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Katz Name Origins
Katz = Kohen Tzaddik
KA”TZ —a contraction of two Hebrew words: “ Kohen Tzaddik” (righteous high priest or priestly class and learned)
The word Kohen means High Priest. The priesthood in the Jewish faith were members of the tribe of Levi (one of the twelve tribes). One member of that tribe was Moses. His brother Aaron was appointed by the Almighty as a “High Priest”. His descendents carried the title “High Priest” or Ha Kohen, "The High Priest". Theoretically, all Katz’s and Cohen’s are related, directly descending from Aaron.
The word Tzaddik means righteous. The combination of Kohen and Tzaddik becomes Katz, the German word for “cat”, a name that was acceptable to the German officials requiring Jews to take surnames in the early 1800’s.
In Russia , the name Katz was spelled "KAC" in the Cyrillic letters. While the family used the name “KATZ”, Chaye-Malka KATZ-SEIFER ’s tombstone lists her as the daughter of Lipa Ha’Cohen and Celia KATZ-PERLMAN's tombstone lists her as the daughter of Tzvi Ha'Cohen. As of yet, we are not sure what to make of the difference in first names.
GENERATION No. 1
Known Child of ZELMANOVICH [KATZ] is:
i. ISAAC VIGDEROVICH KATZ, b. 1804, Pruzzeneh; d. Pruzzeneh.
NOTE: Records indicate Isaac Vigderovich Katz's father was Zelmanovich. It is unclear whether the Katz last name existed before Isaac Vigderovich as, for a long period, Jews did not always use surnames.
GENERATION No. 2
ISAAC (aka Aizikovich) VIGDEROVICH KATZ
ISAAC VIGDEROVICH KATZ (ZELMANOVICH 1) was born 1804 in Pruzzeneh and died in Pruzzeneh. He married UNKNOWN UNKNOWN about 1823 in Pruzzeneh. She was born about 1805 in Pruzzeneh, and also died in Pruzzeneh. (Source: Grodno revision lists)
Isaac had four sons that we know of and may also have had several daughters. Each of his sons married as noted below and information found on their offspring follows...
Known Children of ISAAC KATZ and UNKNOWN UNKNOWN are:
i. SHMUILO-VIGDER KATZ, b. 1824, Pruzzeneh; d. after 1852, Pruzzeneh.
ii. LIPA KATZ, b. 1833, Pruzzeneh; d. before 1909, Pruzzeneh.
iii. CHIAM-DAVID KATZ, b. 1845, Pruzzeneh; d. after 1912.
iv. ZALMAN KATZ, b. 1851; d. Jan 1943.
v. DAUGHTERS KATZ.
GENERATION No. 3
SHMUILO-VIGDER KATZ (aka Shmulio Vigderovich)
SHMUILO-VIGDER KATZ (ISAAC VIGDEROVICH 2 KATZ, ZELMANOVICH 1) was born in Pruzzeneh in 1824 when his father was just 20 years old. He married Frieda and they had at least two children. Schmuel, his son Michal and his grandson Leizer (aka Lebj?) were all blacksmiths. (Source: 1897 Grodno Census list).
Known Children of SHMUILO-VIGDER KATZ and FRIEDA UNKNOWN are:
i. MICHAL KATZ, b. after 1844 in Pruzzeneh; d. Feb 1943, murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz.
ii. SHEINA KATZ, b. after 1844 in Pruzzeneh; d. Feb 1943, murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz.
LIPA KATZ (ISAAC VIGDEROVICH 2 KATZ, ZELMANOVICH 1) was born 1833 in Pruzzeneh, and died before 1909 in Pruzzeneh. He married RACHEL YANOWITZ. She was born in Pruzzeneh, and died in Pruzzeneh.
