The Jacobs & Frank Families History Part Two: Highlights 1950-2014 (6)


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Please see previous postings on the Jacobs and Frank Families:

The Jacobs Family: Prologue
The Jacobs & Frank Families History Part One: 1904-1940

Jon Frank.

Jon Frank

• Jon is the son of Bill and Linda (nee Snofsky) Frank. He was born in 1966.

Jon and his son Ian work on the family tree at Ancestry together. Through their research the following past and present family members are on the tree:

• Jon’s lineage through his mother, Linda (nee Snofsky) Frank:

o Grandson of Irving and Tillie Blanche (nee Zaremba) Snofsky

• Jon’s lineage through his father, Bill Frank:

o Grandson of Frances Jacobs and Anthony Tortorici.
o Great Grandson of Jack and Dora (nee Schram) Jacobs. (Parents of Frances.)
o Great Grandson of Thomas (Gaetano) and Angelina (nee Torregrossa) Tortorici. (Parents of Anthony.)
o Great-Great Grandson of Alfonso and Benedetta (nee Di Francisco) Torregrossa (Parents of Angelina.)
o Great-Great Grandson of Anthony and Josephine (nee Lombardo) Tortorici. (Parents of Thomas [Gaetano]).
o Great-Great-Great Grandson of Francesco and Carmela (nee Stella) Torregrossa. (Parents of Alfonso.)
o Great-Great-Great Grandson of Bracio and Angelina (nee Messina) Di Francisco. (Parents of Benedetta.)

Jon’s parents Linda and Bill (center). Grandfather Anthony Tortorici is at the right.

• Jon grew up in Queens, NY and attended Cardozo HS.

• He has a 30 year career as a U.S. Marine and U.S. Marshal, military and federal law enforcement officer.

Jon with Gurkas in Iraq, 2009.

• Some of the experiences during his long career in law enforcement would make the basis of an adventure story but he’s not sure anyone would believe it all!

• Jon is passionate about the pursuit of the martial arts (MMA), an interest that began when he was a teenager.

• He volunteers time organizing Martial Arts competitions for young people. Jon believes that the martial arts advance not only physical and mental development but also contribute to character development through the discipline it requires.

Jon and Sochi Frank, circa 1990s.

• Jon lives on the West Coast with his wife Sochi. They are parents of three sons and two daughters. Jon and Sochi are also Grandparents of 6 children with one more on the way.

Jon, Sochi and their family appear in this photo. From right to left: Anthony Frank, his Wife Amanda, Sochi Frank, Taylor Frank, Ellen Soto, Husband Eddie Soto, Jon, Celia Garcia, her husband Carlos Garcia. Kneeling: Ian Frank holding dog Frankie.

• In August Jon became a business partner in a gym. We wish him well for the future as he continues in this venture and prepares for his retirement from government service in 2015.

Ian Frank

Ian Frank.

• Ian is the son of Jon and Sochi Frank. He grew up in Lake Forest, California and attended school at Laguna Hills before enlisting in the military.

• He served out country in the U.S. Marine Corps.

• In 2013 Ian entered Seattle Pacific University where he is now working towards a degree in Integrated Studies. His goal is to become a teacher.

• Ian has a blog where he writes about his experiences as a teaching candidate. He is sensitive to the needs of the students he interacts with and presents thoughtful consideration of the results of the lessons he teaches and the goals of the program he’s part of.

• Ian is helping his dad Jon manage the family tree at Ancestry. Perhaps one day, Ian will use his experiences with studying and researching his own family tree to inspire his students to begin documenting the history and stories of their own families.

Anthony and Taylor Frank

Like their father Jon and brother Ian, Anthony and Taylor excel in their chosen sport.

Anthony Frank.

• Anthony was a pro-fighter. He and Ian were very high level wrestlers.

Taylor Frank.

• Taylor has, according to his father, found his own niche with competitive fencing.

All photos from the album of Jon and Sochi Frank. Used with permission.

The Jacobs & Frank Families History Part Two: Highlights 1950-2014 (5)


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Please see previous postings on the Jacobs and Frank Families:

The Jacobs Family: Prologue
The Jacobs & Frank Families History Part One: 1904-1940

• Bill Frank was born April 11, 1941. He is the son of Anthony Tortorici and Frances Jacobs Frank.

So far, Bill’s son Jon and Grandson Ian have the following current and past ancestors on Bill’s family tree:

• Bill’s lineage through his mother Frances Jacobs Frank

o Grandson of Jack and Dora (nee Schram) Jacobs.

o The marriage certificate of Jack Jacobs to Dora Schram will provide the names of Bill’s Great Grandparents on the maternal side of his family. EmilyAnn ordered the certificate from the New York City Municipal Archives mid-August. Follow-up is in progress as of October 5, 2014.

