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 Chaiken Family of Nezhin
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Click here to learn about the many who came through London and stopped at The Poor Jews Shelter.
Click here to learn about shipboard conditions
Click here to learn about immigration through the port of Hamburg.
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Click Here to view the Chaiken Arrivals At The Port Of New York 1893-1924

Our ancestors came to America during the peak immigration years between 1880 and 1924.

Despite the emotional pain of leaving family friends and home, these travelers hoped that their life in America would somehow be better.

They walked, used horsedrawn carriages and traveled by trains to reach the harbors where the steamships departed for America.

Before boarding their ships steerage class passengers had to take an antiseptic bath, have their baggage fumigated and be examined by steamship company doctors.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s the cost of steerage class passage was approximately $25.00 for each passenger.

Second cabin passage was $50.00 for an adult and $25.00 for a child. Second cabin passage meant private staterooms and exemption from the intense scrutiny upon arriving in New York.

Manya Chazanoff Sovel made to trips to America. She arrived in 1904 with her husband and two small sons and went to live with her brother Morris Chasanow. My assumption is that she did not like the crowded living conditions in Philadelphia, so she took her sons and went back to Odessa.

She stayed for about a year and then returned to Philadelphia. Her youngest son Lazer did not return with her. We believe he was killed in a pogrom in Odessa and that was what changed Manya's mind about living in America.

Where They Lived
Most of our Chaiken ancestors settled in Philadelphia in the South Philadelphia section.

In many ways life was quite different from the villages in Russia, but in many ways quite the same. It was a clustered life, divided into sections by nationality.

The living conditions were crowded and not always clean. Families of five and six lived in one or two rooms.

My great grandmother and grandmother both had stalls on 4th street where they sold yarn goods and buttons. These stalls developed into viable retail businesses.

This page is in memory of Mire Chaiken Chazanoff and Manya Chazanoff Sovel, my great grandmother and grandmother. Without their hardwork and dilligence our family would not be where it is today.

#1...Hillel Chaiken, his wife and some of his children arrived at the port of New York on the S.S. Mauretania in 1913. He departed from London. On the manifest it said he was going to his uncle, Louis Chaiken. His nearest relative at his last residence was his father-in-law, Leib Boonin.
#2...Mire and Bernard Chazanoff immigrated on the S.S. Potsdam in 1907. The 547' ship held 280 first class passengers, 210 2nd cabin class passengers and 1800 steerage passengers.
#3...The Train station in Bremen, Germany where many of our ancestors departed from.
#4...South Philadelphia...1910
#5...At a 1994 Chaiken/Chazanov reunion in Philadelphia, an old Philadelphia trolley took family to see our ancestral landmarks.