Is the name "Lipe" a Hebrew or Yiddish nickname (kinui)? ... In Hebrew letters it is spelled: "Lamed, Yud, Pei, Alef"
The name Lipe is a derivation of the name Lipman. The name Lipman is a nickname (Kinui) for the Hebrew names: Uri, Yom Tov, Elazar and Eliezer. From Germany we know that this name is used in the 12th and 13th century as a kinui for Eliezer, Lazarus called ( Ha-Mechune) Lipman. The name is derived from the German name Liebman that means a beloved man. Lipman is a very used name in the Jewish culture from the middle ages until today. More variants of this name are: Lipush, Lipke, Lipa, Lippe, Lipel, Lip.
Children of LIPA KATZ and RACHEL YANOWITZ are:
i. CHETZKEL (Hyman) KATZ, c. 1859, Pruzzeneh (Pruzhany)
ii. CHAYIE-MALKA KATZ-SAFER, b. 1862, Pruzzeneh (Pruzhany); d. 19 Nov 1935, Manhattan, New York .
iii. CELIA KATZ-PERLMAN, b. 1870, Pruzzeneh (Pruzhany)
iv. PESCHE KATZ.
v. MENDEL KATZ.
vi. BORUCH KATZ.
NOTE: This list is based on some research and some hearsay . It is unclear whether the last three listed are really Lippe and Rachel’s children!!!
CHIAM-DAVID KATZ (aka Chiam Davidovich?)
CHIAM-DAVID KATZ (ISAAC VIGDEROVICH 2 KATZ, ZELMANOVICH 1) was born 1839 in Pruzzeneh and died after 1912. He married FREDLA UNKNOWN who was born about 1852 in Pruzzeneh, and they had at least three sons and possibly several daughters. The 1897 Grodno census lists “Khiam Kats” as being age 58 and his occupation as shoemaker. It states his sons Mordukh-Beniamin (age 20) and Eiser-Yanken (age 18) were both living with him. Unfortunately, the census did not list females.
Source: 1897 Russian Census, lists Khiam Kats as 58 in 1897 which implies a birth year of 1839 and Fredla as 45 in 1897, confirming a birth year of 1852.
Children of CHIAM-DAVID KATZ and FREDLA UNKNOWN are:i. AVRAM-ISAAC KATZ, b. before 1877, Pruzzeneh; d. about 1930, Pruzzeneh.
ii. MORDUKH-BENIAMIN KATZ b. 1877, Pruzzeneh (Source: 1897 Russian Census, indicates age 20 in 1897.)
iii. EIZER-YANKEN KATZ b. 1879, Pruzzeneh (Source: 1897 Russian Census, indicates age 18 in 1897.)
iv. BORUCH KATZ, b. Pruzzeneh; d. after 1912.
ZALMAN KATZZALMAN KATZ (ISAAC VIGDEROVICH 2 KATZ, ZELMANOVICH 1) is the youngest known son of Isaac-Vigderovich Katz. He was born in Pruzzeneh in 1851 and later married Yitka and had two sons that we know of. He may also have had several daughters but records of those daughters (if any) have not been found.
NOTE: Records show that Zalman and Yitka Katz were murdered by the Nazis in Auschwitz in 1944. They were both about 90 years old. Other records show they were on the 4th transport from Pruzzeneh in Feb 1943.
Records indicate there was a Zalman Katz born in 1883. His paternal grandfather was “Aizik”, his father was Abraham-Chiam and his mother was Golda. It is possible he was also related but the connection has yet to be made.
Children of ZALMAN KATZ and YITKA UNKNOWN are:
i. LEIZER KATZ, d. Jan 1943, murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz .
ii. ISAAC KATZ.
GENERATION No. 4
CHILDREN OF SCHMULIO-VIGDER KATZ
MICHAL KATZ (SHMUILO-VIGDER 3 KATZ, ISAAC VIGDEROVICH 2 KATZ, ZELMANOVICH 1) (aka MICHEL) was born in Pruzzeneh, and died Feb 1943. He married MALKA SELETZKI (aka Malke Sielecka) in Pruzzeneh. She was born in Pruzzeneh, and died Feb 1943, when they were both murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz. MICHAL & MALKA KATZ were in the 4th transport from Pruzzeneh. He was a blacksmith.