• Bill’s lineage through his father, Anthony Tortorici

o Grandson of Thomas (Gaetano) and Angelina (nee Torregrossa) Tortorici.
o Great Grandson of Alfonso and Benedetta (nee Di Francisco) Torregrossa. (Parents of Angelina.)
o Great Grandson of Anthony and Josephine (nee Lombardo) Tortorici. (Parents of Thomas [Gaetano]).
o Great-Great Grandson of Francesco and Carmela (nee Stella) Torregrossa. (Parents of Alfonso.)
o Great-Great Grandson of Bracio and Angelina (nee Messina) Di Francisco. (Parents of Benedetta.)

• Bill graduated from Metropolitan High School in the Little Italy section of Manhattan..

• He was a foreman in the Painters Union and later went on his own working on foreclosures for Apple Bank.

• Bill retired in the 1990s.

• Bill married Linda Snofsky in the 1960s. They are the parents of Terri and Jon.

o Jon Frank and his wife Sochi live in California. Their sons excel at their sports activities. The middle son Ian assists his Dad with managing the Family Tree at Ancestry.

o Photos of Jon and his family will be featured in the next posting.

Bill (left), Linda (second from left), Terri (middle) and Robert (right). Terri’s marriage to Robert Knoth.

Terri and Robert Knoth.

o Terri married Robert Knoth. They have two sons, Chris and Cory.

Terri with her sons and daughter-in-law. Left to right: Ryan, Chris, Terri and Cory.

Bill’s Great Granddaughter, Tessa Knoth.

o Chris and his wife Ryan became parents to a beautiful baby girl, Tessa, on June 8, 2014. Bill is now a Great Grandfather!

Bill and Ruth Frank.

• Bill and Linda divorced. His marriage to Ruth lasted 12 years until she passed away from cancer.

Bill and Diane.

• Bill now shares his life with Diane. They currently live in New Jersey.

The Jacobs & Frank Families History Part Two: Highlights 1950-2014 (4)



Please see previous postings on the Jacobs and Frank Family:

The Jacobs Family: Prologue
The Jacobs & Frank Families History Part One: 1904-1940

June is the daughter of Sol and Frances (nee Jacobs) Frank and the sister of Bill Frank.

• June graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1964. She attended Brooklyn College in the evening.

June and Barry Frost with their children, Heather and Eric. Photo taken for Eric’s Bar Mitzvah.

• After June’s mother, Frances Jacobs Frank, passed away she continued to live with her Grandmother Dotty in Brooklyn, N.Y. until her marriage to Barry Frost in 1967. June and Barry are the parents of Heather and Eric Frost.

Heather and Davad R. Wood.

o Heather Frost was married in November of 2000 to Davad R. Wood. Dave passed away in December of 2013.

Eric and Susan Frost.

o Eric Frost married Susan Miller in May 2005. They are the parents of Olivia and Emma Frost. June takes great delight in her beautiful Granddaughters.

Olivia Frost.

- Olivia Frost will be 6 years old in January 2015.

Emma Frost.

- Emma Frost will be 2 years old in November 2014.

Eric Frost (left), Bill Frank (center), June Frank Frost Curran (2nd center) and Heather Frost Wood.

• June and her brother Bill continue to have a close relationship.

Jim and June Curran, 1987.

• On August 29, 1987 June married her second husband, Jim Curran.

Jim and June Curran today.

• Jim and June are now living in Florida. June’s hobbies include jewelry making, reading and knitting.

All photos from the album of June Curran.  Used with permission.

The Jacobs & Frank Families History Part Two: Highlights 1950-2014 (3)


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Please see previous postings on the Jacobs and Frank Family:

The Jacobs Family: Prologue
The Jacobs & Frank Families History Part One: 1904-1940

Dora Schram Jacobs was the wife of Jack Jacobs and mother of Frances and Morris Jacobs.

Dora with her Grandchildren June and Bill.

Dora was called Dotty by family members. Her Granddaughter, June Frank Frost Curran, shared her memories of her Grandmother’s later years when we spoke on August 3, 2014. The family lived in Brooklyn during this time.

• June remembers coming home from school and sometimes there would be other people at the kitchen table that Dora had prepared a meal for. Dora loved to share food with other people.

• In particular, June remembers how close Dora was to the officers of the 66th Precinct. Dora loved to give them something to eat when she met them on the street. They thought very highly of her.

• Dora was a very lively person. Once Dora was at a party with June’s Cousin who is also named Frances. It was very boring. Dora got up on the table and began to sing. The party really came to life after that and everyone enjoyed the rest of the evening.

