Rose Rosengarten

Rose Rosengarten 1864 - 12th May 1936

Rose Rosengarten was born Rose Cohen in 1864.  If my families memories are correct, she was the elder sister of Joseph Cohen (1867 - 1945) and was born near the Russian border of Poland.  On Rose's death certificate the informant, her son in law Myer Luber, gives her place of birth as "Karbadh, Poland".  Joseph Cohen gives his place of birth as "Kilbert" or "Kitbert" Poland on his 1898 application for naturalisation.  Remembering that they both had thick Polish accents, these are very similar names.  We now believe the town they were born was Kibart, Lithuania.  Kibart had a thriving Jewish population and was right on the border.  Here is a link to a site about Kibart: .

The first official record we have found of Rose is her marriage in Sunderland England to Myer Lazar in 1881.  She gives her age on this document as 19, he was 24. 

Here is a link to this document:

Not one of the names on this document is spelt correctly and I never would have found it without Karen Saul's help - thanks Karen!  This document tells us a few interesting things.  Firstly, we know Rose escaped Poland probably through Lithuania and the port of Kretingen (or Crottingen).  This was not unusual as the ships trading with Kretingen used to take on Jewish passengers for their return trip to Sunderland.  Sunderland at this time had a thriving Jewish community.  This site: has information on the history of Sunderland's Jewish community.  Secondly, Rose gives her father's name as Elias Finkleberg.  One possibility would be that Rose's mother remarried, thus Rose's "Cohen" surname.  Roses father is listed as being "Elias" or "Lewis" (same name, different variations of the root name of "Eliezer") on her subsequent documents.  Was Elias really only a stepfather?  There are two other marriage records that come up under the "Finkleberg" name in Sunderland around that time, a Gertie and an Annie Finkleberg.  Were they Rose's half sisters?  Annie died in 1878, a year after her marriage to Alexander Simon and is buried in Sunderland.(  Gertie married Simon Lazarus in Sunderland, migrated to Australia and had nine children here that I know of.  They moved around a lot, from Sydney to Kiama and then to Perth where Gertie died in 1898 at the age of 41.  Simon Lazarus died in Sydney in September 1922 - there is a newspaper article in "The West Australian" announcing the death and giving the names of his children, including the married names of his daughters: .

Rose migrated to Australia with her first husband Meyer (Meir) Lazar and her infant son Ephraim, arriving aboard the Potosi in August 1883.  It is not difficult to imagine their hope for a new life in Australia but unfortunately Rose had the tragic misfortune of having to bury her husband and her son within weeks of arriving.  Meyer was probably ill when he arrived and died on 30th October 1883 of Typhus (different to 'typhoid', typhus was carried by lice and outbreaks were common in crowded conditions such as prisons and in this case ships).  Seven weeks later their child Ephraim died on 21 Dec 1883 of Tuberculosis.  Both are buried in the Jewish section of Rookwood cemetery.    On both Meyer and Ephraim's death certificates the informant is Simon Lazarus - yes, Gertie Finklebergs husband.  They must have been here at the same time or before Rose and Meyer arrived.  On the certificates Simon refers to himself as "brother-in-law" and "uncle", further confirming the link.  He even refers to Rose as "Rose Finkleberg" on one of the certificates.  

When Meyer died, Rose was already pregnant with Miriam (who was born in Sydney in 1884).  Even if Rose could have afforded the trip back to England it would not have been advisable while she was pregnant.  Perhaps this explains why Joseph arrived in Sydney in December 1884 - to help his sister.  Considering the time it would have taken for correspondence to reach England, and for the return ship to arrive, it looks like he came straight out.  Meanwhile Rose had the dreadful predicament of dealing with the death of her husband and her child, all the while carrying her dead husband's baby.  We can only assume she survived the years of raising Miriam alone with the help of friends and relatives.     

Ten years later Rose married Solomon Rosengarten in Adelaide on 27th February 1895 and gave her parents names as Elias and Gertie Cohen on her marriage certificate.  The names "Lewis" and "Elias" are interchangeable when the original Hebrew name is "Eliezer" - that is the name that doesn't change.  Both Solomon and Rose had been married before, Solomons first wife also died, leaving him with children from that marriage.  Solomon was a pawnbroker and second hand clothes dealer and he died in 1920 in Adelaide.  Solomon's name appears in the Adelaide newspapers frequently in relation to court cases where his position as a pawn broker led him to testify in theft cases (National Library website).  There is also a report in "The Advertiser" (Adelaide) on 17th December 1913 of "Solomon Rosengarten of Rundle Street" being knocked down as he stepped off the footpath by a motor car driven by Mr David Mitchell of Currie Street.  "Mr Rosengarten, who received slight wounds on his leg, was taken home in the motor car".    There is also a mention of "S Rosengarten" in The Advertiser on 13th November 1905 donating money to assist "The Jews in Russia" as part of a relief fund to mitigate "the frightful consequenses of the appalling persecution" that had been described in the editors previous cable messages.  Rose appears to have moved to Sydney after Solomons death in 1920 and is listed as a matron in a Waverley nursing home in the Eastern Suburbs.  