Children of MICHAL KATZ and MALKA SELETZKI are:
i. LEIBEH KATZ, b. Pruzzeneh; d. 1945, disappeared; m. HUSBAND UNKNOWN; d. before 1943. Leibeh, married and had at least one son, Shlomo. Leibeh’s husband fixed bicycles until he was killed by a bomb during WWII.
ii. EITKEH KATZ, d. Feb 1943, murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz.
iii. LEIZER KATZ, (aka Lebj) b. 21 Jul 1926 Pruzzeneh; Occupation: Blacksmith. Supposedly, Leizer immigrated to Argentina and wrote part of the Pinkas Pruzhany Memorial book.
CHILDREN OF LIPA KATZ
CHETZKEL KATZ (LIPA 3 KATZ, ISAAC VIGDEROVICH 2 KATZ, ZELMANOVICH 1) was born about 1859 in Pruzhany. He married MUSHKA (aka Mariasche, Minnie) UNKNOWN.
Chatzkel KATZ (Hymie) immigrated on the SS Haverfordo from Liverpool on 25 Nov 1907 with his wife, Mariasche, and his four yougest children. They arrived in Philadelphia 7 Dec 1907 and were going to Chatzkel's son Harry and listed their closest relative back home as his sister, Chaye-Malke (KATZ) SEIFER.
The entire family moved to New York and in 1910, they were living on Bushwick Avenue in Brookly, next door (in the same building) to Chetzkel's sister, Celia KATZ-PERLMAN. The 1910 census shows is Hyman KATZ (52) with his wife Minnie (48) and their children Fannie (19), Rebecca (15), Edna (11), Bessie (9), Jacob (6), Harry (22), Bennie (20) and Samuel (23). It states they were all born in Russia and immigrated in 1908 (actually it was 1907). Hyman was a Blacksmith ... and my cousin David Katz told us all the Katz's in Pruzhany were blacksmiths!
The 1920 census shows Hyman KATZ and three of his children living in Brooklyn and instead of working as a blacksmith he is a junk dealer.
Children of CHETZKEL KATZ and MARIASHA UNKNOWN are:
i. SAM KATZ, b. 1887, Pruzzeneh (Pruzhany)
ii. HARRY KATZ, b. 1888, Pruzzeneh (Pruzhany)
iii. BENNY KATZ,. b. 1890, Pruzzeneh (Pruzhany)
iv. FANNIE KATZ, b. 1891, Pruzzeneh (Pruzhany)
v. REBECCA (aka BECKY, RIWKE) KATZ, b. 1895, Pruzzeneh (Pruzhany)
vi. EDNA (aka Itke) KATZ, b. 1898, Pruzzeneh (Pruzhany)
vii. BESSIE (aka Pessie) KATZ, b. 1901, Pruzzeneh (Pruzhany)
vii. JACOB (aka Jankel) KATZ, b. 1904, Pruzzeneh (Pruzhany)
CHAYIE-MALKA KATZ (aka Mollie Safer)
CHAYIE-MALKA KATZ (LIPA 3 KATZ, ISAAC VIGDEROVICH 2 KATZ, ZELMANOVICH 1) was born 1862 in Pruzzeneh (Pruzany), and died 19 Nov 1935 in Manhattan, New York. She married YITZCHAK ISAAC SAFER 25 Jul 1881 in Pruzzeneh (Pruzany), son of HENACH SEIFER and FEIGE-GITTLE COHEN. He was born 1858 in Pruzzeneh (Pruzany), and died 30 Oct 1948 in New York. Isaac and Mollie immigrated to the US in 1921.
FOR MORE ON CHAYIE-MALKA KATZ, PLEASE SEE SECTION ON YITZCHAK ISAAC SAFER.
CELIA KATZ (LIPA 3 KATZ, ISAAC VIGDEROVICH 2 KATZ, ZELMANOVICH 1) was born about 1870 in Pruzhany. She married Barnet PERLMAN and at some point the moved to Turkey and had three children.
The 1910 census shows them living on Bushwick Avenue in Brookly,. It states Barnet was working for the city as a street sweeper - a position he still had in 1930.
