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Most of the Kabakoff descendants found in the U.S. who trace their roots back to Dokshitsy (a little village north of Minsk in Minsk Gubernia, Belarus—then Russia) are descended from two men: Zvi Hersh “Hershel” Kabakoff (born circa 1827) and Shabsai “Shepsel” Kabakoff (born circa 1831), whom we believe, after extensive analysis of available data, to have been brothers. Research done recently within present-day Belarus points to one Leyba Kabakov (born 1779) as the progenitor of the Dokshitsy Kabakoffs, after he moved to Dokshitsy in the late 18th or early 19th century. We believe Leyba was either the father or grandfather of both Hershel and Shepsel.

It was the children and grandchildren of Hershel and Shepsel who immigrated to the United States and Israel. Important information linking Shepsel’s and Hershel’s families has been lost over the years, but documents and statements collected by Brian and Rosalie Burg since 1983 show that there had been a lot of interaction between these two large Kabakoff branches during the 1920’s and 1930’s especially, and that Hershel and Shepsel were most probably brothers.

All of Hershel’s known children settled primarily in New Haven, Connecticut and Springfield, Massachusetts, with one exception: a son who settled in St. Louis, Missouri. Most of Shepsel’s known children and grandchildren settled in and around Memphis, Tennessee and St. Louis, Missouri, with one set of grandchildren going to Israel. Shepsel’s family was actually the first to immigrate, some coming as early as the 1880’s (possibly even the 1870’s). Hershel’s family all seem to have come beginning with the new century.

Because many relatives were named after the same ancestor, we have a large number of people with identical names, so it is very easy to get confused as to who is who! For instance, we have a large number of “Harry Kabakoffs”—most, if not all, named after the original Hershel. Also, both Hershel and Shepsel had sons named “Yehudah Leyb” and known familiarly as “Leybl”—most certainly named after their common ancestor Leyba, the founder of the Dokshitsy Kabakoffs.

Following is an overview of Hershel’s family, his children and grandchildren, followed by an overview of Shepsel’s family, his children and grandchildren:

FAMILY OF HERSHEL KABAKOFF (1827-1878?) & DORA FRIEDMAN (?-?)

Known Children

Spouse

Settled In

Grandchildren Who Reached Adulthood

Yehudah Leyb “Leybl” KABAKOFF
(known as “Louis” in the U.S.)

Mnuche “Minnie” PORTNOFF

New Haven, CT; though son George later moved to Chicago, IL

Gersen “George” KABAKOFF[1];
Zvi Hersh “Harry” KABAKOFF;
Samuel KABAKOFF;
Rebecca Kabakoff STRANSKY;
Hyman Morris KABAKOFF;
Sarah Virginia “Ida” Kabakoff RUGGIERO;
Rivka “Evelyn” Kabakoff LEVINSON;
Judel “Irving” KABAKOFF;
Hinda Feygl “Anne” Kabakoff BARNETT

Shabsai “Shepsel” KABAKOFF
(known as “Sam” in the U.S.)

Chava Merka “Anna” MALKIN

St. Louis, MO; later moved to Los Angeles, CA

Diana KABAKOFF GOULD;
Rose Kabakoff WANDT;
Zvi Hersh “Harry” KABAKOFF[2];
Dishka “Stella” Kabakoff HIMMELFARB;
Alice Kabakoff KAPLAN;
Maxine Kabakoff FRIEDMAN[3]

Sheyna (?) KABAKOFF (known as “Jennie” in the U.S.)

Abraham FAIMAN

Springfield, MA

Zvi Hersh “Harry” FAIMAN;
Chaim “Hyman” FAIMAN;
Berel “Benjamin” FAIMAN;
Rivka “Becky” Faiman DAVIDSON

Benyamin “Bendl” KABAKOFF
(known as “Benjamin” in the U.S.)

Chava “Anna Mary” KANTOROWITZ

Springfield, MA

Morris KABAKOFF

Meyer KABAKOFF
(also known as “Meyer” in the U.S.)

1.  Sophie KRAMER
2.  Liba “Libby” KRAMER (Sophie’s sister)

New Haven, CT

Dora Riva Kabakoff LICHTENSTEIN POLISHOOK[4];
Chaya Esther “Ida” Kabakoff KREVOLIN;
Zvi Hersh “Harry” KABAKOFF;
Samuel KABAKOFF (“Hejshie” on ship manifest)


[1] George’s son Phil changed the family surname to KAY; George’s son Harry changed it to KAYE.
[2] This Harry Kabakoff was a relatively well-known boxer in the Southern Circuit.
[3] Maxine’s son Marshall changed the spelling of the family surname to FREEDMAN.
[4] Dora was Sophie’s daughter; the other three children were Libby’s.

FAMILY OF SHEPSEL KABAKOFF (1831-?) & SARA LIBA TABACHNIK (?-?)

Known Children

Spouse

Settled In

Grandchildren Who Reached Adulthood

Yehoshua Zalman “Zelik” KABAKOFF

Stirka “Tillie” MOTLIN

Never left Dokshitsy[1], but their children settled as follows: Esther & Molly: Memphis, TN; Mendel: New York City, NY; Jacob: Clarksdale, MS; Sarah[2] & Shmuel: Israel

Chaya Liebe Kabakoff ETKIN[3];
Sarah Kabakoff TZUCHMAN;
Esther Kabakoff ZISKIND;
Mendel KABAKOFF[4];
Shmuel “Samuel” KABAKOFF;
Jacob KABAKOFF;
Molly Kabakoff CRISTIL

Itka KABAKOFF
(known as “Yetta” in the U.S.)

