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We believe that the first of the Katz brothers to immigrate was Hirsh (Herman) and his wife Mary. They arrived in New York in 1889. From the census record it appears they had been married for two years, and Herman was listed as a carpenter.

Gershon Katz first arrived in America aboard the S.S. Grosser Kurfuerst on May 16th, 1900. He is listed on the manifest as being a waiter at the time and coming from Berezhany, Austria. The manifest also said that he was "going to" his brother. He settled in New York City and became a waiter there also.

For some reason unknown, Gershon returned to Austria in 1908. My best guess would be that it is when his father passed away.

He returned from this 2nd trip on September 6, 1908 aboard the S.S. Blucher. He is listed on line 12 of the manifest as being 25 years of age, coming from Berezhany, Austria and going to his wife, Fanny Katz in New York City. It is noted on the manifest that he is a returning alien and that he first came to America in 1901.

He listed his closest relative in Berezhany as his brother Solomon.

We do not have any records showing when Fanny Katz came to New York, or if she was born in America.
S.S. Grosser Kurfuerst
Built by Schichau Shipyard, Danzig, Germany, 1900. 13,182 gross tons; 581 (bp) feet long; 62 feet wide. Steam triple expansion engines, twin screw. Service speed 15 knots. 788 passengers (299 first class, 317 second class, 172 third class).

Built for North German Lloyd, German flag, in 1900 and named Grosser Kurfuerst. Bremerhaven-New York and Bremerhaven-Australia service. Laid up at New York 1914-1917. Seized by United States Navy, American flag, in 1917 and renamed USS Aeolus. Transferred to the US Shipping Board in 1919. Chartered by Los Angeles Steamship Company, in 1922 and renamed City of Los Angeles. Los Angeles-Honolulu service. Laid-up 1933-37; scrapped in Japan in 1937.
S.S. Blucher
The "Blucher" was built by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg in 1901 for the Hamburg America Line. She was a 12,334 gross ton ship, length 525.6ft x beam 62.3ft, two funnels, two masts, twin screw and a speed of 16 knots. There was accommodation for 390-1st, 230-2nd and 1,550-3rd class passengers. Launched on 23/11/1901, she sailed from Hamburg on her maiden voyage to Boulogne, Southampton and New York on 7/6/1902. Her last voyage on this service commenced on 30/12/1911 and she was subsequently used on the Hamburg to South America route. In August 1914 she was interned at Pernambuco, Brazil and on 1/6/1917 was seized by the Brazilian authorities, who renamed her "Leopoldina". On 11/3/1920 she was chartered to the French company, Compagnie Generale Transatlantique and started her first sailing between New York and Havre. Her passenger accommodation was refitted in December 1920 to carry 500-cabin class and 250-3rd class and she was renamed "Suffren". On 9/5/1923 she commenced Havre - New York sailings and continued on this service until her last round voyage commenced when she left Havre on 22/9/1928. She was then laid up and in 1929 was scrapped at Genoa. [North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P.Bonsor, vol.1, p.408] - [Posted to The ShipsList by Ted Finch - 22 February 1998]
#1...S.S. Blucher...Ship on which Gershon Katz came to New York on his second trip.
#2...S.S. Grosser Kurfuerst...Ship on which Gershon Katz came to New York on his first trip.

Scenes From Ellis Island