The 1910 census shows Barney Herman (Barnett PERLMAN!) (41) living on Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn with his wife Celia (KATZ-PERLMAN) (40) and their children Harry (17), Becky (12), Gussie (9), Arthur (7), Fannie (5), Lillie (2) and Louis (2 mos.). They were living next door (in the same building) to Celia's brother, CHATZKEL. The census shows the eldest three children, Harry, Becky and Gussie, were all born in Turkey and the rest of the children were born in the US. Barnett was a Street Cleaner - a position he held through 1930. The census states Barnett immigrated in 1901 and Celia immigrated with the three kids in 1902. Barnett was naturalized in 1906.
By 1920 the Perlman's had moved to Corona on Seaman Ave. Barnet was still working for the city as a street cleaner and they had two more sons, Louis (9) and Lester (7).
By 1930, the Perlman's were living in Corona on 111th Street and they owned their own home (worth $10,000).
Children of CELIA KATZ and BARNET PERLMAN are:
i. HARRY KATZ, b. 1893, Turkey
ii. BECKY KATZ, b. 1898, Turkey
iii. GUSSIE KATZ,. b. 1901, Turkey
iv. ARTHUR KATZ, b. 1903, NYC
v. FANNIE KATZ, b. 1905, NYC
vi. LILLIE KATZ, b. 1908, NYC
vii. LOUIS KATZ, b. 1910, NYC
vii. LESTER) KATZ, b. 1914, NYC
BORUCH KATZ (LIPA 3 KATZ, ISAAC VIGDEROVICH 2 KATZ, ZELMANOVICH 1) He married UNKNOWN UNKNOWN. They immigrated to the US.
Children of BORUCH KATZ and UNKNOWN UNKNOWN are:
i. HYMAN KATZ.
ii. CHAIKA KATZ.
iii. EVELYN KATZ.
NOTE: No data available on PESCHE or MENDEL KATZ.
CHILDREN OF CHIAM-DAVID KATZ
AVRAM-ISAAC KATZ (aka Isaak Katz)
AVRAM-ISAAC KATZ (CHIAM-DAVID 3 KATZ, ISAAC VIGDEROVICH 2 KATZ, ZELMANOVICH 1) was born before 1877 in Pruzzeneh, and died about 1930 in Pruzzeneh. He married TZVIA UNKNOWN. She was born before 1880 in Pruzzeneh, and died about 1928 in Pruzzeneh. They had four children. Avram-Isaac & Tzvia both died before WWII.
Source: Zelig’s wedding invitation shows Avram-Isaac alive in 1931 yet they are not listed as part of any transport lists.
AVRAM-ISAAC KATZ was a blacksmith. He was voted as a deputy (of something?) in Pruzzeneh in the 1881 elections (so we can assume he was born about 1861 or earlier).
Children of AVRAM-ISAAC KATZ and TZVIA UNKNOWN are:
i. YITZCHAK KATZ, b. before 1900, Pruzzeneh; d. Jan 1943, murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz; m. DVORCHE GORDON (aka Debora); b. about 1905, Pruzzeneh; d. Jan 1943, murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz. YITZCHAK and DVORCHE KATZ were both on the 4th transport from Pruzzeneh Feb. 1943. Yitzchak had been a blacksmith. They had three children - Dubbi, David and Yisroel-Eli. Yisroel-Eli was murdered in Auschwitz in 1943. Dubbi died of starvation just before Auschwitz was liberated in 1945. David reported "they set the dogs on her".
David Katz, Yitzchak and Dvorche's middle child, was the only member of his immediate family in Pruzzeneh to survive the Holocaust. He was in the 4th transport from the Pruzzeneh ghetto when it was liquidated in 1943 and he was interred at Birkenau. After the camp was liberated, he tried to make his way back to Pruzzeneh and was conscripted into the cavalry of the Russian army. He deserted after only a few days.