David HUTKIN

St. Louis, MO

Chaim Shepse “Sam” HUTKIN;
Chana Sheyna “Jennie” Hutkin FRIEDMAN;
Michael “Mike” HUTKIN;
Chai Libba (Ida Libby) Hutkin SHEFSKY;
Mendel Leyb “Manuel” HUTKIN;
Rifka “Becky” Hutkin MALTZ

Riva KABAKOFF
(known as Rebecca in the U.S.)

Moses Saul FRIEDMAN

St. Louis, MO

Abraham FRIEDMAN;
Kune Sheyna “Jennie” Friedman GOLDBERG;
Chaya Motla “Ida” Friedman FREEDMAN;
Zvi Hersh “Harry” FRIEDMAN

Yehudah Leyb “Leybl” KABAKOFF
(known as Louis in the U.S.)

Mollie EVENSKY

Memphis, TN

Zvi Hersh “Harry” KABAKOFF;
Sara Florence Kabakoff UDELSOHN;
Nathan KABAKOFF;
Abraham KABAKOFF;
Fannie (Fagel) Kabakoff GERBER;
Ellias KABAKOFF;
Esther “Estelle” Kabakoff CHERRY;
Hannah “Anna” Kabakoff GRUBER;
Celia Kabakoff PEISER

Osher KABAKOFF
(known as Osher in the U.S.)

Sara Rebecca KATZ

Memphis, TN

Fruma “Fannie” Kabakoff KAPELL;
Ellias KABAKOFF (“Leib” on ship manifest);
Goldie Kabakoff COHEN;
Herman KABAKOFF;
Mannie KABAKOFF  (“Manes” on ship manifest);
Hannah Kabakoff LETTES (“Channe” on ship manifest);
Zvi Hersh “Harry” KABAKOFF;
Eva Kabakoff JACOBSON

Simcha KABAKOFF
(known as Sam in the U.S.)

Rose GOLDSTEIN Memphis, TN Lillian KABAKOFF;
Sophia Celeste Kabakoff Goff ALPER;
Ethel Kabakoff KORBEL;
Joseph Ezra KABAKOFF

[1] Meyer Kabakoff’s daughter, Dora, who was born in 1903 and left Dokshitsy in 1923, said that Zelik was murdered during a pogrom when he was crucified by being nailed to a tree!
[2] One of Sarah’s daughters, Liba Tzuchman SHAPIRO, settled in Cape Town, South Africa.
[3] Chaya Liebe was murdered by the Nazis in the Glubokie ghetto (near Minsk) in 1943. Her widowed daughter-in-law, Eva Kaminsky Etkin, a brave Jewish partisan, was murdered in the forests outside Glubokie, but one of her twin sons (that is, one of Chaya Liebe's grandsons), Michael Etkin, survived the Holocaust and established a large family in Israel.
[4] Mendel changed the family surname to CABIN.

OTHER KABAKOFFS:
This website was created by KABAKOFF family members who trace their roots back to the shtetl of Dokshitsy, near Minsk (the capital of present-day Belarus). In the U.S., most of the immigrant generation settled in New Haven, Connecticut; Springfield, Massachusetts; Memphis, Tennessee; and St. Louis, Missouri. However, There are other KABAKOFF families in the U.S. and around the world. One is definitely related to the Kabakoffs of Dokshitsy. That one comprises the Kabakoffs from Igumen (also near Minsk). Most of them spell their surname KABAKOW, and some KABAKOV. In the U.S., they immigrated primarily to New Jersey and New York.

Over the years we have been in touch with still other Kabakoffs in the U.S. and in Israel and Australia. There is a Kabakoff clan in Cincinnati, Ohio, whose ancestors came from Olishevka and other shtetlach in Ukraine, and another clan in the New York area whose ancestors lived in Sobolivka, Ukraine (the famous Jewish scholar Jacob Kabakoff is part of that family). Because the results from traditional methods of genealogical research, conducted over a period of many years, failed to establish a relationship between the Dokshitsy/Igumen Kabakoffs and these other Kabakoff clans, the decision was made in April 2008 to turn to genetic genealogy and to initiate a KABAKOFF Y-DNA PROJECT at Family Tree DNA.

The results of the genetic testing of the first group of KABAKOFF Y-DNA PROJECT participants, who represent the families descended from the Kabakoffs from Dokshitsy, Olishevka, and Sobolivka, indicate that these families are NOT related to each other. Nevertheless, sharing the triumphs and disappointments of our genealogical research efforts over the years, including our DNA project, has made us feel that we are somehow all part of the same family.

For details of our genetic study, please visit our DNA PROJECT page. The project is an ongoing endeavor, so if you are seeking a connection to your KABAKOFF ancestor and do not see your ancestor mentioned above, please visit our DNA PROJECT page and consider joining the Kabakoff Y-DNA Project at Family Tree DNA.

copyright© 2017 Charlie Fleishman