Rose Rosengarten's children to Solomon Rosengarten

Rose had four children to Solomon, Sarah (Luber) born 6/1/1896, Leopold born 11/6/1897, Eva born 14/8/1899 and Norman born 17/7/1901. 

Left to Right - Leopold, Sarah (standing), Norman (seated in front of Sarah), Soloman Rosengarten, Rose Rosengarten, Eva.

Sarah married Myer Mark Luber on 6th October 1915 in Adelaide.  Myer had a brother and a sister who were pharmacists and he is listed on the 1936 Sydney census as a 'chemists buyer'.  Sarah and Myer Luber had one daughter Norma, whose married name was Robin.  Norma had two children, Marsha (deceased) and one living descendant.  There are also five living grandchildren of Norma.

Leopold enlisted to fight in World War 1 in 1915, giving his address as 241 Rundle St, Adelaide, his occupation as clerk and his age as 18 ( ).  He married Doris Bergman in 1924 and had a daughter Janice in 1927.  Janice has four children and six grandchildren living.  Doris died in 1948 and Leopold remarried an American and after initially living in Australia for a while, moved to America.  Leopold shortened his name from Leopold Jubillee Gersham Rosengarten to Leopold Rose.

Leopold Rosengarten circa 1915 

Doris Bergman circa 1924

Eva never married.  I have found newspaper stories about an Eva Rosengarten being a singer.  There is also a story from a cousin of mine Joe Hayden about Eva getting into trouble on a cruise ship in the 1950's for smuggling diamonds for her then boyfriend who was a jeweller.  Janice confirmed that Eva was indeed involved with a jeweller, who after many years went off and married someone else.  The significance of this story, colourful though it is, is to further confirm the link between Joseph and Rose.  Why would a descendant of Joseph remember a story about Eva Rosengarten unless there was a link?  Eva is listed as living in a Jewish nursing home with Rose in the 1930 census - her occupation is listed as 'shop assistant'.  Eva had no children.

Norman - I don't know anything about Norman yet other than he remained in Adelaide.   

Rose's other daughter Miriam Solomon nee Lazar

There is an interesting article in The Advertiser, Adelaide on 12th January 1909 which details the case of a "dishonest servant" who robbed some articles of clothing from a Mrs Miriam Solomon, wife of Nathan Solomon of Kent Town, draper.  In the article, Mrs Rose Rosengarten gave evidence that the articles produced were the property of her daughter and that she had witnessed the accused  leaving the house carrying a parcel.  She called her back and asked to see what was in the parcel.  When she opened it she saw it contained a silk coat belonging to Mrs Solomon. 
Here is a link

The reason this article caught my attention is that if this is our Rose Rosengarten (and it doesn't seem likely that there would be two of them in Adelaide in 1909), then who was Miriam?  Rose and Solomon Rosengarten had no daughter Miriam.  Was Miriam a daughter by Rose's first husband Lazar?  So I googled "Miriam Lazar" and found this fabulous document:

Yes, Miriam was indeed Rose Rosengarten's daughter by her first husband.  She was born in Sydney in 1884 and there is no fathers name listed on the NSW BDM site.  1884 was also the year Joseph arrived in Australia at Port Melbourne.  According to the above Adelaide Jewish Museum 'book of life' link, Miriam Lazar married Nathan Solomon in 1905 and went on to have six children with him between then and 1920.  Interestingly, Nathan Solomon was also a Russian Jew fleeing Poland and was in Sunderland around the time Rose Rosengarten was.  They very likely knew each other.  Nathan and Miriam were prominent members of the Adelaide Jewish Community to the extent that when the new Adelaide Synagogue was built in Flemington Street, Glenunga, the entire complex was dedicated to their memory and is known as the Nathan and Miriam Solomon Centre

In the 1930 electoral roll Rose is mentioned as being the matron of a Jewish home in Waverley, presumably where she was living. 
At the time of Rose's death she is listed as living in 36 Dudley Road, Rose Bay.  Rose Rosengarten died on 12th May 1936, aged 72 (This is from the Great Synagogue Sydney microfilm according to the AJHS).  She is buried in the Jewish section of Rookwood cemetery.  On Rose's death certificate her parents names are listed as "Lewis" and "Gertie". 

There is still so much more to know.  How many of Roses descandants are there in total?  Why did Rose return to live in Sydney after Solomon Rosengarten died?  Why did Joseph go to Lismore?  And of course the big question - WHERE in Poland did Rose and Joseph come from?  Did they have any other siblings?  Are there any surviving photographs of Rose?  Did Rose and Joseph's parents migrate to England?  Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, here is what I know of this family tree so far:

Here is a link to a timeline of South Australian history:

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