Below is David's Displaced Persons Identity Card # 7817 issued after the war at the DP Center Camp of Feldafing on 8.3.1946. He is listed as "Kac, Dawid" born 7.12.1923 in Pruzany. Nationality: Stateless ... and it goes on to say "has been, until his liberation by the US Army, imprisoned under the Nazi rule as a political prisoner in the following concentration camps: Auschwitz-Flossenburg and has the prisoner # 99366".
In 1946, David met his wife-to-be, Hilda Berman, on the boat on the way to the US. When they met again two years later, they married. Zelig Katz and two of his daughters met David in NY when his ship arrived. They knew he was coming as ship passenger lists were published in the Daily Forward (a Yiddish newspaper). They took him to live with them in the Bronx and he recalls that Yitzchak Isaac Safer came to bless him upon his arrival. NOTE: At the time, Yitzchak-Isaac was living with Sam & Raizel Safer in the same building as Zelig & Sarah Katz (1412 Charlotte St. in the Bronx, NY).
David ended up owning a business with several other Holocaust survivors. They manufactured fireproof doors.
ii. ZELIG KATZ, b. 09 Sep 1904, Pruzzeneh d. May 1972, Bronx, NY m. SARAH ZUCKERMAN, May 1931; b. 02 May 1911; d. 01 Jun 1987. (Source: Daughter: Sylvia Klein)
Zelig emigrated from Pruzzeneh to Argentina before 1928 and then emigrated from there to the US in 1929. He worked as an iron maker and made fire escapes. At some point he fell from a fourth floor fire escape. He survived but switched careers to owning and operating a fruit and vegetable stand on Jennings Street in the Bronx. Pre-1930 Zelig & Sarah lived at Bathgate Avenue & Crotona Park in the Bronx. Then they moved to 1412 Charlotte St. in the East Bronx. They lived near Anna Mintz & Ray Pomerantz and in the same building as Sam & Raisel Safer. SARAH ZUCKERMAN worked as a bakery saleslady.
iii. HENJA KATZ-SEGAL, b. about 1906, Pruzzeneh; d. 01 Jan 1978, Israel; m. DAVID SEGAL, 1932, Palestine; b. about 1906, Ukraine; d. 31 Dec 1980, Israel. HENJA is buried in Israel. Cause of Death: early onset Alzheimer's at age 62. She immigrated to Palestine in 1928. DAVID SEGAL worked in construction.
Henja immigrated to Palestine at age 18. She had been a member of the Gordonia youth organization in Poland and 50 of them immigrated to Palestine. To get passports, a number of them married and then divorced upon reaching their destination. (Some stayed married but Henja did not!) She lived on a kibbutz (Ramat Rachel?) for two years before moving to Tel Aviv where she met and married David. David had a large family in Israel—but Henja’s entire family was back in Pruzzeneh.
In 1938, as there was little work in Palestine, they planned to return to Poland however, they were denied British passports and were forced to remain in Palestine—saving them from being in Pruzzeneh during the Holocaust.
Knowing her entire family was murdered by the Nazis destroyed Henja. Her daughter, Zvia, reports Henja remained in a dark depression for the remainder of her life.
While Zvia and Avram were both born in Israel, they both immigrated to the US in the late 1950’s to get an education. They remained in the New York area and raised their families here. At present, Zvia lives in both Israel and the US and Avram has returned to Israel. Zvia is a professor at NYU and Avram worked in advertising displays.
iv. HENACH KATZ, b. about 1910, Pruzzeneh; d. Jan 1943. Henach served as a soldier in the Russian army early in WWII. He returned home to Pruzzeneh in 1943 and two weeks later was deported to Auschwitz/Birkenau on the fourth and last transport to leave the Pruzzeneh ghetto in 1943. He was murdered by the Nazis in Auschwitz along with his oldest brother. Prior to the war, Henach was a blacksmith.
CHILDREN OF ZALMAN KATZ
We believe Zalman had at least two children: Leizer and Isaac. At present, no additional information is available.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS WORK IN PROGRESS. WE ARE NOT SURE THIS INFORMATION IS ENTIRELY CORRECT, AND WE KNOW IT IS INCOMPLETE.