• Dora passed away peacefully in her sleep on January 3, 1979. She was laid to rest in New Montefiore Cemetery, Long Island, New York in the plot next to her daughter Frances.

Photos from the albums of Bill Frank and June Frank Frost Curran. Used with permission.

The Jacobs & Frank Families History Part Two: Highlights 1950-2014 (2)


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Please see previous postings on the Jacobs and Frank Family:

The Jacobs Family: Prologue
The Jacobs & Frank Families History Part One: 1904-1940

Ellen Jacobs Richards is the daughter of Morris and Lenore Jacobs.  Morris Jacobs was the brother of Frances Jacobs Frank.

This photo was taken at the wedding of Ellen’s daughter Nicole.
From left to right:  Jim and June Curran , Ellen and Bill.

On September 2, 2014 Ellen shared some corrections to earlier information about her father and shared some highlights of his life after the 1940s.

Morris Jacobs circa mid 1940s or early 1950s.

• Morris, the son of Jack and Dora (nee Schram) Jacobs was born on August 16, 1914.
• In the 1940s he had a laundry route.  Ellen would accompany him as he drove to the clients’ homes.
• In the 1950s he drove a taxi in Manhattan.

Morris Jacobs (right) with nephew Bill Frank (center) and daughter Ellen Jacobs Richards (left).
This photo was taken at the Bar Mitzvah of Eric Frost, son of Barry and June (nee Frank) Frost.

• Morris was an avid baseball fan and his favorite team was the New York Giants.
• He lived in Jackson Heights, New York before moving to Lecanto, Florida which was his last place of residence.
• Morris passed away in January of 1991.

Photos courtesy Bill Frank and Ellen Jacobs Richards. Used with permission.

The Jacobs & Frank Families History Part Two: Highlights 1950-2014 (1)


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Please see previous postings on the Jacobs and Frank Families:

The Jacobs Family: Prologue
The Jacobs & Frank Families History Part One: 1904-1940

Frances was the daughter of Jack and Dora (nee Schram) Jacobs. Her children are Bill Frank and June Frank Frost Curran.

Frances Jacobs in pin-up photo framed and displayed in her son Bill’s home.

• In addition to her career as an entertainer, Frances was also a model and pin-up girl during the 1940s.

• June has a few of these pin-up photos in her family album. Bill has a large pin-up photo framed and displayed in his home.

• In the 1940s, Frances was featured as a centerfold in “Photoplay”, a popular magazine focusing on the lives and lifestyles of popular celebrities.

• She also appeared in “The New York Daily News” in a photo spread featuring performers who entertained the troops on board ships during World War II.

• June provided details of her mother’s professional life after the 1940s in an email to me dated September 30, 2014.

o Frances’ stage name was Sissy Lee. She’s not sure if there are two s’s in the first name.

o She worked in two restaurants when Bill and June were children. One was called the Steak Joint. June thinks the other was called Dempsey’s. Both were high-end restaurants in Manhattan. Frances was friends with the boxer Jack Dempsey.

• Frances also loved spending time with her dog Snoopy. In an email to me dated October 4, 2014, Bill described Snoopy as a black dachshund who used to run in stores and run out with merchandise.

Morris and Frances circa 1950s.

• Frances and Morris maintained a close relationship.

• Frances suffered stomach pains in 1959 which doctors incorrectly diagnosed. By the time she was hospitalized in 1960 they discovered too late that she had stomach cancer.

• Frances passed away on April 13, 1961.

• The entire family was present at her memorial service. Frances’ niece, Ellen Jacobs Richards, remembers that Frances’ father, Jack Jacobs, attended. Ellen and Jack sat together during the service.

• At the foot of her bed in the apartment Frances had shared with her mother Dora, was a large carved chest which contained many photos and mementos of her show business career. Unfortunately, the trunk and its contents were stolen while the family attended the service.

• Frances was laid to rest in New Montefiore Cemetery, Long Island.


Emails September-October 2014 from Bill Frank and June Frank Frost Curran.
Photos provided by and used with permission of Bill Frank.

We’re back!



Greetings to all readers, visitors and subscribers to this blog. Life is resuming a more even pace as I get settled in the new apartment. Postings to this blog will resume on a more frequent basis.

We’re going to pick-up with Part Two of the Jacobs and Frank Family History. I want to thank Bill, June, Ellen and Jon for sharing their photo albums with me.

I learned so much not only about this branch of the family but also how to work on a research project when the participants are living in distant locations. Everyone had great patience with the process of reviewing and correcting the initial drafts. There were many emails exchanged and it was exciting to see the highlights for each family member evolve.

