Close this search box.

Welcome to

Our Family Tree


Adolph Silverman & Elena Benioff
back l to r: Simon & Solman Friedman, Dina Shulman, Israel, Sam & Harry Friedman; front: David Gologorsky, Polya Friedman, child?, Anya Friedman, Izak Spector, child?, Clara Friedman, Morris Friedman - kids may be Leah & Avram Spector- in Mexico
Deborah Sharon Friedman

Site Curation

By Deborah Sharon Friedman

“To be remembered is a precious thing;
To have a place though small, in a dear mind
An anchor that holds steady in the waves,
A light that shows the rocks, A home that saves;
To be remembered is a hand that’s kind
To be remembered is a voice that sings.”

Alice Silverman Benioff

I have put this site together in order to have a place to house all the genealogical information I am unearthing. I hope you will find something of interest to you; information about your part of our family tree, locations where your family came from, etc. There are photos, family trees, journals, documents, and many many letters and family stories that have been nearly lost to time. There are some answers to some questions but mostly lots of mysteries. I hope you will become as intrigued by these as I have been, and I hope this site will help you to become motivated to solve some of them.

There are stories of early Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New Orleans, as well as Jerusalem as early as 1900. There is information for descendants of enslaved persons, for those of Swedish Lutheran ancestry, and for those of Jewish ancestry from Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Israel, and Belarus.

We are just getting this website started. If you know you are related to me and you do not yet see specific information about your family, be patient and/or please send me the content you would like to see displayed.

I have elected to present this information as a website rather than a book. A book, once published becomes a static document. I am hoping that this website will continue to be a living document, constantly evolving, changing and growing. My dream is that after me, one or more of you, my relatives, will take on the task of family historian to continue to solve the many mysteries and find the incredible personalities and stories that make up our family.

Privacy: We have chosen to not password protect this website for now, for ease of use. However, we have made it difficult to find with a search engine. If you feel a password is necessary, we are open to revisiting the idea.

Images: please click on each image (photo, newspaper, document etc) to open in a new window, with controls to enlarge for better readability. 

Copyright: Many of the images on this site are in the public domain but the majority are owned by myself and my family. Please respect and maintain best practices for copyright usage. For more information please review our policies.

Solve the Mystery

Help me find more information.

You will see these boxes throughout the website where I pose a few of the many questions that still need answers. I would love your participation and expertise in solving these mysteries.


Information includes histories of the Benioff, Dinkelspiel, Hess, Eisenstein, Friedman, Gratch, Lipson, Levy, Sanger, Shulman, Silverman, Widerquist, and Zasler families. Use the main navigation at the top of every page to find information on families, family members, and friends. The Resources section includes links to information outside of this website. Click on the magnifying glass to search with your family name—in most cases, women can be found by searching with their maiden name.

My Grandparents, & Their Parents

Diaries & Letters

January 1 Another year gone. How they do fly by. I have only about a year and a half more at Miss Murisons and wish I had many more. I hope the year will bring more joy than the last. Mother, Magaret, Miss Wykoff and I went to the beach this morning to see the effects of the storm. I have never seen the ocean so rough and so wonderful. I was over at Janets for dinner to-nigh - From 1914 Diary
April 26, 1925 Dear Ann:---- Becky gave me your little note you left for me at her desk. Thanks for your fine attention. Never mind that record. I am sorry I could not get for you in San Francisco the sheet music I wanted to. I’ll try in Hermosillo, then. – In compliance with your wish I am writing you. I am now in that famous Cananea, where fire devoured 150 homes and all the business section together with our good customer’s stock. It seems that we will get our money – Just how easy and how soon of course cannot be foreseen right now....
“…a striking brunette, tall and with a dignified carriage. Her acting yet lacks finish and shows immaturity, but she has a intelligence and a great capacity for work and study.”