, Lithuania, in 1881. Celia's mother, Etta Devara Romm, was the oldest daughter of Yehuda Laib Romm and Rella Krok Romm. (Etta Devara Romm Smith died in Baltimore in 1930). As a child, she occasionally lived with her grandmother, Rella Krok Romm Abramson, in Rokiskis. Celia's brother, Myer (Zanvil) Savilevics, known in the United States as Myer Smith, founded the B'nai Abraham and Yehuda Laib Family Society (BAYL). Celia arrived in the U.S. through the port of Boston and moved to Baltimore. There she met and married her first cousin, Benjamin (Dov Ber) Shapiro. They had never met in Lithuania since Kupiskis and Kamajai were too distant -- about 20 kilometers apart. Celia died in Baltimore City, Maryland, in 1967.
- Ruth Sylvia (Rella Tzivia) Shapiro Reinberg, daughter of Benjamin (Dov Ber) Shapiro and Celia Smith (Zlata Savilevics) Shapiro, born in Baltimore City, Maryland in 1910, wife of Sol Reinberg (born in Schmalnau, Germany), died in Baltimore City, Maryland in 1999.
- Anna (Anne) Barron Douglas, daughter of Lillian (Lilly) Shapiro and Benjamin Barron and granddaughter of Mordechai Laib and Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro. She was born in 19__ in Harrisburg. She married Benjamin Barron and lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
- Mitchell (Yisroel Michul) Shapiro, youngest surviving child of Mordechai Laib and Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro. He was born in Kamajai, Lithuania, and in the U.S. adopted a birth date of August 25, 1898. Mitchell made passage to America from the port of Riga, Latvia. He married Ida Udelwitz, a Lithuanian Jew who managed to avoid the general deportation of the Lithuanian Jews to Siberia in May 1915. Mitchell and Ida had one child, Tanya. Mitchell was a photographer and in 1929-1930 relocated to the Soviet Russia to work in the photographic field and perhaps film science. (At the time, the Soviet Union was actively recruiting former Russian subjects to help build their industries.) Mitchell stayed less than a year and returned to the U.S. He had a photographic studio in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and also worked as a medical photographer for the Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. Among other credits, he was at one time a photographer of the illustrator Norman Rockwell and the Jacob's Pillow Dance Company. He is considered an historical figure in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Mitchell died in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in 1976 and is buried in Baltimore's Rosedale Cemetery.
- Lillian R. Shapiro Forman, daughter of Hyman (Alter) and Esther Meyerwitz Shapiro, granddaughter of Mordechai Laib and Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro. (The 1951 BAYL Bulletin shows her as the wife of Sol Sarfaty.)
- Sylvia Shapiro Siegel, daughter of Hyman (Alter) and Esther Meyerwitz Shapiro, granddaughter of Mordechai Laib and Rocha Nessa Romm Shapiro, and wife of Abe Siegel. They lived in Baltimore.
- Edith (Hinda in Yiddish; Yehudis in Hebrew) Shapiro Siegel, daughter of Benjamin (Dov Ber) Shapiro and Celia Smith (Zlata Savilevics) Shapiro, born in Baltimore City, Maryland in 1911, wife of Samuel Siegel (also a member of BAYL), died in Washington, D.C., in 1975. Sam died in 1987.
Yatovitz family c. 1895-1905.
BAYL Meeting Attendees at the Baltimore Jewish War Veterans Hall, circa 1961
Shapiro and Yatt Relatives, Late 1950s
Among those standing are, from left to right, Ruth Shapiro Reinberg, Samuel Siegel, Edith Shapiro Siegel, Miriam Shapiro Cohen, Benjamin Cohen, Sol Yatt, Ruth Yatt Hurwitz, and Harold “Henny” Yatt. Seated, in the center, is Celia Smith Shapiro (born Zlata Savilevics), the sister of BAYL founder Myer Smith (born Zavel Savilevics). Zlata and Zavel were born in Kupisik / Kupiškis and lived briefly in Rokisik / Rokiškis with their grandmother Rella Krok Romm Abramson, before emigrating to the U.S. in the late 1890s.
Myer Smith, the founder of the B'nai Abraham and Yehuda Laib Family Society, was born Zavel Savilevics in 1875 in Kupisik / Kupiškis. After training in Riga to be a capmaker, he lived for a brief period with his grandmother, Rella Krok Romm Abramovitz, and her second husband, Rabbi Abraham Abramovitz (in the U.S., Abramson). He then moved to Baltimore and worked for a wholesale grocery business. From this position, he was able to help relatives get started in the grocery business.
Myer Smith’s signature in the January 16, 1938, BAYL Anniversary Banquet Program
Fetter Israel Nachmson
“Fetter” Israel Nachamson (1845 (?)- 19__) was to married Mari-Le’ah Romm (1847 (?)-1915), the daughter of Yehuda Laib Romm. In Yiddish, the word “fetter” פעטער usually refers to a great-uncle. One of their children, Morris Nachamson (1868-1950), was the first member of the family society to arrive in Baltimore. Morris encouraged others to immigrate to Baltimore.
Israel and Mari-Le’ah appear to have initially emigrated from Lithuania to Jaffa, in what was then the Turkish Empire. According to news articles in the early Spring of 1915, around 1905 they decided to move to the United States and live in Baltimore, where several of their children were living. However, after nine years in Baltimore they decided to live out their remaining years in their former home in Jaffa. They returned there on July 4, 1914.
On October 31, 1914, Turkey formally entered the First World War on the side of the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires. On very short notice, the Turks expelled Israel, who was then 80, but not his wife, who was 78. She was stranded in Jaffa. It took Israel eight weeks to make his way back to Baltimore, traveling via Alexandria (Egypt), Naples, Paris, Le Havre, and New York.
One of their sons, Eli Nachamson (1881-1933), was a businessman in Kinston, North Carolina. When he learned of his mother’s predicament, he sent his nephew, Max Ellison, to her rescue. Max told the newspapers that he would rescue his great-aunt and bring her back to the United States “at any cost” and despite all risks that traveling to Turkish lands might present. “Mr. Nachamson’s Mother in Jeopardy,” The Daily Free Press (Kinston, North Carolina), March 30, 1915, page 1, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/22210598/kinston-paper-on-mrs-nachamson-in/; “Wife of Kinston Man is Lost in Holy Land,” The Western Sentinel (Winston-Salem, North Carolina), April 2, 1915, page 1, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/1317278/the-western-sentinel/.
According to a June 30, 1915, article, despite efforts of her family to get her back to the U.S., her anxiety from her predicament led to Mari-Le’ah falling ill and dying in Jaffa. “Lost Wife in the Shuffle: Now She is Dead, Having Not Seen Husband Since War Began,” The Wilmington [NC] Morning Star, June 30, 1915, page 7, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/5285564/the-wilmington-morning-star/.