The format was kept simple to showcase the photos and provide in a clear and easy to access format a brief update for the family.

We hope you will enjoy the next series of six postings about the Jacobs and Frank Families.

Have you ever searched for someone like Mr. Ruggles?


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Before I return to the tedious tasks of wrapping and packing dishes and glasses I want to announce a new blog created earlier this month.

It is called “Looking for Mr. Ruggles”. There is one long entry in this little blog and many precious photos. It tells very simply how Julian Ruggles transformed into Julian Stephen Kennedy and how with the assistance of his son Robert, the family history project has helped answer many questions about what happened to Julian’s mother while he was in foster care as a baby.

Yet, there is one person who has never appeared in any searches and that is the mysterious Mr. Ruggles. Julian is still searching for the connection to any relative in the Ruggles family. Please read his touching story and if you’ve got any research tips or advice please comment at that blog.

And even if you don’t have any leads or search techniques to share we hope you’ll come away with a greater enthusiasm and appreciation for just how deep and far reaching a family tree and research can grow and how beneficial the fruit of the tree can be.

Taking a break…

To All My WordPress Friends and Followers:  As you’ve noticed, my output has slowed down these past few months.  My commeting and participation in discussion at other family history blogs has also fallen off.  This is not due to a lack of interest on my part or a lack of interesting material at the blogs I follow.

I have been in a tiring and prolonged process of moving out of the building where I currently live.  The people and events around me have been intrusive and disruptive causing the need for increased rest and quiet time.

All this is going to change in three weeks when I move into a beautiful new apartment in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.  It is really true that those who love and care about us will reach out even when there have been years of separation and no contact.  This is the case of my Mom’s Cousin Alfred and his wife Angela.   In a way I have my Mom to thank for this since it was through the family history project that I reconnected with the relative in whose house I will be living.  It is a beautiful turn of the 20th century brownstone that has been restored to the beauty and simplicity of the era in which it was built.  I am looking forward to setting up my new apartment and resuming the research and blogging after that.

There will be many new postings so please stay tuned.  The first will be an update on the Jacobs and Frank families featuring photos and highlights of accomplishments in the family.  This will be followed by a series of postings with updates on the Torregrossa family provided by the granddaughter of Rosario and Liboria Torregrossa.  These will be especially lively since they will be presented in the formats of the emails and phone converations that we had.  The flow of communications was so good I decided to post the exchanges as they happened.  This permits you to focus on the specific topics.  When the series is completed there is will be an even greater sense of the big picture in progress as the actions of our Torregrossa ancestors continue down into the present.

I wish everyone a great Labor Day Weekend.  See you in the Fall.

The Jacobs & Frank Families History Part One: 1904-1940


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Dora Jacobs in her youth.

Highlights of Dora Jacob’s life as related by her Granddaughter, June Frank Curran, August 3, 2014

• The earliest family members were born or lived in Egypt.

• They fled to Paris to escape persecution.

• The family was living in Paris before coming to the United States.

• Dora was born in New York.

• Dora and her siblings were placed in separate orphanages. She grew up not knowing where her brothers were.

• At the age of 13 she was released from the orphanage and obtained employment as a chamber maid at a hotel in New York.

• Dora was determined to find her parents. She saved her money for the time when she would travel to wherever they may be.

• When she was still 13 years old, Dora learned that her Mother had remarried and was living in Boston. She took a bus to the part of town where her Mother and new husband were living.

• Dora’s Mother told her that her new family did not know about her and that she could not let her come to stay.

• Dora returned to New York and despite this event never spoke negatively of her parents. She never mentioned them to others.

• From an early age, Dora had said that she wanted to be a Mother to a boy and a girl so that she could name them after her own Mother and Father.

• Eventually Dora and her brothers found each other. They remained in touch throughout their lives and visited each other from time to time.

• Dora sang in Yiddish at the Jewish theaters in Lower Manhattan. She subbed on occasion for Sophie Tucker, who is described in Wikipedia as one of the most popular entertainers of the early 20th century known for her comical delivery of risqué songs.

Note: In the 1920 Federal Census, Dora stated that Romania was the birthplace for her Mother and Father. During our discussion on Sunday, August 3, 2014, June informed me that a descendant of Dora’s sister has in her possession the map which shows the part of Egypt where the family lived before going to Paris. Further research is needed to confirm the exact ancestral country. On August 1, 2014 I ordered a copy of Dora and Jack’s 1913 Marriage Certificate from the NYC Municipal Archives. Using the names for Dora’s parents as they appear on the Marriage Certificate may bring back earlier census records where Dora’s parents are entered as well as the country of origin they gave to the Census Enumerator.   Continue reading


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